dr herschleb

5 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

 If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. –Benjamin Franklin

Healthy eating doesn’t just happen. As we take our marks along the holiday season starting line, what’s in your sights? How will you eat your way through a marathon of festivities and packed schedules? What can you do to ensure a victory in oral (and overall) health while racing a course fraught with cavity-causing obstacles? Read on for tips that will produce a strong start and finish.

Multi-Task. If you are going to eat sweets, have them with your meal, or soon after, while your salivary juices are still flowing. One of the easiest and most effective ways to beat your cavity-causing opponent (the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth) and wash away extra food particles is to use the saliva that is naturally created when you eat.

Hydrate. We tend to forget to hydrate during the winter months because it’s cooler and we don’t feel thirsty. But we are. As much as ever. So, drink hot tea like it’s your lifeline and a tall glass of water between alcoholic drinks. Alcohol tends to dry out your mouth. Dry mouth is the cause of 30% of tooth decay in older adults. This one is easy.

Avoid the hard stuff. Popcorn, biscotti, nuts and candy canes—all among a dentist’s worst enemy—are classified as hard foods which is the number one cause of cracked and chipped teeth. Enjoy these treats. But we aware of their danger and proceed with caution.

Double down on raw veggies. It’s the crunch factor that turns these healthy snacks into serious scrubbers for our teeth. Munch all day long, and like magic, you’ll be stripping away all those superficial stains that have piled up during your tea, coffee and wine binging.

Make apples your friend. Apples, like raw veggies, are not only master brushers, but because they require vigorous chewing, they aid in stimulating saliva production. The more you salivate, the more you rinse your teeth.  Brush and rinse, as you eat, while washing away sugars and hydrating, as mentioned above, all at once.

Eating the right food, maintaining good oral hygiene, and keeping up on regular dental checkups and cleanings is the prescribed routine of champions this holiday season. And ready or not, it’s time to hit the ground running. Review these healthy habits as you gear up and race toward the New Year. Your prize? A healthy happy smile. Give it all you’ve got and come out a winner.

For more tips on healthy eating, or to book a cleaning this holiday season, call us today! Kentfield Dental Phone Number 415-456-5402

 

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Delicious Summertime Snacks that Whiten Your Teeth And Brighten Your Smile

Everyone knows brushing your teeth twice a day is good, proper hygiene, but what if we could bump our good and proper to excellent by brushing 17 times a day—without really brushing? And what if it whitened our teeth too?

So what’s the connection between summertime snacks and oral hygiene? It’s easy. The snack list recommended by Dr. Herschleb is made up of healthy foods that act as natural teeth cleansers, and the secret to constant brushing is in your garden, in your fridge, and in the produce section of your favorite supermarket. The bottom line is raw fruits and veggies.

How This Works

It’s the crunch factor that turns these healthy snacks into serious scrubbers for our teeth. All we have to do is munch throughout our days, and like magic, we’ll be stripping away all those superficial stains that have piled up during our tea, coffee and wine binging. So if you want to brighten up those pearly whites this summer, start by perusing the market bins and barrels for your favorite, fresh natural toothbrushes:

 Carrots
 Apples
 Cucumbers
 Celery
 Cauliflower
 Broccoli

It’s really a two-for-one. These summertime beauties are good for us AND their abrasive surfaces wipe away stains and even polish our teeth as we eat. What a bargain.

Brush and Rinse

Raw fruits and veggies are not only master brushers, but because they require vigorous chewing, they aid in stimulating saliva production. Why would we want more spit? It turns out, the more you salivate, the more you rinse your teeth. Brush and rinse, as you eat, at the park, in the boat, on a hike. It’s that easy.

We cannot live on fruits and veggies alone of course, so what other foods help produce saliva? Which foods are experts in triggering mouth-pools of sloshing goodness that wash away bacteria and food debris? You’ve got to look for foods with the following traits:

  • Spice — That which sets your mouth on fire will also heat up your salivary skill set: cayenne pepper, fennel, ginger, cardamom.
  • Strong – Apparently aged, sharp, intense, and hard cheeses are good for more than wining and dining: Gouda, Cheddar, Gorgonzola.
  • Bitter – tasting vegetables—Throw endive or arugula in your next salad.
  • Crunchy — Raw fruits and veggies are in season and easy to pack in the picnic basket.
  • Water — Of course. Celery has an exceptionally high water content, FYI.

Tasty Stain Removers

If you’re looking for more than a brush and rinse routine, the following edible stain removers can wipe out the toughest of discolorations with their malic acid super powers. Malic acid is an organic compound with many health benefits, but cleaning up stained teeth is one of its most popular. Added bonus: Malic acid stimulates saliva. More rinsing happening here.

For best results, eat slowly and enjoy!

 Strawberries
 Apples
 Nectarines
 Cherries
 Bananas
 Peaches
 Lychee

Another summertime hero in the stain-removing department is Bromelain. This small but mighty compound is found only in pineapples and contains an enzyme that is used in stain removing toothpastes to break up plaque and discoloration. If au naturel is more your style, skip your trip to the drug store and begin planning your summer vacation to Hawaii. Or just go to your local supermarket. Eat pineapple whenever you can.

 Pineapple

So whether you’re hoping to streamline your summertime eating, maintain your bright white smile or lighten it up a bit, a simple change in your diet could make all the difference. You may really be what you eat. And your teeth will tell the tale. Happy summer!

Have a great summer!!!

Dr Herschleb & Team

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