It’s that time of year again, and with it comes the delicious Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, casseroles, rolls, mashed potatoes – but then there are the sugary items. Pies, cakes, and sweetened cranberry sauce all contain large amounts of sugar. The bacteria that feed off of these sugars, S. mutans, thrive on these sweet Thanksgiving favorites. These microbes eat the sugar left on your teeth and expel harmful acids onto your teeth, which then eat away at the enamel.
You don’t, however, need to forgo your Thanksgiving treats! The habit of snacking throughout the day gives the bacteria plenty of time to work on your enamel, so eating only at set mealtimes can help to prevent the bacteria from decaying your teeth. It is also helpful to brush your teeth between snacks. After your Thanksgiving meal, take special care to brush and floss and you’ll be in the clear. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to meet with family, eat great food, and be thankful for your smile!