Keep Your Thanksgiving Feast Kind to Your Teeth with These Three Tips

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — danacjones @ 10:22 pm

The annual Thanksgiving feast is full of delightful fare that is sure to please everyone at the table. While the traditional spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and the like is undoubtedly delicious, it can be harsh on your teeth if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips from your dentist to help your Thanksgiving feast be delicious without causing any cavities down the line.

Sideline the Sugar and Starch

While sugar is certainly sweet, it is also fuel for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The sweeter Thanksgiving dishes like cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie can be full of sugars that can stick to your teeth and provide these germs with the feast they need to wreak havoc on your oral health. While mashed potatoes and stuffing are renowned as hearty and delicious side dishes, they are full of starch that will break down into simpler sugars after it enters your mouth.

You might want to try alternative dishes like twice-baked sweet potatoes, apple crisp, or fruit covered in dark chocolate. You can find plenty of recipes for them on the Internet. Otherwise, enjoy these foods in moderation and chase them with plenty of water to help wash them away from your teeth.

Watch Your Wine Intake

Taking care not to drink too much wine on Thanksgiving will do more than keep you out of silly political arguments with relatives. It will also help protect your teeth. While red and white wine can be a delightful addition to the Thanksgiving feast, they are high in acid that can erode your enamel and pigments that can stain and discolor your teeth. You can help keep your teeth safe by drinking plenty of water alongside your wine to help dilute and wash away the acids, pigments, and sugars. Otherwise, you can find plenty of recipes for clear cocktails that are much less acidic while containing no pigment.

Mind the Bones in the Turkey

Turkey contains nutrients like protein and phosphorus that are essential to the health of your teeth. However, it also contains bones that your teeth are not designed to chew. Biting into a bone too forcefully or scraping your tooth against one can cause chips, cracks, or abrasion. Be mindful of your chewing when you are eating your turkey and try cutting the meat away from the bone and eating it with a fork. This will keep your teeth safe while you chow down on this tasty bird.

Dentists across America want everyone to have a fun and delicious Thanksgiving. By keeping these tips in mind, you stand to make sure you, your family, and your friends can enjoy a sumptuous feast without having to deal with any oral health problems as a result.

About the Author

Dr. Dana C. Jones earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 1991, and he continues to further his education through organizations such as the Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Studies. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, and the Academy of General Dentistry. His office in Ridgefield, CT offers preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. For more tips on having a teeth-healthy Thanksgiving, contact the office online or dial (203) 438-8919.

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