Winter is here! This means that you are probably looking forward to the fun holidays and all that comes with them. You will be reconnecting with family, singing along to some of your favorite festive songs, and breaking out the old cookbook to find some delicious recipes. However, not all holiday foods are great for your smile. A dentist in Philadelphia shares more about some popular holiday foods and whether or not you should indulge in them this year.
3 Holiday Foods That Harm Your Smile
Unfortunately, your teeth will not be thanking you for these holiday foods that you are likely to find this season:
- Eggnog: This drink is a little bit too rich for many people, but for others, the holiday season isn’t complete without it. The problem is that this beverage contains a great deal of sugar. If you are sipping on it often, you are much more likely to encounter tooth decay in your near future. If you like to spike your eggnog with brandy or bourbon, you could be looking at dry mouth as well if you aren’t limiting how many glasses you have.
- Chocolate: Whether you find it in stocking stuffers or it is a necessity in one of your favorite homemade desserts, it isn’t great for your teeth. Milk chocolate contains a lot of sugar which will increase your risk for cavities. Fortunately, you don’t need to cut out chocolate completely. Dark chocolate isn’t nearly as damaging because it doesn’t contain as much sugar. If you have a craving for chocolate, the darker the better.
- Candy Canes: You see these everywhere during this time of year, but they are pretty much just pure sugar. This is harmful, especially when you are sucking on one for a prolonged period of time. Definitely save this treat for occasions.
3 Holiday Foods That Benefit Your Smile
The good news is that there are some yummy holiday treats that are beneficial for your smile. A dentist in Horsham shares just a few of them:
- Turkey: If you’re having Turkey for Christmas or New Years Eve, your smile is in luck! Turkey is non-fermentable which means that it doesn’t stimulate cavity-causing bacteria responses in the mouth. It also contains phosphorus which works alongside calcium in order to keep your teeth and bones strong.
- Cheese: Before the main course comes out, consider a cheese board as a starter. Cheese is antibacterial, and it helps to lower the pH level in your mouth. It is also an excellent source of calcium which is needed for strong teeth.
- Nuts: Don’t let your nutcracker sit there and get all dusty. Nuts contain all sorts of nutrients, including magnesium and iron. They also have a healthy dose of calcium and stimulate saliva flow for optimal oral health.
Be mindful of your smile this holiday season. By choosing foods that benefit your teeth, you can start the new year cavity-free!
About the Author
Dr. Gary Henkel is an experienced dentist who has been serving patients in Philadelphia and Horsham for nearly four decades. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. For more ways to keep your smile healthy or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (215) 672-6666.