Christmas is a time for good company and good food. Many of us enjoy the annual overindulgence, taking the New Year to recover from an excess of turkey and Christmas pudding. Whilst we all know the negative effect eating too much food has on the body, have you considered the impact the holiday season might have on your teeth? To help you keep them in good shape during the festivities, here are the six best and worst Christmas foods for your teeth.



‘Sweets’ is a very non-specific label, but Christmas is a time for cakes, biscuits, chocolate, candy canes, and a myriad of other sweet treats containing copious amounts of sugar. Most of them are sticky, hard, and sugary, which has a dramatic impact on dental health because it results in the sugar and bacteria remaining in the mouth for longer. Enjoy in moderation, and remember to drink plenty of water and brush often.

Citrus Fruit

Tangerines and clementines are the traditional Christmas stocking snack, and are designed to be a nice, healthy break from the endless chocolate and cake. Orange peel crops up over and over in the Christmas meal, and Christmas pudding is packed with the stuff. The juice of citrus fruits is highly acidic, though, and can erode tooth enamel over time.


It might not technically be a food, but no doubt there will be plenty of wine flowing during the Christmas season. Red wine is full of chromogens, which produce tooth-discolouring pigments. It also contains tannins that tend to dry out the mouth and make teeth sticky, worsening stains in the process. Don’t think you can avoid these problems by sticking to white wine, though. Both red and white wines contain erosive acids that allow stains from other foods and drinks to penetrate more deeply.



Biscuits are terribly bad for your teeth – full of sugar, the gluten sticks to your teeth and allows bacteria to corrode the enamel. But if you need to indulge in biscuity goodness this year, stick to gingerbread. It contains significantly less sugar than any other type of biscuit and is no less delicious.


It’s a shame most of us only eat turkey once or twice a year. We have it for Christmas lunch and then finish off the carcass over the next few days. Turkey meat is lean and healthy, and it is full of nutrients such as phosphorus, which, similar to calcium, promotes strong teeth.


Indulging in nuts is another benefit of the Christmas period. Almonds, walnuts, cashews – they all contain a multitude of healthy vitamins and nutrients, including magnesium, iron, and calcium, which work together to keep your teeth strong. Nuts also help stimulate the production of saliva, which washes out bacteria from your mouth and works to neutralise corrosive acids. Just be careful when biting into them as they can cause chips on teeth.

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