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How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner Tooth-Friendly

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A family having a healthy Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, you’re likely eager for good holiday foods. Turkey and ham are obvious ones, but maybe you also want green beans or mashed potatoes. Still, you’d do well to make Thanksgiving healthy for your teeth. All that eating will do a number on your grin otherwise. Luckily, crafting a tooth-friendly Turkey Day dinner isn’t hard. To do so, simply use these four dental tips from your local Fairfax dentist.

Limit Your Red Wine or Juice

Usually, you may drink red wine or fruit juice on Thanksgiving. Some families even view the beverages as holiday traditions. For the sake of your teeth, though, try to limit your intake.

In reality, red wine and fruit juice are both bad for grins. Their acids could easily break down your tooth enamel. Worse, the wine’s alcohol content may dry your saliva. Harmful oral bacteria would then get a chance to cause gum disease or worse.

Avoid Sugar & Starches

Many Thanksgiving desserts are well-known – pies, cakes, cobblers, etc. However, give serious thought to avoiding them this year. They won’t do your smile any good.

To be clear, holiday sweets often have loads of sugar. This carb attracts bad bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay. Adding insult to injury, it also causes plaque to gather on your chompers. Given these facts, either avoid Thanksgiving treats or clean your mouth well afterward.

Be Careful of Hard, Sharp Foods

Before a Thanksgiving meal, some families snack on hard and sharp foods. These items have a satisfying crunch that holds you over until lunch or dinner. Even so, it’s best to be careful if you chow down on them.

Despite being tasty, hard and sharp foods are risky for your mouth. Examples like popcorn, chips, and peanuts can stab your gums and get stuck between teeth. In rare cases, bits of these products could also lodge themselves in your dentures or braces. Needless to say, then, chew them gently and keep dental floss handy.

Only Eat at Designated Times

In oral care, you may think food type matters more than quantity. That said, this idea doesn’t hold water. How much you eat is just as crucial as what you eat.

You see, eating extra Thanksgiving food can harm your oral health. Doing so exposes your teeth and gums to more “leftovers” that can cause plaque. From there, you’d be at greater risk of dental issues – cavities, tooth infections, and worse. Therefore, avoid mindless snacking by sticking to designated mealtimes.

Clearly, it pays to make Thanksgiving healthy for your teeth. That being the case, use the tips above so your smile stays healthy during the holiday!

About the Practice

Fairfax Dental Group is based in Fairfax, VA. Led by Drs. Marjun Ayati and Brenda J. Young, our practice seeks to give each patient stellar smiles. To that end, we offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as emergency dental care. Our office also prides itself on being a certified provider of Invisalign® clear aligners. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (703)-560-6301.