Tasty Holiday Recipes That Are Good For Your Oral Health

The foods you choose and how often you eat them not only affects your overall health but also the health of your teeth and gums. The starchy foods that make up most of our favorite holiday staples are also loved by the bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Luckily, there are a few things we can do to make our meals a little bit more healthful and healthy foods are better for our teeth.

Herb-Roasted Turkey

Turkey is a holiday must-have for most families, and it’s also one of those healthy foods that is great for your oral health. Try this easy-to-follow recipe to produce all the good looks and moist flavor of an oven-roasted turkey you only see on TV kitchen appliance commercials. This lean meat contains phosphorus that’s good for teeth and bones, so don’t hesitate to add a show-stopping herb-roasted turkey to your holiday meals. And because this bird is normally quite large, you’ll have enough leftovers to make soups, sandwiches, salads, or whatever else you’re in the mood for that helps you stay away from the sugar-filled holiday treats.

Philly-Style Cheesesteak

Few things shout “comfort food” like freshly-baked bread stacked with paper-thin meat, griddled onions, and a sea of real cheese. You may have to skip out on the starchy bread to minimize things like tooth decay, but there’s no reason this holiday favorite dish should miss out on the celebrations completely. Use this 30-minute recipe to prepare a one-skillet meal packed with tender steak, crisp veggies, and perfectly melty cheese that the whole family will love. As an added bonus, the calcium-rich cheese will help build strong teeth, and the vitamins in the veggies are great for protecting healthy gums.

Italian Vegetable Hoagies

Not all our holiday meals are had while seated at the dinner table. What healthy foods can you make then? We recommend Italian vegetable hoagies. Made with balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese, and zesty pepperoncini, this sandwich explodes with flavor. You should be able to find all these ingredients at your local grocery store, but if you live near an Italian deli, it’s worth making an extra trip. Switch out the traditional rolls with 100% whole wheat or whole grain alternatives, and you’ll have a healthier, delicious hoagie.

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

No matter your age, you’ve got to admit, holiday deserts are perhaps the best part about the Christmas season. These delicious treats provide us with feelings of warmth and fullness, but they also bring something else—cavities. So what’s a person to do when they’re surrounded by all these sugary treats and it gets harder and harder to resist the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth? Make keto chocolate chip cookies, of course! With just a few ingredient substitutions to the traditional recipe, you can make cookies that you can enjoy without feeling guilty.

Hummus and Veggie Tray

Your holiday appetizer list just got a little healthier with this delicious treat. Not only is a hummus and veggie Santa tray festive and fun, but it also uses tasty ingredients the whole family will love. You can also easily substitute anything on the recipe you don’t have for what’s already in your kitchen and get the same beautiful results. And if the younger generation in your family doesn’t like cauliflower, substitute it with crumbled feta–it will stimulate the flow of saliva and neutralize the acid in dental plaque. It will take you around twenty minutes to put together this tray, and it can be the perfect job for young ones to help out with preparation. Place it among your most decadent holiday dips and tarts, right next to the whole wheat pita chips, and watch as kids and adults alike devour Santa’s face!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

A hearty bowl of macaroni and cheese is another crowd-favorite holiday meal. Thankfully,  it’s surprisingly easy to make mac and cheese just a little more healthful. By swapping out copious amounts of heavy dairy and adding in some roasted vegetables, you won’t have to sacrifice flavor for a more healthy holiday meal. Simply make the “cheese sauce” half of this dish from a mix of cashews, nutritional yeast, and butternut squash, and voila–you’ll have that beautiful orange color we all know and love in a mac and cheese.

Maintain your oral health this holiday season.

At Cooley-Bentz Dental Associates, we do our best to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Whether it’s by helping you choose healthy foods to make over the festive season or by providing easy ways to schedule dental appointments, we are here for you. Feel free to share with us any questions or concerns you may have about the foods you plan to eat during the holidays. We specialize in providing the highest quality care in a warm, caring environment and we want you and your teeth to have a Merry Christmas too.