Thanksgiving is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, and….a plethora of yummy food. From the delicious spread of turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, there is something for everyone in attendance. But with the overwhelming buffet of food, it is easy to forget about how our choices can affect our health. The last thing you want to worry about during the holiday season are cavities or a dental emergency. But don’t fear — Montgomery Dentistry is here to provide dental tips to help you and your family keep your smiles in tip-top shape!
Healthy Thanksgiving Tips:
- Reduce Sugar Intake: One of the most prominent culprits of Thanksgiving dental issues is the abundance of sugar. And it is everywhere! Pies, cakes, even certain sides, are loaded with sugar, which can lead to tooth decay if consumed in abundance. Even starchy options like mashed potatoes and stuffing can create harmful plaque. We understand it can be hard to say no! Opt for smaller portions or share a dessert with a family member to satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging. Also, try to choose desserts that are lower in sugar or made with natural sweeteners when possible.
- Be Mindful of Sticky Foods: Pecan pie, mashed potatoes, and yams are delicious foods that line most Thanksgiving tables, but they’re also troublesome because of their sticky nature. The problem with such foods is that they easily cling to your teeth, providing the perfect opportunity for harmful bacteria to thrive and threaten enamel. The sugary remnants can also lead to gum issues and cavities. If you do indulge in sticky treats, make sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush shortly after eating to remove any residue.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Water is your best friend when it comes to maintaining good oral health, especially during the holidays. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles and acids that can erode teeth enamel. It’s also an excellent way to keep your mouth hydrated, as many Thanksgiving dishes are rich in sodium, which can cause dry mouth and bad breath. Staying well-hydrated throughout the day, will also help you stay full so you won’t overindulge on sweets!
- Eat More Healthy Options: In the midst of all the rich, sugary, and starchy dishes, don’t forget about the health benefits of vegetables! Thanksgiving often features an array of colorful veggies in dishes like green bean casserole, roasted root vegetables, and brussel sprouts. Not only are these dishes delicious, but they also provide essential nutrients for your overall health and dental well-being. The fiber in vegetables also helps scrub away plaque, and their vitamins, and minerals support strong teeth and gums. Nuts and cheeses are also great food options to have at the Thanksgiving table. Both are loaded with calcium and help strengthen and remineralize your teeth, while also preventing cavities.
- Avoid Continual Snacking: The holidays can often lead to prolonged snacking throughout the day, which can be detrimental to your dental health. When you snack on food continuously, your mouth doesn’t have the chance to naturally cleanse itself by producing saliva. This can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Instead of constantly nibbling on food, try enjoying your meal at designated times. Afterward, chew sugar-free gum with xylitol or enjoy a mint to stimulate saliva production and clean your mouth.
In addition to these five Thanksgiving dental tips, don’t forget to schedule your cleaning with Montgomery Dentistry! A professional cleaning and check-up can help ensure your teeth are in excellent shape before indulging in those holiday delights. Give Montgomery Dentistry a call today to schedule your next cleaning!