Create a tooth-friendly menu the whole table will love.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, travel, traditions, and food, Lots and lots of food. The holidays are a perfect time to pay a little less attention to the scale in favor of the delicious snacks, drinks, and meals that the latter months of the year are known for. While you may not be thinking about your waistline, you can still build a holiday menu that features options recommended for healthy teeth.
Picture this: it’s Thanksgiving Day! Your stomach is growling and you can’t wait to dig in. Appetizers like cheese, veggies, and nuts are a great way to tide yourself and your guests over while the table is set and the main courses spend their last few minutes in the oven.
The calcium and protein in dairy products like cheese strengthen and protect tooth enamel, helping to fend off cavities. Nuts also have the power to strengthen and remineralize teeth thanks to the calcium and minerals they contain. Specific foods aside, did you know that you’re helping your teeth stay healthy simply by chewing? The extra saliva your mouth produces while chewing crunchy foods helps wash away bacteria and ultimately prevents decay.
When the timer sounds, it’s time for the main event. By now, everyone will be eagerly awaiting the freshly-carved turkey which is packed with protein to keep those teeth strong for the rest of the meal and long after the table is cleared. Cranberry sauce is a tart partner to many Thanksgiving turkeys, and we recommend eating them together so your teeth don’t have to deal with the impact of acidic sugar on your teeth.
Are yams your jam? Yams are bursting with Vitamins A and C which bring tons of benefits to both your teeth and your gums. They can be prepared in many ways, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your vitamin intake!
Does your plate need some greens? Side dishes like green bean casserole and broccoli casserole are high in calcium, folic acid, and beta-carotene which both help to promote strong enamel and healthy gums.
Ready for more cheese? The calcium in a side dish like macaroni and cheese will pack even more benefit into your meal. The stickiness of cheese can be dangerous and pieces of pasta may get stuck in your teeth, but that’s nothing a piece of floss and a good brush can’t fix.
Pass the potatoes! Depending on how they’re prepared (covered in cheese or gravy), potato dishes can be high in calories and sugar. However, they’re also a great source of Vitamin C, B6, and Potassium, which are important in any diet. Just be mindful of what you’re adding to these Idaho wonders and dig in.
Pumpkin, please! When it’s time for dessert, there’s nothing more appropriate than a pumpkin pie. And good news! The Vitamin A in pumpkin strengthens your enamel and works to keep your gums healthy. The saliva your mouth will create when the sweetness hits will also help wash away any lingering signs from the meal.
Wash it all down! No need to get fancy with sparkling or bottled water—tap water is a natural source of fluoride which can also reverse any damage caused by acid.
Prepare this mouthwatering menu to serve up savory holiday dishes that your guests’ teeth will enjoy just as much as their stomachs!