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With Thanksgiving coming up, we at ­­­­Lakeland Dental Care wanted to let you know how thankful we are to have you in our dental family. We’re able to maintain our practice because of loyal patients like you. We’re grateful for the opportunity to treat you and your loved ones and maintain your bright smiles.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, don’t forget about the effects your Thanksgiving favorites will have on your teeth. Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, is an oral bacteria that thrives on sugar from foods. These microbes eat the sugar from common Thanksgiving dishes like cranberry sauce, sweet rolls, and pumpkin pie, leaving behind acids that can eat away at the tooth enamel. Here are a couple of tips to maintain your oral health even during the holiday season!

Add More Protein

It’s easy to get caught up in the carbohydrates around the table during Thanksgiving. Typically a large number of traditional dishes are heavy in carbohydrates, including mashed potatoes, sweet rolls, pies, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

Due to the high sugar content, these foods allow the Streptococcus mutans to thrive, resulting in the production of acids in the mouth. This issue can be easily combated by limiting your consumption of these types of foods. While we hope you don’t omit them all together (everyone should be allowed a little indulgence, especially on Thanksgiving!), you can simply pair small portions of carbohydrate-heavy foods with a larger portion of protein. For instance, you can pair a sweet roll with some turkey or sliced apples and cheese in order to keep the bacteria in your mouth under control.

Keep Snacking to a Minimum

Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner takes a great portion of the day and can lead to snacking while everyone waits on the completed meal. It’s a tradition in many homes to offer up appetizers throughout the day to keep the family’s hunger at bay until dinner.

While you’ll probably be hungry before dinner, try to keep the snacking to a minimum. When choosing your snack, try to stay away from carb-heavy foods like crackers or sweets, and choose more fruits and veggies. Vegetables are high in fiber and nutrients, and the crunchiness helps to naturally clean the teeth while you snack.

With just these two tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while still enjoying your holiday favorites. This Thanksgiving, enjoy yourselves and remember to brush and floss after the meal! Happy Thanksgiving!