Thanksgiving is the time of the year when families come together, enjoy delicious food, share happy moments, and reflect on the blessings they should be thankful for. From delightful cookies and pies to savory stuffing and roast Turkey, all the foods we love to enjoy on this holiday are part of this festive season. While these carbohydrate-rich and fatty foods are irresistibly tasty and delicious, they can also be, unfortunately, bad for our teeth.
This year, when you sit with your family to enjoy the festivities, take note of what these foods can do to your teeth. You may not necessarily be able to avoid them altogether but let’s take a look at how the traditional Thanksgiving foods affect our dental health, and how we can enjoy a dental-friendly Thanksgiving holiday this year.
No thanksgiving holiday is complete without a roast Turkey! While this tasty main course is packed with proteins, it is also difficult to eat as the fibers may get stuck between your teeth and may cause gum inflammation. Do not worry; we are not suggesting that you should not enjoy Turkey! Instead, we recommend that you brush your teeth thoroughly and use a floss to clean the tight spaces between your teeth after the meal.
2. Dried Foods
Dried fruits, nuts, and raisins are an essential component of the Thanksgiving dinner. They do not seem to be harmful to our teeth, right? Right? Unfortunately, the dried fruits may not be as tooth-friendly as we may think. This is because when the fresh fruits are dried, the natural sugar content inside them becomes even more concentrated. Not only this, since these fruits are sticky, they tend to stick to our teeth for a longer time and may cause teeth cavities. Therefore, it is recommended that you eat them in moderation, and brush and floss immediately afterward.
3. Macaroni and Cheese
A Thanksgiving holiday is incomplete if Mac and Cheese are not on the table! But did you know that cheese is good for your teeth? Cheese and other milk products contain a protein called casein that helps prevent teeth cavities. So, Macaroni and cheese should be ok, right? Unfortunately, no! while cheese may be good for your teeth, pasta, spaghetti, and macaroni are rich in fats and carbohydrates – ingredients that are not good for your teeth, as they remain stuck to your teeth. Therefore, to prevent your teeth and oral health, you should enjoy this food in moderation, and do not forget to brush and floss!
4. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Potatoes are rich in essential vitamins and other nutrients. Therefore, when taken in moderation, they are good for our teeth and our health. However, potatoes are also a rich source of carbohydrates, which are notorious for causing teeth cavities. When topped up with gravy, mashed potatoes may become harmful to your teeth. But, then again, Thanksgiving only comes once in a year! There is no harm in enjoying the potatoes as long as you clean your teeth afterward.
5. Cookies and Pies
It is hard to resist the delicious cookies and pies served at the Thanksgiving dinners. Enjoying these sweet delights once after the dinner may not be as harmful to your teeth, as frequent intakes. The more frequently you eat sugars, the more vulnerable your teeth become to teeth cavities. Therefore, in addition to taking it easy on the sweets, you must also limit the frequency of their intake.
The Tooth Friendly Foods!
Now that we have learned about foods that may be harmful to our oral health, here are some tooth-friendly and equally delicious meals that you can serve to your guests during this festive season:
The Drinks – fizzy and alcoholic drinks are bad for your teeth, as they are acidic, and they tend to promote the development of teeth cavities. Furthermore, they contain dangerously high sugar content, which is not only harmful to your teeth but can also affect your physical health as well. So, what is the alternative? We recommend iced tea! It is not only tasty, but green or black tea is also helpful in fighting teeth cavities. Moreover, tea is also good for the heart and also helps in reducing weight.
The Appetizers – while your guests are waiting for the dinner to be ready, serve them with fresh vegetables, nuts, and cheese. The vegetables are rich in essential nutrients and vitamins, and they also serve as natural toothbrushes by cleaning the surfaces of your teeth. The nuts, though hard, can stimulate the salivary glands to release more saliva, which is helpful in bathing and cleaning the teeth. Finally, cheese, as discussed earlier, provides an excellent anti-cavity effect.
The Main Course – there is no harm in eating as much Turkey or chicken as you like! You can make your dinner even healthier by Sautéing your favorite vegetables in sesame oil, which has been proven highly effective in preventing teeth cavities when used as a substitute for mouthwash.
The Desserts – this year, let us cut down on the artificial sugars. Why not serve your guests with fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon? Not only these natural foods rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, they are also useful in neutralizing the acidity inside the oral cavity, thereby preventing teeth cavities.
This year, protect yourself from teeth cavities and periodontal problems by switching to tooth-friendly foods for the Thanksgiving festivities. Healthy teeth and a beautiful smile are some of the biggest blessings of mother nature. Let us be thankful for them!