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This Thanksgiving, Dr. Audrey Kemp and our team in Durham, North Carolina, have some healthy menu choices for your healthy smile as you celebrate the festivities. Many people know what heart-healthy foods are, but not enough know there are foods to help your teeth and gum health as well. As you feast, we invite you to consider these smile-friendly choices:

— Chewing cheddar cheese lowers acid levels in the mouth and stimulates saliva production, both of which promote good oral health. Cheese also has calcium and protein which aids tooth enamel.

— Crunchy foods like apples, raw carrots, and celery can help clean plaque off of your pearly whites. They also contain fiber, which stimulates both the gums and saliva production which help wash away plaque.

— If you want to build tooth enamel, in addition to cheese, eat plenty of leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and almonds, which contain calcium. And meat, eggs, and fish supply the body with phosphorous, which also helps tooth enamel.

— If you have eaten and can’t brush your teeth, chewing sugarless gum helps remove bacteria in the mouth, which prevents plaque from building up on your teeth.

— Drinking milk after consuming sugary foods can help neutralize the acid created by bacteria which forms into plaque.

— Polyphenols, which are compounds found in both black and green teas, slow down bacterial growth that can cause cavities and gum disease. Drinking these teas are also good for fighting bad breath.

We encourage you to remember your smile this Thanksgiving as you reflect on what you are thankful. Show your teeth and gums some extra love by brushing and flossing daily, and keeping any scheduled cleanings. To schedule your bi-annual check-up, please call 919-680-3531 today. Dr. Audrey Kemp and the rest of our team at Bull City Dental wish you and yours a healthy, happy, holiday season!