We are in the midst of the holiday season, which means you are most likely enjoying more cookies, candy, hot chocolate, and other goodies that have a tendency to eat away at your teeth. We understand – we are right there with you! However, in a effort to help out our pearly whites, we are providing a few fun alternatives to sweets, offer up some foods that will help your teeth defend themselves, and give some tips for when you do dive in to those Christmas cookies – because hey!, that is one of the most fun parts of the holiday season.
While you are deciding which cookies to make this season, focus on recipes that use less sugar and include more fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Some great options include gingerbread cookies, oatmeal cookies, almond cookies, and jelly thumbprint cookies (using sugar-free jellies).
Make your Fruit Festive
Fruit can add sweetness to your snacks and satisfy your sugar cravings – without the added sugars found in baked goods and processed treats. You can even include the fun of decorating with “Grinch Poppers”! Simply use a kabob stick to piece together a green grape for the Grinch’s head and add his hat by using a small slice of banana and a strawberry. Let us know what other festive fruit creations you can come up with!
Mouth-Friendly Pumpkin Pie
Did you know that pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A and fiber, so your gums and enamel are already taken care of by this ingredient in one of our favorite desserts! Next, just find a recipe that cuts the amount of sugar used (obviously without sacrificing flavor) and skip the whip cream.
Yes! You can have chocolate without hurting your teeth – as long as it is dark. Dark chocolate carries a higher cocoa content and less sugar than white and milk chocolate, and its natural antioxidants can help fight off bacteria in the mouth.
If you find yourself snacking on sugary treats all day, swap out the cookie tray for a cheese, mixed nuts, and vegetable tray.
Cheese is high in calcium which helps promote strong and healthy teeth. Cheese also lowers the pH balance in your mouth, helping to prevent cavities.
Nuts contain nutrients including iron, magnesium, and calcium – making them a great option for keeping teeth strong. Nuts also gently scrub your teeth while you chew them, which can help in removing sugars from them throughout the day.
Vegetables are highly fibrous, contain antioxidant vitamins, and have additional nutrients to help protect our teeth. Eating crisp vegetables like carrots and celery also help to clean plaque from our teeth and freshen breath.
Drinks like eggnog or hot chocolate contain high amounts of sugar on their own, when drinking them try to pass on the toppings like marshmallows and whipped cream. And when you do drink them, enjoy them mindfully instead of sipping them throughout the day. This way, they are not constantly coating your teeth with sugar.
How to Keep Teeth Healthy
Sugar impacts enamel more when being consumed throughout the day, so limit the time you are eating sweet treats.
Eat sweets and baked goods with a meal. This helps to reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.
During the holidays, increase your brushing routine to at least three times a day, brushing after eating and snacking on treats and desserts.
Make sure you are keeping a healthy routine. The holidays can throw off your schedule, but make sure you are still setting aside time to brush your teeth the typical two times a day, for two minutes and floss once a day.
After the holidays, schedule a dental cleaning and checkup for your entire family, so we can make sure your teeth are healthy, give them a great cleaning, and answer any questions you have regarding your family’s oral health.