The holidays can get so busy, it’s easy to forget the small everyday things–like oral hygiene. Plus, the holidays expose us to food on what seems like a constant basis, and it can be tricky to forget to take breaks to floss, brush, and rinse. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of five recipes that use teeth-friendly foods that you can easily incorporate into your holiday menu. Of course, even the healthiest of foods can’t take the place of a good brush-and-floss session, but these can get you through those tough pinches.
The Top Five Teeth-Friendly Foods and Recipes
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens are healthy all around, but it’s the folic acid, vitamin B, and calcium that your teeth will appreciate. An added bonus for pregnant women: folic acid has been shown to help reduce the risk of cleft-lip or cleft palate, and vitamin B can help treat gum disease in pregnant women.
Creamed Kale Recipe: From Nutmeg Mary, “This totally simple creamed kale is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Full of healthy kale, cream cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Hello delicious!”
New York Times Leafy Green Salads: “Kathryn Anible, a personal chef in New York City, has a solution for adding color to your holiday table: leafy greens with an autumn flair.”
Apples and Carrots: An exception to the common no-sweets rule, apples are at the top of this list because they are high in fiber and H2O. Fiber has been linked in some studies to slowing gum recession. The water in apples combined with the action of chewing them increases the saliva in your mouth which rinses away bacteria and food particles in your mouth. For this reason, hard fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery can be good to munch on in between or after meals.
Maple Roasted Carrots, Apples, and Onions: From the Heritage Cook, this dish “may not be a combination of ingredients that you normally would think to put together, they blend beautifully.”
Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette: Once Upon a Chef’s Jenn Segal knows how to prepare a colorful and healthy Thanksgiving side dish. “
Cheese: Dairy products like cheese raise your mouth’s pH level, which can lower the risk of tooth decay. Plus, cheese is filled with calcium and protein that strengthens teeth enamel. We recommend setting out a raw veggie and cheese platter between courses!
Cashews: These nuts contain anacardic acid which has been shown to kill the bacteria known to cause tooth decay, as well as acne.
Green Beans with Ginger and Cashews: Epicurious notes, “This streamlined dish, which needs just a brief rewarming on top of the stove before serving, won’t contribute to a last-minute traffic jam in the oven.” Noted!
Don’t forget that brushing, flossing, and drinking lots of water are the best defenses against tooth decay.
From all of us at East Madison Dental, have a Happy Thanksgiving!