The holidays can be bad for your waist and bad for your teeth. All of those sticky sweets and carbs can wreak havoc in your mouth, particularly if you’re not properly brushing and flossing.
- Cheese. Go ahead and enjoy the cheese platter (without the crackers). Cheese is low in the bad things for your teeth (sugar and acid) and high in calcium. In addition, cheese contains casein, a protein found in milk that helps fortify the tooth’s surface
- Raw Veggies. The veggie tray is always a good choice. The fibrous nature of raw, fresh veggies such as celery and carrots promotes chewing and saliva production. Saliva contains proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Celery also breaks down into fibrous strands, which naturally clean the teeth.
- Fruits. Fruits such as apples and pears are also good choices. They have high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva.
- Unsweetened Tea. Green and black teas contain polyphenols, which help to kill or suppress bacteria, preventing it from growing or producing tooth-attacking acid.
- Nuts. The nut bowl is another good choice for teeth. Many nuts — peanuts, almonds, cashews and walnuts — provide vitamins and minerals that help your teeth. Just make sure you’re not biting down really hard on a difficult nut, and stay away from those covered in sugar.
See, there’s plenty to enjoy to during the holiday season. Chicken, beef, eggs, fish, potatoes, spinach, fortified cereals, tofu, leafy green vegetables, beans and whole grains are also part of a healthy diet for your body and your teeth. And if you do indulge in those sugary carbs, don’t forget to not only walk it off, but brush it off, too!