btyDENTAL Blog

 

Alternative Ways To Get Calcium In Your Diet

December 14th, 2017

CALCIUM AND MILK go together like fluoride and toothpaste. Without the former, it can be hard to find the latter. And, like fluoride, calcium is essential to our oral health.

How Calcium Benefits Your Oral Health

We all know that calcium is the main component of our teeth and jaw bones, but our mouths are also made up of gum tissue, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Calcium is important for these things as well because it helps them function as they should.

How Much Calcium Do We Need?

The range of calcium intake recommended for the average person on a daily basis is between 1000-1300mg from ages four to 70+ yrs. Children younger than four need about 700mg or less. The numbers vary based on gender and age.

Getting less than 500mg of calcium a day puts you at greater risk of developing gum disease, and the scary thing is that most people don’t meet their daily recommendation. Take a look at the foods you’re eating and make sure you’re including at least 800mg of daily calcium to keep your teeth and oral health in great shape!

 Non-dairy Calcium Sources

Most people can get their daily calcium from milk and other dairy products, but some don’t have that option. Luckily, there are many alternative sources of this crucial mineral, and we’ve made a list of them to help out our dairy-averse patients.

  • Canned fish with the bones in. The bones of small, canned fish are an excellent source of calcium, and they’re soft enough to eat! It’s up to you whether you eat them straight from the can or mix them into a larger meal.
  • Dark leafy greens. Starting at 180mg and reaching about 350mg, kale, spinach and collard greens are the three leafy greens with the highest calcium content.
  • Beans and black-eyed peas. Legumes such as beans and black-eyed peas contain an impressive amount of calcium, with 350mg to 515mg in just one cup!
  • Fortified drinks. Fortified orange juice contains around 1500mg and soy milk has 340mg per cup.
  • Tofu. Most tofu has added calcium, giving it about 860mg per half cup, but you’ll still get between 100-200mg per serving with no calcium added!
  • Broccoli and broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe (rob) has about 80mg of calcium per 2/3-cup serving and broccoli has about 100mg per 2cup serving.
  • Edamame. With 98mg in just one cup of cooked edamame, it’s a good source of calcium as well as protein!
  • Almonds. Out of all the nuts, almonds contain the highest level of calcium, with 8% of the recommended daily intake in a single ounce.
  • Dried Figs. Figs have a sweet, dessert-like flavor, so eating the half cup it takes to get the calcium from them will feel like indulging in a treat!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrKg55liPog

We Can Help

If you think you may be prone to gum disease or have further questions about how you can improve your daily calcium intake, we’d love to talk to you about it, so schedule a visit with us today!

We love helping our patients keep their teeth healthy and strong!

 

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions

Baby Teeth Folklore Around The World

December 5th, 2017

WE’VE ALL HEARD OF the Tooth Fairy, even if the details are a little different from one family to the next. But did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only typical in certain countries? Across the world, there are many different ways families celebrate a child losing a tooth!
El Ratoncito Perez And La Petite Souris

In many countries, instead of a tooth fairy, they have a tooth mouse! Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico have their teeth swapped for coins by El Ratoncito Perez (also known as Raton Miguelito). La Petit Souris (Little Mouse) collects the baby teeth of children in France and Switzerland.

Some countries like Argentina also have a tooth mouse, but instead of putting the tooth under a pillow, children place it in a glass of water and wait for a coin to take its place by morning!

Children of other countries that celebrate this mythical mouse believe if they put their tooth under their pillow, the mouse won’t trade it for money or candy, but it will guarantee that the new tooth grows in strong and healthy.

Tooth To The Roof

In countries like Greece, China, Singapore, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth on the roof. Some of these nations believe if the tooth lands straight, the new tooth will grow in straight, but if it lands crooked, the new tooth will grow in crooked! Do you have good enough aim for that tradition?

Native American Traditions

There are many different ways American Indian tribes celebrate losing a tooth. The Cherokee Indian children would run around the house with the tooth and throw it on the roof while saying, “Beaver, put a new tooth in my jaw!” four times.

The children of the Dene Yellowknives, on the other hand, give the lost tooth to their mother or grandmother, who in turn puts the tooth in a tree. Then the family dances around the tree to encourage the tooth to grow in as straight as the trunk!

The Tooth Fairy And Money

The tradition we’re most familiar with, of course, is the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, Denmark, England, and Australia, when a child loses their tooth, they put it under their pillow at night in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will come and replace it with money (or sometimes candy).

If you or your children are bored with the Tooth Fairy and are looking for ways to spice up your family traditions, here are a few neat alternatives you could try instead of just replacing the tooth with money! If you’re really good at video editing and special effects, you might even do something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAXVgbM58IQ

Have Fun With Loose Teeth Traditions!

Whether it’s a Tooth Fairy, a mouse, or dancing around a tree, losing a tooth is a special occasion anywhere in the world, with many different ways to make it exciting and fun. Does your family have a neat tradition for loose teeth? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below or when your child comes in for their next visit!

Good luck with those baby teeth, and remember: we’re rooting for you!

Top image by Flickr user SharonaGott used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from the original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Smoking And Children’s Oral Health

November 21st, 2017

AS PARENTS, IT IS CRITICAL to make sure our children and teenagers aren’t picking up a habit as harmful as smoking. The disease we usually think of when we hear “health risks of smoking” is lung cancer, but the damage smoking can cause isn’t limited to the lungs. A smoking habit can do a lot of harm to a child’s oral health as well, far beyond merely staining the teeth and causing bad breath. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ways this can happen.

Smoking Harms The Gums

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, begins with inflammation of the gums. If untreated, it can lead to extensive damage to gum and supporting bone tissue, and it enables bacteria to spread from the mouth all through the bloodstream. Smoking introduces hundreds of toxins into the mouth, which not only doubles the risk of developing gum disease, it makes it harder to treat.

Whitening Of The Oral Mucosa

Stomatitis Nicotina, or smoker’s keratosis, is the inflammatory swelling of mucous glands in the mouth. This shows up as thick, whitish patches on the roof of the mouth. While it is usually not painful, smoker’s keratosis can be pre-cancerous.

Increased Risk Of Oral Cancer

A staggering 80 percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer are smokers. Oral cancer affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Early symptoms include persistent mouth sores or pain, unusual white patches in the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness, swelling, and a sensation of something caught in the throat that won’t go away. Because many of these symptoms can be caught early at a regular dental exam, the dentist is your first line of defense against oral cancer.

Why Do Children Start Smoking?

If smoking is so unhealthy, then why do children and teens start doing it? Most often, they want to seem more grown up. Children are particularly likely to start smoking if they have a parent or relative they look up to who smokes, but it could also be because of peer pressure, pop culture, or defiance.

Even with everything they hear about the negative effects of smoking, children and teens don’t always believe those consequences will affect them personally, which is why it’s so important to talk to children about the effects of smoking to help kick the habit before it even starts.

Breaking The Habit

The good news is that smoking is the most preventable cause of all of these dental health problems, because we can either help our children quit smoking or help them decide never to start. Even someone with a long history of smoking can significantly reduce their risk of health complications by quitting, so don’t assume there’s nothing to be gained by kicking the habit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubr_hyU01o

Fight For Your Child’s Dental Health

If you want help to quit smoking, whether for yourself or your child, there are resources all around you. Support from friends, family, and even counselors can be the best help in quitting. You can also check out the CDC’s website for tips and information. As dental care specialists, we care deeply about your child’s health, and whether or not they’re smoking, we encourage you to schedule a dental exam for them so that we can make sure their mouth is staying healthy!

We care about the overall health of all our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Breastfeeding And Your Baby’s Oral Health

November 14th, 2017

ALL FIRST-TIME PARENTS are faced with a seemingly endless stream of questions, decisions, and unknowns about how to raise and care for their new baby. One of the big ones is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed.

There are passionate proponents of both options, some claiming that breast milk is far superior to formula while others claim that there’s little nutritional difference, so why not take advantage of the convenience of formula? We can’t make this decision for you, but, as dentists, we can weigh in on the effects of breastfeeding on a baby’s oral health and development.

Key Breast Milk Nutrients

Breast milk provides the nutrients your baby needs to grow healthy and strong, such as:

  • proteins like casein, which helps build strong jaw muscles,
  • fatty acids crucial for brain development, and
  • vitamins that are vital for dental development.

All of these nutrients are important factors in helping reduce tooth decay once those baby teeth make their debut. One nutrient that breast milk lacks, however, is vitamin D, an essential component in good oral health because it helps the body absorb calcium. Older children and adults get vitamin D from sunlight, but that can be risky for babies, so formula and supplements are safer sources.

Facial Development And Bite

Leaving aside the nutrients of breast milk versus formula, studies have shown that the actual act of breastfeeding is better for a growing baby’s jaw and facial structure than bottle-feeding. Breastfeeding will help give your baby strong jaw muscles and healthy gums, which will decrease their chance of developing a malocclusion (bad bite) and requiring orthodontic treatment in their teens.

Breastfeeding And Tooth Decay

Most people think they only need to clean their baby’s gums after bottle-feeding because formula milk can linger longer, leaving sugars to start causing decay, but it’s just as important to clean the gums after breastfeeding. We also advise you not to put your baby to bed with a formula or breast milk bottle, as this can lead to a form of tooth decay known as “bottle rot.”

How To Prevent Decay

Whether you decide to bottle-feed or breastfeed your baby, it’s important to begin the fight against tooth decay before the first tooth even shows up. Simply use a gentle washcloth or gauze to wipe away any leftover milk. Once the baby begins teething and you see their new teeth start popping up, you can start using a baby sized toothbrush with a grain of rice amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth!

Don’t forget that new moms need to take care of their own teeth too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRB3Z9xUH7o

We’ve Got The Answers

Along with these kinds of concerns, you probably have many other questions regarding breastfeeding and how it could affect your child. We’re here for you! Give us a call or come in and we will address any concerns you have!

Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the choice is always yours!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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