Now that Thanksgiving is almost here, you are probably looking forward to catching up with family and preparing some of your favorite dishes. Even though eating delicious food may be good for the soul, it isn’t the greatest thing for your oral health. Fortunately, there’s steps you can take to limit the negative effects that the holidays can have on your smile. Your dentist shares some tips so you can have a tooth-healthy Thanksgiving this year.
Cut Down on Sugar
Thanksgiving is filled with all sorts of sugary foods. As delicious as they may be, they can attack your protective tooth enamel and leave you with extra plaque that will contribute to dental issues. Even though marshmallow yams, cranberry sauce, and pie can be difficult to resist, it is best that you cut down on these dishes for the sake of your smile. When you do enjoy these foods, it is a good idea to clean your mouth afterwards to limit their harsh effects.
Many people enjoy having a glass of wine with their Thanksgiving dinner. However, acidic beverages like wine and juice can be harmful for your oral health. This is because acid in the mouth breaks down the enamel on your teeth. Alcohol can dry up the saliva that helps to naturally clean your mouth. In the end, a beverage with less acid and sugar is a better option. Have a glass of water or milk instead. If you are wanting an adult beverage, stick to something less acidic, like a gin and tonic.
Go Easy on Sticky Sweets
Sticky foods like candied pecans, marshmallows, and caramel often find their way on the table for Thanksgiving. Because they’re so sticky, they can get stuck in the teeth and stay there. This can cause additional plaque, and ultimately, you could be looking at some avoidable dental issues.
Be Careful with Hard Foods
If you’re snacking on chips, nuts, popcorn, and other snacks as you’re waiting for dinner to be ready, you should be extra careful. Sharp pieces of food can easily get lodged between the teeth and in the gums. Make sure you have a roll of floss ready to help.
Avoid Continuous Snacking
Many people find themselves continuously eating throughout the holiday weekend. While it is delicious, this makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Try to stick to designated eating times instead of munching throughout the day. Brush your teeth after you eat.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, don’t forget to keep your smile in consideration. This way, you can conclude the holiday season with a beautiful, healthy smile!
About the Author
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford, you have two experienced dentists with a wide variety of services available to their patients in North Kingstown. Dr. John W. Verbeyst and Dr. Philippe H. Morisseau are both active members of the American Dental Association and regularly attend continuing education courses. For more information on maintaining a healthy smile or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (401) 295-5511.