Thanksgiving Tooth Troubles

Posted on November 25, 2014 in General oral health

Girl with turkeyMost people probably don't add “a healthy smile” to the list of things they're thankful for, but they should! Make sure your smile stays healthy over the holiday season by following these toothy tips.

Be mindful while filling your plate on Thanksgiving. It not only affects your waistline, but your teeth, too! Foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, like casseroles and pies, are hard on your teeth. Avoid a carb overload by selecting protein, vegetables, and fruits first. This will leave less room on your plate for those unhealthy options.1

It's okay to indulge in a few sweets on Thanksgiving, but be careful munching down on Aunt Sandy's famous pecan pie! It's full of sugar and also very sticky, which allows the sugars to cling to enamel. And while we're talking nuts, here's another tip: Never shell them with your teeth! This taboo technique can lead to broken or chipped teeth.

If you have a long drive home after a holiday meal and forgot to bring a toothbrush, be sure to chew a piece of sugar-free gum. It will reduce the acid level in your mouth.2

If you happen to experience a tooth catastrophe while you're out of town, try these home remedies until you can get to your dentist:3

  • For a chipped tooth or broken filling, place a piece of dental wax over sharp edges to protect the inside of your mouth and lips.
  • Broken dental appliances, such as braces or dentures, can also be covered with dental wax to prevent irritation. Dental wax can be found at most drug stores.
  • A detached crown can be temporarily reattached with denture adhesive.
  • If you find yourself with a cut in your mouth, use clean, moist gauze to apply pressure for five minutes until the bleeding stops. You can also try the same method with a moistened teabag.