While many of us tend to believe that Americans gain 5 to 10 pounds over the holiday season, researchers have found that’s a myth. But, before you start to think you can overindulge this Thanksgiving, think again. There are many pros and cons to the foods you’re about to eat in the coming days and they all have an effect on your teeth.
Some Thanksgiving dishes add nutritional value to your diet but some are just plain bad for you. What do you get from eating turkey versus pumpkin pie? You may be surprised. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of Thanksgiving dishes and the effects they have on your teeth.
Turkey: It’s the main course and it may be loaded with protein but turkey is difficult to eat and gets stuck in-between your teeth. Get the floss ready because you’re going to need it.
Cranberry Sauce: This sugary treat is acidic and will temporarily stain your teeth. To reduce the sugary effects and staining, make sure to eat it with the rest of your meal and not by itself.
Yams: Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins A and C, but a candied yam is far less healthy for your teeth. Marshmallows typically have 4 grams of sugar, which is not good. Additionally, melted marshmallow is sticky and gooey and can be bad news for people who wear braces and dentures. Eat in moderation.
Green Bean Casserole: While the green beans, onions, and mushrooms may be healthy, this is another situation to keep the floss handy after your meal.
Macaroni and Cheese: We know that cheese and milk have calcium which strengthens our teeth but did you know that pasta contains sugar that can be left behind on your teeth? Eat this in moderation, also.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: A starch-heavy food, bacteria feeds off the sugar left behind from starch, although potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, B6, and potassium.
Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin has vitamin A, which is good for your gums and enamel. Also, eating sweets after a meal keeps the saliva flowing to help wash away leftover food in your mouth, but you may want to leave the sugar-packed whipped topping off the pie.
You are bound to come across foods that are both good and bad for you this holiday season. Think before you indulge in your favorite foods because some are harmful to your healthy smile. If you brush and floss after your Thanksgiving meal, you’re already on the right path.