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Thanksgiving Foods for Good Dental Health

shoreline-thanksgiving-2Out of all the holidays you celebrate throughout the year, Thanksgiving is the one that is most centered around food. The good news is that there are many different dishes you can prepare that are actually good for your teeth. Check out these delicious alternatives for your Thanksgiving table:  

Appetizers

Nuts, raw vegetables, and cheese are all good choices to munch your way to good dental health. Nuts contain minerals and calcium that help to strengthen your teeth. They also require a good amount of chewing that stimulates saliva production, which prevents decay by fighting germs. Crunchy raw vegetables help clean your teeth by producing saliva as you eat them. Celery in particular is good for your dental health, because it's fibrous strands act as natural dental floss, cleaning between your teeth. Cheese, in addition to containing calcium for strong teeth and bones, also contains something called casein, which is a protein that strengthens your enamel.

Main Course

While turkey is a good source of protein that is good for your teeth, it does tend to get caught between your teeth, so be sure to floss after eating. Instead of green bean casserole, a wonderful variation is green beans sauteed in sesame oil. Studies have shown that you can actually replace your mouthwash with sesame oil to reduce plaque, and in some cases, even reverse the effects of gum disease. Top this dish with sesame seeds for the benefits of added crunch.  You will produce more saliva, which helps to clean your teeth.

Dessert

Trade in the traditional pumpkin pie for something your teeth will thank you for. Fresh pear slices with a honey-yogurt dip is a sophisticated alternative that is easy to prepare and elegant to serve. Simply arrange some sliced pears on a platter and top them with a cup of plain Greek yogurt mixed with two tablespoons of honey and a dash of cinnamon. Pears reduce damaging acid that sit on the surface of your teeth, and honey is a natural antiseptic. The calcium in the yogurt helps to strengthen your teeth.

In addition to being good for your teeth, these tooth-healthy foods are also heart healthy and less fattening than traditional Thanksgiving fare. Add something new from the selections above to your Thanksgiving menu this year. Your teeth will thank you for it. Along with choosing a healthy Thanksgiving meal, make sure you're getting you teeth cleaned regularly. The end of the year is a great time to schedule your 6 month checkup, as it is easy to keep as a part of your yearly routine.