It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and thus the week of leftovers. We’ve gathered with friends and family; piled our plates high with feasts fit for a king, and have spent the holiday giving thanks. As our waistlines are now paying the price, our Shoreline dentist is happy to share with you some positive aspects for your leftovers; Thanksgiving food is fantastic for your oral health! The dentist Shoreline patients see for their oral health wants you to know that good nutrition is a part of your preventative dentistry plan. Besides flossing and brushing, and bi-annual visits to our office, a healthy diet is needed for a great smile.
Despite the amount of food we consume at Thanksgiving, in moderation, of course; the health benefits of your Thanksgiving feast can actually be beneficial to your smile. So, what do you have left in your fridge…or what didn’t you get enough of this year?
Dark green veggies are a wonderful source of vitamins A, C, and K as well as B. The digestive system relies on vitamin A to produce saliva which helps break down the food you chew. Saliva rinses food particles out of your mouth, eliminating foods and bacteria from sticking to your teeth which can lead to tooth decay. At the same time, vitamin C restores soft tissues and keeps your gums healthy.
This Thanksgiving favorite may not be 100% healthy when topped with marshmallows, but in other recipes, the benefits of these tubers are immensely helpful. Like green vegetables, sweet potatoes provide us with a high level of vitamin A. Eating sweet potatoes helps your digestive system get the most of the nutrients you need and can reduce your risk of getting periodontal disease.
Cranberries pack your body with a healthy punch vitamins. These tart fruits are loaded with vitamin C which repairs gum tissue and other soft tissues in your mouth. They also are a good source of fiber and manganese. Manganese promotes oral health by strengthening enamel and bones. Our Shoreline dentist loves the health benefits of cranberries, but cautions mixing them with too much sugar. If possible, try adding chopped oranges and apples to your cranberry leftovers as a sweet substitute to sugar.
Quite possibly, you’ll have plenty of turkey left over. This main dish is a great source of protein which works to keep your teeth strong and health. Additionally, protein fills us up so we are less tempted to indulge in leftover pie.
The good news is that there’s no need to feel guilty finishing up your leftovers. The bad news is that these oral health benefits may have you craving Thanksgiving meals all year long. Just remember that the food we eat pays a large role in our oral health and preventative dentistry. Luckily, with proper oral hygiene and nutrition habits, you can keep your smile looking great and in good health. Visit our Shoreline dentist office Facebook page for more nutritious tips for your mouth and take the time to learn more about how your diet can help your smile.