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This holiday season, the best way to give thanks for your health is to take care of it.

Did you know that good dental health can contribute positively to your overall quality of health? Taking care of your smile can help you to reap endless benefits. Implementing small but important steps in your regular oral hygiene practice can make all of the difference.

The foods you eat play a very important role in your dental health. Given the many delicious foods you will be surrounded by this upcoming holiday season, your friendly McAllen dentists at Whitewing Dental would like to offer some insight on enamel-friendly Thanksgiving foods. 

Individuals of all ages can benefit from making certain teeth-friendly choices. 

Teeth-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods 

There are plenty of festive foods that are quite good for building and maintaining healthy teeth. Thankfully, many Thanksgiving foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help support your teeth’s enamel. 

The following are foods are not only delicious but excellent for your oral health: 

  • Pumpkin – Many dishes incorporate this squash into festive dishes. It has zinc, which assists in healing gum tissues. The squash also has magnesium and calcium, which supports bone strength. Also, vitamin A and vitamin C in the pumpkin help to protect your gums from disease.
  • Turkey – This main course is very protein-dense and low in sugar. If you find that some gets threaded between your teeth, a little bit of floss is a quick fix. 
  • Potatoes – The starch in potatoes is what makes this food so comforting. That starch is full of potassium, which helps your bones stay strong. The potassium also functions with magnesium to alkalize the blood.
  • Vegetables – As one can expect, vegetables are full of a variety of vitamins and minerals. From green beans to collard greens, these vegetables will serve many functions in dental support. Furthermore, crispier veggies like carrots and celery are naturally abrasive and can scrape excess plaque from your teeth while you eat.
  • Dairy – Calcium that supports strong bones and teeth, and healthy gums, can be derived from dairy products too. 

Thanksgiving Foods to Limit or Avoid

The abundance of comfort food and sweets during Thanksgiving (and into Christmas) can be very tempting. You might even want to load up your plate with these decadent foods but remember that eating the following in excess can lead to dental troubles.

We recommend that you best avoid or limit the following items this Thanksgiving:

  • Sweets – Many Thanksgiving treats are made with a lot of sugar. Although no food is bad in moderation, it is ultimately best to limit your sugar intake as bacteria feeds on these sugar particles and builds plaque. Consider using sugar alternatives such as xylitol to prepare baked goods.
  • Processed carbohydrates – The starch in potatoes is ultimately different from the processed carbs in other Thanksgiving foods. These carbs also break down into sugars which feed bacteria. Examples of processed foods to limit include bread rolls, stuffing, pies, and cakes. 
  • Acidic foods and beverages –  Festive foods which tend to be more bitter or pungent can contain high levels of acidity which wear away at your enamel. This can lead to brittle teeth or even stains. Acidic foods can include wine, tart pies, juices, and coffee. 

Give Thanks for Your Smile by Following These Tips 

When making your plate this holiday, keep the recommended foods in mind and try to limit your consumption of the other types. Also, remember that snacking between meals can increase the chances of cavities. 

Always follow through with brushing your teeth after a larger meal. It is best to wait thirty minutes after you have eaten to brush, as your enamel can be weakened by some of the acidic foods.

Adults and children should both follow these tips to best limit the risk of cavities. You wouldn’t want to spend your Thanksgiving with a toothache. Seeing your dentist regularly can also help to address dental concerns.

You and your loved ones can seek dental care from the passionate and dependable McAllen dentists at Whitewing Dental by contacting us today at (956) 686-5577 to schedule an appointment.