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.
Lucky you, you live in New England in the fall! Many of us take the change of seasons for granted, lamenting the fading daylight and dropping temperatures, but remember: there’s a reason tourist season doesn’t end in September! From ripening pumpkin patches to winding cornfield mazes, Maine’s natural beauty is reason alone to get out and enjoy the clear skies, changing leaves, and crisp autumn air. But, you should also consider the abundance of health benefits that you gain simply by getting outdoors, and one activity in particular has a number of benefits for your oral health!
What we are referring to, of course is an apple-picking expedition! This fall favorite will get you active outside and you will get to take home some delicious (and healthy!) fall produce. Not only do outdoor activities provide physical benefits, studies have shown that exposure to the foliage and open air can improve your concentration, elevate your mood, and promote stress relief. So, this fall, be healthy, have fun, and enjoy the weather while it lasts!
15 Benefits of Eating Apples
Autumn, also known as apple-picking season, is finally upon us, so we thought we’d take a moment to remind you just how healthy those delicious fruits are:
- Get whiter, healthier teeth – Munching on an apple increases salivation, which reduces tooth decay by lowering your mouth’s bacteria level.
- Avoid Alzheimer’s – Drinking apple juice can help keep Alzheimer’s at bay and fight the effects of aging on the brain.
- Protect against Parkinson’s – People who eat fruits and other high-fiber foods gain protection against Parkinson’s through antioxidants.
- Curb all sorts of cancers – Eating flavonol-rich apples can help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent, while compounds in apple peels have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon, and breast.
- Decrease your risk of diabetes – Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes due to the soluble fiber in the fruit.
- Reduce cholesterol – The soluble fiber in apples binds with fats in the intestines, lowering cholesterol levels.
- Get a healthier heart – An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fiber intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries.
- Prevent gallstones – Doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber to prevent gallstones, which are a product of high cholesterol levels.
- Beat diarrhea and constipation – Without getting too graphic, the fiber in apples can both absorb water from the colon when you’re constipated and absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
- Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome – To control the symptoms of IBS, doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a diet high in fiber.
- Avert hemorrhoids – Going hand-in-hand with the control of constipation, hemorrhoids can be avoided with a high fiber intake, which prevents too much straining in the bathroom.
- Control your weight – Foods that are high in fiber will fill you up quickly while keeping your caloric intake low.
- Detoxify your liver – Apples and other fruits are one of the best things you can eat to clear toxins out of your liver.
- Boost your immune system – Red apples contain the antioxidant Quercetin, which, studies have shown, can help boost and strengthen your immune system.
- Prevent cataracts – Long-term studies suggest that people whose diets contain an abundance of antioxidant-rich fruit like apples are 10 to 15 percent less likely to develop cataracts.
You’re at the grocery store and you come to the personal hygiene aisle. You are looking for a mouthwash, but you are instantly overwhelmed with the dozens of options to choose from all promising to reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, whiten teeth and so much more – but not all the claims are true. We have all been there. But don’t worry, we are here to offer you some helpful tips that will allow you to refine your search and pick out the perfect mouthwash to fit your needs!
We always talk about the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but using mouthwash regularly in your oral hygiene regimen is often overlooked. Studies have shown that regular use of mouthwash has undeniable benefits for your mouth. It cleans those hard to reach places that brushing can’t get to, rinses your whole mouth, and is proven to reduce gingivitis in those who use it regularly.
There are 3 major categories of mouthwash products from a consumer perspective. Here is what you need to know about each of them that will help you choose the perfect rinse for your mouth:
1.) Fluoride containing mouth rinses:
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay in your mouth and strengthens enamel. But most people don’t need fluoride in their mouthwash because they already get it from the fluoridated toothpaste they use. But there are some exceptions. People with xerostomia (abnormally dry mouth) might use this because severe dry mouth might cause bacterial imbalance in the mouth, and too much bad bacteria can lead to tooth decay. Also, people with cavities can benefit from this kind of mouthwash. Here is a list of ADA approved fluoride mouth rinses
2.) Mouthwashes to freshen breath:
Many of these mouthwashes will in fact freshen your breath, but they do not necessarily offer many (if any) long-term oral health benefits. The bacteria that cause bad breath are killed for the short term, but they will grow back.
3.) Anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis mouthwashes:
Adults are recommended to use this kind of mouthwash to supplement their brushing and flossing (although these are key components to oral health, we don’t always do a great job with these tasks, and this type of mouthwash can kills potentially damaging bacteria missed in brushing and flossing). If the mouthwash is ADA approved, that is the best, and they kill a much broader range of oral bacteria than the breath freshening rinses, which is better for your overall oral health. For people with more severe dental issues, contact us, we may prescribe you with a more powerful mouthwash that could help you! List of ADA approved anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouthwashes
Hope these tips help! Remember, mouth wash is no substitute for good brushing and flossing. All three together make for a powerful, effective, and healthy cleaning regimen!
You probably know that Valentine’s Day is today, February 14th – but here are some interesting Valentine’s Day trivia facts you may not be aware of!!
- Every year over 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent – second only to Christmas.
- The people who receive the most Valentine’s cards are teachers. They deserve it!
- Most flowers sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day are imported from South America.
- Richard Cadbury sold the first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates in 1868.
- This year over $1 billion will be spent on Valentine’s chocolates.
- It is believed that St. Valentine was put to death on February 14th. His last letter to his love (the jailer’s daughter) was signed, “From Your Valentine.”
- NECCO has been making heart-shaped candies with sweet sayings since 1902!
- Alexander Graham Bell applied for his telephone patent on Valentine’s Day in 1876. Many years later on February 14th penicillin was introduced!
- Men spend approximately twice as much as women for Valentine’s Day!
Okay – now that you are an expert on Valentine’s Day – is your mouth ready? Here are some things you can do to make sure!!
- Avoid foods that can cause bad breath such as garlic, onions and curry. While these foods are believed to be healthy, they can cause a kissing disaster unless your mate participates too!
- Use lip balm frequently. The cold winter months can make your lips feel like alligator skin!
- Drink water often throughout the day. This washes food particles out of your mouth and prevents dehydration, a leading cause of foul breath.
- If you are a fan of gum or mints, try those which contain Xylitol. Unlike sugar, it’s not harmful to your teeth, and actually fights off bad bacteria.
- Mouthwash can be good, but if your mouthwash contains alcohol (as many do) be careful! It can dry out the tissues of your mouth causing damage and a characteristic bad smell.
If you are due for a dental cleaning, want to find out about tooth whitening, or have any dental questions, give us a call at 1-207-781-5900 and we’ll get you in the schedule! After all, you want your Cupid kisses to be as pleasant as possible, and at Falmouth Dental Arts, we do too!!