There is so much talk these days about healthy eating and how it affects us from head to toe. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family and for eating healthy while you enjoy your holiday. Let’s break down a typical Thanksgiving meal, and when we are finished you won’t feel the least bit guilty, unless you eat too much of a good thing or forget to brush afterwards. Only you can control these things. 🙂
While it’s true sugary foods we so enjoy for a holiday dessert aren’t the healthy ones on our list, they aren’t totally forbidden on special occasions. For last month’s Halloween we covered at length how you can thoroughly enjoy some sugary foods as long as you take the steps necessary to prevent the sugary food particles from remaining on your teeth for long periods of time after you eat them. See “Halloween Candy Without Tooth Decay” for a little refresher.
Typical Thanksgiving Menu and Your Teeth
Roast Turkey: Turkey is loaded with phosphorus and protein, and when you eat other foods, typically dairy, with lots of calcium and add vitamin D. All of these items together build strong teeth and bones.
Dairy Products: The typical Thanksgiving meal finds milk on the table, in your potatoes as milk, yogurt, sour cream or cheese. Milk or dairy products are high in natural calcium good for you and your teeth.
Green Beans: Chock full of vitamins like K, B and C, they are also a vegetable which is on the alkaline side instead of being acidic. Some refer to these veggies as “smile friendly”. These type vegetables tend to neutralize the more acidic foods you eat and help keep harmful bacteria down.
Cranberries: These little berries can be wonderful for you teeth. They have loads of vitamins C and A along with minerals like potassium and manganese. Cranberries also tend to chemically interfere with the bacteria in your mouth which allows plaque to form on your teeth.
Onions: When you cut onions, your eyes can burn. That burning is caused by the high sulphur content of the onion. Sulphur kills bacteria, and onions are instrumental in killing bacteria which forms in the mouth. Raw onions are the best, but if you like creamed ones on occasions like Thanksgiving, enjoy. Nothing like a little more dairy in your teeth healthy meal.
Carrots, Pumpkins, Squash and other Orange Vegetables: when you eat orange colored vegetables, think Vitamin A. Most of us know vitamin A is important for our eyes, but vitamin A is a critical component in our body’s work to make enamel for our teeth.
Raw Fruits of any Kind: Fruits massage your gums while you eat and help reduce plaque. Fruits also contain vitamin C which is especially good for healthy gums.
So know you know. . . . your Thanksgiving Day Feast is good for your teeth.
Just remember, after you eat that wonderful dessert though, take a moment to rinse your mouth or to chew some sugarless gum to remove and wash away any remaining sugary particles from your teeth.
Filed under: General Dentistry
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