The fall holidays—Halloween and Thanksgiving—are full of tasty food and treats. However, not all of these foods are good for you, especially when it comes to your teeth. Halloween candy is notorious for getting stuck in your teeth and causing cavities, while the pies and treats of Thanksgiving also have their fair share of sugar. Keeping your teeth in mind this fall season can help you enjoy the holidays as you avoid cavities and poor oral health.
Here are seven fall foods that can help you feel festive and still have healthy teeth.
Apple-picking is a popular tradition in the fall, and besides all the tasty pies and cobblers you can make with apples, they are also tasty (and healthy) to eat on their own. The crunchiness of apples can scrub your teeth clean of plaque and other sticky treats that might be stuck in your teeth. Apples may have a lot of sugar, but the high water and fiber density in them also work to stimulate saliva and clean your mouth.
Berries are jam-packed with nutrients, including a micronutrient called polyphenol which blocks bacteria from creating plaque on your teeth. The less plaque on your teeth, the less likely you are to develop cavities. However, for the best results, be sure to eat cranberries that don’t have added sugar and drink a glass of water after to limit the effects of acidity on your teeth.
Kale is an excellent source of fiber, and similar to apples, they require more chewing to break down. The more you chew, the more your teeth are scrubbed clean of any plaque build-up. Kale also includes high amounts of calcium which strengthens your teeth by building a hard enamel surface to help resist decay. Kale is best for your teeth when it is eaten raw, but it is still good for you when it’s cooked in stews or soups.
Nuts are a crunchy food available at many parties and get-togethers throughout the holidays. These are appropriate to snack on as they encourage chewing, which strengthens your teeth and jaw, and they are full of nutrients. Two main nutrients in nuts are calcium and phosphorus, both of which strengthen your teeth. Just don’t bite the shell of a nut to crack it.
Pumpkin is one of the most popular fall foods and for good reason. Pumpkin is packed with nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients help prevent tooth decay, weak bones, and bleeding gums. They also harden your teeth’s enamel and promote healing. Pumpkin soup, bread, and oatmeal are all great ways to consume these nutrients—but be sure to skip the lattes.
When you are carving your pumpkin this Halloween, save some of the seeds to roast and eat later. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of fiber, protein, and iron which will keep both your teeth and tongue healthy and strong.
Cheese platters and charcuterie boards are popular appetizer options at holiday parties and are laden with many types of cheese. For cheese lovers, it will excite you to know that cheese is an excellent snack for your teeth. It contains a protein called casein which helps fight cavities, and it contains calcium to remineralize the enamel on your teeth!
Enjoying the fall festivities and your dental health can be easy when you eat the right things, and luckily, there are plenty of options. If you are curious about other beneficial foods for your teeth, ask us during your next appointment.