You’re eating that mound of dressing and a second helping of turkey while chatting up your close friends and family – your teeth are hard at work each Thanksgiving. Not that they don’t help you out every day, but that day specifically entails a lot of chewing.
There are some steps you can take on Thanksgiving, and during the holiday season in general, to ensure your teeth are up to the task for many years to come. Read on for some easy-to-do tips that make a difference for your holiday oral health.
Keep Floss Ready to Go
Thanksgiving can be an all-day affair for some families, from a light breakfast to late-night leftovers. To protect your teeth from food particles trying to hitch a ride, be sure to floss each time after you eat to remove plaque buildup.
Stay Strong and Say Goodbye to Sweets
This is probably a tough one, but it’s not breaking news that cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and just about any other pie of preference are terrible for your teeth. If you manage to avoid indulging, you’ll be preventing harmful bacteria from causing tooth decay. Okay, okay, if you must satisfy your sweet tooth, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterward to remove sugar from your teeth.
Get a Second Helping of Protein
Ham, duck, pork tenderloin, or, of course, turkey, a second helping of meat treats, and some vegetables are the best bet for your oral health when it comes to round two at Thanksgiving. Starchy side dishes like stuffing and dinner rolls are bad news for your oral health. Starch is similar to sugar in the way it sticks to your teeth and helps feed acid-producing bacteria that cause cavities.
Pass on a Wine and Dine Plan
It has been discussed how you can dine with your teeth in mind but skipping the evening wine at Thanksgiving is wise for your teeth. The tannins in wine can stain your teeth and the acid weakens your enamel. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good.
It may be tough to make smart choices on a big day of dining such as Thanksgiving, but your teeth will thank you! Besides these tips, it’s a great call to visit your dentist after the holidays for an exam and cleaning to help you start off the new year right.
About the Author
Dr. Asra Javeed believes in providing quality dental care in a caring environment. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Boston University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Javeed was proud to be elected to the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Society. After you navigate the meal maze that is the holiday season, Dr. Javeed welcomes you in for a dental exam and cleaning. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (757) 498-6420.