For many people, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of all. That’s not too surprising, considering that the festivities usually involve gathering with family and friends, and enjoying a delicious meal together. If you love Thanksgiving like we do, you’ll be pleased to know that we have more good news about this favorite holiday: many of the dishes that we traditionally enjoy on Thanksgiving are actually good for your teeth and gums! What follows are some tooth-friendly menu options to consider for your holiday dinner:
- Turkey – The main attraction on almost every Thanksgiving table is turkey, and from an oral health perspective, that’s a good thing! Turkey is loaded with lean protein, vitamin D, and calcium, all of which add up to a delicious entrée that is also good for your teeth and gums.
- Mashed potatoes – You may be surprised to learn that mashed potatoes are actually tooth-friendly thanks to potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Just remember to brush your teeth after enjoying your meal, since the residue left behind by starchy foods like potatoes can contribute to tooth decay if it’s not removed promptly.
- Pumpkin pie – Believe it or not, pumpkin pie is a relatively tooth-friendly dessert. Of course, the sugar contained in the pie and the whipped topping can harm your teeth, but the vitamin A present in pumpkin and other orange-colored vegetables (like squash and carrots, for example) helps to offset the sugar. Just remember to brush your teeth after you eat, and enjoy sugary desserts only on occasion – like Thanksgiving!
- Sweet potatoes – The high amounts of vitamins A and C in sweet potatoes make this another excellent vegetable choice. But enjoy sweet potatoes on their own, and avoid the traditional candied yam dish, which is arguably one of the worst Thanksgiving choices for teeth and gums due to the sugar content and sticky texture of the dish.
- Cranberry sauce – One of the healthiest fruits you can choose when it comes to those that are good for your oral health is the cranberry. These tiny fruits are loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and beta carotene, all of which are extremely tooth-friendly. But keep in mind that cranberry sauce should be enjoyed only in moderation since most recipes call for a good amount of sugar, and the acidity of cranberries can damage the enamel layer of your teeth if you eat them too often.
We hope this gives you even more reasons to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends this year! Just be sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine throughout the holiday season and beyond.