How Teeth Feast on Thanksgiving

teeth and thanksgivingMany people worry about how the holiday feasts will affect their weight and clothes sizes. However, do you worry about how the dietary overindulgence will affect your dental health? The consequences of irresponsible eating might not be as obvious in your teeth as it can be in your midsection, but they can still be a serious concern. The good news is that, with a little care in how you feast this Thanksgiving, you can actually help your teeth remain healthy, rather than placing them at risk.

Good News Food

Turkey, Beef, and Chicken

More reason to be thankful for the centerpiece turkey—it contains minerals and nutrients that are vital to keeping your teeth strong and healthy, and its texture can help clean your teeth of clingy oral bacteria. Lean beef and chicken are also beneficial to your teeth, so you can enjoy a wider variety.


Cheese and other dairy products contain healthy amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which form the building blocks of the enamel that surrounds your teeth. Cheese and sugar-free yogurt, which stick to your teeth longer than milk, are especially helpful.


Vegetables, particularly green leafy ones, also help feed teeth with the minerals they need. Besides calcium, green veggies like kale and lettuce also contain vitamin C, which helps boost the health of the connective tissues between your teeth and gums.


Cranberries and cranberry sauce are also common staples of Thanksgiving dinner, and contain enzymes that help inhibit the accumulation of cavity-causing oral bacteria. Exercise caution, however, as many cranberry-based dishes also contain copious amounts of sugar, which can increase your risk of cavities, instead.

Proper Care

If you don’t properly care for your teeth, any food can prove harmful by lingering around and feeding the bacteria hidden in dental plaque. To avoid fuelling harmful mouth germs, be sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly after dinner (but wait 30 minutes to allow your oral pH to neutralize), and drink plenty of water throughout the day to rinse away food particles and bacteria.


To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.