A spray bottle filled with vinegar can be an invaluable tool when cleaning your house. A few spritzes of the pungent stuff is an excellent all-natural alternative to expensive chemicals for cleaning windows, eliminating grass stains from clothes, freshening laundry, wiping out carpet stains, and even washing produce. However, before you go hog-wild blasting everything in your house, you should know about a few things that you definitely shouldn’t use vinegar on. After scrubbing those dirty windows with vinegar and a paper towel, it can be tempting to apply the same technique to your granite or marble countertops. However, the acetic acid in vinegar can erode all types of natural stone over time. This includes the stone floor tiles in your bathroom. Ammonia can be damaging as well — stick to dish detergent and warm water or special stone soap, instead. Many experts argue that vinegar can also strip the finish from your shiny hardwood floors. Others find that vinegar gives them a beautiful sheen. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A cleaner specifically formulated for hardwood floors will keep them in tiptop shape, and you won’t have to worry about any damage. Some vinegar believers have found that it’s not great for egg spills — or egg-related teenage vandalism — either. Pouring vinegar onto a raw egg, or any other protein-based spill, like yogurt, causes the egg to coagulate, making it cling to whatever surface you’re trying to clean. The holidays are a time of festivity and cheer. For the youngest among us, that holiday spirit includes eating sweets. Given that your kids are probably holding on to some of their Halloween stash and anxiously awaiting candy cane season, I wanted to talk about sugar and oral health. When it comes to sugar intake, what you eat is less important than how you consume it. Obviously, moderation is key. Kids should be able to enjoy their Halloween candy, but they should also be careful to not overindulge. Too much between-meal snacking is a cause for concern. If you have sweets after a meal, your mouth will have more saliva, allowing you to break down the sugar better. Sticky, chewy, and hard candies are often the worst for your teeth because they tend to get stuck in your mouth. Candy isn’t the only problem food. Sweetened beverages do just as much, if not more, damage. At this point, everyone knows that soda is basically just a can of sugar water, but even diet sodas aren’t great for your teeth. Sports drinks and flavored water are also packed with sweeteners. Read the label before you fill the fridge with cavity- causing drinks. On the other hand, there are some foods that actually promote oral health. Cheese, raw veggies, crunchy fruits, and nuts all have oral health benefits. They’re packed with nutrients and they can also help remove plaque and dislodge nasty substances from between your teeth. These KARA’S CORNER
TIPS FOR HEALTHY HOLIDAY TEETH
foods, uncoincidentally, are all natural. The more processed the food is, the more likely it is to have elevated sugar levels.
With all this talk of food, I can’t help but think about my Thanksgiving favorites. Sure, turkey is delicious, but what I look forward to most is the stuffing. For as long as I can remember, it’s always been my favorite. I hope everyone has a chance to eat their favorite foods this holiday season. Keep in mind, though, that too many sweets could create a sour situation for your teeth.
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