Learn How to Protect Your Smile this Thanksgiving. Your Teeth Will Thank You for it.
We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and while you’re spending time with your family and friends, relaxing and telling each other what you appreciate about them, chances are that you’ll show each other your gratitude with food.
On Thanksgiving, though, even if you don’t excessively indulge, you’ll be taking in a lot of rich food and drinks. Rich foods, sweet drinks, and alcohol can really take a toll on your teeth. If you want to do something that your teeth will thank you for, we’ve got some suggestions that will help keep your teeth clean without inconveniencing your feast day.
Don’t brush your teeth after drinking, brush your teeth before.
If you’ve been drinking alcohol, even a little white wine with dinner, your first inclination after the meal would be to rush to the bathroom and start scouring your teeth. The feeling is even stronger if you’ve been drinking red wine… don’t! Alcohol doesn’t just ease tensions and inhibitions, it also softens the enamel of your teeth. Wine in particular, both white and red, is full of natural acids, tannins and in some cases, natural dyes that can set into your softened enamel, staining your teeth. Brushing while your enamel is soft can literally scour the outside layer away, leaving your teeth more damaged and vulnerable than before.
Instead of brushing right away, take some time to drink water first. Water will neutralize the acids that are working on your teeth and will help wash the other chemicals and dyes away from your teeth. It’s a good idea to get a glass of water and swish each mouthful around your teeth a bit before swallowing it.
How to strengthen your teeth during your Thanksgiving feast
Strangely, the most effective way to protect your teeth would be to brush your teeth about an hour before you drink. Plaque on your teeth gives the acids and other enamel-eroding chemicals a foothold and makes it easier for them to start working on your teeth. Giving yourself an hour ensures that you won’t have the taste of toothpaste in your mouth when the feasting starts.
Additionally, you can wait an hour after your feast to brush your teeth so that you can rinse your mouth with water as well as allow your teeth to re-mineralize. Remember, it’s not just alcohol that works on your teeth, but the foods will have their effect as well. Food fibers build up along your gumline, soaking up acids and growing bacteria, turning into plaque which eats away at your teeth and gums. While you’re rinsing your mouth with water, there are foods you can eat that help clean and strengthen your teeth, like:
- Cheese provides calcium
- Eggs provide Vitamin D
- Cranberries and cauliflower provide Vitamin C
- Celery and other raw vegetables naturally brush away debris while you chew
Don’t overindulge this Thanksgiving, your teeth will thank you for it
There’s going to be a lot of sugar this Thanksgiving, there always is. Chances are you’ll be eating pies, cookies, and other treats and drinking cocoa and sodas. Your teeth will practically be bathing in sugar and acids! The process of protecting your teeth is the same for you and your kids, regardless of what they end up eating and drinking, or how much. If you’re traveling and don’t have a toothbrush, these tips will help keep everyone’s teeth safe until you get back home.
If you’ve got dental benefits that will be expiring soon, give us a call to take advantage of them before they expire. We’ll help get your teeth ready for family pictures and protected against the holiday festivities.