Thanksgiving and Oral HealthNovember 4, 2020
Did you know that your oral health is directly linked to your systemic health?
The care you take of your teeth has a direct impact on the health of your entire body. Of course, this relationship goes both ways: the foods you put into your body have a direct impact on your oral health as well. This Thanksgiving, there’s no reason to compromise either.
Thanksgiving Foods That are Good for Oral Health
You can never go wrong with vegetables. Packed with vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other micronutrients, vegetables help prevent bacterial buildup on the teeth, reduce risks for oral cancer, and improve digestive health. Consider making vegetables the largest part of your Thanksgiving feast.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are vegetables, but they are also starches. Unlike other starches, however, these nutritional powerhouses do not stick to the teeth and will not promote bacterial accumulation. Just avoid frying them, covering them in sugar, or drowning them in butter.
Fruit, from cranberries to fruit salad, offer several oral and systemic health benefits. Like vegetables, these are packed with essential nutrients, but fruit also increases saliva production, helping to prevent bacterial buildup on the teeth.
What About Dessert?
Pumpkin pie is good source of vitamin C, which helps to protect the gums from disease, along with calcium, which is essential for both the development and re-mineralization of teeth. Fruit salad also makes a great dessert.
Of course, sweet treats often abound on Thanksgiving. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, just be smart about it. Try to limit your intake of sugary foods to one time of the day and be sure to brush your teeth 30-minutes after eating them. This will help ensure that, even with a little bit of indulgence, your teeth stay strong and healthy this Thanksgiving and beyond.