Easter Bunny-approved foods make for healthier teeth...and happier pictures
OKEMOS, Mich., (March 29, 2012) — Easter is a popular time for picture taking. So to ensure healthy smiles for your little ones (and big kids too), Delta Dental of Michigan encourages you to do what the Easter Bunny does and eat lots of fruits and vegetables that keep teeth shining bright for pictures or any occasion.
Here are a few of the fruits and vegetables favored by the Easter Bunny that have some important dental health benefits.
Consider the carrot. Not only are carrots packed with antioxidants, but they also are considered nature’s toothbrush. Chewing those crunchy carrots every day can help reduce plaque buildup. The minerals and nutrients in carrots also play a vital role in killing the germs in the mouth and preventing tooth damage. In addition, the vitamins in carrots help promote jaw growth in children and prevent corrosion of the teeth.
“Many of the common foods that rabbits like to eat can be beneficial for children’s teeth,” says Dr. Jed Jacobson, chief science officer and senior vice president at Delta Dental. “Tooth- friendly fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery and apples increase the flow of saliva, which decreases acidity, aids in removing stains from the teeth and cleans out food particles in the mouth.”
Carrots aren’t just beneficial for the Easter Bunny and children. They are important for adults in the fight against oral cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, research has shown a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, such as carrots, can prevent some cancers. Carrots, leafy green vegetables and bell peppers contain a vitamin called beta-carotene, which helps the immune system find and destroy cancer cells in the body. Bioflavonoids found in apples, onions and grapefruits may also be helpful in reducing the risk for oral cancer.
Dr. Jacobson recommends kids have a nutritious meal or snack prior to digging into Easter treats to avoid overindulgence. As always, there’s no substitute for brushing and flossing at the end of the day to keep teeth clean and cavity free.
About Delta Dental of Michigan
Delta Dental of Michigan, with its affiliates in Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee collectively are among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2011, the enterprise paid out $2.2 billion for dental treatment for 8.6 million enrollees. Offices are located in Okemos and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Indianapolis and Greenwood, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; and Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn.