As we approach Thanksgiving, many of us look forward to the food that we are able to enjoy with family or loved ones. While this meal is typically an excuse to over-indulge, your Crestwood KY dentist team reminds us that everything is (and tastes) better in moderation. If you’ve got leftovers after your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving get-together, you’re in a good position! A serving size of foods that typically make up your Thanksgiving leftovers are great for your smile.

Green Beans

These dark green legumes are also technically a fruit, while most just call them vegetables. Regardless, they are full of Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and K, as well as manganese.  Vitamin A helps you to produce saliva, which facilitates effective digestion and helps clear food particles from your teeth. They won’t replace your need to floss, but they may make it easier. B-complex vitamins are a great source of energy without the acidity of coffee. They also help your eyesight, digestion, and appetite. Vitamin C can assist in restoring and repairing enamel and tissue, and prevent infection. Vitamin K can help clot your blood and regulate blood calcium levels. Manganese assists with metabolism and bone development, promoting your oral health.


Although cranberry sauce typically has loads of added sugar, the berries themselves are packed with fiber, manganese, and Vitamin C. The Vitamin C helps repair any damage to your gums or the soft tissue, like on the roof of your mouth. Fiber is great for healthy digestion. Remember to drink water and brush your teeth after eating sweet cranberry sauce, so the extra sugar doesn’t stick to your teeth. Consider adding apples or oranges to your cranberries as an alternative to sugar.

Sweet Potatoes or Yams

This dish is traditionally smothered in marshmallows for a candy effect. Those are not doing you any favors. but the potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A. This helps you produce saliva for healthy digestion, breaking down the food in your mouth and clear it away. This is especially helpful in reducing the risk of periodontal disease. If you’re making the dish, consider that sweet potato, yams, and purple sweet potatoes are delicious without the marshmallows.


Turkey is very likely to last more than one feast. To have leftover turkey is to have a great source of protein in your fridge, which assists in keeping your teeth healthy. Protein also makes you feel full faster than other foods, so there’s less room to over-indulge in pumpkin pie.

Ultimately, what you eat affects you on many levels, starting when you take a bite. Your bones, teeth, gums, saliva, and everything past the mouth, use the nutrients you choose to eat. Nutrition is vital to your overall health and Thanksgiving leftovers are great for your smile.

Remember to brush and floss after sweet treats. Don’t shame yourself for over-indulging this holiday season, but rather be grateful for every morsel and every person and thing that was involved in that dish making it to your plate. Most importantly: share your smile with your loved ones. Not just on this holiday, but every moment you can. Our Crestwood KY dentist teeth whitening program can give you a brighter smile if you’re not already sharing your smile constantly.