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Keep Your Thanksgiving Teeth-Friendly with These Three Tips

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — gentledentistry @ 10:47 pm

Thanksgiving is that special time when we gather together, share a delicious meal, and call to mind all the things we have to be thankful for. When you sit down with your friends and relatives this year, you should take some time to remember all the good your teeth do for you. Here are three tips from your dentist that will keep your feast tasty and teeth-healthy.

You Don’t Need So Much Sugar and Starch

With the traditional turkey and roasted vegetables, a Thanksgiving spread can have plenty of foods that are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals that can help keep your teeth healthy and strong. However, some items in the feast are not so great for your dental health. Foods like pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato casserole can be full of sugars that feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

While mashed potatoes and green bean casserole are not known for being sweet, they can be heavy on starches. When exposed to the enzymes in your mouth, starch breaks down into the same sugar that allows these harmful oral bacteria to rapidly multiply and excrete cavity-causing acid. It’s not that you can’t have any of these sugary or starchy delicacies. Just be sure to enjoy them in moderation and wash them down with plenty of water so they spend as little time in contact with your teeth as possible.

Watch Out for Food That Can Stain Your Teeth

What do cranberry sauce, wine, and coffee all have in common? They are heavy on pigments that can stain your teeth. When you consume items such as these, these pigments can become trapped in your enamel and cause unsightly discoloration in your teeth that can be difficult to remove. When enjoying these items, be sure to drink plenty of water to help wash them down and take care to not overindulge.

Practice Proper Oral Hygiene Afterward

Even if you have the most teeth-friendly diet in the world, you’ll still need to practice excellent oral hygiene in order to keep your smile healthy in the long run. At least thirty minutes after dinner, you’ll want to brush your teeth using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Each brushing session should last two minutes. Be sure to clean every surface of your teeth using gentle, circular strokes.

After brushing, flossing can eliminate plaque and food debris from between your teeth. Take a length of floss and slide it into the gap before using an up-and-down and back-and-forth motion on either side. Repeat this process between every pair of teeth in your smile. After this, rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash can kill more than 99% of the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.

In addition to practicing excellent oral hygiene, your teeth need you to stay on top of regular dental appointments so your dentist can advise you on dental care and address issues in their early stages. This way, you can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast while keeping your teeth healthy for years to come.

About the Practice

Gentle Dentistry Sparta provides high-quality dental care to patients in Sparta, NJ. Led by Drs. Zelia Cannon and James Shahinian, the friendly and caring dental team strives to exceed expectations while creating a warm and comfortable environment. Areas of expertise include general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule a dental appointment for after Thanksgiving, contact the office online or dial (973) 729-9044.

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