• Posted on August 10, 2017 2:04 pm
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Healthy Cooking for the Sweet Tooth.

    Contrary to popular belief, ignoring your sugar cravings may make it worse. So, on those days that you need and want to satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in alternatives that will not only satisfy those sugar cravings, but are also a healthier alternative to sugar-laden foods. What’s more, these healthier alternatives aren’t bad for your teeth either. Many of my patients ask me about alternatives to sugary foods. There are several and they won’t add extra fat to your body, nor will they result in cavities in your teeth. In this article, we’ll talk about some foods that are good for both your teeth and your waistline. Greek Yogurt Parfait: If you’re craving for a creamy, yogurt-type treat, try combining non-fat Greek yogurt with a high-fiber fruit like raspberries or blueberries. Top it off with a sprinkle of ground nuts or flaxseeds for a crunchy texture. This parfait is lower in calories and sugar than other desserts and the nuts and flaxseeds are a good plant source of omega-3 fats. Fiber Bars: These are available in flavors such as strawberry, apricot, raspberry, and boysenberry. Each has about 8 grams of sugar and only 60 calories. It also has 6 grams of fiber that helps slow the secretion of sugars, which can prevent your body from storing fat. Natural Energy Bars: Try to avoid candy bars. Try Natural Energy Bars instead. They are sweetened with small amounts of real sugar plus sugar alcohols. They give you a feeling of indulging your sweet tooth without blowing your diet. Frozen Grapes with 8 to 12 Almonds: Fruit is full of fructose, a high-potency sugar, which makes it good for your body. Grapes are higher in sugar and lower in fiber than other fruits, and so they are to be recommended if you want to wean off candy. You can accompany frozen grapes with a sprinkling of almonds to prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Low-sugar Cereal: Instead of a high-sugar cereal, try a low-sugar cereal like Kashi Go Lean Original Cereal. The latter packs 13 grams of protein, 10 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of sugar per serving. This will indulge your sweet tooth without giving you that sugar rush. Dark Chocolate: You can indulge in a piece of dark chocolate if that sweet craving won’t go away. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, making it a better choice than milk chocolate. Natural, Unprocessed Nut Butters: You can use these natural, unprocessed nut butters, like natural peanut butter on a celery stick the next time you are craving a salty-sweet combo. If celery isn’t something you want to eat, try a few apple slices. Popsicle: A popsicle takes a relatively long time to eat and an individually wrapped popsicle is good portion control. Eating a popsicle made out of all-natural fruit juice is better than one made of high-fructose corn syrup. So, try out these alternatives for a healthy feeling and to avoid that inevitable sugar rush. You can experiment with different recipes and try out different healthy ingredients to indulge your sweet tooth. None of these suggested options have the sticky consistency that causes the longer deleterious effects to your teeth. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we treat patients holistically, and practice preventive dental care. If you want to discuss your diet and how it affects your teeth, we can help work with you to ensure greater oral health. Don’t wait any longer. Try out these food ideas to not only indulge your sweet tooth, but also ensure an overall healthy diet for optimal body functioning and healthy teeth and gums. Here’s to healthy eating! For more information on how you can schedule an appointment for a thorough dental check-up and consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Dental Implants, Healthy Foods
  • Posted on April 18, 2017 11:15 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    best and worst crunchy foods

    You may have heard the saying: You are what you eat! This is particularly true when it comes to your teeth. There are certain crunchy foods that are good for your teeth and then, there are others that are not. If you eat the wrong crunchy foods, you stand a good chance of permanently damaging your teeth. While this may sound ominous, it’s true. The best crunchy foods, however, typically contain a lot of water and require a lot of chewing. This helps neutralize the sugar content and the chewing helps release saliva so that the food does not get stuck in the crannies and crevices of your teeth. Good crunchy foods also help wipe away plaque-causing bacteria. Bad crunchy foods, on the other hand, cause obvious as well as covert damage to your teeth. You should keep in mind that fat does not cause cavities, but starches and sugars do. In this article, we’ll talk about the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. So, here goes… The Best Crunchy Foods Raw vegetables: Most raw vegetables are fiber-rich. One of these is celery, which has a rough, fibrous texture, due to which it scrubs away food particles and acts as nature’s floss. Other vegetables that are good for your teeth include raw carrots, broccoli, and peppers. These stimulate saliva and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Raw fruits: Again, these are a great source of fiber. An apple not only keeps the doctor away but also the dentist! It scrubs your tooth surfaces and helps stimulate saliva. Raw pears also help to neutralize acids. Nuts: Many nuts provide vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and Vitamin D, which helps promote healthy teeth. Nuts also require a lot of chewing, which stimulates the production of saliva. Sugarless chewing gum: Chewing sugar-free gum actually helps to clean your teeth. Its sticky texture is great at getting in between teeth and clearing away plaque. The chewing action also promotes the production of saliva and helps clear out acids in the mouth. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products: Cheese and yogurt are other saliva makers. Cheese contains calcium, and other dairy products contain calcium and phosphates, which help put minerals back in your teeth. Dark Chocolate: Your teeth would be a lot better if you had 70 percent dark chocolate, rather than pretzels and crackers. It may sound unbelievable, but it’s true! This is because dark chocolate has a higher fat content and a lower carbohydrate content as compared to crackers. Cavity-causing bacteria will need to process both the fat and the sugar in dark chocolate, and so, will process the sugar a little more slowly. Dark chocolate also contains some chemicals that may strengthen your enamel. However, the same cannot be said for milk chocolate. The latter does not have as high a fat content as dark chocolate, but it is still better than most other candies. What’s more, manufacturers now make dark chocolate with xylitol instead of sugar. Xylitol may actually prevent cavities on its own. The Worst Crunchy Foods Sticky candies and sweets: Do not eat lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar. Some studies have shown that chocolate is not as bad for the teeth as other crunchy candies and sweets that stick to your teeth. Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth: Soft breads can get stuck in between your teeth. These contribute to the building up of plaque, if not cleared immediately by brushing or flossing. Popcorn: Popcorn can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel. Also, the kernels can get stuck under the gum, causing a painful irritation, which can sometimes result in infection. This is called “Popcorn Gingivitis.” If you have suffered from this, a dental cleaning or periodontal maintenance exam can help. Our dental hygienists at Tacoma Dental Group see this often and will help remove those pesky kernels. Crackers: These are highly processed starch, which in our mouths, turn into sticky goo that gets caught in between our teeth. Bacteria then feed on them and they get converted to plaque. If you absolutely must eat crackers, try whole-grain ones, because they take longer to get converted into sugar. Potato chips and pretzels: Similar to crackers and soft bread, potato chips and pretzels contain starch that gets converted into sugar in your mouth. They tend to linger in the grooves of your teeth, where they are then converted into bacteria. Ice: Many people chew ice and this is very harmful to your teeth. This may damage your enamel in the long run, as ice is frozen water that can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel, causing larger problems over time. We often need to place a Dental Crown over the fractured tooth and I have seen some teeth fracture so badly they ultimately require and extraction. Be wary of chewing ice! Peanut brittle: This puts as much stress on your teeth as chewing ice! With peanut brittle you are chewing hardened sugar, which is not good for your teeth. In fact, if you regularly chew peanut brittle, you may be like many patients at Tacoma Dental Group and end up calling me on a weekend for an Emergency Exam! So, these are some of the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. Be careful what you eat, to protect your teeth. All foods are not equal, particularly when it comes to your teeth. If you are not sure which crunchy foods are good for you, visit us at the Tacoma Dental Group for a consultation and get all of your doubts cleared away. Here’s to perfect oral health! For more information on the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth, as well as other dental issues, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Healthy Foods