Spending time with family and friends, watching football, and reflecting on what you’re thankful for are all important parts of Thanksgiving. Above all these great things though is the Thanksgiving meal. Stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, turkey, potatoes and more – Thanksgiving is just as often about the coming together of everyone’s favorite comfort foods as it is the coming together of family.
And though you might not think that Thanksgiving has the same pitfalls for your teeth that Halloween does, there are just as many opportunities to overindulge on this holiday.
Plaque forms on teeth when bacteria that lives in your mouth feeds off of the starches and sugars that you eat. The bacteria produces an acid that can wear away at enamel, causing tooth decay. And research has shown that the combination of starch and sugar (like you’d find in a piece of pie) has a combined effect of causing tooth decay and cavities on teeth as well.
For healthy teeth this Thanksgiving, there are a few preventative dental measures you can take without sacrificing too many of your favorite dishes. One option is to provide teeth-friendly foods and snacks. Cheese and nuts contain calcium and beneficial minerals, and crunchy vegetables can help scrub away bacteria and plaque buildup.
Practicing good oral health habits daily and being especially mindful of them on Thanksgiving can also help reduce bacteria byproducts and plaque. Taking care of your teeth by flossing, avoiding excess amounts of sugar, and using mouth rinse or brushing after your big Thanksgiving meal are all ways to make sure you enjoy Thanksgiving, and a healthy smile too.