Thanksgiving is just around the corner . . . and so are shopping lists, RSVPs and lots of cooking. As you prepare your menu for the day, don’t forget to keep the health of your mouth in mind.
“It’s important to remember that like the rest of our body, our gums and teeth need nutrients to stay healthy and strong,” says Dr. Michael Casey, Partner with Associated Orthodontists. “Fortunately, many of the delicious foods we share during the holidays contain important vitamins, minerals and calcium that are key to the development and maintenance of good oral health.”
A Healthy Menu
Besides being the holiday favorite, turkey is a great source of protein and is high in phosphorous, which helps create strong teeth and bones.
Mashed or sweet potatoes
This must-have side dish is not only delicious, but nutritious! These spuds have the perfect mix of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Plus, potatoes don’t stick to your teeth — which is great for those with braces or orthodontic appliances.
Veggies are a great source of key vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The vitamins build strong teeth and bones, plus help prevent oral cancer. Fiber stimulates saliva flow, which is a natural defense against cavities.
Nature gave this Thanksgiving staple all the sweetness it needs, so there’s no added sugar. Plus, cranberries contain flavonoids which help stop bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming dental plaque.
Pumpkin (and pumpkin pies) are a good source of vitamins A and C, plus zinc and magnesium. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency is associated with poor dental health and weak bones. Magnesium helps build enamel to protect teeth.
Keep Your Mouth Happy
While you indulge this Thanksgiving, remember that you CAN have too much of a good thing. Extra sugar, acidic foods and sticky sweets can wreak havoc on your mouth. Keep it brace-friendly by avoiding nuts, chewy desserts or any hard, crunchy foods. Eating meat off the bone should also be avoided. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and pack your toothbrush and floss for a good post-meal cleaning.
Associated Orthodontists has offices in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, Frankfort and Bourbonnais, and offers complimentary orthodontic consultations and observation appointments at all locations. Our friendly Treatment Coordinators will verify your insurance and create a customized interest-free payment plan. To schedule your complimentary consultation, or to find the Associated Orthodontist location near you, please visit greatbraces.com.