PLANTATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thanksgiving dinner favorites are delicious, though sometimes, unfortunately, the foods we love are bad for our teeth. But the holiday doesn’t have to be a dental disaster. DentalPlans.com, a leading online marketplace for dental savings plans, is sharing advice on which popular Thanksgiving dishes support healthy smiles and how to safely enjoy the not-so-healthy bites too.
Your teeth will be thankful for:
- Cheese – the calcium in cheese and other dairy products helps keep bones and dental enamel strong. Cheese also contains phosphorus, which supports calcium’s efforts in building strong bones and teeth.
- Vegetables – these contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals. The crunchy ones, such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumbers can even help clean teeth. And, adding a drizzle of olive oil – which is rich in inflammation-fighting oleic acid – can boost the health benefits even further.
- Turkey – this lean protein supports overall health. And like cheese, it too has plenty of phosphorus, to support strong dental enamel and bones.
- Salad – one of the many benefits of leafy greens is their abundance of vitamin K, which helps build strong bones. Vitamin K also supports the body’s natural healing abilities. Vitamin K can also be found in broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
- Fruits – apples, strawberries, and kiwis (among some others) scrub your teeth when you eat them. When the natural fibers of the fruits combine with saliva in the mouth, they help wash away food particles and stain-causing bacteria.
- Pumpkin pie – this dessert is typically less sugary than many deserts, and it contains vitamin A, which encourages healing and helps to reduce dry mouth issues that can cause dental decay.
Better for your taste buds than your teeth:
- Mashed Potatoes – potatoes provide vitamin C, B6 and potassium, but these simple carbs break down to sugar, which oral bacteria thrives on.
- Sweet Potatoes – this alternative to regular potatoes contain potassium, which builds bone mineral density. Sweet potatoes also have plenty of Vitamin A and C, but the dish turns into a dental health nightmare if you add brown sugar or marshmallows.
Dishes to resist:
- Cranberry Sauce – since it is acidic, this food can weaken dental enamel. And if you add sugar, you have a perfect recipe for dental decay.
- Sticky, Sweet Desserts – anything that clings to your teeth and saturates your mouth with sugar is not good for your teeth.
- Wine – this beverage is acidic, and red wine in particular can stain your teeth while weakening dental enamel.
Don’t want to skip any of your favorites? Here’s what to do.
“Pay close attention to your dental hygiene before the holidays. A healthy mouth is able to withstand a few Thanksgiving indulgences,” said Jenn Stoll, chief commercial officer at DentalPlans.com. “No matter how great your at-home oral care routine is, everyone needs regular dental check-ups and cleanings to maintain good oral and overall health.”
Rinsing your mouth with plain water after eating sugary foods, and then brushing and flossing as soon as you can, is a great way to keep sweet dishes from hurting your teeth. And if you’re eating or drinking acidic items, rinse with water afterwards but be sure to delay brushing for an hour. Acidic foods soften dental enamel, and waiting before brushing gives your dental enamel a little time to harden again.
If budget has kept you from seeing the dentist regularly, a dental savings plan can give you discounts of 10-60% off on routine care, such as check-ups and cleanings, and restorative care, like after you bite too hard into that candy apple and chip a tooth. Make time before the holidays to take care of yourself and your smile. Learn more about dental savings plans here.
DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading online dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.