During the holidays, it can be difficult to find holiday foods that are good for your teeth. But the truth is that there are plenty of delicious treats and snacks that can satisfy your cravings while still helping to keep your teeth strong and healthy (or at least they’re not so “bad” as some others.)
These dentist-approved holiday treats are a smart way to enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your dental health.
Apples and Pears
Fruits such as apples and pears are great for your teeth during the holidays. They are naturally sweet, packed with vitamins and minerals, and full of fiber. Eating these foods can help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Apples and pears can be eaten as a snack or used in recipes such as pies, cakes, and salads.
For a healthier alternative to sugary holiday treats, try incorporating apples and pears into your holiday snacks. Both fruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost your immune system. Apples and pears can also be sliced and eaten with a variety of dips such as peanut butter, yogurt, or hummus. This is an easy and delicious way to get your daily dose of fresh fruit while making smart food choices.
If you’re looking for a festive dessert, try grilling apples or pears and topping them with some cinnamon for a delicious dentist-approved holiday dessert.
When you do need to indulge in something sweet, try to avoid anything too crunchy or sticky (like toffee, peanut brittle, and caramel) as it could pull off or break dental work. Instead, opt for something soft like a freshly baked cookie, brownie, or warm gingerbread. Softer desserts are easy to clean off your teeth too, so you won’t have to worry about sugar sticking around for hours on end.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which can help neutralize free radicals, which can damage the delicate tissues in your mouth. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate may even help fight bad breath and gum disease, making it a great choice for a healthy holiday treat. Enjoying dark chocolate during the holidays is a delicious way to promote good dental health!
Since dark chocolate tends to contain less sugar than milk chocolate, it’s a “less bad” alternative when you’re craving sweets over the holidays. Plus, chocolate easily melts off your teeth, so it’s less likely to stick around like other holiday candies.
Cheese and yogurt are two excellent foods good for teeth during the holidays. Cheese is a great source of calcium, which helps strengthen tooth enamel. Eating cheese also increases saliva production which helps remove bacteria and food particles as it neutralizes acidic pH levels inside your mouth.
Yogurt is another great choice as it contains probiotics, or good bacteria, which help to protect your teeth from plaque build-up and bad breath. Additionally, yogurt also contains calcium, phosphorous, and Vitamin D, which all help strengthen teeth and bones.
Nuts and Seeds
When shopping for holiday snacks, make sure to stock up on your favorite nuts and seeds. Cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are just a few of the many delicious options available. These traditional holiday snacks are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy gums and fighting gum disease (just like eating fish, but without the odor!)
By incorporating more nuts and seeds into your holiday menus, you’ll not only be keeping your teeth healthy, but also adding extra flavor to your meals! For best results, choose fresh or roasted nuts instead of salted or candied.
Snack Smarter Over the Holidays
When you feel like indulging in a holiday food, enjoy it with your meal instead of nibbling on it over the afternoon. This will shorten then window of time that sugars and processed carbs have on your teeth. The same can be said for that cup of hot chocolate, eggnog, or spiced cider.
Rinsing your mouth with water after meals or holiday treats can help lower bacteria, sugar, and acid levels in your mouth. But for best results make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily.
Have a Painful Sweet Tooth?
Sweet sensitivity is often a red flag for something more serious, like tooth decay. If you have a tooth that hurts whenever you’re enjoying your favorite holiday food, call Paradise Dental Associates. We’ll reserve you a time that fits into your holiday schedule so that you can address any oral health issues early on before if evolves into something more serious.