It’s almost time for Thanksgiving! This holiday is a time to catch up with family and friends, reflect on all or your many blessing and thanks, and enjoy an excellent Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, casseroles and pies! Oh my!! It’s no time to slack on your dental care! Having to deal with a dental emergency is no way to spend the holiday season. To help you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, we’ve put together these five tips:

1.    Shorten your meal time. Perhaps the most damaging aspect of a typical holiday feast is its length. Enjoying the company of friends and family for hours is an important part of the day, but try to avoid constant snacking or dragging the meal out too long. Continuing to expose your teeth to the acids in food makes it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. If possible, when the meal is finished, focus on sharing stories, watching movies, or playing games.

2.    Drink your H20. It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated, but especially when you’re eating lots of rich, sweet or salty foods. Drinking water will help wash away debris and prevent plaque from forming. In addition to providing a rinse for your mouth between bites, drinking water helps improve saliva production, which further fights tooth decay. Water is also an excellent alternative for more acidic drink options such as tea or soda.

3.    Don’t forget to Brush and Floss. You need to be especially diligent about dental hygiene on Thanksgiving. Even if you go to a friend or family member’s home for the holiday, make sure you bring a toothbrush and floss. About thirty minutes after you’ve finished eating (so that your teeth have time to produce important protective minerals), quickly duck into the bathroom to brush and floss. If brushing your teeth proves difficult at another person’s house or you forget your toothbrush, at least floss. You can also bring sugar free gum to chew afterwards.

4.    Pass on the super sticky sides. Cranberry sauce are a dentist’s worst nightmare (and let’s be honest…who really likes that stuff?!). It’s high in acid, sugar, and sticks to your teeth for hours to come. This is an ideal breeding ground for decay causing bacteria. Other sticky offenders are gooey pecan pie and marshmallow topping. If one of these is your favorite, just make sure you rinse with water after eating and brush your teeth to wipe away the remains.

5.    Schedule your Dental Cleaning. We all know the holiday season is no friend to your waistline, but the desserts and lengthy meals can also wreak havoc on your teeth. If you’re concerned about cavities or gum disease, this winter might be the perfect time to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.

Having beautiful, healthy teeth is certainly something to be thankful for this holiday season. Keep them that way by using our holiday dental tips and scheduling your regular dental check-ups. Contact your Wylie, Sachse, Murphy dentist to learn more.

Lonnie Guardiola