Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you’re probably looking forward to seeing your family and loved ones, enjoying some time off from class or work, and of course, filling your dinner plate with all your favorite holiday foods! But did you know that several of the dishes and meals enjoyed during this time of year also provide some incredible oral health benefits? Not all foods, though—you don’t want to eat too much pie! Continue reading below to learn a little more from your dentist about some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods that offer nutritious benefits for your teeth and gums, along with a few choices that should think about refraining from.
Thanksgiving Foods Your Teeth Will Love
During Thanksgiving, there’s quite a lot to be thankful for… including food! Most of us enjoy a wide variety of foods during this holiday, many of them different but all of them delicious. However, some won’t just satisfy your taste buds; they’ll boost your oral health, too! Here are some examples:
Turkey is high in phosphorous, which is a naturally occurring mineral that plays a role in the formation of bones and teeth. It can also help rebuild and remineralize teeth and the jawbone, as it’s packed with protein. Since strands of turkey meat tend to become stuck between teeth, you should be certain you’re brushing and flossing afterward.
Sweet potatoes aren’t just sweeter than regular potatoes—they’re thought to be much healthier and more nutritious! The body can digest them faster, and they also contain vitamins A, C, and B6, all of which can benefit your gum tissue.
Green and Winter Vegetables
These also contain vitamins A and C, which play an important role in gum health and fighting periodontal disease. Just be mindful that options like green beans, while fitting this bill, lose some of their initial healthiness when baked into a green bean casserole!
Cranberries contain flavonoids, which can prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming plaque—which ultimately leads to tooth decay and cavities. Cranberries also contain antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties that assist with managing periodontal disease symptoms. Just be mindful of the high amount of sugar found in many cranberry sauces; Splenda or Stevia are some marginally healthier sweetener alternatives. You might also eat it with other foods, so it’s less likely to become stuck to your teeth.
It might seem surprising to see pumpkin pie on a list of tooth-friendly options, but pumpkin pie is loaded with vitamin C and calcium, both of which are important for gum health and maintaining teeth. That said, like cranberries, these pies are still quite high in sugar—so be certain you’re washing it down with a glass of water and brushing before bed!
This Thanksgiving, you should take a moment to be thankful for all the food lining the table that can directly boost your oral health. That said, also show your appreciation for your teeth by caring for them long after the meal is over!
About the Practice
Here at West Brookfield Dental, we pride ourselves on the high-quality dental care that we provide for patients and families in the West Brookfield, MA community. We’re excited to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatment options, as well as pediatric dentistry for children of all ages. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or a loved one, feel free to visit us online or give us a call today for additional information. Telephone: (508) 867-2777.