Eating delicious food is an important part of the holiday season for most of us. However, what likely doesn’t come as a surprise is that many holiday foods are not the healthiest for you.
While we aren’t suggesting that you need to forgo your favorite festive snacks, it’s good to be aware of which ones are harmful, so you can take special care if you eat them. The worst foods contain lots of sugar and are sticky or thick, so they end up getting stuck in your mouth for a while.
In this post, we’ve outlined our 4 least favorite holiday foods, and also 4 of our favorites!
4 Holiday Foods to Avoid
Caramel is one of the stickiest foods around. That sticky goo gets embedded into the crevices in your teeth where the sugar can feed the bacteria in your mouth.
Most of us know that candy canes are pure sugar. But another factor that makes them quite harmful to your teeth is the amount of time they spend in your mouth. Candy canes take a while to eat, and they result in a sticky coating the gets all over and is difficult to remove.
Carbonated drinks like soda and champagne are a joy to drink, but the forced carbonation isn’t great for your teeth. The carbon dioxide content produces a chemical called carbonic acid, which is abrasive.
Eggnog is a popular holiday drink. But the fact that the drink is quite thick means it coats your mouth and hangs around for longer than less viscous beverages. It’s also worth noting that alcohol dehydrates you, which affects saliva production. That means you won’t have as much saliva to rinse your mouth.
4 Dental Approved Holiday Foods
Cheese helps to neutralize the Ph balance in your mouth. It also delivers a great boost of tooth-loving calcium.
Turkey, the main dish at so many holiday dinners, is perfectly safe! In fact, the phosphorus in turkey is great for your teeth. In general, eating meat has been shown to reduce the risk of periodontal disease, or gum disease.
Like cheese, many nuts are high in calcium. The very act of eating nuts also helps improve your oral health by scraping plaque off of your teeth.
No surprises here! Veggies are obviously great for your health, and that includes your oral health. Crunchy veggies like celery and carrots require lots of chewing, which increases saliva production.
We don’t mean to suggest that you need to totally cut out the foods on our avoid list. It is the holidays after all! Feel free to indulge, just be sure to brush and floss with great care after eating those foods.