Mouth-Healthy Food

Can Healthy Food Hurt Your Child’s Teeth?

August 17th, 2017

A nutritious diet is a great way to help your child get healthier teeth. Whether it’s snacking on granola bars, or choosing fruit instead of potato chips, there are endless dietary actions that you can take to improve your child’s health. But, before you overhaul their diet, you should beware of certain “healthy” foods that are terrible for teeth.  

Granola Cereal


Granola is typically advertised as a healthier alternative to cereal that people can add into their milk or yogurt for an added dietary benefit. But here’s what they’re not advertising: granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat. The added sugar can lead to tooth decay, and the high density of calories can leave your child hungry and cause them to overeat.  

If you do choose granola, compare the nutritional values of your options and choose the one with the highest fiber content, and lowest amount of sugar.  

Citrus Fruits

Fruit can be great for improving health, but it can sometimes damage teeth. Citric fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemon and tangerines contain a high amount of acid that can lead to tooth enamel erosion. If you serve your child citrus fruits, rinse their mouth out with water after they’re done eating to wash the acid away, and help prevent cavities from forming. 

Trail Mix

If you decide to serve your child trail mix, look out for unhealthy ingredients that can add unhealthy amounts of sugar and fat to their plate. Try to avoid trail mix that has chocolate, dried fruit, and candy. Look for mixes that are unflavored and don’t contain any added sweets. 

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Let’s use prunes as an example. Prunes are just dried plums, except just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar. However, one plum contains just 75 calories and 16 grams of sugar.  

Additionally, dried fruit can stick around on teeth long after snacking has concluded, and cause prolonged acid attacks that can erode enamel and lead to cavities. The bottom line is that you should choose fresh fruit and not dried fruit.  

“Enhanced” Water

Enhanced or “nutritional” water is not good for you at all. In fact, one 20-ounce bottle of Vitamin Water contains more sugar than the recommended daily amount for adults. Nutritional water may taste good, but there’s simply too much sugar in them to be considered healthy.  

Our advice is to serve your child normal water, which contains no calories or sugar. Additionally, regular water helps rinse debris from teeth and stimulate saliva production, both of which aid in the fight against cavities.  

Does Your Child Have a Healthy Diet?

A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We will evaluate their smile and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case.

Does Your Family Have Bad Breath? Fix it with These Tips!

May 2nd, 2017

Bad breath is something that everyone has had to deal with at some point in their lives. Medically called Halitosis, children and adults can get bad breath from a variety of causes, most of which are minor and easily fixed. However, bad breath can also indicate more serious issues that require a trip to the dentist. Below are some of the causes – and remedies – for bad breath.


Certain Foods

Some foods are notorious for causing temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, fish and spicy foods can turn even the best breath sour. The best way to get rid of bad breath caused by food is to swish cool water around your mouth for 30 seconds, 15 minutes after a meal. Make sure to always brush your teeth after eating a spicy meal, but wait an hour between finishing the meal and brushing so that you don’t damage your enamel.


Certain medications can cause bad breath. If you have just started taking a new medication recently, then this may be causing bad breath. The way that medications are processed by our bodies may result in bad breath. Continue to brush your teeth twice per day, and consider adding a minty mouthwash to your routine to help mask bad breath.

Leftover Food

Sometimes, food debris can get left in your mouth and will result in bad breath. If this is the case, rinse out your mouth with clean, cool water for 30 seconds to remove any excess debris. If that doesn’t remove leftover food, brush and thoroughly floss to reach any food lodged between your teeth.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally cleans the mouth, so when you have  a dry mouth your breath will likely suffer. While there are multiple causes for dry mouth such as stress, anxiety and certain medications, you can usually fix it by eating foods that increase saliva production like cheese, apples or carrots. Make sure to drink enough water – 8 to 10 cups per day- and if that doesn’t help, then try chewing gum sweetened with xylitol – a healthy sugar substitute – to increase your saliva flow.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you are not brushing twice daily or flossing once per day, then you might get bad breath. To make the most of your oral hygiene routine, make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes each session. Additionally, check your toothbrush to see if it is still in working order. If the bristles are frayed and it is older than 3 months, then it’s time to replace it.

Infections or Mouth Sores

Bad breath can be the result of oral surgery, open sores or plaque buildup. If you have a mouth sore, you can help treat it and keep it clean by swishing warm salt water in your mouth for 30 seconds. If your bad breath still persists, then see your dentist to help remedy it.

The Best Remedy is Prevention

Most bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene. If you or your child is maintaining a good dental cleaning regiment – brushing twice per day for 2 minutes at a time and flossing once per day – then you will most likely have fresh breath. However, if your child has a good oral health routine and still suffers from bad breath, then bring them into our office so that we can evaluate their mouth and find the underlying cause.

Water is the Perfect Drink for a Healthy Mouth

April 18th, 2017

It’s no secret that water is one of the healthiest things for your body. Aside from providing proper hydration, water contributes to healthy internal organs, and helps regulate your body temperature through sweat production. But, did you know that water is also one of the best tools for a healthy mouth? Let’s discuss some of the ways that water contributes to oral health.

Improves Saliva Production

Did you know that saliva is 99% water? Or that saliva is critical in the fight against cavities? This makes it imperative that you drink plenty of water so that you can keep your enamel strong, and stay cavity-free. When you are low on saliva, you will most likely experience dry mouth – a condition that makes it hard to swallow and chew because of a lack of saliva. By drinking enough water, you help prevent dry mouth and ensure that your saliva is produced at an optimal rate.

Clears Teeth of Sugar

After you’re done eating, there can be leftover food particles between your teeth, and sugar residue left on tooth surfaces that can lead to cavities. You can clear your teeth of unwanted sugar buildup by rinsing your mouth with water immediately after you eat. Simply swish water around for 30 seconds after you eat to clear your teeth of any sugary or food debris leftover from you previous meal.

Water has No Calories

Rising consumption in sugary beverages has been a major contributor to the increasing rate of obesity in the United States. In fact, people who consume 1 – 2 sugary beverages per day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This can be avoided by substituting colas, sugary juices and sports drinks with a glass of water. Water doesn’t have any calories, and it contains no sugar, which makes it incredibly healthy.

Is Your Child Drinking Enough Water?

Does your child suffer from dry mouth, or have trouble swallowing? Do they drink a lot of colas, juice or sports drinks? If they drink a lot o sugary drinks and find it tough to swallow, then your child may not be drinking enough water, and their teeth could suffer because of it. If you’re worried that your child may not be drinking enough water, then bring them into our office for a consultation. We will thoroughly evaluate your child’s teeth, and provide you with flexible treatment options that are right for them.

Worse Than Candy: Avoid Cavities by Limiting these Surprising Snacks

January 25th, 2017

Childhood cavities are the most prevalent childhood illness in the united states, and they are almost entirely preventable. One big way you can help your kids avoid cavities is by limiting the amount of foods that are destructive to their teeth. Below are some foods that you should limit – or cut – from their diets to help keep cavities at bay.

Starchy Snacks

We don’t often consider snacks to be unhealthy for teeth, but starchy snacks like crackers, chips and cookies can damage teeth. Starchy foods can get stuck between teeth and stick around long after a meal concludes, and that’s the problem – starchy foods stuck on teeth provide bad bacteria with sugar, which powers the bacteria to multiply and attack enamel. Regular brushing and flossing usually takes care of sticky starches, but have your child swish cool water in their mouth 30 minutes after they snack to get rid of any food debris that can lead to cavities.

Sugary Fruit Juice

Fruit juice may seem like a good alternative to sodas and other sugary beverages, but fruit juice often contains as much – if not more – sugar than some of the leading sodas. Fruit juice has been extracted from the fruit, and in the process, it loses a lot of its nutritional value. After the fiber has been taken out of juice, what’s left is essentially sugar and water. Limit the amount of sugary fruit juices your child consumes, or, dilute juice with some water to reduce the sugar concentration.

Fruit Packed in Syrup

Fruit is always good, right? Well, not necessarily. A lot of canned fruit is packed in a syrup that contains unhealthy amounts of sugar. The added sugar can lead to cavities, and many more health issues if your child eats it too frequently and in large quantities. When you are shopping for canned fruit, look for those that have no added sugar or those packed in 100% fruit juice. But the healthiest way to enjoy fruit is by eating fruit that hasn’t been altered in any way.

Ask Us about Mouth-Healthy Dietary Choices

It can be challenging to design a healthy diet that your children enjoy, but we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment with our office, and ask us about the best foods for optimal oral health.