Today’s the long awaited day for gathering with family and friends for a day of feasting and possibly even football. We would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving from our caring team at Wellesley Dental Group. Thanksgiving day has been a tradition dating back to 1621 in celebration of the Pilgrims’ first harvest. Most people will be focused on the delicious and flavorful assortment of foods without thinking about the feast certain bacteria within the mouth will be having that can impact teeth. Not all foods are created equally when it comes to your oral health, so here’s what you need to know to have a tooth-friendly holiday:
The star of the holiday is the tasty turkey, which luckily is full of protein. Our body relies on protein to help build and heal tissues. Be sure to have some floss ready though, it's easy for turkey to get stuck in-between teeth and cause harm to your teeth.
The Thanksgiving turkey is often accompanied by cranberry sauce. Normally, cranberries have been found to fight against Streptococcus Mutans (S. mutans), the bacteria primarily involved in causing cavities. However, when sugar is added to create this tasty side dish, the stickiness and acidity can damage your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss once you've recovered from your
Macaroni & Cheese:
There's good and bad news to this dish. Dairy products including milk and cheese which are found in this recipe provide calcium which helps strengthen tooth enamel. Yet, starches like white pasta can give bacteria within the mouth a food source to thrive on and lead to the process of making cavities.
Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, which is good for strengthening tooth enamel. But, pies and whipped cream toppings typically contain a lot of added sugar which are not so good for your enamel. Eating desserts shortly after meal time is best to ensure that saliva is flowing to wash away any leftover sweets.
Good news! Red wine has been found to have ingredients that fight cavities by blocking S. mutans.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy:
Mashed potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, B6 and potassium, which our diets require. Unfortunately for our teeth, potatoes and gravy contain starch for bacteria to feed off of making it not so tooth-friendly.
This dish can be tooth-friendly, but it depends on how it is prepared. Sweet potatoes naturally contain vitamins A and C, which are beneficial for keeping teeth healthy. However, the famous candied yam recipe that has most of our mouths watering often calls for marshmallows that can stick to teeth and breakdown tooth enamel.
So, overall, be sure to drink a lot of water with your Thanksgiving feast to wash away any sticky foods, and remember to brush and floss to keep your smile healthy after the holidays. Most of all, enjoy your meal and time spent with loved ones!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.