As you head into the holiday season, you’re planning your menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Besides remembering to take your turkey out of the freezer and baking delicious desserts, don’t lose sight of your loved one’s oral health. We all know that the holidays can result in a few unwanted pounds, but it can also lead to dental health problems. You can ensure your dinner plans don’t come back to haunt your family’s smiles with 4 tooth-friendly swaps.
1. Fresh Cranberries VS Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are a staple on many holiday tables. The tiny berries are excellent as a sweet sauce for turkey, ham, and other seasonal favorites. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce contains a lot of sugar, which feeds cavity-causing bacteria. It can also stain enamel.
You can protect your loved one’s risk of tooth decay and stains by offering fresh cranberries. Although they still contain natural sugar and may cause tooth discoloration, they are less likely to cause lasting damage.
2. Pumpkin Pie VS Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a mouthwatering dessert that contains 31 grams of sugar per slice. Combined with sugar in the whipped cream or ice cream served along with it, it’s a feast for harmful oral bacteria.
Pumpkin pie is a safer alternative, just leave off any creamy sides. Pumpkin will also aid your digestion to help your body process your Thanksgiving meal. As with all sweet treats, moderation is essential for a healthy smile.
3. Water VS Alcohol
Whether in wine, eggnog, or other drinks, alcohol is bad news for oral health. Dark beverages can cause tooth discoloration. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth, which is a perfect environment for oral bacteria growth. It increases the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
It’s better to have plenty of water on hand as an alternative to alcohol. It will keep everyone hydrated and their mouths moist. Every sip will also rinse their teeth to remove food residue and bacteria.
4. Fruits and Veggies VS Cookies and Candy
The holidays just aren’t the same without candy or cookies, but offer fruits and vegetables, too. They are a great option for your special guests who are trying to watch what they eat. Not only do they contain various nutrients, but they also act as scrub brushes for teeth to keep them clean.
You can ensure everyone enjoys a delicious meal without worrying about hearing any bad news during dental cleanings and checkups. A few simple swaps will support healthy mouths and bodies.
About Dr. Benjamin Geller
Dr. Geller earned his dental degree at UC San Francisco and has regularly continued his education in various specialties, including natural-looking restorations. He is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (323) 621-3730.