Protecting Your Teeth and Gums During Thanksgiving Dinner

November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we come together with family and friends to feast and give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives. At American Dental, we are thankful to have the opportunity to provide superior dental care to the residents of the Chicagoland area. If you need a dentist in Southside Chicago or anywhere else nearby, you can trust us to give you the best care. Today, we would like to share some tips with you that will help you protect your teeth and gums during your Thanksgiving dinner.

Know Your Thanksgiving Foods

While any food you eat can foster the growth of mouth bacteria whose byproducts can damage tooth enamel and delicate gum tissue, some can be more damaging than others. You don’t necessarily have to avoid these foods, but a bit of moderation and planning can prevent them from contributing to oral health conditions. Acidic foods like cranberry sauce or salad dressing can damage the enamel, and red wine can stain your teeth. Sweet Thanksgiving foods like candied yams and pumpkin pie will provide an ideal environment for bacterial colonies to grow. If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, consider limiting your intake of these types of foods and drinks.

Plan Ahead for Oral Health Care

Of course, protecting your teeth during Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean foregoing your holiday favorites; with a little planning, you can indulge without causing any damage. We suggest bringing a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss or floss picks. Foods like turkey and ham can easily become stuck in between the teeth where they will encourage bacterial growth in the spaces where cavities are most likely to occur. If you get food stuck in your teeth, it’s best to remove it using floss as soon as possible – just be sure to excuse yourself from the table before you start flossing!

Brush Your Teeth After Eating

We recommend brushing your teeth after eating to remove sugar and plaque buildup, but at Thanksgiving, it’s especially important. That’s because you’re more likely to be consuming excessive amounts of sugar during the holiday season. Cookies, apple cider, and pumpkin pie are all delightful treats, just remember to care for your teeth by brushing after you eat. When you’re finished eating, a quick visit to the bathroom will give you the opportunity to clean your teeth so you won’t have to worry about cavities or plaque buildup.

Visit Your Dentist Twice Per Year

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can take a vacation from your oral health routine. No matter what time of year, be sure to brush twice daily, floss once a day, use mouthwash and schedule a dental appointment every 6 months. If you are looking for a general dentist in Chicago, you can click the “Make an Appointment” button right here on our website to schedule a consultation today. We have 7 locations in the Chicago area to serve you, and we can help make sure the holiday season doesn’t do too much damage to your teeth and gums.

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