National Women’s Health Week 2013 is May 12-18. When thinking about how to live a healthier life, don’t forget about your oral health. Keep your teeth, gums and oral health in tip-top shape this summer by eating right, following good preventative care and seeing your dentist.

“One of the recommendations I have for women is to increase their intake of Vitamin C,” says Brooke Anderson, Registered Dental Hygienest (RDH) at George Dental Group in Eagan, MN.

Most of us have heard that Vitamin C is good for preventative care and keeping colds at bay. What you might not know is that Vitamin C benefits your oral health as well. Research has found that if you don’t get sufficient levels of dietary vitamin C, you have an increased risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.* Vitamin C is thought to have a role in maintaining and repairing healthy connective tissue along with its antioxidant benefits. Since poor oral health is associated with cardiovascular disease, it’s more important than ever to consider adding more Vitamin C to your diet.

Wondering how to boost your intake of dietary Vitamin C? Many citrus fruits contain this important vitamin including pineapple, oranges and kiwi. In fact, kiwi contains the highest levels of Vitamin C of any fruit. To incorporate more citrus fruits into your diet, add delectable side dishes into your summer meal planning. Start by trying this recipe for Hot and Sweet Fruit Salsa courtesy of the AACD, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Recipes for a Healthier Smile. According to the AACD, the fruits contained in this recipe will provide a boost of Vitamin C, help whiten teeth, massage the gums, stimulate saliva and scrub teeth.

Download Recipes for a Healthier Smile

Hot and Sweet Fruit Salsa

6 kiwi fruits, peeled and diced
1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled and finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
1 Gala apple, peeled, cored, and shredded
6 – 8 drops stevia, or to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 – 6 drops hot sauce (your favorite brand)
½ cup green salsa (any brand)
¼ cup onion, finely chopped, any type, green is especially tasty
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 limeServing Size:
6 – 8, ½ cup portions
Directions:In a large glass bowl, place the fruit, onion andcilantro, prepare as noted.In a small bowl, mix the stevia, cayenne, hot
sauce, green salsa, and lime juice.Pour the sauce over the fruit and stir
thoroughly and gently to blend spices with
the fruit. Taste and add more green salsa,
hot sauce, or stevia if desired. Chill or serve
immediately. Refrigerate leftovers, up to 2 days.
Serve with any tortilla chip.Note: a flax seed or plain chip is suggested to emphasize the spicy-sweet of the salsa.

You can learn more about National Women’s Health Week at Having a beautiful smile and healthy teeth can make you feel and look more confident. If you ever notice a problem with your teeth or gums, make an appointment to see your dentist immediately or contact George Dental Group at or 651-287-3729.

* Nishada, Mieko. “Dietary Vitamin C and the Risk for Periodontal Disease.” Journal of Periodontology Online. N.p., Aug. 2000. Web. 5 May 2013.