A Simple Guide to Enjoying Holiday Sweets While Preventing Cavities
This year has come with many challenges and uphill battles we never would have expected. There is a lot about this holiday that will be different than the years past. However, some things never change, and there is one challenge that dental professionals expect every year. Patients tend to have difficulty when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth during the holidays.
This could be for a variety of reasons. For some patients, it is because they are running around, buying presents, and decking the halls, and they put the health of their teeth on the backburner. Other patients have a sweet tooth and simply can’t say no to the sugary treats that tend to surround them during this time of year. We have some good news for our patients who fall prey to holiday snacking. You can still have your treats without compromising your teeth – there are plenty of holiday foods that are tooth-friendly. Here are some holiday treat ideas to help you snack away without worrying about decay:
Who doesn’t love a good deviled egg to ring in the holiday? Not only are these finger foods way less damaging to your teeth than a typical holiday dessert, but they have a variety of health benefits as well. For one, they’re gluten-free and high in protein. Plus, they contain an abundance of B vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K! You might have your own family recipe to create the perfect deviled egg, but in general, the steps tend to be pretty basic. To make this tasty treat, simply:
- Place the eggs in a single-layer saucepan and cover with enough water so there is at least 1.5 inches of water covering the eggs.
- Heat the saucepan on high until the water boils, then cover, switch heat to low, and cook the eggs for one minute.
- Remove the eggs from the heat and leave them covered for around 15 minutes.
- Rinse the eggs under cold water.
- Crack the eggshells and peel them off carefully. Dry the eggs.
- Slice the eggs in half and place yolks in a separate bowl.
- In the separate bowl, mash the yolks and add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. If you want to be extra mindful of your teeth, avoid excessively adding the more acidic ingredients like vinegar and mustard.
- Place the yolk mixture into the egg halves and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bon appetit!
Charcuterie boards are all the rage these days. Not only are they delicious, beautiful, and perfect for holiday gatherings, but the ingredients in a charcuterie board are way less damaging for your teeth than other sweet holiday treats. Even though charcuterie boards are typically a finger food, it’s important to wash your hands and use utensils to stay safe and healthy if you are going to enjoy this snack with others. One of the beauties of a charcuterie board is that they are simple to prepare, and you can customize what you add to fit your preferences. A charcuterie board involves a combination of the following yummy ingredients:
- Cheeses of your choosing
- Fruits and veggies (low-acid fruits and veggies are best for your teeth)
- Crackers and/or bread
Some holiday popcorns out there have the potential to wreak havoc on your teeth. They are jam-packed with artificial coloring and added sugars, which will cling onto your teeth and lead to decay over time. However, popcorn lovers don’t need to dismay. There are plenty of ways to make holiday popcorn both festive and tooth-friendly. Your only concern when it comes to healthy holiday popcorn and your teeth will be to make sure you don’t get any kernels stuck along the gumline. You can start by simply popping the kernels, which you probably won’t need our help with. To help make this holiday treat a little more festive, we recommend adding ingredients like:
- Pistachio nuts – these will add a festive green color!
- Pumpkin seeds – a classic holiday favorite!
- Dried Goji berries – these are less sugary than traditional dried cranberries and will add a fun pop of red. Just be careful to avoid getting them stuck to your teeth!
Finally, we present the option that true sweet tooth patients and chocolate lovers have been waiting for. If you must indulge in some sweets, we recommend reaching for the dark chocolate instead of white or milk. Milk and white chocolates are packed with cavity-causing sugars, but dark chocolates contain a bit less sugar and have some other health benefits, including the following:
- Dark chocolate is packed with essential nutrients like fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
- Dark chocolate is a strong source of antioxidants and can help disarm harmful free radicals in the body.
- Dark chocolate might improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure, and can even play a role in preventing heart disease.
At Adventure Dental and Orthodontics, our goal is to make oral hygiene a happy and fun experience for the whole family, from the welcoming office experience we create to the treats we recommend. To get in touch with our team, give us a call at (661) 251-0200 or contact us online.