Category: Food & Teeth

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.

 

America’s Favorite Halloween Candy Is…

candystore.com
www.candystore.com features an interactive map of favorite Halloween candy.

Even though it’s many people’s favorite holiday, Halloween might seem like a nightmare for dentists. Actually, at Meyer & Johns we LOVE Halloween — our staff is in the spirit all month long. It’s just the after-effects of all that candy we don’t like.  We talk about it every year, but sensible consumption and good brushing habits are key to winning the candy battle. We trust that you know what strategy works best with each of your children. If you’re still not sure, check out our blog post HERE for age and developmentally-appropriate approaches. 

 

We trust that you know what to do, so enough about teeth – let’s talk about the candy! Confectionary information and shopping website candystore.com has compiled a mountain of data on candy sales and consumption. They recently published an interactive map that lists the favorite Halloween candy for each of the 50 U.S. states, including pounds sold, as well as 2nd and 3rd-place choices by state. 

 

Missouri’s fave? The Milky Way bar, a preference we share with Maryland and Vermont. Some of the interesting tidbits include:

  • Corn Rules! Candy Corn is the most popular nationwide, taking the top spot in seven of the 50 states. Somewhat surprisingly, Skittles came in at #2, with five. 
  • Cowboy Candy?  Dubble Bubble gum was the favorite Halloween candy in Oklahoma and Montana. Don’t they know what they’re missing?
  • Location, location… Not surprisingly, the extreme Northeast and Northwest favor salt water taffy. 
  • Marketing wisely? Two of the most-recognizable and highly-promoted products – Twix and Kit-Kat – only ranked 1st in one state apiece. 
  • Sour in the South – Lemonheads were the top pick in Louisiana. 

 

Happy Halloween from your friends at Meyer & Johns Dental – Have fun, be safe, and don’t forget to brush! 

 

 

Halitosis – More Than Just a Smell?

bad breath
Will people remember what you say with their ears… or their nose?

Garlic, onions, and fish… Oh, my. Contrary to popular belief, even though certain foods can linger on your breath until they are fully processed by your body, they don’t really cause bad breath. Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a pervasive and ongoing problem that can affect personal and professional relationships, as well as impacting self-confidence in social situations.

Experts say that as many as 80 million Americans suffer from chronic halitosis, and spend more than $10 billion attempting to keep it under their breath, so to speak. But what actually causes halitosis?

Smoking

This one is a no-brainer. Cigarettes make everything stink, especially the breath of the smoker. But more importantly, we’ve told you how nicotine can slow production of saliva, which is critical to maintaining a healthy mouth. More on that below…

Xerostomia

As we discussed last month, dry mouth can wreak havoc on your teeth. But the absence of saliva leaves many food particles in your mouth to decomposed between brushings. Additionally, the bacterial imbalance favors the growth of Volatile Sulfuric Compounds (VSCs), which release waste that causes most bad breath.

Unhealthy Dieting

Many current fad diets advocate for an unhealthy nutritional balance to achieve weight-loss results. Frequent or prolonged dieting can increase ketones, which naturally occur when digesting fatty acids. As our body processes these organic compounds, the waste byproduct is expelled through the lungs, which has been linked to halitosis.

Physical Conditions

In addition to dieting, various health conditions can cause chronic bad breath due to the release of unique chemical compounds that are exhaled through the lungs. Some of the most common include gum disease, allergies, diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease, kidney failure, and even cancer.

 

If you or a family member is battling chronic bad breath, ask us at your next appointment. We may be able to recommend a treatment option that can help.