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The holidays are here, and with them come delicious holiday meals. Here are some things you may find on the menu, and why they are a great option for your oral health.

Turkey: Turkey and other protein-packed foods are a very good source of phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential mineral primarily used for growth and repair of body cells and tissues. Together with calcium, phosphorus helps your body to keep your teeth strong.

Sweet Potatoes: These nutrition packed potatoes are especially good for teeth! They contain a strong dose of vitamin A, which is very important for the health of teeth and gums. Vitamin A maintains the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. Vitamin A is also vital in maintaining the protein keratin, an agent that promotes formation of tooth enamel.

Veggie Platter: That veggie tray is GREAT for your teeth! Crunchy veggies like carrots and celery scrape plaque and debris away from teeth, acting a bit like nature’s toothbrushes. Add a dairy-based dip for some extra calcium.

Fruit Salad: Fruit is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Keep in mind, though, that citrus fruits are high in citric acid which can contribute to the erosion of enamel and the development of tooth decay. Your mouth’s best “fruit friend” would be the apple! Apples are high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums.

Cheeses: According to a study from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), cheese protects your pearly whites from acid erosion–the breakdown of enamel brought on by coffee, tea, wine, soda, and so on. This protection occurs because cheese has a high phosphate content, which helps balance the pH level in the mouth. Balancing the mouth’s pH level is very important for preserving tooth enamel and preventing cavities and gum disease. This season, don’t shy away from goat cheeses. If cheese made from cow’s milk is a powerhouse, goat cheese is a touchdown. It contains MORE protein and calcium than cow’s milk cheese and yet has less fat and calories per serving. The higher calcium of goat cheese means even more protection for your teeth.

For more information, call Mountain Shadows Family Dentistry in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at (719) 598-3502. Dr. Holsteen and our team are happy to help you keep your holidays delicious and tooth-healthy!