Take Care of Your Teeth at Thanksgiving and They Will Thank You

  • Jan 12 2017

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  ― William Arthur Ward


Thanksgiving is the perfect time to be thankful for the simple joys in life … about spending time with friends and family, but for many, the real focus is on the food.  It’s the one day where people feel like they have a free pass to really indulge.  Unfortunately, many of these Thanksgiving dinner and drink staples are loaded with cavity causing carbohydrates and sugars.  The good news is you can enjoy Thanksgiving and protect your teeth by planning ahead, and following the advice in this blog post.

Did you know that wine (both red & white) can be damaging to your teeth?  The natural dyes, acids, and tannins can erode your enamel and stain your teeth.  Have no fear though, we have some tips to help prevent those unsightly wine stains on your teeth.

If your first instinct is to brush your teeth right away after putting away a glass, don’t.

Brushing your teeth immediately isn’t recommended because softened teeth from the acid erosion that happens when drinking wine can be eroded further by vigorous hygiene. This goes for white wine too (it’s just not as noticeable because of the color).  Instead, drink some water after sipping on the smooth stuff to help purge the acids from your teeth.

Here are some additional quick tips to help ease the stains:
Brush your teeth before you drink:   Here’s a neat trick, if you brush your teeth an hour before wine tasting (brushing right before, may leave a bad taste in your mouth) it will help combat red wine sticking to plaque in your mouth. Smooth and clean surfaces mean fewer stains.  In addition, avoid brushing your teeth for an hour after drinking wine to help give more time for your saliva to re-mineralize your enamel.

Eat foods that strengthen your teeth:   Try to strengthen your chompers with calcium from cheese, milk and fortified cereals or Vitamin D from eggs and fish.  Get your Vitamin C from cranberries, strawberries and cauliflower.  Avoid a carbohydrate overload by selecting protein, vegetables, and fruits first.  This will leave you less room on your plate for those unhealthy options.

What you drink with the meal is just as important as what you eat. Avoid high-calorie, sugary beverages like soft drinks, juices, and sports drinks. These kinds of drinks bathe your teeth in cavity causing sugar and enamel eating acid. Sipping on water throughout the meal is your best option. Water can help to wash away any leftover food.

Drink sparkling water:   Saliva acts like a bodyguard against pesky purple stains, so don’t let your mouth dry out.  If it’s time to pose for some family photos, chug some sparkling water to help rinse away the wine before stains can set.

After eating any meal, you want to limit the amount of time these food particles are allowed to remain on your teeth.  Brushing your teeth is ideal but difficult to do if you are out and about on Thanksgiving Day as many of us are.  Plan ahead and bring a travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.

Forgot your toothbrush?  Another option would be to simply rinse your mouth out with water.  Rinsing your mouth after the meal helps dislodge some of the leftover food.  You can even use a wet wash cloth to wipe down the surface of your teeth and your tongue.  Follow up with some mouthwash for that fresh, clean feeling.

Remember, everything is best in moderation;  Contact us (619) 285-1200 or visit our website for more information on how to maintain  healthy pearly white teeth.

Please click on the credit links to read more about this topic from these websites:  here and here 


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Posted in: General Dentistry, Hygiene, Oral Care