It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting cooler (too cold at times); the leaves are all turning shades of orange, yellow, red, and brown; people are itching to put up their Christmas Tree, and Thanksgiving is next week! Before you start dethawing your turkey, let’s talk about ways to kick off the holiday season with a healthy smile.
Tips for a Teeth-Friendly Thanksgiving
While you may be wearing your stretchy pants next week as you dive into a Thanksgiving feast for royalty, your oral health doesn’t have to completely go out the window. You actually can have a delicious meal that is also good for you with these healthy Thanksgiving tips.
1. Brush and Floss after Cookies and Sweets for a healthy Thanksgiving smile
As a general rule of thumb, you should always brush, floss and rinse after eating or drinking sweets; but you should particularly follow this routine over Thanksgiving and into the holiday season a there is never a shortage of cookies, candy, cakes, and pies this time of year. While delicious, all of these sweets are ready to wreak havoc on your oral health if you don’t take care to brush and floss a little more often.
Sugar that is left to sit on your teeth for hours at a time will attract bacteria that causes cavities. So, do yourself a big favor and while you’re packing your bags to grandma’s house (even if you’re only going for the afternoon), be sure to bring along your toothbrush and a pack of floss. After you eat, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to brush your teeth. Easy,
2. Drink More Water!
Specifically, drink more tap water as it contains fluoride which reverses damage to enamel caused by acids. If you’d like something to drink after your meal, we suggest green or black tea (rather than coffee). Green and black tea kill bacteria, thus fighting cavities. If you also make the tea with tap water, you can reap a double benefit.
3. Go for Seconds…
Want seconds? Fibrous fruits and veggies, such as beans, carrots, sweet potatoes and more can stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural line of defense against decay-causing bacteria. Therefore, increasing the amount of fibrous fruits and veggies you eat this holiday season can really help you fight decay and keep your smile healthy. As a bonus, these tooth-healthy thanksgiving foods are also good for your heart and waistline.
4. Finally, Use a Nutcracker!
The Nutcracker isn’t just a beloved holiday tale we watch this time of year. It’s also a great tool to protect your teeth from all of those hard-shelled nuts we all love to eat during Thanksgiving. While you may think you’re a superhero, the enamel on your teeth is not invincible. Once damaged, it won’t grow back. It will crack or chip when put under extreme stress, such as trying to open a hard nut with your teeth. So, rather than causing unnecessary damage to your teeth, use a nutcracker.
Follow these tips for a healthy Thanksgiving smile and everyone will be smiling at the end of your Thanksgiving dinner, and the whole family can enjoy a delicious meal that’s great for both your oral and your overall health! Happy Thanksgiving from the office of Katherine E. Garrett.
And if you are headed out of town this fall and need to know what to do in case of a dental emergency? See our previous post on what to do when you have a dental issue away from home. Learn more about the complete list of services offered by Dr. Garrett by calling our office and scheduling a new patient appointment. We’d love to make your family part of ours!