Eating healthy during the holiday season is not top-of-mind. There are many tasty treats and special dishes reserved for this time of year. Family members and friends go to great lengths to perfect their special recipe for your enjoyment. Did you know there are delicious, teeth-healthy choices you can add to the festivities? Let’s call them gifts for your teeth.
Gifts for Your Teeth
- Chocolate — Dark chocolate (70 percent cacao, not sugar-filled milk chocolate) is healthy for your teeth because it contains the CBH compound, which hardens tooth enamel. This compound helps protect your teeth from decay.
- Cheese — Cheese can fight against acid erosion. When your meals consist of bread, citrus fruits, sweets, or sodas, you expose your teeth to acids. Cheese consumed after your meal can neutralize the acid to prevent tooth decay.
- Wild Salmon — Wild salmon (a fatty fish) is loaded with vitamin D, which helps your gums and teeth receive the full benefits of your calcium intake. Your body doesn’t take in calcium properly if there’s too little vitamin D in your diet.
- Vegetables and Fruits — Crunchy vegetables and fruits scrub the surfaces of the teeth and increase saliva production. The scrubbing reduces plaque buildup, and the increased saliva neutralizes the acid, which damages tooth enamel.
- Xylitol — Xylitol is a sweetener commonly found in sugarless chewing gums. It can help prevent tooth decay because the compound it contains can kill bacteria. Also, chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which aids in proper digestion.
- Black and Green Teas — Black and green teas contain polyphenols which reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. The antibacterial properties in polyphenols can help suppress the development of cavities.
- Water — Proper hydration is good for saliva production. Saliva is necessary for the digestion of food, neutralizing acid, and hindering tooth decay. Water also aids in reducing plaque by rinsing away food debris.
Go enjoy your favorite foods and beverages in moderation. Focus on making special memories this holiday season. Celebrate your teeth by making teeth-healthy food choices and practicing good oral hygiene. If it’s been more than six months since your last exam and cleaning, call my office to schedule your appointment.