Thanksgiving is almost here! This is the time of year to catch up with family, and to reflect on all you have to be grateful for. Plus, it’s a time to feast on a variety of delicious foods, some of which are not the healthiest choices. You don’t have to sacrifice an enjoyable holiday to still pay attention to your dental care. Here are five tips to maintaining your healthy smile while enjoying a happy holiday.
- Keep meal time to a reasonable timeframe. Long lingering meals result in continuous exposure to the acids in food, allowing cavity-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. Think about finishing the meal, and then focus on playing games, sharing stories, or watching movies instead of non-stop nibbling.
- Stay Hydrated. It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water, but especially when you’re eating lots of rich, sweet foods. Staying hydrated can help wash away debris and prevent plaque formation. In addition to providing a light rinse for your mouth between bites, drinking water helps improve your saliva flow, which further fights cavities. Water is also an excellent replacement for more damaging drink options like juice or soda.
- Brush and floss. Remember your dental hygiene on Thanksgiving. If you are at home, remember to brush and floss after you’ve finished eating. If you are at a friend or family member’s home, a quick rinse of your mouth in the restroom will help reduce bacteria on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum is also a good way to wipe away leftover food particles, improve your saliva flow, and assist with your digestion.
- Ditch the sticky stuff. Offenders like cranberry relish, pecan pie and mashed potatoes are acidic, sweet, and stick to your teeth for hours to come, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to infect your gums and eat through your enamel. If one of these is your favorite, just make sure you swish with water after eating and brush your teeth to wipe away the gummy remains.
- Make a post-holiday cleaning appointment. We all know the holiday season can be bad for your weight, but the desserts and long meals are also tough on your teeth. If you’re concerned about caries or gum disease, simply call our office to schedule an appointment. Our hygiene team is on standby to scrub your teeth back to perfection. That way, you can avoid any issues before they become uncomfortable or costly.
Having beautiful, healthy teeth is certainly something to be thankful for this holiday season. And we are very grateful to all of you, our wonderful patients!
As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.
All the best,