4 Tips For Making Thanksgiving Dinner More Tooth Friendly

You look forward to it all year—Thanksgiving is almost here, and you can’t wait to have your favorite meal. But your joy could be dampened by cavities or other dental damage resulting from Thanksgiving dinner. Can you still revel in this holiday without harming your smile? Are there ways to make Thanksgiving dinner more tooth friendly? Keep reading to learn four!

Avoid Grazing

Thanksgiving usually involves quite a bit of overeating, but that doesn’t mean you need to have something every 10 minutes throughout the day. Continued exposure to foods, particularly sugar and starch, increases the risk of tooth decay. Try to stick to designated eating times to keep this risk to a minimum. If you do end up snacking a little, be sure to drink water afterward to help rinse away bits of food and plaque.

Limit Sugar and Starches

Although it’s hard to control yourself when you smell that sweet pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes, these foods come with a higher likelihood of getting cavities. Sugary and starchy foods give oral bacteria prime fuel, allowing them to make eroding acids. Before you begin the meal, be cognizant of your portion sizes and try to limit the amount of sugar you consume in order to protect your teeth.

Don’t Let Sticky Foods Stay

Some of the most common Thanksgiving foods are rather sticky—marshmallows on sweet potatoes, candied pecans, and more. Not only do these foods tend to have a lot of sugar content, but they also can be more difficult to remove from your teeth. As a result, if you have one of these, you may want to brush your teeth afterward so that damaging plaque doesn’t adhere to your teeth.

Be Careful with Hard Foods

With hard candies, popcorn, and nuts, you have many opportunities to potentially harm your teeth. If you’re not careful, you could chip or crack a tooth on these hard foods, or a hard bit could become lodged between your teeth. When eating hard foods, be sure you aren’t biting into a piece that won’t be chewed easily, such as a popcorn kernel. Exercising some caution could spare you the pain and aggravation of a dental emergency during the festivities.

In the end, you don’t have to forego everything you love about Thanksgiving dinner; however, being aware and more deliberate about what and how much you eat can enable you to enjoy your meal but also keep your smile in good condition. That way, you will have a strong smile to be thankful for next Thanksgiving!

About the Author

Dr. Gregory Palmer has more than a d ecade of clinical experience under his belt and continues to build his skills in continuing education coursework. Although he can treat more advanced problems with CEREC same-day crowns, he encourages prevention and early treatment as much as possible. If you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Palmer, you can contact his Houston practice online or give the office a call at 713-589-5988.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.