Why the Thanksgiving Bird is Tooth-Friendly

Posted on November 26, 2013 in General oral health

Girl with turkey

Thanksgiving is a time to feast with family and friends. Luckily, turkey is a great food for oral health because it is rich in protein. Protein has phosphorus in it – and when the phosphorus mixes with calcium and vitamin D, it creates strong bones and teeth. So even though eating a Thanksgiving feast can make you sleepy, you can rest assured that turkey is a healthy option for a great smile.

Not all Thanksgiving foods are so tooth-friendly, though. While many turkey day tables aren’t complete without cranberry sauce, this dish can cause your mouth some serious issues. Because the sauce is so high in sugar, plaque and other bacteria on your teeth “feed” off any particles left in your mouth, producing acid that wears away tooth enamel. Fortunately, since dried cranberries and cranberry sauce are typically eaten during the Thanksgiving meal and not by themselves, other foods help keep the sugar from sticking to teeth by increasing saliva flow, which helps rid the mouth of leftover food particles.

When in doubt, seek out the veggie tray: Munching on crunchy foods such as celery and carrots is particularly helpful.

This Thanksgiving, enjoy your turkey guilt-free. If you do indulge in sweets, remember to brush and floss after the meal so you'll have something to be thankful for even into December – good oral hygiene!