For many, the holiday season entails family, fun, and food . . . often too much food. But did you know that the food you choose during holiday festivities can actually improve your oral health? By intentionally consuming goodies that actually aid your oral health while avoiding some of the worst oral health offenders, you can still enjoy many Christmas treats while simultaneously helping your teeth and gums. Read on to discover some of the traditional holiday foods that work to your mouth’s advantage, and some of the foods that you should avoid.
In many households, turkey is the ubiquitous protein of choice around the holidays. Fortunately, turkey is high in protein and chock full of minerals like phosphorus and vitamin D. These nutrients help keep teeth and bones strong, making turkey a delicious and healthy choice to promote oral health.
Nuts are another tasty and healthy go-to for Christmas snacking, especially cashews, almonds, and walnuts. These snacks contain a plethora of beneficial vitamins like iron, magnesium, and calcium that help keep your chompers strong. Also, chomping on nuts helps stimulate saliva production, which washes out bacteria and counteracts corrosive oral acids. A word of caution, however — be careful when biting into nuts because they can chip teeth if you are not careful.
Good news for charcuterie board lovers: Cheese is also a delicious and healthy option. Cheese is chock full of calcium to help keep the teeth strong. Additionally, like nuts, cheese neutralizes the acid levels in your mouth.
Finally, fruits are a fantastic way to finish off a meal, particularly apples. Apples’ rough texture scrubs the surface of the teeth, helping keep them squeaky clean. Crunchy fruits like apples also stimulate blood flow to the gums to help keep gums firm and healthy.
By contrast, Christmas candies are some of the worst foods to consume, particularly hard candies like candy canes, and sticky candies such as toffee. Many people bite into hard candies, increasing the risk that they will chip or crack their teeth. And though some people resist the temptation to chomp into candy and suck on hard candies instead, the sugar in the candy harms the teeth as well. Fruit is a better option to satisfy a sweet tooth because it contains less sugar and diminishes the risk of damaging teeth.
Savvy party-goers steer clear of soda as well. Such sugary concoctions wreak havoc on the teeth, and the acids in soda corrode dental enamel. Instead of soda, try flavored carbonated water or better yet, eggnog and apple cider.
To conclude, just because it is the holiday season does not mean that your oral health has to suffer. By exercising mindfulness about goodies you indulge in, you can actually improve your oral health while enjoying food and fellowship this Christmas season. Enjoy peace of mind this holiday season and give North Raleigh Periodontics a call at (919) 518-8222 to ask any questions or to schedule an appointment.