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Best habits and foods good for teeth to look after your oral health this winter

Ahhh, the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year…unless you are a set of teeth! With all the excess candy, alcohol, general dietary changes, and socializing, the holidays can prove a challenging time to maintain good oral hygiene habits and stick to foods good for teeth. Like any other body part, your teeth need plenty of nutrients to stay healthy. So when preparing the holiday menus and shopping lists, here is a handy guide to ensure you can still enjoy yourself while giving your chompers the best chance of getting through the season without a cavity.


Top winter healthy foods for teeth


Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a major role in bone and tooth mineralization, which makes your teeth strong. Having appropriate levels in the blood can help to prevent teeth from cracks and fractures. It is also essential for good gut health, which starts in the mouth thanks to the bacteria and microflora present. We get Vitamin D primarily from the sun, which is often difficult to do in the winter.



You can try incorporating the foods below into your diet to balance this out and boost your dietary levels. But remember that Vitamin D in food is usually not enough or in the wrong form, so if you are deficient, you will need to take supplements.



  • Salmon

  • Swordfish

  • Tuna fish

  • Dairy and plant milk fortified with Vitamin D

  • Sardines

  • Egg yolk

  • Fortified cereals


Proteins

Proteins are essential for good health and a lack can lead to abnormal mouth development, bleeding gums, and periodontal disease. This happens because protein helps repair tissue and build bone mineral density (BMD). Thankfully, it is rare for Americans to suffer such a deficiency and the holiday table is usually brimming with protein-rich foods, such as turkey! Vegetarians and vegans need to ensure that their diet includes things like legumes.


  • Lean Proteins such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, and goose

  • Fish and seafood

  • Eggs

  • Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products

  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds

  • Beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, tofu.


Calcium

Hopefully, by now, your dental care provider has drilled into you (haha) the importance of calcium-rich meals as foods good for your teeth, but just in case you haven't been listening, I'm going to do it again. Calcium rounds up the trio of essentials for proper bone density, tissue growth, and development. An imbalance of any one of these elements can mean pretty severe consequences for your teeth and gums. To boost your calcium, try to incorporate the following:



  • Low-fat cheese, especially cottage cheese

  • Yogurt (Greek is the best)

  • Small fish with bones (think anchovies and sardines)

  • Plenty of green leafy vegetables

  • Almonds and fortified almond milk


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