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This holiday season, don’t forget to be thankful for your oral health as well as your overall health. Your teeth and gums give you the ability to speak, to bite and chew, and even to bestow kisses on those you love. It’s not hard to give some TLC to your smile, it thrives when you diligently brush and floss every day. We encourage you to maintain your oral hygiene habits during the busy holiday season, no matter how busy or tired you may be.

And what about the foods you eat? Are they nourishing your teeth and gum? Thankfully, traditional Thanksgiving fare offers many good things for your oral health. Let’s take a look at them and appreciate what they do for you:

1-Turkey is a bird that brings your smile phosphorous from protein to help keep your pearly whites strong.

2-While cranberry sauce is naturally tart, it is most often offset by adding sugar. This can be problematic, but only if you snack on it. You can temper its sugary excess by eating it with your meal.

3- Mashed potatoes are a vegetable that is filled with potassium, Vitamin C, and B6, all of which are smile-healthy for you!

4- Grandma’s creamy green bean casserole is an old favorite and has some healthy things to offer your smile. It has onions and mushrooms in it, and when those are made with raw onions and shitake mushrooms, they come complete with anti-microbial properties that fight tooth decay.

5- Sweet potatoes, or yams, are rich in Vitamins A and C. Both are great for your oral tissues. If they are candied or topped with marshmallows, you’re going to have to watch out for the sugar. Again, eat it with your meal and avoid snacking on them. If they aren’t heavily sweetened, enjoy them!

6- Brussel sprouts are a type of miniature cabbage which is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. These benefit your gums, while the calcium they contain benefit your teeth.

7- Can you imagine a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie to round out the meal? Well, neither can we! The pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, benefiting both teeth and gums. Now, it might also be packed with sugar, especially if you pile on the whipped cream. You can enjoy your pie with your meal, but again, avoid nibbling on it throughout the day.

When you are done feasting, please take a moment to brush and floss thoroughly. If you can’t do this right away, rinse your mouth out well with water to lessen the sugar and starches oral bacteria love to feed on.

If you would like to schedule your end of year cleaning with our dentist, Dr. James E. Gaff, please call our team in Jacksonville, Florida today. Just call 904-641-2655 and make sure your smile stays healthy and confident this holiday season!