Check out the smiling fish and the new sugar guidelines, then find out what your mouth is trying to tell you, how to feed your teeth and how exercise can ramp up your superpowers … all in this edition of the DentalPlans news roundup.
Fun With Dentures
Glen Fudge had a good weekend. He caught a nice-looking cod, and became an Internet star.
Glen achieved his fame when he wondered if his dentures would fit it the cod’s mouth. So he tried it. They did, a pic was taken, posted on Facebook, and is now going viral. Because who can resist a smiling fish?
And in case you’re wondering, yes – Glen washed his dentures before popping them back into his own mouth.
New Sugar Guidelines
Children and teens should consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars a day, according to a new report from the American Heart Association. Added sugars are any sugars, including table sugar, fructose and honey, used in processing and preparing foods or beverages, added to foods at the table, or eaten separately.
The statement also said children younger than 2 years should not consume foods or beverages with added sugars at all. In addition, children and teens aged 2 to 18 should consume no more than 8 ounces of sugar-sweetened drinks a week.
Regular consumption of foods and drinks high in added sugars can lead to tooth decay, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, which increase the risk of heart disease. The typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars.
Your Mouth Is Trying To Tell You Something
Problems with your gums, teeth, and tongue can hint at health concerns deeper in the body, says Betty Haberkamp, a dentist at the Cleveland Clinic.
For example, if you rarely get cavities but your most recent checkup reveals you have a half-dozen – you should see your doctor. Diabetes can cause sugar to build up in saliva and speed the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. There are other causes for a sudden crop of cavities too: some medications can cause dry mouth which may result in cavities. So don’t panic, but do speak to your doctor.
Another example is dental erosion – teeth that look like they are “wearing away” – which can be caused by Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids leaks into the esophagus. When stomach acid reaches the mouth, it can wear away the enamel on your teeth. GERD can be treated with antacids, prescription meds, and lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods and eating smaller, more frequent meals. Avoiding acidy foods and drinks, rinsing with water after consuming acidic foods or beverages, staying hydrated and treating dry mouth properly helps to control erosion. If you’re doing all of this, but your dental enamel damage continues to erode, talk to your dentist and check in with your doctor.
For more info on dental symptoms that may indicate health issues, see the full story.
More Reasons To Exercise
Your daily sweat session does more than enhance your physical health. It also reinforces your ability to make good decisions, meet commitments, ramp up your determination and self-discipline, and better manage change.
And if that isn’t enough, exercise can have a positive effect on your creativity. How? Because pushing away from the screen – computer, smart phone, tablet or TV – clears your mind, gets your blood circulating, and gives you a fresh outlook that you can use to come up with new solutions for creative projects.
Oh, and exercise will build your self-confidence too. So lace up your sneakers and get moving!
Delicious and Good For Your Teeth
We talk a lot about the foods that are bad for your teeth, but what about the ones that support a healthy smile? Standard Media, out of Kenya, has the scoop on delicious “preventive dentistry.” Feel free to indulge in:
Yogurt has lots of ‘good’ bacteria which act to neutralize the effect of harmful bacteria, especially the type that lurks around your gums. Yogurt has high calcium content which is good for healthy bones and teeth. But be choosy about your yogurt. Skip the ones with sugary additives, and make sure your yogurt has active cultures. Otherwise, it’s just thick milk. Likewise, cheese will make your teeth happy.
For crunchy treats, turn to apples and carrots. According to the report, an apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it also keeps your teeth clean – “apples are known as nature’s toothbrush. The strong pulp in apples stimulates the gums to produce saliva. Apples also have naturally occurring fruit acid knows as malic acid, which cleanses the teeth, in addition to condensed tannins whose properties may help prevent gum disease.”
Eat them with the skin on, and then rinse your mouth with water to reduce the acid and sugar apples leave behind.
Carrots are good for your teeth for much the same reasons that apples are. “Raw carrot has fiber which has a cleansing effect on the teeth. They also increase saliva flow hence reduce incidences of caries or cavities as the saliva rinses away bacteria and food remnants.”
And remember no matter how much yogurt, cheese, apples and carrots you eat, you still need regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you’ve been skipping preventive care due to budget concerns, consider getting a dental savings plan.
Dental savings plans let you save 10%-60% on a wide variety of preventive dental care —including cleanings, checkups and x-rays—and restorative treatments. Dental savings plans typically can be used within 72 hours of purchase or less (many plans activate within 24 hours).
Find out more about dental savings plans at dentalplans.com, or by calling 1-800-238-5163.