Children everywhere are waiting anxiously to see what treats the Easter Bunny will bring them this Easter. And since the shelves at the grocery stores are stock-full of chocolates and candy, you can guarantee there won’t be any vegetables in those Easter baskets…aside from a few carrots for the bunnies themselves.
Registered Dental Hygienist Anaida Deti is regularly tapped to provide tips and commentary to Canadians on how to take better care of your oral health. So, before you let your little ones indulge in their tempting Easter basket, check out Anaida’s 7 tips on how to keep a healthy smile for Easter: (more…)
Giving your dental hygiene a little extra TLC doesn’t only give you a set of healthy and shiny white pearls; it can also keep your heart healthy. Although the connection between the two isn’t conclusive, studies have shown that the mouth breeds the warning signs to many systematic diseases—including heart disease.
November 10, 2016
With Halloween just around the corner, your little ghosts and goblins are eager to hit the candy jackpot. But what else can be spookier than creepy crawlies and witches? Rotting teeth from too much sugar and dental plaque. It just might be why Dental Hygiene month falls on the same month as Halloween, possibly a marriage of convenience?
Certified Dental Hygienist Anaida Deti is regularly tapped to provide tips and commentary to Canadians on how to take better care of your oral health. So before you handover any goodies to your trick-or-treater, check out Anaida’s 7 tips on how to keep a healthy smile for Halloween:
July 7, 2016
With summer in full gear, it’s easy to fall into the sugary trap of so-called ‘healthy’ cool-down treats. You’d be surprised at how quickly your sugar consumption can sky rocket as you reach for another slice of refreshing mango (a whopping 13grams of sugar in only 3oz) or another cup of fruit sorbet (roughly 35 grams!). And while it’s always a better choice to go with natural sugars—like you find in fruits and vegetables, it should still be in moderation…because at the end of the day, sugar is still sugar and will cause the same damage to your pearly whites that added sugars—such as corn syrup, fructose, etc.—can do.
It’s no newsflash that too much sugar can lead to cavities and tooth decay, but what you might not know, is how it happens:
When you eat or drink sugars, there is a continuous tug-of-war taking place inside your mouth between the germs (oral bacteria) and the sugars, causing acid to mildly form and attack the outer layer of your teeth—also know as the enamel—and begin to create a hole in them; otherwise know as a cavity. Cavities are a bacterial infection and if left untreated can cause significant damage deep into the layers of the tooth, causing pain and even tooth loss.
The damage the sugar does, depends on the amount that goes into your mouth and stays on your teeth. So if you or your child are constantly sipping juices or indulging in fruit through out the day, and your teeth are being coated with sugar over and over again, it’s a safe bet that those sugars and oral bacteria are mixing and mingling like they were at a cocktail party.
Not sure what’s safe and which to stay clear of? Here’s my list of surprising misses and the alternatives that will satisfy that summer sweet tooth, without making you pay an extra visit to your dental professional.
MISS: Sorbet/Shaved Ice—despite them being dairy and fat free, these cool treats are packed with added sugar, in the form of juices and syrups. 1 scoop of sorbet has over 8 teaspoons of sugar!) Instead, mix together some unsweetened vanilla dairy-free milk, coconut milk, cinnamon and dash of maple syrup, place the mixture into a freezer friendly container and serve after a few hours
MISS: Sports Drinks—there’s nothing better then being active outdoors but you have to also think about replenishing those lost electrolytes. Unfortunately, those famous sports drinks are packed with unnecessary sugar—roughly 34grams in a 20oz bottle! You can easily create your own electrolyte drink by mixing coconut water, a bit of salt, honey and some freshly squeezed juice of your choice of fruit.
MISS: Popsicles/Freezes—kids and adults alike reach for these quick cool-down treats, but despite them being primarily made up of frozen liquid, the added sugars can equal that of a can of pop! A delicious alternative is blending together mashed avocado, pure cocoa powder, non-dairy milk, dash of vanilla extract and agave syrup. Pour into molds and freeze for a few hours.
MISS: Ice Coffee/Frappuccino—you would think an ice coffee/cappuccino would be have the same sugar content as a regular one—after all, the only real difference should the temperature of the drink, right? Wrong. Ice Coffees and Cappuccino’s are one of the sugary items you can have thanks to the added flavours and artificial ingredients they use. One ‘refreshing’ Frappuccino can contain a staggering 102 grams of sugar! Still need to the caffeine kick but without having to drink a scalding hot coffee in 35-degree weather? Try boosting your energy the natural way, with a cup of almond, coconut or hemp milk, ice, green matcha powder, a dash of vanilla extract and a few drops of stevia, maple or agave syrup.
Water, vegetables and (in moderation) fresh fruit are always the best route to go when it comes to dental (and overall) health.
If you begin to notice signs of a cavity or have pain, please consult your dental professional right away.
March 25, 2016
Giving your dental hygiene a little extra TLC doesn’t only give you a set of healthy and shiny white pearls; it can also keep your heart healthy.
Although the connection between the two isn’t conclusive, studies have shown that the mouth breeds the warning signs to many systematic diseases—including heart disease. Many of the risk factors for gum disease are the same as those for heart disease and stroke: such as tobacco use, poor nutrition and diabetes. Generally, people who have chronic gum disease are at higher risk for a heart attack, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Gum disease (called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontal disease in the late stages) is caused by plaque buildup along and below the gum line. Some researchers have suggested that gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can extricate, enter the bloodstream, attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation; which in turn decreases blood flow to the heart, causing blood pressure to rise and increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Some of the warning signs of gum disease include:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Teeth that are loose or separating from each other
- Gums that look like they are pulling away from the teeth
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
Although, regular dental cleanings and exams can help remove plaque and tarter build up, bacteria and early detection of gum disease, it’s important you keep up with proper oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing on a regular basis.
To help lower the risk of gum and heart disease, you can:
- Quit smoking
- Stay active
- Manage your weight
- Control your blood pressure
If you have a history of any cardiovascular (heart & artery) disease, it’s noteworthy to let your dental professional know as it may require them to adjust the type of treatment you are receiving. Be sure to keep them up to date with prescription or over-the-counter medicine you are taking—including any supplements, vitamins or herbal pills as your dentist might ask you to stop taking something before a specific treatment.
Remember to carefully follow your physician’s and dental professional’s instructions about health care, and use any prescription medications, such as antibiotics, as directed.