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Posts for category: Holidays


Just like with all of your meals, there are lots of Thanksgiving foods for healthy teeth that you can choose from. The sheer amount of options that you have during a holiday dinner can be overwhelming, but you can prepare yourself to make some teeth-healthy options this year.  Luckily, there are plenty of foods for healthy teeth that are already a part of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. While you load up your dinner plate, be sure to pick some of these good-for-your-teeth options so you’re teeth are in tip-top shape when you go for your next dental check-up.  

Hit the Cheese Plate

Among the many appetizers that may be served at your Thanksgiving feast, the cheese plate is the food for healthy teeth. Eating cheese lowers the pH in your mouth, which can in turn neutralize plaque acid and reduce the risk for tooth decay. Additionally, the amount of chewing it takes to consume cheese can help stimulate saliva production. Since saliva rinses the mouth of bacteria, this may also help prevent tooth decay.

Cheese contains tooth-healthy nutrients like calcium and protein, which strengthen tooth enamel.

Load Up on Greens

A colorful plate is a healthy plate, and one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough foods for healthy teeth is to load your plate with greens. Vegetables like green beans, brussel sprouts, and spinach are all commonly found on the Thanksgiving table. These vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Leafy greens like spinach are high in calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Vegetables also contain high levels of folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has been shown to help prevent gum disease.

Pass the Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries are a staple at most Thanksgiving dinners, and luckily, cranberries are one of the best foods for healthy teeth. Cranberries contain compounds called polyphenols, which can help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and causing cavities. However, make sure your cranberry sauce doesn’t have too much added sugar, since sugar can negate the benefits of the polyphenols.

Skip the Starches

Starches like white bread and mashed potatoes may not seem like they're bad for your teeth. However, foods like these break down in your mouth to form simple sugars. These sugars form a gummy paste that can stick onto teeth and provide food for decay-causing bacterias.

Instead, look for whole grain bread or sweet potatoes. Whole grain bread doesn’t break down into sugars as easily as white bread, which means less food for the bacteria in your mouth. The same goes for sweet potatoes, and they have the added benefit of being high in tooth-healthy vitamin A.

Eat Orange Vegetables

Thanksgiving is the season for all sorts of lovely orange vegetables. These vegetables, including pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots are great foods for healthy teeth since they’re all high in vitamin A. Vitamin A is another essential nutrient that your body uses to form strong tooth enamel.

Drink Tea with Dessert Instead of Coffee

After the turkey is carved and all the dinner plates are cleared, it’s time for dessert. With dessert usually comes coffee. However, coffee isn't the best option for your teeth. Drinking too much coffee can stain your teeth, so instead, opt for some tea.

Like cranberries, tea contains polyphenols that slow the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Tea also makes it more difficult for certain bacteria to clump with other bacteria.

Since caffeine can dry out your mouth, it’s best to opt for a tea with no or low caffeine. Herbal teas are decaffeinated, and green tea has less caffeine than black tea. Most teas have less caffeine than coffee, which still makes them the better option for your mouth.

Make sure you don’t add any sugar to your tea, or else you’ll negate all of the benefits. Sugar just provides more food for the plaque-causing bacteria on your teeth. If you don’t like your tea plain, try adding a bit of milk instead.

Wash Dessert Down with Milk

If you can muster the willpower, skipping dessert altogether is the best option for your teeth. Common Thanksgiving desserts like apple crisp and pumpkin pie have lots of sugar, which will wreak havoc on your teeth.

If you just have to have a piece of pie, take care of your teeth afterward. Drinking a glass of milk after having a sugary dessert can help protect your teeth from all that sugar. Milk can neutralize some of the acidic plaque in your mouth, slowing the growth of bacteria. If there’s no milk around, grab some of the cheese from that cheese plate!

Beware of Lurking Sugars

Unfortunately, a lot of Thanksgiving foods can have added sugars that may negate the health benefits. The bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugars, which can speed up the process of tooth decay.

Try making modified versions of dishes that use less added sugar, or skip the sweetened bits. For example, if you want to have some sweet potato casserole, try making a version without sugary marshmallows on top.

After you’ve taken some time to digest, be sure to brush your teeth after your big Thanksgiving meal. Brushing your teeth is the best way to make sure that any lingering sugar and bacteria is removed from your teeth so you can help prevent tooth decay.



September 29, 2017
Category: Holidays
Tags: Halloween Safety  


When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.

For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.

Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.

Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.

Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision.

If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.

Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.


Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.

Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters under three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.

Make a Candy Plan

The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Have a talk with your child about what the plan will be after the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and parcel it out slowly or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. Regardless of what you decide, the most important part is to establish the rules beforehand. It can be especially helpful for younger children to repeat the conversation a few times.

Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one's body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and dental health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.

November 04, 2016
Category: Holidays
Tags: Teeth Health  

From holiday shopping to wintertime weather, the end of the year can be intense. Make sure the festivities don’t harm your teeth. Know what oral health risks to look out for this time of year and what you can do to stay smiling. 


The danger: As temperatures drop, relative humidity levels indoors and outdoors can fall, leaving your skin, hair and mouth dry. To top it off, some holiday favorites high in salt or caffeine can make dehydration even worse. Not only does this problem cause bad breath, it also boosts your chance of cavities.

The solution: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after coffee or alcohol. If you need to crank up the heat to get through winter, consider using a humidier to keep a healthy level of moisture in the air.


The danger: End-of-year stress can take a toll on your oral health. Clenching your teeth, a common effect of stress, can lead to jaw problems.

The solution: Cut down factors causing you stress. Practice physical exercises to relax your head and shoulders, and consider squeezing a stress ball when the pressure piles on.


The danger: Chilly temperatures can get your teeth chattering. Sensitive teeth can get a shock when hit by a blast of cold air, and the cold can make your teeth contract.

The solution: Bundle up before braving the elements. Keep your mouth closed, and wrap a scarf around your mouth if necessary.


The danger: It’s easy to let your oral health habits fall by the wayside during the holidays. But slacking on brushing and flossing lets plaque build up, potentially leading to painful cavities and inflamed gums.

The solution: Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in your bag so you can brush and floss wherever you are. For emergencies, keep some xylitol gum or mints handy. A sugar substitute, xylitol contains cavity-fighting properties to protect your teeth.