Planning Ahead For A Healthy Holiday Mouth
It’s unavoidable. The Holidays are right around the corner, as can be seen by the abundance of holiday décor going up in the stores. Traditional holiday recipes are starting to float around online, and the buzz is starting about what the favorite, most coveted children’s Christmas gifts will be this year. Talk shows and magazines are pushing the newest diet fad, and preaching what holiday recipes have the most calories and how to melt that fat away. So much focus is on the affects of unhealthy food on your body … but what about your teeth? Just like the rest of your body, your teeth matter during the holidays too!
Let’s talk Thanksgiving. The health of your body is directly dependent on the quality of your oral health. Yes, most of us slip up around Thanksgiving and eat a little too much toffee or chewy caramel popcorn … we love to have a glass of red wine with our holiday meals, even an extra helping of loaded mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie … the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately for us, Thanksgiving foods are loaded with cavity-causing sugars and carbohydrates. What can you do for yourself and your kids?
Follow these tips from KidSmiles Pediatric Dentistry so you can enjoy Thanksgiving and protect your teeth and their teeth at the same time!
- Avoid carbohydrate overload: Load up your plate and your child’s plate with protein, vegetables and fruits first, before the carbohydrates and sugars. There will be less room on your plates for the cavity causing culprits like pies, and casseroles, and more room for the nutrition-packed, tooth loving foods like vegetables and lean protein such as turkey.
- Watch what you and your children drink while your eating. For your kids, have them avoid high-calorie and high sugar drinks such as soda and sports drinks. For you, watch the wine. The acid and sugar in these kinds of drinks remain on your teeth and eat way at your enamel. Your best bet is to sip on water throughout your meal. This will wash away any food particles and sugars stuck on and in between the surfaces of your teeth.
- Lastly, try to get rid of any food particles on your teeth as quickly as possible. This may require some planning ahead – a travel-sized tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush could come in handy around this time of year. If a toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t immediately available, your best bet is to rinse your mouth out with water after eating. Have your child do the same. You can even follow up with some mouthwash for fresh breath while you’re mingling after dinner with family and friends.
Remember, indulging in all of your familiar Thanksgiving foods can be done without negative consequences on your teeth. With a little planning ahead your waistline and your gumline can enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving!