Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we’re all looking forward to all those delicious dishes. While your dinner may be great for your tastebuds, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s best for your teeth. No one wants to enter the holiday season with a mouthful of cavities. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to maintain excellent oral health through Thanksgiving weekend. Here are a few Thanksgiving tips from a dentist in Orange Park!
Limit Your Sugar Intake
In addition to the platters of savory food, there are plenty of sweeter treats that make their way to the dinner table. While they are delicious, they can attack your protective enamel and leave you with extra plaque or even cavities over time. It is a good idea to limit things like marshmallow yams, cranberry sauce, and pie. After you enjoy them, be sure to rinse out your mouth to reduce their harmful effects.
Go Easy on the Wine
A common beverage to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner is a glass of wine. The issue with this is that wine is acidic. When in the mouth, acid breaks down the enamel on your teeth. Alcohol can also limit the saliva that helps to naturally keep your mouth clean. Water and milk are better options. If you are wanting to enjoy an adult beverage, try something less acidic, like gin and tonic or a light beer.
Be Wary of Hard Foods
Lots of families start munching on stacks early, like platters of chips, nuts, crackers, or popcorn. Just be extra careful when you’re eating them. Sharp pieces of food can easily get lodged between your teeth and in the gums. By keeping some floss on hand, you can work stuck pieces of food out of your smile.
Limit Sticky Foods
Marshmallows, pecans, and caramel are common ingredients in Thanksgiving desserts, but they are sticky and potentially harmful for your smile. They can adhere to your teeth and remain for long period of time. This can mean additional plaque and decay!
Don’t Snack Continuously
It is easy to pick at food throughout the day as you are waiting for dinnertime to come around. Just be sure that you are giving your smile a break so that you don’t leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria. Stick to designated eating times instead of continuous munching. Brush your teeth after each meal.
Don’t forget to show your smile some love this Thanksgiving. By using the tips listed above, you can start out the holiday season with a beautiful, healthy smile!
About the Author
After attending the SDM College of Dental Sciences in Karnataka, India, Dr. Natasha Patel entered the prestigious Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She has many years of experience in all facets of general dentistry and is committed to helping her patients get the best quality treatment. For more information or to schedule an appointment at her office in Orange Park, visit her website or call (904) 278-9011.