Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, the holidays can be incredibly tough on your teeth. While the holidays not only mean getting to spend time with family and friends, it also means eating tons of irresistible food that not only affects your waistline but your teeth and gums as well. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental would like to provide you with the following tips to remember this Thanksgiving to keep you out of the dental chair in the future.
Brush & Floss Throughout the Day
While it’s something most of us do on a daily basis, brushing and flossing your teeth throughout the day on Thanksgiving will ensure your mouth stays fresh, clean, and healthy. While this won’t completely prevent tooth decay altogether, brushing and flossing will reduce the plaque buildup that results in cavities. Furthermore, flossing at least three times during Thanksgiving day will help remove small food particles that can cause additional dental problems. At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists recommend brushing your teeth a half-hour after eating, drinking lots of water, and chewing some xylitol gum to help keep your teeth clean. Also, if you’re traveling, make sure to pack your toothbrush and some dental floss.
Stick to the Healthy Stuff
If you’re worried about your oral health on Thanksgiving, it’s safe to stick to the healthy stuff like turkey, sweet potatoes, and veggies. Turkey contains phosphorous, which strengthens teeth and bones when combined with calcium and vitamin D. Sweet potatoes contain vitamins A, C, and B6, which are good for your teeth. However, it’s essential to avoid them if they are covered in sugar and marshmallows. If you plan on eating out instead, many restaurants provide healthier Thanksgiving dishes than what you might make at home. Additionally, carrots, sugar snap peas, and Brussel sprouts are all packed with vitamins that can give you healthier teeth and gums. Just remember to brush your teeth after eating to remove leftover food particles and plant sugars, which can result in plague and tooth decay.
Take it Easy on Sugary Treats
Take it easy on sugary treats as much as possible. Sugar is the number one enemy for your teeth. Cranberry sauce is also damaging to your teeth. However, fresh cranberry sauce contains significantly less sugar, and the flavonoids in cranberries can help prevent plaque buildup while reducing harmful bacteria from developing.
Other sugary foods like pies and candies should be avoided. Things like pecan pie and peanut brittle can be your teeth’s worst nightmare. These sugars stick to your teeth longer and can foster bacteria that eat through tooth enamel. If you can’t resist these foods altogether, make sure to limit your intake and drink plenty of water while brushing your teeth throughout the day.
Schedule a Routine Dental Appointment
Having unhealthy or damaged teeth can greatly take away from your upcoming holiday experience. Problems with your teeth and gums can get worse if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s essential to schedule a routine dental appointment before the holidays. This is especially true if you have existing dental problems. These problems can worsen over the holidays, making it prudent to have them addressed before the end of the year so you can use your dental insurance benefits wisely before everything resets on January 1st. More importantly, your appointment can include a routine cleaning. Even if you brush and floss your teeth regularly, some bacteria and plaque can remain. A visit to the Boise dentists at Summit Dental Group is a great way to start the new year.
Summit Dental Group
At Summit Dental, our Boise dentists want to provide you with the best dental tips to keep your teeth healthy this Thanksgiving Day. We are also so very thankful for all our wonderful patients throughout the Treasure Valley that we have had the privilege of knowing and treating over the years. If you would like more information, contact our downtown office at (208) 345-8962 or fill out our online form to make an appointment. Happy Thanksgiving!