Thanksgiving is a time filled with plenty of time spent with family and food shared with loved ones. One thing that many people tend to forget about during this time of year is their oral health. Many Thanksgiving foods can be amazing for your smile, but others may be detrimental to your smile. Your dentist near me has some helpful tips for navigating yummy Thanksgiving foods so that your smile can stay healthy and beautiful throughout the holiday season.
Go for Foods Packed With Protein
Some foods on the Thanksgiving table can help strengthen and fortify your smile. Turkey is packed with protein and provides phosphorus which strengthens bones and teeth. Animal proteins are high in phosphorus. When combined with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorus helps to strengthen teeth and fortify enamel. Other foods high in protein include anything with meat, fish, or dairy products. Your dentist near me recommends that you floss after eating to remove any turkey that may easily get caught between your teeth.
It’s All About the Vitamins
Other Thanksgiving foods that are beneficial to your smile include potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. These types of starches contain high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A helps to fortify tooth enamel and keep gums healthy. Most foods that contain Vitamin A are orange, so think sweet potatoes, carrots, and yams. Vitamin C can strengthen gums and the soft tissue in your mouth. This helps prevent gingivitis and symptoms of gum disease. Sometimes these types of foods might be candied, or they may be baked into casseroles containing marshmallows. If that is the case, be sure that you are enjoying those dishes in moderation, and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
Watch Out for Sugar
Some Thanksgiving foods contain high levels of sugar, like cranberry sauce or deserts. Everything is fine in moderation, but make sure to rinse your mouth with water after enjoying anything that may be harmful to your smile. Cranberry sauce is naturally tart, so many cranberry dishes include a lot of sugar or added sugar substitutes to reduce tartness. Not only does this sugar harm your teeth, but it can also stain enamel. Cranberry sauce is highly acidic and can break down enamel as well as cause dental decay. Some deserts may also contain high amounts of sugar, like pumpkin pie. This popular dessert contains a lot of sugar, as well as the whipped cream that also accompanies it. However, this food also contains a lot of Vitamin A which is beneficial to your smile. This treat is typically only enjoyed once per year, so it’s not a major source of dental decay.
Make sure you are properly cleaning your smile after enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. Brush with fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to floss before going to bed. Certain foods may get caught between teeth and you want to make sure that you aren’t leaving anything in your smile that may lead to decay. To perfect your dental hygiene routine, rinse thoroughly with antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Call your dentist near me to schedule a dental cleaning after the holidays so that you can get back to a healthy smile!