Our mouths are full of bacteria and when we're devouring Thanksgiving foods, the bacteria in our mouths are having a feast of their own. According to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, hundreds of different kinds of bacteria live on our gums, teeth, tongue and cheeks and while some of them are helpful, others can cause tooth decay.
So, how do cranberries help protect against dental cavities?
When you're piling that delicious stuffing, turkey and gravy onto your plate, don't forget the cranberries! These red berries have been proven to contain numerous antioxidants that can help fight off dental plaque. Studies have revealed that cranberries prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth, thereby reducing the occurrence of cavities.
More Tips for a Tooth-Friendly Thanksgiving
There are ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving while also protecting your teeth from potential hazards. Following are some simple tips from your dentist Columbia for keeping your oral hygiene in mind to prevent painful and often expensive dental problems later.
- Don’t graze: At holidays like Thanksgiving, it’s very easy to spend most of the day just mindlessly consuming sugar-laden snacks. When you do snack, either brush or rinse out your mouth with some warm water when you’re finished.
- Decrease the sugar: When cooking meals or desserts this holiday season, try to reduce the amount of sugar used in your holiday dishes, without anyone even noticing! If you feel that reducing the sugar will affect the sweetness, honey is a fantastic all-natural substitute.
- Balance sugar with protein: Let’s face it - we know you’re going to snack on the sugary foods. And while we do not promote deprivation, we do encourage you to eat the sugary treats in conjunction with a well-balanced, protein-laden meal.
- Carry a toothbrush, even if you’re traveling. Brush, but not too often, and make sure you are flossing daily!
- Be aware of acidic foods: If you’ve eaten foods high in acid, such as citrus fruits, coffee, tea, or wine, rinse your mouth with warm water first, and wait at least 60 minutes to brush your teeth afterwards. Acidic foods and beverages make the hard enamel on your teeth like soft sandstone, which just gets brushed away when you brush.
- Make your 6-month checkup appointment.