Great Thanksgiving Foods for Your Smile

Children's dental care McKinney

The big Thanksgiving feast is right around the corner, and the team at McKinney Smiles has been fielding a lot of questions from our patients about the best ways to enjoy the holiday in a healthy way.

So can you have your pumpkin pie and eat it too?

Well, we think so. The truth is, Thanksgiving day is the same as all the other days of the year when decisions that protect and support our oral health are a critical part of dental care. Of course, on Thanksgiving, there’s quite a bit of extra temptation!

This Thanksgiving, McKinney Smiles asks you to challenge yourself–  only eat foods that support oral health! If you think this leaves you chewing on dental floss while your family gorges on pecan pie, think again…


Cranberries abound from Thanksgiving and into the New Year. You can hardly take a bite of holiday food without biting into their tangy goodness. Better still, cranberries fight plaque– bacterial build-up on our teeth that provides a cozy den for bacteria to thrive.

Scientists have found a compound in cranberries that stops a bacterial enzyme known as glucosyltransferase. Without this enzyme, bacteria are unable to build their plaque, and your dental enamel is that much more secure.


If you choose to have a drink with your Thanksgiving dinner, consider a glass of wine. Researchers have discovered that wine– both red and white– has gum-healthy properties. Specifically, wine helps control the inflammatory response seen in gingivitis or periodontitis.

Polyphenols— which are also present in colorful vegetables, leafy greens, and tea– are the ingredient in wine that works against gum inflammation. So raise a glass and toast to oral health!


Speaking of polyphenols, vegetables are next on our list of great foods to seek out this Thanksgiving. Not only do they share wine’s anti-inflammatory properties, many vegetables are also rich in vitamins A and C, which support gum health and fight gum disease.

And there are so many options to choose from… roasted yams or root vegetables? A light, crispy salad drizzled with heart-healthy olive oil? If you need some inspiring vegetable recipes, don’t hesitate to give us a call, and remember– pumpkin pie is high in vitamin C!


Worried we were going to leave out everyone’s favorite bird? Well, relax– turkey is a great option for oral health concerned diners. It turns out that turkey is high in phosphorous, an important element in rebuilding tooth enamel that has been damaged by bacteria.

Finally– dig in

Enjoy your meal and time with family, and stock up on all these tooth-healthy foods– there’s lots to choose from.

Any other questions or concerns about teeth health and the holidays? Give us a call or visit us. Happy Thanksgiving from McKinney Smiles— your number one choice for McKinney, Allen, or Plano dentist.

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