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This season is filled with delicious (and not very nutritious) holiday foods. Everything is tempting theses days – from the candy that practically grows on trees (also known as candy canes) to tasty desserts. Here at Hollywood Family Dentistry, we understand how tempting everything can seem. That’s why we are listing eight of the healthier holiday foods that you can enjoy guilt-free this season.

Chestnuts

You don’t have to roast chestnuts over an open fire to profit from their beneficial properties. In fact, snacking on most nuts can increase your dental health. Nuts are chock full of the teeth building nutrients phosphorus and calcium. There is usually little danger in harming your teeth on nuts, just make sure they are shelled before you dig in.

So, the next time you see a bowl of mixed nuts at a holiday party, enjoy a handful!

Crunchy apples

Apples are natural teeth scrubbers that are full of water and fiber. Additionally, they are a naturally self-contained snack. While apples and other high fiber crunchy foods are great to eat at any time, try snacking on some at the end of a meal or as your last hoer d’oeuvre. A crunchy apple may help you get some of that sticky candy off of your teeth when you aren’t toting your toothbrush.

Pears

While pears aren’t crunchy, they are high in fiber and water. Eating a pear won’t scrub your teeth as effectively as an apple or a carrot, but pears will help you produce more saliva. This can assist you in keeping your mouth fresh, and your teeth clean after you’ve done something that may give you dry mouth – like drinking alcohol.

Onions

These veggies are used in many, many dishes during the holiday season, and they are packed with nutrients like vitamins C & B6, manganese, folate, and potassium. While cooked onion contains these nutrients, your teeth may thank you for also crunching on raw onion! Chewing raw onion has been found to improve the strength of your teeth and to fight bacteria.

Dark Chocolate

Now we are getting to the treats! Dark chocolate has many health benefits, just make sure you are eating the chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in it. This “real” dark chocolate can help keep your mouth bacteria free, sweeten your breath, and fight periodontal disease. So, if you needed a reason to enjoy a few delicious chocolates this season, you have them now! Just make sure you aren’t overindulging. Moderation is always a good idea.

Pomegranates

You probably see pomegranates in stores right now and on tables as lovely, natural displays. However, pomegranates are also a great plaque fighter! So, take the time to enjoy this unique fruit this season. It can be tricky to get the jewel-like pulp of the fruit, but the result is delicious and good for you!

Persimmons

This is another unusual holiday fruit that you should certainly try. Persimmons are filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, and many nutrients that can help you keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Cheese

No matter what party or occasion you are attending this holiday season, there is almost certainly going to be cheese available. Indulge in the cheese plate this year. This dairy-filled treat contains calcium and phosphorus, which naturally prevent cavities. Cheese also contains bone-building nutrients and pairs deliciously with many of the fruits we’ve listed above.

We know that many of you will indulge in some holiday cheer and sugary holiday treats – and that’s okay! This article is simply meant to encourage you to indulge in moderation and to give you options for unique culinary experiences over the holiday season.

Let us know if you have oral health concerns! Contact our office and make an appointment. We’d love to help you improve your dental health.