Back to School: Add Nutrition to School Supply List

It’s that time of year again. School supplies are piling high. From crayons, notebooks, and binders to a new book bag and lunchbox, we know you are getting stocked up for the new school year. As you juggle the school supply list and some last minute summer reading, we want to remind you not to drop the ball on your health and nutrition.

This school year we want to remind you to put some extra effort into your lunches. Nutrition is very important not only to your dental health, but also to your overall health. When you head into the grocery store in preparation for the school, consider what types of foods you will be purchasing. Are you taking care of your oral health and choosing nutritious options?

The best source for information on nutrition and how to create and maintain a balanced and healthy Diet is MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We wanted to share with you some of the things we learned from their website.

Nutrition Facts

We hope these helpful facts guide you in what to and not to pack in your lunchbox this school year. A few simple changes can have a big impact.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables should be half of what you eat everyday.
  2. Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products like low-fat cheese.
  3. At least half your grains should be whole grains.
  4. Use a variety of lean proteins such as eggs, beans, peas, fish, and poultry.
  5. Great snacks include fruit and yogurts.
  6. Avoid excess sugar from sugary drinks.

These few simple tips can not only boost your nutrition, but also help you to boost your oral health. For more oral health care tips, visit our Masters Dental blog or contact us at Masters Dental.


How to Form Healthy Habits

We understand that good oral health is not always easy. It takes time and effort, and it might seem annoying at times to remember to floss everyday or get out of bed when your forget to brush your teeth. However, forming strong oral health habits is not as hard as it sounds, and it is critical to your health.

We have all dismissed the sweet hygienist or dutiful dentist who reminded us to try to floss more and not to skip a brushing at least once. We think it will take too much time to add flossing to our daily routine or that is is just not worth it, but both of those are misconceptions. It will not take that much time, and creating healthy habits such as this will have a great impact on your teeth, your health, and your life.

To help you start forming healthy oral health habits, we have done some research on how to build and create habits. Hopefully, these ideas will not only help you take care of your teeth, but also they may be useful in other areas of your life.

We have all heard it only takes 21 days to form or destroy a habit, but it actually takes much longer than that, so be patient! Studies have shown that it actually takes at least 66 days to make a habit stick. The art of creating a habit is creating an effective system that works for you.

First, you need a “cue” that reminds you to brush your teeth of floss. For me, this can be leaving my floss on the counter or a note reminding me to floss on my mirror. The second step is actually taking the time to complete the task. In this case, listen to your dentist. Brush. Floss. Gargle. Finally, make sure your reward yourself whether this be silent praise or some special time reading a book before bed. In this case, try to avoid food! But, make sure to be proud that you remembered!

It sounds easy, and it is. We are creatures of habit. The more we do this, the easier it becomes. If you miss a day though, don’t throw in the towel. Winners never quit, and neither should you. Just do the best you can for as long as you can, and you will be on your way to a beautiful healthy smile.

How to Reduce Plaque

Plaque … we all have to deal it. No matter how well we brush and floss, it seems to never go away. Lucky for us, this is why we go to the dentist to keep our teeth clean, healthy, and free of plaque.

However, if you have a lot of plaque built up every time you go to the dentist, you may not be doing everything you can to help reduce plaque build up on your teeth. Here is a list of some ways you can reduce plaque:

  1. Brush and Floss regularly! Yes, we know this is the obvious one, but it is also the easiest and one of the most important. Good daily oral health routines are one of the best ways you can fight off plaque build up on your teeth. It is easy to go to bed saying you will only skip tonight, but all too quickly that becomes a habit. Don’t skip the basics! Make sure you brush twice a day for at least two minutes and remember to floss as well!
  2. Choose your toothpaste wisely. Depending on your toothpaste, you can have a higher likelihood of reducing plaque. If you have an issue with plaque build up, check to see if you are using a tartar-control toothpaste and/or a fluoride toothpaste. If not, consider switching.
  3. Get an upgrade. Get an electronic toothbrush. These toothbrushes have been shown to eliminate plaque and give a deeper clean than normal manual toothbrushes. Skeptical? Give it a try and find out.
  4. Consider your diet. What you put in your mouth is important too! The food you eat can actually effect plaque build up. Not only that, but also if you plan to eat food high in acidity or sugar content you may need to brush and floss longer and/or more frequently to ensure all the remaining food particles and bacteria are removed from your teeth.

We help these four reminders keep your teeth looking better than ever. Remember though, your semi-annual dental appointments are just as important to keeping your teeth healthy.


Why should I limit my soda consumption?

There is nothing like a sip of a cold soda on a hot summer’s day. Whether it’s the cool refreshing taste of a pepsi or a coke, we all have our signature drink. For those of you who just can’t get enough of your favorite soft drink though, there can be some negative consequences for your teeth. While we are not here to tell you to never drink soda again, there are some important facts you should keep in mind.

First and foremost, soda consumption has a strong correlation to tooth decay and other medical issues. In other words, the more soda you drink, the more likely you are to have cavities and other oral issues. In today’s society, more and more people are passing up water or milk for these sugar packed beverages, and more and more people are having oral issues as a result.

The fact is that when you drink soda, the sugar in the soda combines with the bacteria already present in your mouth to create acid. Then, this acid attacks your teeth and tooth enamel. Regardless if you opt for sugar free options, there is acid that works to harm your teeth in all soda products. According to the American Dental Association and the Wisconsin Dental Association, acid attacks your teeth for about 20 minutes after you drink a soda. Therefore, they use the slogan “sip all day, get decay.”

The number one thing you can do is remember to drink soda in moderation. Soda is not inherently bad, as long as your practice good oral health and avoid over consumption. If you are a frequent soda drinker, start by trying to reduce your consumption to once a day. Then perhaps you can move to only drinking soda on weekends and when you go out to eat.

However, soda is not the only sugared beverage to consider. You should also try to limit your consumption of 100 percent juices and other high sugar content drinks. These also combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid and attack your teeth.

While you may love soda and sugary drinks, it’s important for you teeth that you remember what these are doing to your body. Limiting soda consumption will drastically reduce your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.

Oral Health

Why You Should Smile Every Day

Smiling comes naturally to us. Whether it be because someone told a funny joke or because you just got a promotion, you smile when you are happy. But did you know smiling could actually trigger positive thoughts in your brain? Smiling actually trains your brain to think more positive thoughts. So don’t hesitate on showing off your pearly whites – here are 5 reasons to smile daily!

1. It can improve your mood.

2. Smiling makes you more trustworthy.

Many psychological studies have shown that people with smiles are evaluated as more trustworthy than those with other facial expressions.

3. It can reduce stress.

Some people unwind with a glass of wine or a massage, but did you know that smiling can do the trick? A 2012 University of Kansas experiment showed that people who were asked to perform a stressful task experienced a reduced heart rate and quicker stress recovery when told to smile while completing the task.

4. It makes you stronger.

Because smiling can reduce the stress in your mind, it can reduce the stress in your body as well. Your cells can distinguish if your body feels safety or danger and will adjust themselves accordingly. When you smile, your cells detect safety and will become less rigid. This can help make your cells stronger and healthier.

5. Smiling makes you more approachable 

Would you want to talk to someone who looked angry or someone who had a smile on their face? Obviously most people would choose the smiling person. People who are smiling appear more approachable than those who are not.

We’ve given you some great reasons to show off that beautiful smile of yours, and we hope you will put these tips to use and smile daily for a happier, healthier you! If you’re not happy with your smile, we can help! Come visit us at Masters Dental today and we can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Dental Hygine

Got Floss?

Let’s face the music – no one loves to floss. Well, except maybe dentists and their friends. However, flossing is extremely important to your oral health even if you don’t want to do it.

Most people think that flossing is about taking care of your teeth and that brushing your teeth takes care of that, but flossing is actually more about your gums and taking care of them.

Often people start flossing and stop because it hurts and makes your gums bleed. However, if you floss for more than a week, your mouth and gums will become accustomed to the flossing and stop hurting and bleeding.

While it may seem like flossing is just another chore, there are actual serious reasons why flossing is important. Here are the top three reasons why you should start flossing today.

First, flossing can help dislodge food that gets trapped in the gums. When it doesn’t get removed, plaque and tartar form and build up. This is what your dentist is removing when you visit the dentist. It must be removed with a scraper.

The second reason is that this buildup can lead to further oral health complications. Not flossing will lead to gingivitis and other issues. It is such a simple thing that can be done to avoid big and expensive problems. Flossing can and will save your money.

According to the American Dental Association, you should try to clean your teeth twice a day and that includes floss. Stop waiting and pushing flossing off till tomorrow, floss today!

Dental Visit

Understanding Dental Fistulas

Fistula seems like a made up and confusing word, but for your health, it is important you understand what fistulas are and how to identify them. If you have a fistula, you will want to contact your doctor right away to seek advice and treatment.

Fistula is a general medical term that is used to explain a connection between an organ and the body’s surface. This connection though should not exist, and it is not good for you.

Specifically, in dental health, “a fistula is defined as a non-natural or non pre-existing tube connecting the inflammation centre or an organ with the interior body parts and/ or exterior surface of the body” according to checkdent.

One of the biggest signs of dental fistulas is persistent and painful inflammation concentrated in one specific site. When this happens, puss is created and eventually, a puss corridor can be created. Once this corridor reaches the surface, the resulting mass is called a gum boil.

Gum boils can be very painful, but even ones that are not painful still need to be seen by a doctor. Some of the puss can be released temporarily, but this is not a permeate solution. The pus corridor is lined with special cells that form a – you guessed it, fistula.

Fistulas are an infection, and untreated the infection will continue to expand damaging your mouth, teeth, and oral health. It can also lead to more dental procedures in the long run such as root canals.

If you believe you have a fistula or a gun boil, be sure to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner it is identified, the more help can be provided and the more complications that can be avoided.


The Aches of Aging

As we get older, our bodies change whether we like it or not. We become less able to do the things we once could and we can struggle with staying healthy. Since aging affects every part of our body, even our teeth and oral health, it is important we understand how to best work to prevent and deal with the complications linked to aging.

The good news is people are now living longer, and the number of people age 65 and above is increasing. At the same time, it is important though that we make sure to take even better care of our bodies, especially as we age as aging generally makes pre existing conditions worse and harder to deal with day in and day out.

The first step is to do your best to take care of your teeth while you are still young. This will lead ultimately to better oral health in the future. As you age, physiological changes associated with aging can lead to other oral health problems. Generally, the better health you are in when you turn 30, the better health you will be in when you turn 65.

There are also many dental symptoms that are associated with aging. Most frequently, people experience more frequent problems with dry mouth and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, advanced age can lead to more cases of periodontitis and root and coronal caries.

Finally, as we age, we tend to use more prescription and over-the-counter medications. As age increases, you will find yourself more likely to have complications with drug interactions or adverse drug reactions. People can also find themselves more sensitive to medications and drugs used in dentistry such as anesthetics.

While aging is never fun, it is even less fun if you are not ready for it. To better prepare yourself, start practicing good oral health today, and the stay informed about how aging will affect your body, especially your teeth.


Recipes for a Beautiful Smile

One of the hardest parts of living a healthy life is finding the time to eat well. Choosing you diet carefully though can have a lasting impact on everything from your heart to your teeth and oral health.

In fact, one of the biggest ways to promote strong oral health is by choosing a nutritious diet. However, we know it can be difficult. Amongst the business of work and everyday life, it can be hard to find the time to shop and find health options.

To help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle, we have done some research on some delicious and healthy recipes to help your oral health. From a smoothly to a chicken, these recipes sound delicious. All of these recipes are from youbeauty and Deborah Dunhams’ Recipes for a Beautiful Smile article!

Kaleberry Smile Booster Smoothie Recipe
Recipe by Dr. Shawn Frawley

1 banana
8 ounces brewed green tea (plain, chilled)
4 ice cubes
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
1⁄2 cup frozen strawberries
4 kale leaves
1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon xylitol (can be bought in most health food stores, such as Whole Foods, and is available online)

Brew green tea and chill. In a blender, add ice, green tea, Greek yogurt and kale. Blend until no large pieces of kale are visible. Add the other ingredients and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Shiitake Mushroom Chicken with Millet Recipe
Recipe by Karen D. Krchma

1 1⁄2 pounds chicken breast (preferably, organic, hormone- and antibiotic free)
2 teaspoons sea salt, Himalayan or Celtic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped, or 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed, trimmed and patted dry. Remove the tops and slice; finely chop the stems.
1 small onion, chopped
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, removing the leaves from the stem, or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3-4 green onions, trimmed and sliced diagonally, or increase onion to 1 medium onion
1⁄2 cup fresh pea pods, washed, trimmed, sliced diagonally (optional)
1⁄2 cup sliced red pepper (optional)
1⁄4 cup white wine, dry preferred
1 cup fresh or prepared chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter, organic preferred, or Ghee (clarified butter)
2 tablespoons, fresh coarsely chopped parsley, or 1 scant tablespoon dried parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Wash and scrape chicken (scrape a sharp knife over the chicken while rinsing under running water). Place chicken breasts on a glass cutting board. With a sharp knife, pierce each chicken breast 10-12 times. Using a wooden or stainless steel meat tenderizer (mallet), pound each chicken breast down to 1⁄4-1⁄2-inch thickness, as evenly as possible. Tent a paper towel over the mallet to prevent “chicken splash” when pounding. Never use plastic wrap when pounding chicken. Cut each breast in half, or palm-size pieces. Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and garlic powder if using.

Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add chicken, mushrooms and onions, as well as fresh garlic if using. Sauté chicken about 5-7 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring mushrooms and onions to brown evenly. Turn chicken to brown both sides, cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes, making sure juices in the thickest part run clear. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and cover to keep warm.

In your skillet with the mushrooms and onions, add rosemary, green onions, pea pods, and red pepper. Add the wine, stirring to loosen cooked juices in the pan. When the wine is slightly reduced, add the broth, and then continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in butter or Ghee. Add the chicken and bring back to serving temperature. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and parsley and serve.


The Secret of Dark Chocolate

We have all heard people say dark chocolate is good for you, but that always seems a little too good to be true. How can something so delicious also be good for you? Turns out, there are some great benefits to eating a little bit of chocolate everyday. In fact, it can improve your health and actually reduce your risk for heart disease.

The actually make-up of dark chocolate is healthy when its quality with high cocoa content. According to Authority Nutrition, a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the RDA for Iron, 58% of the RDA for Magnesium, 89% of the RDA for Copper, 98% of the RDA for Manganese, and also some potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium for good measure. In total, that would be 600 calories. A little bit of this daily would be great nutrients for you body.

Plus, dark chocolate provide the body with great amounts of antioxidants. It also has flavanols that help stimulate your body into producing gases that lower blood pressure. Overall, it greatly reduces your risk for heart disease by raising HDLs and protecting LDL from oxidations. Essentially, it promotes good cholesterol and discourages bad. Then, in some cases, brain function can also be enhanced.

Finally, dark chocolate can actually protect you skin from sun damage. Bioactive compounds such as the flavonols help increase skin density and hydration, and it has been proven to reduce sunburn. Perhaps, you should take some dark chocolate with you to the beach.

All of this said, nothing is good in excess. Eating too much dark chocolate will still be bad for you. However, instead of an apple a day will keep the doctor away, try a piece of dark chocolate away will keep the doctor away. And as far as your dentist is concerned, just make sure to brush you teeth afterwards!