The Thanksgiving feast is a delicious affair that has friends and families gathering around dinner tables across the country every year. While this holiday is certainly known for being delicious, some of the foods included in a traditional Thanksgiving spread aren’t good for your dental health. Here are three tips from your dentist to keep your annual turkey dinner from causing cavities, toothaches, and other oral health issues down the line.
Slash the Sugar and Skimp on the Starch
Humans and bacteria both love sugar because it is full of simple chemical energy that can be easily absorbed. When you eat sugary foods, it leaves free sugars lingering in your mouth that can provide a feast for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. While cranberry sauce, marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie are all celebrated parts of the Thanksgiving feast, they are full of sugars that can become stuck to your teeth and lead to oral infections.
While dishes like stuffing and mashed potatoes aren’t sweet, they are full of starches that will break down into simpler sugars when exposed to the enzymes in your mouth. Limit your portions of these sugary and starchy foods and take care to drink plenty of water while enjoying them to help wash their debris and residue away from your teeth.
Sideline the Wine When You Dine
Red and white wines can be delightful pairings with your Thanksgiving dinner, but they also contain high amounts of acid, pigments, and sugars. While sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay, acid does these germs’ job for them by beginning to break down the enamel of your teeth as soon as it makes contact with them. Pigments can become lodged in the enamel, leading to stains or discoloration. Be sure to enjoy your spirits moderately and with a tall glass of water to help wash them away from your teeth.
Enjoy Your Turkey and Veggies
Turkey contains protein and phosphorus, which are nutrients essential to your teeth’s health. The colorful veggies that come alongside it are high in tooth-healthy nutrients vitamins, minerals, and calcium, and the more fibrous varieties like carrots, celery, and cucumber can even help scrape away plaque and debris away from your teeth without harming your enamel. Load your plate up with turkey and vegetables for a satisfying meal that your teeth will love.
It’s also crucial to practice proper oral hygiene after the feast is over and every day after that as well. This includes brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash. This way, your teeth can stay healthy for when you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner next year.
About the Practice
Dentistry of Wisconsin is dedicated to providing patients with excellent dental care at two locations in Waupun and Beaver Dam, WI. Led by Drs. Derek Metzger, Myriel Dittman, Nate Truckenbrod, and Chaz Konrath, the staff delivers outstanding service in a friendly and comfortable environment. Areas of expertise include general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on taking care of your teeth during Thanksgiving, contact the practice online.