Thanksgiving Treats That Won't Damage Teeth


When it comes to Thanksgiving food, things are a little ironic, don’t you think? A traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the United States typically includes lots of healthy components; cranberries, pumpkin, apple, and sweet potatoes, for example, and yet they’re prepared in ways that make them rather unhealthy (though definitely tasty!) From sweet potatoes that have been candied and covered in gooey marshmallow, to pumpkin that’s been transformed into a sweet pie, Thanksgiving can wreak havoc on our teeth.

The Thanksgiving Sugar Problem

Although sweet apple ciders and thick cranberry sauces are mouthwateringly delicious, they often contain very high amounts of sugar that are not only likely to push you above the recommended daily allowance, but also put your oral hygiene at risk. Research states that dietary sugar is the most influential factor in the development of dental cavities, leaving us vulnerable to pain, problems eating, and potentially even the loss of our teeth. What’s worse is that there’s so much temptation at this time of year.

During the last few months of the year, we’re inundated with candy-filled holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It’s easy to overindulge during the holiday season, and while many of us can tell we’ve had too much by the way our clothes fit, it’s much harder to know what’s going on in our mouths. This means that early stage tooth decay can easily go untreated if no symptoms are present.

Happily, it is still possible to enjoy a tasty Thanksgiving without all the sugary treats and snacks. Here are a few Thanksgiving recipes to whip up that are much better for your teeth, and your general health:

Instead of Canned Cranberry Sauce, Try…

Soften some fresh cranberries in a pan with a little water, and add just enough unsweetened orange juice to bring it to a sauce consistency. The natural sweetness of the orange juice should be just enough to take away from the tartness of the cranberries, leaving you with a delicious sauce for your turkey.

Instead of Pumpkin Pie, Try…

A pumpkin pie-inspired dessert that’s sure to go down a treat after dinner. Mix together 100% pure pumpkin puree with enough unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk) to achieve a thick, creamy consistency. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and other warming spices to find that perfect pumpkin pie taste.

Instead of Candied Sweet Potatoes, Try…

Normal sweet potatoes! Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes contain enough natural sweetness to make them a delicious addition to Thanksgiving dinner, without the need for sugar and marshmallows. There are lots of different ways to prepare them, including mashed, fried, baked, and even pureed.

Instead of Sugary Apple Cider, Try…

Gently heating an unsweetened apple juice in a large pan. If that sounds a little boring, you can easily jazz this up by adding some halved lemons, limes, and oranges to the liquid, and popping a few cinnamon sticks in there, too. If it’s still a bit sour, a splash of honey will sort that cider out nicely.

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