Thanksgiving is one day out of the year where Americans find it socially acceptable to eat their weight in turkey and gravy. While it can be tempting to take a sample plate of everything at the buffet, choosing the right foods can help prevent your waistline from increasing as well as improve your dental hygiene. Cheese and Yogurt While heavy amounts of cheese is not recommended, eating some cheese, maybe as an appetizer, lowers the acidity in an individual’s mouth, which directly lowers their risk for developing cavities. Cheese and yogurt also contain calcium, a mineral that increases bone density and strengthens enamel. Furthermore, yogurt contains probiotics that take up the space harmful bacteria would otherwise occupy. Kale, Spinach, and Broccoli Leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain high amounts of protein and calcium, materials your body utilizes to build bones and teeth. Furthermore, leafy green vegetables carry lots of micronutrients, products the body uses to make sure everything in your body runs efficiently, boosting your natural immune system. Apples, Carrots, and Celery Hard, fibrous foods act as a toothbrush, gently loosening plaque which can be washed away with saliva. Eating foods like apples, carrots, and celery does not replace brushing and flossing, but rather encourage good dental hygiene by maintaining a cycle of cleanliness. Eating these foods increases the effectiveness of brushing and flossing since it’s consistently removing old plaque, lessening the chance of plaque turning into tartar. Sesame Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil Oil pulling, or simply rinsing the mouth with about a tablespoon of oil, is a great technique to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and promote good dental health. Many dentists advise patients to practice this easy detoxification process at home; however, ingesting foods already containing sesame seed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil kills two birds with one stone. While Thanksgiving can be a time when people overindulge in foods high in sugar content, being aware of the benefits foods can have on teeth and the body can encourage to put down that extra pint of gravy in favor of a healthier choice.