Have you decided what to serve at your upcoming Christmas party or holiday feast? If you’re trying to prepare a healthier menu, consider how different foods affect your oral health, not just your waistline. Here’s a look at which Christmas foods are on the nice list and which naughty foods you should avoid.
Christmas Foods on the Nice List
- Turkey and ham: As long as you choose lean cuts with minimal additives, protein is considered good for your teeth. Turkey, in particular, is packed with phosphorus for healthy teeth. Then, ham is high in potassium, which helps your teeth use calcium more effectively.
- Cheese: No holiday buffet is complete without a cheeseboard. The good news is cheese is packed with calcium and protein for healthy teeth. It also neutralizes any acidity in your mouth to reduce the risk of cavities.
- Nuts: Mixed nuts make a great holiday snack. Like cheese, they’re high in calcium and protein and low in sugar. Their crunchy texture is also a plus.
- Raw vegetables: Set out the veggie platter and enjoy every bite, knowing you’re eating one of the best Christmas foods for your teeth.
- Apples: All fresh fruit is good for you, but apples are especially beneficial for oral health. Finish your meal with a few apple slices to scrub your teeth and stimulate your gums.
Christmas Foods on the Naughty List
- Chocolate and other candy: Sweets are high in sugar, which becomes acid in your mouth. This means all candy is bad for your teeth, from hard candy canes and toffees to soft caramels and chocolates.
- Eggnog: While many consider eggnog a holiday staple, it’s chockfull of sugar. The thick consistency of this drink also encourages the sugar to stick to your teeth, creating acids that cause tooth decay.
- Dried fruit: Even though it contains the word “fruit,” you should beware of this holiday treat. Dried fruit is surprisingly high in sugar and stubbornly sticks to your teeth. Choose fresh fruit for a healthier mouth this Christmas.
- Popcorn: Popcorn hulls are a danger to your teeth, but any added caramel or chocolate drizzle only worsens the effect. Keep toothaches at bay by brushing and flossing after eating popcorn to remove any remaining debris.
- Sugar cookies: In addition to being sugary, cookies also contain starches that get stuck in your teeth and feed the bacteria in your mouth. If you get a craving for cookies, try chewing sugarless gum instead. Your teeth—and your waistline—will thank you.
Along with eating the best Christmas foods for your teeth, remember to continue your oral care routine this holiday season. This includes seeing the dentist regularly. If it’s been more than six months since your last visit, schedule an appointment with Park 56 Dental before the New Year. We’ve been voted the best dentist in New York, and with good reason. Contact us today at (212) 826-2322 to experience our spa-like dentist office for yourself.
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