19 Nov The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth
Food and your dental health go hand-in-hand. You can eat foods that can damage your teeth right away or you can consume foods that damage your teeth over time. This Thanksgiving, before you sit down to enjoy a feast, learn which foods may harm your teeth or which might be better for them. This will help you decide what to eat, what to avoid, and what to eat in moderation. It may also help prevent a dental emergency on a day meant to be spent with family.
The Worst Thanksgiving Foods For Your Teeth
While many Thanksgiving foods and drinks taste delicious, they’re not all safe for your teeth.
Alcohol and Sugary Drinks
On Thanksgiving, people commonly drink alcohol, such as wine and sugary drinks, such as soda. Both are filled with sugars that can cause cavities. Certain drinks, such as red wine and cola, can stain your teeth as well. Limit your intake of these drinks and rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after drinking them to minimize damage.
On Thanksgiving day, starchy foods abound like bread and rolls, white potatoes and stuffing. Starchy foods glom on to your teeth and between them. If it sits too long, they can convert to sugar which can lead to cavities. Limit your starchy food intake and be sure to floss and brush your teeth after you eat.
Sticky, Sugary Foods
The final type of food that you should try to avoid or minimize your intake of on Thanksgiving is sticky, sugary foods. This is easier said than done, because dessert is a favorite part of the entire day. This includes holiday favorites such as pecan pie, dried fruits, caramel corn and cranberry sauce. Sticky foods can pull off a crown or a bridge. They can also stick to your teeth, leading to possible cavities. Avoid eating sticky foods if you have crowns or bridges, and limit your intake otherwise. Be sure to brush your teeth well after consuming sticky and sugary foods.
The Best Thanksgiving Foods For Your Teeth
Not every food that is served on Thanksgiving is bad for your teeth. Here are a few of the best foods for your teeth that are commonly served on Thanksgiving.
Turkey is the star of Thanksgiving. Fortunately for you, there’s no need to hesitate when it comes to gobbling up this Thanksgiving staple. Turkey has protein, which is good for your overall health. It also has a significant amount of Vitamin D, which helps to support the health of your tooth enamel. Strong tooth enamel helps to reduce tooth sensitivity and keeps your teeth as white as possible.
Fresh, Raw Vegetables
On Thanksgiving day, many hosts put out a vegetable tray to nibble on. Thy often include celery, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, pea pods and cucumbers. Eating fresh, raw vegetables is a great way to fill up without eating too many calories. They’re also great for your teeth. Chewing hard, crunchy vegetables helps your mouth produce more saliva, which helps to prevent dry mouth, decreases your risk of gum disease and helps to kill bacteria that can cause cavities. Fibrous vegetables also naturally rub on your teeth and brush them, removing particles left behind from other foods.
You don’t have to avoid all sugary treats on Thanksgiving day. Believe it or not, pumpkin pie is actually good for your teeth. Pumpkin pie contains a large amount of calcium and Vitamin C, both of which help your teeth to remain healthy and strong. If you are going to treat yourself and indulge in dessert this holiday, reach for a slice of pumpkin pie. Just remember to brush once you’re done!
Despite your best efforts, you can’t prevent every dental emergency. If you bite into something hard and break your tooth, or something chewy and sticky and dislodge a crown, you need to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Here at Dental Brothers, with locations in Mesa and Phoenix, we have staff on hand to help you with any dental emergencies that may pop up over the Thanksgiving holidays. Contact us anytime you have a dental emergency and need to be seen right away.