Now that it’s officially Fall, ‘tis the season for baked goods that fill the house with smells of holidays and family get-togethers, big meals, and all things squash and spice. It’s also that time of year when we get a little too sugared up. We’ll be eating treats and sweets until January, when those confounded resolutions halt us in our sugary tracks…
Have no fear (and no regrets) – your Indianapolis periodontist is here to help you find redemption in pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins are good for your teeth! Pumpkins are super-packed with vitamins and minerals, while still being low in calories. But let’s also be clear here; we’re talking about cooked pumpkin, not a pumpkin pie. Let’s talk about some of the great things pumpkins can do for your teeth.
If you look at the USDA’s Nutrient database, you’ll see that 1/2 cup of pumpkin (cooked) only has about 40 calories. But it’s not just the calories that are important – it also has nearly 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and hardly any fat at all (less than half of a gram!). You’ll get all your Vitamin A for the day, a fifth of your Vitamin C, and some of your Vitamin E, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin (plus a few more). And if you’re committed enough to scoop out those seeds from real pumpkins wash them off and bake them. You’ll get a ton of fiber, protein, and calcium.
What do these have to do with teeth? We hoped you’d ask!
While all these nutrients are great for your body, some of them can specifically help your teeth, like magnesium. It joins forces with calcium to strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent decay. Vitamin A will help your damaged gums heal. Zinc will aid your bones, i.e. your teeth, in staying strong. People who don’t get enough zinc tend to have gums that bleed a little easier. They also are prone to more bone and hair loss. Vitamin C found in pumpkin will boost that immune system and fight infections and inflammation around your teeth.
But these benefits won’t come from pumpkin flavoring, so go for the real thing. Dr. Edwards, your periodontist in Indianapolis and Fishers, recommends these yummy recipes to start. Come to your Fishers periodontist this holiday season to keep your teeth and gums in their best shape!