Vegetarians Have Healthier Gums, But Not Healthier Teeth

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

As important as diet and nutrition are to dental and periodontal health, there have not been many studies on a possible correlation between the vegetarian diet and dental health. Most recently, a research team in Germany has compared periodontal health and dental health between vegetarians and omnivores, and their results were a bit surprising. They found that while vegetarians have better periodontal health, their dental health was overall worse than non-vegetarians.

The research team gathered 100 vegetarians and 100 non-vegetarians for the study. They conducted a complete mouth assessment of all of the participants to assess both their periodontal and dental statuses. They also gave each participant a questionnaire on their oral hygiene habits and level of education.

Vegetarians overall had periodontal health. They had lower probing pocket depths, less gum bleeding when probed, lower periodontal screening index scores, better oral hygiene index scores, and fewer loose teeth. While they were not surprised to see that vegetarians had fewer missing teeth, considering they didn’t have as many loose teeth as non-vegetarians, they were surprised to find that vegetarians’ teeth were more decayed and eroded. They also found that while vegetarians had a higher level of education, vegetarians visited the dentist less frequently.[..Read More]

Drinking Milk after Breakfast Can Help Prevent Plaque

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Eating sugary foods and drinking sugary drinks exposes your teeth to acids, which prevents your mouth’s pH level from stabilizing to what it needs to be to fight plaque. As a result, this is often a prime time for plaque to form. In a recent study to see if certain foods can affect your mouth’s acid levels, the research team found that drinking milk reduced the mouth’s acidity, even after eating a sugary breakfast cereal.

Twenty adults participated in the study and they were given four combinations of foods. The first group ate sugary cereal only, the second group ate dry cereal followed up with whole milk, the third group had apple juice, and the last group drank tap water after their cereal. Each participant had the plaque pH levels in their mouths tested after consuming their given breakfasts.[..Read More]

Halloween Candy To Avoid

Trick or Treat BagWe know we posted this last year, after Halloween, but trust us when we say that it’s worth reading again and again, every year. So many kids look forward to Halloween, and we know it’s too much to ask them and parents to restrict kids’ candy intake on Halloween and afterward. It’s a great idea, but it won’t exactly succeed, especially since trick-or-treating is all about getting as much candy as possible. Therefore, we ask that parents remove the following types of candy from your kids’ treat bags. These candies are the most harmful to your children’s teeth, and removing them could save you a costly dental visit down the road.

That said, we hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween!

Sour Candies

Sour candies have a much lower pH than other candies, which means they are far more acidic than other candies. While sugar is a “bad” component to candy or really any consumable item, high acidity levels do far more damage. For instance, it’s the carbonic acid found in soft drinks that makes them so damaging to your teeth and not as much the sugar. This is why even switching to diet soft drinks is still harmful for your teeth.

With sour candies, it’s almost as bad as drinking one soda. The high acidity coupled with the sugar makes them one of the unhealthiest candies for your teeth. Be sure to fish these out of your kids’ sacks.[..Read More]

Is Breakfast the Cause of Your Dental Problems?

Sugary breakfast cerealWe’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know how¬†important what you eat for breakfast is?

It’s very important to start off your day with breakfast in order to help kickstart your metabolism and feed your brain for the inevitable upcoming stresses before lunch. However, this never means eat whatever is labeled as a breakfast food. Most breakfast cereals have an alarming amount of sugar, even those that are not as obvious as Lucky Charms. What’s even scarier is the high levels of salt in breakfast cereals, even those labeled as healthy and heart conscious.

Not even fruit juices are safe from the high-sugar analysis. In particular, apple juice (even pure apple juice) and pomegranate sugar have higher levels of sugar than commonly believed. Drinking one glass of either by itself is fine, but coupled with a sugary cereal, and you may as well eat chocolate cake for breakfast.[..Read More]

5 Dental Tips for Thanksgiving

Our favorite food-based holiday is here! Relax and lower your hackles; we aren’t going to tell you to cut down on how much you eat. We just want to offer a few tips for dental-safe holiday.

Open nuts with a nutcracker, not your teeth. Many men, women, AND children crack a tooth over the holiday doing just that. Rodents have the teeth cracking nuts; this is why we invented nutcrackers. Also, remember this: cracking your teeth not only creates an unattractive result, it also creates quite a painful one. In addition, cracking a tooth requires pricey dental fixes, including a root canal and a dental crown.

Don’t open beer bottles with your teeth. Go on ahead and laugh; just remember that more people try this than you think, especially once the alcohol starts to flow. And yes, the results are always the same–cracked teeth that need dental implants, root canals, and/or dental crowns.

Caramel popcorn balls can also crack your teeth. No really, it’s true. All it takes is biting down on a single, unpopped kernal of popcorn a little too hard or the wrong way and you will crack a tooth. This can lead to–you guessed it–needing root canals, dental implants, and dental crowns. We know they’re tasty, but it’s worth the risk to your wallet to skip them.

Brush and floss your teeth after dessert. Before you lie down on the couch for that guaranteed post-Thanksgiving dinner coma, brush and floss your teeth. The number one cause of tooth decay is food left on or around the teeth, and the number one food to cause decay the fastest is sugar. After your last slice of pumpkin or pecan pie, hit the bathroom for a quick brushing and flossing.

Don’t bite candy canes. While it’s highly unlikely candy canes will be around on Thanksgiving Day, it is highly likely that they will make an appearance the day after Thanksgiving, as this is the most popular day to start decorating for Christmas. If you have a pension for candy canes, don’t bite down on them. Hard candy like peppermint can be literal murder to your teeth.

¬†See, that wasn’t so scary! We hope everyone has a safe and very happy Thanksgiving!