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Show Your Teeth Some Love This Thanksgiving

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjaylopez @ 10:43 pm

Everyone looks forward to the Thanksgiving feast every year. During this annual banquet, friends and family gather together to appreciate each other and everything they have to be grateful for. When you sit down to this delicious dinner this year, take a few moments to appreciate all the things that your teeth do for you that can be a little too easy to take for granted. Here are a few reasons your teeth deserve a little credit and some ways you can help keep your smile happy and healthy this Thanksgiving.

A Healthy Mouth Is Crucial to Your Overall Health

The human body needs to consume three things in order to survive and thrive: food, water, and oxygen. Under normal conditions, all three of these things are taken in through the mouth. Healthy teeth allow you to thoroughly chew your food, which makes it easier to extract nutrients from it and move it through the body. Without healthy teeth, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need.

To make matters worse, if you have oral infections, the bacteria causing them have easy access to the blood supply, digestive tract, and lungs. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to nasty secondary infections such as pneumonia and sepsis.

How Can I Take Good Care of My Teeth This Thanksgiving?

When you’re sitting down to the annual feast, be mindful of what you’re chewing. While turkey and vegetables are full of protein, vitamins, and minerals that help keep your teeth healthy, some foods can be harmful if you’re not careful. Mashed potatoes and stuffing are full of starch and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are rich in sugar. Starches and sugars feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Give your teeth a break by limiting your intake of these foods. It’s a great idea to drink plenty of water with dinner, as this will help wash away food debris from your teeth.

After dinner, be sure to practice proper oral hygiene. This includes:

  • Using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth for two minutes with gentle, circular strokes. Be sure to wait at least thirty minutes after eating and to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth.
  • Flossing is just as important as brushing. You can use traditional floss, floss picks, or water flossers to clean the spaces between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash will kill more than 99% of the germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease. It also leaves you with fresh breath and a clean, minty feeling in your mouth.
  • To show your teeth you really love them, stay on top of your regular dental appointments. This will allow your dentist to advise you on proper hygiene and address any issues before they become more dire problems.

Healthy teeth are something to be grateful for. If you take good care of them this year, you can be just as grateful for them when Thanksgiving rolls around again next year.

About the Author

Dr. Jay Lopez earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado Health Science Center School of Dentistry. He has served as a dentist since 1997 and continually pursues postdoctoral training on topics such as dental implants, Invisalign, aesthetic treatments, and oral surgery. His office in Tucson, AZ offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule a post-Thanksgiving dental exam, contact his office online or dial (520) 886-8090.