Dental resolutions for 2014

December 30, 2013

As it gets closer to the new year, many of us are making resolutions to exercise, lose weight and get organized. What about your teeth? Here are a few suggested resolutions to help your smile stay bright and healthy:

Brush twice a day and floss daily. Brushing your teeth twice a day fights plaque and decay. Flossing gets rid of food particles trapped between your teeth and gums that a toothbrush just can’t reach.

Use mouthwash. A daily rinse with antiseptic mouthwash will help kill germs and bacteria that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. Mouthwash will also freshen your breath and fight plaque.

Drink more water. At least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommendation. If you are drinking water, you are less likely to drink cola, tea and coffee, which can stain your teeth.

Use protective devices. Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard when playing sports (even during practice!) to protect your own or your child’s teeth.

Visit your dentist twice a year. Taking care of your teeth at home is just the first step in keeping a bright and healthy smile. Your dentist can diagnose and treat any potential problems before they become big issues.

2014 can be the year your entire family resolves to have brighter, healthier smiles.

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Switch up your summer routine by adding these healthy habits

July 18, 2012

Apply sunscreen every day. The American Melanoma Foundation (AMF) recommends applying sunscreen if you are going to be outside for 20 minutes or more. Most of us reach this with our usual day-to-day activities.  Make applying sunscreen part of your morning routine (ladies, apply before makeup). AMF recommends applying 30 minutes before you go outside and to reapply after swimming or perspiring heavily.

Drink more water. We hear this every day. It seems simple, but some of us have a hard time making the switch. It is convenient to grab a bottle of pop or a sports drink when you are on the go, but you are causing more harm than good to your body and teeth. An easy way to drink more water is to substitute your mealtime drink with water. Here’s a tip: stock the fridge with water bottles of instead of pop. They’ll be easy to grab and take on the go. 

Switch to sugarless gum. Recent studies show chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, “If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth.” Over time, this acid will break down your enamel, causing decay.  Sugarless gum brands with the ADA seal of approval include: Dentyne Ice Sugarless Gum, Stride Sugarless Gum, Trident Sugarfree Gum, Wrigley’s Extra Sugarfree Gum, Wrigley’s Orbit Sugarfree Gum.

Go outside. It’s summer and arguably the best time to be outdoors. So why do we spend time sitting in front of the TV or computer? Go outside and take a walk, ride a bike, work in the yard or play a game with the kids. Staying active will improve your overall health.


Foods for good oral health

June 25, 2012

Many of the foods you eat to build strong muscles and bones also help build strong teeth and gums.

Dairy products—Provide calcium and vitamin D for strengthening teeth and bones.

Breads and cereals—Contain B vitamins for growth and iron for healthy blood, both contribute to healthy gum tissue.

Fruits and vegetables—Include vitamin C (among other important vitamins), which is essential to maintaining healthy gums.

Lean meat, fish, poultry and beans—Supply iron and protein for good overall health, as well as magnesium and zinc for healthy teeth and bones.


What is the “correct” way to brush my teeth?

April 26, 2012
  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in a circular motion.
  2. Since your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time, change its position to properly clean each tooth.
  3. Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all your teeth.
  4. Use the tip of your brush to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
  5. Be sure not to brush your teeth too hard or use a hard bristled toothbrush, as this can cause your gums to recede and also wears down the tooth structure. These conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  6. Last but not least, remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

 

Source: Michigan Dental Association


Smile friendly Easter candy

March 28, 2012

Easter Bunny listen up!

Candies to avoid completely:

  • Hard candies like suckers, jaw breakers and Jolly Ranchers because they are in the mouth longer, exposing teeth to sugar over a longer period of time, which leads to decay.
  • Chewy candies such as jelly beans, fruit chews and gummy bears. They can weaken or pull out sealants and fillings.

Dentist approved treats:

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Chocolate bunnies (plain chocolate won’t stick to teeth like other candies)
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Toothbrushes (cartoon characters and bright colors or an electric toothbrush)
  • Stickers or temporary tattoos
  • Coloring books/crayons
  • Comic books/magazines
  • Lip balm

Tips to eliminate cavities:

  • Eat just a couple pieces a day
  • Brush and floss after eating candy

Heart disease and oral health

February 21, 2012

Coronary heart disease is the single major cause of death, and stroke is number three in the U.S. What does heart disease have to do with your oral health? Plenty! Recent studies have shown that chronic infectious diseases, such as periodontal disease (gum disease) can be a primary factor in heart disease. Chronic infections produce inflammatory proteins, which can damage blood vessel walls. These proteins release plaque, or fatty buildups, into the blood stream potentially forming a clot and increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The ABCs of preventing heart disease, stroke and heart attacks from the American Heart Association:

Avoid Tobacco. If you smoke, quit. If someone in your household smokes, encourage them to quit. It can be tough, but it’s tougher to recover from a heart attack or stroke or to live with chronic heart disease.

Become More Active. Research has shown getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day on five or more days a week can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and keep your weight at a healthy level. But, something is better than nothing. Start slow. Even 10 minutes at a time may offer some benefits.

Choose Good Nutrition. A healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have against cardiovascular disease. The types of food you eat and the amount can affect controllable risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Your diet should be full of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain and high fiber foods like fish, lean protein and fat free or low-fat dairy products.

For more information, visit www.americanheart.org.

Sources: American Dental Association and the American Heart Association


Tips for staying active and healthy all summer long

July 1, 2011
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, especially during outdoor activities
  • Always wear sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, and don’t forget to use lip balm with an SPF
  • On hot days, plan to exercise in the mornings or evenings when the temperature is cooler
  • Keep plenty of fresh fruits and veggies on hand; they will be easy to grab on the go
  • Be active and keep cool with activities like swimming, water balloon fights or washing the car

 Do you have any additional tips to share? Leave a comment.