Timing matters. While everything is fine in moderation, it helps to eat sweets and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
Be picky if it’s sticky
When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky and sticky foods tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating a lot of dried fruits such as cranberries, make sure to rinse with water and brush carefully.
Limit your alcohol intake
‘Tis the season for egg nog, Brandy Alexanders and glog! If you choose to imbibe, try to drink water alongside your drinks. And remember: Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth.
Take it easy on the hard candies
Some candies are more problematic than others. Hard candies can put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they’ve also been known to cause broken or chipped teeth. (Be careful not to break or chip your teeth when eating nuts as well!)
Watch out for starchy foods
These are sneaky because they often get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in chips and cakes, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.
You can still have fun
So, what can you eat? Lots of stuff! Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish and vary your diet. Eat whole grains and choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. The holidays are a great time of year to start thinking about healthier habits. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables—for your overall health and the health of your teeth.