Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kiwi Berry Punch

Try this Kiwi Berry Punch for a healthy and tasty pick-me-up this summer!


  • 2 Cups of fresh spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup Mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • ½ avocado


Blend spinach and water until smooth. Next add the remaining fruits and blend again.

*Use at least one frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tips for Proper Toothbrush Hygiene

10 billion

That’s how many microbes can be living on your toothbrush at any given time. The types of bacteria can range anywhere from the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay and gum disease, to strep bacteria to E. coli. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your mouth healthy:
  1. Keep your toothbrush at least 6 feet from your toilet. Because most people store their brushes in the bathroom, it’s easy for them to become infested with fecal matter and other microbes you wouldn’t want in your mouth. Best idea is to keep it in an encloses cupboard.
  2. Toothbrushes should be stored vertically and independently, this will prevent water and bacteria from accumulating. Also making sure no two toothbrush heads are touching, this prevents the spread and cross contamination of bacteria between family members.
  3. Allow your tooth brush to air dry between uses. Keeping your toothbrush in an enclosed plastic case can create the perfect breeding ground for bacterial multiplication.
  4. Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months (and yes that also means electric brush heads), when it shows signs of wear and when you have had a cold.
  5. NO SHARING your toothbrush with ANYONE. Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria, even the kind that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Tooth decay is considered an infectious disease... one more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush.

Sara Agnew

Friday, June 12, 2015

What You Don’t Know About E-Cigarettes

It has been estimated that within 10 years e-cigarettes will outsell tobacco products since they are considered safer and inexpensive compared to smoking traditional cigarettes. But that doesn't mean e-cigarettes aren't hazardous for your health. There has also been concern that e-cigarettes are quickly becoming a gateway drug for nonsmokers and teens.

 But what exactly is an e-cigarette? 

 This device is made up of a cartridge with e-juice ( a mixture of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and liquid nicotine) and a heating element to produce vapor. Since vapor is produced rather than smoke, the amount of toxic chemicals emitted are significantly reduced. And so is the odor that normally accompanies smoking. Artificial flavors can also be added to produce pleasant scents like bubble gum and pop tarts. But is it safe?

 How Vaping Affects Your Oral Health 

 Unlike smoking a cigarette which can cause yellow teeth, plaque buildup, and lung cancer, the ingredients contained in e-cigarettes don’t contain harmful chemicals that can cause tooth discoloration. The mixture of distilled water, artificial flavor, and liquid mix of nicotine turns into a vapor that won’t contribute to tooth decay however, nicotine does reduce your saliva production which can lead to other side effects.

 Nicotine Can… 

 • Cause dry mouth or halitosis (bad breath)
 • Increase chance for tooth decay
• Make you more susceptible to cavities
 • Cause periodontal disease
 • Chronic cough
 • Inflammation of the gums and bleeding

 However it still remains unclear if vaping is safer than tobacco. It still contains nicotine which can cause irritability and anxiety for those who are in withdrawal. And it’s also debatable whether or not propylene glycol is safe for inhalation. It’s also important to remember that since e-cigarettes are still relatively new to the scene there aren’t many studies that can speak to its long term effects on our oral health.

While it’s a better alternative for smokers, non-smokers who are curious about vaping should keep in mind that this recreational activity that can contribute to some major health concerns and the effects of vapor exposure aren’t largely known.

 If you have any other questions about e-cigarettes please contact Dr. Gray and our team for additional information.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Prevention is the best remedy for your smile. It is true that fillings and crowns can prolong the life of your teeth, however it's better (and less pricey!) to avoid cavities in the first place. You can do this by proper brushing, flossing, and—unbeknownst—eating right. The foods we choose to eat play an important role in your dental health.

Luckily, foods like candy that don't always play nice with our teeth are generally harmless in moderation. It's when we excessively consume one habitual food/drink that it can become a problem.


• Citrus fruits and 100% juices are an excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients. But while they are good for you in many ways, but not when it comes to your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juice, in particular, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time.


• The stickier the candy, the worse it tends to be for your teeth. Extra-chewy candies—like taffy or caramels stick to and between your teeth for a long time, allowing the bacteria in our mouths to feast leisurely on the deposited sugar, causing issues long term.


• Hard candies such as Jolly Ranchers don't cling to your teeth as readily as chewy candy, but they have their own downside. Unlike, say, chocolate-based sweets, which are chewed quickly and wash away relatively easily, hard candy dissolves slowly and saturates your mouth for several minutes at a time, giving bacteria more time to produce harmful acid. To make matters worse, many varieties of hard candy are flavored with citric acid.

Besides, if you bite down wrong on some hard candies, they can chip your teeth—something no amount of brushing or flossing can repair. They don't call 'em jawbreakers for nothing!


• Acid (typically provided by vinegar) is essential to the pickling process. It's what gives pickles their sour, salty, and delectable taste. It's also what makes them a potential hazard to tooth enamel with repetitive daily consumption.


• It's no secret that drinking too many sugary sodas can breed cavities. What's less well-known is that the acids found in carbonated soft drinks appear to harm teeth even more than the sugar. The upshot? Even sugar-free diet sodas like Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi—which both contain citric and phosphoric acid—can erode enamel if consumed in large doses.

If you can't do without soda, your best bet is to drink it during a meal, rather than sipping it throughout the day. The food will help neutralize the acid.


• If you're in the mood for something sweet or fizzy, sports drinks and energy drinks may seem like a good alternative to pop. But Gatorade or Red Bull won't do your teeth any favours. These beverages are acidic, potentially even more damaging to teeth than pop.


• The refined carbohydrates found in saltines and many other types of crackers convert to sugar in the mouth very quickly, providing a perfect environment for cavity-forming bacteria.

• If you frequently binge on crackers you may have cause for concern, but eating them in moderation isn't likely to cause any long-term problems.


• Sugar-free gum helps clean teeth by stimulating the production of saliva. Saliva is nature's way of washing away acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth, and it also bathes the teeth in bone-strengthening calcium and phosphate. In addition, many varieties of sugarless gum are sweetened with xylitol, an alcohol that reduces bacteria.


• Leafy vegetables and other high-fiber foods promote good digestion and healthy cholesterol levels, and they also do wonders for your teeth—mostly because they require a lot of chewing.

• Eating a bowl of spinach or beans is a bit like running your teeth through a car wash: All that chewing generates saliva, and the food itself physically scrubs your teeth as it's mashed up into little pieces.

Most information used from ADA and CDA articles

Annie Nelson