You cannot beat going home for the holidays and spending Thanksgiving with those you love. Surrounded by a table full of delicious meats, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and sweet treats, it’s a time to indulge and make memories with family and friends. But if you’re looking to reduce your risk of needing a dental filling this year, you might consider filling up your plate with some of these healthier Thanksgiving foods this time of year.
The Potential Pitfalls of Thanksgiving
It’s a time when diets are often cast aside and belts are unbuckled to make room for plentiful foods that surround tables throughout the U.S. Thanksgiving dinners usually consist of everything from turkey and mashed potatoes to stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, green bean casseroles, and of course, pumpkin pie.
No matter if your family chooses to make everything from scratch or leaves the desserts to the professionals, the truth is that much of the contents at the Thanksgiving table consists of sugars and starches. The problem with this is that consuming too many of these dishes (i.e., potatoes, sweets, sauces, and rolls) can create problems for your smile.
Whether it is cavities, decay, or gum disease that becomes the issue, these foods can lead to a visit to your emergency dentist if you’re not careful.
Which Foods Should You Eat at Thanksgiving?
If you want to avoid meeting with your dentist to discuss the need for a tooth-colored filling, make sure to remember that moderation is key. Enjoying some of the items listed above is fine as long as you don’t make them the primary component of your plate.
Instead, fill up on these delicious goodies:
- Turkey – As the most common meat found on Thanksgiving tables each year, this protein-filled meat has beneficial nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc – all of which help ensure healthier teeth.
- Sweet Potatoes – If you want to improve your gum health, reach for the sweet potatoes, as they contain vitamins A and C. However, you’ll need to make sure that they don’t have brown sugar and marshmallows on them or else you’re left with in a bowl of sugar.
- Green Vegetables – You can’t go wrong with green vegetables or those that are specifically grown in season. While raw is best, cooked veggies can be a great way to fill up without sacrificing flavor. Plus, they’re great for combatting gingivitis.
- Cranberries – Before you get too excited, sugarless cranberries are great for minimizing the potential for plaque. If you must have some with your turkey this year, make sure they’re flavored with a sugar substitute instead of traditional pure sugar.
While these are just a few of the many healthier options you can choose from on Thanksgiving, you won’t regret your decision to be more mindful. Thinking about ways to safeguard your smile will ensure that you move through the holidays with a more confident, beautiful, and healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Dhavalkumar Rana at TrueCare Dentistry understands what it means to provide world-class care. Understanding that the holidays can be a difficult time to navigate, especially if a patient wants to avoid cavities, our team can provide helpful tips to maneuver the sweets and carbohydrates that often make up the majority of dishes this time of year. If you would like help to keep your teeth and gums healthy at Thanksgiving, visit our website or call (469) 399-7288.