At this time of year, many family gatherings center on sharing delicious food. While breaking bread with loved ones can make for some of your most cherished memories, make sure you’re choosing foods that won’t sacrifice your oral health.
Unfortunately, some of your holiday favorites can wreak havoc on your teeth.
Pass on These Holiday Foods
If you’ve ever had a caramel apple, you know just how easily this gooey treat can lodge itself between your teeth. When used in cakes and popcorn, caramel hides in the crevices of your teeth and becomes a food source for bacteria.
Any and all alcohol can dehydrate you, leaving your mouth with less saliva to rinse away acid from your teeth. Eggnog poses a particular problem, as the sugary cream leaves more residue than most other spirits.
Candy canes may be known for their sticky, sweet surface, but the coating they leave on your teeth is anything but enjoyable. When your teeth become coated in sugar, bacteria starts to feed and produces acid that can cause permanent damage to tooth enamel.
You may be well aware to avoid soda or champagne, but did you know that even carbonated water can be abrasive to your pearly whites? The bubbles in carbonated drinks come from carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid in your mouth.
Indulge in These Holiday Foods
Delicious flavor, calcium, antibacterial qualities — what isn’t to love? Cheese can actually help prevent bad breath and bacteria and even strengthen your teeth and jaw bones.
The protein in turkey contains phosporus, which contributes to strong bones and teeth. You can feel confident during your turkey nap that your full belly has helped with your oral health.
Don’t skip over the carrots and celery! Crunchy vegetables require a lof of chewing, which causes your mouth to produce more saliva. This saliva rinses debris from your teeth and helps to neutralize acid in your mouth.
Whether you prefer almonds, walnuts, or chestnuts roasting by an open fire, feel free to indulge. Nuts are great sources of calcium with the added benefit of wiping away plaque just like toothbrushes.
Now, we don’t expect that everyone will be able to totally follow our guide. If you do indulge in some treats that are bad for your teeth, be sure to brush and floss thirty minutes after eating.