The holiday season, which unofficially starts with Halloween and ends on New Year’s Day, is upon us once again with temptations to put inhibitions aside and to eat and drink to our hearts’ content. However, while reckless indulgence in sweet treats seems harmless – you’ll work the extra calories off in the New Year – these indulgences come with a number of potential health risks including dental because many of these sweet and savory delights can do some serious damage to your teeth.
At Oxford Dental Office in Edmonton, our dentists understand these seasonal challenges and, as part of our commitment to deliver the highest standards of dentistry and exceptional patient care, we’ve pulled together this list of some of the best and worse holiday foods for your teeth.
The best foods for your teeth include:
- Milk and Egg Yolks – both are high in calcium and vitamin D, two components you need to keep your teeth strong.
- Cheese and Yogurt – as milk byproducts, they both contain calcium and phosphorus which can protect your enamel. And cheese has casein, which can also strengthen enamel.
- Meat and Tofu – proteins are good sources of phosphorus, which works with calcium to produce strong teeth.
- Leafy Vegetables – are all great ways to get the minerals you need while keeping your plate vegetarian.
- Crunchy Vegetables – stimulate the flow of saliva, and as you chew, they scrub the surface of your teeth.
- Apples – their texture will scrub away plaque and they can also freshen your breath.
- Nuts – contain a lot of essential nutrients such as magnesium and iron, and they supply a healthy dose of calcium to help keep your teeth strong.
- Sugar-Free Gum – increases salivary flow and can wash away the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Xylitol can actually prevent cavities and cleans teeth after a meal.
On the flip side, there is an extensive list of holiday foods and drinks that dentists won’t touch, including:
- Candy Canes – are packed with sugar and can also cause chipped or broken teeth.
- Dried Fruit – similar to sticky candy, they contain a great deal of sugar, and when chewed, the sticky pieces get wedged between your teeth.
- Popcorn – the kernels can easily get lodged between your teeth and gum line, allowing bacteria to build up and do its damage. Flavored types of popcorn contain a lot of sticky sugar that could damage your teeth.
- Stuffing – is high starch content, which is then converted to sugar that will stick to your teeth.
- Alcohol – makes the mouth very dry, which then creates an environment prime for gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Red, white, and rosé wine can all weaken and stain the surface of your teeth.
- Coffee – causes reduced salivary flow, where sugar and food can remain on the teeth and gums leading to an increased risk of problems.
- Soda – is neither good for your body nor your teeth – its acids, carbonation, and sugars wreak havoc and contribute to tooth decay. The same effects apply to diet sodas.
By knowing which foods to eat you can avoid an emergency visit to the dentist this holiday, and to be on the safe side, once the holiday season is over, schedule teeth cleaning at Oxford Dental to make sure you start the New Year with a healthy mouth and smile. Contact us today at 780-456-7009 to book an appointment with your family dentist in Edmonton North.