Thanksgiving is usually one of the few days out of the year where “clean” eating goes out the window. While it’s certainly a day for enjoying your favorite foods in greater quantities, keep in mind that some of the food on the table harms your oral health as much as it does your general health. You don’t have to completely eschew your favorite dishes, but we do advise that you make a few modifications for healthy teeth this Thanksgiving.
Eat Dessert During Instead of After Meals
Surly, there will be an assortment of pies, gingerbread cookies, and other sweets. Obviously, the best solution would be to avoid dessert altogether. Of course, we know most people aren’t going to do that. The next best solution then is to eat the sweets with the main meal as opposed to after. The extra chewing from the other foods stimulates saliva flow that prevents sugar from clinging to the teeth.
Watch Out for Teeth-Staining Foods
Red wine and cranberry sauce are other Thanksgiving favorites. Drink and eat too much of these, and you’ll be visiting your cosmetic dentist to have the stain removed from your teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to avoid these foods entirely to maintain your pearly whites. Consume the foods in conjunction with a serving of cheese, which forms a protective barrier between the enamel and food. Cheese and other dairy products also help lower pH levels in your mouth, thus creating a less acidic environment.
If you’re preparing the dessert from scratch, then limit the sugar. Table sugar is the root cause of root canals; any reputable endodontist will tell you that. In place of sugar, try Manuka honey. It contains Hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine gluconate. These natural chemicals have antibacterial properties and are used in some mouthwashes for fighting gingivitis.
Get a Dental Checkup
The holiday isn’t a reason to take time off from seeing your family dentist in Mukilteo. In fact, there’s even more reason to get a checkup considering you’ll probably be eating more foods that don’t exactly contribute to oral longevity. These oral health tips outlined by Mukilteo Dental Arts will help ensure that you maintain healthy teeth this Thanksgiving.
Maintain Your Bright Smile this Thanksgiving
General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek
Edited by Justin Vorhees