March is a mixed bag of weather with lows in the teens to highs of 60+ and periods of sun, rain, snow and fog. March promises fewer grey days so our thoughts begin to turn toward annual spring cleaning. However, besides cleaning out cabinets and bookshelves, your teeth could use a good cleaning because March is also full of dental disaster holidays.
What’s happening in March?
There’s Peanut Butter Lovers Day (1st), Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday (5th), our favorite – Dentist’s Day (6th), National PI Day (3.14 get it?), St. Patrick’s Day (17th), Chocolate Covered Raisin Day (24th), and Pecan/Waffle Day (25th).
So, let’s take a look at what that means for your teeth.
Most peanut butters are made with a lot of sugar, which feeds the acid causing bacteria. But the “stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth” texture makes peanut butter great at adhering to your teeth and gives the sugar lots of time to do it’s damage.
What’s Fat Tuesday without Paczkis! They’re soft, sweet, gooey and terribly bad for you. Paczkis have upwards of 700 calories, with 25 grams of fat. All that sugar and dough sticks to your teeth to make cavity central.
Math probably never hurt teeth EXCEPT when we grind them trying to solve for “x”, but celebrating National PI (3.14) Day with real pie won’t necessarily do your teeth a favor. While virtually all types of pies are packed with calories, some can also impact your dental health. In general, the higher the sugar content, the worse it will be for your teeth. Look for recipes that include dark chocolate, oatmeal, sweet potato, bananas, carrots and yogurt. You should look to avoid pies that contain acidic fruits, such as key lime pies and lemon meringue pies.
On St. Patrick’s Day, all around the world, green beer, green baked goods, green eggs, and even green ice cream abound. What most people don’t realize is that the added green food coloring means that green teeth are a common consequence and can have you showing up at work the next day with green teeth.
If you wake up with green teeth, it’s not too late. Start by brushing with a whitening toothpaste. Follow up with flossing. If that doesn’t work, come see us, We can help you whiten your teeth further or get you in for a teeth cleaning that can help remove the surface staining caused by the green food coloring.
OK, so Chocolate Covered Raisin Day is a GOOD dental day in March… Countering a long-held perception that raisins promote cavities, a recent study suggests that compounds in raisins may actually fight tooth decay. Certain chemicals in raisins suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease, according to a study of raisins and human health.
Chocolate can neutralize organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which have been shown to slow tooth decay.
Pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods that you traditionally serve with syrup can also damage your teeth. If you love Belgian waffles or French toast, for instance, consider scouring the supermarket shelves for sugar-free or low-sugar syrup options. You can also skip the syrup all together and use a sugar-free jam preserve on your waffles, pancakes, or French toast. It will have just enough natural sugar to give your breakfast a sweet taste.
Even if you brush twice a day as recommended, you can’t get into every nook and cranny. Grandville Dental is here to take care of those hard-to-reach spots and the overall health of your teeth.