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This Thanksgiving, Dr. Doris Madrigal and our team encourage our patients in Chicago, Illinois, to remember their smile health. We have some smile-friendly menu choices for you and your loved ones. Most people are familiar with heart-healthy foods. but there are foods that are good for your teeth and gums too. So as you feast this holiday season, consider including 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.

Remember your smile this Thanksgiving and your teeth and gums will thank you. Show your appreciation for your smile by maintaining your diligent daily brushing and flossing and keeping any scheduled cleanings. To schedule your bi-annual cleaning, please call 773.252.5757 today. Dr. Doris Madrigal and the rest of our team at DM Family Dentistry wish you and yours a healthy, happy, holiday!