Thanksgiving is a time when most people are busy planning festive meals for their friends and families. While getting ready for the holiday season, preparing all the meals and planning for the family, tooth health is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. (not ours)
While we have always heard and associated sugar with dental cavities, there is only some truth to that. Bacteria that can cause dental cavities thrive on simple carbohydrates, like sugar, bread, crackers, chips, pretzels, etc. When bacteria consume those simple carbohydrates that we love so much, they produce acid and that acid starts causing cavities on teeth. But no one wants to eat a blended green meal for the Holidays! So moderation and smart choices are the key to avoid harming our teeth here.
Enjoy the holiday feast but keep these tips in mind:
- Don’s add sugar where you don’t need it. For example, forgo the extra marshmallows on the already naturally sweet Sweet potatoes. Try using fresh green beans instead of canned vegetables that have so much added sugar or salt. Most fruits are naturally sweet, trying adding spices like cinnamon to our apple or pumpkin pie and getting rid of some of the added sugar.
- Eat all the turkey you want. Turkey is rich in protein and an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals like phosphorus which is actually really good for tooth development.
- Try baked pumpkins with cinnamon and a little bit of butter. Or add pumpkin seeds to your dishes. Pumpkin is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, fiber and Zinc. All these are your mouth’s best friends because they promote flow of saliva, maintain a good immune system, create strong enamel, and promote gum healing.
- Fresh Cranberries please! Cranberries can reduce the damage caused by cavity-causing bacteria because they disturb the glucan forming and sticking process. So don’t take away this benefit by using a can of sugary cranberry. Use Fresh ones.
- Fresh carrots, celery and apples contain Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with flow of saliva, which in turn washes bacteria away and also keps in healing gums. They Also work as little tooth scrubbers!
- Drink water with your meal instead of juice and sodas.
Prevention is also key! Schedule a check up with your Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentist to make sure the kids don’t have existing cavities or oral problems that can ruin a great holiday season by causing toothache.