Holiday sweets – and carbs – are no treat for your teeth

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December 15, 2021 – No wonder many people believe that the holidays are meant for us to put aside our sense of nutrition and indulge in all the delicious foods we would avoid on a normal day.

While many of these festive treats can cause serious problems for us teeth, others are full of nutrients and can cause very little damage.

Classic dishes and foods like cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes or stuffing, although delicious and comforting, can wreak havoc on your teeth because of its sugar in cranberry sauce and the number of carbohydrates in the stuffing that can turn into plaque.

But filling your plate with vegetables, turkey, and even a green bean casserole will give you the health benefits you need.

So how can you protect your teeth this holiday season while still enjoying the food we crave throughout the year?

Avoid fermenting carbohydrates

“Most people think sugar is bad for your teeth, while fermenting carbs are much worse than regular sweets,” says Whitney Rose DiFoggio.

With the experience of a Chicago-based dental hygienist, DiFoggio understands what these fermentable carbohydrates are.

“Fermentable carbohydrates are carbohydrates that break down bacteria in the mouth. “Now that this happens, acids form in the mouth, which, unfortunately, can quickly lead to tooth decay,” she says.

Examples of these carbohydrates are processed foods like white bread, graham crackers and cereals, to name a few.

Fermenting carbohydrates are acidic in nature, and although this is what is responsible for tooth decay, they are not bad in themselves.

San Diego-based nutritionist Wendy Bazilian, a public health doctor, says they are “to some extent actually good because they break down more easily and also help boost intestinal bacteria.”

But their benefits are short-lived because they spoil easily. Due to their pro-inflammatory nature, your oral health can be compromised.

But how do these fermenting carbohydrates actually damage your teeth? DiFoggio uses white bread as an example.

“When bread mixes with your saliva, it turns into a paste and that paste sticks to your teeth, which increases the oral cavity,” she says.

And can you cleanse up these carbs right after eating? Yes, although there is a catch.

DiFoggio says you need to wait 30 minutes after eating before washing the brush.

“If you don’t wait 30 minutes, you could erode your enamel because the food you eat is mostly acidic. And those acids can soften your tooth enamel, ”she says.

What to do instead

Nona Djavid, a nutrition and weight loss expert from California, says that “you can drink a lot of water and add calcium-rich foods to your diet to reverse acidity.”

She says that these carbohydrates should be taken with the main meal (especially calcium-rich foods), take a tablespoon of yogurt after a meal and rinse your mouth with water.

DiFoggio has shown how to continue to eat these carbohydrates and maintain excellent oral hygiene.

“While it’s easier said than done to limit snacking, try to avoid snacking often,” she says. “Instead, you can try to bring in all the‘ garbage ’at once with your main meal. Also, consider drinking plenty of water throughout the day to wash away leftover food. ”

“Water can sneak into cracks in your teeth and gums and help flush out food particles, leftovers and leftovers from your bites and chews. It helps to wash everything away – or when you brush and rinse, you spit it all out, ”says Bazilian

As a nutritionist, she adds that “eating cheese at the end of a meal can help raise the pH in your mouth faster towards neutrality.”

The way forward this holiday season

“Everyone deserves to surrender. However, we often feel guilty when we do. Even if you are enrolled in a weight loss program, you are absolutely allowed to treat yourself to these holidays, ”says Djavid.

The key ingredient is to prepare mentally to avoid feelings of guilt. Experts say it is best to choose a time to indulge in all the goodies during the holidays. Djavid recommends eating heavier foods and drinks intermittently (for example, 15-17 hours). Just don’t be on a roller coaster for 12 hours.

Replace a cocktail with sparkling water mixed with liqueur or other beverages such as hard seltzer and kombucha. Don’t forget to bring your own snacks! A bag of carrots or baked sweet potato chips can help a lot.

As the owner of a weight loss program, Djavid paves the way for proper nutrition. “If you’re going to taste a variety of dishes, try smaller portions so you don’t feel limited, and don’t overdo it with one dish. One bite of a delicious cookie will not kill your diet. ”

Basilian reminds us that “the mouth is the door to our health.” Remember that this is the only place where you can chew and start digestion to nourish every cell and organ in your body – so it is important to keep them healthy.

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