Thanksgiving is nearly here, and even if you aren’t looking forward to socializing with your distant relatives, you are certainly eager to enjoy all the delicious dishes that everyone brought. While this is an exciting holiday, it can have a negative impact on your smile if you aren’t careful. The good news is there are steps you can take to maintain excellent oral health while appreciating your meal. Continue reading to learn some tips.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Thanksgiving is filled with sugary foods. Even though they are delicious, they can attack your protective tooth enamel and leave you with extra plaque that will contribute to dental issues, like tooth decay. Limit your consumption of the marshmallow yams, cranberry sauce, and pie. After enjoying them, be sure to clean your mouth afterwards to reduce their harmful effects.
Avoid Drinking Wine
Many people like to enjoy having a glass of wine with their Thanksgiving dinner, but 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 the teeth. Alcohol can limit the saliva that helps to naturally clean your mouth. Ultimately, a beverage with less acid and sugar is a better option. Have a glass of ice water or milk instead. If you want to have an adult beverage, stick to something less acidic, like gin and tonic.
Be Careful with Hard Foods
It isn’t uncommon for people to pick at some chips, nuts, or popcorn to snack on before dinner comes around, but you should be extra careful. Sharp pieces of food can get easily lodged between the teeth and in the gums. Keeping some floss with you can help.
Go Easy on Sticky Treats
Pecans, marshmallows, and caramel often make their way on to the dessert table for Thanksgiving. Since they are sticky, they can get stuck in the teeth and stay there. This means additional plaque and dental issues.
No Continuous Snacking
It’s easy to continuously snack as you’re waiting for dinner to be ready and in the following days thanks to all the leftovers. However, if you aren’t giving your smile a break, you’re leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay. Try sticking to designated eating times instead of munching throughout the day. Brush your teeth after you finish each meal.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget about your smile. By being mindful and using the tips listed above, you can enter the holiday season with excellent oral health!
About the Author
Dr. Philip Batson earned his dental doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas School of Dentistry. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, Central Dental Society, and Academy of General Dentistry. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Columbia, visit his website or call (573) 875-7071.