Thanksgiving commemorates an important moment in our history, but for most people, the holiday revolves around food, and lots of it. Aside from overstuffing yourself, the feast can also pose a risk to your oral health by overfeeding the bacteria that reside in your mouth, which can increase your risk for tooth decay and other dental issues. Your Park Ridge general dentists, Drs. Maria and Thanasi Loukas, warn that protecting your smile is especially important during the holiday season. With a few short tips, they explain how to fortify your teeth against the dangers they’ll face at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Prepare Your Teeth
Like dinner, your oral health depends on excellent preparation. In the case of your teeth, this means carefully brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, every day, to reduce the amount of decay-causing bacteria in your mouth. As you eat, certain mouth germs convert sugar and other carbs into acid, which destroys the tooth enamel protecting your teeth. Good hygiene reduces the amount of bacteria and the acid they produce, reducing the chances of enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Eat with a Plan
Sugary foods may exacerbate decay and cavities, but not all food is harmful. Meats and dairy products, like turkey, chicken, cheese, yogurt, and milk, contain calcium that your teeth utilize to strengthen tooth enamel. Because of its texture, cheese may provide more immediate benefits by coating your teeth in essential minerals. Be sure to consume plenty of calcium to keep your smile strong.
Wait to Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth immediately after a meal may seem like the best idea to remove food debris and plaque. However, the acid that coats your teeth after a meal can significantly weaken tooth enamel, and scrubbing teeth with a brush may damage enamel and the dentin underneath (the main body of a tooth). Experts advise waiting about 30 minutes after eating to allow the acid to dissipate and the enamel to regain its composure. For optimal results, rinse your mouth with water after eating to rinse away some of the food particles and neutralize the acid.
About Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas:
Whether you wish to protect your smile from dental disease and damage, or restore your smile after suffering tooth loss, we can help you regain your oral health and confidence through a new and improved smile. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled restorative and cosmetic dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.