A Thankful Smile: Ways to Care for Your Teeth at Thanksgiving
November 5, 2020
Do you enjoy being able to eat your favorite foods without being in pain? Do you feel confident talking to family and friends around the dinner table? Ensuring you have optimal holiday oral health in North Sarasota this year is important, especially if you want to ring in 2021 with a photo-worthy smile. A local dentist shares a few ways you can curb the sweets, up your oral hygiene game, and feel great about your pearly whites when enjoying time with the ones you love this holiday season.
Keep Your Dental Floss Nearby
While you may abide by the rule of flossing your teeth before you go to bed, it’s time to make flossing a more integrated task throughout your Thanksgiving Day. Why? Let’s face it, there’s a good chance you and your family will be snacking on and off until the big meal. To keep bacteria and food particles from gathering and burrowing into the crevices of your smile throughout the day, make sure you’re flossing after every meal. If you’re like many families, you may eat earlier in the day before bringing it back out for dinner that night. No matter how your festivities commence, just be sure to keep the floss nearby and plaque-causing bacteria out.
Eat More Protein
Who doesn’t love grandma’s homemade rolls? And what about that piled-high bowl of mashed potatoes? When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, the sides often take the spotlight away from the turkey or ham, but if you want to avoid incorporating too much starch and sugar, it’s best to fill up on protein and prevent potential tooth decay and gum disease. Although they may taste delicious, you could be faced with harmful food particles sticking to your teeth. As a result, it will break down and eat away at your tooth enamel, making you a likely candidate for a dental filling or crown after the holidays.
Choose Water Over Wine
If you’re offered a glass of wine to enjoy with your Thanksgiving meal, it’s best if you say, “no thank you” and instead, opt for water. Not only will it flush out the toxins in your body, but it will also keep your salivary glands working at an optimal level, ensuring any foods you consume will be washed away. Alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which creates a haven for food particles and bacteria to spread. By drinking plenty of water, you can worry less about your teeth and gums.
Pass on the Sugar
It might not be easy to pass on this year’s pumpkin pie, but if you want your smile to look its best going into 2021, you might want to skip the sugar. Tooth decay, gum disease, and plenty of other common dental problems love breeding on the remnants of candies, cookies, cakes, and pie. Because sugar is the main ingredient, it can spell disaster for your teeth and gums. If you simply must have a slice of your mother’s pecan pie, make sure a glass of water is nearby to help wash it down.
Thanksgiving is a time for great food and good company. No matter if you keep it small or enjoy the day with family and friends, keep these helpful tips in mind, so you can continue to be grateful for a healthy, beautiful smile.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman is a dentist in North Sarasota who attended dental school in Baltimore, Maryland, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He then went on to complete an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. At Parkway Ridge Dental, he and his team want you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving, but they also want you to be mindful of how the foods you eat can help and hinder your smile. To avoid the potential for a dental emergency or post-holiday dental filling or crown, contact us at (941) 358-8830 to find out a few helpful tips.