Recipes for a Healthy Smile
“Go brush your teeth!” How many times have you heard this? Probably enough that if you had a dime for every time, you would be richer than the tooth fairy! Why do parents make such a big deal about brushing your teeth? Parents and dentists know that tooth-brushing is one of the best defenses against cavities. Brushing your teeth, especially with toothpaste that has cavity-fighting fluoride, fights germs and cleans off food and plaque, a sticky coating that traps germs and sugars against your teeth. Dirty teeth get cavities.
The outside of your tooth has a layer called enamel. Enamel is the reason your tooth is hard and white, and it protects your teeth. A hole in that layer is called a cavity. Once a cavity starts, it gets bigger and bigger until the tooth can start to hurt or even break!
Brushing your teeth is important to help keep cavities away, but so is what you put in your mouth in the first place. Some foods can help improve your dental health and keep your teeth strong. Cheese, yogurt, and milk are on the top of the list of dental defenders because they have a lot of calcium. Teeth need calcium, just like your bones do, to stay strong. Fruits and veggies are also good for your teeth. They have lots of good vitamins and minerals, and crunchy ones like carrots, celery, and apples clean your teeth while you eat them. They are like a toothbrush made out of food! Eggs are good for your teeth, too, because they are high in protein and phosphorous, an enamel-strengthening nutrient. One other very important thing you need is water. Every drink of water rinses your teeth clean without leaving anything behind.
The top food you shouldn’t eat is sugar. Nobody says that you can’t ever have candy or soda again, but it needs to be every once in a while, not every day. Anything that sticks to your teeth, like gum, hard candy, or sticky fruit snacks, isn’t healthy for your teeth, either. Foods that have high acid content, like fruit juice or soda, can also hurt the enamel coating of your teeth. Besides not eating these things very often, when you do eat them, make sure to rinse your mouth with water and give your teeth a good brushing when you get done.
Do you know how to brush your teeth? It’s important to make sure you’re doing it correctly. You only need a little bit of toothpaste, about the size of the tip of your pinkie finger. Every tooth needs to be brushed on all sides. This means you need to open up wide and move your brush around to get the outsides, the flat parts on the back teeth, and the insides. It should take you about two minutes to brush your teeth. There are lots of apps and timers out there to help you keep track of how long you’ve been brushing. And remember that you don’t have to press down super-hard. Does your toothbrush look like it has been stepped on? Are the bristles squashed? If so, you’re using way too much pressure. You just need enough pressure to keep the brush in good contact with the tooth. Any more than that can actually hurt your gums.
A healthy mouth is very important for the overall health of your body. Cavities aren’t the only danger if you don’t take care of your teeth. Gingivitis happens when germs called bacteria build up along your gums. These germs can make your gums sore and bleed. Your breath will start to smell really bad, too. Even worse than bad breath and sore gums, a bad case of gingivitis can make you feel bad all over. Every time you swallow something, bacteria from your mouth gets washed down with it. When you have gingivitis, there are lots of extra bacteria being swallowed, and this can make you sick with stomach aches or diarrhea. That’s another reason why it’s so important to brush your teeth.
- Peanut Butter Bran Cereal Balls
- Apple Bagel Sandwich
- Cookie Cutter Toad-in-the-Hole
- Make-Ahead Refrigerator Porridge
- Springtime Cereal
- English Muffin Egg Pizzas
- Crunchy Chicken Fingers With Dipping Sauce
- Tuna Veggie Melt
- Veggie Burritos
- Spaghetti with Pesto
- Fruit of the Coop Chicken Salad
- Hooked on Salmon Sticks
- Beef and Broccoli
- Chic Penne
Side Dish Recipes
- Cheesy Broccoli Bites
- Coconutty Apple Salad
- Sweet Potato Delight
- Veggie Nuggets
- Zucchini Fries
- Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, and Parmesan Fritters
- Berry Yogurt Popsicles
- Apple Crisp
- Everyday Pumpkin Parfait
- Avocado Chocolate Cookies
- Carrot Cake
- Milk-Free Frozen Berry Mousse
- 10-Minute Apple Sundae
- Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Chips
Drink and Shake Recipes
- Sunrise Breakfast Smoothie
- Shamrock Shake
- Frozen Raspberry Smoothie
- Milk and Honey Smoothie
- Blueberry Slushy