Girl with turkey

Thanksgiving: Just Another Reason to Smile

As much as you can’t believe the holidays are again upon us, take a moment to plan your Thanksgiving menu now. Vow to make it a healthier celebration this year. Both your waistline and your teeth will thank you!

Consider this – sugary and starchy foods add to the sticky plaque in your mouth that causes cavities. Plaque can also harden into tartar, which can lead to gum disease. You can prevent tooth decay and gum disease with regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.

You can also help keep your teeth healthy by improving your diet. This Thanksgiving, you might want to plan a healthier menu. Here are some ideas:

  • Substitute bread and rolls made with white flower with wheat or grain alternatives. Avoiding starchy foods is good for your diet and your teeth.
  • Love sweet potatoes? Eat them without the marshmallows and you’ll have less sugar in your meal. Here’s a healthy sweet potato recipe from the Food Network’s Alton Brown.
  • Vegetables are a great addition to every meal. Here’s a healthy green bean recipe without the usual addition of canned soup.
  • Is stuffing your Thanksgiving staple? Try this gluten-free stuffing recipe from the Food Network. It’s tasty and has no sugar.
  • If you like to end your meal with a classic apple pie, try this Better Apple Pie recipe, which uses about half the crust of the traditional favorite. Yet you still get the crunch and flavorful apple taste of the original.

Try to avoid serving sugary sodas and juices with your Thanksgiving dinner. And even though you want to fall asleep in an easy chair after your big meal, don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth first! Learn more about food friends and foes for your teeth.

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