Vegetarianism may be good for your heart, but is it good for your teeth?

Many people make losing weight and getting healthy their new year’s resolution. If this is your goal for 2012, you might decide to try vegetarianism. While vegetarianism can help reduce your intake of fat and cholesterol while inveggiescreasing your intake of those healthy fruits and vegetables, are there any dental care issues associated with becoming a vegetarian?

How Vegetarianism Can Affect Your Oral Health

When designing your vegetarian diet, it’s essential to make sure you’re still getting certain nutrients. Some vegetarians might not get enough calcium, riboflavin, vitamins D or B12, or protein, and this can have a negative effect on the oral health of vegetarians.

A diet low on vitamin D and calcium can increase your risk of periodontal disease (gum disease), a very serious oral health problem. But take heart! You can counteract this problem with dietary supplements. It’s also recommended that you get guidance from a nutritionist before pursuing a vegetarian lifestyle to make sure you’re on the right track.

If giving vegetarianism a go is your new year’s resolution, there’s no need to be afraid for your oral health. Just make sure you’re getting all the important nutrients by eating a balanced diet. And don’t forget to make brushing and flossing a part of your oral health routine, too!

Oh, for Goodness Sake!

If I Could Only Have My Two Front Teeth…

Around the age of six, a child’s baby teeth begin to fall out to make room for primary teeth. The last of their baby teeth typically fall out by the age of 13. Teeth fall out in the same order they erupted. So, most children lose their bottom two teeth first, and then their two front teeth.

Unfortunately, there are other ways to lose front teeth. Front teeth often take the full impact of a fall. If these teeth are knocked loose or knocked out, it’s important to get to the dentist right away. The dentist will try to reinsert the tooth so that it begins to re-bond with the bone. If it’s too late to save the tooth, then it’s likely the gap can be filled in with a dental prosthesis, such as a crown and bridge, or with dental implants.

Then I Could Wish You Merry Christmas…

In 1944, music teacher Donal Yetter Gardner asked his second grade class what they wanted for Christmas. He noticed nearly all his students had lisps because they were missing at least one front tooth, and he was inspired to pen a holiday song.  After performing “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” at a music teachers’ conference, Gardner gained the notice of a Witmark music company employee.  A few short years later, the song was recorded and released by Spike Jones & His City Slickers, and the catchy tune soared to the top of the 1949 pop charts.

Do You Have Any New Year’s Resolutions for Your Smile?

New Year's EveIt happens every year around this time, especially after Christmas. Soon, all the talk will be about New Year’s resolutions. Exercising and losing weight are probably the two most common you’ll hear. Eating right is another popular pick.

What you don’t hear too often, though, is “I resolve to visit my dentist every six months,” or “I resolve to brush twice a day everyday, floss at least once a day, and gargle with a quality mouthwash at least once a day.” But these are exactly the kinds of resolutions many could benefit from making.

Every year, millions of people avoid going to the dentist, whether because of anxiety or another reason. That means that millions of people may not be giving their smile the care it needs to remain strong and healthy.

Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are important because they help you keep bacteria and plaque from building up between your teeth and gums. Bacteria and plaque are what lie behind tooth decay and gum disease, but they have also been linked to problems in the rest of the body, too.

So, looked at from that perspective, resolving to visit your dentist twice a year and pay extra attention to your brushing and flossing isn’t about improving your smile—it’s about keeping your whole body healthy. And that’s a resolution anyone can get behind.