It’s that time of year again! Time to get out the naughty and nice list of holiday foods so you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful all through the holiday season.
Here’s your helpful holiday foods guide, courtesy of our team at Tieken Smiles!
Naughty Holiday Foods To Avoid!
If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time to go off your normal diet and have a little fun indulging the sweet tooth.
That’s fine, but if you want to protect your teeth, there are some treats that are a bit too naughty to eat.
Like most holiday goodies, these are all high in sugar content. Too much sugar leads to tooth decay and cavities, as you already know. While lots of sugary foods and drinks are to be expected this time of year, the treats on this list pose other threats for your teeth.
Eggnog, while creamy and delicious, also contains alcohol. Too much of that will cause dehydration. This is a problem for your teeth because dehydration removes their needed layer of protection, which is your saliva. It coats your enamel and protects it from acids.
Caramel, marshmallows, toffee, and other sticky sweets that you find in candy and desserts will adhere to your teeth. It remains in your mouth longer than most other foods, which gives bacteria more time to cause problems in your mouth.
Fruitcake is a really dense cake that’s packed with sugar, but it also contains those bits of gooey candied fruit that will have the same sticky effect. Best to stay away from it!
Candy canes are better for decorating your Christmas tree than being eaten. That’s because hard candy like candy canes break up into sharp, tiny pieces that can hurt your gums and cheeks. They also put a lot of pressure on your teeth if you try to bite them, which could wear them down or chip your tooth enamel.
Nice Holiday Foods To Enjoy!
Don’t feel discouraged! There are plenty of delicious, healthy food options to enjoy that you’ll likely find at your next holiday gathering.
It’s not just about desserts, cookies, and candy that leads to weight gain and dental problems for many people over the holidays. It’s also about going overboard with portions and number of helpings. That’s where snacks and appetizers can help.
Raw veggies are a popular pre-dinner option you find at holidays all throughout the year. Combining cut up celery, carrots, and broccoli with a tasty dip will give you essential vitamins and nutrients for healthy teeth. They also scrub your teeth as they break down in your mouth, particularly the celery.
Hard cheese does the same thing. Along with helping clean your teeth as you chew, you’re also giving your body, bones, and teeth the important calcium it needs for strength.
Then step over to the bowl of mixed nuts next to the cheese and veggie trays. Nuts contain lots of protein for strong, healthy teeth. They also stimulate saliva production because of their crunchiness, just like with raw vegetables.
Among the main dishes you find on a lot of holiday banquet tables is turkey and stuffing. Turkey is loaded with protein, and is also friendly to your waistline since it’s a lean meat. Next to your turkey, add a deviled egg to your dinner plate. This will give you more protein, as well as vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the calcium from the cheese you had before dinner!
Stay On Your Dentist’s Nice List!
Your fight against tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease starts with a commitment to healthy food choices and best oral hygiene practices at home. We hope today’s naughty and nice list of holiday foods will help you get through the holidays with your smile intact. But you’re not alone in achieving and maintaining good oral health.
At Tieken Smiles, you’re always on our nice list! We care about your total health, and that means seeing you for twice annual dental cleanings and exams.
With the right tools, experienced professionals, and advanced technology, we can make sure your teeth and gums aren’t harmed by plaque and tartar buildup that threaten your healthy, beautiful smile.