Best & Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Teeth

The holiday season is upon us! That means merriment, parties, and plenty of seasonal food and drinks. Thanksgiving, in particular, is a holiday centered around a meal of traditional favorites. But not all of our cherished feast day treats are good for the health of your teeth and gums. Here is an easy guide to help maintain your dental health and still enjoy this Thanksgiving.

Best Thanksgiving Foods


This poultry dish is the center of attention on Thanksgiving for a reason. Its B vitamins and protein are essential for your body functions. Additionally, whether you like white or dark meat, turkey has no carbohydrates and therefore is a friend to your teeth. Just make sure to floss between your teeth to get out any trapped bits that might irritate your gums.

Aerial view of a Thanksgiving turkey on a silver platter next to  water glasses and a salad

Green Bean Casserole

This classic side dish contains mouth-strengthening vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, which are necessary for your saliva production and gum health. Go ahead and get a good portion of green beans and other veggie dishes on your holiday table.


Be sure to consume plenty of water during and after your meal to wash down any food and sugar that may linger on and between your teeth that would otherwise encourage bacteria to thrive. Drinking plenty of water will also help your mouth to stay hydrated and fight bad breath and dry mouth.

Worst Thanksgiving Foods

Dinner Rolls

The starchy carbohydrates in dinner rolls are not good for your teeth because it is exactly what bacteria like to feed on. Fed bacteria accumulate into plaque and release enamel-damaging acid.

Cluster of crescent dinner rolls on a white table for Thanksgiving

Cranberry Sauce

Although cranberries contain gum-strengthening vitamin C, cranberry sauce typically contains high amounts of sugar, which will increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Its acidity also can soften your enamel, making it prone to erosion. Be sure to eat this condiment in moderation and wash it down with water.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A and C, so are actually healthful for teeth and gums. The problem is that on Thanksgiving, they are often prepared with a lot of sugar and topped with marshmallows, which stick to teeth. For this reason, candied sweet potatoes are not a tooth-friendly food. If you do eat them, make sure to floss after eating to remove the sticky, sugary food particles leftover between your teeth.


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pie, but not all pies are created equal. Pecan pie is a gooey seasonal favorite made with a lot of trouble-causing sugar and sticky nuts that can get stuck to teeth. Pumpkin pie has vitamin A, which is good for the health of your gums and teeth, but added whipped topping, ice cream, and sugar can make it bad news for your oral health.

Aerial view of a pumpkin pie being cut next to a slice with whipped cream

We Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving!

Our advice this holiday season is to eat your once-a-year holiday favorites in moderation. Moreover, remember to drink water to wash it all down, and don’t neglect your dental hygiene routine. Contact us if you have any dental-related questions. From everyone at Royal Lane Dental, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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Royal Lane Dental Center

Royal Lane Dental Center