Milestone Orthodontics, in West Orange NJ, sees Thanksgiving as a time to get together with family and take a day to remember all of those things that we’re thankful for. It’s a time to gain perspective on what’s really important in our lives, as well as a time to gain perspective on the fact that we normally don’t consume 7,000 calories in a day nor eat for eight hours straight as we sometimes do during Thanksgiving. With all of the non-stop nibbling that most of us do on this holiday, it’s almost impossible not to have one of the worst days for our teeth that we may have all year.
Here are a few tips from Dr. Milestone on things you can do Thanksgiving Day to help your braces stay damage-free and your teeth stay clean and healthy:
- Drink water while you eat — One of the worst things you can do to your teeth is to nibble on food all day. The reason being is that when you do this, your saliva doesn’t have a chance to ever really get your teeth clean throughout the day, and therefore bacteria just continues to breed. But, if you drink plenty of water during and in between meals, the water helps to wash away many of the food particles that would otherwise lay stagnant on your teeth. If left, these stagnant food particles will breed more and more bacteria that can erode your enamel throughout the day.
- Stay away from teeth staining foods — Eating some Thanksgiving Day staples, such as cranberries and many types of pies, can be some of the worst teeth staining foods that you can possibly eat. So try and steer clear of foods that may have strong coloring to them. These same colors will eventually end up on your teeth. Also look out for sweet and sticky foods, such as pecan pie, which can stick to and erode away your enamel, unless you brush to get that sticky deliciousness off. The stickiness of certain foods can also damage the brackets and wires of your braces, so be extra careful.
- Be kind to your teeth and braces — Don’t crack nuts or open bottles with your teeth! Use a nutcracker or bottle opener to do the hard work. An example of a classic Thanksgiving hard food to avoid is caramel popcorn. Although it’s a favorite of many, a single caramel popcorn kernel has the ability to crack a tooth, making caramel popcorn best to keep away from, for both people who do and don’t wear braces.
- Pilgrims didn’t drink soda and neither should you — If you’re like the rest of us, Thanksgiving is going to have more than enough sugar without adding soda into the mix. The sugar in soda is unkind to your teeth and can cause decay around your brackets. Drink milk and water instead… they’ll spare your teeth the stains and decay caused by soda.
Please follow these four simple tips for your Thanksgiving Day feast and then you can give thanks for many more years of white, healthy teeth, and most importantly, fewer trips to the dentist office and our office. If you do need to see Dr. Milestone, you can contact him at either his Bergen County location (201-845-8411) or his Essex County location (973-325-1777). Happy eating!