3 Tips For Enjoying Thanksgiving (and Your Dentures!)

Tooth Loss Doesn’t Have to Spoil Your Holiday Season

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The holiday season is steadily approaching, and enjoying a hearty, healthy meal with family and loved ones is always a rewarding way to spend it. But if you have dentures, you may be dreading a once-beloved occasion. Thankfully, there isn’t much to be afraid of, as long as you take care to avoid certain foods.

Living With Dentures

Losing teeth can occur for many reasons, such as disease, poor oral health, smoking, and more. If you are a male over 35, you are also at a higher risk for losing teeth. The leading cause of tooth loss, however, is typically periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis is left untreated and leads to debilitating tooth decay, causing damage to your teeth and gums. Ultimately, it can cause erosion in crucial areas within the jaw, and may eventually lead to a tooth extraction. There is good news, however! If you do have to have teeth removed – or if something has caused your teeth to fall out – there is a solution! Depending on what is best for you, dentures can be an excellent way to correct tooth loss for both aesthetic and health purposes.

Tackling Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, while dentures are a great way to prevent further damage to your mouth due to tooth loss, they can be a bit tricky when it comes to dinner time. Dr. Acosta often recommends helpful dos and don’ts for patients living with dentures! For some, avoiding certain types of foods and beverages is necessary, as they can cause discomfort or make it difficult for your dentures to function correctly. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, this may take a bit of getting used to, as sticky sugar products are high on the list to avoid. But when it comes to Thanksgiving, thankfully the soft textures of poultry, mashed veggies, and smooth gravies make it easy for denture patients to enjoy their turkey dinner!

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That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of certain limitations, though! Knowing what you shouldn’t eat can help you enjoy all the foods you can that much more. For all denture patients, Dr. Acosta recommends the following things:

Avoid Excessive Sugar

Remember what we said about sticky sweets? Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that includes sugar during the holidays. Foods like candied yams, cranberry sauce, and sodas can wear down the enamel on your natural teeth, or get stuck on your dentures. If you do insist on having a slice of pie or a small sugary snack, be sure to rinse your mouth out and enjoy lots of water on the side.

Thoroughly Cut and Chew

The way you eat can have a big effect on how well your dentures stay put when doing so. If you want to reduce your chances of having a denture slip at the dinner table, try not to take big bites. Cutting any meat or veggies into small, bite-size pieces can help you avoid dislodging your dentures. Even better, chewing your food thoroughly and evenly on both side will help preserve them longer over time.

Skip the Tough Dishes

Along with taking smaller bites, avoiding tough foods like steak, corn on the cob, or raw fruits or veggies can also help prevent any denture malfunctions during Thanksgiving dinner. Dishes like this require an intense amount of chewing force, which is often not possible with dentures. Instead, try to enjoy slow-roasted meats and veggies, corn kernels, or considering replacing them altogether with softer foods like legumes.

Oral Health During the Holidays

At dental offices everywhere, dentists are starting to worry about all of the foods their patients may indulge in during this holiday season. Even without dentures, too much turkey dinner can lead to tooth decay. Forgetting to brush after a heavy meal and a couple of slices of pie can mean excessive bacteria and enamel erosion, which can spell bad news for your mouth!

In addition to enjoying a healthy diet and watching what you eat, there are a few other essential tips to follow every season. That’s why brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue, and flossing your gums are such a crucial part of the clean-up after a holiday dinner. Don’t forget to schedule your bi-annual dental cleaning with Dr. Acosta’s Palm Beach dental office, too! Schedule an appointment today for a Free Smile Assessment.

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