If you're anything like me, the mulled wine has been flowing since mid November and you might have even already had a cheeky minced pie (or 3...we're not counting.) As the prospect of Christmas selfies and party photos approaches, it's usually around this time I start to inspect my teeth in the mirror after a post morning brush and realise...actually these pearly whites could do with being a bit whiter (and I have zero time to go to the dentist to whiten my teeth between now and Christmas).
At the same time, the worst thing is feeling like you can't indulge a little or need to restrict yourself in terms of what you're eating or drinking. I mean, Christmas literally comes round once a year - so we deserve to treat ourselves, right?
Yes, definitely right.
That's why we're bringing you our top 5 festive food & drinks to indulge in, guilt free, to minimise staining your teeth this Christmas.
1. Turkey dinner
Nutrient rich foods that are low in sugars and have minimal pigment are great for your teeth. Some of the best Christmas foods for your oral health include turkey. This is because turkey is a lean, nutrient rich food that has phosphorus and other minerals that build healthy teeth and bones.
You can also go cray on the brussel sprouts & sweet potato. Despite its starches, sweet potato has a considerable amount of vitamins, including Vitamin A, which helps prevent tooth decay.
2. Roasted chestnuts
Pecan pie & christmas pudding is definitely not ideal for your teeth (lots of sugar!). But most nuts, especially without a lot of sugar, are fantastic for teeth. Roasted chestnuts, a popular holiday treat, are one such example. Low in fat, these nuts are great for teeth tasty as well.
3. Roast ham
It’s true that meat is high in fat, and that some additives to meat (or ways to cook it) can increase its acidity or cause tooth damage. But meat as a whole, including Christmas ham, is still considered good for teeth. Animal fat has been linked to positive dental health benefits and meat takes longer to chew, which can yield benefits for oral health.
A word of warning here - champagne and prosecco are high in sugar and can cause staining long term.
However...(and just for the festive period ;) it can be advisable to switch out the likes of red wine and mulled wine which are incredibly staining for teeth for lower tannin options such as sparkling wines.
Sparkling is basically the main reason we love Christmas so much (in addition to the presents of course) so a few extra glasses shouldn't do too much harm to your teeth for a short period. Just make sure you are brushing teeth at least twice a day to ensure you're keeping your oral health up to scratch.
5. Cheese board
Can anyone say baked and maybe truffled camembert or brie without salivating?
Nope, didn't think so.
And luckily - cheese strengthens tooth enamel and increases saliva production. Just about any list of healthy teeth food includes cheese. Don’t forget the loads of calcium that cheese also has. The high levels of protein in cheese are also great for your over all health.
A charcuterie board with cheeses, nuts, and fresh fruits is a great addition to the holiday feast.
So to sum up, we hope you enjoy some of these festive treats with a little less smile guilt! To make sure you minimise the risk of any cavities or decay during this period, it's important to maintain healthy teeth by following some simple steps:
- Don’t neglect your oral hygiene. This is easily done by falling into bed after a few drinks or a long day and simply forgetting to brush your teeth. One night of missed brushing won’t significantly affect your teeth but repeated missed brushings will have an impact on your oral health.
- During festive times try and brush your teeth three times a day and don’t forget to floss or use interdental brushes at least once a day.
- Make sure you have a nice new toothbrush you should replace them every 3 – 4 months.
- Chew sugarless gum, which creates more saliva production and helps to wash away sugar and harmful acids.
- Drinking water regularly will also help to wash away sugar, harmful acids and food particles.
- Avoid snacking between meals.