It’s true. January is National Soup Month and National Tea Month. And it is also true that we think that is no coincidence.
You’re always looking for easy ways to improve your health, right? And oral health is a significant factor in overall health. So here are two extremely simple ways for you to strengthen your teeth and gums and improve your overall health.
- Drink more tea
- Eat more soup
Here is why…
Many people think that chewy candies and foods with high sugar content are what really harm teeth. Although those people are correct, what you choose to drink also has a significant impact on oral health. When deciding between the many drink options available, one of the best drinks for your oral health is brewed tea. Tea has anti-bacterial properties and fluoride content which may help protect against cavities and gum disease and may also strengthen tooth enamel [insert a picture of tea with this sentence as the caption].
There have been a number of studies done recently that highlight the positive effects of tea on oral health. Research shows that tea has almost no erosive effect on tooth enamel. In fact, depending on the amount of fluoride in the water that you brew your tea with, it can even strengthen your enamel. A study done specifically on green tea has indicated that it has some added oral health benefits due to the natural antioxidant compounds called catechins that are in it. The researchers suggested that green tea is particularly effective in fighting and preventing gum disease because the catechins in the green tea interfere with the inflammation that results from bacteria in the mouth. Lastly, a recent study conducted by New York University Dental Center suggests that black tea may be linked to reduction in likelihood of developing dental caries (or cavities).
So in other words…have a cup of tea a day! But before you do, here are a few important words of advice…
- Don’t add sugar to your tea. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth and irritate your gums.
- Avoid prepackaged, bottled iced teas because they contain citric acid (which can wear away tooth enamel) and high amounts of sugars.
http://www.teausa.com/teausa/images/TeaCouncil-ResearchDocR5_-_FINAL.pdf – visit this link for an extremely informational document that breaks down how tea benefits the rest of your body’s health (including cardiovascular health, cancer risk reduction for a number of cancers, neurological health, metabolism/obesity/body composition, diabetes/blood sugar control, immune function, kidney function, and reduced risk of osteoporosis).
Since the first day we were served solid food as children, we have been told to eat our veggies. “You want to grow up to be big and strong, don’t you?” As a kid, that never really crossed our minds…we’d rather have chips and soda and candy.
But what if we were to give you new incentive to eat your veggies… What if we showed you just how beneficial vegetables can be to your oral hygiene.
Vegetables are of course jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients – these are the key.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has a plethora of benefits for your gums. It helps produce collagen which helps form body tissue, and it also repairs damaged gums and helps the them become more resistant to oral bacteria. Folic acid helps your mouth’s cells stay healthy, and calcium helps with strong teeth, bones, and gums. All these nutrients together help keep gums strong and healthy and control or even prevent gum disease.
In addition to the vast nutrients in vegetables that your mouth benefits from, there are other positive effects to eating your veggies as well. The chewing action alone involved in eating raw veggies strengthens your gums, encourages blood circulation and builds strong teeth. Additionally, vegetables are a key source of fiber, which builds a strong immune system.
So now you may be asking, “how do I know which vegetables to eat to get these nutrients?” Allow us to help:
- Vitamin C: red and green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes
- Vitamin E: Spinach, turnip greens, collards, along with oils (vegetable, seed and nut)
- Folic Acid: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, and spinach
One of the best ways to get tons of veggies at once (especially in the winter) is in a hearty soup! So here are three delicious soup recipes that are packed with vegetables to benefit your overall health, as well as you oral health! We all know homemade soup is no match for that canned stuff in terms of taste and nutritional value.
Green Pea and Chickpea Soup: This soup is exceptionally nutrient-dense and calls for highly affordable ingredients. To experience optimal health, including flexible and healthy bones and teeth, it’s vital that you eat plenty of green plant foods on a regular basis. Green peas are naturally abundant in folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, carotenoids, tryptophan, vitamin K, manganese, healthy protein, and a number of other health-promoting nutrients. Get this recipe
Vegetable Soup: Here is an extremely quick, easy and delicious recipe that is packed full of veggies. Modify this with your favorite veggies too – its easy to substitute ingredients with this simple recipe! Get the recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup can be tricky, because it is not always particularly healthy for you – it really depends on what ingredients you use. May sound obvious, but sometimes people struggle maximizing the health factor. Here are three tips for you that will help give any chicken noodle soup recipe a health kick…
- Use boneless, skinless chicken
- Use fat-free and/or low-sodium chicken broth
- Look for your favorite noodle in high-fiber, whole wheat variety fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Click here to get the chicken noodle soup recipe we love
Happy National Soup and Tea Month! Get out there and strengthen those teeth and gums.
Teeth and health change over time. Different stages of life have very different and specific issues that may arise. With the help of the ADA, we have comprised a list of 5 concerns that a mature mouth might encounter.
1.) Gum disease. We know you’ve heard this one before, but the older you get the greater risk you are at. Brushing and flossing (the right way like we outlined in our 8 Common Brushing Mistakes article) combined with regular dental visits and periodontal exams is the winning combo to keep you healthy. Gingivitis is bad enough, but it is the reversible stage of gum disease. If your gum disease reaches periodontitis, it is irreversible.
2.) Missing teeth. Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20-60 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? You may not think this is a big deal, but missing teeth can affect the way you eat and speak. Additionally, the missing tooth leaves an open space in your mouth that may cause your other teeth to move around or shift, and the vacancy in your mouth can also cause bone loss in that area where the tooth is missing. There are a handful of different solutions to solve this problem. Three of the most common are bridges, dentures, and implants. Call or visit us to discuss your options and together we can decide which option is best for you.
3.) Sensitivity. If you are experiencing discomfort when consuming hot and/or cold foods and beverages, then you may have sensitive teeth. This hyper-sensitivity could be caused by a number of things including tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, and/or an exposed tooth root. The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated. Treatment may be as simple as desensitizing toothpaste, or maybe a more intense treatment is necessary for more extreme cases – treatment oftentimes depends on the cause of the sensitivity.
4.) Dry mouth. Dry mouth can be experienced by anyone, but if your mouth is constantly dry, then it may be time to seek treatment with us. Many things can cause dry mouth – medications, certain health conditions, and alcohol are a few of the more common causes. If you have constant dry mouth, it is important to get it checked because the reduced flow of saliva creates an environment where bacteria can thrive and decay becomes a real problem. Dry mouth itself is not a serious health problem, but making sure you take extra special care of your oral hygiene when/if you experience dry mouth is extremely important to maintaining a healthy mouth.
5.) Oropharyngeal Cancer. This can affect any area of the mouth – lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, jaw, hard or soft palate, and throat. It can start as an unsuspecting white spot or inflamed area, so make sure to take it seriously if you notice something like this in your mouth. We regularly screen for oral cancers at your check ups because, as with all cancers, early detection is key to rapid recovery, prolonged health, and easier treatment options. Symptoms and warning signs of oral cancer may be, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
- A thick/hard spot or a lump
- A roughened or crusted area
- Numbness, pain, or tenderness
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, and/or moving your tongue and jaw
We hope this information is helpful. Don’t neglect your oral health. It is extremely important to stay on top of these concerns so they do not progress as you age and become more difficult to deal with and correct. We are here to help! If you have any questions or concerns call us just to talk, or schedule an appointment.
Click here to take a 5 question (true or false style) quiz about your oral health. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-40-60/fact-or-fiction/
That is a pretty high statistic if you ask us. Especially because you have some control over that. Over our many years practicing dentistry, we have found that most people visit us for any one of these three distinct reasons.
Fear – some people are just plain petrified of the dentist. It the fearful ones have had some traumatizing experiences in the past, and even if they didn’t, they know how old school dentistry did their work – fill, drill, and bill. That philosophy is a thing of the past, and something we never, ever, ever bought into here at FDA. We know some people have pre-appointment nerves and apprehensions, and we take every single one of those into account no matter how irrational those fears may be. We are here to calm your nerves and fix your teeth!
Personal Image – people want to look good. Of course it is true, and why wouldn’t it be? Your smile is a focal point of your face and people notice it, so it is normal to want a great smile. Whether that means veneers, whitening, tooth replacement, or orthodontics, we can help you get to where you want to go and get you that beautiful, confident smile of your dreams.
Function – some people have such a serious problem that it impacts the way that they are talking and eating. People often wait until they are in serious pain and discomfort before they visit us, and although we are glad to see that they finally come in to fix the problem, waiting around often complicates things further. The sooner you come in, the easier it is to treat the problem, the more treatment options we will likely have, and the faster your recovery will be. So if you’re hurting or uncomfortable, or something just doesn’t feel right in your mouth, then don’t wait around forever, come visit us! Our promise is to solve the problem and lay out a treatment plan together – one that you are completely comfortable with.
We know how to help even the most fearful patients who have the most complicated issues. We talk and formulate a treatment plan together that fits your lifestyle and budget. The most important thing to understand is that we are a team, and we have the same goals that you do to get you your perfect smile.
If you know a person who is so fearful of the dentist that they haven’t been in ages, then please share this blog post with them and tell them about us. We would love to talk with them.
National Smile Week is the second week of August! In many different ways, wearing a smile can be a lot more beneficial to you than you may think. To prove our point, and in honor of National Smile Week, we compiled a list of 10 reasons smiling is good for you.
- Smiling is attractive. That’s why it is the universal expression when we take pictures – especially selfies 😉 … OK, we are just kidding about the selfies part, but the rest is true! There is an attraction factor in smiling that naturally draws people in. Who doesn’t want to get to know that person with a smile that can light up a room? Be that person!
- It is scientifically proven to be able to change your mood. Next time you are sad or frustrated or upset or angry, turn that frown upside down. The short explanation is that smiling triggers the brain to release certain hormones that make you happier. Give it a try, what’s the worst that can happen?
- Smiling is contagious. You know it is, so don’t you deny it! A smile is as contagious as a yawn. If you are a happy person who smiles naturally and genuinely, then others will gravitate to that and love you for the positive energy you bring to any situation.
- Smiling is a stress reliever. One of the places where stress makes itself most obvious is in our faces. Take a breath and put on a smile next time you are stressed – go to your happy place. If you do, the stress should be reduced enough for you to gather your thoughts and take action.
- Smiling can help keep you healthy. It is thought that smiling relaxes you which allows your immune system to function more efficiently and effectively. A smile a day keeps the doctor away!
- Smiling lowers blood pressure. Try it out if you don’t believe us. Take a blood pressure reading like you regularly would. After you get an accurate reading, smile for a minute, then take another reading (while still smiling if you’d like). What are the results?
- Smiling makes us feel good. Studies have shown that the physical act of smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin – together, this combination makes us feel good.
- Smiling makes you look younger. The muscles we use to smile lift the face which makes a person appear younger. Forget the plastic surgery, just smile!
- Smiling exudes confidence. If you smile often you appear to be a confident person and you are also much more approachable. This can lead to positive recognition by your family, friends, and co-workers.
- Smiling keeps the glass half full. It’s hard not to stay positive with a smile on your face. And if you can put a smile on someone else’s face…well, then that is even better.
Happy National Smile Week! Don’t be shy – be sure to share plenty friendly smiles all week long!
Do you dread the dentist? Millions of people have a dental-related fear that prevents them from receiving the care they need. In some cases, the fear can be so strong that it prevents them from even getting through the office door! Often times, these fears are developed because of a childhood trauma or uncomfortable experience at the dentist. Here are some of the most prevalent examples of dental phobias:
Lack of Control
Lying prone in a chair while a dentist works on your teeth can make patients feel as though they have no control over the situation. We believe that communication is key, and we take the time to address your concerns and learn more about you before any dental work is done. More importantly, after we are about to make an assessment of your teeth and mouth, we make a plan together to address your dental needs so that you do have some control over the situation.
Painful Past Experience
There are few things harder than overcoming a fear based on a past experience. But beginning at our very first appointment with you, we are completely focused and dedicated to building a trusting relationship with you, in order to break down those barriers. Dr. Brian Brunacini and Dr. Glen Knock are highly trained and qualified, and always maintain a consistent dialogue with patients in order to avoid an uncomfortable procedure.
Side Effects of Treatment
General anesthesia, numbing agents like Novocain, and painkillers can leave you with various side effects after a procedure, and some people feel the effects more than others. We always make sure that we find out whether you’ve had a negative reaction to any sedatives or painkillers so that we can find the best way to ease your mind and make you completely comfortable before, during, and after all of your dental procedures.
Sometimes, hearing a “horror story” about another’s experience at the dentist can lead to heightened anxiety over your own visit. Even something as simple as a negative portrayal of dentists in TV shows or movies (thanks, Marathon Man!) can affect your perception of the process. Many cases of mishandled care are the result of a lack of communication between dentist and patient, and we make it our number one priority to ensure that our interaction with our patients is both pleasant and thorough.
When fear gets in the way of an individual’s physical health—we know there’s a problem to be addressed. At FDA, we know how debilitating fear can be and we do our best to bond our experience and expertise with compassion and understanding.