Eat a delicious feast and keep your teeth healthy at the same time? Yes please! Oral health is of the utmost importance, after all.
Although Thanksgiving is notorious for its sugar and starch filled foods, it’s possible to enjoy your favorite dishes while not sacrificing your oral health. Follow our expert tips for keeping your teeth healthy this Thanksgiving, and you can add us to your list of things to be grateful for.
Maintain Balance – One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is savoring the tasty, seasonal dishes like turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Instead of eliminating foods that are high in sugars or carbohydrates, just focus on keeping balance. Enjoy the yams with marshmallow topping, but put some fresh veggies on your plate (and actually eat them) as well.
Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking a good amount of water around the holiday will make your Thanksgiving healthier and more enjoyable. Staying well hydrated with water helps wash bacteria off of your teeth and increases saliva production, leading to a healthier mouth. Following a delicious slice of pie with a glass of water helps remove the sugar from your mouth instead of allowing it to remain on your teeth. Additionally, drinking soda, wine or other drinks will make you feel full sooner so you can’t enjoy as much of your dinner.
Brush and Floss – As soon as possible after Thanksgiving dinner, whip out that toothbrush and dental floss and get to work. The biggest cause of tooth decay is sugar left on or around the teeth for extended periods of time; so the sooner you can get food residue out of your mouth, the better.
Enjoy Cheese and Veggies – The cheese plate is full of calcium containing foods that are great for your oral health. Cheeses are great for your enamel and helps prevent cavities. Fresh vegetables are another great option since they provide much needed vitamins and minerals. Chewing raw vegetables is also great for saliva production, which helps clear your mouth of unwanted sugars and bacterias.
Don’t Forget About the Kids – It’s easy to remember to brush your own teeth after a meal when you can feel the foods and sugars working in your mouth. Kids might not be as diligent so be sure to remind them to drink water often during the day and help them brush their teeth at night. Use these Thanksgiving activity pages from the American Dental Association to help kids remember to brush and floss.
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Oral Healthcare Provider – If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental cleaning, the holidays are a great time to get one scheduled. Aim for visiting your dentist twice a year for cleanings to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
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