Thanks to holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the cooler months of the year are often associated with eating more sugary treats, and a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you want to keep your teeth healthy this autumn while enjoying delicious seasonal foods, read on to get more details about a few fall food favorites that are excellent for your teeth and oral health.
Nothing says “fall” quite like the crispy crunch of biting into a fresh apple, and since there are dozens of different varieties, you’ll never run out of delicious, juicy new types of apples to try.
Apples are very sweet, and have a high amount of sugar, typically up to 19g or more per apple. But they’re still good for your teeth. Why? First, they are chock-full of fiber and nutrients like vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Not only that, but their crunchy texture can actually help scrub your teeth. When you chew an apple, its crunchy, fibrous flesh can clean away bacteria and leftover food particles. Additionally, crunchy and sweet foods help stimulate saliva production, which assists in washing away sugars and food particles from your mouth.
So if you want a delicious and healthy seasonal snack, grab a few apples from a grocery store, or head to a local orchard to pick your own apples and enjoy a fun family activity this fall.
Pumpkin is one of the most iconic fall foods, and it’s great for your teeth, although it’s not exactly ideal for your oral health when it’s in the form of sugary pumpkin pie, or a sweet pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks!
Pumpkin and other types of squash, such as butternut and spaghetti squash, are full of healthy nutrients like zinc and magnesium. These help strengthen bones and teeth. Squash also contains plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C, which can help with healing and immune health.
It also has high levels of beta-carotene, which is thought to help with protection from several types of cancers, including oral cancer, so pumpkin is great for your oral health overall.
Don't forget about the seeds, either. Pumpkin seeds are delicious when roasted, and are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Cranberries are a tart, delicious fruit that reach their peak flavor in the fall. Fresh cranberries are delicious on their own, or can be eaten dried and incorporated into cereal, granola, oatmeal, and a number of other recipes.
Cranberries are good for your oral health because they’re high in “polyphenols,” which are natural bacteria repellents that help stop sugar from causing your teeth to decay.
Due to their tart flavor, lots of cranberry products are heavily sweetened, so avoid these when possible. Drink pure, 100% cranberry juice, or choose unprocessed fresh or dried cranberries as your products of choice this fall.
Eating right is essential for your oral health, but so is proper at-home oral hygiene. Brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and don’t forget to see Dr. Joel Darrah at Buckwalter Dental Care for an appointment every six months.
Overdue for a consultation? Contact us online or give us a call at (843) 815-3232 to schedule your appointment now, and make sure your smile stays healthy this fall.