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Thanksgiving Dinner Tips for a Thankful and Healthy Smile

Nov 15, 2018
With Thanksgiving approaching, you need to be aware of how to maintain a thankful and healthy smile. When getting ready to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with your friends and family,...

With Thanksgiving approaching, you need to be aware of how to maintain a thankful and healthy smile. When getting ready to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with your friends and family, you’ll likely be thinking about all of the delicious food that you’re about to eat. However, this meal can do substantial damage to your teeth if you aren’t prepared for it. By maintaining a healthy smile and keeping your teeth in good shape throughout the holiday, you’ll get more out of Thanksgiving dinner with the knowledge that it didn’t have an adverse effect on your teeth.

Avoid Sugar and Starches

Most Thanksgiving dinners are filled with sweet foods and desserts that are as pleasing to look at as they are delicious. While pumpkin pies and peach cobblers are common during this holiday, these foods contain a substantial amount of sugar, which is something that you’re going to want to avoid as much as possible. While there’s certainly no need to eradicate sugar from your Thanksgiving plans, you should focus on reducing your intake of the substance. Sugar is among the most harmful substances to your teeth. A high intake of sugar can lead to tooth decay and the development of cavities. If you’re bringing along some dishes for the big meal or are cooking the entire dinner yourself, consider using sugar substitutes. If you can’t avoid sugar, eat reasonable portion sizes and always follow up desserts with a large glass of water.

As for starches, there are almost as damaging to your teeth as sugar. Food items like stuffing and cornbread are just as popular during Thanksgiving dinner as pumpkin pie. While these foods might not seem that harmful, they are comprised of the types of acid-producing bacteria that are found in sugar. While you don’t need to avoid eating starches altogether, you need to pair up your starches and sugars with other foods that consist of fiber and protein. The turkey that you’ll likely eat on Thanksgiving is high in protein.

Look Out for Acid Problems

If you want to keep your teeth as healthy as possible during Thanksgiving, you need to take steps to reduce the amount of acid wear that occurs on your teeth. The issue with acid is that it eats away the enamel on your teeth, which is a hard outer layer that protects against tooth decay. In the event that this enamel is stripped away, you’ll have a much higher chance of suffering from tooth decay and possible cavities.

While different types of acid can be found in a wide range of foods and beverages, this substance is most common in drinks like wine and cranberry juice, both of which are favorites on Thanksgiving. To avoid the need for dental health care, lessen the amount of acid in your diet. You can also reduce the potency of the acid by eating other foods or drinking sips of water immediately after you consume the drinks or foods that contain acid. If your Thanksgiving meal contains a high amount of acid, you need to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush and floss your teeth.

Reduce Chances of Staining

One issue that can cause problems with the appearance of your teeth is staining. When Thanksgiving dinner arrives, there is a wide range of foods and beverages that can cause your teeth to stain, which you may want to avoid throughout the day. Any foods and drinks that are brightly colored may be able to turn your teeth from a bright white to a duller shade. Some of the common Thanksgiving dinner items that can cause staining include coffee, red wine, cranberry sauce, and certain pie flavors like blueberry and cherry. If you don’t want to avoid these foods and drinks during Thanksgiving, make sure that you schedule a cleaning with your preferred dentist. If your teeth have already become stained, you could also consider scheduling an appointment for teeth whitening in Scottsdale.

Fill Your Plate With Vegetables

In order to counteract the less healthy foods and drinks that come with Thanksgiving dinner, make sure that you fill up your plate with colorful vegetables so that you can get the minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to the health of your teeth. Green vegetables like spinach and green beans are very high in calcium, which keeps your teeth strong. Red vegetables usually consist of high amounts of calcium, which is a substance that promotes the health of your gums.

Drink Water Constantly

When you eat a substantial amount of food, it becomes difficult for your saliva to rinse away bacteria like it’s supposed to. In order to avoid these issues, you need to drink water constantly throughout Thanksgiving dinner as well as afterwards. Doing so will wash away any of the substances that have built up on your teeth and should keep your teeth healthy regardless of what you eat or drink throughout the day.

Brush and Floss Regularly

While you likely know how important it is to brush and floss at least twice each day, it’s also essential that you maintain good oral health care following Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure that you brush and floss soon after you finish your Thanksgiving meal so that you remove any leftover food particles before they become embedded in your teeth.

Schedule an Appointment with your Dentist in Scottsdale

If you want to be confident about the health of your teeth, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your family dentist after Thanksgiving dinner. Your dentist can provide you with the general care or teeth whitening solutions that you need to keep your teeth in good condition.