Monday, November 25, 2013

Toothy Tips For Thanksgiving Treats

Thanksgiving is just days away, and let's face it: we are all planning on eating a lot of really good food.  Some of this food is, of course, full of sugars, acids, and staining properties that can be detrimental to our dental health.  So, are we supposed to sit back and watch the family eat the pumpkin pie while we eat celery all day if we want to prevent cavities? Obviously not.  Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, friends, and good food.  In this blog, I am going to try to provide some suggestions about how to handle the holiday menu without putting your teeth at risk.

Before the big evening meal, it is customary to hang around the kitchen or watch football and graze on snacks to stave off the hunger and excitement for the real meal.  This typically involves sugary treats and high-carbohydrate snacks.  We suggest doing something different.  Between the bread, potatoes, pies, and everything else on the dinner table, you really don't need more sugar or carbs.  A tray of fruits and vegetables could do your hunger and your teeth a lot of good.  Crisp produce like carrots, apples, celery, and pickles are full of fiber and they naturally clean your teeth.  Cheese cubes are also a great addition to a grazing tray because they protect teeth from staining and are high in protein and calcium.

Cranberries are a holiday favorite and they are extremely good for your teeth and health.  But, they are typically paired with an abundance of sugar to sweeten them.  We suggest cutting that sugar in half and maybe adding some honey, which has more sweetness and is much better for you.  In preparing the deserts and even the sweet potato casserole we recommend cutting down on the use of sugar and experimenting with using honey, especially local honey.  Your treats will still be sweet and delicious and the honey will provide health benefits, while protecting your body and teeth from the damages caused by an excess of processed sugar.

Putting the PRO in Protein
Believe it or not, the protein in turkey and ham can be really good for your teeth.  Eating proteins produces saliva which will wash away stickiness caused from sugars away from your teeth.  Turkey is also high in calcium, which is great for your teeth.  To make a long story short, turkey and ham can do a lot to counteract the negative effects of all of the sweets that we eat on Thanksgiving.

Red wine, cranberries, the dye in pie fillings, and coffee are all culprits of staining our pearly whites during the holiday season.  So, do we avoid them altogether?  You can, but it is likely that you won't.  There are, however, things you can do to prevent staining.  First and foremost, rinse your mouth well throughout the day with warm water, especially before brushing.  This will help wash away stains as well as acids that can harm enamel.  Second, drink water throughout the day, especially if you are nursing a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of wine all day.  Third, eat cheese while you drink your wine.  Of course, the combination of wine and cheese is a no-brainer, because it is delicious.  It is also really a good way to protect your teeth.  Cheese puts a natural waxy coat on your teeth that act as a shield from the staining properties of wine.  Don't allow Thanksgiving to be the reason that your teeth are stained.

Brush and Floss
Simply maintaining your habits of rinsing, brushing, and flossing can go a long way to protect your teeth this Thanksgiving.  Bringing some floss in your pocket to the dinner party and rinsing well in the bathroom with warm water is a great way to clean and protect your teeth before you can get home to brush them.  We know you probably don't want to be the guy or gal that shows up with a toothbrush sticking out of your pocket, but a travel-size floss is very inconspicuous and is highly advised.

At the end of the day, we know that the foods we indulge on in the holiday season are not the best for our dental health, but there are ways that we can enjoy these treats and still be responsible stewards of our teeth and gums.  So, after reading this tips we hope you will put them to use, but even more we hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and holiday season!  At Omni Dental Group, we are thankful for our awesome clients and all that read our blogs.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

-Omni Dental Group (512)250-5012


  1. I enjoyed your blog and even getting hungry after looking at the pictures. I would also recommend to get a Checkup from dentist in Guelph and toronto for quality and a painless experience.

  2. Thanks for the post. Sometimes all we need to get some implant to reestablish our beautiful smile. But dental implants are very expensive and insurances never take all the responsibilities. In this case stand alone dental discount plans in IL can help a lot.

  3. I love these all foods, but how to floss the back of my last tooth? it's almost impossible to reach.

  4. very good article you have posted, thank you som much for sharing valuable information Best emergency Dentist Near Me,Female Dentist near me