The Good: This main course is packed with protein.
The Bad: Turkey can be difficult to eat because it sometimes gets stuck between your teeth. That’s where flossing can help.
The Good: It’s a tasty Thanksgiving tradition.
The Bad: Cranberries are naturally tart, so sugar or sugar substitutes are often added to recipes. This side dish can be sticky, acidic and may temporarily stain your teeth.
Verdict: If eaten alone the sugar content, stickiness, tendency for the little berries to get stuck between your teeth and acidity make it one of those foods that needs to be eaten with a meal.
The Good: Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C, which help keep your gums healthy. They can also be prepared in many ways.
The Bad: Candied yam recipes call for marshmallows. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on your teeth longer than other types of food.
Verdict: If candied, enjoy in moderation and drink plenty of water with your meal to help wash away any leftover food.
Green Bean Casserole
The Good: Green beans are healthy, mushrooms are healthy, onions are healthy.
The Bad: It can be sticky and little beans may get stuck in your teeth.
Verdict: Dig in! But you may want to keep a floss pick handy.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
The Good: Potatoes are an important dietary source of vitamin C, B6 and potassium.
The Bad: Potatoes are starchy, and cavity-causing bacteria loves the sugar that makes up starch.
Verdict: If covered with gravy, the health benefits of the overall dish are diminished to some extent, but this is a holiday and only comes once a year.
The Good: Pumpkin has Vitamin A, which helps keep your gums healthy and builds the hard outer shell of your teeth (enamel).
The Bad: There’s the added sugar in the pie itself and whatever whipped topping you put on top.
Verdict: This is usually a once-a-year treat, but dish it out after dinner. Eating sweets shortly after meals helps keep saliva flowing to wash away leftover food.
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