Thanksgiving arrives this week, signaling the start of a cherished holiday season filled with both giving and receiving.
Thanksgiving is not only a good time to think about others, but also a time to think about our own oral health and overall health.
Here’s some advice from Western Dental to help your mouth and gums stay healthy during this festive period when the tendency is to indulge ourselves in food choices that we frequently resist throughout the year.
- Don’t Forget about Nutrition: Sugar is the enemy, not only for dental reasons, but also because childhood obesity is such a big concern. Whether it’s pumpkin pie or a marshmallow-topped yam casserole, Thanksgiving dinner can be a delight for your sweet tooth. But all that sugar also becomes a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. TIP: If you’re cooking, consider swapping sugar for substitutes like xylitol or erythritol – sweeteners that don’t cause decay.
- Veggies & Salad: We all love turkey, filling and sweet potatoes, but make sure to balance your Thanksgiving meal by including vegetables and salads. TIP: Red and orange veggies are usually high in vitamin C (good for gums), while leafy green vegetables are a great calcium source for strong teeth.
- Walk It Off: Take a post-meal walk before having that piece of pumpkin pie. TIP: A light lunch or breakfast is a good idea, and so is getting in a workout before Thanksgiving dinner.
- Holiday Dental Visits: Holiday weeks are the perfect time to visit the dentist. Kids are out of school, and many dental offices have available appointments. And, as Black Friday approaches, look for deals on dental work and orthodontics.
- Preventative Steps: Drinking water intermittently helps keep sugar and food particles from resting in the grooves of your teeth. It’s important to maintain good habits by brushing the teeth thoroughly and flossing before going to bed.