3 Summertime Sweets Good for Your Smile

by MikeMeehan 6/30/2017 10:09 AM

Ah… summer. Time to relax and unwind. While you’re relaxing and enjoying the summer, remember to keep up your oral health routine. To help you do that, here are some summertime fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth so you can protect your smile while enjoying the sun. Although we may associate summer with ice cream, ice pops and s’mores, those summertime choices can increase the risk of tooth decay. Try satisfying your sweet craving with fruit instead. Not only does fruit provide overall health benefits, they have benefits for your smile, too. Strawberries and summer are a wonderful duo. These berries are filled with vitamin C, and vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen. Collagen helps maintain the strength of your gums and strong gums are important for keeping a healthy smile. Reducing plaque and removing the surface stains on your teeth are also on the to-do list of vitamin C. Remember strawberries are acidic, so drink plenty of water after your summer treat. You’ll be drinking the extra water in the summer heat anyway. Apples have a high water content and stimulate saliva production. Your saliva keeps the bacteria in your mouth under control. Also, when you eat this low-acid, fibrous fruit, it scrubs the surface of your teeth. Apples, like strawberries, are called “dental detergents” for this reason. Watermelons, along with strawberries and just like apples, are a water-rich fruit. Along with their smile benefits, they are helping to keep you hydrated during the hot days of summer. Water helps remove particles of food in your mouth and stuck in your teeth, it washes away bacteria, and helps promote saliva production. All this helps increase the natural protection of tooth enamel. Watermelon also has that valuable vitamin C which helps to kill bacteria in your mouth and strengthen gum tissues. Having some strawberries and watermelon cut up and ready to eat in the fridge will make it easier for you and your family to make the choice of healthy fruit over other sweet snacks. Year round, the food you choose to eat can have an impact on your oral health. Consider these other food choices to maintain your healthy smile. Keep up the healthy routine The Delta Dental mobile app can also help you keep up your oral health routine. The app features a built in toothbrush timer, dentist search and access to your claims and coverage and ID cards—providing you access to dental resources whether you are away on summer vacation or at home. Download our mobile app from iTunes or Google Play by searching for “Delta Dental.” Remember to brush twice daily and if you do partake in the summer tradition of s’mores or other foods with cavity-causing sugar, drink lots of water. Not only will you stay hydrated, so imperative in the heat, but you will be washing away excess food particles that stick to your teeth.

Eye and Mouth Safety Tips for National Safety Month

by MikeMeehan 6/28/2017 9:26 AM

We’re all about protecting your teeth and eyes! So as the Fourth of July approaches and we come to the end of National Safety Month, let’s talk about safety concerning your teeth and eyes. Although we may feel like we’re invincible sometimes, keeping our eyes and mouth safe only requires a few steps. Whether you or your kids are playing highly competitive sports or doing some chores around the house, remember to keep teeth and eyes protected. Certain sports could pose greater risk Do your kids play sports? Do you? Or do you all ride your bikes? While you’re healthy and active, we hope you use mouth guards and safety glasses to help prevent injuries to your teeth and eyes. For sports like hockey and football, mouth guards are considered part of the uniform. But sports like gymnastics, skateboarding and biking, where there might not be as much perceived risk to your teeth, mouth guards are just as necessary, especially for children. Mouth injuries can damage teeth, cause a chipped or lost tooth, jaw displacement or other injuries to the tongue, lips or cheek. Also, if you or your child wears braces or if you have other teeth appliances, a mouth guard can be essential. Mouth guards can provide ample protection from sports-related injuries to the teeth, mouth, jaws and surrounding areas. Your dentist or orthodontist can make recommendations for the proper mouth protector. Basketball, baseball and racquet sports can have the most potential for eye injury. According to an article on AllAboutVision.com, the amount of sports-related eye injuries reported in emergency rooms are over 40,000 every year. But most of these injuries are preventable with protective eyewear. With sports, we may think of flying objects as the hazard, but eye injuries can be a result of an elbow or finger in a close contact sport. Follow same work precautions at home So maybe after all the fun of playing on a recreational team, or after you come home from your kids soccer game, you’re then taking care of the house by cleaning and doing yard work. Again, we hope eye safety is on your mind. You may already be required to wear safety protection at work, like safety glasses or face shields, but remember when you’re working at home, you need that protection, too. Some house chores that could be hazardous to your eyes include home repairs, cooking, yard work and cleaning with chemicals. Choose the right gear There are three main types of mouth guards – custom-made, boil and bite, and stock. A custom-made mouth guard provides better fitting and protection as it is made-to-order according to size. Boil and bite is like a semi-custom model in which hot water softens the plastic for better fitting. Stock mouth guards come in standard sizes and are inexpensive.    Make sure the mouth guard fits properly for maximum security. Take care of your mouth guard and replace it when it’s in poor condition. It’s important to change mouth guards from time to time in order to maintain the protection they provide to the mouth area. Talk to your dentist about the best mouth guard for you and your kids. If you already wear glasses, those glasses aren’t enough to protect you. When choosing protective eyewear for you and your kids, look for the appropriate kind for the activity. For sports, the National Eye Institute created a chart to find the right eye protection for a list of sports. There are many varieties of sports goggles, all specially designed for certain sports. And not only will the sports eyewear protect, they can advance and improve the performance of the athlete. At work, or when working at home, consider safety glasses with side shields, face shields, goggles with ventilation, and other variations when deciding what gear best fits with your task. Just like with your mouth guard, the fit of your protective eyewear is important for its effectiveness. Fourth of July warnings It seems fitting that this blog will be posted just before the Fourth of July, because as wonderful as this holiday is, there are always safety concerns with fireworks. In addition to the bodily harm that can occur, remember eye safety is at risk too. Make safety part of the routine You and your kids might be serious about sports, or just enjoy a laidback game. Either way, make mouth guards and safety glasses a part of the routine, norm and ritual of the sport. And if you need to convince the kids, try selling it as a competitive tool to intimidate or psych out the opposition. And remember to grab your safety glasses as you head out to mow the lawn this weekend. 

How To Know if Your Child Needs Glasses

by MikeMeehan 6/20/2017 9:44 AM

Signs of vision problems in children can go undetected. Children, since they don’t have a comparison, will not always be able to tell that something is wrong with their vision. They’ll think the color or degree of clarity is normal. And since, from the child’s perspective, they don’t know anything is wrong, the vision problem might manifest itself in a different way such as a struggle with or avoidance of reading. Let’s look at ways to detect and recognize if your child is having vision problems. And then, whether you’ve noticed any of these signs or not, taking your children to get a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor will give you peace of mind that their eyes are healthy. Possible signs your child has a vision problem Squinting – If your child is squinting a lot, it could be a sign of trying to focus. Rubbing eyes frequently – This is normal behavior from a tired child, but it could be a sign of eye strain, eye fatigue or other vision problems. Notice what kind of activity your child is doing when the sign is displayed. This will help determine if they are struggling or just tired. Covering or closing one eye – Your child might do this in an attempt to focus and could be a sign of misaligned eyes. Tilting head – Tilting of the head is another way your child might try to fix misaligned eyes or the angle of vision. Both signs, covering one eye or tilting the head, could also be a sign of amblyopia, a vision condition also called lazy eye. It’s one of the most common vision problems in children. Sitting close to the TV/ holding books or electronic devices close to the face – This could be a sign of nearsightedness, or myopia. Again your child could be trying to correct blurry vision. Also, just like adults, children can experience digital eye strain. Tripping or bumping into things – If your child is walking into objects that you and the rest of the family aren’t, this could be an indicator of a vision problem. Sometimes a child with poor vision can be overlooked as just clumsy. Avoiding reading – What may appear to be disinterest, could be a reaction to poor vision. When reading together, if your child has a difficult time following along with you, or loses their place while reading, this could be a sign. If there is a lack of concentration or avoidance of schoolwork all together, this could be a reaction to a vision problem. Signs could be more obvious – your child might have headaches or tell you their eyes hurt. This would especially make sense if conveyed at the end of the day, after eyes are strained all day to focus and correct blurry vision. A comprehensive eye exam for children is so important because, as the American Optometric Association states, early detection and treatment “provide the very best opportunity to correct vision problems.” 

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