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Let Your Child Gobble-Gobble These Tooth-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods!

November 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — brushforkids @ 8:18 pm
a child eating Thanksgiving dinner

One of the most exciting parts of Thanksgiving and the holiday season is all of the foods that your child will get to eat. From homemade cookies and pies to ham, turkey, and a smorgasbord of delicious sides, your child is sure to be full and satisfied after dinner. However, one factor you may not be considering is how certain popular holiday foods will impact their oral health. Some can lead to a greater risk of cavities, while others can actually ward off the threat of common oral health issues. Read on to learn which Thanksgiving classics can boost their dental development.

How Do Cavities Form?

Cavities are one of the most common oral health problems in the nation, estimated to impact nearly half of children between the ages of two and 11 years old. This is largely due to the fact that kids are still learning how to brush and floss their teeth properly and effectively.

Without parental supervision to ensure they stay atop their dental hygiene routine, it could lead to the build-up of food debris, plaque, and tartar. These are comprised of sugars and carbohydrates that don’t get completely washed away by saliva, attracting harmful oral bacteria and leading to enamel decay, cavities, and eventually tooth infections when left untreated.

Smile-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods

There are plenty of traditional Thanksgiving foods that can benefit your child’s oral health in a variety of ways, reducing their chances of decay. These include:

  • Mac n’ Cheese: Just like other bones, teeth are strengthened by calcium, meaning the heaps of milk and cheese can help support their dental development.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple, and while it’s high in sugar, which bacteria love to feed off of, it’s also high in vitamin A, which can support both gum and dental health. The only thing to keep in mind is that because it’s a sugary dessert, make sure your little one enjoys it in moderation.
  • Turkey: Protein-packed turkey contains a variety of nutrients, like niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc, which can boost your dental and bone health.
  • Green Bean Casserole: Children tend to either love or hate green bean casserole. The good news is, if yours loves it, they can eat as much as they want! It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of fiber and folic acid, which is great for their oral and overall development.

While it’s not necessary to cut your child off from their other Thanksgiving favorites that aren’t ideal for their oral health, like sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, it is good to know that consuming too much of these foods can lead to issues down the road. With a balanced Thanksgiving meal, you can help keep your favorite smile healthy this holiday season.

About the Practice

At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, our team is led by five highly skilled, compassionate, and gentle pediatric dentists, Drs. Mira Albert, Lynna Gripentrog, Andreina Karamchandani, Maggie Rizzo, and Stephanie Bollow. With a love for educating children about how to take care of their smiles and providing thoughtful, positive dental experiences, our team is parent-approved. For questions or to schedule a checkup and cleaning before the holidays, visit our website or call 630-504-2223.

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