• Your Merced Dentist Recommends These Thanksgiving Leftovers for Your Smile

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    Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with family or friends this week, we are grateful for you! The foods that typically make up this feast are great for your oral health when eaten in moderation. If you’re able to secure some leftovers after indulging in heaping portions this Thursday, your Merced dentist recommends these Thanksgiving leftovers for your smile and overall health:


    Cranberries are a great source of Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. Although there may be added sugar to the dish, they are already like nature’s candy. Sweetening with apple or orange pieces could achieve the desired sweet effect without extra calories of sugar. Vitamin C is great for your immune system and to repair soft tissue like your gums and the roof of your mouth. Fiber is great for your digestion and help you flush toxins. Manganese supports healthy bones and teeth.

    Green Beans

    Green beans are sure to make an appearance your Thanksgiving feast. These “veggies” are actually fruits, because of their seeds, but nonetheless provide many Vitamins and minerals that support a healthy smile and body. Vitamins A, B-complex, C, K, manganese, and potassium are each individually great for you and work together to keep your body in great health. Saliva production supported by Vitamin A is vital to your digestion. Starting with clearing out food particles from your nooks and crannies and washing them away to be digested, and providing a smooth track for everything to leave your body. B-complex is a great non-acidic alternative to coffee, providing a mood and energy boost.

    Sweet Potato

    A Thanksgiving staple at any table is candied yams or sweet potatoes. Although they’re usually smothered in marshmallow so they taste like candy, they naturally achieve a similar sweetness when baked, even without the marshmallow. If you can save some of the bottom layer as leftovers, we bet you’ll be grateful for it. Sweet potato is a great source of Vitamin A. Saliva production is supported by getting Vitamin A into your diet. Saliva starts your digestive system off right by clearing away the unwanted food particles from your mouth, helping fight the risk of periodontal disease.


    Turkey is usually the star of any Thanksgiving get-together. There is often plenty of turkey for everyone to have leftovers for days. When consumed in standard portion sizes, the tryptophan doesn’t give the “food coma” sentence that an overflowing portion would. Once this tryptophan is absorbed, it turns into melatonin and serotonin, plus B6. This lean protein makes you feel fuller for longer while helping boost your mood.

    Everything you choose to indulge in this Thanksgiving is ultimately smothered in gratitude, like gravy over mashed potatoes. Even though your Merced dentist recommends these Thanksgiving leftovers, we challenge you to keep the gratitude attitude flowing, even after your leftovers are finished. Spending time and sharing food with your loved ones is a great excuse to smile. Do leftovers taste better when you’re grateful for them? We think so! We may be biased, but we feel that sharing your smile while you do anything makes it better. 

    If you’re looking for more health tips, check out our Facebook page. We frequently post oral health recommendations there you might enjoy.