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Every November, millions sit down around the dinner table to share the ways they are thankful for one another. They also enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, one of the most anticipated meals of the year!
With traditional dishes like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, Turkey Day is overflowing with everyone’s favorite comfort foods – but unfortunately, those foods are often also loaded with starches and sugars that can damage your teeth, contribute to gum disease, and negatively influence your health in general.
So, as you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner and consider what you’re grateful for, take a moment to recognize the connection between your diet, your smile, and your overall well-being.
One thing to give thanks for during the meal? The way your teeth, mouth, and tongue work together to make sure you can chew, taste, and enjoy your food:
We all enjoy treats in moderation and it’s certainly okay to indulge in grandma’s famous pumpkin pie or another sugary treat after the main course. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it! That’s because many holiday sides and desserts do more than just taste delicious:
If you want to make your big meal better for your well-being, look for opportunities to swap out less healthy ingredients with more nutritious options. Baked sweet potatoes instead of candied yams, for example, or apple slices with cinnamon instead of a Dutch apple pie.
Also, be sure to take extra care of your teeth by flossing and brushing after your meal. And instead of cleansing your palette with mints, chew sugarless gum to help prevent cavities. Gum will boost your saliva production and help wash away any remaining food.
Because there are so many starchy and sugary foods during Thanksgiving (and with leftovers after), it’s important to remember the way certain foods can affect your oral and overall health.
That’s one reason why November is not just a time to give thanks – it’s also home to observances like National Diabetes Month. This is when communities across the country focus on bringing attention to diabetes and raising awareness of what it’s like to live with the disease.
Whether you’re living with diabetes or simply want to stay in control of your daily diet, it’s important to choose more nutritious side dishes – or, if it’s a potluck Thanksgiving, you can simply bring one yourself! Prior to the meal, you could even reach out to your friends and family to ask for their favorite healthy appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. Great food, happy memories, and healthy smiles – there’s a lot to be thankful for this year!
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*All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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