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Best Fish for Your Teeth

dinner plate salmon rosemary

Nutritionists and health experts recommend eating fish a few times a week as part of a healthy diet. But not all fish are created equal. Some are more nutritious than others while other types contain higher levels of pollutants such as mercury. Believe it or not, though, there are some varieties of fish that are particularly beneficial for your oral health. Include these three fish in your diet a couple of times a week to give your teeth and gums some essential nutrients to keep them healthy.

Salmon

Arguably the number one most recommended fish for healthy eating is salmon. This oily fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids reduce inflammation in the gums associated with periodontal disease. Stick to Alaskan wild-caught varieties since they contain less mercury than farm-raised fish.

Sardines

Small fish like sardines are great because they also give you a boost of important minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These are are all essential for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Sardines also contain one of the highest concentrations of omega-3s with 1,950mg per three-ounce serving. Opting for fish with soft bones, like sardines, gives you a double dose of nutrients.

Herring

Much like sardines, these small fish are packed with nutrients and are more affordable than Alaskan wild-caught salmon. A six-ounce serving of herring gives you over half your daily recommended intake of phosphorus as well as 14% of daily calcium and 17% of daily magnesium. The protein in herring also helps your body to produce collagen, which is necessary for repairing soft connective tissues such as the gums.

Henson Family Dental offers convenient and comfortable care for the whole family, and we provide all of our patients with a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments to keep your smile healthy and happy. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

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Animals with the Strangest Teeth

group of narwhals swimming

The animal kingdom is a vast set of odd beings. The odd features of these beings, though, may come as a surprise to you! Today, we’ll take a look at some of the strangest teeth in the animal kingdom.

Musk Deer

When thinking of large teeth, you probably think of carnivores, or at least animals that have the fierce mien to match their lengthy teeth. You probably don’t think of a deer. But the musk deer, or saber-tooth deer, has an interesting set of teeth. Generated in the musk gland, their distinct odor is the cause for the name “musk deer.” They have no antlers or facial glands, which normal deer have. All in all, it’s an odd animal with strange teeth, so it qualified for this list.

Helicoprion

The helicoprion, 290 million years old, is extinct. The fossils we’ve found, though are only tooth fossils because it had a cartilage skeletal system. Based on these fossils, scientists concluded that the fish had spiral teeth. Although it looks and behaves like a shark, it was a chimaera, a line of cartilaginous fish. Chimaeras stay around cold, deep waters of about 8,200 feet below sea level, unlike sharks who stay around warm waters. But chimaeras aren’t very good swimmers. They have four covered gills and one opening on each side of the head.

The name “helicoprion” means spiral saw in Greek. The geologist Alexander Karpinsky, who discovered the shark’s fossils in Kazakhstan, named it, but he and other scientists knew no use for its spiral saw! It was found out later that those teeth rotated backwards when the shark bit down on prey in order to push the food into its mouth.

Karpinsky thought the teeth were on its snout and the snout curled up, but the American ichthyologist Oliver Hay found another fossil in 1907 which showed him that the teeth were in the mouth. The Danish paleontologist Svend Erik Bendix-Almgreen found decades later a larger and more complete fossil in Idaho, which confirmed the teeth’s position. This fish was a truly dangerous animal with strange teeth.

Narwhal

The male narwhal – or the unicorn of the sea, as it’s called – is an animal with one, and sometimes two, 10-foot tusks jutting straight out of its head. These mysterious whales live in the arctic waters around Russia, Canada, Norway, and Greenway. Only about 80,000 exist, and because of the pollution which kills them and their food supply, that number may soon decrease to zero. They average about 4,200 pounds and can grow up to 17 feet long.

But what’s so special about this animal’s teeth? Its unicorn-like tusk is actually a tooth! This tusk holds millions of nerve cells, and narwhals sometimes fight in a friendly way with them. We would certainly say that’s one strange tooth!

With all this tooth talk, don’t forget your own teeth. You want none of your teeth to have odd features and strange capacities, but if you do think they’re feeling a little odd, contact Henson Family Dental so that we can help get your teeth back to normal.

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Tooth-Friendly Cuisine

salad with celery pears cheese nuts

When we think about choosing the right foods, we often think of what’s healthy for our bodies or what might help us lose weight. While it’s great to think of your body’s overall health, it’s very important to add some tooth-friendly cuisine to your diet.

The overall health of teeth is not at the top of most people’s priority list, and that’s mostly because people tend to think that brushing teeth twice a day is all that’s needed to keep them in good shape. That’s not true. Your teeth fight against plaque and bacteria every day, and several of the things you probably drink and eat regularly make it harder for your teeth to remain strong and healthy. So, along with brushing and flossing, choose a few tooth-friendly foods and beverages to help your teeth fight against cavities.

Tea

Both black and green tea help slow the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Drinking a cup of tea a day can help your teeth fight against cavities and gum disease by decreasing the bacterial growth that often causes these problems. And, as a bonus, these two teas are also a great tool against bad breath.

Crunchy Foods

Celery, raw carrots, and apples help clean your teeth. Throughout the day, your teeth gather plaque that needs to be cleaned off. Eating crunchy food is a great way to help scrub your teeth of the harmful plaque buildup between brushes.

Cheese

Good news for all the cheese lovers out there: cheddar cheese helps to lower the acid levels within your mouth! The calcium and protein found within cheese is also a great health boost when it comes to tooth enamel.

Leafy Greens

Add a salad or some kale to your diet to help build tooth enamel. A few other delicious foods that help with tooth enamel are meat, eggs, and fish.

Milk

If you’re a fan of sugary foods, drink a glass of milk after consuming sugary snacks to help reduce the acid these treats tend to create. You should still keep the sweets to a minimum for healthy teeth, though.

At Henson Family Dental, we care about the health of your teeth and hope that these food tips will help you create a habit of caring for your teeth throughout the day. We believe everyone deserves the top dental care without breaking the bank, which is why we offer flexible payments and accept most insurances. Our wide variety of services – from general cleaning and preventative care to complicated restorative treatments and cosmetic care – means we can care for you, no matter your needs.

Call us to schedule a consultation or cleaning.