Most holidays center around celebratory eating in some way, but no holiday is more food-centric than American Thanksgiving. It’s an entire day devoted to celebrating the fact that early settlers were able to find and eat food by working with native people. When you’re sitting down to eat your third piece of pumpkin pie or a second helping of candied yams, you are probably not thinking about how these foods will impact your oral health, but you might want to. In this post, we’ll walk you through some popular Thanksgiving foods that may just help you to maintain the optimal level of oral health this holiday season. You should also make the time to keep up with your preventive dentistry with thorough at-home hygiene.
1 – Enjoy Appetizers that Keep Teeth Clean
Rather than eating a lot of carb-heavy Thanksgiving starters that will break down as sugars between your teeth, eat appetizers like cheese, raw veggies, and nuts. These are much better for oral health, and cheese is full of calcium. That makes it a great food to strengthen teeth. Eating cheese and nuts can prevent the excessive buildup of acidic plaque.
2 – Cook with Sesame Oil for Reduced Plaque Buildup
Sesame oil has been proven to reduce the stickiness of plaque. Many of the popular vegetables served at Thanksgiving like greens and green beans can be prepared using sesame oil to make these sides good for your smile health as well as your overall health.
3 – Don’t Wait too Long to Enjoy Your Pie
Studies show that if you eat a sweet as part of a regular meal, it is less likely to lead to tooth decay. Snacking and eating desserts between meals exposes your teeth to additional acid attacks that increase risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Instead, eat your desserts right after your meal to limit exposure to acidic plaque.
4 – Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is important to help you maintain overall health, but it’s also key to keeping your smile healthy. When you drink water during and after meals, you’re rinsing away stuck on foods, plaque, and bacteria to limit enamel erosion. Drinking water also stimulates the production of neutralizing saliva to keep teeth whole and healthy.
Meet Dr. Mace
Skilled Washington, MO family dentist, James G. Mace, DDS, has years of experience working with patients to achieve and maintain their healthiest smiles. If you want to learn more about keeping your smile healthy for the holidays, we’re here to help. Call to schedule an appointment with us today.