Our last blog talked about certain treats to avoid over the holiday season. But it’s no fun only talking about foods that are bad for teeth, so here are some tips on what to eat that will keep you and your teeth happy. Obviously reducing the amount of food that is dense in sugar is the first step in ensuring teeth and oral tissue remain healthy, but even if you can’t resist the temptation of some delicious, home-baked goodies, there are ways of balancing the scale to help keep your body and mouth in good condition.
Not only do vegetables supply a healthy dose of fibre during the holidays, their hard, crunchy texture helps to clean the mouth by dislodging food trapped between teeth. Vegetables also promote saliva production that is used to help rinse the mouth and fight against cavity forming acids. Not only are vegetables healthy for the mouth and body, they’re way more cost effective than purchasing boxes of candy and cookies, and they come packed with vitamins and minerals that help strengthen tooth enamel and gum tissue.
Nuts can be a satisfying alternative that not only keeps you feeling full but doesn’t introduce decay inducing sugars into the diet. However, we do have to caution against using your teeth to break into hard-shelled nuts like brazil nuts and walnuts. Instead, use your nutcracker or choose the shelled variety, and bite gingerly if you know a tooth is particularly sensitive or has just had treatment. Nuts can be nutritious when consumed in moderation and make a great option if you’re trying to stay away from candy canes!
Reach for the Cheese
Cheese really can be a great food to turn to for keeping the munchies at bay and for combating dental decay. Cheese also boosts saliva production which in-turn helps to moisten oral tissue and aids in reducing dental cavities due to its natural decay fighting properties. Saliva contains bicarbonate, phosphorous, and calcium, which help to neutralize acids created when oral bacteria break down carbohydrates, so saliva-generation cheese helps to neutralize the mouth’s pH level and repair the early signs of tooth decay.
There are plenty of foods to enjoy over the holidays that keep everyone smiling. If you do indulge in some holiday goodies, try to eat them at the end of a meal and not throughout the day – that way exposure to sugar is limited and there’s less chance of filling up on snacks.
Want to start the New Year with a brand new smile? Contact the General Dentists at Ranchlands Dental online today for a smile makeover consultation or phone us at (403) 239-5212.