June/July 2020

Oral Wellness Newsletter

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The “new normal” dentist’s visit

During these uncertain times, you want to feel confident that you’re receiving dental care in a safe environment. It’s reassuring to know that dentists will now use special personal protective equipment (PPE) for every dental visit.

 

This high level of PPE wasn’t required before the pandemic – but the CDC, OSHA and the American Dental Association recommend new infection control guidelines designed to help keep you, your dentist and the office staff safe.

 

On top of strict disinfecting processes, dentists and dental hygienists may wear respirators, face shields and caps, plus use special equipment during procedures to help prevent contamination. Even you as a patient may be given PPE to help keep you safe, such as a gown, mask and protective eyewear. So you can feel secure getting back to the quality dental care you need to stay healthy.

Read about COVID-19 and your oral health

 


 

Man up on your oral health

It’s a fact, the ladies have an edge when it comes to oral health. Research shows that women go to the dentist twice as often as men – and they have a better record for brushing and flossing.[1]

 

Perhaps that’s why more men than women have gum disease. In fact, over half of the male population is diagnosed with gum disease.[2] Guys, if your gums are tender and bleed when you brush, you may have it yourself.

 

If left untreated, gum disease begins to destroy the bone that supports your teeth, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss – not a pretty look. But that’s not all. Studies have shown that diseases such as diabetes, heart problems and some cancers are linked to periodontitis, the most serious form of gum disease.[3]

 

In honor of Men’s Health Month this June, make an effort to step up your oral health game. Mild gum disease is reversible with the right dental care routine, but periodontitis is permanent.

 

Brush up on proper oral care

 


 

Healthy hydration

According to the American Dental Association, sipping water is one of the best things you can do for your teeth – especially if its fluoridated.[4] Staying hydrated also helps your system distribute nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving.

 

This summer, watch for signs of dehydration: dry mouth, dark-colored urine, accelerated heartbeat, headache and fatigue. Stay properly hydrated by drinking lots of healthy beverages.

 

Find the best (and worst) drinks for your teeth

 


 

Practice safe sun

You wouldn’t sunbathe without protecting your body with sunscreen, so don’t skip your lips. The sun’s harsh UV rays damage your skin, and long-term exposure without protection can lead to skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, lip balm or lipstick with 30 SPF is the best defense against skin cancer on your lips.[5]

 

Learn ways to give your lips more love

 


 

Dealing with dental emergencies

School is out, the weather is warm and the whole family is ready to play in the sunshine. From running at the park to roughhousing in the yard, sometimes summer fun can lead to injuries that affect your teeth or gums. What do you do when you face a dental emergency? Accidents happen – here’s how to be prepared:

 

Get tips to avoid dental emergencies

Download our vacation emergencies infographic

 


 

Avocado-Green Tea Popsicles

Serves 6

These creamy yogurt pops get their lovely green hue from avocado and matcha. Made by grinding young green tea leaves into a super-fine powder, matcha is packed with antioxidants. Studies have linked green tea to health benefits such as helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.[6]

Banana adds natural sweetness, not to mention 10% of your daily fiber, plus potassium – great for your heart health. And although avocados are high in fat, it’s the good monounsaturated fat recommended by the American Heart Association. So you can indulge in this cool, healthy treat without a guilt trip.

 

Get the recipe

Ingredients:

1 avocados (halved, pitted)
1 banana (peeled, coarsely chopped)
1 cup fat-free milk
½ cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon green tea matcha powder
1 tablespoon honey

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

Carefully pour the mixture into 6 (4-ounce) popsicle molds. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

Run the outside of each mold under warm water to easily remove the popsicle from the mold.

 

Nutrition per serving

107 calories | 5g fat | 5g protein | 13g carbs

Brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Taste of Summer Recipes.

 


 

Lea en Español

Download the pdf

 

[1] Women winning the battle of the sexes when it comes to periodontal health; perio.org; May 2011.

[2] Gum disease and men; perio.org; 2020

[3] Periodontal disease and systemic health; perio.org; 2020

[4] 4 Reasons water is the best beverage for your teeth; Mouth Healthy; American Dental Association; 2019.

[5] Sunscreen FAQs; American Academy of Dermatology; 2019.

[6] Should you drink matcha tea?; Time.com; March 8, 2018.
 


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