Chances are, if we were to ask you about your favorite holiday memories, at least one would involve food: the distinct aroma of holiday spices, the comfort of warm drinks, plus cookies and treats galore.
You want your family to share the same sense of comfort and celebration with holiday treats.There’s just one problem: many traditional holiday-themed snacks and treats aren’t great for teeth.
Many are high in sugar, or have a chewy texture that can stick to your teeth. There’s nothing to ruin a nice holiday memory quite like a cavity or a broken braces bracket.
It’s been a long year, and you and your family deserve delicious treats that are good for your teeth and body.
Before you prep your holiday menu, check out our tooth-healthy guide on which holiday foods to avoid, plus delicious, healthy treats to replace them.
Holiday Foods That are Bad for Teeth
If you or a family member has braces, your orthodontist might have gone which over foods you should avoid to protect your brackets.
But whether you have braces or not, it’s good to know how to save yourself the headache of a dental emergency by avoiding a few holiday foods that are tough on the teeth.
Here are a few popular holiday snacks to avoid, especially if you have braces:
Chips and Crackers
- Not only does the texture of chips and crackers make them easy to get stuck in deep crevices of your mouth(which you’re likely to miss while brushing), but they’re full of starches.
- Starches stick to your teeth and attract nasty bacteria, creating the perfect recipe for tooth decay.
Crunchy Fruits and Nuts
- Biting into a hard, crunchy fruit like an apple can potentially damage braces.
- One wrong bite into a crunchy fruit or hard nut and your holiday plans could include a trip to the orthodontist for wire or bracket repair.
Sticky and Chewy Candy
- It’s time to pass on that bag of holiday caramel corn or the box of peanut brittle.
- Sticky candy is a threat to your oral health in more ways than one.
- Sticky candy and foods gets stuck in areas of your teeth that your brush can’t quite reach, leaving a sugary mess that can lead to tooth decay.
- Sticky foods can also tug at and damage fillings, braces, and other dental work you’ve already had done.
Holiday Dish Ingredients That are Good for Teeth
It’s easier to skip old treats when you have some tasty replacements. When you plan your new holiday menu, keep these tooth-friendly foods in mind:
- Many fruits can give you the satisfaction of sweets without the unhealthy elements your health added sugars bring.
- Fruits like berries, for example, are typically low in sugar and high in Vitamin C.Vitamin C helps strengthen teeth and keep gums clean.
- Try making dishes with Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt.
- Not only is it lower and sugar, but it’s high in calcium and phosphates. Both helps build strong bones (including teeth).
- Cook with coconut oil for added antibacterial benefits that help kill decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.
Teeth-Friendly Holiday Treats
Now that you have an idea of what to avoid andwhat to add to your holiday grocery list, we can jump into the fun part: tasty and teeth-friendly holiday recipes!
All the recipes below include ingredients that are equally as safe for teeth and braces as they are delicious.
Holiday Baked Apples
Just because you shouldn’t bite directly into an apple when you have braces doesn’t mean you have to rob yourself of its delicious flavors!
This baked apple recipe has all the comforting flavors of the holidays without all the sugar, and a soft texture that’s perfect for teeth with braces.
- 1tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- 1 tbsp finely shredded coconut
- 3 large Red Delicious apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- While the oven preheats, cut the core and seeds out of your apples, leaving a hole in the middle.
- Mix brown sugar, butter, coconut, and cinnamon together in a bowl and pour it into your apples.
- Place the stuffed apple/s on a baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Drizzle remaining apple juice over the apples. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Eggnog seems to have the perfect blend of spices and sweetness that’s hard to beat. Add a fun twist to the holiday flavors of egg nog with this yummy pudding.
This recipe calls for Stevia instead of sugar. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from a plant that doesn’t have the same carbohydrates that stick to your teeth and cause decay like processed sugar does.
The best part? Your family probably won’t even be able to tell the difference!
Ingredients (3 servings)
- 2 grams stevia/erythritol blend
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 dollop coconut whipped cream per serving
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs, 1/2 cup milk, protein powder, stevia, and salt until smooth.
- Pour 2 cups of milk in a medium size saucepan on medium heat until milk is steaming, but not boiling.
- Slowly pour and whisk 1 cup of the heated milk in with the egg and flavor mixture in the bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk. Heat on low to medium until boiling, stirring the whole time.
- Take the mixture off the heat and add cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract.
- Strain through a mesh sieve.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Chill until desired consistency
- Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg
Frozen Yogurt Trees
While the flavor and fun of these frozen yogurt trees are typically a hit with the kids, it’s likely you’ll throwing your hat in the ring when competing for the last one!
They’re also easy to make, so the whole family can join in creating them.
These frozen yogurt trees provide the benefits of bone-building calcium from the yogurt. Plus, the cooling feeling of these snacks can help ease pain from new or newly adjusted braces.
- 1 ounce lime Jell-O
- 1 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tree shaped muffin tin
- Thoroughly lubricate the muffin tin with coconut oil.
- Decorate the bottom of the muffin cups with sprinkles.
- Mix yogurt and Jell-O mixture. Add more Jell-O if you want your trees to be a darker green.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray. Freeze for 3 hours, then serve.
More Delicious Tooth-Healthy Recipes
Your family’s teeth need to be healthy and clean year round, not just during the holidays. Save yourself the headache of unnecessary spending by incorporating teeth-friendly foods into your everyday lives.
Try these healthy meals that can be prepared in under 30 minutes >