Thanksgiving festivities generally revolve around tables filled with delicious seasonal foods. While it’s tempting to indulge in sugary sweets; it’s important to consider your teeth and gums when filling your plate. Here are six Thanksgiving foods that actually support your dental health.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and A. According to the American Dental Association, vitamin C can help strengthen your gums and the soft tissue within your mouth. It can also protect against gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Vitamin A can help prevent dry mouth, keep mucous membranes healthy and help your oral tissue heal quickly. With that said, if your yams are candied, you should enjoy them in moderation and drink lots of water to help rinse sticky food particles from your teeth.
Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are a rich source of vitamins K, C, and A, along with folic acid and fiber. If your casserole contains mushrooms, it’s even better for your teeth. Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins such as folate (B9), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and thiamine (B1), all of which help minimize oral inflammation. If you add onions to your casserole, you increase its nutritional impact, since onions are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber and folic acid.
Packed with protein and free from sugars and starch, turkey is generally considered to be good for your teeth. That said, because it can get stuck between teeth, it’s best to brush after your meal.
Macaroni and Cheese
Many recipes include both milk and cheese which contain calcium that helps strengthen teeth. Research suggests that cheese can help lower the risk of cavities by reducing enamel demineralization. Studies also indicate that chewing cheese stimulates saliva production, creating a more alkaline environment that buffers the acids formed in plaque.
It may come as a surprise, by pumpkin is actually a good source of vitamin A. That said, because pumpkin pie also contains sugar, you should avoid overindulging. You should also brush your teeth shortly after eating to scrub away sticky bits of food from the surface of your teeth, so you won’t end up with cavities during your next dental exam.
Potatoes are also a rich source of vitamin C, pyridoxine (B6) and potassium. Like vitamin D, potassium is an important nutrient that improves bone density. It also works with magnesium to keep blood from leaching calcium from your teeth and bones.