Posted .

For individuals with braces any meal can involve making choices on what to eat and what not to eat. The good news is that the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner offers a wide choice of tasty soft foods.

1. Turkey – Protein-rich foods, like good old Tom Turkey, can actually be good for your teeth. Turkey contains phosphorus, which can help foster strong teeth and bones when mixed with Vitamin D and calcium. Just keep the pieces small and don’t eat off the bone.

2. Yams and Sweet Potatoes – These are naturally sweet, so hold the gooey, sticky marshmallows, please. Served baked or roasted, yams are nutrient-rich and don’t stick to the surfaces of teeth. If you must sweeten them up, a touch of brown sugar or molasses will suffice.

3. Veggies – Vegetables like beets, broccoli, carrots and celery contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C which are instrumental in repairing gums from periodontal disease.

4. Pumpkin: Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin C and calcium, a great combination for strengthening bones and teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating Grandma’s delicious pumpkin pie, though.

5. Cranberry Relish – Cranberry gets the Gold Star of Dental Health as far as Thanksgiving goes! Recent research has indicated that cranberries contain special compounds that disrupt the development of plaque-causing bacteria. Be sure to make your cranberry sauce with real cranberries and not the stuff that keeps the shape of the can…

Turkey Day Hall of Shame Foods

1. Pecan Pie (aka: my favorite) – A sticky, sugary, chewy disaster for teeth. At least pumpkin pie has some vitamins to offer!

2. Popcorn balls – The popcorn and caramel can easily get stuck in your teeth promoting tooth decay, not to mention discomfort!

3. White Wine – – Although it won’t stain your teeth like red wine, white wine has a high pH level and packs an acidic punch that can erode your teeth.

4. Stuffing, cakes, and rolls – That’s right. Pretty much all the good stuff! These carb-loaded, starchy treats are great for causing tooth decay.

5. Soda!!! – It still surprises me how many people keep drinking this death-liquid on a regular basis. Absolutely for your teeth’s sake, but certainly for your overall health as well stay away from this stuff in any routine manner.

Okay, we don’t want to ruin all your holiday fun. Go ahead and indulge – in moderation – in some of these forbidden treats. We won’t tell! Just be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water or, better yet, brush your teeth after your big holiday meal.

Bon Appetit and Happy Thanksgiving!