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5 tips for a smile friendly Thanksgiving

1. Skip the sugar

From pumpkin pie or a marshmallow-topped yam casserole, Thanksgiving dinner can be a delight for your sweet tooth. But all that sugar also serves up a feast for cavity-causing bacteria.

If you’re cooking, consider swapping sugar for substitutes like xylitol or erythritol. These sweeteners don’t cause decay. If you’re eating, limit your dessert portion and follow it with a glass of water.

2. Cut down on starches

Savory foods aren’t as well-known for causing decay, but the starch in sides like cornbread and stuffing can feed the same acid-producing bacteria as sugar. Mix up your plate to balance the starch with protein and fiber.

Are you grateful for your healthy smile? This Thanksgiving, keep your teeth and gums healthy with smart food choices.

3. Stay away from food that stains

Brightly colored foods and drinks look great on the dinner table, but they can leave your enamel looking dull. Watch out for red wine, cranberry sauce, coffee and even white wine. Some pies, like cherry and blueberry, also pose a risk. Skip the wine and stain-causing foods — or book a cleaning with your dentist, afterward.

4. Avoid acid wear

Acid and enamel don’t mix. The acid in wine and cranberry juice can soften your enamel, leaving it more vulnerable to decay. Avoid acidic foods and drinks whenever possible. If you can’t skip them, lessen their impact with bites of other dishes and sips of water. Wait at least half an hour before brushing.

5. Fill up on vegetables

Fill your plate with an assortment of colorful veggies, full of smile-friendly vitamins and minerals. Red and orange veggies are usually high in vitamin C (good for gums), while leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium (for strong teeth).

Last updated October, 2021


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The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.