REPORT THE WELLNESS Treat Your Teeth • www.DaculaDentist.com How to Enjoy Halloween While Protecting Your Smile
• OCTOBER 2019
W hile it felt like the summer heat would never end, it’s officially fall! For our family, that means college football, pumpkin patches, the corn maze, and my kids’ favorite, Halloween. Whether this Halloween finds you giving out candy or shepherding a flock of little ones from door to door, I hope you enjoy all the festivities, costumes, and sweets. Speaking of sweets, let’s be honest: No child likes going to the dentist’s house who gives out apples or floss
candy usually achieves that sour taste by altering the pH of the candy. Some of the super sour varieties, like Warheads, have a pH in the 1.6–1.8 range. That’s just slightly less acidic than battery acid! Acidic candies begin to soften the enamel, and when paired with high sugar contents, the risk of cavities or damage to the teeth is much higher! Timing is everything. It is best to eat candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. This is due to the increase in protective saliva production during meals. Saliva helps to neutralize acids produced by cavity-causing bacteria as well as wash away food particles. Avoid sweet snacks. if you keep snacking from the candy bowl! Instead, look for tooth- and body-healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, and even cheese. Drink more water. Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay, prevent dry mouth, and assist in washing away food particles. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated. Stay away from sugary beverages. This includes soda, sports drinks, and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased. Many of these beverages are also very acidic, which further softens teeth. Chew gum with the ADA seal. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash away food and neutralize the acid Snacking can increase your risk of cavities due to the more frequent exposure to carbohydrates and sugar, especially
samples! So, as for our home, we will be giving out candy, and I’ll certainly snack on some myself. To help you sort through the trick-or-treat loot without feeling any dental guilt, I’ve included a rundown of some common candies and their effect on your teeth, as well as a few tips for this Halloween season: Chocolate As far as teeth are concerned,
chocolate is probably the most smile-friendly treat in your bag. Chocolate is more easily washed away and dissolved from the teeth, and dark chocolate also contains much less sugar than other candies. Hard Candy Hard candies have a high potential for causing cavities due to your tendency to suck on these treats for longer periods of time. This essentially causes a “sugar bath” for your teeth that cavity-causing bacteria can feast on. If you do eat hard candies, try not to suck on them for long periods of time. Sticky and Gummy Candies Aside from the high sugar content, sticky and gummy candies tend to accumulate in the pits and grooves of teeth. These are some of the biggest culprits for decay, especially for kids! Try to limit these treats, and ensure your little ones are brushing properly, especially if have a sweet tooth for these kinds of candy. Sour Candy You might want to pass on things that make you pucker — especially sticky candies that are coated in sugar! Sour
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THINKING WITH YOUR GUT THE AMAZING CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR STOMACH AND YOUR BRAIN
While it may seem strange to think about, the human stomach is truly a thing of wonder. Most humans only acknowledge its digestive processes, but the gut plays a much more influential role in our day-to-day lives than simply breaking down food for nutrient production; it is closely connected to our emotional states, as well. Think about it. Have you ever felt butterflies before a date, intestinal pain during moments of stress, or nausea before an important presentation? Have you ever told someone to “follow their gut” before making a big decision? These physical symptoms are not a coincidence; they are known in the scientific world as the gut-brain axis . Your gut is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions. The brain sends messages to all other organs in your body, so it’s not surprising it communicates with your stomach, too. What is surprising, however, is that the connection goes both ways. Just as your brain can relay
information to your gut about excitement and anxiety, your gut can have a direct impact on the way you feel.
According to a recent study published by the National Library of Medicine, when a person’s microbiome — the diverse population of good and bad bacteria living in the GI tract — becomes significantly altered or imbalanced, psychological or neurological issues can arise. In response to these emerging findings, dietary approaches and probiotics are being explored to see how well they can modulate a person’s microbiome and address symptoms. While research is still being conducted to determine the extent of the stomach’s influence over emotional and mental states, plenty of evidence proves the connection is real. Your stomach “talks” to you all the time, and, if you didn’t have enough reasons to pay attention to the food you eat, now you have one more thing to keep in mind. If you start thinking a bit more with your gut, your health will thank you for it!
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National Dental Hygiene Month 4 IMPORTANT ROUTINES TO MAINTAIN
Sugar haunts us all during the Halloween season. From bags of chocolate at the grocery store to “borrowing” a few pieces of candy from your kids, temptation is everywhere. However, a sweet little treat now and then is okay, as long as you stay on top of your oral health. October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which is the perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of dental health and the best ways to keep teeth healthy and clean. The Goal for 2019 The goal of National Dental Hygiene Month is to spread awareness about oral health. Oral health is vital, not only to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease but also to prevent other health problems, like poorly controlled diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks. For 2019, National Dental Hygiene Month is focusing on the four routines that improve oral hygiene: brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing. • Brushing and Flossing: These two routines go hand in hand. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing teeth twice every day and flossing once every day. By creating
these habits, you decrease the risk of losing teeth when you’re older and limit the chances of developing other health problems.
• Rinsing: A toothbrush can’t clean every part of the mouth, which is why rinsing is crucial. After
brushing your teeth, a good rinse will help remove any bacteria and biofilm you missed.
• Chewing: Another way to improve dental hygiene is to chew sugarless gum after each meal. Gum increases the amount of saliva in the mouth, which helps break down food. The best way to observe National Dental Hygiene Month is to incorporate better oral health into your daily habits, no matter how scary it may seem at first. Start these four routines today so you can trick-or-treat without guilt later.
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produced by bacteria. Sugar-free gum is also an excellent treat alternative that actually helps your teeth! Don’t forgot to floss. Most of us do a great job remembering to brush (who doesn’t love that minty fresh feeling?), but daily flossing sometimes gets left out of our routines. Floss reaches plaque and food particles a toothbrush cannot reach — especially in the areas most likely to develop a cavity! Don’t forget your dental appointments. Regular dental visits can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat!” I hope the above list and tips are helpful to ensure your Halloween season is full of treats and hopefully no tricks! If you aren’t already scheduled for your next dental visit with us, call us at 770-932-4240 to get it set up. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Halloween!
Inspired by Food Network
This super easy and fun way to create homemade treats provides your kids with a healthier and more delicious alternative to packaged industrial candy. As a bonus, making it is an awesome Halloween activity for your family to enjoy.
• 1 package melting chocolate • Assorted dried fruit, including apricots and mangoes
1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. 2. Place a large, heatproof mixing bowl on top of saucepan so that no steam can escape. Place melting chocolate in mixing bowl and double boil until melted. 3. Dip half of each piece of fruit in chocolate before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet to rest. 4. Let cool for 10 minutes until chocolate solidifies. 5. Don’t forget to Brush-Floss-Smile!
–Dr. Eric Jones
770-932-4240 • 3
2700 Braselton Highway STE12 Dacula, GA 30019 DaculaDentist.com 770-932-4240
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Treat Your Teeth PAGE 1 Learn About Your Gut-Brain Axis Welcome, New Patients! PAGE 2 Keep Your Dental Hygiene Fresh Chocolate-Dipped Fruit PAGE 3 The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow PAGE 4
Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October. Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap
opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.
Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
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