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Holiday Foods to Consider for Better Oral Health

As we approach the holidays, it is time to gather some ideas about festive meals and snacks that are as kind to our teeth as they are to our tummies. These snacks and dishes put a twist on those traditional favorites for the holidays.

You will be bombarded with a variety of sweets and rich offerings in the office so it’s a good idea to carry your healthy snacks with you so that you won’t inadvertently damage your oral health as you go about your day.

Traditional American Holiday Foods

An alternative to turkey and rich gravy, opt for the lower in fat white meat sans the skin. Make a gravy drizzle from the pan juices, dry white wine and low-sodium chicken broth. Wild rice dressing makes a healthy alternative to the corn bread stuffing.

Finger foods and dips can be replaced by nuts, low fat cheese, fresh fruit, veggie platters and shrimp cocktail. Substitute the traditional dips with hummus.

Mashed potatoes is a family favorite. Try offering your clan mashed sweet potatoes or baked sweet potato rounds. To make your sweet potatoes a little more festive sprinkle with cinnamon.

The smell of pecan pie wafting through the house is a favorite holiday scent. When serving up your dish, nix the crust and just try a small sampling. Pumpkin pie is also a lower calorie alternative that provides beta-carotene.

Other Options for More Holiday Dishes

No matter if you’re preparing an American meal, or serving up traditional foods from non-American customs like Latin America, there are minor substitutions you can make to tweak your recipes.

There are wonderful resources online that provide new, innovative recipes to help cut down on sugar, and increase the nutritional value of popular dishes.

Here are some other tips to consider when preparing snacks or other meals.

  • Opt for dark chocolate as it is good for the heart and contains less sugar.
  • Cheese neutralizes the acidity of your mouth, so try the cheese in moderation.
  • Milk, along with your snack, offers calcium and helps the acidity level in the mouth.
  • Almonds and other nuts are high in protein and calcium.
  • Apples help to clean the surface of the teeth and stimulate the gums. Add on the holiday cheer with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

One great option for protecting your families’ oral health through the holidays is to get sealants and fluoride treatment. Dental sealants are most effective for young children after their permanent teeth have arrived, and provide an extra layer of protection against tooth decay and cavities.

Schedule an exam with the dentist today and get the dental services your family needs to achieve great overall health. Call our Long Beach dental office at 562-434-6414 or request an appointment here.

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