September - Fall Into Good Oral Health Habits
Ways to Keep Tailgates Tooth-Friendly
When the days get a little shorter and the weather gets a bit crisp, it can only mean one thing—tailgating! (You thought we were going to say, “fall is here,” didn’t you?) Whether you’re grilling in a stadium parking lot or just having some friends over to watch the big game, here are a few tips to keep your tailgate event tooth-friendly.
Though hamburgers and hot dogs tend to be tailgating staples, it would be a touchdown for your teeth if you opted for grilling vegetables, fish, and lean meats instead. Lean red meat contains iron, which is beneficial for your oral health. (An iron deficiency can actually lead to sores on the inside of your mouth.) Chicken1
both contain niacin. A lack of niacin can result in bad breath and mouth sores.
If you don’t grill veggies, consider a raw vegetable tray instead. Fiber-rich vegetables stimulate saliva flow, which washes sugars and bacteria away from your teeth, helping to prevent cavities.1
Carrots and broccoli are particularly high in fiber.3
Crackers and cheese are always popular options, and there’s no reason not to enjoy them at your healthy tailgate. Cheese is a good source of calcium, which helps put minerals back in your teeth. When you choose crackers for your tray, try to find some that are whole-grain or whole-wheat.4
As for sweet treats, bypass the typical fare like gooey brownies and sugar-packed cookies. Why not give this month’s sugar-free peanut butter cookie recipe
a shot? If baked goods aren’t your thing, sliced fruit with a healthy yogurt dip also makes a great alternative.
If you do decide to indulge in some football fare that’s not so healthy, be sure to brush afterward—or at least swish with a little water if you don’t happen to have a toothbrush handy. Happy tailgating!
Yellow is a Nice Color for Leaves. Not Teeth!
Watching the leaves turn beautiful colors is one of the best things about fall. Watching your teeth turn colors isn’t quite as fun! If your teeth don’t look as bright white as they used to, don’t worry—discoloration is common. Even if you floss daily and brush the recommended two minutes twice a day, eating and drinking things like red wine, coffee, tea, and even berries and beets5
can turn your teeth a less-than desirable hue. But there’s good news: There are many options that can get your smile sparkling again.
Done at the dentist’s office, this is the fastest (and most expensive) method of whitening. Your dentist will apply a bleaching agent to your teeth and use a special light to speed up the whitening process. Each session takes about 30-60 minutes. Depending on the state of your teeth and how much lighter you’ve decided to make them, this can take one session, or several.6
Your dentist will make a mold of your teeth for this option, and then make custom trays that conform to your teeth. You’ll take these home and squirt bleaching gel in them, and then wear the trays once a day for a few hours each time (or even overnight). The whole process takes about two weeks.
Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening.
These are products—including strips or gel that you apply to your teeth—that can be purchased at various drugstores or retailers. They’re similar to the bleaching agent your dentist uses, but since they’re not as strong, the whitening process will take longer.6
If you’re just looking to remove stains, toothpastes with special chemical or polishing agents might do the trick. But they won’t change the color of your teeth.6
Whatever option you decide to go with, be sure to consult your dentist first. There are risks associated with whitening, including tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Your dentist will likely have insight into problems that could arise based on your dental history—and he or she may also have recommendations on what method will work best for your unique whitening needs.
Denture Care Do’s and Don’ts
Nearly 50 percent of Americans ages 65 and older have lost six or more teeth—and 20 percent have lost all of them. Fortunately, there are many options for replacing lost teeth, whether it’s a few, or all. However, even if the teeth are artificial, they still need some TLC. Here are a few tips for denture wearers.
Full and partial dentures should be removed and cleaned every day. It’s best to use a brush and cleanser that are specifically designed for cleaning dentures, not your regular toothpaste. You should also avoid cleansers that are too harsh or abrasive. If you have a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth. Don’t clean or sterilize any denture in boiling water—it could result in damage to the device.7
When not wearing dentures, keep them in a safe place, out of reach of curious children and playful pets. Soak them in a cleansing solution or water.7
Whether you have a partial denture, a full set of dentures, a bridge, or implants, continue to see your dentist regularly.7
He or she can make sure that everything continues to fit comfortably and properly.
Recipe: Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
1 large egg
1 cup Splenda (or other artificial sweetener)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 tsp water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use an electric mixer to beat the egg, Splenda, baking powder, and vanilla together for about a minute. Add peanut butter and water, and then mix until well combined.
Use a heaping teaspoon of batter for each cookie, placing on a cookie sheet about 1” apart. Flatten each ball of dough with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies feel firm and are slightly browned.
Recipe from http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2007/10/recipe-for-flourless-sugar-free-peanut.html