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Smile, South Dakota! It’s Harvest Season

The combine crews are in full swing, and if you planted a garden this year, your hard work is about to pay off too. Get ready for harvest time with these tips and recipes.

1. CORN

Whether popped or on the cob, corn is one of our tooth-healthy fall favorites. Corn contains fiber, a mineral that can help reduce plaque. And popcorn contains high levels of polyphenols, a substance that suppresses tooth bacteria.

Safe Eating Tip: For those with braces, avoid eating corn directly from the cob. Pulling the corn off the cob with your teeth can be damaging to your wires and brackets. Instead, slice the corn off the cob before eating.

2. TOMATOES

While tomatoes are acidic and can affect tooth enamel, they are also packed with lycopene, a natural chemical that makes tomatoes red that has been shown to reduce gingivitis.

Safe Eating Tip:  Don’t brush immediately after eating tomatoes or food that includes them as an ingredient.  Instead, swish water around your mouth after eating and save brushing for bedtime.

3. CUCUMBERS

These cool vegetables are great in the summertime heat and great for your smile.  They’re low calorie and high in fiber which makes them a great snack, but they’ve also been shown to fight pyorrhea – an inflammatory gum disease.

4. ZUCCHINI

Wait! Before you give away your overabundance of this summer squash, keep in mind that it is rich in potassium, a bonus that can boost your bone mineral density and strengthen teeth. Need a new idea to serve it? Stir up this delicious hazelnut and squash soup.

Need some help making you bounty even more beautiful next summer?  Check out these tips on gardening in South Dakota from SDSU Extension.