With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, your mind is probably wandering, thinking about traveling to spend time with family and friends and remembering the things you are thankful for. As much as Thanksgiving is about family and giving thanks, it is also all about food, so it is important for your smile to have a strategy in place to keep your teeth protected. Indulging in turkey, stuffing, pies and other family favorites is expected and something you should enjoy. However, between the traveling, the food and the after dinner football, your teeth may be exposed to harmful elements. The following tips will help to protect your teeth, without spoiling your fun.
Traveling for Thanksgiving
One of the most important things you can do for a healthy smile is visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and an examination. So, before packing up the car and heading off to spend time with family, schedule a dental appointment. This will ensure your teeth are ready to encounter the sweet and acidic foods that are often a part of the Thanksgiving meal. Brushing after a meal will help to reduce your risk for cavities, so when packing, do not forget to keep your toothbrush handy, in fact this may be the perfect time to replace your toothbrush with a new one, but be sure to get a soft bristle, soft bristles are better for the enamel on your teeth.
A Bountiful Feast
Thanksgiving traditions often center around enjoying a hearty meal with loved ones. Not only is it nice to share a meal with loved ones, but did you know that when you sit down to a bountiful feast, not only will it be delicious, but in moderation, it can also be healthy for your teeth and gums. Many of the traditional Thanksgiving foods include nutrients and vitamins that are essential for your oral health. Some of the foods that will help keep your teeth strong and healthy include:
- Turkey which is high is phosphorus. Phosphorous can help to rebuild and re-mineralize teeth and bones of the jaw.
- Cranberries contain flavonoids, which can prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and forming plaque. Many cranberry side dishes contain large amounts of sugar, so don’t hold back, but eat them in moderation.
- Sweet potatoes, which are filled with a host of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins A, B6 and C.
- Winter and green vegetables are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, which are important for healthy gums and reducing the risk of periodontal disease.
- Pumpkin pies are packed with calcium and vitamin C, which is important for developing teeth, bone maintenance and gum health. Remember, pies are typically high in sugar, so remember to brush about 30 minutes after eating.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to keep up with your usual oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and floss between meals and rinse with water after snacks. It is also helpful to chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks to help minimize a buildup on your teeth.
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