Top Five Teeth-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays

The holidays can get so busy, it’s easy to forget the small everyday things–like oral hygiene. Plus, the holidays expose us to food on what seems like a constant basis, and it can be tricky to forget to take breaks to floss, brush, and rinse. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of five recipes that use teeth-friendly foods that you can easily incorporate into your holiday menu. Of course, even the healthiest of foods can’t take the place of a good brush-and-floss session, but these can get you through those tough pinches.

The Top Five Teeth-Friendly Foods and Recipes

leafygreensLeafy Greens: Leafy greens are healthy all around, but it’s the folic acid, vitamin B, and calcium that your teeth will appreciate. An added bonus for pregnant women: folic acid has been shown to help reduce the risk of cleft-lip or cleft palate, and vitamin B can help treat gum disease in pregnant women.

creamykaleCreamed Kale RecipeFrom Nutmeg Mary, “This totally simple creamed kale is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Full of healthy kale, cream cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Hello delicious!”

New York Times Leafy Green Salads“Kathryn Anible, a personal chef in New York City, has a solution for adding color to your holiday table: leafy greens with an autumn flair.”

carrotsapplescasseroleApples and Carrots: An exception to the common no-sweets rule, apples are at the top of this list because they are high in fiber and H2O. Fiber has been linked in some studies to slowing gum recession. The water in apples combined with the action of chewing them increases the saliva in your mouth which rinses away bacteria and food particles in your mouth. For this reason, hard fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery can be good to munch on in between or after meals.

carrotslawrecipeMaple Roasted Carrots, Apples, and Onions: From the Heritage Cook, this dish “may not be a combination of ingredients that you normally would think to put together, they blend beautifully.” 

Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus VinaigretteOnce Upon a Chef’s Jenn Segal knows how to prepare a colorful and healthy Thanksgiving side dish. “

platterCheese: Dairy products like cheese raise your mouth’s pH level, which can lower the risk of tooth decay. Plus, cheese is filled with calcium and protein that strengthens teeth enamel. We recommend setting out a raw veggie and cheese platter between courses!

Cashews: These nuts contain anacardic acid which has been shown to kill the bacteria known to cause tooth decay, as well as acne.

greenbeanscashewsGreen Beans with Ginger and CashewsEpicurious notes, “This streamlined dish, which needs just a brief rewarming on top of the stove before serving, won’t contribute to a last-minute traffic jam in the oven.” Noted!

 

Don’t forget that brushing, flossing, and drinking lots of water are the best defenses against tooth decay. 

From all of us at East Madison Dental, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

The Facts on Flossing

girlsmiling_crop2In August of this year, the dental world was rocked by an Associated Press article that declared the benefits of floss to be unproven. Why did this hit the professional oral hygiene advocates so hard? Because it is only half true, and the problem lies in the research, not the act itself.

Much of the current evidence does not utilize a large sample size or examine gum health over a significant amount of time,” the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) announced in response to the AP article fall out.

If the research for the benefits of flossing alone isn’t there, then what do we know? A lot, as it turns out.

The Real Issue

The real issue is biofilm disruption and creating homeostasis so pathogenic microbes can’t survive. Floss is only one tool,” reports the Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine this month. In other words, it is important to get as much bad bacteria out of your mouth as possible, and flossing is one way to do that. Remember, brushing only cleans a part of your teeth–about 60% of what’s there. 

Would you ever wash only 60% of your body in the shower and declare yourself squeaky clean?” asks Dr. William Glaros from Texas on his blog. Of course not. So what do we do about the other 40%?

Fortunately, there is now an arsenal of debris disrupting, plaque-kicking, bio-film blasting (you get the idea) products and tools that you can use in addition to brushing to keep your mouth clean and your teeth decay-free. Read on.

Floss Properly

One of the main problems that hygienists and dentists see daily is that patients are not flossing properly, which is almost akin to not doing it at all. Fortunately, the American Dental Association has a quick video where you can check up on your technique. When done properly, flossing removes the food debris from the sides of the teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities from forming.

Even with the proper technique, flossing is still not for everyone. Indeed, almost 36% of Americans would rather do an unpleasant activity, like clean the toilet bowl, rather than floss. Sure, this might be because a good number of people don’t do it correctly, but if you do find yourself in this category, here are some great alternatives to conventional flossing that might be your style.

Flossing Alternatives

oral-health-productsInter-dental Brushes – Recent studies on inter-dental brushes are really encouraging, and show that they can be highly effective in inter-dental plaque removal. These brushes are small and compact, available at most drugstores, and easy to use.

Water Picks – Another method gaining a lot of traction recently is the water pick. In fact, new water picks like these are one of the hot items at the upcoming Dental Convention in New York next week. Water picks can be both corded and cordless, and are meant to replicate the high pressure water devices that dentists use in the office to blast away food particles and debris from between your teeth. One recommendation for water pick use, however, is to use it before brushing because the water pressure can wash off the fluoride from your toothpaste, rendering it ineffective.

vitality_electricbrushElectric Toothbrushes – For those opposed to any type of flossing, or for whom flossing is not a daily routine, electric brushes can help to pick up the slack. Electric brushes have been shown to be a good deal better than regular manual brushing at reducing plaque and gingivitis and might just be what you need in between flossing. East Madison Dental hygienist Hillary Willick recommends the Oral B Vitality Electric Toothbrush for newbies because of its effectiveness and affordability (think: excellent holiday gift).

There you have it! The facts about flossing. Now there’s no reason to lie to your hygienist about how often you floss (something that over 21% of Americans admit to doing, by the way!). You can be honest about the technique that works for you, and even ask for some pointers.

 

Pregnancy and Oral Health: What You Need to Know

pregnancyphoto2November is Prematurity Awareness Month, making it an opportune time to discuss the importance of good oral hygiene during pregnancy. Did you know that pregnant women are 70% more likely to experience gingivitis than the average adult? Even more alarming, studies continue to show a link between gingivitis in pregnant women and low-weight or premature births. Fortunately, practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dental provider during pregnancy can significantly reduce these risks. Read on for more info.

Pregnancy and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. The symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen and tender gums, bleeding while brushing, gums that recede or pull away from teeth, and recurring bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Many adults experience gingivitis and gum disease at some point in their lives, but the rate increases with pregnancy. There are many reasons for this increase, including hormone increases that bring on gum inflammation, morning sickness which can damage teeth enamel, increased sugar intake, and a strong gag reflex that might discourage pregnant women from brushing. Even with so many factors that can cause gingivitis, more than half of women report not seeing a dental provider during pregnancy–a startling statistic that can have serious consequences for women and their babies’ health.

The Mouth as a Gateway to the Body

The American Dental Association has declared that “the mouth is a window into the health of the body.” Over the last decade, research into oral hygiene and dental problems has revealed many connections between problems in the mouth, and problems in the rest of the body. Inflammation in the gums, for example, has been shown to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar and has been attributed to increased rates of diabetes. There is also a proven link between gum disease and heart disease. In addition, the mouth is the way our bodies receive nutrients, so if our gums are sore and swollen and our mouths hurt, we are less likely to eat healthy. For pregnant women, this can be detrimental to the woman’s and baby’s health.

Premature Births and Pregnancy Gingivitis

dentist_patientRecent studies are increasingly pointing to a direct link between gingivitis and premature births. 1 in 10 births in the United States are premature. Babies born prematurely are more prone to health issues such as growth and developmental deficiencies. While the reasons for the link are not yet known, researchers are cautioning dental providers to be diligent in educating patients about the importance of dental visits and good oral hygiene during pregnancy. To promote this cause across the country, March of Dimes and Proctor & Gamble have partnered during Prematurity Awareness Month to provide information for patients and dental providers alike.

The best defense against pregnancy gingivitis and the complications it may cause are good oral hygiene and a visit to the dentist at least every 6 months, or as recommended by your dental provider. 

East Madison Dental is committed to being oral health leaders, and our hygienists and dentists are able to provide information on this issue and answer any questions you may have. Whether you are coming in for a visit, or just want to call to find out more, we are available to assist you.

You can also check out these great resources for more information on this important issue:

Oral Health Matters Especially During Pregnancy

DentalCare.Com’s Pregnancy and Oral Health Page

 

Announcing the East Madison Dental November Food Drive

fooddriveimage_smallNovember is the month of sharing, family, and giving thanks. To kick off the month, East Madison Dental is announcing its first Food Drive. EMD has teamed up with Center for Food Action to donate non-perishable food items to New Jersey families living in poverty. Throughout the year, the Center for Food Action provides food, housing, utility and heating assistance and offers counseling and advocacy services to low-income individuals and families. On average, CFA gives out more than 4,700 seven-day food packages monthly and provides holiday food packages to more than 3,300 households.

We need your help to make this the most successful food drive it can be! Please stop by East Madison Dental throughout the month of November with your non-perishable items. Don’t forget to help us spread the word as well! Feel free to share this article with your friends and family and encourage them to bring in some items. Together, we can make a difference this November!

For donation guidelines, head to CFA’s website: http://cfanj.org/how-donate-food/

Share Your Sweets with US Troops this Halloween

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Halloween Candy Give Back at East Madison Dental

Halloween is just around the corner! While you and your children are probably busy getting costumes ready and preparing for some trick-or-treating, dentists and hygienists around the country are busy getting worried about so much sugar intake! This year, East Madison Dental hopes to reduce the amount of sugar that children consume, which can lead to cavities and other serious dental problems. We are running a Halloween Candy Give Back where you can drop off some or all of your Halloween candy and it will be donated to US troops overseas. It’s easy to participate: just drop off your candy at East Madison Dental Office between October 31 and November 5th. We will be giving out spinbrush toothbrushes to the first 50 children to give back candy! 

This is a great way to avoid future dental complications, while sharing some of the joy of Halloween with our troops!

halloweencandyRemember to Eat Your Candy Responsibly

It’s great for children to enjoy a bit of their Halloween “loot”, but make sure they’re being extra good about brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Remember that baby teeth are just as susceptible to tooth decay as adult teeth, and bacteria that enters your child’s gums can affect the proper development of his or her adult teeth. By eating candy in moderation, brushing and flossing, and drinking a glass of water after sweets, future dental problems can be easily avoided.

From all of us at East Madison Dental: Have a Happy, Safe, and Fun Halloween and we hope to see you for the Candy Give Back! 

Why is Fluoride Important for Your Teeth?

fluoride_wordcloudThis month is National Dental Hygiene Month, and East Madison Dental is celebrating by offering free fluoride treatments for patients coming in for a cleaning throughout the month of October.

Why is Fluoride Important?

Put simply, fluoride helps to fight tooth decay. Every day, the enamel, or outer layer of your teeth, loses and gains certain minerals. If you lose more minerals than you gain, tooth decay will start to occur as bacteria is able to start dissolving tooth enamel. Increasing minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate in your saliva can keep tooth decay from occurring by strengthening your teeth’s enamel. In some cases, fluoride can even help to reverse early tooth decay that has already begun. Fluoride is a great choice for gaining minerals because it’s available in water, foods, toothpaste, and as a dental treatment.

drinking_waterWhere is Fluoride Found?

Fluoride can be found in tap water in some areas, certain foods and toothpastes, and at the dentist’s office. Drinking a lot of water not only helps your saliva increase its fluoride content, it also promotes good dental hygiene by flushing out food particles and hydrating your body. Using a toothpaste with fluoride is also a good way to help keep your teeth strong. Your hygienist can recommend one for you. During your hygienist appointment, you can also request a fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments use a more concentrated amount of fluoride than what is found in regular toothpaste. This fluoride is applied directly to your teeth by your hygienist.

Fluoride for Children

When fluoride is given to children before teeth eruption, it can help to strengthen tooth enamel once teeth do appear. If a child has had cavities or is at risk for teeth decay as determined by a dentist or hygienist, then increased topical fluoride may help to fight tooth decay, such as toothpastes containing fluoride. Speak with your dentist or hygienist about fluoride supplements, treatments, and how to best provide fluoride intake for your child.

 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, East Madison Dental is providing tips and information about dental hygiene, and offering free fluoride treatments for all patients receiving cleanings during the month of October.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

First, let’s start with the basics. Good dental hygiene is important because it is the best defense against tooth decay and other dental issues. By engaging in a daily routine of good dental hygiene, you are helping your mouth to get rid of the build up of bad bacteria that can lead to decay.

When bad bacteria builds up in your mouth, it forms plaque on the enamel, or the thin outer covering of the tooth. This plaque then begins to dissolve the tooth it is on, leading to cavities and eventually decay of the entire tooth. This plaque can also penetrate the gum line, causing gingivitis and other serious gum issues.

Research suggests that the build up of bad bacteria in the mouth, infections and inflammation of the gum, and other oral problems may play a role in the development of more serious health issues such as diabetes, premature birth and low birth weight.  A good dental hygiene routine and seeing your dentist and hygienist twice a year (or more if recommended) are great ways to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

What Can You Do to Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay?

Fortunately, there are many ways to help your mouth fight against bad bacteria. The best place to start is a daily dental hygiene routine. In some cases, starting a routine of good oral hygiene can even reverse tooth decay you may already have. Here is an easy list of steps you can take to maintain good dental hygiene.

The Daily 4: Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew.

The first step in a good dental hygiene routine is engaging in the Daily 4….daily. You probably know already that brushing is important, but the other three–flossing, rinsing and chewing sugarless gum–are just as critical. Here is a quick breakdown of the Daily 4.

  1. Brush: Make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes, two times a day. Brush in a rolling motion over the fronts, backs, and tops of teeth. Don’t forget those pesky molars in the back! Plaque loves to build up on the backs of your teeth, especially in the back of the mouth. For children, it’s best to get them started on a brushing routine early. Make brushing fun by doing it with them, singing a (preferably 2 minute) song that they like while they brush, using a timer, or letting them select their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste.
  2. Floss: Flossing tends to get a bad rap, but it’s actually quick and easy. Make sure to floss once a day, using about 18 inches of floss and sliding it along each tooth to the gum line. Use this guide for a great flossing technique. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t even need to stand in front of the mirror to do it (and can reduce all the mirror splatters!). Here’s a tip: keep floss next to the TV remote so you can floss quickly while you watch TV in the evening before bed.
  3. Rinse: While brushing and flossing keep your teeth clean, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash will keep your whole mouth clean and free of bad bacteria. Just swish about 2 teaspoons for 30 seconds after you brush to keep your mouth healthy. Ask your hygienist or dentist which rinse is best for you at your next appointment.
  4. Chew: Last but not least, chew sugarless gum after meals and snacks, especially when you can’t brush. Chewing stimulates your saliva glands to produce more, which can fight against bacteria and also helps clean out food particles.

Regular Cleanings with Your Hygienist

A very important part of good dental hygiene is to get your teeth cleaned every six months, or more if your dentist and hygienist recommend it. Your hygienist will be able to remove plaque and tartar build up that may be hard for you to reach, can do fluoride treatments to help prevent cavities and in some cases even reverse tooth decay. Regular visits to the dentist will also ensure early detection of any oral problems such as gum infections or cavities, which will allow you to get the treatment you need before the issue becomes more serious. Comprehensive exams at East Madison Dental also include oral cancer screenings.

At East Madison Dental, your hygienist and dentist will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan and maintenance routine that will keep you smiling (pun intended).

If you have any questions about good dental hygiene, or when you should schedule a cleaning, feel free to contact East Madison Dental at 201-501-8282.

 

Congratulations Graduates!

Grad

Congratulations Graduates!

Here at East Madison Dental we would like to congratulate all graduates both big and small! All Graduates grades K through college will receive one complimentary movie ticket to see a movie of your choice. Just come in for your hygiene maintenance before August 31st. Call us at 201-501-8282 to schedule your hygiene appointment!