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The best and worst Christmas foods for your teeth

Christmas is just around the corner, meaning that once again, we are surrounded by festive food and drink whether that’s in the shops or in our homes. At this time of year, we tend to indulge in more food and drink than we would usually, which can impact your oral health. It’s not only our weight that we need to watch over the festive period but our dental health. Many of the food and drinks we enjoy over Christmas and New Year are bad for teeth. However, some of them are great for our teeth. In this article, we will discuss the goods and the bads of festive food and drink.

What food and drink should you cut down on?

Chocolates and sweets

Chocolate and sweets both contain very high amounts of sugar, and as we know – sugar is your teeth’s worst enemy. Sugar produces bacteria, which starts to attack your teeth. This is what leads to tooth decay. Chocolates and sweets may be on everyone’s coffee tables over Christmas, but your teeth with thank you if you can resist them. If not, try to choose dark chocolates as they contain much less sugar.

Toffees

Toffee is a dentist’s worst nightmare. It is sugary, sticky and hard. Because of this texture, many patients have cracked, chipped and broken their teeth whilst biting into toffee. It can even destroy existing dental work like fillings, veneers and crowns. The stickiness of toffee also means it remains in the mouth for a long time after your finish eating it, as it gets stuck between your teeth.

Mulled wine

The main ingredient of mulled wine is red wine, which is well-known for staining teeth. As well as this, it also contains a large amount of sugar. Oranges are also often added to mulled wine, and as citrus fruit, the acidity can accelerate the effects of the sugar. Overall, mulled wine can cause surface staining, tooth decay and dental erosion.

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is used in a lot of different festive foods including mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding and may seem like a healthy option. However, it is surprisingly high in sugar and because it is sticky, gets stuck in your teeth. This means that your teeth are going to be in contact with the sugars for longer than usual. It is a good idea to chew sugar-free gum and drink water after eating dried fruit.

What food and drink is good for your teeth?

Cheese

Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without a cheeseboard. The great news is, cheese is great for your teeth! The high amount of calcium that cheese contains will help to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Enjoying a piece of cheese after a meal is a great idea because it neutralises the acidity levels in your mouth.

Milk

In addition to cheese, milk is also great for your teeth because of its calcium content. Just like water, it has a neutral acidity level. This means it is completely harmless to your dental health. Enjoying a glass of milk after a meal, or snack can really help to look after your dental health.

Almonds

Nuts, specifically almonds, are a good option for your teeth. They are a great choice for snacking because they are high in protein and calcium but low in fat and sugar. Make sure you choose the natural kind, and not the sugared or honey roasted.

Apples

Apples are a great way to finish a meal on. Their texture cleans the surfaces of the teeth and stimulates the gums – a great way to keep your teeth clean between brushes. Why not sprinkle on some cinnamon for a Christmassy treat?

If you would like more information on how to look after your teeth over Christmas, ask your dentist for advice. Call Regent Dental Centre on 0161 941 2143 to book an appointment with one of our experience and highly trained dental professionals.

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Website last updated: July 2020

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