Healthy teeth start with this.

Plus: Recipes that will get you through this week.

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"Health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain."

- Unknown

Tuesday. When looking for something to write about, you can always count on the New York Post for a fun little headline to get things going. 

Yup—that’s right. Americans are skipping doses of their weight loss medication to have more Christmas cookies. Yikes. Now, let’s move on to another reason why constant snacking might be something you want to avoid. Let’s dive in.

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Less Snacking, Healthier Teeth

There are many reasons why constant snacking isn’t the best habit when it comes to optimizing your health. If you are constantly grazing, your blood sugar is more likely to be elevated throughout the day. You are also never giving your digestive system time to rest. Plus, you are more likely to overeat because snacks tend to be more high-fat, high-carb foods. 

And now, there is another reason why snacking might be something you want to minimize this upcoming year. 

It turns out that maintaining healthy teeth goes beyond just regular brushing and flossing. Surprisingly, your saliva plays a crucial role in keeping your gums and teeth in top condition. Saliva is a natural protector, constantly working to flush away food particles, refresh the minerals in your mouth, and strengthen your tooth enamel.

If you’re someone who loves to snack, you might want to consider how it affects your oral health. Eating frequently can actually hinder your mouth’s ability to produce enough saliva. Less saliva increases the risk of bacteria build-up, leading to potential dental issues. That is how snacking can lead to tooth decay. Add to that the fact that many popular snack foods are full of sugars, and you have the perfect storm for tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. 

No bueno. 

So, can you do anything throughout the day (besides the obvious brushing and flossing) to benefit your oral health? Here is a surprising fact—while sugary gums can be harmful to your teeth, sugar-free gum can be beneficial. 

Chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to promote saliva production and, in turn, improve your periodontal health. Unlike sugary gums, sugar-free options, especially those sweetened with xylitol, don’t lead to dental decay because non-sugar sweeteners aren’t metabolized like sugar.

So, what’s unique about xylitol? It’s a non-caloric sweetener that encourages the production of protective saliva and has antimicrobial properties. These properties are effective in fighting against unwanted bacteria in your mouth. Research has shown that chewing gum with xylitol two to three times daily can improve dental health. It’s a simple yet effective way to boost your oral hygiene routine.

The key takeaway? It’s important to understand the importance of saliva in maintaining oral health. With this in mind, it becomes clear that limiting your snacking can be one of the best things you can do for your gums and teeth. On top of that, you can always opt for sugar-free gum, particularly those sweetened with xylitol, as an alternative to enhance saliva production and fight harmful bacteria in your mouth. 

Remember, caring for your teeth is not just about brushing and flossing. Plus, limiting how much you snack can have a host of other benefits. So, as you think about your plans for 2024, consider incorporating these simple yet effective oral health strategies into your daily routine. 

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Tonic Shots

1. The Perfect Breakfast For This Week

The week between Christmas and the New Year isn’t exactly known for the healthiest choices. This veggie scramble has all the protein and fiber to change that. Enjoy!

2. It’s More Of A Summer Recipe, But It Is So Good Year Round!

These fish tacos are the perfect reminder of warmer weather and sunnier days. Enjoy!

3. A Bread You Can Feel Good About!

This Zucchini-banana bread is delicious and guilt-free. Enjoy!

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