Trick or Teeth

Trick or Teeth! Tips to a Healthy Halloween!

It’s no coincidence that National Oral Health Month and Halloween are during the same time of year. With Halloween right around the corner, most children focus on the free candy and easy access to sweets. Not only are children smitten by all of the yummy treats, this holiday can be pretty tempting for adults, too.

AltaMed wants to help ensure you and your family’s oral health is up to par during this spooky month. The American Dental Association has a few tips and tricks to keep your family’s “fangs” healthy this Halloween:

  • Don’t allow sticky treats to play tricks on your family’s teeth. Sticky candy can cling to your teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay. Try to stay away from gummy bears and taffy to avoid an extra trip to the dentist.
  • Brush and floss teeth. Brushing your teeth and flossing every day is important, especially on Halloween. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. This ensures that sugar will not be sitting on your teeth all night and decreases the risk of getting cavities. Make sure you floss at least once a day to remove any decay-causing germs between your teeth that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing also helps remove plaque and food particles underneath your gum line.
  • Drink plenty of water between rounds of candy. Make sure you and your family drink plenty of water while they’re consuming their Halloween treats. Drinking water is one of the easiest and most beneficial things a person can do to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Limit the amount of candy you and your family consume. Moderation is key! Give your child one or two pieces of candy a day to ensure they are not consuming an unhealthy amount of sugar. You can also pack two pieces of candy for your lunch as well. Typically, you’re less inclined to think about sweets when you have
    a few throughout the day. This also leaves less candy to munch on later at home, while watching television or doing homework.

We all have our favorite Halloween sweets or drinks. Enjoy these tricky treats in moderation while doing minimal damage to your teeth.

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Brush Up Of Your Family's Oral Health

Brush Up on Your Family’s Oral Health!

A good smile can brighten anyone’s day, which is why it’s important to make sure your children feel good about flashing their toothy grins. The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors February as National Children’s Dental Health Month to help raise awareness about the importance of oral health, and here at AltaMed, we couldn’t agree more with their mission.

It’s key to help your child develop a positive attitude towards dental care so that they maintain good habits through adulthood. With this year’s theme of “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile,” the ADA is drawing attention to the fact that the water that comes out of your home’s faucet has fluoride that strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities. Best of all, it’s free!

Beyond brushing with tap water, making sure you and your family drink plenty of water is also an important part of maintaining oral health. By avoiding sugary drinks like soda and sweetened juices, you can help prevent tooth decay, the most common chronic yet preventable disease in children.

Also follow the 2x2 plan, which means brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed, for at least two minutes using toothpaste with fluoride. And don’t forget to floss! Flossing removes food from between the teeth that toothbrushes just can’t reach.

To help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month and encourage our young patients to take care of their choppers, on February 10 our dental locations will be giving away fun goodie bags with treats like toothpaste, toothbrushes, finger toothbrushes, dental floss, toothbrush covers, stickers and educational materials.

Throughout February you’ll also be able to find our Oral Health Unit at the following locations:

  • February X: AltaMed General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Orange
  • February X: AltaMed Medical and Dental Group – Santa Ana, Main
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Commerce
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Pico Rivera, Slauson
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Garden Grove
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Westlake

Call 877-462-2582 today to make an appointment for your child—oral health affects our overall health, so it’s never too early to get started on proper dental care!

Family Gathering Around The Dinner

Happy Holidays: Eat, Drink, and Stay Healthy

This is the great time of the year when friends and families get together to celebrate the holidays. The downside is that all these fun gatherings can turn into extra calories and less time to exercise – but that doesn’t mean skipping the festivities.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the season without letting a good health suffer.

Going Easy On . . .

  • Sugar: Apple cider and eggnog? These beverages often contain a ton of sugar –
    especially when alcohol is added. It’s okay to enjoy these in moderation, making sure to have a glass of water in between every drink.
  • Dairy: It’s not a party if there’s no dessert. But the key to maintaining healthy is keeping the servings small and not going back for seconds. Skipping the whipped cream or ice cream, which often accompany the slice of pie, also helps.
  • Red Meat: Opting for lean cuts or skipping it entirely, and sticking with fish or skinless chicken, are great options. So is eating twice as many vegetables as meat. Also, baking, grilling, or steaming food are healthier options than frying.
  • Saturated Fat: Moderation is key. A quick example – for any dish – is cutting down on the butter. In general, using olive oil instead of butter adds some healthy unsaturated fats to the food. For flavor, fresh herbs and spices are good alternatives. For baking, Greek yogurt, banana, or equal parts unsweetened applesauce can substitute butter.

Being realistic is also important. Here’s a morsel of advice to keep in mind:

  • Trying to maintain the current weight is better than worrying about shedding a few pounds over the holidays.
  • A full calendar shouldn’t get in the way of exercise. Walking for 10-15 minutes, twice a day, helps maintaining good health through the season.
  • Arriving at a party too hungry is a bad idea. So when going to a celebration, it’s important to make healthier choices the rest of the day.
  • The key is eating to get satisfied – not stuffed. After eating, and giving it some time to settle, going back for seconds is okay.
  • Bringing an appetizer, a main dish, or dessert to the celebration can help keeping control of the situation. Healthier recipes for traditional favorites is just an Internet search away.

Trick or Teeth! Tips to a Healthy Halloween!