November 7, 2020
Are you ready for Thanksgiving Day? While yours may look a little different than usual this year, it’s still a great time to honor family traditions, remember what we’re thankful for, and of course, eat delicious foods! While you enjoy your turkey and count all the things you’re grateful for, don’t forget to appreciate your teeth! After all, your pearly whites help you eat your favorite holiday meals, talk up a storm with family, and smile confidently during this special time of year. Read on as your Arlington dentist shares five holiday oral health tips to help you take care of your teeth this Thanksgiving.
1.) Enjoy All Your Favorite Smile-Friendly Foods
Keeping your teeth healthy isn’t just all about what you shouldn’t eat! Thanksgiving meals are traditionally filled with all sorts of foods that contain nutrients that are beneficial for your oral health! When loading up your plate, make sure you get plenty of:
- Turkey and other proteins: Not only are most proteins soft and low in sugar, but they typically have a lot of vitamin D, which supports strong tooth enamel.
- Green bean casserole and other vegetables: Vegetables contain a garden variety of nutrients that are good for oral health, and crunchy veggies can help lower your risk of cavities.
- Macaroni and cheese and other dairy products: The calcium in dairy products encourages stronger teeth and jawbone. Just be careful not to eat too much starchy pasta!
2.) Wash Down Your Meal with Water
Sip on some water during your holiday meal, and throughout the day as well. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it will wash away any lingering sugars or acids from your food that could cause cavities.
3.) Watch Out for Sweets and Starches
Of course, there are plenty of foods you should avoid or at least limit if you want to reduce your risk of tooth decay this thanksgiving, including:
- Sticky sweets: Candied yams, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, caramel corn, and pecan pie will all leave sticky, sugary residue on your teeth, which dramatically increases your risk of cavities.
- Starchy sides: Mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and stuffing are full of starch, which feeds cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth just as quickly as sugar.
4.) Save Snacking for Mealtimes
For many families, Thanksgiving Day is an all-day food-based event. However, the more frequently you snack, the more fuel you provide the bacteria in your mouth. Keep cavities at bay by doing your best to only eat during mealtimes.
5.) Pick Smart Sweets for Your Smile
For most of us, cutting out all sweets during the holidays is a nearly impossible task. Thankfully, some of your favorite festive treats are safe to indulge in, with moderation of course, including:
- Pumpkin pie: This classic dessert is full of calcium and vitamin C, which are great for your smile!
- Soft cookies: Instead of tough gingerbread or crispy oatmeal cookies, safely enjoy softer cookies.
- Smooth cheesecake: As long as you stay away from varieties that contain hard nuts or sticky caramels, cheesecake can be good for your teeth!
With so many things to be thankful for, there are plenty of reasons to smile this holiday season. Use these tips to appreciate your teeth this Thanksgiving!
About the Author
Dr. James T. Gray, DDS has been helping keep the smiles of Arlington and the surrounding communities happy and healthy for over 30 years. He and his team focus on creating personalized relationships with their patients and providing state-of-the-art comforts to make every visit as pleasant as possible. With regular checkups twice a year, he strives to help all his patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health all year long. For more holiday oral health tips, he can be contacted via his website or at (817) 460-4131.
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