As the holiday season approaches, you are probably thinking about parties, presents, the joy of gathering with friends and family, and the pleasure of indulging in cherished traditions.
You probably aren’t thinking about your oral health.
But what if there were ways to make the festivities a little more tooth friendly? We aren’t asking you to abandon your favorite foods and treats. (Of course not!) But small changes to your holiday menu can make a big difference to your teeth and gums. Even better, these tweaks can be delicious!
And when January rolls around, your and your kids’ teeth will be healthy and intact. What better present could you ask for?
To book an appointment at Kirchner Dental, call our Jeffersonville, IN office at 812-913-6093.
A Holiday Table to Make a Dentist Proud
The good news is that things that are good for your teeth can also be delicious. And who knows, you may already be planning to incorporate many of these foods into your meal and party planning.
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are excellent, low-calorie sources of calcium, which is essential to keeping teeth strong and healthy. These veggies also contain folic acid, which reduces inflammation in the gums and helps prevent periodontal disease.
Sauteed with garlic and olive oil, leafy greens make a simple and delicious side dish. They may also be incorporated into salads.
Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate? A well-put-together selection of cheeses with accompaniments is an impressive and crowd-pleasing way to start any party. And cheese is packed with benefits for your dental health.
Like all dairy products, cheese is loaded with calcium, which is one of the building blocks of the teeth. It also contains proteins called caseins, which are believed to band together into a protective layer over the enamel, protecting it from destructive acids.
Cheese also raises the pH level of the mouth, which decreases the risk of decay and cavities.
Raw, crunchy vegetables are chock-full of nutrients, water, and fiber. All these add up to a healthful and tooth-friendly addition to any party. When you eat veggies like carrots and celery, your saliva production increases. This helps to keep your mouth clean. Their fiber stimulates the gums.
Plus, crudite is light, refreshing, and low in calories, making it an excellent way to start off a heavy holiday meal.
Arrange your crudite attractively on a platter, and serve with a tasty homemade dip, like green goddess dressing or hummus.
Put out bowls of them for your guests to nibble on before dinner. Toss them into salads. Sprinkle them on vegetable side dishes for a delightful textural contrast. There are lots of ways to incorporate crunchy nuts into your holiday menu.
Nuts are low in sugar and packed with nutrients. They are also low in carbohydrates, which cause cavities by promoting the growth of acid-producing bacteria. When you eat them, you stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles, bacteria, and acids.
Keep These Treats to a Minimum
Do you look forward to downing cups of sweet, rich eggnog when the holidays roll around? Eggnog may be delicious, but it’s not a good choice when it comes to your dental health. It coats your teeth with sugar, which stays on the enamel and creates a feast for harmful bacteria. Those bacteria give off acids, which cause cavities. Keep your eggnog consumption to a minimum. If you do indulge in a glass, follow it up with some plain water to help rinse out your mouth.
So festive, so pretty, so deliciously pepperminty! Candy canes are iconic treats of the holiday season. Unfortunately, they are terrible for your and your kids’ teeth. When you eat a candy cane (or any hard candy), the sugar melts and mixes with your saliva. This sugary liquid coats your teeth and is difficult to remove completely. Bacteria proliferate, produce acids, and your enamel comes under attack. If you eat a candy cane, brush your teeth or at least drink a glass of water afterward.
If you are like a lot of people, you don’t need to be told to stay away from the fruitcake. But if you are someone who actually likes this dense holiday tradition, you should know that it is not a good thing for your dental health. It is packed with sugar and carbs (bacteria’s favorite food!), and the sticky texture of the cake and dried fruits make them cling to teeth.
Have a fantastic holiday season — and don’t forget to schedule your family’s next checkups at Kirchner Dental of Jeffersonville, IN. To book an appointment, fill out our online form or call 812-913-6093.