Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family, watching football, and eating lots of delicious food. You can still enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving dishes without damaging your smile. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy over the holiday season.
Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth before Thanksgiving dinner to help prevent staining. If you can avoid eating any dark-colored foods and drinks, that’s even better, but brushing your teeth beforehand will help limit the damage caused by juice, wine, coffee, tea, and even soda. If you can’t brush before you sit down to eat, at least thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water, which can help to remove some surface stains as well.
It’s common for sweets and other sugary foods to be consumed on the holiday table, so it’s important to brush your teeth soon after a meal. If you allow your mouth to continue producing more saliva and acids, it can damage your enamel and teeth in the long run. It’s also a good idea to reserve dessert for the end of the meal to ensure maximum protection for your smile.
Drink Water After and Between Bites of Food
Water helps to wash down food particles, preventing stains from sticking around your smile. Our dentist in Vista also recommends drinking water with meals because drinking too much soda or other sugary beverages can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. When you are eating multiple foods at once, try to drink a glass of water after each bite of food to prevent excess sugar and acid on your teeth.
Avoid Sticky, Sugary, or Acidic Foods
Don’t eat too many sweets and candies. Sticky treats are great for enjoying at parties, but they can cause cavities by clinging to your teeth and causing damage over time. Limit your sugar intake to just two teaspoons per day to protect your teeth from decay.
Consider eating more veggies and whole grains instead of starchy foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, and crackers. These carbohydrates feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Instead, choose green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, which are full of vitamins and minerals that will help keep your gums healthy. Whole grains are also high in fiber, which stimulates your saliva production and keeps your mouth clean.
Remember, there’s no shame in skipping out on certain foods this holiday meal. If you really can’t resist a slice of pumpkin pie, then eat it! Just don’t forget to follow it up with thorough teeth cleaning at your dental office.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (760) 433-9255 to have a consultation with us, and we will be happy to assist you further.