Damage Control: Oral Health For New Years Resolution

drinks-fresh-greenspointWelcome to Post-Holiday Disorder when your body is yelling at you to rest, eat healthy, and get ready for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re anything like the author of this blog, you’ve spent the last couple of days eating sweets and snacks that are anything but good for your body and your oral health. So here is your guide for rehabilitating from Post-Holiday Disorder and getting ready to face your resolutions head on.

Why Holiday Foods Are Bad For Your Health

As society continues to make leaps and jumps in our knowledge of nutrition, we realize that our American traditions sometimes call for everything that contradicts what is healthy for us: Cookies, party mix, cakes, chocolates, fatty dips, chips, candy canes, breads, soft drinks, and many more. These foods are not only lacking in nutrition to support oral health, but they are foods that coat your teeth with substances that produce plaque, acid, and bad bacteria in your mouth.

Foods high in sugar like traditional chocolates and gummy sweets that we usually eat throughout the holidays (not just as desserts) tend to stick in your mouth where your saliva cannot wash the sticky sugar out. Foods high in starches like party mixes, breads, chips and baked goods are high in carbohydrates that break down into simple sugars which are easily available as food to bacteria in your mouth and cause higher levels of acid that lead to tooth decay. Other food high in acid that can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay include fruit juices, high acidic fruits, soft drinks, sweet teas, lemonade, and fruit punch.

Now is it starting to seem realistic that our holiday diets tend to contradict everything we learn that is nutritious? So what is the best post-holiday method to regaining your health and detoxing from all of the starchy, sugary, and acidic foods you’ve been eating?

Returning To A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle After The Holidays

Perhaps you will wait until New Years to fully return to a healthy lifestyle, but you might want to go ahead and take a few steps towards rejuvenating your body before that last holiday bash and indulgence.

Regulating Your Diet

The first day you get the chance, turn away from holiday leftovers and go get yourself some vegetables and healthy protein sources. The best thing you can do for you body is eat more vegetables. These are high in complex carbohydrates that are good for your body. They also contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to nourish itself. Eating vegetables and healthy sources of protein with high carbs and sugars will only neutralize the effects. So take a day to eat some of these foods:

  • kale salad
  • onions and garlic (stay away from cooking with oils and try to eat raw vegetable)s
  • beets
  • carrots
  • broccoli (fiber helps promote salivia production in your mouth which helps to dissolve acide and wash out bacteria).
  • tomatoes
  • avocados (these contain healthy fats that helps your body absorb fat soluble nutrients)
  • Healthy proteins like fish, chicken, or turkey
  • probiotics in fermented foods, supplements, or kombucha (these contain gut bacteria that will help your body digest food and clear out your stomach, intestines, and colon)
  • green and black tea (contain antioxidants and help clean your mouth)

By eating lots of vegetables and minimal amounts of starches and sugar, your body will clear out the antinutrients it’s been eating over the last few days and be energized with healthy foods again. Probiotics can be a really helpful nutritional source because the gut-bacteria they contain will help your body digest and clear out your digestive system.

Small Amounts of Exercise

The next thing you can do is take a walk. Go to the park and throw the a football or just continue to walk around and enjoy the beauty. If you just spend prolonged amounts of time outdoors, moving around, drinking lots of water, you’ll be sure to help your body jumpstart into revitalizing and energizing itself. Exercise helps your body burn fat and carbs so that your body will start digesting the energy sources you’ve been eating over the last few days.

Working Your Way To New Years Resolution

Counselors and psychologists use a cognitive therapeutic approach with people who want to overcome depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Working toward a healthier lifestyle is oftentimes the process of getting rid of distorted methods of thinking that keep you from feeling and acting in a way that feels good and ultimately, in the way that you want. One of these distortions is All or Nothing thinking.

When we make New Years Resolutions, we tend to think in this distorted pattern of all or nothing thinking: “Only four more days until the new years, better get all the fun time in that I can before it’s time to give up everything and start my resolution!”

However, if you spend a couple of hours moderating and taking baby steps towards your resolution, you’ll be more likely to succeed and to continue succeeding. The longevity of our resolution’s success depends on how we implement a lifestyle change into our lives. Will you be one who goes from having all your vices to none of your vices? Or will you ensure your success by taking reasonable steps towards a change in your lifestyle?