Keeping Your Smile Merry and Bright
The fall and winter seasons are marked by their annual holidays and celebrations. These holidays are always full of smiles, laughs, and good food. Typically, the meals people eat for the holidays include family recipes passed down for multiple generations. This season is an opportunity for people from all over the world to gather together, make memories, and celebrate, and food is the center point of it all.
However, holiday meals are not known for their nutritional value. They are often full of saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugars. These specific food groups can harm your oral health. Even though the holidays only come around once per year, it is still essential to be aware of what you are eating.
Foods to Add to Your Holiday Meal
Here are the foods that will keep your smile merry and bright this season:
Lean meats, such as fish, chicken, and turkey are high in protein and low in fat. Protein is known to help your body build muscle, but did you know that the nutrient also contains phosphorus? Phosphorus is a mineral that helps your body absorb calcium and strengthens your teeth and jaw. This vitamin is also known to rebuild tooth enamel, the outer layer of your tooth that protects you from decay and infection.
Similarly, foods like hard-boiled eggs also contain high amounts of protein and phosphorus. Hard-boiled eggs make for a great holiday snack and can easily take the shape of “snowmen” for those who like to get creative and decorative with their menu.
Dairy products like milk, cheeses, and yogurts help prevent decay. Dairy is full of calcium and phosphate, a compound comprised of phosphorus, the mineral also found in lean meats. Phosphorus is known to be an excellent source for strengthening your teeth and jaw. It rebuilds tooth enamel, which protects you from tooth decay.
Cheese platters are extremely popular for the holidays and a healthy option to serve your guests. If you are very festive, you can turn triangular wedges of brie cheese into reindeer or even cream cheese-filled olives to make little penguins.
Fruits and vegetables are a fantastic source of fiber, which is another excellent nutrient for your teeth. When you eat crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery, it is like chewing a natural toothbrush! Crunchy vegetables that contain a lot of water also stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Because these foods take a bit more effort to chew, they naturally scrub away any plaque that may have been residing on the surface of your teeth.
Like fiber-filled vegetables, there is a similar effect with fibrous fruits! Crunchy fruits such as apples and pears also increase your salivation, neutralizing any sugars or citric acids. Adding a fruit and vegetable platter to your holiday menu will be highly beneficial for your dental health.
Foods to Leave Off the Table
There are various dishes to make any holiday delicious and fun. However, some are more damaging to your teeth than others. Consider leaving these foods off the holiday table this year to keep your pearly whites strong and healthy:
If there is anything sticky or gummy on the table, it is best to leave it there. While some may think snacks like dried fruits are a healthy alternative, they are very damaging to your smile. Sticky foods, such as toffee or caramel, tend to get stuck in the crevices of your teeth while also being full of sugar. Leaving the sugary content in the grooves of your mouth may lead to tooth decay. If you consume something gummy or sticky, be sure to have water to wash down any remaining food particles.
Hard candies such as lollipops are also something to avoid. In addition to being full of sugar, people often bite into hard candies, causing their teeth to break or chip. Having to deal with a dental emergency during a holiday is never on anyone’s to-do list. Prevent any emergencies by simply leaving hard and crunchy candies off the dessert menu.
Starchy foods can also be dangerous to your oral health. When eaten, starches break down into sugars, which then produce acids that damage your tooth’s enamel. It also creates plaque and bacteria. Snacks like chips and crackers often get stuck in your teeth, allowing the sugars to create tooth decay. After munching on a delicious cake or sweet treat, try to wash any remaining food particles out of your teeth with a large glass of water. And don’t forget to brush and floss extra well!
Teeth Cleaning and Preventative Care in Austell
The prevention of oral disease begins at home and continues with bi-annual dental checkups. The dental professionals at Austell Dental Associates provide thorough examinations and cleanings to look for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease before it gets serious. It is our honor to serve the Austell community and provide the whitest and brightest smiles!
Set up an appointment with one of our Austell dentists by contacting us online or calling [[INVALID_TOKEN]].