I hope healthy teeth and gums make it on to your list of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season! Here are a few tips to keep your mouth happy and healthy while you’re celebrating with friends and family.
Hit the Cheese Plate. Everyone loves cheese, and there’s bound to be some around the Thanksgiving table. Help yourself to a serving of any dish that includes cheese or other dairy products. Dairy is rich in calcium and helps maintain strong bones and teeth.
Chow Down on the Veggies. Vegetables are more than just a side! The vegetables at your Thanksgiving feast are great for your teeth. These foods are fiber-rich and contain vital vitamins and minerals that keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. The amount of chewing they require also promotes saliva production.
Pairs Well with Water. Remember to stay hydrated before, during, and after your feast. Water helps to clean food out of your mouth. It also prevents dry mouth, which can cause excessive bacteria build up. The more water you drink, the healthier your mouth will be. Drinking plenty of water can also prevent overeating and, of course, dehydration.
Is Starch the New Sugar? While sweet treats have always had a reputation for causing tooth decay, they’re not the only culprits. It’s a little-known fact that starch converts to sugars that feed bacteria in your mouth. Foods such as cornbread and mashed potatoes can feed harmful bacteria just like sugary foods can.
Beware of an Active Sweet Tooth! From cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole to pecan pie and chocolate cake, there are usually lots of choices for sweets at a Thanksgiving feast. All this sugar can result in cavities, so limit your desserts and be sure to wash sweets down with a tall glass of water.
Make It a Meal. Make a conscious effort to set a meal time. At Thanksgiving gatherings where you often serve yourself, you can end up grazing all afternoon and well into the evening if you’re not careful. This means the bacteria in your mouth get to chow down all day, too! You can help prevent all-day snacking by brushing your teeth thirty minutes after you finish eating. This not only benefits your teeth but your waistline as well!
Limit Red Wine and Coffee. At holiday gatherings, it’s fun to visit with loved ones while sipping on a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Try to limit these drinks and accompany them with water. Both coffee and red wine are acidic and stain the surface of your teeth.
Time Your Appointments. It seems like right after Thanksgiving, Christmas is already here. Make an appointment for the beginning of December to have your teeth cleaned and checked out. That way your dentist will be able to catch any potential issues very early on, and it will give you a fresh start for the Christmas season.
Here at Elite Smiles, we’re thankful for each and every one of our patients. Call us anytime to set up an appointment or with any dental questions or concerns that come up.