Good afternoon and happy Friday! This weekend I have absolutely NOTHING planned for the first time in months and I could not be happier.
I wanted to share some healthy tooth tips since I have been getting a lot of dental work done lately (I’d been putting it off for a long time – bad idea, don’t put it off!).
1. Get regular cleanings & checkups. This is probably the most important because if you do have an issue you can catch it early and get it taken care of. Also, if you know you are going to the dentist every 6 months you may be more inclined to take care of your teeth because you don’t want your dentist yelling at you. Please don’t be scared – it’s really not as bad as you think it is, even if you have cavities. You’ll feel so much better when you know your teeth are all fixed up and in good health.
2. BRUSH & FLOSS after meals if the food gets easily stuck in your teeth – think chewy foods that you really use your molars for (worst offenders for this in my experience – sweets, fruits, breads & grains). Make sure you are brushing so that the brush gets in between the teeth as much as possible (kind of like sweeping from the bottom of the tooth up to the top – if that makes sense).
(Kinda like this – Source)
3. Don’t snack frequently (especially on sugary stuff – even fruit!). The most common cause of tooth decay (aka cavities) is from acid that dissolves the tooth enamel. This acid comes from the breakdown of refined sugars by bacteria.
The output of this breakdown is acid –> enamel erosion –> cavities. (Going back to #1 – it’s really important to remove plaque because plaque is just a sticky deposit on your teeth made up of bacteria, food, and other debris. It causes cavities.)
Studies show that how often you have sugars in your mouth is much more predictive of your dental health than how much sugar you have. This means that the person who eats 5 apples slowly throughout the day is in worse shape than the person who quickly eats 5 apples in 10 minutes (god knows why this person is eating 5 apples in one day, but it gets the point across).
(Apples! Good – in moderation.)
Worst offenders – sticky foods like caramel, gummies, jams and jellies. These stay on your teeth even after you stop eating them. Surprisingly, chocolate is not necessarily so bad because the sugars are coated in fat and they leave the mouth quickly. (Not the case though if you see chocolate sticking in your molars – brush that stuff out!) Bottom line – if you’re snacking throughout the day on sugary foods or soda (even diet soda – it’s acidic) – your teeth are under under attack from acid.
4. Eat for healthy bones. Your teeth, even though it may not seem like it, are living parts of your body. They are very much like bones. If you are not eating enough, you could be at risk for osteopenia/osteoporosis. These conditions can not only cause weakened bones, but also weakened teeth. The weaker the teeth, the more susceptible to decay. Not eating enough can also decrease saliva production which is another potential cause of tooth decay.
5. Good foods for healthy teeth are: fiber-ful veggies, unsweetened full-fat dairy products (milk, cheese – cheese also makes you produce more saliva which is good for the mouth), green and black tea (polyphenols kill/minimize bad bacteria), meats, and nuts. (Hey this sounds like the paleo diet doesn’t it?)
Great PDF I found while researching: Dental Tips by Delta Dental.
Do you have healthy teeth? What are your healthy teeth tips?
I have found some interesting links lately that I wanted to share:
Monday Link Love
- The Nitrate & Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon: This article “debunks” the idea that nitrates and nitrites can cause serious health problems (cancer, heart disease). Honestly – I want to believe it; I just don’t know if I can. Apparently nitrates and nitrites are found in much higher amounts in natural foods like celery and even in our own saliva than they are in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats. Even if they are – aren’t they different? Wouldn’t our bodies treat “natural” (whatever that means) nitrates/nitrites differently than artificial ones? I have no idea. I’m not a food scientist but I would really like to know the truth behind processed meats. (Because I love bacon. Who doesn’t?)
- Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Eating: Just some goods tips for leading a happy, healthy life. I especially like #5 – Unleash Your Creativity and Do Something You Love Every Single Day.
- Homemade Lotion Recipe: I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like it really couldn’t be simpler.
- Slow-Cooker Squash Stew: Butternut squash, chard, and parmesan? Count me in.
- 7 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging a Good Night’s Sleep: I may not always agree with him, but Mark Sisson just about always has an intelligent, well-thought-out response to just about every question or problem anyone could possibly have. In this case I do agree with him. The article is from November but particularly applicable now that I’m trying to sleep earlier. He makes good points – 1) are you getting natural light during the day? 2) are you eating too late? 6) do you have a nighttime ritual? and 7) are you simply staying up too late? –> These 4 all right true for me.
- Vow to Get More Sleep in 2013: Another sleep article. Tips include 3) turn the heat down, 4) unplug (what I should be doing now!), 5) meditate, 6) do yoga (OK!), and 7) stop puttering! (That means no chores after 9pm, yes I am talking to you my fellow type A’s.)
And I also just wanted to share some other random things…
Monday List Love
- Wanted to share this pic of dinner the other night. I was out of the city all day Saturday and when I got home, Bobby had prepared this beautiful meal! It’s a salad with hard boiled egg, bacon, onion, and homemade dressing. I had no idea he could cook – he totally outdid himself. He also made butternut squash ravioli (from TJ’s) with sauteed veggies and he cooked up a cheesy mushroom flatbread (also courtesy of TJ’s). The salad is served in a really beautiful dish from my mom.
- Bobby used this salad recipe for the dinner salad and dressing. It was supposed to be spinach but I prefer romaine as a salad base.
That’s all I have… I’m off to do some reading and relax before I go to sleep (early). Hope your week is off to a good start.
I wanted to pop in and share part of a delicious lunch I had on Saturday at Whole Foods. My husband is bored of eating at WF; we probably grab dinner there at least twice a week and sometimes visit on the weekends too. But I have yet to tire of their prepared foods bar. I am tired of it being $8.99/pound, but not of the scrumptious salads and innovative hearty dishes. I also discovered recently that they have rice-less sushi, which is what I’m about to show you.
There. That is seaweed swaddling shredded carrot, avocado, soft tofu, cucumber, and roasted red pepper*. Dip it in soy sauce and wasabi. Not enough for a meal on its own, but certainly a healthy and yummy component. The rest of my meal was a seaweed salad and chunky chicken salad (from the prepared foods bar). Filling, and a perfect reward after a Yin Yang yoga class taught by Tanya B herself. Wait, you’re not supposed to reward yourself with food? Oops.
*This sushi reminded me of my “fushi” – nearly raw, riceless sushi.
Some words on new year’s resolutions.
One resolution that I think everyone should have, not just at the start of the year, but always, is to take care of yourself. This could mean going to the dentist even though you really hate it, or giving yourself that 15 minute break in the afternoon even if you’re busy at work.
I’ve been struggling with my resolution to quit diet soda – I did not realize what a hard habit it would be to break. I have been following through on reading more.
A new resolution for the rest of January and beyond – more flossing! (At least once a day.)
I have many questions for you today:
- Do you do crosswords?
- Do you like to read (and if so what are you reading)?
- When was the last time you went to the dentist?
- Do you drink diet soda?