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Best and (Worst Foods) for Your Teeth Over the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and as dentists, we know that the thing you care most about during the holidays is your teeth.

No?

Is that just us?

Well, no matter what, your teeth are still important!  So this holiday season, the dentists at Dental Concepts & Orthodontics are here to keep you informed about the best way to care for your teeth this holiday season, especially with regards to the foods that you’re looking forward to the most. 

What Christmas and Holiday Foods Are Bad for Teeth

Before we dive into the foods that are good for your teeth, let’s round up some of the bad ones. The following holiday foods can damage your teeth

  • Candy Canes
  • Pecan Pie
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Stuffing

Some foods stain your teeth. Others are high in sugar. If you’re someone that suffers from acid reflux, high fat foods may also be problematic as they may trigger acid reflux attacks that can weaken enamel. Also, if you’re someone that celebrates Hanukkah, the potatoes in latkes can be problematic – especially if you haven’t been taking care of your teeth recently. The starches in the potatoes act as food to oral bacterial.

There is some good news, however. Brushing and flossing thoroughly and visiting the dentist after the holidays will reduce the likelihood of these foods affecting your oral health. But it’s good to know what foods to avoid, especially if you’re currently struggling with dental hygiene issues.

What Foods Are Good for Teeth?

Nutrient rich foods that are low in sugars and have minimal pigment are great for your teeth. Some of the best Christmas foods for your oral health include:

  • Turkey Turkey is a lean, nutrient rich food that has phosphorus and other minerals that build healthy teeth and bones.
  • Sweet Potato Despite its starches, sweet potato has a considerable amount of vitamins, including Vitamin A, which helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Chestnuts Pecan pie is definitely not ideal for your teeth. But most nuts, especially without a lot of sugar, are fantastic for teeth. Roasted chestnuts, a popular holiday treat, are one such example. Low in fat, these nuts are great for teeth tasty as well.
  • All the Vegetables Christmas traditionally has a lot of vegetable dishes, including carrots, turnip, and more. Although it’s possible to make a vegetable dish that is high in sugar or acid, most vegetables are perfect for your teeth.
  • Most of the Meats – It’s true that meat is high in fat, and that some additives to meat (or ways to cook it) can increase its acidity or cause tooth damage. But meat as a whole, including Christmas ham, is still considered good for teeth. Animal fat has been linked to positive dental health benefits and meat takes longer to chew, which is good for teeth.
Other popular Christmas foods are neither good nor bad. Mashed potatoes and gravy are not “great” for teeth, but they’re not bad either, and while the potatoes have starches the meal tends to not stick in between the teeth.

Holiday Foods for Better Dental Health

You’re going to eat what you want to eat this holiday season. But if you find that you’re flossing with a candy cane most of December, at the very least make sure you brush well and visit us early on in 2020, so that we can clean your teeth and reduce the likelihood of dental damage. Remember, most insurance benefits renew on January 1st, so schedule an appointment early and keep those teeth healthy. Give us a call 831-443-3633 or stop by our office. Our friendly and welcoming staff will be certain to schedule you for an appointment ASAP.
160 Harden Pkwy #102, Salinas CA. 93906

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