Thanksgiving is that special time of year when friends and families across the country gather to feast, enjoy each other’s company, and celebrate all the things they have to be grateful for. While the traditional spread is a tried-and-true crowd-pleaser, some of the food items it contains can be harmful to your teeth. Here are a few ways you can swap out some of these for smile-friendly options that will have everyone at the table getting second helpings.
Enjoy the Turkey, but Beware the Bones
Turkey is rich in protein and phosphorus, so it is actually pretty good for your teeth. However, it also contains many bones that can be too easy to bite into if you’re not careful. Chomping down on or even just scraping your teeth against the bones in turkey can cause damage to your teeth like cracks and chips. Be careful when eating that drumstick or try cutting the meat off and eating it with a fork.
Don’t Let Sweet Thanksgiving Treats Defeat Your Teeth
Thanksgiving is known for sweet side dishes and desserts such as cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin or pecan pie. Unfortunately, these dishes are loaded with sugar that can feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The Internet abounds with alternative recipes that are healthier for your teeth such as twice-baked sweet potatoes, apple crisp, and fruits dipped in dark chocolate.
Keep Your Teeth in Mind When Enjoying Your Wine
Wine can be a wonderful pairing with a traditional holiday meal. Unfortunately, red and white wine is highly acidic and full of pigments. Its acid content makes it harsh on your enamel, and these pigments can become embedded in your teeth, leading to stains or discoloration. Fortunately, having a glass of water while you enjoy your wine can promote healthy saliva flow while helping to wash the acid and sugary residue away from your teeth. You might also consider looking up the recipe for some clear cocktails that are free of pigments that can discolor your smile.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your teeth after your Thanksgiving feast is to practice excellent oral hygiene afterward. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash will eliminate the germs, plaque, and food debris that lead to oral health problems so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner just as much next year.
About the Author
Dr. Donald Marks earned his dental doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and opened his dental office in the State College area after graduating. He proudly and actively serves as a member of the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania Dental Association, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. For more tips on keeping your Thanksgiving feast healthy for your teeth, contact the office online or dial (814) 826-3767.