More Fruits and Vegetables for More Healthy Smiles

by MikeMeehan 9/6/2017 10:01 AM

September is another month to focus on the importance of including more fruits and vegetables into our diet, and we’re on board with that. Consuming fruits and vegetables will help your overall health and your oral health, so that means healthy smiles. And healthy smiles are what we like to see. We all need more fruits and veggies in our life, and we’ve got a good resource to help you with that. The Fruits & Vegetables–More Matters health initiative has a mission to help Americans increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they consume. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables will do wonders for your health, and we’d like to talk about a few that are especially good for your oral health. In the summer, we recommended the seasonal picks of strawberries, apples and watermelons, so we’ve got them covered. Now here’s a few more fruits and vegetables to add to your menu and how they help your teeth and gums: Celery – A good source for vitamins A and C. Added bonus of celery – it works as a natural toothbrush! When you bite down on celery, its texture scrubs the surface of your teeth, brushing away food particles and plaque. Leafy greens – Spinach, kale and other leafy greens contain calcium, important for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium helps strengthen your enamel and jawbone. Carrots – They are so crunchy, they will increase saliva production and reduce the risk of cavities. Also, carrots have Vitamin A. This vitamin keeps the mucous membranes in your mouth healthy. Spinach and mangoes are other good sources of vitamin A. Citrus – Vitamin C strengthens gums and can protect against gingivitis. It can also reduce inflammation and fight infections, like gum disease. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are packed with this nutrient. Some citrus and other fruits have high acidic content which is bad for your enamel. It’s recommended to eat cheese with your fruit because it can neutralize the acid. Rinsing with water after eating acidic foods will also help. Cantaloupe – If you don’t like the acid in citrus fruits, cantaloupe is a great choice for vitamin C. Also, peppers, blackberries and broccoli have this multifunctional vitamin. Sweet potatoes – They’ve got vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and fights inflammation. When you eat raw vegetables and fruits, it requires more saliva to break down the food. Saliva keeps the bacteria in your mouth, which can cause cavities, under control. If you eat some raw veggies after a meal, the activated extra saliva can also wash away any remaining food particles and help prevent cavities. Smile, for many reasons Whether you eat them raw or cooked, dried or canned, consuming more fruits and vegetables will make you smile for many reasons. You’ll have more energy, a stronger immune system and healthy teeth and gums. With the many options listed above, find opportunities to include these healthy choices into your routine meals.

Final Back-to-School Reminders

by MikeMeehan 8/28/2017 9:46 AM

We talked about tooth care tips for the kids as they head back to school, we recommended some good books to encourage healthy dental habits, and now that the kids are officially back in school or maybe only days away, we’ve got a few more tips to share. Eye exams are often skipped A new survey found that over 50% of parents in the U.S. don’t take their kids for a comprehensive eye exam before going back to school. In the same survey, the majority of respondents agreed that eye exams are important for their kids. So what is preventing parents from taking their kids to the eye doctor? Some might think that vision screenings, sometimes offered at school, are adequate. Vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams are different and screenings can miss the majority of vision problems. When to take your child for an eye exam There can be warning signs your child has a vision problem, but even without symptoms or if your child has a low risk of vision problems, the American Optometric Association recommends children receive an eye exam at 6 months of age, 3 years of age, 5 years of age (before first grade), and then every two years or as suggested by your doctor. If your child is at risk, the frequency changes to every year or as recommended. Look for a list of factors that place a child at risk for vision impairment here. Vision problems can affect learning Sometimes with kids, vision problems can be misdiagnosed or undetected. There is a link between vision and learning, so making sure they can read the blackboard, their books and their laptops is important. About 80% of learning is through a child’s vision and 60% of students who are labeled as problem learners have an undiagnosed vision problem. As the numbers illustrate, adding eye exams on your priority list will benefit your child and their learning. Back-to-school gear for athletes Back to school also means school sports. And when we think of sports, we think of mouth and eye protection. Did you have protective eye gear and mouth guards on the back-to-school list? Mouthguards can provide ample protection from sports-related injuries to the teeth, mouth, jaws and surrounding areas. They help to prevent any kind of dislocation of jaw joints and protect the teeth from being knocked out. Read more to determine what kind of mouth guard fits your kid’s sport or activity. 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. Suit up the kids with all their sports gear and include mouth guards and protective eye wear. Did you get their eyes checked? You take your children to the doctor and dentist, now add your vision provider to that list. Back to school can be a busy time with all the preparation and anticipation. But whether this time of year is best for your family, or any other time during the year, make their vision health a part of your schedule. Protect your active kid with mouth guards and eye shields. And we wish you all a happy back-to-school season!

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Dog – for National Dog Day

by MikeMeehan 8/25/2017 9:53 AM

Our dogs are a frequent topic here in the office. We share laughs, lessons, and, of course, love for these amazing creatures. Because we adore them so much, we want our dogs to live happy and healthy lives. And we’ve come to learn that their oral health can have a lot to do with that. Your dog’s dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health. Sounds familiar, right? Just like humans, healthy teeth and gums mean a healthier dog and a longer life. We emphasize the importance oral health has on overall health, and it’s the same for our four-legged family members. For National Dog Day, we’re going to celebrate our dogs by continuing our message and include our dogs! Oral health problems for dogs Like humans, dogs can have similar dental problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease. It’s imperative to keep teeth and gums strong and healthy because dental issues can lead to other health problems. Another similarity, early detection and treatment can be critical. We get our teeth checked twice a year; with your dog’s annual visit to the vet, teeth and gums will (or should) be checked. You can monitor your dog’s teeth between these visits by looking for plaque buildup and swollen gums. How to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy Brushing your dog’s teeth might seem impossible, but with some effort, it can pay off in the long run. Struggling with the task of keeping our dog’s teeth clean is a topic I’ve discussed with my co-workers. And I’ll admit, none of us have taken on the challenge of brushing. Some of us have adopted older dogs, so we’ve had to take our dogs to the vet for a cleaning which involves anesthesia. I recently rescued a younger dog, so it’s possible to start a routine of brushing to prevent the need for a dental procedure in the future. It might take some getting used to, for me and my dog, but with time, patience and training, it could turn into a habit. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is the most effective way to keep them healthy and may reduce or even eliminate the need for a dental cleaning at the vet. If you decide to take on the challenge of brushing your dog’s teeth, consult with your vet. There is special toothpaste for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic for them. There are also specially designed toothbrushes. But if you can’t manage brushing your dog’s teeth, there are other things you can do. Chew toys – I’m lucky that my dog enjoys chewing on toys and sticks. When I see her chewing on her favorite rubber toy, I’m thankful it could be helping her teeth. Some toys are designed to strengthen gums and teeth. When a dog chews or gnaws on a toy, it can scrape off buildup on their teeth. Dental treats – There are lots of options out there. My vet sells a great brand of dental chews. They’re similar to raw hides, but they have special ingredients that fight and breakdown the plaque on teeth. Dental treats can also help with freshening breath, but be aware, severe bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Tooth wipes – A great option and alternative to brushing, dog tooth wipes are used to rub against the teeth and remove plaque. Dry food – I used to think of soft food as a special treat for dogs, but it’s not good for their teeth. Soft food can stick to teeth, create buildup and lead to tooth decay. Happy to celebrate National Dog Day celebrates all dogs and encourages rescue and adoption from shelters. The day brings attention to the many roles dogs have in our lives. We’re happy to celebrate this day and message with you all, while also relating it to the message of making oral health an important part of your overall health. Take care of your smile and your pet’s! Always consult with your veterinarian about what is best for your dog. For further information and resources: http://www.akc.org/content/dog-care/articles/5-tips-for-keeping-your-dogs-teeth-clean1/ https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care

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