Thanksgiving marks the start to the holiday season. It’s a holiday meant for giving thanks, feasting, and spending time with friends and family. Thanksgiving may seem like a normal celebration; however, the United States is one of only a handful of countries that officially celebrate this holiday.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. This modern day holiday can be traced back to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was carried on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn’t have enough food to feed everyone, and the Native Americans helped out by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish. The tradition of the feast spread, and by the 1660s most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Thanksgiving is the one day a year that is known for excessive eating. On Thanksgiving Day the average person will consume over 4,500 calories, most of them from starchy or sugary foods. Not only can this impact your waistline, but it can also have an effect on your teeth.

Thanksgiving food boosts bacteria that then stick to teeth and produce acid that eat at tooth enamel. Commonly cultivated in sweet or starchy foods, bacteria have the perfect opportunity to thrive in the mouth when we graze and snack all day. Drinking water throughout the day and after eating can help flush food particles out of the mouth. The best way to combat cavities is to brush, rinse, and floss after eating.

A little effort goes a long way on Thanksgiving Day, and with these small tips you can enjoy all your regular holiday foods while preventing future complications.

Wishing you, your family, and friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!