Back To School Healthy Lunch Choices

With back to school approaching, parents are probably brainstorming lunch ideas to send with their kids each day. Dental Reflections Dublin wanted to give you healthy options for not only their bodies but their teeth too! Some sticky snacks can make your child more cavity prone, while others can help fight off those bad boys. We will also talk about beverages. Here are some healthy options and others to stay away from:

Healthy Choices

Some tasty, healthy choices for your child’s lunch bag include nuts, cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. We know some schools these days are peanut free but you could always send almonds, walnuts or pistachios. Cheeses are basic on the pH scale which means less likely to cause cavities. Cheddar cheese cubes or string cheese are wonderful options to send to lunch with your child. Yogurt also helps alter the pH in your mouth, creating a healthy environment. Be sure to choose one without added sugar. Greek is a good option. Sliced fruits like apples or strawberries are also good options to send with your child. While all fruits do have natural sugars in them, these choices are not sticky and are very nutritious. Fresh vegetables are also a great option and include carrot sticks, broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers and more.

Not So Healthy Choices for the Mouth

Snacks to avoid include dried fruits, fruit snacks, granola bars, chips, and crackers. If you do choose crackers or bread, be sure to choose whole grain. Dried fruits like raisins, pineapple and mangoes are very sticky and can stay in the teeth throughout the day even after eating. Same goes for fruit snacks.  Granola bars are also very sticky and typically have honey or some type of sugar/sweetener that is very acidic making you more prone to cavities. Bacteria in the mouth love carbs and sugars which creates a by-product more likely to cause a cavity.

Let’s talk about drinks. Sipping on anything besides water between meals puts you at a higher risk for developing a cavity. This includes flavored waters, naturally flavored sparkling waters, and diet stuff. They are all acidic. Yes, our hearts are broken too.

The takeaway is drinking your flavored beverages with meals when you have other foods to balance the pH. We aren’t saying you can never have another sticky snack, carb or soda, but frequency is key. Consuming it in a shorter time is best vs. small sips and grazing. Also – you can pop in a piece of gum with xylitol if you do indulge, which helps balance the pH in your mouth. The bad bacteria consume the xylitol and they can’t metabolize it so it kills them off. Dental Reflections Dublin hopes this made your day. Happy packing!

Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

Have you been deciding whether or not to make the switch and invest in an electric toothbrush? We are here to tell you the benefits of using an electric toothbrush and why we recommend it at Dental Reflections, Dublin.

Electric Toothbrushes Make for Happy Gums

A manual toothbrush produces an average of 300 strokes per minute. With a Sonicare technology toothbrush, you get over 40,000!! That’s 133 times the number of strokes per minute. What do the strokes mean? The ability and effectiveness to remove the sticky, cavity-causing plaque that forms on your teeth. Sonic technology removes plaque beyond the bristles.

Electric toothbrushes are also gentler on the gums and teeth. They have soft bristles, and some even have a pressure sensor built into them. This signals you when you are pressing too hard and reminds you to lighten up. Remember, you can remove plaque with friction, not force. Studies show a Sonic toothbrush can reverse gingivitis and help reduce periodontal pocketing. The massaging action of the toothbrush vibrating helps increase blood circulation too.

Electric Toothbrushes Enhance Your Smile

If you are one, who drinks a lot of dark beverages you may also have increased staining on the teeth. These include coffee, tea, red wine and dark soda.  An electric toothbrush significantly reduces stain. As dental clinicians, this is probably the biggest difference we see in our patients who make the switch.

Those with dexterity issues find electric toothbrushes very helpful. They have a larger handle to help grasp the toothbrush easier. It also does the work for you as long as you guide it along the surfaces of the teeth and gums.

Effective Brushing

A built-in timer is a huge advantage of an electric toothbrush. It’s all too often we find ourselves rushing out of the door in the mornings or too tired to thoroughly brush at night before bed. Most electric brushes have a 2-minute timer built in to help you be sure you spent the appropriate amount of time brushing each day and night.

Finally, if a patient has braces, an electric toothbrush is a huge help. It is very difficult to clean around brackets and wires, and this is where we go back to the removal of plaque beyond the bristles. Braces are a huge investment, and we want your smile to look beautiful when they come off with no white spots that plaque can leave if not removed properly.

Cost of an Electric Toothbrush

There are many different electric toothbrushes to choose from, and they range in price anywhere from $5.99-$300+. Yes, we know – that’s quite a big range. Don’t worry, you don’t need the $300+ option to get the most benefits. We recommend the Easy Clean Sonicare Toothbrush. Dental Reflections has done a lot of research and listened to feedback from our patients. We truly believe the Sonicare has it all. We chose an affordable option to offer to our patients. Dental Reflections Dublin even sells the brush at the cost in which we get it because we truly believe it is a great addition to effective home care. The cost is $59.99. It is rechargeable and comes with a travel case and an extra brush head. If you’re interested in purchasing an electric toothbrush, contact us today! Next time you are thinking of making the switch to an electric brush, don’t think too hard and go for it! You won’t be disappointed.