Thanksgiving is a time for seeing family, giving thanks, and eating – eating well! However, while you’re preparing your family’s big feast, take some time to consider your dental health. We all like to indulge in our favourite delicious dishes once a year, but many Thanksgiving foods can hurt and damage our teeth. Here are some popular Thanksgiving dishes that you should be wary of, and others that you can fully indulge in!
Thanksgiving foods that can hurt your teeth:
As turkey’s tasty sidekick, cranberry sauce is definitely a Thanksgiving staple. However, it comes as no surprise that cranberry sauce is packed with sugars that encourage bad oral bacteria to thrive. If you do want to include cranberry sauce at your dinner table, try to make it using fresh cranberries, instead of canned.
Pies and Desserts
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without dessert, but Maple Pecan pies, Nanaimo bars, and buttery Apple Pies can all do serious damage to your teeth. While they may taste delicious, they’re full of starch and sugars that cause bacteria to chip away at the tooth enamel.
From apple and walnut to sausage and herb, people like to take their stuffing seriously! But unfortunately for our teeth, most stuffing recipes revolve around starchy bread that can create cavities and decay if left on our teeth.
Alcohol and sugary drinks
There’s nothing wrong with a glass or two of your favourite drink over the Thanksgiving weekend, but you should try to consume in moderation. Too much wine, beer and sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth. Not only can they lead to staining and discoloration, but drinks high in alcohol also dry the mouth and reduce your saliva production – which removes plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface.
Thanksgiving foods that are good for your teeth:
The star of the Thanksgiving table! Turkey is perfectly fine for teeth – so gobble up! Containing no starch or sugar, protein has phosphorus in it, which mixes with calcium and vitamin D to create strong bones and teeth.
Veggies are healthy for your body and your teeth. Chewing them causes your mouth to produce extra saliva, which helps to get rid of harmful bacteria.
In comparison with other sweet treats, pumpkin pie is full of calcium and vitamin C which helps keep gums healthy. Just make sure to eat it soon after your dinner, so you will have more saliva to wash away the leftover sugary food.
Cheese boards and nuts
Good news for all you cheese lovers out there: cheese is great for your teeth! Chewing on nuts is a great way to help your mouth produce saliva, and cheese is packed with calcium and protein which lowers the pH in your mouth and neutralizes plaque acid.
Taking care of your teeth over the Thanksgiving weekend is important. Aim to brush and floss your teeth 30 minutes after you’ve eaten, and drink plenty of water to wash away food particles in the mouth. From all of us here at Whistler Dental, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving! If you do notice tooth staining or toothache after thanksgiving, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.