A Rainbow of Foods to Keep Your Smile Healthy

by MikeMeehan 3/14/2018 9:52 AM

  You may not discover a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day, but there are other ways rainbows can make you smile this month. These colorful fruits and veggies are full of flavor and will help keep your smile sparkling. Red: - Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, which helps maintain gum health. - Red peppers also contain vitamin C, and they come with a host of anti-inflammatory benefits. Orange: - Pumpkin and carrots have lots of vitamin A, which helps keep mucous membranes healthy and prevent dry mouth. Carrots also contain immunity-strengthening antioxidants. - Butternut squash is rich with vitamin C and potassium that helps neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body. Yellow: - Yellow peppers have anti-inflammatory benefits and vitamin C. - Cheeses contain calcium that helps build strong bones and teeth.  Green: - Leafy greens contain vitamin K that helps block substances that break down bone, promoting good bone density. They are also a good source of calcium. - Broccoli contains folic acid that helps keep your gums healthy and can help prevent cleft lip and palate during pregnancy. Blue: - Blueberries are a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Purple: - Eggplant contains vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. It also has folic acid that builds strong bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. - Acai berries have antioxidants to strengthen immunity. White: - Cauliflower has vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and a great substitute for starchy grains in diets. - Plain yogurt promotes strong teeth and bones by being rich in calcium.

Thanksgiving Foods for Healthy Smiles

by MikeMeehan 11/22/2017 10:42 AM

As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving and you look at all the delicious food, some of those dishes might be good for your oral health. Here are some traditional Thanksgiving sides that have the added bonus of being good for your teeth and gums. And if these vegetables aren’t usually included with your holiday meal, consider adding them for the benefit of all those smiles gathered around your table. Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, and this vitamin helps maintain your teeth and bones. Sweet potatoes have vitamin C and vitamin E too. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation. Vitamin C also reduces inflammation, and it strengthens gums, protects against gingivitis, and fights infection. Two helpings of sweet potatoes, please! Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach Look around for the greens on the table because you know those are great choices. Brussels sprouts are in season – a good reason for them to show up on the Thanksgiving table! Like other leafy green vegetables, brussels sprouts are full of calcium. Calcium is famous for strengthening your bones and teeth, while it also strengthens your enamel. Vitamin C, good for your gums, is also in brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach. Broccoli and spinach are an excellent source of vitamin A too. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with the green veggies – so good for your oral health and overall health. Carrots and celery While you’re all waiting for the turkey to cook, put out some snacks like raw carrots and celery. Because they’re so crunchy, they increase saliva production and reduce the risk of cavities. Also, carrots have vitamin A. This vitamin keeps the mucous membranes in your mouth healthy. Celery is a good source of 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. So keep these snacks around for after dinner too. Choose wisely While some of these vegetables and healthy choices might get covered up in some unhealthy choices like gravy and butter, consider having different versions available. Baked sweet potatoes instead of mashed with butter. Steamed spinach and broccoli instead of in a casserole. And if you’re still into the pumpkin craze, and a pumpkin pie might be included in your traditional fare, pumpkin also has some mouth-friendly nutrients. Keep in mind your ingredients and read the labels on the store-bought items.

3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Oral and Vision Health Habits

by MikeMeehan 9/13/2017 11:35 AM

Let’s make this one easy. You already have good oral and vision health habits like visiting your eye doctor and dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth, and eating healthy foods to keep your teeth, gums and eyes strong. For self-improvement month, let’s take those habits and improve them a bit. With these small improvements, you’ll make a big difference in your oral and vision health. Brush for a full two minutes, time yourself!You’ve mastered your brushing technique, hitting all the tough-to-reach spots. You brush every morning, every night, and sometimes in between. Now, are you sure you’re brushing for two to three minutes? Try using our mobile app with the toothbrush timer, or try playing a song (average length is three minutes). Two minutes can seem like a short amount of time, but watch the clock, you might not be brushing long enough.Brushing for two to three minutes allows enough time for the fluoride in your toothpaste to do its job. Also, two to three minutes is approximately how long it takes to brush every tooth. But don’t think brushing harder, or faster, can make up for shortened time. If you brush too hard, or apply too much pressure, you could hurt your enamel and gum tissue.Can I sneak in one more small improvement with this one? Brush your tongue! It only adds another few seconds! Due to its rough surface, your tongue can be a hiding place for bacteria that causes bad breath. Rest your eyesThis is a fast-growing vision problem affecting everyone – digital eye strain caused by blue light from our computer screens, phones, and other devices. To improve your vision health and prevent this condition, the easiest step you can take is to limit your time in front of a screen, or, at the very least, take frequent breaks. Breaks should be every 20 minutes and at least 20 seconds. Another prevention step to consider is using glasses with blue-light filtering lenses. Because this condition is becoming commonplace, vision providers are offering this option for your lenses. Improve your techniqueYou’ve advanced your oral health care by including flossing in your routine. That’s fantastic, but we’re going to push you a little bit further to improve your flossing technique. While you’re gliding the floss between your teeth with a gentle sawing motion, improve this technique by curving the floss along the gum line and sliding up and down. This improvement will help to clean not just in between your teeth, but along the gum line.Flossing protects your gums and helps to prevent disease. If you’ve already mastered your flossing technique, consider making improvements to your brushing technique too.  These three suggestions are a quick way to improve your dental and vision health­ – brush for two minutes, give your eyes a break from blue light and improve your flossing technique. And if you’re looking for more ways to improve, see last week’s blog about adding more fruits and vegetables to your menu.


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