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The Naughty and Nice List of Holiday Foods
by Dr. Michael Popp on Dec 18, 2015

As the holidays approach many people will indulge in a variety of festive treats. To help you make teeth-friendly choices this holiday season here is a "Naughty and Nice List" of festive goodies.

The Naughty List

  1. Egg Nog
    Egg Nog from the grocery store contains a lot of sugar. Mix it with alcohol and you have a recipe for rotten teeth. Alcohol is acidic, and can erode tooth enamel. It also dries out your mouth, reducing saliva production. Saliva is integral to breaking down the sugars that get deposited on our teeth when we eat. This terrible combination puts sugary alcoholic drinks at the top of the naughty list for sure. If you really can’t give up Egg Nog try making your own reduced sugar version at home and avoid mixing it with alcohol.

  2. Candy Canes
    Any type of candy that you are meant to suck on for a long time is really hard on your teeth. The long duration increases the time your teeth are exposed to sugar, increasing the likelihood of cavities. Chewing your candy canes isn’t any better, since pieces of candy can get stuck between your teeth for hours. Do your teeth a favour and leave the candy canes on the tree.

  3. Carbonated drinks
    We all know pop is bad for teeth, but even sugar free carbonated drinks like sparkling water and club soda are highly acidic. The acid dissolves the protective enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities.

  4. Ice cubes
    Though not strictly a festive food, ice cubes rank on the list because of their prevalence in holiday cocktails. Crunching on ice cubes can actually chip away your enamel, leaving your teeth exposed and increasing the likelihood of cavities.

The Nice List

  1. Gingerbread cookies
    Sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies both contain large amounts of sugar. Indulge your sweet tooth with ginger cookies instead. They are tasty and contain less sugar.

  2. Cheese
    Cheese actually has antibacterial properties. It also neutralizes acids, and is excellent for returning your mouth to a neutral pH level. This helps to counteract the acid in foods like alcohol and carbonated drinks.

  3. Turkey
    Turkey is full of helpful nutrients like phosphorous which helps promote strong teeth just like calcium. Unfortunately, the sugary cranberry sauce that is often served alongside it will counteract the health benefits.

  4. Nuts
    Nuts offer a large variety of health benefits and also contain important minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium which keep your teeth strong. Chewing nuts also stimulate saliva production, reducing the bacteria levels in your mouth, washing sugar away and neutralizing your mouth’s pH levels.

  5. Vegetables
    Vegetables are a healthy, versatile and often overlooked food group. They offer a large variety of nutrients and beneficial minerals. Raw vegetables in particular are good for your teeth since their crunchy texture helps remove plaque.

For more healthy snacks, or to book your next appointment, contact the Marlborough Dental Clinic today at 403.248.2066 and visit marlboroughdentalcentre.com.


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