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," says ADA spokesperson Dr. Kim
Harms. "That’s where flossing can help."
The MouthHealthy: It's the star of the Thanksgiving table.
Gobble it up!
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.
The MouthHealthy: 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."
YamsThe 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.
The MouthHealthy: If candied, enjoy in moderation and
drink plenty of water with your meal to help wash
away any leftover food.
Green Bean CasseroleThe Good: “Green beans are healthy, mushrooms are healthy,
onions are healthy,” Dr. Harms says.
The Bad: “It can be sticky and little beans may get stuck in
your teeth,” Dr. Harms says.
The MouthHealthy: Dig in! But you may want to keep a floss
pick handy. “This is good stuff,” Dr. Harms says.
Macaroni and CheeseThe Good: Say cheese! Many recipes call for cheese
and milk. The calcium from these ingredients helps
The Bad: “Good cheese can be gooey,” Dr. Harms says.
White pastas are also starchy and can leave sugar
behind on your teeth.
The MouthHealthy: As with many feast-worthy foods, eat
a sensible portion and break out your brush and floss later.
Mashed Potatoes and GravyThe Good: “Potatoes are an important dietary source of vitamin C,
B6 and potassium,” Dr. Harms says.
The Bad: Potatoes are starchy, and cavity-causing bacteria
loves the sugar that makes up starch.
The MouthHealthy: “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,” she says.
Pumpkin PieThe 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.
The MouthHealthy: 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.