You know the feeling every November. A massive and delicious Thanksgiving feast followed by the loosening of belts, food comas, and the guilt of having eaten way too much. It can be hard to take the calories out of Thanksgiving foods without sacrificing taste or tradition. But the good news is that many turkey day staples can be quite good for your teeth.
While you still need to be mindful of added sugars and processed food when making recipes, the following four foods found on most Thanksgiving table offer significant oral health benefits:
- Pumpkin. Your guests may run for the exits if you don’t end your feast with some pumpkin pie. They won’t only be deprived of a terrific dessert; they will also miss out on a bunch of health benefits. Specifically, pumpkin contains high levels of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin A is essential for many essential body functions such as vision, helping in cell differentiation, boosting the immune system, and fighting infection. This nutrient also helps with reproduction and growth, including the formation and strengthening of tooth enamel. Pumpkin pies also contain vitamin C and calcium, necessary for gum health and tooth development.
- Turkey. While you’re sleeping off your turkey guilt, know that the phosphorous contained in turkey is healthy for developing teeth and can help rebuild and re-mineralize teeth and jawbones. Iron and zinc promote healthy muscle tissues which help protect your gums from dangerous bacteria, while turkey’s ample supply of vitamin B can help prevent periodontal disease and heal damaged gum tissue.
- Vegetables. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C, which help keep your gums healthy. Red and orange veggies are also high in vitamin C, while leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium which help strengthen teeth. So, help yourself (and help your teeth and gums) to the yams, asparagus, carrots, and green bean casserole on the table.
- Cranberries. This tart berry is not only a tasty Thanksgiving accompaniment, but it may also provide significant oral health benefits for seniors that can help keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout the year. Recent studies have discussed how cranberries can reduce the amount of bacterial buildup in the mouth. The bacterial infections which are the cause of gum disease are linked to other serious chronic conditions, and if these bacteria aren’t removed from the surface of teeth quickly and regularly, a whole host of painful – and potentially fatal – problems can arise.
Assure A Smile: Your Partners in Wellness Throughout the Year
At Thanksgiving and throughout the year, the holistic dental professionals at Assure A Smile in Miami work with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic dentistry and healthy habits during the holiday season and throughout the year, please contact us today at 305-274-0047.