The holiday season is a joyful time of year, but it can also bring challenges for your dental health. With so many sugary sweets and acidic drinks circulating at holiday gatherings, it may seem impossible to keep your teeth in good condition. However, not all holiday foods are dental disasters! In fact, some festive fare can actually promote strong, healthy teeth if consumed in moderation. Here are some surprisingly healthy holiday foods that have dental benefits:

  1. Cheese

Gather around the cheese board! Hard cheeses like cheddar contain enamel-strengthening calcium. It helps in the remineralization of tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to cavities. The phosphate in cheese works alongside calcium to replenish and harden the enamel. Just go easy on the creamy, sticky options! 

  1. Cranberries

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, which supports gum health. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce gum inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the gums can lead to periodontal disease, so consuming foods like cranberries that help reduce inflammation can support healthier gums. Be sure to balance out the tartness with some non-acidic foods. 

  1. Turkey 

Turkey is a low-sugar food, and consuming low-sugar foods is generally beneficial for your teeth. Plus, this main course is packed with phosphorus, which aids tooth and bone health. In addition, meats in general (that aren’t breaded and fried) stimulate saliva flow. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth of food particles and harmful bacteria, promoting a healthier oral environment. Increased saliva flow can also neutralize acids that can erode tooth enamel.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are a common addition to many holiday snacks. So, whether you’re enjoying a bowl of mixed nuts as a festive appetizer or using nuts as a creative ingredient in your holiday cooking, you can revel in the delicious flavors while knowing that your smile is benefiting from these tooth-healthy treats. They are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are crucial for maintaining strong teeth and bones. These minerals contribute to the remineralization and strength of tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay and erosion. Just watch out for the candied kind!

  1. Chocolate

Want to indulge in a sweet treat? Make it dark chocolate! This option typically contains less sugar than milk chocolate and is higher in cocoa content. This is important because sugary foods are often associated with dental issues, such as cavities. With less sugar and more cocoa, dark chocolate poses a lower risk to your oral health. Plus, it’s rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation in the body, including the gums, contributing to better overall oral health.

 While sugary cinnamon cookies and eggnog cocktails may still plague your holiday dental health, knowing these surprising tooth-friendly options can help you balance out your choices. Savor the flavors of the season without sacrificing your smile! 

Don’t forget to follow up your holiday festivities with a dental cleaning and exam. We’ll examine your mouth for any signs of cavities, gum disease, and other health issues. We’ll also thoroughly clean your teeth. You’ll enjoy having a fresh start to the new year!

Call Newman Springs Dental Care at 732-352-3903, or schedule an appointment in Lincroft, NJ online.