Coast Dental Blog
The Best Foods to Eat This Thanksgiving - and Which to Avoid!

Let the feasting begin! Millions of Americans will gather around the table on Thursday to give thanks and chow down on homemade goodies.

Loading up your plate affects more than just your waistline; it also affects your teeth.  Here are five tips from Coast Dental to ensure you're still smiling after the holidays:

  1. Eat protein along with your carbs. When you're loading up your plate with stuffing and rolls, remember to also add a helping of beans, a handful of nuts or a few slices of cheese.  Carbohydrates break down into sugar.  The bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar into acids, which attack tooth enamel and cause decay.  Many types of protein have cavity-fighting properties which will counteract the carbs.
  2. Limit your grazing. When you eat or drink often during the the day, your saliva doesn't have the chance to wash away the sugar.  If you do find yourself snacking often, make sure you're drinking plenty of water.  That will help flush away the food debris before it can harden into cavity-causing plaque.
  3. Enjoy teeth-friendly foods.  Celery, apples and carrots all help the mouth produce more saliva, which will wash away bacteria.  Dairy items like cheese and milk combat the acids in the mouth, making those another good choice.
  4. Avoid hard or sticky foods. It may be tradition for you to make caramel apples, but sticky sweets and hard candy take longer to chew.  That means the sugar stays in the mouth longer, which increases the risk of cavitites. Also, these kinds of foods can damage braces or other existing dental work - so be extra careful! Avoiding these foods might just save you a few extra calories and a trip to the dentist!
  5. Brush afterwards. Family gatherings can sometimes go late into the night - and the kids might be sound asleep by the time you finally get home. Make sure you bring everyone's toothbrushes with you so they can brush their teeth after dessert. Brushing will clear away food particles so they don't have a chance to harden into plaque overnight. It will also help prevent staining. Teeth are porous and that's why dark-colored foods and beverages, including berry pies, coffee, red wine and grape juice, can stain them.

Happy Thanksgiving from Coast Dental!

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