By: Dr. Heather Hradek, DDS, FAGD
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is fast approaching! Before that beautiful bounty of food is spread before you, let’s discuss a few tips to keep your smile healthy while you enjoy your feast.
- Thanksgiving turkey- a staple to Thanksgiving dinner and it’s one to enjoy without fear! Turkey is loaded with phosphorus, which combines with calcium and Vitamin D to help keep your teeth and bones healthy
- Starchy sides- Cornbread, yeast rolls, corn casserole, stuffing, etc- try not to overdo it on the starchy sides. While these savory foods are not known for causing cavities, the starches in them feed the acid producing bacteria that can cause cavities, so try to mix it up with protein and fiber.
- Colorful veggies- Fill your plate with these as they are loaded with vitamin and minerals to keep your smile healthy! The red and orange veggies are loaded with vitamin C, which help promote gum health, while the leafy green veggies have lots of calcium and iron to keep your bone and teeth strong. Crunchy raw veggies from the appetizer tray help naturally clean teeth due to their fibrous nature. Avoid the veggies saturated with extra brown sugar or marshmallows though- despite being delicious, your teeth won’t like them too much.
- Brightly colored foods- tart cranberries, blueberry pie, coffee, and wine look beautiful on the table, but the bright colors may linger by causing stains on your pearly whites. Book an appointment with your hygienist afterwards to help polish away those surface stains.
- Be mindful of acid wear- Wine, cranberry juice, holiday cocktails are very acidic, which can cause your enamel to soften and become more susceptible to decay. If you can’t avoid, try to take sips of water in between to rinse away the acids more quickly or take bites of cheese or nuts, which have a higher pH to neutralize the acidic effects. Avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes afterwards indulging because the softened enamel will be more easily abraded by aggressive brushing.
- Skip the sugar- pumpkin pie, cookies, juices, and sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows not only provide a feast for your family, but also the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth! Once you’re done, follow up with a big glass of water to help rinse away the sugars more quickly. Tap water also contains fluoride, which helps reverse the starts of tooth decay!
- Appetizer plate- opt for the nuts, cheese, and crunchy raw veggies! Nuts have a higher pH which helps neutralize those other acidic foods you might be snacking on. The cheese are high in calcium to help strengthen your bone and teeth. The veggies are high in minerals and vitamins, as discussed previously, and the fibrous nature will naturally clean buildup from teeth.
We wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Chesterton Family Dental is the general dentistry office of Dr. Mystie Pieters, Dr. Heather Hradek, and Dr. Robert Pieters located in Chesterton, Indiana.