The holiday season can have a big effect on your waistline, but your weight may not be the only thing to suffer. Because of all those sugary treats most people eat at this time of year, your dental health may take a bit of a knock too.
If you’re planning on indulging right through to the New Year, here are a few tips from Dr. Phillips about what you should eat and what you should avoid to protect your teeth and gums.
Feel free to tuck into piece of cheese from the cheeseboard, as cheese is rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth. Eating cheese can also reduce the damaging acid effects a festive glass of wine can have on your tooth enamel, and helps kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Instead of opting for party foods such as crisps, why not go for nuts instead? Peanuts contain calcium and vitamin D, which are vital for oral health as well as your general health. Walnuts, which are often used in puddings and cakes, also contain zinc, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin B6 – all of which play an important role in keeping teeth and gums healthy .
Feast on vegetables. Broccoli and carrots in particular are great for your oral health as they contain vitamin A, which helps strengthen tooth enamel . Have raw veggies too – such as crudités, for instance – as they massage your gums. This encourages blood flow and cleans your teeth too.
Try to keep chocolate and other sweet treats to a minimum, as sugar is a prime cause of the acidic biofilm that causes dental decay. When you do indulge, it is best to have all of your sweets at once right after your meal, rather than picking at them throughout the day .
If you like a bit of fizz in your soft drinks or mixers, why not opt for soda water? Fizzy drinks are loaded with sugar, and even sugar-free or diet drinks are acidic, which means they can erode tooth enamel. If, however, you can’t resist fizzy drinks, use a straw to reduce direct contact with your teeth.
Everyone likes a glass of wine or two at this time of year, but white wine can be very acidic and contributes to enamel erosion. So try drinking it just with your main meal, as drinking little and often is far worse than drinking once a day. Red wine can also increase the risk of staining, especially if you forget to brush your teeth as often as you should.
Bottom line is that the holiday season affects your waistline AND teeth.
Meanwhile, call Brit Phillips DDS, your certified dentist in Fort Worth Texas at 817.361-9999 about oral health products that can help you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible all year around – especially the holidays!