It might seem impossible to focus on keeping teeth healthy considering the abundance of food during the Thanksgiving weekend. However, dentists in Portland Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage all patients not to give up on good dental health over the holidays. Here are some simple tips to help keep your oral health on track!
Must Add Protein
The amount of carbohydrates at and around the Thanksgiving meal can be overwhelming. There will be a wide range of sweet and savory heavy foods to eat, including mashed potatoes, rolls, pies, cookies, cakes, and stuffing, just to name a few.
Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates can cause blood sugar to rise and fall at rapid rates and aid in the production of acids in the mouth. Try to limit the consumption of these kinds of foods, instead focusing on making sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day. Pair a roll with some turkey or sliced apples with cheese in order to keep the bacteria in your mouth – and your blood sugar – under control.
Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner takes several hours, which can lead to many trips back and forth to the kitchen or dining room as the day passes. It’s a tradition for many families to have space dedicated to appetizers or snacks that everyone can access throughout the day to keep hunger at bay.
Instead of grazing on carb-heavy foods like crackers or sweets, try to focus on fruits and veggies throughout the day. Vegetables are high in nutrients and fiber, and the crunchiness actually helps to naturally clean teeth while you snack. Don’t forget to add savory dips, like different varieties of hummus or a low-fat ranch dressing to encourage people to eat their veggies. Also, consider making a creative turkey or Thanksgiving-themed veggie tray for a little extra fun!
Move Your Body
Moving your body might not sound like a great way to preserve good dental health habits. However, focusing on getting some exercise during Thanksgiving day before the big dinner can keep your focus off food. Exercise naturally increases the hormones in our brains that help us to feel good and energetic, which means we’re less likely to rely on foods that are high in sugar for a false sense of energy. Try engaging your friends and family in a traditional game of touch football while dinner is being prepared, or do some outdoor games with the kids!
Thanksgiving break is a great time to take stock and organize before the holiday craziness hits. Call Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow and their team at Mt. Tabor Dental at (503) 236-1449 to schedule your appointment!
Photo Credit: Happy Raw Kitchen
Halloween candy will soon adorn your dining room table and your child’s teeth, but there’s not reason be afraid of this spooky holiday. Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage families to use this Halloween to let your children enjoy treats and learn good dental health strategies for the rest of the year.
Halloween Candy Is Not Created Equal
It’s essential to understand that while all candy contains sugar, not all candy is detrimental to your teeth in the same ways. Candy that is sticky and extra-chewy, such as gummy bears, taffy, Starburst, Airheads, caramels and sugar-infused gum, create a residue on the surfaces of teeth and gums that is difficult to remove. This residue sticks around awhile, feeding the bacteria that create plaque on teeth and gums.
Instead of just letting kids eat whatever candy they want, go through and inspect the Trick or Treat loot and have your kids choose their favorites. Steer them away from the ultra sticky candy, or at least limit their consumption. Provide some milk or water to go along with the candy they eat on Halloween night to help wash away sticky, sugary residue.
Treats Don’t Have to Be Sweets
While candy is traditional to hand out to Trick or Treaters on Halloween night, you don’t have to fall in line. Consider offering alternatives to candy, such as fun pencils and erasers, Silly Putty, stickers, temporary tattoos, containers of bubbles, and little plastic spiders. These treats are still fun but without the threat of tooth decay!
If you and your kids absolutely want to hand out candy, consider sugar-free gum or candy with xylitol in it. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that helps keep your teeth from harm.
Offer Rewards for Halloween Candy
Sometimes kids are motivated more by money than by candy. This can be a good opportunity to offer your kids a way to cash in their Halloween candy. Give them a penny, nickel, dime or quarter for each uneaten piece of candy, or give them a special surprise for simply trading their candy in. For example, if they hand over their stash form Trick or Treating, they get an afternoon at the skating rink.
Out of Sight…
Candy that is simply out of sight is less likely to be eaten. You can’t graze on Halloween candy that you don’t see right in front of you. Once Halloween is over and the kids have chosen their favorites or simply traded it in, get the candy out of the house. Donate it for a community event, to a church, or to a school, or send it to US troops oversease through Operation Gratitude.
Regardless of how you and your family manage the Halloween candy in your home this year, it’s imperative to have your kids brush their teeth. Regardless of whether or not they’ve eaten candy, they need to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time to remove any sticky plaque from the surfaces and avoid tooth decay.
The day after Halloween might be the perfect time to bring your kids in for a dental check up with dentists in Portland Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow Call Mt. Tabor Dental at (503) 236-1449 to schedule your appointment!
Coconut oil comes from the harvesting of mature coconuts, taken directly from the “meat” of this fruit. It has a wide range of health benefits that extend to healthy teeth and gums. Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage patients of all ages to stay in good overall health to help maintain good dental health.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is widely known as an all-natural way to maintain good overall and dental health. Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and naturally improves nutrient absorption in the body. It can be taken internally and used externally on the body to promote health and healing. In fact, coconut oil can be stored in various rooms in the house for regular use.
Coconut Oil in the Kitchen
Just like butter and other oils, coconut oil can be used in many recipes. It is most widely used for sauteing, frying, and baking. To use it in recipes, simply substitute it for the butter or oil you usually use in a 1:1 ratio.
Because of its consistency, coconut oil can also be used in smoothies – melt down a tablespoon or two and add it to the blender for an extra boost of energy!
Coconut Oil in the Bathroom
Coconut oil is not just for cooking in the kitchen. There are many ways to use coconut oil in the bathroom, including for a bright and healthy smile. Make your own toothpaste with a basic recipe that includes mixing coconut oil with baking soda. The solid form of the coconut oil mimics the texture of toothpaste while the baking soda naturally scrubs teeth.
Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer for skin, a conditioner for dry or frizzed hair, as an eye cream, a deodorant, and to treat skin before or after shaving. Simply scoop it out of the jar and rub gently on your skin.
Coconut Oil on the Go
Coconut oil can be used to heal a wide range of ailments, taken internally and externally. Taking up to 3 to 4 tablespoons a day is known to boost metabolism, help the body control blood sugar and insulin, and preserve muscle mass. If you’re on vacation and having fun with the family, it can be used as a simple chapstick or as a salve to heal skin burned by the sun. It can also be used as an insect repellant and to treat skin problems, nail fungus, athletes foot, headlice, digestive problems, and inflammation.
Coconut oil is convenient, easy to find, and affordable to use every day. Dentists in Portland Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow are not only concerned about your dental health, they also care about your overall health. Call Mt. Tabor Dental at (503) 236-1449 to schedule your appointment for a regular check up!
School supplies are on sale and kids are getting restless. This can only mean one thing – it’s time to start thinking of starting the new school year! Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage patients of all ages to prepare their smiles as well as their backpacks when it comes to heading back to the classroom.
Back to School Dental Kit
While out and about purchasing the truckload of school supplies now required for kids and teens to get started each September, throw in a couple of new toothbrushes, floss and fun toothpaste. Toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every three months, and having a new one can help your child stay involved in brushing their teeth consistently. Don’t pass up the dental floss and toothpaste in fun colors and flavors as well!
Travel toothbrushes and toothpaste can also make good Back to School Dental Kits, helping children to stay consistent in brushing their teeth after every meal. Put together one of these special kits for your child, who can then stash it in his or her backpack for easy access after lunch.
Plan Healthy Lunches and Snacks
What we eat directly effects the health of our teeth. Children can learn this valuable lesson as they pack a variety of healthy snacks and lunches to eat during each school day. Plan now for the upcoming school year, purchasing a couple of lunch bags or boxes if you don’t already have a stash of them from previous years. Clean out the cupboard as necessary of any foods high in sugar or fat and replace them with foods that are high in nutrition and protein.
Start with a variety of fruits and vegetables. These can be paired with dips like peanut butter and hummus for easy and nutritious snacks. Stock the fridge with dairy items that are high in nutritive value and low in sugar and fat to help your child eat a healthy diet for a bright smile.
Refresh with Water
Kids tend to gravitate toward sodas and juices of all kinds throughout the school day. These kinds of beverages, however, are full of sugar which leads to increased tooth decay. Many classroom teachers encourage their students to bring a reusable water bottle to fill with refreshing water all day long. This can help keep kids stay focused and hydrated while naturally keeping teeth clean.
Protect Teeth During Sports
If your child plays sports, then a mouthguard might be a piece of sports equipment your child is missing. Made of a hard plastic material, a mouthguard can be adjusted so that it fits comfortably in your child’s mouth while providing maximum protection to his or her neck and face.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
With school starting so soon, the best time to schedule a check up at Mt. Tabor Dental is now! To get your child ready for school, call Dentists in Portland Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow at (503) 236-1449 to schedule your appointment!
The condition of your teeth and gums give several clues regarding the condition of your overall health. Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental offer compassionate dental care in a relaxed environment, providing clear information about what your teeth say about your overall health.
Clue #1 Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are more common than you might think in patients as they grow older. This condition is an early sign of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, and can lead to increasingly painful dental problems if not addressed. This condition can also be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, most commonly experienced by women as they go through hormonal changes throughout a lifetime. To know for sure what might be causing your gums to bleed, it’s essential to get your teeth and gums checked out by one of our dentists.
Clue #2 Cracked Teeth
If you notice your teeth cracking or seeming to crumble, this is often a pretty common sign of teeth grinding. However, this condition has also been linked to acid reflux that patients experience while they sleep, where stomach acid comes up through the esophagus and wears away the enamel coating on teeth. Regardless of the cause, cracked or crumbling teeth can lead to even bigger problems down the road, so it’s important to get them checked out by the dentist.
Clue #3 Redness or Swelling
While swollen gum tissue is certainly an important symptom of periodontal disease to keep track of, there’s also other swelling and redness in the tissues of the mouth that can indicate other potential health problems. If your tongue or mouth seems red and swollen, this could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, especially in iron and vitamin B. Visiting the dentist can be the first step in figuring out what is causing these symptoms.
Clue #4 Breath Challenges
People may joke about bad breath, but it’s no laughing matter if you deal with dry mouth or challenging breath on a daily basis. If you are brushing and flossing daily but still have issues with bad breath, it could be tied to a more serious problem with your teeth, gums, stomach, kidney or liver. An appointment with the dentist can help figure out the specific issue.
Clue #5 Headaches
While not technically in your mouth – that would be toothaches – experiencing headaches on a regular basis can be an indication of problems with your teeth. If your teeth seem flat and are wearing down rapidly, this in combination with frequent headaches could be a sign of teeth grinding. If you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, the dentists at South Waterfront Dental can recommend strategies and materials, like a mouthguard, to help.
It’s essential to maintain good dental health and to get help from dentists in Portland Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow should an oral health problem appear. To keep your whole mouth healthy, call Mt. Tabor Dental at (503) 236-1449 to schedule your appointment!