Thanksgiving is a time for seeing loved ones, enjoying accomplishments from the past year and, of course, gorging on way too much food. Your teeth will be doing the brunt of the work as you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, desserts and leftovers for days to follow. Here are a few tips and recipes to help you enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving meal and to give your teeth a break.
SEE: Teeth-Friendly Foods to Eat on Game Day
Avoid the Sticky Stuff
There are a lot of foods on the Thanksgiving dinner table that can damage your enamel without you realizing it. Some of the worst offenders include:
Popcorn – Specifically caramel popcorn, which is loaded with sugar and sticks to your teeth to eat away at the enamel if not removed quickly.
Dried Fruit – While fruit is healthy, dried fruit has a lot of sugar added to it. This is another snack that can get stuck in between your teeth in hard to reach places.
Pie – We all love pie, but it is jammed-packed with sugar that can lead to tooth decay and we haven’t even added the ice cream, fudge and whipped cream that goes along with it.
RELATED: A Healthy Diet for Healthy Teeth
Focus on the Good Stuff
Not all Thanksgiving foods are bad for your teeth! Make sure to load up your plate with these foods to give your teeth a fighting chance this holiday season.
Turkey – Didn’t think turkey would make the list? As surprised as you might be, turkey is actually high vitamin D and calcium. When you combine that with the proteins also found in turkey, your teeth and bones will get a boost in strength thanks to your meal.
Fruits and Veggies – Carrots, onions and apples are the most likely to show up on your table this Thanksgiving so be sure to go back for seconds and maybe even thirds if you’re feeling extra healthy. The hard piths of carrots and apples actually help wash away stains from coffee and onions increase the saliva count in your mouth to help wash away bacteria.
Dairy – We all know that dairy is a good source of calcium, but it is also low in acid and sugar which your teeth will appreciate after so many sweets and acidic beverages.
Cranberries – Thanksgiving isn’t the same without cranberry sauce! Cranberries are rich in various vitamins including vitamins A and C and they add a natural sweetness to the meal. Cranberries go fast so be sure to grab yourself an extra scoop.
SEE ALSO: How to Have a Healthy White Smile Without Giving Up the Foods You Love
Don’t Forget Good Oral Hygiene Over the Holidays!
Just because you’re on a break from school or work, doesn’t mean your teeth get a break from good oral health practices.
Floss Regularly – Make sure you keep floss handy for the after dinner clean-up. Flossing helps to remove food particles that can become lodged in between your teeth which can lead to breeding ground for bacteria.
Brush Twice Daily – The best way to keep your teeth healthy is to brush after every meal, but if you can’t carry a toothbrush and toothpaste to every dinner, make sure to brush every morning and night for at least two minutes to clear away excess bacteria.
Use Mouthwash – Generally if you brush twice a day, you should also use mouthwash. Mouthwash can help get extra food particles out of your mouth that brushing alone might miss. And you can carry a small bottle with you anywhere!
SEE: How Often Should I Have A Dental Exam and Cleaning
Have the Biggest Smile this Holiday Season with Dr. Duffield!
You’ll be needing a nice set of pearly whites for all of those holiday photos! A visit to the dentist can help put you at ease this Thanksgiving. Dr. Larry Duffield and his helpful staff have been providing dental services for over 20 years and look forward to sharing their experiences with the whole family. Contact us today at 877-630-7410 to schedule an appointment for all of your dental needs.