Eating is a favorite activity around this time of year, but the bad news is that many of our favorite holiday foods to indulge in are not good for our teeth. As we celebrate with our friends and family and say goodbye to 2017, let’s be nice to our teeth!
Check out our list below to learn which holiday foods are nice and which are naughty!
Four Holiday Foods to Avoid
Carbonated Beverages: Fizzy drinks are a problem. To achieve the fizzy effect, beverages are infused with carbon dioxide. When you drink carbon dioxide, a reaction occurs in your mouth which transforms this into carbonic acid, an abrasive chemical that wreaks havoc on your smile. In addition to this effect, many carbonated drinks are loaded with sugar, which feeds the bacteria that live in your mouth. As the bacteria feast on sugar, they produce an acid that is corrosive to your teeth.
Candy Canes: Anyone who’s ever eaten a candy cane knows about how they leave a glaze of sticky coating all over your face. That sugary coating is also on your teeth!
Caramel: This super sticky and sugary food is a popular in cookies, cake, and popcorn and its favorite place to hang out is in between your teeth.
Alcohol: Holiday libations do taste delicious, but alcohol is very dehydrating. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t produce enough saliva to rinse food particles out of your mouth. Eggnog, a holiday favorite, is particularly bad. Since it’s so sugary and heavy, it tends to linger on our teeth for hours.
Four Holiday Foods to Enjoy Guilt-Free
Veggies: Spend some quality time with the crudité this holiday season! All that chewing increases saliva production in your mouth which helps rinse away bacteria and food particles. This makes these great to indulge in any time, but they’re especially helpful after you’ve succumbed to one of the foods on the no-no list.
Nuts: These are rich in calcium, a nutrient that is highly beneficial to the health of your teeth. Plus, as you bite into these, they gently scrape plaque from your teeth.
Turkey: Turkey is high in phosphorous, an important nutrient for oral health. Just steer clear of the cranberry sauce—the acid in that can be harmful.
Cheese: We all know that the calcium in cheese is good for our teeth. This food also has a low pH balance and antibacterial qualities, so it can help discourage bacteria growth and prevent bad breath.
Don’t fret if your willpower fails. If your holidays won’t be complete without one of our avoid foods, you can enjoy them within reason. Just make sure you brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating the food, and wash it down with plenty of water and raw veggie sticks.