It’s the season for parties, family dinners and great food. But while most of us may be worrying about our pants getting too tight, you should also be paying attention to your gorgeous smile. The holidays can take a toll on your pearly whites, so what are the top naughty and nice foods for the holidays? Here’s our list!

Our Holiday Food “Nice” List
1. Cheese
When that cheese platter gets passed around, go ahead and chow down! Cheese is an antibacterial and its lower pH levels help make your mouth a less acidic environment.

2. Turkey

Turkey is non-fermentable and won’t stimulate cavity-causing responses in the mouth! This holiday staple is packed with protein and phosphorus which works with calcium to produce strong teeth.

3. Sugar-free gum
Have a piece of sugar-free gum once you’re done with the holiday spread. Chewing gum increases saliva, washing away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth.

Our Holiday Food “In-between” List

1. Nuts
If you have braces, nuts are something you need to stay away from because they can break a bracket. But if you’re braces free, nuts can stimulate saliva which keeps away harmful bacteria. They also contain a wide array of nutrients like magnesium and iron and supply a healthy dose of calcium to help keep your teeth strong. So take a handful at your next holiday gathering!

2. Veggies
No braces? Head for the veggie tray!  Fibrous vegetables like raw celery and carrots act as nature’s toothbrush. These tiny, delicious toothbrushes remove plaque and contain lots of vitamins and nutrients.  So load up on veggies at your next gathering. But if you still have your braces on, go for soft broccoli or cauliflower instead to avoid damaging your brackets.

Top Holiday Food “Naughty” List

1. Candy canes

Candy canes are some of the naughtiest of the holiday candies. If you suck on them, you are getting a longer exposure to sugar, increasing your risk of cavities. If you crunch on them, they get lodged in your teeth and your braces and can even cause tooth fractures!

2. Egg nog
It’s the most popular drink of the holiday season, but the high sugar content in egg nog makes it a bad choice for your teeth. If you really need your fix, try making it yourself with no added sugar and little-to-no alcohol. Your teeth will thank you!

3. Carbonated beverages
Want to keep your teeth as white as the winter’s snow? Avoid sodas at your next holiday party or dinner. Carbonated drinks can wreak havoc in your mouth. The acid from these drinks can dissolve the enamel of your teeth making them sensitive and prone to cavities, and it can even start turning them yellow.

4. Chocolate
Lighter colored milk chocolates contain a lot of sugar, producing acid which can dissolve the protective layer of tooth enamel and can cause cavities. But there is good news! Pure dark chocolate is ok to eat: the higher the cocoa content, the better it is for both you and your teeth.  So search for a great dark piece of chocolate for your holiday dessert.

We hope your smile stays as bright as the holiday season!