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Oral Health Buzz

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips for a Tooth-Friendly Holiday

Rachael Moshman

Thanksgiving is a holiday infamous for rows of food choices, many of which are not especially healthy. Fortunately, you can have a delicious feast that is also good for you with these healthy Thanksgiving tips. Here are some dishes you can serve that include foods recommended for healthy teeth by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Appetizers: Cheese, Raw Veggies and Nuts

Put out plates of crudités, cheese cubes and mixed nuts for guests to snack on while dinner is being prepared. Cheese is great for teeth because it contains strength-building calcium. Casein, a protein found in milk products, fortifies the surfaces of teeth, helping to prevent cavities. Nuts contain calcium and minerals that strengthen and remineralize teeth. The chewing of hard, crunchy nuts also produces extra saliva, which fights germs and prevents decay. Chewing raw vegetables produces lots of saliva to wash away bacteria. The fibrous strands of celery are particularly good for dental health because they help clean between teeth.

Main Course: Green Beans Sautéed in Sesame Oil

Rinsing with sesame oil in place of a mouthwash has been shown to reduce the effects of plaque and even, in some cases, to reverse the effects of gingivitis. Sauté your favorite vegetables in sesame oil for a tasty side dish. Top with sesame seeds for added crunch.

Dessert: Fresh Pear Slices with Honey Yogurt Dip

Serve this simple yet sophisticated seasonal dessert. Thinly slice your favorite variety of pear. Arrange on a platter. Serve with a dip made by combining a cup of plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey and a sprinkling of freshly ground cinnamon.

Fresh pears have been shown to neutralize acid on the surface of teeth. Calcium and phosphates in yogurt strengthen and remineralize teeth. Honey is a natural antiseptic.

Beverages: Tap Water and Tea

Tap water contains fluoride which reverses damage to enamel caused by acids. Green and black tea kill bacteria, thus fighting cavities. Make the tea with tap water and you reap a double benefit.

As a bonus, these tooth-healthy foods are also good for your heart and waistline. With these healthy Thanksgiving tips, it is possible to enjoy a delicious holiday dinner without gaining weight or jeopardizing your sparkling smile.

Learn more about mouth-healthy eating in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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