Thanksgiving is a holiday where families enjoy spending time together and celebrating. However, it may also be a holiday where families over-indulge in food and only visit their dentist when they experience tooth pain. To help you have the healthiest Thanksgiving possible, we’ve compiled some helpful tips below.
This tip may seem obvious, but failing to brush and floss consistently can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and other oral health issues. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.
You should also consider chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks to help remove food particles from between your teeth and prevent decay.
If you experience any sensitivity when brushing or flossing, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist so you can get treatment for any underlying oral conditions.
It’s easy to brush over floss – but that’s a mistake! Flossing is vital to your oral health because it removes plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so it’s important to remove it every day. If you don’t have time to floss, at least rinse your mouth with water after you’ve finished eating or drinking for the day. If decay is already present on a tooth, it’s sometimes necessary to have a filling placed before the tooth can be properly restored with either a dental crown or a dental bridge.
Thanksgiving dinners can be full of delicious foods. Unfortunately, many holiday favorites – such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese – can damage your teeth. If you eat these foods, drink plenty of water to rinse your mouth. You can also consider chewing sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to neutralize acids and protect tooth enamel.
Another way to make your favorite foods healthier is by preparing them with nutritious ingredients. For example, mashed cauliflower is a tasty alternative to potatoes. Swapping out marshmallows for pureed sweet potatoes in your sweet potato casserole is another way to lighten up your dish.
During your meal, try to eat slowly and chew thoroughly. This will help avoid food particles getting stuck between teeth or on your tongue, which can increase your risk of developing cavities. Also, be sure to use both sides of your mouth to chew, so you do not put too much pressure on one area of your gums.
If you’re worried about cavities this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to eat your apple a day! Yes, apples are healthy for your body and teeth too. Eating more fruits and vegetables helps to naturally clean your teeth as you eat. Fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber and water, which keeps your mouth hydrated and helps prevent dry mouth. A dry mouth is a major contributor to tooth decay. So, remember to eat those fruits and veggies at every meal and snack time!
Request an appointment or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 755-6684 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.