Eat, Drink, and be Thankful!

Thanksgiving centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey—whether roasted, baked. or deep-fried. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. But are all Thanksgiving foods good for your teeth?

What Thanksgiving Foods are Good for Your Teeth?

Turkey is delicious, nutritious, and packed with protein, so Gobble Up! Turkey, at times, can be difficult to eat because it gets stuck between your teeth. Enjoy the turkey and make sure to floss after your Thanksgiving meal.

pumpkin pieMashed Potatoes are a good dietary source of vitamin C, B6, and potassium. If the potatoes are covered with gravy, the health benefits are diminished to some extent. Potatoes are starchy, and cavity-causing bacteria loves the sugar that makes up starch.

Yams / Sweet Potatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C, which help keep your gums healthy. Sweet potatoes also have lots of iron, which helps increase blood cell production, immune system function, and decreases stress levels. Candied yams include marshmallows and sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on your teeth longer than other types of food. If candied, enjoy in moderation and drink plenty of water with your meal.

Stuffing can be prepared in several ways. If bread crusts are included in your family’s recipe, there should be a whole lot of antioxidants! Healthy grains can give you fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein.

Cranberry Sauce is a tasty Thanksgiving tradition, but it may temporarily stain your teeth. Cranberries are naturally tart, so sugar or sugar substitutes are often added to recipes. Just remember to brush your teeth after the meal.

Green Bean Casserole is packed with vitamins C, A, K, calcium, potassium, folate, fiber, protein, and iron. Green beans are healthy but may get stuck in your teeth.

Macaroni and Cheese ingredients contain calcium and help strengthen teeth. Many recipes call for cheese, milk, and white pasta which is starchy and can leave sugar behind on your teeth. Eat a sensible portion and brush and floss later.

Wine both red and white is highly acidic. This acid can deteriorate tooth enamel and cause teeth to look yellow. Without protective enamel, teeth are also at risk for bacteria and decay. Water helps neutralize acid and wash it away. Red wine is a known culprit for teeth discoloration. There are simple ways to avoid a purplish smile. Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains on your teeth that naturally occur over time and prevent new stains from forming.

Pumpkin Pie is usually a once-a-year treat. Pumpkin has Vitamin A, which helps keep your gums healthy and builds the hard outer shell of your teeth (enamel). But don’t overindulge because there’s 70g of Carbohydrates in pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year with family and friends, remember to eat, drink and be thankful!