When the holiday season rolls around, it can seem as if you’re surrounded by sweets and treats for weeks on end. Which may make your inner child happy, but can put your dental health at risk.
So how do you make it through all the parties and family gatherings without compromising your teeth and gums? It’s really not that difficult. Some popular holiday and party foods are actually great for your teeth.
And the ones that aren’t? Well, if you absolutely must have that eggnog, just remember to keep consumption to a minimum and balance it with plenty of water and healthier stuff.
Is your next dental checkup in the books? Call 941-585-0424 to request an appointment at Smiles of Punta Gorda of Punta Gorda, FL.
Party All You Want with These Superfoods
If you are hosting a party or holiday meal, consider adding these foods to your menu. They are festive, delicious, and great for your dental health!
This retro hors d’oeuvre is still always a crowd pleaser. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, which your body needs to absorb calcium. Calcium, of course, is a mineral that’s responsible for keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy. Eggs also contain phosphorus and other essential nutrients.
A beautifully browned roasted turkey makes for an impressive star of the holiday table. Turkey, like other meats, is packed with protein. This, along with calcium and Vitamin D, helps maintain the strength of your bones and teeth. Unfortunately, you’ll have to gobble it up sans cranberry sauce if you don’t want to cancel out its beneficial effects with sugar.
Raw, Crunchy Vegetables
Put out a colorful tray of crudite for guests to nibble on before dinner. Raw veggies — such as carrots, celery, and peppers — are a nice break from the heaviness of other holiday staples, and they help keep your mouth clean too! The fibrous texture stimulates your gums, and the act of chewing them increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. This rinses away bacteria and food particles.
Cheese, like all dairy products, is an excellent source of calcium, one of the building blocks of your bones and teeth. In addition, cheese has been shown in studies to raise the pH level of the mouth, which makes for a less hospitable environment for harmful bacteria. This may be because chewing cheese promotes saliva production, washing away the microbes and diluting destructive acids.
Eat in Moderation, if You Must
These holiday favorites, sadly, are also favorites of the harmful bacteria that produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. We know you’ve been looking forward to that first bite of fruitcake all year long, so we won’t deny you entirely, but eat with caution.
These pretty and pepperminty treats are beloved by kids. Unfortunately, they will wreck havoc on their teeth. Like all hard candies, candy canes create a nasty slurry of melted sugar and saliva when kids suck on them. This coats the mouth and is difficult to remove entirely. Bacteria will then multiply and produce acids that wear down the tooth enamel.
Eggnog is a beloved holiday tradition. It also combines lots of sugar with a viscous consistency that coats your mouth and creates the perfect conditions for a proliferation of bacteria. If you do indulge, keep it to one small cup and follow it up with a glass of water.
Chances are you either love it or hate it. If the former, eat in extreme moderation. Fruitcake has a moist, sticky texture that just loves to cling to the grooves of your teeth. The candied fruit in the cake will also get stuck in those nooks and crannies. The sugar and carbs create a breeding ground for bacteria, and acids will begin attacking your tooth enamel.
Don’t Let Oral Hygiene Fall Through the Cracks
Kids are out of school, maybe you’ve taken extra time off work. Perhaps you’re traveling for the holidays. When normal schedules are interrupted, it’s easy to let routines lapse.
Whatever you’re doing over the holidays, make sure you and your kids maintain excellent oral hygiene practices. Brush twice every day for two minutes and floss daily.
Another way to help keep your mouth clean (through the holidays and beyond) is to get into the habit of drinking lots of water. This not only keeps you hydrated, but helps clean out the mouth between brushing. Most tap water also gives your teeth a fluoride boost.
If you live in or around Punta Gorda, FL, make your next dental checkup with Smiles of Punta Gorda. You may request an appointment through our convenient online form or call our office at 941-585-0424.