Give Thanks to Your Smile
This Thanksgiving, give thanks to your smile by treating it to the good stuff. No, we don’t mean pies and apple cider. And we know what you’re thinking: “But it’s Thanksgiving!” And while you’re right about that, that doesn’t mean you need to overdo it with sugary foods and erosive beverages. Have that slice of chocolate pie or glass of red wine, just limit your intake for the sake of your teeth. We know at Thanksgiving it’s normal to feast on the food you don’t get to eat every day, but your teeth (and body!) will thank you for eating more fibrous and wholesome options. We have compiled a Thanksgiving food guide that’ll help you make the right decisions for your oral health.
Veggie and Cheese Plates
So you arrive at your family’s Thanksgiving and time stretches before you until you can partake in the feast of the year. You’ve prepared for this, skipped breakfast and lunch so that you can eat all the Thanksgiving food your body can hold. Typically, there are a variety of appetizers to hold you over before the dinner bell rings. Instead of reaching for sugary dips and Jell-O, go for the veggies and cheese. Vegetables are fibrous, containing essential vitamins and minerals to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Cheese and other dairy products at the appetizer table are rich in calcium, helping to maintain the strength of your teeth.
Always Choose Water
It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your Thanksgiving feast. Water helps rinse food particles on or around your teeth and prevents dry mouth (which also contributes to bacteria build-up). As a bonus, drinking lots of water can prevent overeating. Also, limit acidic drinks such as red wine, coffee, and soda, or make sure to accompany them with water. Acidic beverages disintegrate tooth enamel and cause unsightly stains. Keep your smile picture-ready; grandma will appreciate it.
Starch is the New Sugar
Did you know that starchy food can also cause bacteria build-up in your mouth? Cornbread, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes all have the same potential as sugary treats to harm your teeth. Just like the sugar from a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie can stick to your teeth, so can turkey stuffing. Limit your intake of starchy foods and focus more on ham off the bone, turkey, and salad.
Limit the Sweets
Cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and chocolate cake. They sound amazing but they aren’t so great for the longevity of your teeth. We know cutting out sweets is hard on Thanksgiving day, so how about limiting how much sugar you consume? A taste is better than no taste at all! So help yourself to a small serving of pudding or a snickerdoodle cookie. Even pumpkin pie is better than other pies since it is fiber-rich and contains less sugar. Just make sure to drink plenty of water afterward, to help rinse the sugar off your teeth.