You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your teeth, but they are amazing structures. Every tooth is crucial for more than just a beautiful smile. You couldn’t enjoy your favorite foods or communicate clearly if not for your teeth. As you reflect on the past year, don’t forget to show your smile a little appreciation for Thanksgiving. Here are a few holiday oral health tips to give your teeth the gratitude they deserve.
1. Step Up Your Flossing Routine
The holidays are a busy time of year, which means it’s easy to deviate from your usual routines, like flossing before bed. Although it’s never a good idea to skip flossing, your smile depends on it now more than ever because you’ll do more snacking and enjoy a few sweet treats. The more you eat, the more likely something is going to get caught between two teeth. Keep floss in your pocket or purse to make it easy to keep your gums healthy. Instead of flossing before bed, commit to reaching for your floss after every meal.
2. Skip Sticky and Sugary Foods
Taffy, caramel apples, and other sticky treats are a staple at many family gatherings, but they aren’t good for your teeth. Candy and treats aren’t the only sugary foods that can wreak havoc on your smile. Cranberry sauce, apple pie, gravy, and other Thanksgiving favorites also increase your risk of tooth decay. Indulging in sugary or starchy foods increases your smile’s exposure to cavity-causing bacteria. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, choose a piece of chocolate over sticky candy because it’s easier to remove from your teeth. If you can’t enjoy mashed potatoes without gravy, brush your teeth well afterward.
3. Increase Your Protein
Comfort food is great in autumn, but many popular dishes contain starch. Stuffing and dinner rolls complement any meal; however, they produce acidic bacteria that can weaken your enamel. It’s better to skip the mashed potatoes. Instead, include plenty of protein on your plate, like turkey and vegetables.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Many people love a glass of wine with dinner, but alcohol can weaken your enamel, cause dry mouth, and compromise existing dental work. Water is an excellent alternative to promote a healthy mouth and body. You’ll stay hydrated while keeping your smile clean between brushing and flossing.
5. Commit to Your Oral Hygiene.
Keep your oral hygiene at the top of your priority list. Whether you’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving or hosting dinner, brush your teeth at least twice daily, and don’t forget to floss. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, don’t wait until after the holidays to see your dentist.
Keep your smile in the spotlight on Thanksgiving by giving it a little extra care.
About Dr. Kimberly Dennis
Dr. Dennis earned her dental degree at the University of Florida College of Dentistry before continuing her training to focus on oral biology and prosthodontics. She has the advanced qualifications you can trust for the most complex oral health issues. If you’re ready to invest in a healthy smile, contact our office today.