Maintaining Your Dental Health On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is mostly known for two things: football and food. The feast may include turkey, dressing or stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, mashed potatoes, and plenty of delicious pies for dessert. Much of this food is not healthy for either your diet or your oral health. However, if you are careful, you can enjoy your favorite holiday foods without damaging your teeth. There are a few things you can do to protect your oral health this Thanksgiving by preventing plaque buildup on your teeth.

How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Harming Your Oral Health

Foods high in carbohydrates, like potatoes, bread, and cakes, have a lot of sugar, which influences the spread of oral bacteria and leads to more plaque buildup and more acid to attack your teeth. To counteract the effects of these foods, try to balance your meal with healthier foods, such as vegetables (which are generally good for your teeth) and protein, which provides phosphorous that actually replenishes the minerals in your enamel in order to help fight off acid erosion.

Another way to protect your teeth is to avoid snacking. Although it may be simple to walk past the table and grab something to snack on while you’re there, this doesn’t help your oral health, as every time you eat something, the oral bacteria produces more harmful acid. Instead, try to eat your fill during the meal. If you do snack, try to eat something healthy. You can also chew sugar-free gum when you’re done eating. Gum generates saliva that helps wash food particles off of your teeth, and chewing gum may prevent you from snacking.

As for beverages, drink plenty of water, which will rinse food particles off of your teeth. You should limit the amount of soda or sweet tea you drink, as the sugar in these is harmful, and they can stain your teeth as well.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.