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Posts for: November, 2017

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.

 

 


November 01, 2017
Category: Children
Tags: Cavities in Kids  

Baby teeth are important. They help your child chew, speak, and smile. They also help permanent teeth grow in the correct position. Did you know that children can get cavities as soon as their teeth first appear? Nearly one in four children ages 2–5 has cavities in their baby teeth and cavities can hurt! They can cause children to have problems eating, speaking, learning, playing, and sleeping. Read below to find out how you can help prevent cavities and promote healthy habits. Children learn healthy habits from their parents and caregivers.

TO HELP PREVENT CAVITIES:

 

DURING PREGNANCY 

Children’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. To help baby teeth develop correctly, be sure to get plenty of nutrients and eat a balanced diet. For tips on how to eat a balanced diet, visit choosemyplate.gov.  It is important to go to the dentist during pregnancy. Also, remember to brush teeth twice a day for two minutes, clean between teeth, and drink water with fluoride to help keep your own teeth and gums healthy and strong.

BIRTH to 1ST TOOTH (Birth to around 6 months)

Gently wipe baby’s gums with a clean, damp, soft washcloth or gauze after each feeding.  To help prevent tooth decay, fill your baby’s bottle only with formula, milk, or water. Finish bottle feedings before putting baby to bed. Rinse your baby’s pacifier with water to clean it. Don’t put it in your mouth and don’t share feeding spoons. You can pass cavity-causing germs to your child.  Don’t dip pacifiers in sugar, honey, or other foods.

1ST TOOTH to 3 YEARS OLD

Take your child to the dentist for a first checkup after the first tooth appears or by the time your child turns 1.  Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (morning and night). Use a baby toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Start cleaning between teeth daily as soon as your child has two teeth that touch.  Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride. Talk to your physician or dentist about your child’s fluoride needs.  Sippy cups should only be used until around your child’s first birthday. Do not let your child sip all day on drinks with sugar.

3 to 5 YEARS OLD  

Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day. Use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste and a small, soft toothbrush. Take turns—brush your child’s teeth one time and then have them do it the next time. Supervise brushing until your child can spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it, around age 6.  Clean between their teeth daily—for example, with dental floss.  Encourage your child to eat fruits, vegetables, and foods that are low in sugar, and to drink fluoridated water. Limit the amount of and how often your child drinks juice. Skip soda and sticky foods.  Ask your child’s dentist about dental sealants to protect teeth from decay.