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With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking ahead.  I don’t know about you but I’m exciting at the prospect of endless turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies, rolls, and let’s not forget the best part: pies galore.  Unfortunately, the majority of Thanksgiving Dinner is loaded with carbohydrates and sweets – things that can make your teeth less than thankful.  I’ve compiled a list to help you make right choices for your teeth while still being able to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal to the fullest – you can thank me later.

1. Avoid sticky, chewy foods.
Stay away from eating these types of food because typically these foods take longer to chew which means that they stay in your mouth longer than other foods.  This will increase your chance to develop cavities and other dental issues.

2. Keep snacking to a minimum.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is gathering together with my family and enjoying the wide variety of appetizers/snacks before dinner is served.  Unfortunately, this will wreak havoc on your teeth.  All of those yummy, sweet snacks are actually a bath full of acids and bacteria that will eat away at your enamel.  Instead, snack on raw fresh veggies, cheese, and nuts which will all help your teeth.  Another idea is to bring some board games and have everyone’s attention focused on playing a game together and off of snacking.

3. Balance your plate.
The good news here is that you can still have all of the “good stuff” this Thanksgiving – think turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.  The key is moderation.  Be mindful of what you’re putting on your plate.  Balance any foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars with food that is healthier in order to keep your teeth healthy such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. Stay hydrated.
While you should generally keep hydrated on a day to day basis, it’s even more important on a day where you will be consuming a lot of rich and sweet foods.  By choosing to drink water over wine, soda, and coffee, you are taking one more step towards preventing cavities.  Drinking water throughout the day will help to wash away all of the plaque-building bacteria and will help you to produce more saliva which helps to prevent cavities.  So keep on chugging that water!

5. Bring your toothbrush (and floss!).
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or you’ll be at a friend or family member’s house, there’s nothing wrong with excusing yourself after the meal to brush your teeth and give your teeth a floss to keep your mouth bacteria-free.  The single greatest cause of tooth decay is sugar left on or around the tooth so be sure to brush and floss after those sugary desserts and treats too.

Having healthy, happy teeth is surely something to be thankful for as we enter the holiday season.  Use these tips and call us at {973-584-0008} to set up your next appointment to keep your teeth healthy.  Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Charmoy Dental!