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Ingrid Viljak DDS December 2011 Newsletter Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
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The Holiday Eating Season
Winter often brings rounds of holiday parties, office snacks, dinner gatherings and open houses. So we thought we'd share a few facts about nutrition and remind you of our suggestions for keeping your teeth healthy through the holidays and beyond.

Sugar, the culprit in serious dental decay, has no nutritional value. But according to Harvard medical School's Healthbeat newsletter, "Americans now consume, on average, about 20 teaspoons of added sugar daily" in addition to that found in fruit, vegetables, and dairy.

There is emerging evidence that you can modify your preferences for salt, fat and sugar over time by following a diet that strategically lowers your intake of each.

Try this experiment at your next holiday buffet: select a couple of low-calorie items to put on your plate first; raw vegetables, fruit slices and whole grain crackers are tooth-friendly options. Walk away and chat while you snack on these. When you return to the buffet table, take small amounts of several other items so that your taste buds feel satisfied, not cheated. Eat slowly and consciously savoring each flavor rather than rapidly and reflexively.

Avoid standing by the desserts. Take another helping of fruit and focus on its sweetness. Then challenge yourself to leave the party before you give in to the dessert temptation, especially if you are not able to brush your teeth until much later.
Toothpaste and Your Kids
We encourage you to pay attention to the type of toothpaste you give small children. Levels of fluoride and other agents vary from product to product.

A pea-sized amount is recommended for children under six years of age but read the fine print on the tube for recommendations. You should also keep it out of reach; kids are sometimes tempted to eat toothpaste.

Fluoride is helpful in preventing dental caries but too much can cause defects in the enamel or even more serious conditions. Check with us if you'd like more guidelines and recommendations.

Interdental Devices: A Gift for Gums
People of all ages can be plagued with plaque if good dental hygiene is not practiced. One result is gums that bleed or become inflamed or irritated.

A simple remedy is to stimulate the area between the teeth where they meet the gums. It won't solve the problem overnight but can greatly improve your gums if incorporated into your daily dental care routine.

Several products are available ranging from ordinary wooden toothpicks to products specially designed for the purpose. Always use caution and a gentle approach.

If you'd like our recommendations give us a call.

Ingrid Viljak DDS | | 503-472-7900
819 NE Baker St, McMinnville, OR 97128



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