Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without characteristically overindulging on our favorite foods. Most of us realize that moderation to at least some degree is important, but fewer people consider how to protect their teeth from the influx of minerals, nutrients, and other substances they’ll be exposed to. To help you enjoy this year’s feast while also minimizing the threat it might pose to your teeth, we offer five tips for avoiding cavities this Thanksgiving!
Avoiding Cavities at the Dinner Table
- Drink a lot of water – As the source of cavity development, oral bacteria are the biggest threats to your teeth. Fortunately, you can mitigate them and rinse them away by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially while eating. Drinking water will also wash away the food particles that oral bacteria feed on and use to produce the acids that erode your tooth enamel.
- Brush right after you eat – If possible, brush your teeth gently about 30 minutes after eating. Brushing food particles and oral bacteria away is more effective than drinking water, and can increase your chances of avoiding cavities. However, your tooth enamel will be weakest shortly after eating, and brushing too soon could weaken it further, allowing oral bacteria to infect your teeth and cause cavities.
- Take it easy on the sweets – Different oral bacteria react to different types of minerals and nutrients. For example, certain bacteria consume sugar and carbs and convert them into the acids that attack your tooth enamel. Don’t overindulge on sweets or bread, or you may overfeed the oral bacteria responsible for cavity development. After eating something sweet, be sure to brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
- Eat plenty of the vegetables – In addition to protecting your teeth from things that can harm them, preventing cavities also requires giving your teeth what they need to remain strong. That means eating plenty of vegetables for the minerals and nutrients that your teeth need. For example, your teeth need calcium to form and sustain strong tooth enamel, which is their main defense against cavity-causing oral bacteria.
- Schedule a dental visit soon after – To be sure that you’ve successfully prevented a cavity from developing, it’s important to schedule a visit with your dentist, especially if it’s been a while since your last checkup and cleaning. Your dentist can thoroughly check all of your teeth for the earliest signs of decay and, if a cavity has developed, address it before it grows more severe.
Learn More About Preventing Cavities
Cavity prevention is important all year round, but on Thanksgiving, it’s especially important to take good care of your smile. For more information, schedule a consultation with us by calling Snow Park Dental in Albuquerque, NM, today at (505) 596-4479.