With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, you’re probably dreaming of those fluffy mashed potatoes and gravy or that melt-in-your-mouth apple pie, but have you stopped to think about your teeth? Here are some key dental tips you should consider before that Thanksgiving dinner!
More of the Good
Gobble Up That Turkey!
What’s Thanksgiving without turkey? Savory and loaded with protein, turkey is great for you. However, it has its cons, just like any other food. Because it can get stuck in your teeth, make sure to floss well after your Thanksgiving dinner. Other than that, turkey gets a thumbs up from us.
Green Bean Casserole Has the Green Light
This classic casserole is packed with vegetables like green beans, onions, and mushrooms, so don’t be afraid to pile it on your plate. One of our dental tips, though, is to floss thoroughly after eating sticky foods. Green bean casserole is no different!
Don’t Skip Those Veggies
Thanksgiving is the one holiday where you get a free pass on eating whatever you want… but don’t go crazy. You should still eat those healthy greens or other colorful vegetables as part of your Thanksgiving dinner. Leafy green vegetables have calcium for strong teeth, while red and orange veggies are chock-full of vitamin C for healthy gums.
Less of the Bad
Watch for the Acidic Foods
You might already know this, but acidic foods aren’t that great for your enamel. One of our dental tips is to limit your intake as much as you can or to make them less damaging by eating other foods and drinking water in the same meal. When reaching for that cranberry sauce to go along with your turkey, think about its stickiness, staining, and acidity. Drinks like wine and cranberry juice soften your enamel and make it more prone to decay, so be careful this Thanksgiving. Remember to wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth.
Limit the Sugar
The great thing about sugary desserts in your Thanksgiving dinner is that they’re not that bad for you. That is if you’re eating things like pumpkin and sweet potato pie, which have plenty of vitamins A and C. In fact, vitamin A keeps your gums healthy and builds a hard enamel. The problem is when tons of sugar is involved. Candied yams topped with marshmallows or sugary pies with whipped cream aren’t that great for your pearly whites, so eat in moderation and drink water!
Don’t Eat Too Much Starch
We know—those mashed potatoes are to die for but watch out. While potatoes are a crucial source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, the heavy amount of starch turns into sugar, making your mouth a breeding ground for cavities. Cover your mashed potatoes in gravy, and the food becomes even more unhealthy, but don’t skip this side dish entirely. Eat in moderation and be ready to brush and floss after your Thanksgiving dinner. The same rules apply to heavenly mac and cheese. While cheese and milk have calcium to strengthen your teeth, the macaroni pasta has plenty of starch, just like potatoes.
For more dental tips from Dr. Andres de Cardenas and our team, check out the rest of our blog. Don’t forget to contact us to schedule an appointment!