by Dr. Kellee Stanton

Proper diet and nutrition play a key role in tooth development, gum tissue integrity, and the prevention of cavities and diseases in the mouth. However, modern diets that consist of heavy amounts of carbohydrates work against healthy teeth and gums. Simple carbohydrates such as crackers, cookies and snacks quickly break down into bacteria-laden, cavity-causing substances. Yuck!

For better oral health, replace some of the simple carbohydrates in your diet with foods that provide vital nutrients, inhibit cavity formation, or do not contribute to tooth decay. These diet choices, also known as cariostatic foods, include most vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and sugarless gum.

In the summer, fruits and vegetables are particularly in abundance. In Minnesota we sometimes have a late harvest, but it’s worth the wait! Around this time of year, you’ll find plenty of fresh produce at your local farmers market:

FRUITS
June/July/August

Apples
Blueberries / Blackberries
Cantaloupe
Grapes
Honeydew
Raspberries
Strawberries!
Watermelon

FRUITS
Sept/Oct/Nov
Apples
Cantaloupe
Grapes
Honeydew
Plums
Raspberries
Watermelon

VEGETABLES
June/July/August
Broccoli
Collard greens
Green beans
Lettuce
Kale*
Mesclun
Spinach
Winter squash

VEGETABLES
Sept/Oct/Nov
Arugula
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Bean sprouts
Collard greens
Pumpkin
Sweet Potatoes

With your fresh produce try this delicious and healthy recipe:

KALEBERRY ‘SMILE BOOSTER’ SMOOTHIE*

(“Recipes for a Healthier Smile”, pp. 8-9)
Kale has cariostatic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins, and cancer-preventive nutrients (glucosinolates). Kale, or chard, is high in minerals that support tooth structure.

Ingredients
8 oz brewed green tea (plain, chilled)
4 ice cubes
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen strawberries
1 banana
4 kale leaves
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon xylitol (available in health food stores, or online)

Directions: Brew green tea and chill. Add ice, green tea, Greek yogurt, and kale in a blender. Mix until no large pieces of kale are visible. Add other ingredients. Blend until all are well combined. Servings: 16-ounce, or two 8-oz servings

See a video of Dr. Stanton creating this tasty, smile happy treat!

For more healthy recipes download the complete “Recipes for a Healthier Smile” booklet at www.georgedentalgroup.com or call 651-287-3729.