So, it’s the 25th December and you are settling down to a traditional Christmas meal. There’s a turkey, there’s roast potatoes, sprouts… There’s a Christmas pudding. There’s a lot of wine. However, do you know how these foods affect your teeth? Here, we run through some of the usual Christmas staples and their effects…
THE STARTERS

Canapes, nuts, crisps… There tend to be several bowfuls of ‘grazing food’ around before sitting down to the main meal. What should you watch out for here? The key ingredient is sugar. It is often found in processed foods, even if their names don’t suggest it as such. Ever been surprised to see sugar listed as an ingredient in your vegetable soup? The same principle applies here. As a high energy food, bacteria in the mouth feed off it, so releasing higher levels of acid that can weaken tooth enamel and lead to decay.

THE MAIN

The good news: turkey and cranberry sauce are both beneficial to your teeth. The protein in turkey contains phosphorus which will aid the creation of strong teeth. Cranberry actually defends your teeth from plaque, as well as loading up on vitamins and minerals. Then your portion of vegetables will also load up on nutrients and fibre. Fibre is especially useful as it stimulates the flow of saliva and so protects against cavities.

THE DESSERT

Again, watch out for sugar. However, if served with a side helping of cream, take comfort in the dose of dairy: helping to form strong teeth and bones.

THE DRINKS

Yes, we’re repeating ourselves, but watch out for sugar, especially in soft drinks or processed fruit juices. With alcohol, be aware that their high levels of acid may soften the tooth enamel and that alcohol inhibits saliva production so you need to be extra cautious about your oral hygiene routine.

Christmas comes but once a year so it’s fine to indulge and enjoy. Just make sure that you don’t neglect brushing your teeth afterwards!

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