We’re pumped for Thanksgiving dinner this week. For good reasons, too – it’s not only one of the year’s most epic meals, but also one of our favorite times to be with family and friends.

And food, family, and friends are core values here at Lineberger Dentistry.

So, let’s be honest – there are some Thanksgiving foods and drinks that are better than others when it comes to your dental health. Here’s the breakdown of the oh-so-good, and the oh-so-good, but bad for your teeth.

NOTE: We recommend you eat anything and everything you want. Just make sure to take extra special care if you go over the top with anything on the oh-so-good, but bad list.

THE OH-SO-GOOD:

CRANBERRIES – Did you know that cranberries actually disrupt bacterial growth and prevent plaque build-up? It’s true. So, that cranberry sauce can be good for you; just watch for any added sugars that might counteract those benefits. (So, it’s good-ish.)

TURKEY – Lots of protein. Lots of vitamins. Both of which are great for growing strong bones and teeth. Also known to lead to smiles as you settle into the recliner for some football and a well-deserved, after-dinner nap.

BEER – As McLovin so aptly stated: “I heard they recently decided to add more hops to it.” Hops, found in beer, have actually been shown not only to prevent, but also to remove plaque and bacteria. (Good lookin’ out, God.) So if you’re going to sip on some good brew, do so in moderation and make it extra hoppy.

THE OH-SO-GOOD, BUT BAD:

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE WITH MARSHMALLOWS – Wha? We put this on our caution list because of the added sugar and the fact that those marshmallows will stick to your teeth or any orthodontic work you might have, too. No bueno.

BREAD – Seriously, guys – it’s just a bunch of sugar which means it’s going to have a similar effect on your teeth as candy has. More importantly though – why the hell would you waste ANY room in your stomach with bread on a day as magnificent as Thanksgiving?! You’re better than that.

THE SWING-STATE-SNEAKY-ONE:

RED WINE – Yes, we all know the truth here – it’ll stain your teeth like no one’s business, and that’s not a good look on anyone. BUT, red wine has antioxidants that help to prevent bacterial growth in your grill. (See, it’s a sneaky one.)

So, to minimize the stain, please brush your teeth beforehand and sip on some water in between glasses of wine. OR just get some teeth wipes. (NOTE: Whatever you decide to do, always remember – drink in moderation. And Uber home if you’re not feelin’ it.)

THE BEST ADVICE:
The frequency in which you eat has big time implications on bacterial growth and enamel breakdown. So, if you’re eating and snacking throughout the day, you’re allowing for a constant, consistent bacterial attack on your grill as they feast off the food you’re eating.

So, here’s what you need to do: Grab a plate and go nuts. Stuff yourself – and then brush your teeth, and then take a nap. I’m sure you’ll have no objections with that dentist’s orders.