Thanksgiving is just days away—a time of rest, family fellowship, and gratitude. For many of us it means an elaborate feast full of delicious favorites like oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and pies of all kinds, along with spending time together watching football or going on walks in the crisp air. There’s no doubt that Thanksgiving is a great holiday–but is it ruining your teeth?

Dr. Michael Koo, D.D.S., P.h.D. thinks so. Koo, a dentist turned food scientist and microbiologist has discovered that many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods are safe havens for the destructive Streptococcus mutans oral bacteria. Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, munches on sugar from foods like sweet potato casserole, sweetened cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, and leaves behind an acid that eats away tooth enamel.

According to Dr. Koo and his research team, S. mutans is so successful at attacking teeth because of glucans—the building blocks of plaque. Plaque, that gunky white film we all hate, provides bacteria with a “home” where they can feed on sugar from the foods and drinks you enjoy.

Thanksgiving outranks other holiday feasts when it comes to sugary treats. So does this mean you should abstain from Mom’s special pumpkin pie cookies or your Aunt Cathy’s cranberry punch? Let’s just say try not to go for seconds. And make sure to brush your teeth and use an oral rinse after the meal.

It also might be a good idea to schedule an appointment for a cleaning after the holidays as well. Call the office at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe to lock down a date today. (281) 549-5177.