Did you know that foods you consume daily play a tremendous role in your overall enamel health? As Thanksgiving season approaches, holiday foods are a delightful break from the daily foods we eat, but these foods we share with friends and family could also cause potential problems for our teeth.
Your enamel, which is the outer protective layer that shields your teeth from decay, can wear down with time and certain foods. At WhiteWing Dental, your La Feria family dentist wants to ensure you keep your smile–and enamel–healthy by eating the right Thanksgiving dishes this holiday season.
But First, Keep an Eye Out for These 3 Ingredients
We all want to enjoy our Thanksgiving, but there are some foods containing these three ingredients that we should limit due to the effects they have on our teeth:
- Sugar – Reconsider your dessert and side options. Sugars in these foods feed cavity-causing bacteria that secrete acidic wastes that damage your enamel, leading to higher amounts of tooth decay. If you choose to consume desserts anyway, be sure to rinse with water after eating.
- Acids – Acids are no friends to your enamel. Food and drinks like wine, cranberry juice, and cherries are loaded with acids that can stain your teeth and soften your enamel, leading to tooth decay. It is best to brush your teeth thirty minutes after consuming acids.
- Starches – Foods such as stuffing, cornbread, and rolls are loaded with starches, which act like sugar and feed cavity-causing bacteria. Be sure to limit these and get more proteins and veggies on your plate for best results.
“Gobble” Up As Much of These 5 Enamel-Friendly Foods This Thanksgiving
The following Thanksgiving foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals that protect and strengthen your enamel, keeping those pearly whites brilliant while preventing cavities:
- Turkey – Our favorite Thanksgiving protein is packed full of phosphorus, a mineral that promotes bone health and protects against cavities. While it’s easy to get Turkey caught between your teeth or braces, a quick floss will do the trick.
- Yams – Yams are loaded with Vitamins A and C, vitamins that keep your gums healthy and strengthen your teeth; however, you should avoid canned varieties as these are loaded with sugars that feed bacteria whose acid breaks down your enamel. A drink of water after eating usually washes the bulk of these sugars away, but brushing, on the other hand, can be more effective at removing the sugars on your teeth.
- Vegetables – A variety of vegetables are served as sides during Thanksgiving, including green beans, collard greens, and mashed potatoes. These vegetables are excellent choices loaded with vitamins, minerals, and potassium to keep your teeth in good shape.
- Pumpkin – Thanksgiving dinner would not be complete without a slice of pie. Pumpkin pie is the most smile-friendly dessert on the menu, filled with Vitamin A, and has less sugar than most pies. While we love pumpkin pie, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after eating.
- Ham – If ham is your holiday protein of choice, you’re in luck! Three ounces of ham is equal to 15 percent of your daily recommended zinc intake, keeping your tissues along your gum line healthy. If your ham has a sweet glaze, however, be sure to drink water after or brush after the meal.
From All of Us at WhiteWing Dental, Happy Thanksgiving!
While celebrating with your family this Thanksgiving, keep these food suggestions in mind, and remember to brush your teeth 30 minutes after your meal. Your teeth will thank you for it!
Ensure to maintain these health tips and visit your dentist every six months for a thorough teeth cleaning. You deserve a beautiful smile from the most experienced and passionate La Feria family dentists, and Whitewing Dental is here to help you achieve it.