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 Oriana Biela Lieu is a registered dental hygienist and the wife of Dr. Anthony Lieu. Being part of the amazing team at her husband’s dental practice in Rohnert Park, California, is an important part of her life. Teaching chivalry and a balanced life to her two sons, Isaac and Logan, is also a priority, as is creative expression and keeping positive in a crazy world.

 

 

 

Is Kombutcha All It’s Kracked Up to Be?

2017-10-26 19:21:33 admin

Here’s a recipe for you…take your grandmother’s home-brewed sweet tea, sitting in the sun in the backyard. Now add some bacteria and yeast. Leave it for a couple weeks. Now take a big gulp. Mmm, vinegary! Kombucha has been made for centuries, but only recently has it been available commercially in all sorts of forms. It looks like juice, or yummy sparkling water, but tastes a bit like vinegar. So why are people into it? And…is it worth the taste? 

First, what is it, exactly?

Kombucha is a beverage made from fermented black or green tea. In the presence of sugar and a SCOBY (a gelatinous pad of bacteria and yeast) that tea is transformed into a slightly carbonated, slightly alcoholic (due to the fermentation process) drink. It contains B vitamins and antioxidants from the tea leaves and probiotics from the bacteria. It also, of course, has a little zing of vinegar. So why do people drink it?

Well, because Kombucha is believed to have all sorts of health benefits. Believers will tell you it prevents or stalls cancer, boosts the immune system, detoxes your liver, and more. Consumers also appreciate an edgy drink that has less sugar than soda and no artificial flavors or colors.

Why You Should Be Cautious

First, don’t trust any health claim that doesn’t provide for the scientific basis of its claim. While there are some studies on mice to indicate a potential benefit to the liver from kombucha, overall the scientific evidence supporting kombucha’s claims is lacking. Second, brewing the tea at home can introduce all sorts of malignant contaminants such as dangerous bacteria or fungi that can make you sick. There have also been reports of lead poisoning from brewing the tea in ceramic pots. Even if you don’t brew at home, there have been reports of metabolic acidosis, hepatotoxicity, upset stomach, and more after people drink the tea.  Not good.

The Bottom Line?

If you are an adult and neither pregnant nor immunocompromised, it’s likely okay to drink in moderation. But choose store-bought over home-brewed. Because of its acidity, though, you also don’t want to sip it all day long. (Bad for the teeth, and all.) And you’ll want to swish with water so that you protect your tooth enamel. If you don’t enjoy it, then certainly don’t waste your money. You’re better off sipping sparkling water or tea, or whatever beverage of your choice that doesn’t wreck your teeth.

So, there you have it! Until we see more scientific evidence, we can neither confirm nor deny that kombucha is all it’s “kracked” up to be. If you’re into it, maybe have at it! If not, we don’t think you’re missing out 😉

 

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Can a Mindful Diet Be Bad for Your Teeth?

2017-10-26 19:13:14 admin

In America, we’re blessed with a wonderful selection of food to fuel our bodies. Crops are plentiful, and what doesn’t grow here arrives via ship or air, creating food lifestyle choices not possible a generation ago. So, if you’re more of a fruit and vegetables person, and are either a vegan or vegetarian – or considering these options – we wanted to take a look at how following that lifestyle can affect your teeth. You might be surprised to learn what seems like the best possible choice for the earth, your animal friends, and yourself, comes with a few caveats with regard to your oral health.

What could be better than eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables? After all, every doctor seems to suggest we include more leafy greens and antioxidant-rich fruits into our diets. What could possibly be wrong with just eating food from these two groups? More of the same has to be better, right?  Well, yes, and no.  And, as with everything, it depends on who you ask. Since we’re in the dental profession, and concerned about your teeth, that’s the perspective we’re going to examine. There are three main concerns when a diet lacks meat and dairy: snacking, acid, and a lack of re-mineralizing food products. Let’s take a look:

  1. Snacking: Most of us are familiar with the old rule of thumb that says we should have three square meals a day, and some prefer five to six to spread calories out more evenly. Vegans and vegetarians, however usually find themselves snacking constantly to meet their body’s need for energy. And constant snacking is not good at all for your teeth. From the moment you put food into your mouth, the pH level in your oral cavity drops, creating a more acidic environment that wears down tooth enamel and provides a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. For those of us who eat 3-6 meals a day, this setback is temporary, and only lasts for about a half hour beyond a meal. For snackers, though, this acidic environment continues, on and on, until the snacking ceases.
  2. Acid: What further complicates this approach to eating is the type of food vegetarians and vegans (particularly raw vegans), are prone to snack on – carbohydrate-rich acidic fruit, or dry sticky fruits. This double-whammy of a constantly acidic mouth from snacking doused with even more acid from fruit is a recipe for weak enamel and cavities. To counter this effect, snack less, avoid sticky fruits, choose more firm, less-acidic fruits, chew gum with Xylitol, and keep a bottle of water nearby to continually rinse your mouth. Also, don’t rush to brush your teeth until a half hour after snacking. Doing so while the enamel is temporarily softened due to its acidic environment, can only make things worse. You may also want to seek out more filling carbohydrate choices such as whole grains. Nuts, which can protect your teeth, can also be a good choice, and provide healthy fats your body needs.
  3. A Lack of Re-mineralizing Foods: And that brings us to the final big hurdle for our vegan and vegetarian friends out there – the general absence of remineralizing foods. Research suggests that meat, dairy and seafood help teeth in two ways. They may help counteract acidity in the mouth, and aid in the remineralization of teeth that have been demineralized in an acidic environment. Meat-free dieters lack these beneficial side-effects of a more omnivorous meal plan. That said, nuts, green leafy vegetables (without too much focus on spinach, which isn’t good for your teeth), and sea vegetables can help with remineralization. You may also wish to consider supplements that provide you with the proper balance of vitamins and minerals you may be lacking in your diet. Doing so also ensures the proper absorption of all those great nutrients you are getting from your diet. Consumption without absorption can defeat the goal of a healthy diet.

Maintaining good healthy teeth is an important part of healthy living. That’s why it is critical to understand how changes made to our diets affect our teeth. Surely, you will have more questions after reading this article. Conduct some more research on your own to learn more. There is a lot to cover when it comes to these concerns. Also, be sure to speak with your dentist and physician about your lifestyle choices and how to ensure you enjoy a long and happy life – and one that includes keeping all of your teeth as well!

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?

2017-10-26 19:09:29 admin


Those of us who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time are, no doubt, privy research that suggests such consumption is, surprisingly – good for us!

Of course, with every endorsement that seems too good to be true, there’s normally a caveat somewhere. With regards to alcohol, it’s that booze simply isn’t great for your oral health.

So, if you’re drinking more to help your heart, you may want to re-think that strategy a bit. Let’s look at why.

Drying effect

Unlike water, which hydrates your mouth and protects it from cavity-causing bacteria and acid, alcohol dries out the mouth.

When paired with alcohol’s acidic nature, this drying effect provides the perfect low pH environment for bacteria to feast.

And if that weren’t all, because we’re prone to sip alcoholic beverages for hours on end, doing so keeps the pH in our mouths low for hours at a time – not a good scenario for our teeth and gums.

Staining

Wine, like coffee, can stain your teeth. In most cases, the staining is temporary.

Staining is caused by a number of things, such as acidity, which etches the teeth allowing color to stick. There are also tannins, which love teeth so much they bind to the enamel and trap the wine’s color along with it.

The good thing is, you can keep discoloration at bay by munching on food while drinking, and chewing gum once you’re done consuming for the night. This will bathe your mouth in saliva, and bring your pH back to normal.

Also, as an aside, hold off on brushing your teeth until at least a half hour after you’re done consuming. If done too early, the soft nature of your enamel after drinking can cause unwanted abrasion.

Long term effects

If your alcohol consumption habits are more frequent, and larger than what’s recommended, you should be aware that these effects are compounding. There is a risk of oral cancer.

In fact, if you are prone to combining alcohol with smoking, your oral cancer risk is six times greater than if you just smoked, or just drank.

Scientists believe the effects of alcohol on the mouth enable cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke greater access to our oral tissues resulting in a favorable environment for cancer to develop.

As is often the case, your health is within your control. Therefore, choosing habits wisely, and being informed of their consequences, is always knowledge worth possessing.

As the sage is known to say … everything in moderation. 

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Tooth Friendly Halloween Treats

2017-10-26 19:06:09 admin

The joke every Halloween is that your friendly neighborhood dentist hands out either toothbrushes, floss, or referral cards, right? Well, there’s a way to still have fun on Halloween without going too deep into sugar overload, and we’re here to help!

We’ve got a list of Halloween treats you can pass out to trick-or-treaters that are teeth-friendly while still being fun. No toothbrushes allowed!

Before we get to the list of dental-friendly treats, let’s look at some that you may want to avoid. The following items tend to interact with your pearly whites for longer periods of time – leaving them vulnerable to decay.

Halloween Treats That’ll Drive your Dentist Batty

  1. Lollipops – A lolly pressed against your teeth for all that time is a recipe for cavities.
  2. Bubble gum – If you must, go with sugar-free (but see our note below!)
  3. Caramel – You might as well have a lump of sugar plastered to your tooth!
  4. Gummy candy (especially the sour ones) – The acid in these wears down your enamel.

Fear not, though! Here are some teeth-friendly treats that are kind to your teeth.

Great Alternatives for the Candy Bowl

  1. Chocolate – Chocolate-lovers rejoice! Chocolate tends to rinse more quickly off teeth than the sticky/gummy stuff. Plus, dark chocolate has antioxidants and fiber!
  2. Individually-wrapped snacks – Think crackers, pretzels, even pureed fruit pouches. You can usually find these in bulk. If you don’t get too many trick-or-treaters this year, at least you’ll have some snacks stocked up!
  3. Gums, candies, and lollipops made with sugar-alternatives (not artificial sweeteners) – Glee Gum, treats made with stevia, and Zollipops are just a few we found.
  4. Mini bottles of water – Trick-or-treaters and their parents will thank you for providing hydration for their adventures!
  5. Dollar store trinkets (not quite edible but still a treat!) – Spooky spider rings, mini Slinkies, bouncy balls. Kids will get excited when they take a “prize” that stands out from all the other trick-or-treat swag.

There you have it: An easy way to make this Halloween a little less cavity-inducing. Enjoy!

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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4 Simple Tips to Have a Great Smile

2017-05-31 20:16:00 orianablieu
  1. Brush   It is surprising how many people still do not brush twice per day. I often hear that people think it is most important to do it before bed or just after waking up. The reason for brushing is not just to stop bad breath. It is to clean your teeth and gums from food debris and plaque. Plaque never stops forming. Dental plaque is made up of different kinds of bacteria. Buildup of these bacteria lead to cavities and gum disease.

2. Floss using the C-method I always urge people to curve the floss and go under the pink triangles of gum. That is where all the plaque likes to hide.

3. Whitening White teeth have long been considered a sign of good health and beauty. Some of us are born with naturally beautiful white teeth. For everyone else there is Teeth Whitening. There are many products out there that promise to make smiles brighter. A simple and natural way to whiten teeth is to use a combination of baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. Just a little of each can remove surface stains and polish enamel. Whitening strips are also available by Crest or in our office for professional quality Opalescence. Teeth also stay whiter with regular cleaning with toothbrush and floss.

4. Wear Red Lipstick Maybe this is a better option for the ladies, but red or bright colored lipstick can make teeth look brighter. It also draws attention to the face. A smile in general shows confidence…and confidence is always beautiful.

Have a great summer!

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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