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Holiday foods taste so good, but they can take a toll on many aspects of your health—including your oral health. Think toffee, caramels, caramel corn, and fudge. Of course, the holidays don’t necessarily need to leave you with a mouth full of cavities. There are ways to enjoy the season’s tastiest offerings without dental repercussions—as long as you choose your foods with wisdom and moderation. We asked a panel of professionals in health-related fields to share their thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t eat this season if you want to keep your pearly whites as healthy as ever. Here’s what they had to say.
Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is a nutritionist and author of “The Candida Diet.” She has been featured on Today and in US News, Women’s Health magazine, Healthline, the San Francisco Chronicle, Reader’s Digest, Insider, and Well+Good, among others. Through her website, thecandidadiet.com, she explains the benefits of a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet.

Refined carbohydrates are among the worst foods to consume while maintaining oral health. This form of carbohydrates is commonly found in processed and convenience foods.

Carbohydrates, especially the refined form, are broken down into sugar by enzymes in your saliva. Refined carbohydrates go through this process much quicker, which can cause them to essentially become sugar in your mouth and stick to your teeth. Bread will become a paste-like consistency in your mouth which will stick between the teeth as well.

Crunchy foods are ideal for oral health. Their consistency and texture enables them to scrape off plaque from the gums. They also take longer to chew, which will cause your mouth to produce more saliva. Saliva is beneficial for washing away plaque and bacteria from the mouth. Apples, celery, carrots, and other hard fruits and vegetables are the best options as they also provide other nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial for your overall health.

Starchy Snacks – We all know that sugar is a big culprit when it comes to cavities, but what is also cavity causing and simply not good for you is the large number of carbs in potato chips, pretzels, and other starchy snacks.

All those carbs break down into simple sugars. When those sugars stay in the deep grooves of your teeth, it gives bacteria that is normally located there a chance to metabolize those sugars, creating cavities. Foods that are better choices for healthy teeth are cheese, almonds, and eggs. They are rich in calcium that will work to strengthen tooth enamel.

Caleb Backe

Caleb Backe

Caleb Backe is a Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics.
Ayanna Julien

Ayanna Julien

Ayanna Julien is the Managing Editor of EffortlessInsurance.com, who has also successfully managed to enjoy holiday food without getting cavities.

Who says being healthy has to be boring? Believe it or not, you can still enjoy the holidays, and the food, while maintaining your oral health care. I do. Here’s what I make sure to eat and what I try hard to avoid — maybe you should too.

3 Best Foods

  • Veggies — a good source of calcium, which strengthens those pearly whites.
  • Cheese & dairy — a good source of calcium and protein, which both strengthens and repairs your teeth.
  • Lean meat — a good source of protein and phosphorus, which protects the enamel.

3 Worst Foods

  • Dried fruit — avoid the stickiness and sugar when you can choose fresh fruit instead.
  • Hard candy — avoid the teeth-breaking crunching and choose sugar-free gum instead.
  • Bread & crackers — avoid the empty calories and lingering starch and choose whole wheat options instead.

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