Tips to Help Kids Protect Their Teeth from Sugar

Sugar can be difficult to pass up, especially when you’re a kid. Today’s children are regularly subjected to sugary diets and uninformed eating habits. Although parents may not be giving their children foods that are high in sugar intentionally, there are steps that can be taken to help kids avoid the pitfalls of sugar, such as obesity and dental disease.

•    Monitor snacking choices. Provide healthy foods to eat. Ration empty-calorie foods such as sugar-packed sweets. Instead, offer healthy alternative snacks such as fresh vegetables and fruits and low-fat yogurt with no added sugars.

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Kids’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

<b>Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Preschoolers’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

So, how can parents ensure that preschoolers’ teeth stay healthy? Here are some tips:

* Keep preschoolers’ teeth clean. By the time a child has reached age 2 to 5, they should be on their way to caring for their own teeth. By age three, they should have a full set of baby teeth. Most children at this age will want to brush their teeth on their own, but it is important to supervise and help them until they are doing it correctly. Do a quick follow-up brushing if necessary with a soft-bristled tooth brush.

* Use probiotics. Oral care probiotics can be an effective step in a preschooler’s oral care routine. If left unchecked, bad

bacteria can overwhelm the mouth, possibly leading to tooth decay. EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com), a chewable containing a special blend of oral care probiotics designed for children, works by flooding the mouth with good bacteria, which adhere to tooth surfaces, including crevices, pits and fissures in the chewing surfaces, helping to promote happy smiles. It supports tooth health by balancing the bacteria in the mouth.

* Limit sweets. Sugar produces an acid that removes calcium from teeth, thereby breaking down the enamel. Only give children fruit for snacks, not cookies or crackers with refined sugar. If you do keep sweets in your house, only give children candy that they can consume all at once. Always make them brush their teeth soon after eating candy to remove any sugars that may still be sitting in the mouth.

* Avoid sharing silverware with your child. Never put your mouth on anything that will enter your child’s mouth — children aren’t born with destructive bacteria in the mouth, they catch them from mom and dad.

Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile

<b>Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s hard to turn on the television without hearing about sodas in schools and unhealthy school lunches contributing to rising childhood obesity. But a sugar-heavy diet does more than expand waistlines. Even children at healthy weights can experience tooth decay.

When children eat sugar, they’re not the only ones to get a meal. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth. As the bacteria consume the sugar, they produce an acid that causes cavities. And while some sugary culprits prove easy to identify — soda and candy, for example — children may also consume sugar when they eat burgers, orange juice or pizza.

The bacteria in the mouth do not distinguish between refined table sugar and the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables, so forbidding all sugary foods would deprive children of important nutrients. That said, parents can take steps to minimize the damage caused by their children’s diets by following these tips:

* Brush children’s teeth after every meal and snack. Immediately removing sugar from the mouth gives it less time to feed bacteria. If you can’t brush your children’s teeth right away, ask them to drink water to flush away some of the sugar.

* Use probiotics. The mouth is supposed to contain certain bacteria, but a sugary diet helps bad bacteria overtake the mouth. Children can restore healthy levels of good bacteria with an oral care probiotic, such as EvoraKids (www.MyEvoraKids.com) probiotic chews. High numbers of good bacteria will give bad bacteria less surface area to grow. Even if a child eats sugar, there won’t be enough bad bacteria to use that sugar to create an acid challenge for teeth.

* Serve sweets with meals. Slowly sipping on a soda throughout the day does far more damage than a soda consumed all at once and with a meal. Continually drinking or snacking on sugary foods gives teeth a constant sugar bath.

* Choose sweets carefully. Not all sweet foods cause the same amount of damage. Foods that stick to the teeth, like taffy, caramel and raisins, feed bad bacteria longer than sweets that quickly leave the mouth. And while fruits like apples and pears do contain sugar, they also stimulate cleansing saliva, so eating these fruits helps protect teeth.

Caring for Kitty’s Cheshire Cat Grin

<b>Caring for Kitty’s Cheshire Cat Grin</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Cat owners are known for their devotion — but many have never given their cat’s teeth a second thought. No wonder that, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70 percent of cats have gum disease by age three.

Cats rarely get cavities — their diets are very low in sugar — but they can develop many of the same health problems that occur in people, such as periodontal disease and gingivitis. Symptoms may include red, bleeding or sensitive gums and weight loss caused by the cat’s inability to eat. Bad breath, too, can herald more serious health problems. If a cat displays any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit the veterinarian.

While you should schedule dental check-ups with your veterinarian twice a year, taking care of your cat’s smile begins at home. Here are some tips:

– Brush your cat’s teeth. Frequent brushing is the best thing you can do for your cat’s pearly whites. Never use products intended for humans. Instead, choose a flavored cat toothpaste -; your cat will like fish or chicken — and a pet toothbrush. Gently introduce toothbrushing, first by letting your cat taste the toothpaste, then by gently stroking its canines to get it used to you touching its teeth.

It’s best to brush your cat’s teeth daily, but cleaning its teeth once or twice a week will go a long way in keeping your cat’s mouth healthy.

– Use oral probiotics. If your cat’s mouth could use some aesthetic (and odor) improvement, try putting probiotics in its food. Dr. Jeffrey D. Hillman, D.M.D.,

Ph.D. and chief medical officer for Oragenics, has studied oral probiotics for 25 years. He recently developed Teddy’s Pride (www.ForTeddysPride.com), an oral probiotic designed especially for pets. Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, crowd out the bacteria that cause bad breath, while also releasing low-level hydrogen peroxide to naturally whiten teeth.

– Watch what your cat eats. Chewing dry kibble can help break plaque off your cat’s teeth. You can purchase dental cat food or dental chews, but these can’t clean teeth completely, so only use them in conjunction with brushing. Try to avoid feeding your cat table scraps, which often contain more sugar than cat food and can contribute to plaque build-up and cavities.

For more information, visit www.ForTeddysPride.com.

Is Your Sweet Tooth Ruining Your Smile?

<b>Is Your Sweet Tooth Ruining Your Smile?</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s not exactly a secret that too many lollipops cause cavities, but did you know that pasta and bread may also lead to tooth decay and gum disease?

Plaque, caused by bacteria, coats your teeth. Every time you eat something with sugar, these bacteria create an acid that erodes teeth enamel. While refined sugars, like those found in candy, soda and cookies, frequently contribute to poor oral health, the bad bacteria in your mouth aren’t particularly picky. They also react to natural sugars, like those found in fruit, and starchy foods like bread and potatoes. Even foods like milk contain at least a small amount of sugar.

Food choices can contribute to gum disease as well as tooth decay. For example, someone eating an unhealthy diet will decrease their immunity, making their body less able to fight off infection in their gums.

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s easy to unknowingly compromise your oral health. Here are some tips to prevent tooth decay and gum disease:

– Take an oral probiotic. Your mouth naturally contains “good” bacteria that keep teeth and gums healthy. The more good bacteria in your mouth, the less bad bacteria can grow. Taking an oral probiotic, like EvoraPlus probiotic breath mints, will give bad bacteria fewer opportunities to invade your mouth. Better yet, probiotics freshen breath and — due to the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide — help whiten teeth. Even if you don’t eat the healthiest diet, you can benefit from probiotics.

– Don’t drink throughout the day. If you’re slowly sipping a sugary or acidic beverage, you might as well be giving your teeth an acid bath. Choose water instead — it will also help flush bad bacteria and sugar from your mouth.

– Eat a well-balanced diet, and stick to meal times. If you’re getting the nutrients you need, you are less likely to develop gum disease. Eating frequently throughout the day allows sugar to stay in your mouth for longer periods of time, so try to resist the temptation to graze. Limit any sort of sticky food that can get stuck in your teeth.

– Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating. If you can’t brush your teeth, chew a piece of sugarless gum or eat an apple — both stimulate saliva, which decreases acid and helps remove food particles.

To find more information about EvoraPlus, visit myevoraplus.com.

Just a Trifle of Holiday Cheer

<b>Just a Trifle of Holiday Cheer</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Winter might mean snow and ice, but all it takes is a trip to the grocery store to find the fruits of summer. For an elegant treat that will remind your guests of warmer days, try this recipe from the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission:

Raspberry/Blackberry Trifle

Serves 16

Raspberry Layer

1 1/2 cups whole frozen raspberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1-2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur

1 1/2 cups fresh or whole frozen raspberries

Blackberry Layer

1 1/2 cups whole frozen blackberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1-2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur

1 1/2 cups fresh or whole frozen blackberries

Light Custard

4 1/2 cups skim milk

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

4 teaspoons clear vanilla or

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 medium size angel food cake (about 17 ounces)

2 tablespoons raspberry or other berry liqueur

Thaw one and one-half cups of raspberries, and process in blender or food processor to make a puree. Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Stir in sugar and berry liqueur. Refrigerate for later use. This may be made several days ahead. Follow same procedure for blackberry puree.

Using a double boiler, heat four cups milk until steam rises from the surface. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, remaining one-half cup milk and one cup sugar. Sift in cornstarch and whisk until well blended.

Remove scalded milk from heat, and gradually whisk in egg mixture. Return pan to top of double boiler and whisk constantly over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until very thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or almond extract. Transfer to bowl, press plastic wrap onto surface and allow to cool slightly.

Cut cake into one-inch to two-inch cubes. Arrange half the cake squares on the bottom of a three-quart straight-sided Trifle Bowl, including any irregular shapes. Sprinkle with one tablespoon berry liqueur, and evenly distribute raspberry puree and blackberries over cake layer. Spoon half the custard over berries. Repeat with remaining cake, liqueur, blackberry puree, blackberries and any additional fruit and custard. Cover and chill at least four hours or up to one day ahead. Garnish with additional berries and fruit in the center just before serving.

Yes, You Can Bake It

<b>Yes, You Can Bake It</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Even if you’ve never baked before, the rewards of home baking are within your reach. Many recipes for baked goods aren’t at all difficult. Plum-Good Coffee Cake is a prime example. The coffee cake is a good way to add more fruit servings to your diet for breakfast, brunch or a late-night snack and, best of all, it’s easy to make.

For success, start by gathering all the ingredients and equipment. Let the butter sit at room temperature until it’s soft. This makes it easier to beat the butter with the sugar so they take in air and form a fluffy, creamy mixture. Adding cold eggs to the creamed butter and sugar could harden the butter again and make the batter curdle. To prevent this, take the eggs out of the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before you use them or put them in a bowl of warm water while you’re assembling the other ingredients.

Low speed on the mixer helps keep the flour mixture from flying in the air. Because overbeating the flour could toughen your cake, beat just until the batter is smooth. Use a rubber scraper or spoon to add half of the fruit by hand. Be gentle to avoid crushing the plums.

In about half an hour from the time you pop the pan into the oven, you’ll have a cake you can proudly serve to family and friends. Nobody has to know how simple it was to bake!

Plum-Good Coffee Cake

1 (9-inch) cake or 8 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,

softened

2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie

spice

1 1/2 cups diced fresh plums

(about 8 oz.)

Confectioners’ sugar,

optional

In small mixing bowl at medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Stir together flour, baking powder and spice. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Beat at low speed until smooth. Fold in 3/4 cup of the plums. Pour into lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or quiche pan. Top with remaining plums.

Bake in preheated 375 F oven until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched with finger, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Cut into wedges. Serve warm or cool.

Nutrition information per serving of 1/8 recipe without sugar dusting: 283 calories, 15 g total fat, 137 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 101 mg potassium, 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamin A, riboflavin

For more easy baking recipes, visit aeb.org or home baking.org.