Thanksgiving is coming up, which typically means you’ll be seeing more family and eating a lot more food in one sitting. With celebrations like these, it’s easy to get carried away and let your oral care routine go by the wayside. That means you just might develop cavity by December if you aren’t careful.
With this in mind, a dentist in North Naples wanted to highlight a few foods that are safe to eat and enjoy, as well as give tips to protect you and your family’s oral health.
What Foods are Safe to Eat During Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving always involves a large number of foods to choose from, but which ones should you eat if you want to protect your oral health? Instead of drinking soda, eating starch-rich stuffing or dried fruits and pies, consider the following alternatives:
- Cheese and Yogurt – These are both great sources of calcium and nutrients that also work to prevent cavities. This is often the case for many dairy products, just make sure to drink water to prevent dry mouth.
- Turkey – Don’t worry, you don’t have to go cold turkey when it comes to the Thanksgiving staple. It contains large amounts of protein and phosphorus, which when combined with calcium creates vitamin D. This vitamin is essential to strengthening bone and teeth.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – If you’re looking for an alternative to sweets, fresh pears and cranberries are great sources of vitamin C and contain far less sugar than traditional desserts. Raw veggies like carrots and celery work to clean the surface of teeth and increase saliva production.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin contains essential vitamins like potassium, vitamin A and calcium, which work to strengthen tooth enamel and bone mineral density and promote healthy gums.
The Best Oral Care Tips During Thanksgiving
Staying on top of your oral care routine is key during the holidays, not just maintaining a healthy diet. To avoid tooth decay and the early stages of gum disease, make sure that your toothbrush is easily accessible so you can brush after meals. This is particularly important if you intend on traveling during the holiday.
You should always brush and floss after a meal, but depending on the food you just ate, it may be better to wait 20 to 30 minutes before you do. If you just ate foods with large amounts of sugar or acidic ingredients, it can soften enamel.
How to Help Your Family Members
Getting the family involved is a great way to hold each other accountable, especially for older and younger family members. Partner up with one of your family members so you can remind each other when it’s time to brush. It’s like having a workout buddy, which has been shown to make establishing healthy habits easier. Keep track of each other’s oral health goals, such as brushing twice a day, brushing after meals and avoiding foods you know will cause dental disease.
Thanksgiving is always worth celebrating, but your teeth shouldn’t have to suffer. Schedule an appointment today to ensure your oral health is in good shape throughout the holidays.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Makram earned his dental degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He’s always working to help patients maintain their oral health, regardless of the season, and provide the highest quality of dentistry possible. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.