Thanksgiving brings together families and favorite recipes and though Thanksgiving is known for its turkey, pumpkin pie, and stuffing, it’s important to still take care of your teeth. Dakota Dental provides some teeth friendly foods and helpful tips for taking care of your teeth while still being able to enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
It’s well known that sugar isn’t great for teeth, but starches can be just as bad. Bacteria living in the mouth feeds off of starches and sugars sitting on teeth and the acidic byproduct from this bacteria is what causes the buildup of plaque and causes tooth decay. And research has shown that the combination of starch and sugar on teeth (like you would find in a piece of pumpkin pie) can compound the effects of decay.
There are some teeth friendly foods that you can add to your Thanksgiving menu that everyone can enjoy. For an appetizer, a tray of cheese cubes, raw veggies and mixed nuts are not only a healthy snack, but an option that helps with a healthy smile, too. Crunchy veggies and nuts can help scrub away plaque buildup; and the calcium and minerals found in nuts and cheese can help build up strong enamel, fortify the surface of teeth, and re-mineralize teeth.
Though it may be hard to fully deny having pie for dessert, offering an option of pears with a honey yogurt dip may help reduce serving sizes of pumpkin pie. Pears have been shown to neutralize acid on the surface of teeth, and a dip made of plain Greek yogurt, honey, and a dash of cinnamon provides calcium to strengthen teeth.
Research is also showing that cranberries and red wine might contain properties to help weaken the bacteria that is harmful for teeth; however, the sugary cranberries you eat on Thanksgiving might not be quite as beneficial.
Another important way to prevent cavities on teeth is by talking to the dentists at Dakota Dental about their preventative care program. Dakota Dental recommends that even if you indulge in plaque-building foods this Thanksgiving to make sure that you brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth with water, after the big meal to prevent bacteria from having their own feast. These simple preventative dental measures can make a big difference in your overall dental health.
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