What’s in Store for National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
All month long, dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators will come together to promote the benefits of good oral health. Each year, the theme for NCDHM changes. For 2017, the theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” Here are just some of the reasons why tap water is best:

  • Soda contains caffeine, known to cause everything from jitters, upset stomach, and headaches to difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • A 12-ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Care for Your Teeth When Pregnant

It’s a new year, and for those who are pregnant, a time to prepare for new life. Taking good care of your baby begins with you during this important stage. When you’re expecting, even your teeth could use some TLC. Here are five ways to care for your teeth when pregnant:

  1. Switch to a softer toothbrush. This will help you to apply gentle pressure to your gums. According to BabyCenter, “about half of moms-to-be have swollen, red, tendergums that bleed when flossed or brushed.” This is due to pregnancy gingivitis, or mild inflammation of the gums during pregnancy. Rising hormone levels can be partly to blame for your gums’ sensitivity to bacteria in plaque. This leads us to the next point…
  2. Take good care of your gums. Did you know that periodontal disease during pregnancy is linked to premature birth and low birth weight? Along with periodontal disease, the March of Dimes cites gingivitis and tooth decay as conditions that pregnant women are more susceptible to. We’ve got a secret weapon for your gums—floss! [Read more…]

3 Reasons You’re Half as Likely as an Olympian to Have Cavities

The 2016 Olympic games in Rio are over, and you now know which U.S. champions brought home the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Here’s something you don’t know about the Olympians, whether they don from the U.S. or another part of the world: three-quarters have gingivitis.

Overall, Olympians have high levels of poor dental health, including cavities and dental erosion. In fact, as an American adult, you’re half as likely as an Olympian to have cavities, as Ars Technica reports. That deserves a gold medal, in our book!

The findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, come from a 2013 study conducted of 302 Olympic athletes who competed in 25 sports at the 2012 Olympics in London. Does the data seem puzzling to you? We thought it might, as high-level athletes seem to epitomize strong physiques and excellent health that enable them to compete. Here are some of the reasons why Olympians may be thriving in their sport but suffering in the oral health department: [Read more…]

4 Fun Articles to Get Back Into School Mode

PreschoolAugust is here, which means summer vacation is nearing its end and the school year its beginning. Are you and the kids ready? If not, we’ve got just the thing you need to get back into school mode: four fantastic articles on everything from maintaining a sleep schedule and overcoming the mad dash to school in the morning to keeping up the brushing routine. First day of school? Bring it on! [Read more…]

See Sugar Contents with Sugar Stacks

Photo: Uwe Herman/CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: Uwe Herman/CC BY-SA 2.0

Don’t just tell your kids how much sugar some of their favorite snacks contain—show them! Sure, you can always use the old standby, the ingredients list. But if you go to SugarStacks.com, you can see how many grams of sugar popular snacks like powdered donuts or Twinkies contain, and what that actually looks like with the corresponding number of sugar cubes shown next to each snack type.

Sugar Stacks compiles sugar contents by category, including snacks, beverages, breakfast foods, shakes and smoothies, and even vegetables. Here are some of the numbers to give you a sneak peek. Go to SugarStacks.com to see how the sugar cubes stack up. [Read more…]

Think Twice about Bottled Smoothies

Made with fruit, store-bought smoothies seem like a fresh, healthy beverage, one parents can feel good about purchasing for their kids. However, a new study published in the British Medical Journal debunks this myth in a major way. According to the study, many popular brands of smoothies marketed to children contain even more sugar than a can of soda or several candy bars combined.

According to Munchies: [Read more…]

5 Easter Basket Alternatives to Candy

It’s March, which means Easter Sunday is fast approaching. Whatever your tradition for the holiday, chances are that egg-hunting and Easter baskets are a part of it. This year, why not fill your kids’ baskets with fun, tooth-friendly alternatives to candy? Here are five ideas from around the web: [Read more…]

Is Sugar as Toxic as Alcohol?

Photo: frankieleon/CC by 2.0

Photo: frankieleon/CC by 2.0

According to Fortune magazine, children are manifesting increased rates of adult diseases like hypertension or high triglycerides, and they are getting diseases that used to be unheard of in children, like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. High sugar intake is a large part of the problem. In fact, refined sugar can be so damaging that it’s often compared to alcohol. Here’s how: [Read more…]

3 Tooth-Friendly Game Day Snacks Kids Love

Photo: eric molina/CC by 2.0

Photo: eric molina/CC by 2.0

Whether you’re an authentic Warriors fan, root for the Giants, or get ringside seats to see the Sharks, Game Day is always an exciting occasion. If you’re hosting, the right munchies will go a long way toward keeping the little ones occupied—and happy—so the adults can focus on all the action on the big screen. This post inspired by MouthHealthy.org will help you create a healthy spread kids enjoy. Bonus—the snacks are good for teeth, too!

  1. Baked Cheese Roll. Made with goat cheese, grape or olive oil, tomatoes, pesto, balsamic glaze, and French bread or crackers, this is savory goodness that will keep the kids grazing at the table. The goat cheese contains more calcium than cow’s milk, which ups the protection for everyone’s teeth.
  2. 7-Layer Dip. The base of this recipe contains black beans, Greek yogurt, cheese, and olives, which you’ll layer with a homemade guac and Pico de Gallo. The yogurt and cheese will help balance the acidy of the tomato and citrus juices. Plus, the dish is packed with mouth-healthy vitamins, like C, E, and A!
  3. Meat and Cheese Tray. Football fans will be on the lookout for just such a dish, and you’re not one to disappoint. Assembling a party tray like this is super simple—just pile summer sausage on a bed of kale, load a variety of cheeses, embellish with red grapes, and surround the offering with whole wheat crackers. The cheese is high in tooth-strengthening calcium and casein.

Find the complete recipes at 5 Super Snacks for the Big Game. The resource is one of many provided by the American Dental Association, which partnered this month with the ADA Foundation to bring you National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Fighting the “Sugar Wars” for National Children’s Dental Health Month

20151001_Sugar_War_postersFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and this year’s theme is “Sugar Wars.” Did you know that milk and formula both contain sugar? Infants and young children as young as one year old are at risk for cavities due to baby bottle tooth decay and nursing mouth syndrome. Here’s how you can fight the Sugar Wars at home:

  • Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle in his mouth, as that exposes him to the sugars in formula or milk for long periods of time.
  • Limit the use of “training cups.” Sometimes called sippy cups, these work much like bottles. With valves built in to stop spills, sippy cups require sucking in order for children to get liquid.

[Read more…]