Category: Food & Teeth

Can That New Year’s Diet Hurt Your Teeth?

diet
New Year, New You? Don’t let that diet ruin your teeth!

We’re all for New Year’s Resolutions! But when it comes to drastic changes in your eating habits, do your research. That means don’t double down on that trendy 9-Day Liquid Fast that only allows you to have smoothies made with kale, wheatgrass, coconut butter, Anis seeds, and organic unfiltered vinegar.

But seriously, there are two basic changes that you can make for weight loss and better overall health. Eat less, move more. Take in fewer calories than you expend. Eat real food, just enough. Making the lifestyle commitment to that simple formula can tip the scales in your favor. But we’re always looking for a shortcut, and there have been several instances of fad diets in recent years (Atkins, anyone?) that delivered weight-loss results with unintended side-effects.

At Meyer & Johns, we recognize that oral health is just one component of your overall health. As such, we want you to inform yourself of some of the possible down-sides of popular diets.

 

Fruit Detox

Our Kale/vinegar smoothie above was a joke, but more and more people are trying detoxes, cleanses, and purges as a way to kick-start weight loss. However, an extended fruit-only diet can leave you lacking vital protein and other nutrients that are vital to bone and tooth health. Additionally, we’ve warned you about the potential for fruit acid to damage your enamel.

 

Keto/Low-Carb

While the latest fad may really melt away fat, there are several unintended consequences of Keto diets. By triggering the ketosis that brings results, you’re likely to develop bad breath as your body releases ketones from burning fat instead of carbs. Additionally, an overload of these naturally-occurring substances can upset the acidic balance in both your mouth and your body, leading to blood problems and even heart damage.

 

Low-Fat Diet

While this decades-old approach has been shown to have big impacts on cardiovascular health, fats are a vital part of our nutritional make-up. Removing too much can restrict your body’s processing of water-soluble vitamins, including A, E, K, and D. This last one is especially important, as Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, which is a key component of healthy bones and teeth.

 

Extreme Low-Cal

Sure, it may melt the pounds away, but at what cost? Malnutrition sends all kinds of mixed distress signals to your body, which can send you into physiological panic and trigger drastic measures. As for your mouth, malnutrition causes weakening of your enamel, gums, and jaw, and can even lead to tooth loss if not addressed. 

 

If you’re making big changes in pursuit of better health in 2020, we congratulate you! Tell us at your next appointment how it’s going, and let us know if you’re experiencing any changes in your mouth.

Fun Candy Facts for 2019

Halloween candy

 

At Meyer & Johns, we’re getting our costumes planned, and decorating the office for Halloween. In spite of all the candy, we love this holiday so much we celebrate the whole month long. In honor of the observance, we’re taking our annual look at America’s favorite candy. 

Big Business

Despite an overall reduction in consumer spending, Halloween candy sales are expected to hold steady at $2.6 billion, with 95% of all U.S. households purchasing some type of candy. And according to the National Retail Federation, the most popular candy nationwide this year is M&M’s. It increased in popularity by 23%, leading to double-digit gains on the Favorites list and leap-frogging over last year’s #1 and perennial top contender Reese’s cups. 

Pass on These? 

Another survey, conducted by CandyStore.com, ranked the least-favorite candies of all time. You know, the ones that you find at the bottom of the Halloween bag weeks (or months, or maybe October 1, 2020) after all the rest is long gone. Here is their Bottom 10 list of America’s Worst Candy:

10.  Bit-O-Honey

 9.  Good & Plenty

 8.  Licorice (Black, NOT Twizzlers!)

 7.  Smarties

 6.  Tootsie Rolls

 5.  Necco Wafers

 4.  Wax Coke Bottles

 3.  Peanut Butter Kisses (aka Mary Janes)

 2.  Circus Peanuts (#1 worst in 2018)

 1.  Candy Corn (Whaaaaat…?!)

We know there will be some intense debate over some of these on the list, which includes a couple of our personal favorites. But now is the time for us as dentists to point out that any and all of these can be the worst for kids’ teeth if proper brushing doesn’t happen. 

Managing Candy consumption

For both overall and tooth health, the candy intake of children should be monitored. Make sure they’re not sneaking into the bag between meals (or before breakfast).  Set up parameters that work for both you and your child, and then stick to them. And as always, make sure any consumption is followed up with a thorough brushing

Happy Halloween from all of us at Meyer & Johns Dental! 

Threats to Your Dental Health

Tooth enamel is important
Unseen threats may be putting your teeth at risk!

 

As we noted in our last post, Missouri lags behind most states in the U.S. for accessible dental care. But it made us think about other threats to your dental health that have emerged in our modern society. 

 

What We Eat 

Dental health is tied closely to overall health, and most Americans aren’t doing a very good job of managing either one. Most of us consume lots of processed foods with high sugar and chemical content. These food additives are designed for flavor and shelf-life, but are generally bad for your teeth, as they stick around longer and can upset your mouth’s natural balance

What We Drink

In an effort to combat the obesity epidemic, communities around the country are considering the restriction of super-sized sodas. For teeth, this is great news! With a combination of acidity and sticky chemicals, soda and other carbonated sweetened beverages wreak havoc on teeth. The American Dental Association recommends at least a 1:1 ratio of soda to water consumption. Plus, there are numerous benefits for both your mouth and your body when you replace soft drinks with water. 

How Much Stress

As we’ve said, Anxiety Bites. But in modern life pulls everyone in more different directions than ever before. Stress-related bruxism presents a significant threat to your overall dental health. If tension and anxiety have you gritting and grinding your teeth, find ways to counteract the chaos of modern life — Unplug, go outside, exercise, meditate, develop a hobby. All of these activities can help bring balance in a world dominated by ugly headlines, looming deadlines, pinging email reminders and text alerts stacking up like a Tetris game. 

 

If you have other concerns or questions about how you can improve your dental or overall health, ask us at your next appointment

 

Thanksgiving Foods to Smile About

Turkey-themed Fruit Plate

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Eating Season, with feasts, leftovers, and of course, desserts! As always, brushing is key protecting your family’s teeth. Make sure to stick to your established brushing routines even though eating patterns maybe different than usual.

But there are also other ways to make your gatherings and meals better for both teeth and overall health. Consider alternative recipes for making old favorites, or starting a new food tradition by serving something entirely different. Here are some options to consider:

Sweet Potatoes

These are a Thanksgiving staple for many families, but traditional preparation often includes up to a cup of brown sugar, plus sticky marshmallow topping. Why not try a different, healthier take this year by roasting instead? Toss your cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil, honey, and cinnamon and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Honey blends differently with vegetables than processed sweetener, and helps bring out the natural sweetness without coating teeth in sugar.

Cranberry Sauce

You really can’t do Thanksgiving without it, but canned varieties and many traditional recipes contain excessive amounts of — you guessed it — sugar. Not that we dentists don’t love cranberries… research suggests that they inhibit the formation of glucan, the sticky molecular foundation that plaque uses to collect on your teeth. For a healthier alternative, the website WellnessMama.com has a no-refined-sugar recipe that is a tasty way to get your annual cranberry fix.

 

Little Gobbler Veggie Cups

 

Easy Clementine Pumpkins

Fruits & Veggies

These should always be a go-to snack, and holidays are no different! Blogs and social media sites are great sources for creative presentation ideas to get kids engaged with healthier holiday snacking. We’ve shown a few of our recent easy favorites from Pinterest above.

Whatever is on your plate, all of us at Meyer & Johns Dental are thankful to be your dental care home, and wish you a safe, festive Thanksgiving holiday.