I have sensitive teeth. Are there foods I should avoid during Thanksgiving?

Experiencing sensitive teeth isn’t much fun, especially around the holidays. During the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, if you’re suffering from sensitive teeth there are specific foods and beverages you should avoid (or at least significantly limit).

My teeth are sensitive. What should I avoid?

  1. Tomatoes. Tomatoes (as well as tomato products like tomato sauce and raw tomatoes) are highly acidic, even though they’re packed with healthy vitamins. Highly acidic foods can trigger tooth sensitivity so it’s best to avoid or limit tomatoes as much as possible.

  2. Ice. Teeth can become very sensitive when exposed to cold foods and beverages. When sipping on beverages this Thanksgiving, forgo the ice. If you have ice in your drink and you can tolerate it, do not chew or bite on the ice. Chewing ice can cause teeth to break, chip or crack.

  3. Sticky candy. Many people’s teeth are sensitive to sugar. Caramel, gummy worms, gummy bears, taffy, licorice, toffee…the list goes on and on when it comes to sticky candy. Don’t expose your sensitive teeth to that much sugar (you’ll just make your teeth even more sensitive if you can’t pass up that piece of licorice that Aunt Rose offered). In addition to high sugar content, sticky candy sticks to your teeth and can “stimulate the nerves in the dentin,” thereby causing even more tooth sensitivity.

  4. Hard candy. Candy in general is packed with sugar. Staying away from candy and hard candy is a good idea if you have sensitive teeth. Also, many people tend to bite hard candy, which is horrible for your teeth. Biting hard candy can cause your teeth to crack, chip or break altogether and if that happens, you’ll be stuck with even bigger dental problems! So skip out on the hard candy and save your teeth.

  5. Citrus fruits. If you plan on eating citrus fruits during this Thanksgiving holiday, think again, especially if you have sensitive teeth. Some fruits are more acidic than others, though. The top acidic fruits are pineapples, lemons, grapefruits and limes. If you want fruit for dessert or a snack, opt for non-acidic fruits like apples, black currants or bananas.

  6. Hot coffee and hot chocolate. Hot beverages and hot foods can cause tooth sensitivity. Unfortunately, coffee pairs very well with pumpkin pie that’s usually served after the Thanksgiving meal. Forgo the coffee so you don’t experience tooth sensitivity and ruin your holiday dessert, especially if you’re the type of coffee drinker who adds sugar and/or sweetened creamer (teeth become sensitive when exposed to sugary foods and beverages).

  7. Ice cream. Sensitive teeth do not like cold foods or sugar. Most ice cream brands are loaded with unhealthy sugar so staying away from ice cream is your best bet. Instead, opt for pumpkin pie without the ice cream or sugary whipped topping.

  8. Soda. Sugar and acid are the two main culprits in soda. Both can “irritate exposed nerves” and cause sensitivity. Skip on the soda altogether and opt for water instead!

So what CAN you eat on Thanksgiving day?

Even though there are a few foods and beverages to avoid if you have tooth sensitivity, there are plenty of other foods you can eat. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner consists of: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie (source).

If you have highly sensitive teeth, you can eat almost 90% of the previously mentioned traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with the exception of cranberry sauce (if it’s made with too much sugar). And if you eat pumpkin pie, forgo the ice cream as well as the whipped topping.

But don’t forget about snacking during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Yes it’s all well and good that you can eat almost 90% of the traditional Thanksgiving meal if you have sensitive teeth, but what about the other meals and snacks during the holiday season? If you have sensitive teeth, it’s important to choose your meals and snacks wisely. Avoiding the previously mentioned 8 foods and beverages is your best bet!

What now?

If you live in or near Marietta, GA and are experiencing sensitive teeth, give Shining Smiles Family Dentistry a call today. Scheduling your appointment is the first step to fix sensitive teeth. Dr. Shaila Mohip-Chahwala will evaluate your symptoms to determine if dental fillings or a different dental service can fix your sensitive teeth.

And if you haven’t been to the dentist within the past six months, schedule your dental cleaning appointment, too!.

Finally, if you’re wondering WHY your teeth are sensitive, check out our blog post: Why are My Teeth So Sensitive? 8 Reasons

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!