Tag Archives: Saliva

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is finally upon us! For all of us here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Who can resist all that deliciousness; the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and all those yummy pies? But, we all know that some of our favorite Thanksgiving yummies can really do a number on our waistlines and our teeth. However, there is good news: there are foods on the Thanksgiving table that are actually good for your pearly whites!

Turkey

Luckily, the main Thanksgiving course is one the best foods for your teeth. This succulent bird is a great source of protein, and protein, contains phosphorus, which is great for your teeth when it’s combined with calcium and vitamin D. These minerals and vitamins keep your teeth nice and strong! So the next time you bite into a drumstick or turkey sandwich, remember that you’re doing it for your teeth.

Leafy Green Vegetables  

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, and they are high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel.

Cheese

Cheese is rich in calcium, which keeps teeth strong, but cheese also has been found to protect your pearly whites from acid erosion by raising the pH in the mouth to above 5.5. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion. Eating cheese also stimulates saliva production, which protects teeth in itself.

Cranberries

Pass the cranberry sauce please! This Thanksgiving staple contains compounds that inhibit the bacteria, S. Mutans, ability to form dental plaque. Without this sticky protective biofilm, bacteria cannot produce as much acid, and the threat to your teeth’s integrity is significantly lessened.

Red Wine

Great news for wine lovers; this magic elixir also helps in the fight against S. Mutans and cavities. Red wine also contains antioxidants that can help fight bacterial infection, and it contains tannins, which help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is your natural protection against acid, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. So, go ahead and pour yourself another glass!

Pumpkin Pie

Don’t forget dessert! Yes, there actually is a dessert that can help your teeth. Bring on the pumpkin pie! While it’s true, there is a lot of sugar in pumpkin pie, there is also a lot of good stuff, like calcium, two different types of vitamin B, and a huge dose of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.

We hope this Thanksgiving brings you delicious treats and plenty of fond memories with your family. From all of us here, we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 972-242-2155, or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page. At Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, we are here for you!!

Halloween Treats Can Be Frightening for Your Teeth

Halloween Treats Can Be Frightening for Your Teeth

TreatsThe witching hour is upon us. With the likes of creepy clowns, the walking undead and deranged killers lurking in the shadows, Halloween is the most delightfully scary day of the year. But, Michael Myers isn’t the only scary thing on Halloween, some of those sugary treats can be pretty terrifying for your teeth.

Here are a few scary and not-so-scary candy for your fangs.

Scary:

  • Hard candy – Hard candy is tough on teeth because it stays in your mouth for an extended period of time. This ultimately coats teeth with sugar. Additionally, biting down on hard candy can chip or break teeth.
  • Chewy candy – Chewy, sticky treats are particularly damaging because they are high in sugar. Because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth, they are more difficult for saliva to break down.

Not so scary:

  • Sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol – Sugar-free foods don’t contain sugar, which feeds on bacteria in the mouth and produce decay-causing acids. Gum and candy with xylitol may actually protect teeth by reducing the acids produced by bacteria and increasing saliva to rinse away excess sugars and acids.
  • Powdery candy – Sure, powdery candy is packed with pure sugar, but the texture allows it to dissolve quickly which prevents sugar from sticking to teeth and producing acids and bacteria.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Also, the calcium in chocolate can potentially help protect tooth enamel.

So, you can have your candy and eat it too! You just have to make the right choices. Scary things happen to those that don’t brush. Be sure to brush and floss, so those Halloween treats won’t haunt your mouth later on.

If you find all that Halloween candy has left your teeth a bit scary, or you need a good post-Halloween cleaning, feel free to give please call us, at 972-242-2155, for an appointment. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Super Bowl Recipes That Are Good For Your Teeth

Super Bowl Recipes That Are Good For Your Teeth

Are You Ready for Some Football?! Getting together with friends to watch the Super Bowl is an American tradition. Super Bowl parties are full of fun, football, and food. But, not all those Super Bowl snacks are good for your teeth, or your waistline. We have found a few tasty game day recipes that are healthy for your teeth and the rest of the body. Of course, these are snacks aren’t perfect, but these recipe ideas can help make game day just a bit more tooth-conscious!

Southwest Jalapeño Greek Yogurt Dip

IngredientsHealthy Teeth Recipes

  • 2 whole fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded
  • 16 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry Hidden Valley Ranch (or other brand) Fiesta Dip Mix
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Place jalapeños, yogurt, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight, before serving.

This dip will complement any raw vegetable. Be sure to try it on bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli florets.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Raw veggies require lots of chewing, which stimulates the gums and also stimulates the salivary glands which helps dissolve the food and sugars in your mouth. The Greek yogurt gives your teeth a boost of calcium which also helps to keep your teeth strong. The dip is also low in fat and sugars, so it’s a double-win.

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Healthy teeth recipesIngredients

  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (or cacao) powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until it is an even dark color and all of the brown sugar granules have dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Serve with apples, strawberries, and other fresh fruit.

Why is it good for your teeth?

The Greek yogurt in the recipe is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics found in yogurt may also benefit your gums, because it may help to counter the growth of “unfriendly” bacteria in the mouth.

Cocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants that can benefit your mouth and teeth. There are also recent studies emerging from the U.S., and abroad, that support the fact that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth. Scientists from Tulane, the University of New Orleans, and Louisiana State University’s School of Dentistry, discovered a compound in cocoa extract, theobromine, that helps harden tooth enamel. The extract, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden teeth enamel, making users less susceptible to tooth decay.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

healthy teeth recipesIngredients

  • 2 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 jar (10 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil

Serve with carrots and cucumbers

Directions

Put chickpeas, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tahini, tomato paste, some salt and smoked paprika in a food processor or blender and process until well combined and smooth. Drizzle in sesame oil adding more if you want a thinner consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more oil, lemon juice or tomato paste if needed. Serve with a drizzle of oil.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Protein rich chickpeas don’t contain any saturated fat or cholesterol, making hummus a good choice for your overall health. Chickpeas are also rich in folic acid, which keeps your mouth healthy by promoting cell growth throughout your body. Carrots also contain beta-carotene, which is used in vitamin-A production for strong teeth. Cucumbers are not only a healthy alternative to chips, but they are rich in vitamins B and C and have even been shown to help freshen breath and naturally whiten teeth!

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Ingredientshealthy teeth recipes

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons seltzer water
  • Vegetable or olive oil spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil. Put panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and paprika in a shallow bowl and mix to combine. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs with seltzer water. Dip each zucchini piece in egg then breadcrumb mixture and put on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the zucchini fries with the cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy on all sides. Remove from the oven and serve.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C and manganese, the nutrient that promotes calcium absorption, which of course is vital to healthy teeth.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and remember, regardless of what you choose to snack on during the Super Bowl, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time! 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment please feel free to call us at 972-242-2155, or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Summer Vacation Dental Tips

Ahhh…..Summer Vacation Dental Tips

Summer is finally here!

For most of us, that means school is out and vacations are in full swing. Summer vacations are an opportunity to getaway and relax, but be sure not to let your dental hygiene routine take a vacation while you are on vacation!

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy during this vacation season, and don’t forget to visit Dr. Griffin this summer!

Brush, brush, brush

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. It’s a good idea to brush after meals and snacks, especially sweets. We know keeping up with your regular oral hygiene routine can be tough with vacations and traveling, as well as lots of days spent at the pool, so if you can’t brush your teeth, at least give your mouth a few swishes of water to help rinse away food until it’s possible to brush.

Don’t forget to floss

It’s always important to floss, but when what you’re eating is likely to get stuck between your teeth – like ribs and corn on the cob at a weekend barbecue – it’s especially important to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between teeth. Even if you aren’t able to brush your teeth after meals and snacks, it’s easy to carry along some dental floss with you so you can at least clean between your teeth after eating.

Take it easy

This tip doesn’t mean you should relax when it comes to oral hygiene, rather it means that you should try to limit how often you eat. We know you’re probably not going to avoid the delicious foods associated with summer altogether, but try to limit how often you eat them. So rather than snacking all day long while out at a street fair, try to limit the number of times you pop something into your mouth, even if you’re not going to limit how much you consume.

Water is your friend

Texas is HOT – everyone knows that. We often get caught up in fun summer activities and forget to drink adequate water. Not only is water the best way to hydrate on a hot summer day, it’s also a friend to your teeth. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks (yes, even sports drinks have loads of sugar!) is better for your teeth because it does not provide a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. Just a few sips of water swished around your mouth can help rid your teeth of some of the particles that eating leaves behind. Water helps keep your mouth clean and healthy by rinsing away food and boosting saliva levels in your mouth. Saliva, which is actually 95% water, contains protein and minerals that fight acid and defend your teeth against tooth decay. So, instead of sipping on soda all day, grab that water bottle and drink up!

We know summertime is a busy time but it’s still important time to keep your regular cleaning appointments with Dr. Griffin. Be sure to take time out from all the fun and relaxation to make your next appointment. It is sure to keep you smiling all summer long!

For more information about keeping your teeth healthy this summer, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth! Can you Handle the Tooth?

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA

Teeth. Pretty much everyone has a mouthful of them, professional fighters, newborn babies, and the supporting cast of Deliverance aside, and we use our ivories on a daily basis to talk, chew and smile.

You may think you already know everything you need to know about your chompers, like, that you need to brush and floss them daily, but there are some things you probably didn’t know about teeth. We bring you the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth. Can you handle the tooth?

1. Every person’s teeth are different, just like our fingerprints.

2. Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body. Even harder than bone.

3. By age 3, the average child has their full set of 20 primary teeth (often referred to as baby teeth). The average adult has 32 teeth, which includes wisdom teeth.

4. Baby teeth usually fall out in the same order they came in.

5. Up to 35% of people are born without wisdom teeth.

6. We have four different types of teeth (incisors, canines, premolars, molars) in order to help us bite, tear and grind our food.

7. Straight teeth are not the beauty ideal in every culture. In Japan, some people will get crooked veneers to cover up straight teeth.

8. Your mouth produces more than 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime.

9. Modern toothpaste has only been available for the past hundred years. Before its invention, humans used charcoal or ground chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixtures to clean their teeth!

10. Flossing daily is just as important as brushing your teeth to help get plaque out from between teeth. Your toothbrush misses 35% of your tooth’s surfaces!

11. If you floss once a day, you will use about 5 miles of floss over your lifetime.

12. At an auction in 2011, John Lennon’s tooth sold for more than $31,000. In 1816, Sir Isaac Newton’s tooth sold for today’s equivalent of $35,700. Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy brings an average of just $3 per tooth.

While these are fun facts about teeth that will give you something to smile about, we certainly know that oral health is more than just fun and games. Practicing good dental health habits can foster a healthy smile for a lifetime.

Dr. Paul Griffin and his team are here for you, and want to help you achieve the best smile possible. If you have any questions about your dental health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page!