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There are a lot of things to look forward to each and every holiday season. There’s the time we get to spend with family. There’s the presents. There’s the days of work. There’s the music.

But, perhaps the best part of the holidays is the food. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, and the New Years celebrations, there is likely to be a lot of amazing food that adds to the enjoyment of the season.

Still, here at Dental Concepts, we’re dentists. Your teeth don’t take holidays, and some of you have teeth that require a bit of extra care. So what are the holiday foods that are bad for your teeth and, if possible, what are some foods that might be actually GOOD for your teeth?

Foods to “Avoid” This Holiday

Let’s face it. You’re going to eat whatever it is that you want to eat. Though we can recommend you avoid certain foods, we can’t expect you to skip them.

But with that in mind, if you do choose to partake in some common holiday dining practices, at the very least it’s useful to be aware of the most problematic foods and make sure you brush and floss thoroughly on days you enjoy them.

Foods that are high in sugar, fat, and acid can be damaging to your teeth, and the holidays are filled with a lot of them. Some of the most damaging foods can include:

  • Potatoes and Gravy – Potatoes are common among all holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. They are starchy and feed bacteria, which can be especially problematic for teeth that already have issues with plaque.
  • Desserts and Candy – Those extra candy canes and chocolates that you eat over the holidays are filled with sugar, and that sugar has a tendency to stick to your teeth for quite a while throughout the day and provide additional fuel for bacteria and plaque.
  • Wine – It’s always fine to spend time with a glass of wine when you’re around friends and family, but that wine is acidic, and also prone to causing discoloration in your teeth.

It’s also important to remember your body’s reaction to your overall diet can also affect your teeth. Eating a lot of unhealthy food can also cause problems like acid reflux (heartburn). That acid can weaken the enamel, especially in the back of your mouth.

Now, you can still enjoy all these foods. But it may be a good idea to do a bit of extra brushing and flossing, especially right after your meal. Many people enjoy large quantities of foods earlier in the day during the holidays (the average thanksgiving starts at 4 to 5pm, far earlier than the average dinner), which means that it spends more time on your teeth before you brush for the night.

What Holiday Foods Are Good For Teeth?

It’s the holidays, so of course, we do not want to be too negative about holiday dining. So, with that in mind, what foods are actually GOOD for your teeth?

Foods that are low in color, non-acidic, and lean tend to be the best foods. These can include:

  • Turkey and Chicken
  • Holiday Ham
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts, like Chestnuts

You’ll still want to brush and floss as much as possible, since all food can damage teeth if you don’t practice good hygiene. It’s also a good idea to be especially careful about overeating so as not to trigger acid reflux. But these foods are examples of popular holiday foods that are perfectly fine for your teeth and great to enjoy over the holidays.

Contact Dental Concepts in Salinas for January and Beyond

You’re going to eat over the holidays. So now might be the best time to schedule an appointment to visit Dental Concepts and Orthopedics in January, after the holiday season is over. Not only can we address any dental issues caused by holiday eating, but your benefits typically reset during that time, which means more of your dental care is likely to be covered.

Contact our team today to schedule your appointment. These new year ones fill up fast, so the sooner you call, the better. Have a wonderful holiday season!