The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth
When you go to plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu, how do you decide what to serve? Most people opt for traditional family favorites, perhaps with a new dish or two to try. But if you or someone in your family is struggling with oral health issues, it may be wise to choose foods based on how good they are for your teeth and gums. Here are some of the best and worst foods to eat for Thanksgiving if you’re focused on good oral health.
Limit These Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth
- Stuffing and rolls: They may be Thanksgiving staples, but the sugary carbohydrates in stuffing and rolls feed the bacteria in your mouth. The acids left behind can then erode your teeth and lead to cavities.
- Cranberry sauce: Loaded with sugar and tooth-staining berries, cranberry sauce is known to discolor enamel and encourage cavities to form.
- Pies and desserts: Most people enjoy a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie and other desserts after Thanksgiving dinner. Keep in mind that sugar turns into acid in your mouth, making it your teeth’s worst enemy.
- Caramel corn: Popcorn is bad enough, but cover it with sticky caramel, and you have a recipe for dislodged crowns and lost fillings.
- Alcohol: The acid in wine is enough to etch your teeth if you drink it too often, so be wise about your alcohol consumption this Thanksgiving.
If you must indulge in these Thanksgiving foods, do so sparingly. Then, to remove particles from your mouth, rinse with water throughout the meal and brush your teeth 30 minutes after your last bite.
Eat More of These Best Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth
- Turkey: Good news—the quintessential Thanksgiving food is perfectly fine for your teeth! Turkey doesn’t contain starch or sugar that can harm your oral health, and it’s also an excellent source of vitamin D and protein to support a healthy smile.
- Vegetables: Carrots, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Veggies are chockfull of vitamins and nutrients that promote good oral health. The act of chewing them also scrubs your teeth, massages your gums, and stimulates saliva flow.
- Sweet potatoes: Feel free to load your plate with sweet potatoes because they’re high in potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6. Just be careful about the brown sugar or marshmallows often served with them.
- Cheese and nuts: Munch on these snacks guilt-free, knowing they’re filled with calcium, protein, and other nutrients your teeth need to stay healthy and strong.
If you notice stained, yellowed, or aching teeth around the holidays, don’t put off visiting the dentist. A trip to Park 56 Dental will leave your teeth feeling cleaner and brighter. Voted NYC’s best dentist, we are well-equipped to meet all your preventative and restorative dentistry needs. Give us a call at (212) 826-2322 to set up an appointment today! We have been serving patients in the 10022 zip code area since 1997.
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