Seven Turkey Day Tips for your Teeth

Happy Thanksgiving!

A lot of people will be filling up on food, family, and friendship today. We have some tips for you to help protect your teeth during your Thanksgiving Day feast.


Turkey is full of protein and makes up the main dish on Thanksgiving Day. That protein is good for your body, providing a lot of energy with little fat. However, turkey has a habit of getting stuck in your teeth as well. When food sticks between your teeth, bacteria gathers and deteriorates the teeth around the food. What can you do to remedy this?

After your dinner, use some floss or a floss pick to clear away any stubborn bits of turkey.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries are full of antioxidants and taste amazing. This traditional dish can be a healthy addition to your meal, but most people add sugar to the tart sauce. Between the sugar and the natural acidity of the cranberries, it is a haven for bacteria. Not to mention, it also stains teeth.

We recommend brushing your teeth after your meal or at least giving your mouth a good swishing with water.

Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

Sweet potatoes are both delicious and healthful. They contain Vitamins A and C which are both excellent for gum health. You can prepare sweet potatoes a variety of ways, but candied varieties require extra oral care.

If you’re having candied yams with marshmallows, try to enjoy them in moderation. Drink plenty of water during your meal to wash away the sticky bits and brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Green Bean Casserole

Overall, green bean casserole is a great choice for healthy eating. The onions, mushrooms, and beans are all healthful options, but the dish can be a bit sticky.

Keep some floss picks handy and clear out any bits that get stuck between your teeth. Other than that, enjoy the casserole!

Macaroni & Cheese

A favorite at Thanksgiving dinners, mac & cheese is full of protein and calcium. The calcium is especially beneficial, as it helps strengthen teeth. However, pasta is starchy, and that leaves sugars behind on your teeth.

Like most of the feast, eat in moderation and clean your teeth afterward to prevent bacterial buildup.

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Potatoes have been a staple of many diets worldwide for their easy cultivation and benefits. They contain Vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium, which are all necessary for dietary health.

However, potatoes are starchy, which leaves sugars behind on teeth. Bacteria gravitates to starch, leading to cavities. Cleaning your teeth right after the meal prevents bacterial growth.

Pumpkin Pie

Now, on to everyone’s favorite course: dessert! Pumpkin contains Vitamin A, which is beneficial for gums and helps build enamel on teeth. Unfortunately, there is a lot of sugar in pumpkin pie, which is food for teeth-destroying bacteria.

That said, this is not a common dessert throughout the year, so enjoy it. When you eat dessert right after your meal, you maintain saliva production. This helps wash away food particles that could become homes for bacteria.

Tips from Your Houston Dentist

All in all, enjoy your Thanksgiving Day feast and the company of family and friends. Clean your teeth after your big meal to prevent lingering food particles and to freshen your smile for chatting with guests. To further protect your teeth, visit your Houston dentist for a checkup and cleaning.

From all of us at Naba Dental, we wish our patients and visitors a warm and happy Thanksgiving!