5 steps to a healthier thanksgivingThis year are you thankful for that beautiful smile of yours? If not, you certainly should be. This Thanksgiving we’d like to take a moment to share some teeth-safe Thanksgiving habits to help you keep on smiling well into the new year. 

Thanksgiving Tip #1: Skip the sugar

Whether it’s pumpkin pie or a marshmallow-topped yam casserole, Thanksgiving dinner can be a delight for your sweet tooth; but all that sugar also gives the cavity-causing bacteria lurking in your mouth a reason to celebrate too. 

 If you’re cooking, consider swapping sugar for substitutes like xylitol or erythritol. These sweeteners don’t cause decay. If you’re eating, limit your dessert portion and follow it with a glass of water to wash away the excess sugar. 

Thanksgiving Tip #2: Cut back on starches

5 steps to a healthier thanksgiving Savory foods aren’t as well-known for causing decay, but the starch in sides like cornbread and stuffing can feed the same acid-producing bacteria as sugar. Mix up your plate to balance the starch with protein and fiber. A side salad or raw veggie is great for this and the rest of your body too! 

Thanksgiving Tip #3: Avoid enamel stains – at all costs! 

Brightly colored foods and drinks look great on the dinner table, but they can leave your enamel looking dull. Watch out for red wine, cranberry sauce, coffee and even white wine. Some pies, like cherry and blueberry, also pose a risk. If you don’t want to skip the wine and berries, and we wouldn’t blame you, just be sure to schedule a cleaning with your dentist after the holiday. 

Thanksgiving Tip #4: Stop acid wear

Acid and enamel don’t mix and in a fight acid will always win.The acid in wine and cranberry juice can soften your enamel, leaving it more vulnerable to decay. Avoid acidic foods and drinks whenever possible. If you can’t skip them, lessen their impact with bites of other dishes and sips of water. And then be sure to wait at least half an hour before brushing.

Thanksgiving Tip #5: Eat your (colorful) veggies 

You want your Thanksgiving plate to be colorful! Fill your plate with an assortment of colorful veggies, full of smile-friendly vitamins and minerals. Red and orange veggies are usually high in vitamin C (good for gums), while leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium (for strong teeth).