Friday, December 31, 2010

News Year's Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

Top 10 tips for a healthy smile in 2011

1.       Brush and floss twice a day,( change your brush 4 times a year).
2.       Use a Fluoride toothpaste.
3.       Use a disinfectant mouthwash.
4.       Chew  a few pieces of Xylitol gum or mints throughout the day(freshens breath, protects teeth and tastes good).
5.       Never use your teeth for anything except chewing food . Biting your nails, pencils pens, thread, or any other foreign object damages your teeth.
6.       Don’t chew ice cubes.
7.       If you clench or grind your teeth, get fitted with a mouthguard/biteplane by your dentist.
8.       If you engage in any of the following activities listed below,  get fitted with a mouthguard *.
9.       Visit your dentist regularly.
10.   Avoid or minimize these foods listed below**.

*Activities where a mouthguard is recommended:
·         Football
·         Basketball
·         Soccer
·         Field hockey
·         Boxing
·         Lacrosse
·         Tennis
·         Racquetball
·         Wrestling
·         Boxing
·         Volleyball
·         Baseball
·         Softball
·         Cycling
·         Mountain biking
·         Skateboarding
·         Motocross
·         Off-roading of any type
·         BMX biking
·         Mountain biking
·         Horseback riding
·         Skiing
·         Snowboarding
·         Sledding
·         Hockey
·         Karate or other Martial Arts
·        Weight or Strength Training

** Foods to avoid or minimize:

·         Soda (any kind) but especially ones sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
·         Any fruit drinks with added sugar (high fructose corn syrup etc) read the label and if sugar, high fructose corn syrup is one of the top 3 ingredients, watch out). Better to eat the fruit than drink the juice as the fruit has fiber and vitamins to help the body .
·         Raisins (have a high sugar content and stick to teeth)
·         Any sweet candy unless sweetened with Xylitol, Sorbitol or Mannitol. Sports drinks
·         Energy drinks unless there is no sugar or High fructose corn syrup in it.
·         Any starchy foods… foods with highly processed flour it , breads, pasta, etc..
·         Treats like fruit rollups, donuts, rice crispy treats, cookies, cake, pie, brownies, Craisins.
·         These are best eaten with a daily meal so the assault on your teeth is minimized
·          Avoid putting sugar in coffee and tea… use Xylitol , or Stevia if you must sweeten your drinks.
(Consider substituting sugar with cooking with Xylitol and Stevia when making foods at home.)

Warning signs that you should consult a dentist promptly about include:

·         Loose teeth.     
·         Teeth that are moving or shifting.
·         Bleeding gums.
·         Persistent bad breath.
·         Chipped and worn teeth.
·         Temperature and/or and biting sensitivity.
·         Swelling, sensitivity to sweets.
·         Receding gums.
·         A funny taste.
·         Sore jaws in the morning.
·         Headaches.
·         Dry mouth.
·         Sores in the mouth that last longer than 10 days.
·         Loose fillings or restorations.

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About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.