How Thanksgiving Foods Reflect on Your Smile

Thanksgiving is just one week away! As you’re planning your feast this year, keep these healthy smile tips in mind.

Tooth Enamel Staining

Your tooth enamel is porous and can soak up stains from the foods and beverages. Red wine is a fine accompaniment to ham, and it’s good for your heart. Polyphenols in wine can actually help fight S. mutans, the bacteria that cause tooth decay. However, too much red wine can mar your smile. The bold red pigment will discolor your teeth. Too much consumption of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce can have the same effect. To deter tooth staining, eat cheese before drinking or eating darkly pigmented foods. Cheese adds a protective layer of oil to tooth enamel, and the oil prevents staining.

Tooth Decay

When sugary or starchy food sticks to your teeth, you’re more susceptible to cavities. To reduce your risk for post-holiday cavities, avoid sticky sweets, like caramel and marshmallow toppings. Cranberries also contain flavonoids that can block bacteria from sticking to your teeth, which is good! You may not have the willpower or desire to avoid deserts, snacks, and grazing all day, so drink plenty of water to rinse sugars, starches, and acids from your mouth. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly about an hour after your last meal of the day.

Tooth Chipping

Many holiday foods are soft, but if you get caught up in the celebration, you could chip a tooth. Appetizers, like nuts and popcorn, can crack your teeth if you bite down too hard on a hull or kernel. You could also fracture your tooth from biting hard candy for dessert. And, before you head out for the post-dinner football game with the kids, wear your mouthguard.

If you need help with your smile, ask Dr. DeFinnis about cosmetic and restorative dental treatments. Good oral health and a beautiful smile are definitely something to be thankful for! Contact Back Mountain Dental in Trucksville, PA at 570-763-4360 to request an appointment. We welcome patients from Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the surrounding communities.

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