Dental Ups and Downs on Thanksgiving Meals
Thanksgiving is here! This holiday is filled with loved ones, both family and friends, as you enjoy and cherish the quality time this time of year. As you sit around the table full of delicious foods and drinks, we only ask you to keep your dental health in mind. Some of your favorite Thanksgiving meals are also the most harmful to your teeth, gums, and overall dental health, so our Elmhurst family dentist wants to ensure your smile is the best it can be during this busy season.
Below, we’ll dive into the Thanksgiving items that are best to avoid, as well as some of the other tasty options that are beneficial for your smile! If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask us.
Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid
A common, delicious staple in a Thanksgiving meal, stuffing is made in all kinds of varieties. Unfortunately, the main ingredient is starch, which is full of sugary carbohydrates that can cling to your teeth. This is more difficult to get away from your teeth, so if it hangs around for too long, you’ll have built-up bacteria in your mouth that leads to cavities. It’s important to drink water after enjoying stuffing as to not allow the bacteria to linger.
Sometimes, nothing is better than catching up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a long time! Enjoying a glass of wine or a beer during this time is perfectly fine but be sure to keep an eye on the amount of consumption. Alcohol dehydrates you, which reduces saliva production, and breaks down the enamel on your teeth that is protecting the nerves in the dentin. In between a glass of beer or wine, enjoy a refreshing water!
This time of year may be the only time you’ll get to enjoy your favorite dessert, but moderation is important! Sweets like apple pie, ice cream, brownies, and cookies are all dangerous for your dental health, and could easily give you a few cavities if you’ve been in indulging far more than usual during the holidays. Be sure to wash your desserts down with water and enjoy them sparingly.
Thanksgiving Food to Enjoy
Thank goodness! The main course of your Thanksgiving meal can be enjoyed without worrying about your smile! There’s no starch or sugar, and turkey also contains a significant amount of vitamin D, which encourages strength for your enamel. Just be sure to watch the additional gravy added on top!
While this is no surprise, there are numerous enjoyable sides to enjoy during your Thanksgiving dinner. Vegetables like carrots, celery, corn, green beans are all beneficial in their own way and simply tasty!
Don’t worry – desserts aren’t completely banned from your Thanksgiving meal! Pumpkin pie has a lot of beneficial calcium, as well as some vitamin C. Be careful of the amount of ice cream and whipped cream you put on top, though!
If you’re overdue for a dental cleaning, be sure to schedule an appointment with our Elmhurst family dentist before the rest of your year’s schedule is full. Give us a call today and our front desk staff will assist you in picking the best date and time for your cleaning, exam, and x-ray.