Excellent dental care involves more than just brushing your teeth at least twice daily and having regular cleanings at the dentist’s office – it also has to do with what you eat and drink. While Thanksgiving is a time to relax and enjoy your family feast, several traditional dishes are less than ideal for your oral health. Fortunately, there are ways to indulge in your favorites while protecting your teeth and gums. The list below explains which items are best and worst for your mouth, as well as what to do if you eat something staining, sticky, or sweet.
Dental Care Recommendations for Thanksgiving
Turkey is the star of the meal – and with good reason. The bird is savory, juicy, and contains essential nutrients consistent with oral health like protein, omega-3s, and vitamin B12. Just don’t forget to floss your teeth afterward. A water flosser or floss pick will remove stringy particles, which helps to prevent decay and cavities.
2. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is one of the most beloved Thanksgiving side dishes. Its main ingredients will give you plenty of enamel-strengthening vitamins like calcium and vitamin D. Small beans may get stuck in your teeth, however, so be sure to remove pieces of food by brushing and flossing.
3. Cranberry Sauce
It’s not Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce. But beware – its dark color can stain your teeth. It’s also sugary and acidic, which may damage your tooth enamel. Protect your mouth by enjoying small portions and drinking plenty of water to wash the fruit away. If possible, brush or rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash after you finish dinner. Opt for homemade cranberry sauce made from low-sugar recipes over the highly sweetened canned variety.
4. Sweet Potatoes & Yams
Sweet potatoes and yams contain an abundance of vitamin A. This basic nutrient is known for keeping gums healthy. To make the most of the vegetable’s dental care benefits, opt for versions that are not candied and are without marshmallows.
5. Pumpkin Pie
The vitamin A that makes sweet potatoes orange is also found in pumpkin squash. Pumpkin pie also has fewer calories and more potassium than apple pie. Still, pumpkin pie contains plenty of sugar, and most diners tend to top it with sweetened whipped cream. Finish your meal with a few sips of water to reduce your teeth’s exposure to sugar.
If you’d like a dental professional to improve your oral health during the holidays, All About Smiles Family Dental provides patients of all ages in Fulton County and Sharp County, AR, with teeth cleanings, as well as root canals and teeth whitening. Their dentists, Dr. Steven Goacher and Dr. Terry Watson, pride themselves on creating a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To make an appointment for dental care, call them at (870) 994-7645, or request a visit online. Learn about their staff and read patient recommendations on their Facebook page.