The fall and winter holiday seasons are the times when many people indulge in treats that they have been looking forward to all year. While many of these treats may evoke a nostalgic feeling, they aren’t always the best for our dental health. If you’re trying to avoid the post-holiday toothaches and cavities, here are 6 of the best and worst foods for your teeth to be mindful of this year.
Foods on the Nice List
Proteins such as turkey are packed with phosphorous, which works together with calcium to create strong teeth. Before you dig into grandma's cookies, plate yourself an extra piece of protein to curb your appetite so you consume less sugary, dessert-like foods.
Packed with calcium, cheese is one of the holiday treats that carries the most benefit for your teeth. Calcium is a key component to making your teeth healthy and strong. It also helps in lessening the effects of acid on your tooth enamel, while killing gum disease-causing bacteria. Not bad for a holiday favorite!
It may not be the most glamour treat during the holiday season but it is one of the most beneficial. Chewing on raw vegetables will help to massage your gums, while also cleaning your teeth helping to give you an even brighter smile in the annual Christmas party photos!
Foods on the Naughty List
Cheese, caramel, chocolate drizzled..the list goes on. While very tasty, popcorn can be one of biggest holiday offenders to your teeth. While some versions make a good alternative to sugary sweets, popcorn kernels are notorious for getting stuck in your teeth and gum line. To avoid a post-holiday toothache, make sure to brush your teeth and floss after you eat popcorn to remove any remaining debris.
These red and white striped sweet treats are 100 percent sugar. Delicious, yes! But what that means for your teeth is when that sugar is left behind in your mouth, it promotes bacteria growth which can cause cavities and other tooth problems in the long run. This holiday, try skipping the candy canes and opt for a peppermint-flavored drink (tea is a great option). Not only will your teeth thank you, but peppermint is also known to aid in digestion.
Just like the sweet treat above, too many sugar cookies can be a hazard to keeping your teeth pearly white and cavity-free. If you’re getting a craving for something sweet, try chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum instead. Your teeth (and perhaps waistline) will probably thank you.