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As the holiday season is already upon us, there is much to be thankful for. The food on our table, our loved ones, and our healthy smiles. To protect your teeth and gums, take good care of them every day. Brush and floss, and get professional dental cleanings every six months. But what about our food? Luckily, a lot of the food that is served traditionally for Thanksgiving has some healthy properties for your smile. Let’s take a look:

– As the main feature, turkey is also one of the healthiest foods on the table. It is rich in phosphorous protein to help your teeth stay strong.

– Cranberry sauce is the perfect complement to turkey, but because it is naturally tart, it is usually laden with sugar. We recommend eating it with your meal, to help buffer the sugary effects, instead of snacking on it.

– Mashed potatoes make a mouth-watering side dish that is resplendent in potassium, Vitamin C, and B6 which are all good for your smile. Just be sure to rinse well afterward to remove the starchy residue in the mouth that feeds oral bacteria.

– Your Grandmother’s green bean casserole is a family favorite, and because it is made with mushrooms and onions in addition to the green beans, your smile will thank you! Shitake mushrooms and raw onions have anti-microbial properties that fight tooth decay.

– Yams are a variety of sweet potatoes which are rich in Vitamins A and C, both of which promote gum health. The problem is, are they topped with marshmallows for the occasion? Candied yams can still offer healthy properties, but you’ll want to temper the sugar by eating them with your meal, not as a snack. Drink lots of water to help promote saliva and rinse away the sugary residue.

– Brussel sprouts are mini cabbages that are rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. These are good for the gums, and the calcium they contain help strengthen your pearly whites.

– Pumpkin pie is rich in Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, benefiting both your gums and tooth enamel. But as with candied yams, if it is heavy on the sugar (and whipped cream topping) then you’ll also want to eat this with your meal, and not snack on it throughout the day or evening.

Be sure to follow up this festive meal with a good brushing and flossing and rinsing to rid yourself of sugary, starchy debris that oral bacteria feed on.

Do you still need to schedule your end of year dental cleaning before your insurance benefits expire for the year? If so, it’s not too late! Reach out to our Preferred Dental Care team in Los Alamitos, California and keep your smile on track by calling 562-431-1349 today!