Everyone loves to indulge during the Holidays. After gifts, seasonal winter dishes are people’s most favorite part of the whole ordeal. However, all those rich, indulgent foods can wreak havoc on the health of your mouth. They have the potential to hurt your teeth in a way that lasts well past the Holidays. Worth it? We don’t think so.
But there are easy ways to mitigate the beating your teeth take during this food-centered season while still enjoying those dishes you’ve been craving since last year:
10 Holiday Foods that Can Help or Hurt Your Teeth
1. BEST: Meats
Meats, especially turkey, provide protein, but also minerals like magnesium and phosphorous, which can help preserve your oral health.
2. WORST: Candy Canes
This one’s no surprised. Purely minty sugary stickiness, biting down on these can chip or crack your teeth. As well, sugar actually helps bad bacteria in your mouth create an enamel-eating acid.
3. BEST: Veggies
Get into those veggies trays. Even with dip, you’re still getting bone-boosting nutrients and fiber that cleans your teeth as you eat it.
4. WORST: Fruit Cake
Fruit cake is the worst for two reasons. One: it’s gross. Two: it’s carbs and sugar and sticky preserved fruits. All these things spur bacterial growth in your mouth as well as acids that damage your enamel.
5. BEST: Nuts
Oral health isn’t just about your teeth. Nuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which support healthy gums.
6. WORST: Fudge
Sticky and sugary as anything, you’re just asking for fudge to get stuck in the crevices between your teeth and encourage the formation of cavities.
7. BEST: Cheese
Give into your cheese addiction; it’s actually not that bad. Cheese is a good source of calcium, and lowers the PH levels in your mouth, which slows bacterial production. Cheese also increases saliva production, and saliva protects your tooth enamel.
8. WORST: Cranberry Sauce
Sticky, sugary and acidic. Starting to see a pattern here?
9. BEST: Red Wine
Believe it or not, despite its ability to stain your teeth, red wine has protective factors for your oral health as well. It’s somewhat antibacterial, which defends against bacteria, acid and tartar production which, in turn, protects your enamel.
10. WORST: White Wine
Sugars and a high acid content make white wine a terrible choice for your teeth.
Admittedly, this is more of a bad vs least-bad list, but still, minimizing the damage won’t hurt. Think about this list and try to be mindful next time you’re biting down on a candy cane. Everything’s best in moderation, right?