Eating healthy during the holiday season is not top-of-mind. There are many tasty treats and special dishes reserved for this time of year. Family members and friends go to great lengths to perfect their special recipe for your enjoyment. Did you know there are delicious, teeth-healthy choices you can add to the festivities? Let’s call them gifts for your teeth.
Gifts for Your Teeth
- Chocolate — Dark chocolate (70 percent cacao, not sugar-filled milk chocolate) is healthy for your teeth because it contains the CBH compound, which hardens tooth enamel. This compound helps protect your teeth from decay.
- Cheese — Cheese can fight against acid erosion. When your meals consist of bread, citrus fruits, sweets, or sodas, you expose your teeth to acids. Cheese consumed after your meal can neutralize the acid to prevent tooth decay.
- Wild Salmon — Wild salmon (a fatty fish) is loaded with vitamin D, which helps your gums and teeth receive the full benefits of your calcium intake. Your body doesn’t take in calcium properly if there’s too little vitamin D in your diet.
- Vegetables and Fruits — Crunchy vegetables and fruits scrub the surfaces of the teeth and increase saliva production. The scrubbing reduces plaque buildup, and the increased saliva neutralizes the acid, which damages tooth enamel.
- Xylitol — Xylitol is a sweetener commonly found in sugarless chewing gums. It can help prevent tooth decay because the compound it contains can kill bacteria. Also, chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which aids in proper digestion.
- Black and Green Teas — Black and green teas contain polyphenols which reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. The antibacterial properties in polyphenols can help suppress the development of cavities.
- Water — Proper hydration is good for saliva production. Saliva is necessary for the digestion of food, neutralizing acid, and hindering tooth decay. Water also aids in reducing plaque by rinsing away food debris.
Go enjoy your favorite foods and beverages in moderation. Focus on making special memories this holiday season. Celebrate your teeth by making teeth-healthy food choices and practicing good oral hygiene. If it’s been more than six months since your last exam and cleaning, call my office to schedule your appointment.
No matter how grown up we are or how bogged down by responsibility we become, summer is a magical time. Perhaps that stems from our youth, when summer meant late bedtimes, weeknight sleepovers, hours in the pool, and cartoons all morning long. Whatever the case may be, we tend to throw caution to the wind during the summer — even as adults. At Dentistry by Angela Britt, we’re HUGE fans of summer, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t warn you about the dangers of summer. We’re not being dramatic: There are several things you may tend to do over the summer that could harm that beautiful smile. Here are a few examples:
- Swimming — You’re probably wondering how swimming could possibly affect your teeth. It’s a healthy activity, after all. The problem arises when you get chlorinated water on your teeth. The acids in chlorine can damage your enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Since it’s pretty much impossible to avoid getting water in your mouth when you swim, be sure to rinse your mouth with tap water after you step out of the pool.
- Drinking — Not the kind of drinking you’re thinking about (although alcohol has its own drawbacks), though. We’re talking about those thirst-quenching drinks you crave when you spend hours in the sun. Sodas, lemonades, and sports drinks (that are often advertised as “healthy”) all have two ingredients that put your teeth at risk: acid and sugar. First, the acidity weakens the tooth enamel, which is your body’s first defense against decay. Then, the enamel weakened and porous, the sugar content stands a greater chance of penetrating the surface of the tooth, where it can cause decay. The best thing you can do for your teeth is drink good, old-fashioned water. If that’s not possible, be sure to rinse your mouth out after your finish your beverage.
- Being Physically Active — No matter how old we are, we tend to spend more time outdoors during the summer. If being outside involves physical activity, then you could be putting your teeth at risk. How? By not wearing a mouthguard. A simple pick-up game of basketball with the other guys in the neighborhood could result in a painful and potentially costly injury. Do yourself a favor and wear a mouthguard during any outdoor activity, particularly if contact is involved.
We want you to enjoy your summer. We certainly plan to! But we also want you to be aware of how your summer activities can potentially affect your teeth. Your smile is the first thing others notice about you, so whatever you do, protect and keep it as long as you possibly can. If you live in Brunswick, Georgia, or any of the surrounding communities, we’d love to be part of your healthcare team. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Halloween is around the corner, which means you are tasked with selecting the perfect candy for Trick or Treaters. It can’t be something you love, or it’ll be gone before the first little goblin rings your doorbell. It can’t be something ultra-healthy, or you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood – and not in a good way. So what is the most mouth-healthy treat to give away this Halloween? Here are some suggestions that should keep you and the neighborhood families happy.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate has far less sugar than milk chocolate. It also has more antioxidants than blueberries or acai berries. This doesn’t make it calorie-free, though, so just like other candies, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
- Sugar-free Gum – It may not be a Snickers bar, but it’s far better for your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can help clean your teeth of food particles and other debris. It also increases saliva production, which naturally irrigates the mouth and aids with digestion.
- Peanuts, Almonds, or Cashews – These are available in snack-sized packages that conveniently fit into plastic pumpkins, pillow cases, or any other candy-gathering parcel. Even kids need a break from all of the sugar; if they don’t, their parents will enjoy finding a salty treat when they raid the stash after bedtime.
- Knick-Knacks – Spider rings, Halloween pencils, stickers, and temporary tattoos are 100% sugar-free and calorie-free, making them nearly perfect. They can also be enjoyed by the neighborhood kids long after the candy has disappeared.
While you can control what you hand out to Trick or Treaters this Halloween, you can’t control what your neighbors distribute. Whether it’s your children or you who enjoy the treats of the season, the only way you’re certain to maintain healthy teeth is through good oral hygiene. If brushing isn’t an immediate option, be sure to rinse with water to cut back on the sugars that sit on your teeth. Brush and floss thoroughly as soon as you can, paying special attention to any leftover candy particles that may be stuck in the grooves of your molars.
No matter the season or holiday, we are always happy to see you at Dentistry by Angela Britt. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.