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Eating for Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health goes well beyond brushing your teeth and flossing every day – although you should definitely be doing that. Diet has a huge impact on your overall general health and also affects the health of your teeth. Some foods are great for your dental hygiene, while others should be enjoyed in moderation.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients you need to keep your teeth strong and the foods you should try to avoid to prevent enamel erosion.

Dietary Needs for Oral Health

Your teeth and gums need certain vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Look for foods that are high in the following:

  1. Calcium. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are high in calcium, which keep your teeth strong and helps rebuild tooth enamel. If you don’t do dairy, other sources of calcium include salmon, almonds and dark leafy vegetables.
  2. Phosphorous. Phosphorous is a mineral that’s important for oral health. Like calcium, you’ll find it in a lot of dairy products. Other foods that are high in phosphorus include poultry, eggs, fish, nuts and beans.
  3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for all-around health, specifically the health of your gums. It helps prevent oral health problems like gingivitis which is a relatively common problem many people struggle with causing gum sensitivity. You probably know that citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are high in Vitamin C, but they’re also acidic, which can be bad for your teeth. You may want to get your Vitamin C from other sources like broccoli, potatoes or spinach.
  4. Polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of nutrient that can reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease by fighting harmful bacteria. They are found in many foods, including berries, black beans, soy, artichoke and black and green teas.
  5. Fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel and reduces tooth decay. Drinking and cooking with fluoridated water is a simple way to improve your oral health. If you drink bottled water, check the label before you buy, as not all brands contain fluoride.

A simple tweak in your nutritional plan and some conscious grocery shopping can help make all the difference. Really, the options are endless and include probably quite a bit of what you’ve already got in your kitchen. However, be aware of the foods you should avoid and only enjoy in moderation.

What Foods to Avoid

Some of the foods that can be bad for your teeth include:

  1. Sticky or chewy candies. It probably comes as no surprise that sugar increases your risk for cavities. This is especially true for candies that stick to your teeth. If you do indulge in the occasional caramel or lollipop, try to rinse out your mouth or brush your teeth soon afterward.
  2. Soft drinks. Most sodas are acidic as well as high in sugar, both of which can be harmful to your oral health. If you drink a lot of soda, consider swapping it out for a healthier alternative, like sparkling water or fruit-infused H20.
  3. Starchy foods. Foods with a lot of starch are more likely to stick to your teeth, which can cause plaque to build up. Common starchy foods include bread, potato chips, corn and many types of cereal. After enjoying a starchy meal, it’s especially important to floss to make sure all of the food particles are removed.

The slightest change can make all the difference in your oral health. So, next time you reach for a soda think about the long term effect it could have on your smile.

Protect Your Oral Health

At LifeSmiles by Dr. Randy Mitchmore, we want to keep every smile as healthy as it can be. We offer a full range of dental services, from routine cleanings and whitening procedures to top-of-the-line dental implants. Contact us to learn more or schedule your appointment.

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Toni Wilson
Queen of Charisma

Toni’s favorite thing about working at LifeSmiles is the beautiful scenery. When patients are having anxiety about their dental appointments, she creates a fearless atmosphere with her charisma and warmth. She is passionate about helping every patient achieve their dental health goals. She says she truly loves being part of a team where she can grow professionally and personally.

Outside the office: Toni loves spending time with her husband and their sons. She also likes to show off her green thumb with her work in her garden.


Bucket list item:
Travel around the world and learn about other cultures and regions.

Your hero: Harriet Tubman because she was passionate and a fearless leader unafraid of any of life’s challenges.

Mike Mireles
Patient Care and Education

Mike began his career at LifeSmiles seeking an opportunity to expand his skillset and advance his career. Today he works at Dr. Michmore’s side through dental procedures and surgeries. He loves working at LifeSmiles because the entire team is continually learning and keeping up to date with the newest advancements in dentistry.

Outside the office: Mike enjoys barbecuing on his patio, traveling, and spending time with his family. He’s a dog dad of two: Tati and Tito.


Bucket list item:
To visit Thailand and Dubai and to try skydiving!

Your hero: Mike looks up to his parents and is forever grateful for the life lesson they taught him; respect, manners, strength, and to be a go-getter. He continues to carry these things with him with everything he does.

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Sandra Smith
Ambassador

Sandra is 44 years old and has a learning disability. At LifeSmiles, Sandra stocks patient rooms and the coffee bar. She does all kinds of special projects like decorating for holidays and preparing awesome gifts for our patients.

Sandra loves being around all her friends and is proud to wear a LifeSmiles shirt, jacket, and name badge. You’ll always find her smiling and helping make our patients smile too.

Outside the Office: Sandra likes to go fishing with her family, swim, go to dances, and walk the mall with her friends. She is very active in the Special Olympics. This year, Sandra won second place in the state volleyball tournament (go, Sandra!). She sings in her church choir and every other year goes on an international trip with them.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly. She likes them because they are pretty.

Andie Willis
Director of Details

Andie is married with one son, Logan and now lives in The Woodlands. She grew up in Sugar Land and has followed in her mother’s footsteps – she has been in dentistry for over 35 years. Andie actually started out working in the office with her mom and learned many things from the way she worked.

Andie has been a Lead Dental Assistant for most of her career. She has worked for many specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. She has extensive training in all facets of dentistry but especially enjoys the surgical and cosmetic side. As a science nerd, dentistry fascinates Andie and gives her a sense of accomplishment.

At LifeSmiles, she is our “Director of Details”. Andie is known for being a perfectionist because she likes to gather as much information as possible and go the extra mile to match Dr. Mitchmore’s high standards. She truly loves being part of our dedicated team of professionals who go above and beyond for our amazing patients.

Outside of the Office: Andie is addicted to Lagree fitness and loves to go off-shore fishing.

Your Hero: Her Mom. She is the most selfless person Andie knows.

John Copous
Chief Enthusiasm Officer

John became a new patient of LifeSmiles in 2008. He likes to tell people he was not allowed to leave. John worked down the street for 14 years before joining the team. He has a passion for meeting new people and extending genuine hospitality.

Often the first person people meet on the phone and when they walk in the door, you can count on John for a warm welcoming smile. You can even ‘hear’ it over the phone. He says, “I believe everyone deserves the red carpet treatment and love seeing other people smile.”

John hears stories every day how someone’s smile is holding them back. He can barely contain his excitement when shouting the praises of Dr. Mitchmore and the entire team. He shares passionate stories of how the transformations people have received at LifeSmiles, changed their lives.

Outside the Office: John loves being outside. He enjoys sharing a beach house with friends and family. He loves entertaining, throwing a party and cooking at home. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He’s an amateur stand-up comic.

Bucket List Item: To live in a foreign country for one year, somewhere near the beach. Take some time to write an epic love novel loosely based on my large Italian family.

Your Hero: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. While fictional, the character incorporates admirable qualities from real life people. She believes in the goodness of everyone, keeps on going and moves forward despite any obstacle. She is able to find humor in other people’s quirks, accepts them and makes sense of it all. Plus, she’s a little outrageous too.