Healthy Halloween: Protect Your Teeth As You Age

Cavities are a serious condition that can increase your dental bills as you age. One cavity can develop in a short time (i.e. six months) and require treatment by your dentist. The tiniest cavities (pit and fissure) can be treated with fluoride. All other cavities require a filling.
Regular dental checkups mean that your practitioner expertly monitors all teeth for potential cavities. As we approach the fall holiday season, Dr. Talaie knows that you’re faced with many sweets. They are so hard to resist, but they can adversely impact your oral health. To avoid cavities and other problems, we’ve collected these healthy tips for the fall season:

What to Avoid

● Tip #1: As you age, you and your dentist hope the enamel layer protecting your teeth stays intact. Avoid hard candies, ice, tough meat, and other foods that are hard to break down. Protect the surfaces of your molars. Another culprit is grinding your teeth at night. If you must consume candy, choose softer options with reduced sugar content. Avoid gummies unless you plan to floss well.
● Tip #2: Eliminate sugary drinks including fruit juices high in sugar because the manufacturer sweetened it. Cranberry juice cocktail has over 30 grams of extra sugar per serving. If you must consume sweet drinks, use a straw to protect your teeth. Sugar still impacts your diet.
● Tip #3: Beware of food labels, including high in protein and reduced fat. They offer unwary consumers a false sense of good eating. One example is Raisinets because it contains fruit. The chocolate coating on the raisins is full of sugar. Alternatively, a snack bar might contain coconut, oats, peanut butter, or milk chocolate. Despite these real foods, the bar can have more sugar than a Snickers. It depends on what the manufacturer adds to the recipe.

Healthy Alternatives
If you are making treats for people you know, these fresh ingredients will produce fun treats:

● Ghostly bananas. Peel a banana, slice it in half, stand each half on its flat end, and give it a ghost face using chocolate sauce.

● Pumpkin toast. Toast a slice of bread and cover it with butter, cream cheese, sour cream, peanut butter, or Nutella. Use clementine orange slices to make a pumpkin or use raisins to create a spooky face.

● Decorated muffins. Switch out cake batter for organic zucchini or banana nut muffin mix. Cover the muffins with cream cheese or peanut butter topping. Decorate with raisins, coconut flakes, cereal, or nuts.

● Fruit or veggie smoothie. Blend your favorite fruit, nuts, or leafy greens with unsweetened almond or coconut milk or yogurt. These are smart substitutes for ice cream and whole milk.

● Iced coffee popsicles. Take your favorite iced coffee, add a bit of creamer or half-and-half to the milk, and fill up an ice cube tray. Insert toothpicks just before they freeze.

Be safe out there during this fall holiday season! Make an appointment to see Dr. Talaie if your teeth are bothering you or schedule an extra cleaning!

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