Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Oak Park Dental! Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to gratitude, and we want all of our loyal patients to know how grateful we are to have you in our practice.
This Thanksgiving, we want to encourage all of our patients to pay special attention to their oral health. Here are just a few tips to keep your teeth clean and healthy—even on a day filled with sugary pies and starchy sides.
The bacteria that lives in your mouth produces acid as it grows and multiplies, and these “acid attacks” last as long as 20 minutes after you eat. Unfortunately, on days when you eat intermittently all throughout the day, your teeth might be subjected to hours upon hours of acid—severely weakening enamel and contributing to dental decay.
To protect your teeth, focus on eating during meals and then avoid snacking throughout the day. If you are hosting dinner, try to avoid keeping snack-like foods out before and after dinner, such as chips and dips, candies, or extra rolls. If food isn’t out, you may be less likely to reach for it.
Watch Out for Pigmented Foods
If you like your teeth to look healthy and white, watch out for pigmented foods like cranberry sauce, brown gravy, wine, and berry pies. The pigment from these foods can leach through porous dental enamel, coloring the underlying dentin. For white teeth even after a big meal, drink pigmented drinks like juice and red wine through a straw, so that the beverages don’t have contact with the fronts of your teeth.
Monitor Your Sugar Intake
Pittsburgh periodontists shudder when we think of the amount of sugar people consume on Thanksgiving Day. Between maple glazed yams and extra slices of pie, sugar can wreak havoc inside the mouth, feeding the bacteria that contributes to gum disease and periodontitis.
To keep your gums healthy, monitor your sugar intake and try to limit yourself to one or two slices of pie or dessert. After you eat sugary foods, swish your mouth with water to dilute the sugar and bacteria. Swishing also helps to rinse away food particles, which inhibits plaque and tartar development.
If you are concerned about protecting your teeth this holiday season, contact Oak Park Dental. We would love to help you with all of your dental needs.