Thanksgiving is known for heaping helpings of turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, and while all those foods can have an effect on your waistline, they can also negatively impact your teeth. We’re not saying you need to avoid those foods this Thanksgiving, but we want you to be aware of how some common Thanksgiving foods can affect your teeth so that you can keep your teeth healthy for years to come.
Thanksgiving Foods – The Good
This isn’t going to be an all-out bash on Thanksgiving foods, because they’re not all bad. Here’s a look at some of the options you may want to grab a second helping of:
- Turkey – Packed with protein, the main dish is one you’ll want to put on your plate, as this protein can help keep teeth strong. You’ll also want to pack some floss, because turkey tends to get stuck between our teeth, and leaving it there for prolonged periods can lead to bacteria development.
- Green Bean Casserole – Green beans are a healthy option, and while they lose some of their healthiness when covered in creamed soups and french onion strings, they provide some necessary vitamins and nutrients that support your teeth.
- Mac and Cheese – Sometimes present at the Thanksgiving table, mac and cheese can provide some calcium and Vitamin D, which both help your teeth stay strong.
Thanksgiving Foods – The Bad
These aren’t terrible options, but you may want to limit yourselves to one helping:
- Yams – Yams are packed with Vitamin A and C, which help to keep your gums healthy. However, they are also starchy and when candied, involve marshmallows, which is a recipe for tooth decay.
- Mashed Potatoes – A surprising source of Vitamin C and potassium, which work to keep your gums healthy and increase bone mineral density, potatoes aren’t all bad. Once covered in gravy, this starchy food becomes a cavity-causing monstrosity.
Thanksgiving Foods – The Ugly
- Cranberry Sauce – It’s not terrible if eaten with a meal, as other foods can help keep it from sticking to your teeth and providing a sugary surface where bacteria can thrive. However, it’s a sugary, sticky food and the seeds can get stuck between your teeth, all which can cause problems for your teeth health.
- Pumpkin Pie – There’s plenty of cavity-causing sugar in pumpkin pie, and that only increases when topped with whipped cream. Eat this pie with a meal and with water to help wash the sugar off your teeth surfaces.
Have a wonderful and hopefully somewhat healthy Thanksgiving!