There’s no feeling quite as warm and fuzzy as sitting down to a magnificent Thanksgiving feast with all your loved ones. But we’ve all heard the age-old adage about too much of a good thing, and moderation is key for certain foods when it comes to your pearly white smile. There are also some quick and easy steps to prevent future oral health issues so that you can still enjoy a delicious holiday meal without sacrificing your smile.

It’s okay to indulge in treats like sugary foods and wine. For the most part, all you need to do to protect your teeth this holiday is simply floss and brush after the meal. We also recommend drinking water throughout dinner to dilute the acids and sugars that would otherwise stick to your teeth. As a bonus, drinking water during your meal will also help fill you up so that you avoid over-eating. For additional tips and tricks, Dr. Coates suggests some extra (and optional!) steps you can take to help protect your teeth this Thanksgiving.

Do I Have to Quit Sugar?

You may be wondering if good dental health requires a complete removal of sugar from your diet. After all, who hasn’t heard that sugar is bad for the teeth? And many traditional Thanksgiving desserts are particularly high in sugars, such as pecan pie – which has 31g of sugar per slice, and its pecans can easily get wedged in your teeth.

However, as long as you brush and floss after your meal, you’ve taken the most important steps to protecting your teeth. If you’re worried, you can switch to less sugary alternatives such as the tried-and-true classic of the season, pumpkin pie. Remember to drink water as well, to help wash away the sugars sticking to your teeth. You can enjoy another drink such as wine or juice at the same time, and just use water to rinse and cleanse your palate.

Is Turkey Good for My Teeth?

Not only is this staple of Thanksgiving delicious, but it’s also healthy for your teeth. The phosphorus it contains mixes with calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your pearly whites! However, try to avoid scraping your teeth against any bones. Too much gnawing can end up chipping a tooth, or possibly cause fillings or crowns to loosen.

Skip an unnecessary post-holiday trip to the dentist office by cutting your meat off instead of trying to bite it directly from the sharp bone.

Should I Skip the Juice and Alcohol?

Again, there’s no need to avoid your favorite drinks. While they are high in sugar and acidity, you can still enjoy them without harming your smile as long as you brush and floss afterward. Instead of cutting out juice or alcohol altogether, just take that extra step and grab a glass of water to sip throughout your meal. This will help dilute all those sugars and acids that get stuck on your teeth, plus it can reduce the risk of the drink staining your teeth.

Drinking water during Thanksgiving dinner will also keep you hydrated, increase beneficial saliva production, and help you avoid over-eating.

Need More Help? Pay Us a Visit!

If you’re concerned about your dental health this holiday season, we can get your teeth back in top shape in no time at all. Dr. Stephen A. Coates, DDS, and his skilled team in Long Beach, CA can polish your pearly whites to perfection.

We are thankful for each and every one of our patients, and we can’t wait to provide you the highest quality of dental care. Schedule your consultation or appointment today!