The average American diet is loaded with sugar and a disturbing amount of it is of the processed variety. This does not bode well for our overall health, but of particular concern is the effect large amounts of sugar have on teeth causing tooth decay. Our goal at Dr. Christopher Riolo Orthodontics is to create beautiful healthy smiles that last a lifetime. It would be a shame if all that time devoted to straightening teeth goes to waste because of a sweet tooth that destroys strong healthy teeth.
In order to fight the common sugar addiction, keeping track of the foods you eat every day would be enlightening. You may be surprised at how many foods commonly considered “healthy” are dangerously loaded with sugar. Here are an examples of 7 foods to avoid, as well as some suggestions to keep your sweet tooth happy and all your teeth well to preserve your beautiful smile.
The idea of blended fruit and ice is considered a healthy drink, but in many situations may not be the case. Menus at popular national smoothie bar chains often contain over double the recommended daily sugar intake. As you watch them make the drinks, notice few only use fresh or frozen fruit. Most you sugar flavored fruit syrups from a bottle that contain high amounts of sugar.
Tip: Request nutrition information about menu items at your local smoothie bar and opt for the lower carb selections. Making a fresh fruit smoothie at home is usually the better choice.
*Fancy Coffee Drinks
When visiting your barista, don’t order the more decadent selections. Many contain high amounts of sugar and cream.
Tip: Stick to basic coffee or green tea and limit your sweeteners. Both of these options have health benefits in addition to being lower in sugar.
*Beverages masquerading as juice
Just because a drink on your grocer’s shelf has the name of a fruit in its title does not necessarily make it a healthy choice. All too often processed “juices” contain small quantities of actual juice and large amounts of processed sugar.
Tip: Only purchase products containing 100% juice, and definitely stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup that causes tooth decay. “Mother Nature” knows best.
*Pre-packaged children’s lunches
Products such as “Lunchables” certainly have much to offer as far as convenience is concerned, but they can be a real dietary nightmare. The varieties that include both a dessert and a drink are double trouble.
Tip: Pack your child’s lunch yourself; the extra time will be worth the peace of mind knowing their sugar consumption is within reasonable limits to promote long term physical and dental health.
*Sugary glazes or sauces
Chinese restaurants often offer healthy foods that become not so healthy when the meat is coated in glaze or sauce made almost entirely of sugar.
Tip: Avoid dishes drenched in sugary sauces, and consider choosing mixed vegetables instead of rice when eating Chinese as a means of further cutting calories.
*Granola and granola cereals
Granola is another prime example of a food that is usually thought of as a healthy choice, when in fact the very opposite is closer to the truth. Although granola does offer useful fiber, any benefit is offset by the overwhelming amount of sugar coating the granola.
Tip: Limit your granola to a small amount mixed with yogurt and choose wheat-based cereals over their granola-sugar laden brother. Read the labels to determine sugar content before you buy.
*Fruit packaged in syrup
Eating plenty of fruit is certainly a desirable method to get your daily allowance of carbohydrates, but take care not to defeat the purpose by choosing canned fruit saturated in sugary syrup.
Tip: Choose fresh or frozen fruits instead, which are healthy choices without all that unwanted syrup.
What do you think about all the sugar in our diets today? Leave a comment below to share with others.
With the exception of a orthodontic treatment plan that involves orthognathic surgery, these Incognito lingual brackets can do anything that conventional braces can do. In fact, these brackets in many cases are more efficient because the patients’ specific correction is built in to the brackets. In the case of conventional braces the correction (prescription) that is built in to the bracket is for an average shape and size tooth and a generalized arch form (average patient). This obviously does not get us to the final result because no one is “average” so at certain point the orthodontist starts to customize the wire and reposition the brackets in order to refine the tooth movements. The custom system is more efficient because the Incognito bracket is manufactured to the post treatment setup, it is customized from day one and therefore is moving the teeth into the correct position from the first day these brackets are placed.
2. I was told by 2 orthodontists that lingual braces aren’t as effective and they don’t move teeth very fast. (Only one of them has worked with lingual braces.) Any comments?
In the 1970’s lingual orthodontics was popular for about 10 years. They used stock brackets and did the wire bending by hand. It was very difficult and treatment times were long. Almost all orthodontists in North America stopped offering lingual orthodontic treatment. (Lingual technique continue to progress in Europe and Japan). Incognito was developed in Germany around 2000-2003, they applied modern technology to overcome and turn some of the limitations into benefits, shorter treatment time, more precision and predictable treatment results. There is a dissertation that was done at UNC last fall by Dan Gauer that provides real evidence of the advantages of this customized lingual system. Chapter 6 of this dissertation addresses issues related quality of the finished occlusion with Incognito and how accurately this custom bracket system moves the teeth to the initial setup position.
3. How many of your patients with lingual braces decided to change over to non-lingual braces because of discomfort, or any other issues?
I have only had one patient that could not tolerate the lingual brackets. This patient had very specific oral anatomical issues; in general patient adapt very quickly.
4. I was also told that if I had lingual braces on the upper row, with my deep bite, the lower teeth which are already damaged might get cracked or chipped even more.
I have not had a problem with damage to the lower teeth from occluding on the upper brackets. In general you want to minimize contact with these upper brackets because the brackets will tend to debond (fall off the teeth) which slows the treatment. You lose the advantages of the custom system when you get excessive breakage. That is why the upper brackets are designed to have some occlusal coverage on the back teeth in order to keep the front teeth from hitting the brackets for the first few months. I then grind away the coverage over the course of treatment as the teeth align they occlude with one another rather than lowers on the upper brackets. The same thing happens with conventional braces, the only difference is the upper teeth hit the lower brackets when patients present with a deep bite.
5. My right rear molar is covered with a crown will you be able to attach a bracket to that tooth?
We are able to bond lingual brackets to metal, ceramic or natural tooth structure.
At Dr. Christopher Riolo Orthodontics, our number one concern is our patients. No matter what time of year or type of contact sport, make sure your kids are properly protected. We support the American Association of Orthodontics during Sport Safety month in their efforts to help raise awareness among parents and patients to increase the use of facial protection in youth sports in the Seattle WA area.
Watch this video created by the AAO about the importance of wearing mouth guards and protective gear when playing contact sports.