Deemed the National Family Wellness Month, May is the perfect time to get your overall health back in order if you have been slacking a bit. Just remember that taking care of your health is an “all-year” thing.
During this month of awareness, everything from your cardiovascular health to your mental health and even oral health should be considered. In fact, your oral health plays a larger role in your overall health than you might imagine. There are a number of conditions that have been linked to oral health including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth issues, diabetes, and more.
In order to protect yourself and your loved ones, it’s best that you visit your McAllen dentists here at Whitewing Dental for an oral examination and routine teeth cleaning. We’d also like to share with you a few tidbits of information and tips on what you can do to protect your teeth.
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Ditch the sugar.
It’s no secret that foods rich in sugar can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Sugar feeds bacteria on your teeth that secrete an acid that burns away at your enamel which can eventually cause cavities.
Prime offenders that can damage your teeth include foods and drinks like candy, soda, sugary fruit juices like orange juice, citrus fruits like lemon or lime, dried fruit, alcoholic beverages, and sports drinks. Yes, sports drinks. They are actually worse than a can of soda because they’re loaded with sugars.
You should also be aware that caffeinated coffees tend to dry out the mouth, preventing saliva from washing away bits of food and sugars. That means that all of that work you just did brushing your teeth and flossing was for nothing.
Upgrade those eating habits!
Ditching all of these sugary treats and snacks may seem like a drag but there are still plenty of delicious and savory foods that are fantastic for your teeth:
- Cheese – This delicious snack promotes saliva production which washes away sugars and acids. The calcium and protein within cheese also aid in re-calcifying your teeth and strengthening the tooth enamel.
- Apples – While you may be a little cautious about eating apples since they are sweet, it’s okay. Apples are loaded with fiber and water, which also promotes saliva production. It may not be as great as brushing after your meal but the fibrous texture of the apple is a decent toothbrush substitute if you don’t have one handy.
- Celery – This delicious snack provides the same benefits an apple does and is also a great substitute for a toothbrush in a pinch. Celery is loaded in vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that promote healthy gums. Load it up with a bit of cream cheese for a tasty snack!
- Carrots – Another snack loaded with vitamin A and fiber. Carrots offer the same benefits as the other fruits and vegetables listed above.
- Almonds – A quarter cup of almonds with your lunch packs a good source of calcium and protein while keeping the sugar content low.
- Leafy Greens – Greens like kale and spinach offer tons of vitamins and minerals like calcium and folic acid that help promote oral health and rebuild tooth enamel.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is high in calcium and protein that strengthens and invigorates your teeth. Couple that with probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, that should shove the bad bacteria out of the way and you lessen the risk of developing cavities.
- Water – This helps you to stay hydrated, keeping your mouth from going dry. Water also washes away the bacteria buildup on your teeth throughout the day which means the better your oral health will be.
Keep in mind that even when eating all of these great alternatives, if you don’t practice proper dental hygiene, you still are at risk of poor oral health.
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Practice proper dental hygiene.
Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. No exceptions!
All the celery in the world won’t save your teeth if you don’t perform proper cleaning practices. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque build up. Don’t forget to brush your gum as well.
Once plaque gets under your gums, they can become inflamed and start to bleed. This is known as gingivitis, and if left unchecked, it can become a more serious case of periodontitis, where tooth loss—or worse, bone loss from your jaw and other health problems—become a very real risk.
Also, periodontal diseases are believed to contribute, in some part, to heart disease. The gum infection can enter the bloodstream and lodge on to a fatty deposit. In essence, this could cause a blood clot, blocking the flow of blood within the artery and effectively causing a heart attack.
Checking for gum diseases or any other type of oral health concerns is why getting a checkup with your McAllen dentist here at Whitewing Dental is crucial.
Get checkups often.
This goes without saying. Getting your teeth examined by our dentists here in McAllen or in La Feria is your first line of defense against poor oral health.
Our dentists carry years of experience in aiding the community with our state-of-the-art dental care techniques. Remember, a clean mouth is a healthy mouth.
It’s never too late to start practicing healthy living habits. Take a step in the right direction and schedule an appointment with our dentists in McAllen and La Feria today!
Whitewing Dental takes pride in helping the Rio Grande Valley develop proper oral health care routines. Contact us at today at (956) 686-5577 to schedule your oral examination and cleaning.