Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks for blessings and spending time with friends and family. It is also a time surrounded by food, wine and dessert! We all know that avoiding sweets simply isn’t going to happen over the holidays. Life is about balance right? It is best for you to be aware and take some extra care of your teeth during the holiday season. Here are a few tips for surviving the sweets and overabundance of the holidays as well as foods that your teeth actually love.

Tips to Follow for Healthy Holidays

  • Indulge in MODERATION when it comes to STICKY & SUGARY FOOD – If these foods sit in your mouth too long, they will most definitely increase your chance of tooth decay
  • PLAN your menu – Include cheese, nuts, raw veggies and cranberries.. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium which helps strengthen teeth and neutralize acids that can cause decay. Nuts and veggies increase saliva production, which is mineral rich and acts as a cleanser for your teeth.
  • REDUCE Meal Time – Don’t spend all day snacking. Your teeth can get exposed to acids in foods that can cause bacteria to build up, leading to decay. 
  • CHEW GUM – Sugar free gum helps increase saliva flow and is a good option when you aren’t able to brush or floss during the day.
  • DRINK lots of WATER – This will help offset the constant acid attacks on your teeth. Sugary and sticky foods won’t be able to hang out inside your mouth for long periods of time.  
  • CLEAN UP – Take the time to brush and floss. Don’t brush too hard, but do spend a few extra minutes getting those back molars and your tongue. 

Three Reasons Your Teeth Actually Love Turkey Day

  • PUMPKINS – Did you know pumpkin is great for teeth? Pumpkin is full of enamel-building Vitamin A, fiber and potassium. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, which strengthens teeth.
  • PROTEIN – Turkey is typically the main attraction of the Thanksgiving table. It is loaded with protein, making it a fan favorite for both your body and smile. Protein has phosphorus in it, and when phosphorus mixes with calcium and vitamin D, it creates strong bones and teeth. So, you can rest assured that turkey is a healthy option for a beautiful smile.
  • PRODUCE – This is where the side dishes can shine. Thanksgiving favorites are the veggie dishes filled with nutrients and fiber. Nutrients (like carbs, fats and proteins) build strong bones and teeth, while fiber stimulates salvia flow, which acts as a natural antibacterial defense against decay. Remember to take it easy on butter-heavy veggie dishes, such as casseroles.

Keep moderation in mind! With these tips, it is possible to enjoy a delicious holiday meal without jeopardizing your sparkling, beautiful smile. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our family at Alabama Smile Design to yours!

“Beautiful Smiles to Match a Beautiful City”



Is chocolate good for oral health? The answer may surprise you…Yes! Chocolate is good for oral health as well as overall health. It has some surprising dental health benefits. You read that right and this may be the best news you’ve heard today!

The Secret Of Chocolate –

The cocoa bean is where all the dental health goodies come from as opposed to the chocolate itself. This means that the closer the chocolate is to the cocoa bean, the better it is for your oral health. Of the three kinds of chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate), dark chocolate is the least processed and closest to the cocoa bean, making it the healthiest of the three. Look for chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa.

The Key To Dark Chocolate – 

Cocoa beans contain three ingredients – tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids. Each of these is a type of antioxidant that is beneficial to your dental health. Tannins give dark chocolate it’s slightly bitter taste and it’s darker pigment. Tannins also help prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Polyphenols limit the effects of bacteria; they work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, prevent infections in your gums and battle tooth decay. Flavonoids work to slow tooth decay.

How Does It All Work? –

If we eat a piece of dark chocolate, we’re still exposing our teeth to the sugar content. However, the compounds found in the cocoa bean husk, which is a primary ingredient in dark chocolate, help counteract the damaging effects of sugar. There’s a bacterium in your mouth called oral streptococci, which produces acid that eat away at your tooth enamel. The antioxidants in dark chocolate prevent the bacteria from turning into damaging acids by acting as a sort of antibacterial compound. Also, the cocoa butter coats your teeth and prevents plaque from sticking to them.

Dark Chocolate and Overall Health –

Did you know that dark chocolate has 4 times more antioxidants than green tea! Dark chocolate can  inhibit the production of plaque and also reduce inflammation in the body. It works to prevent periodontal disease. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can also enter the bloodstream and cause heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, so that makes dark chocolate beneficial to heart health as well as dental health.

Enjoy Dark Chocolate But Don’t Overdo It!

Enjoy some dark chocolate, just remember that dark chocolate does not equate to fruits and veggies. It does have important health benefits, but it should be consumed in moderation. It contains sugar and fat, making it a little high on the calorie count. The recommended intake is 1 ounce per day, which is equal to about 6 Hershey Kisses. Even this small amount contains as many as 150 calories, and since it tastes so good, it’s hard not to eat more than 6!

So, is chocolate good for oral health? It is, but in moderation. Following a well balanced diet of fruits, veggies, grains, and dairy is also important for both oral health and whole body health. But the good news is that you now know of a delicious and healthy option for dessert or a quick “sweet tooth” fix.