In many homes, Thanksgiving is an all-day event that consists mostly of eating. Most people will eat a large feast early in the afternoon, followed by grazing on sweets and leftovers the rest of the day. While much of what you consume that day will be delicious, most of it will not be good for your overall oral health.
The good news is that you can take actions to reduce or counteract any negative effects a day of eating might have on your teeth if you follow these helpful tips:
Reduce the Sugar
Usually right as we say that we’re too full to keep going, it’s time for dessert. Amazingly, we always tend to find room for that final piece of pie. Unfortunately the sugar in that pie can contribute to cavity-causing bacteria. Does that mean you should skip the pie altogether? Definitely not. Just make sure you brush your teeth immediately afterwards and rinse with water.
Here are some foods other than pie that you might eat on Thanksgiving which will likely contain sugar:
- Cranberry Sauce
- Candied Yams
- Soft Drinks
- Whip Cream
Avoid Acidic Foods
The protective outer layer of your teeth — enamel — is negatively affected by acid, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate the enamel which can lead to a cavity. Try your best to avoid acidic foods like cranberry sauce, tomatoes or wine. If you can’t help it, try to limit the amount of time it’s actually in your mouth and drink water afterwards to wash away any acid left behind.
Don’t Forget the Vegetables
Vegetables are very beneficial to your oral health (check out our other blog about the best fall vegetables here), especially those that are high in vitamins and minerals. Red and orange vegetables can provide you with much needed Vitamin C — which helps improve gum health. Leafy greens like broccoli and kale offer tons of calcium to help keep teeth strong.
Eating vegetables is one of the best ways to counteract any negative effects Thanksgiving might have on your teeth.
When you’re done feasting, take a minute to go to the bathroom and floss your teeth. Foods like turkey, green beans and corn often get stuck in small, unnoticeable places where they can cause plaque to build up. Take action to prevent this by flossing.
We hope these tips are helpful! Our whole team here at Smith Family Dentistry wants to wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving! If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a post-Thanksgiving cleaning at our Randolph, NJ office, call (973) 895-5111 or click here schedule an appointment online.