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This Thanksgiving, Dr. David A. Browne and our team in McHenry, Illinois, want to encourage our patients to remember their smiles while celebrating the holidays. While most folks are savvy when it comes to heart-healthy food choices, people don’t often know that there are foods to help your teeth and gum health as well. We invite you to consider these smile-friendly choices this holiday season:

— 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.

Don’t forget your smile this holiday season, and take the time to step up your daily oral hygiene routine. If you still haven’t had your bi-annual dental cleaning and check-up, please call 815-344-6811 today. Dr. David A. Browne and the rest of our team at David A. Browne, DDS, PC wish you and yours a healthy, happy, holiday season!