It’s that time of the year again where our hearts and waistlines seem to grow. This year I wanted to share some holiday healthy dental tips and recipe ideas that will not only leave your mouths satisfied but will leave them healthy as well!
Tip One: Substitute Out the Sugar
Holiday desserts are notorious for being loaded in sugar. I recommend substituting out the sugar in your recipe for a naturally sweet substitute such as unsweetened applesauce, honey, agave, stevia or natural maple syrup. Stevia is one of my favorite sweeteners, it is derived from a naturally sweet plant and comes in a powder form similar to sugar. When substituting sugar out of a recipe either read the back of the package or look up the ratio.
Tip Two: Find the Fruit
A simple way to skip the sugar but still get your sweet tooth satisfying dessert is by roasting fruit. Roasting and baking causes the fruit’s sugars to caramelize which brings out its natural sweetness. Great seasonal fruits to try out are pears, apples and plums. For an extra seasonal warmth sprinkle on some nutmeg and cinnamon before roasting or top them with crushed pecans or walnuts.
Tip Three: Watch What You Drink
It’s hard to think of a healthy holiday in combination with drinking alcohol, especially when often celebrating we tend to indulge in a cocktail or two. It’s easy to forget that alcohol is notorious for hidden sugars. That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid it but making a few smart choices can help reduce the amount of sugar you take in.
When it comes to wines dry wines will have the least amount of sugars ranging from 0.5 g for a dry red and 1.5 g for a dry white while sweet whites can have 14.75 g per glass. So try to avoid those sweet, fruity wines and stick to the dry varieties to cut down on your sugar intake over the holidays!
Most hard liquor itself does not contain sugar and are great options. The problem isn’t the alcohol itself but the sweet and sugary mixers it is usually paired with. Nix the sweet juices and substitute club soda with your favorite cut fresh fruit instead.
Remember though that any alcohol will dry your mouth out and can lead to more risk of cavities so try to limit your intake and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Tip Four: Make Water Your Best Friend
Speaking of water, water is always a safe bet when it comes to a beverage choice. If you are drinking cocktails or eating sugary treats try to sip water in-between to help rinse off the sugars, keep you hydrated, and to help keep the pH of your mouth at a healthy level.
Tip Five: Not All Treats are Made the Same
Some sugary treats are more damaging to your teeth than others. Avoid those treats that are chewy or crunchy ones.
Chewy, sticky treats like caramels tend to stay stuck in the fine grooves of your teeth and are difficult to brush out. If you must indulge find a healthy alternative like sugar free caramels.
Crunchy treats are common this time of the year. Desserts, such as peanut brittle, can break your teeth or dental work and can do permanent damage. Try to steer clear of these treats to keep your teeth healthy and strong!
Tip Six: Fill Up on the Good Stuff
Pregame with healthy alternatives. Try to fill up on healthy options from the cheese plate and veggie platter while drinking lots of water. This will not only curb your appetite but can help you to say no to those sugary temptations.
Tip Seven: Brush and Floss
With holiday travels and parties coming up it’s easy to get out of your regular routine. Make sure though you take the time to daily brush at least twice and floss at least once. If you need a refresher on good oral hygiene refer to this blog I posted on tips on keeping your mouth healthy. Following a good oral hygiene routine during this busy season will help make sure you have a healthy holiday and will ease your stress when it’s time for you dental check up!
Try out these tips and trust us your mouths and waistlines will be thanking you!