Foods that are good for your teeth

We often hear about foods that are bad for your teeth. Sodas, foods high in citric acid, and sugary foods are all known to eat away at your teeth’s enamel and cause a host of other dental problems. But what about foods that can actually positively impact the health of your teeth?

The important element to look for is calcium. Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium, but did you know that there is more calcium in kale than milk? Following is a list of foods that are good for your teeth.


It’s no secret that kale is a superfood. It is high in vitamins and minerals, fights inflammation, and is high in calcium, which promotes the strength of the enamel of your teeth. Kale is also a great source of folic acid, which helps prevent gum disease. If you’re not a salad eater, don’t fret! There are plenty of other ways to add this superfood to your diet. Try blending some water, a handful of kale, a banana, some berries, and ice for a delicious and nutrient-packed smoothie. Your teeth (and the rest of your body) will thank you.


While the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that we avoid foods high in sugar, apples can be the exception to that rule. While foods such as apples may be sweet, they are also high in fiber. Because apples are so fibrous, the act of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, rinsing away particles of food and bacteria. Apples are also high in water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain. Maybe the old adage should be updated to: “an apple a day may keep the doctor AND the dentist away.”


You will find another great source of calcium in a handful of almonds. Not only are almonds a great source of calcium, but protein, as well. A helpful tip for incorporating more almonds into your diet: Buy a bag of raw almonds on your next trip to the grocery store. Keep that bag of almonds on your desk (if you work a desk job) or on-hand for the next time you feel like a quick, filling snack.


Like apples, carrots are fibrous and very helpful in helping scrape away food particles and bacteria. Carrots provide a healthy alternative to chips or crackers, which contain empty calories – enjoy some carrot sticks with some hummus and you’ve got a healthy snack.

Combine a healthy diet, a diligent teeth cleaning schedule (preferably twice a day) with proper technique, and regular visits to the dentist, to keep your mouth healthy and cavity-free. For more information, visit Dr. Kathy Bui’s contact page or call to set up an appointment: 940-365-7688.

When to Take Your Child to the Dentist

Do you remember your first trip to the dentist? According to experts, parents should take their children to the dentist for the first time within six months of the arrival of the child’s first tooth. While taking your child for his first visit to the dentist while he is still in diapers sounds quite young, it is important to establish good dental health practices early in life.

What should you expect on your child’s first visit? Your child’s first visit to the dentist will mostly be about education. The dentist will help your child get used to the dentist chair, and talk to parents about the proper way to how to care for your child’s teeth. Topics of discussion will include brushing your child’s teeth, frequency, whether she has transitioned from a bottle to a sippy cup, snacks in the middle of the night, flossing, and frequency of future dentist visits.

Once your child has been to the dentist for the first time and there are no obvious dental issues, you may return for your second visit by the time your child is around two years old. After that, you should visit every six months for a check-up. When your child is between the ages of four and six, you may expect your dentist to perform the first set of X-rays to check for cavities.

Some important tips for parents to remember: Fluoride. Fluoride helps develop healthy teeth and prevents tooth decay, which is a common childhood dental disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 percent of two- to five-year-old children have one or more cavities. Fluoride can help prevent dental carries by stopping the acid produced by bacteria (otherwise known as “plaque”) from eroding the tooth enamel. To prevent early tooth decay and other dental maladies, make sure your child’s toothpaste and water are fluoridated.

For questions and more information about the benefits of fluoride on your family’s dental health, contact Dr. Kathy Bui.

Brush teeth at least twice a day. The best times to brush your child’s teeth are in the morning after breakfast and just before bedtime. Make sure to brush thoroughly – many people make the mistake of not brushing long enough. To make sure you are brushing long enough, pick a nursery rhyme or song to sing to your child while you brush her teeth. It may make the experience more enjoyable for both of you!

Flossing. “It’s never too early to start flossing your child’s teeth,” says Dr. Kathy Bui. Flossing removes food and plaque from teeth, preventing harmful bacteria from damaging the tooth’s enamel and gums. Don’t forget to be gentle! Forcing the floss between teeth can lead to bleeding, which can make children think that flossing hurts, creating a negative association with the experience.

For more tips on how to care for your child’s teeth, contact Dr. Bui.

How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

How long do you think it takes to properly brush your teeth? 30 seconds? One minute?

Try two minutes. Yes, you read that right – it takes 120 seconds to properly brush your teeth. Set up a stopwatch next time you brush your teeth. Use the stopwatch every time you brush your teeth for the next week or until you get used to brushing for at least two minutes. It may feel too long at first, but toward the end of the week, you will become accustomed to brushing for the proper length of time.

Here’s another question for you. How are you brushing your teeth? Are you paying equal attention to each side of your mouth and all 5 surfaces of each tooth? Do you brush your gums and tongue? Are you using short, gentle strokes? If your answer is “yes” to all of the above, you are brushing correctly. Here are some other tips to consider when brushing your teeth:

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and make an up-and-down motion. Brushing with wide side-to-side strokes can cause scrapes along the gumline so be gentle.
  • Focus on hard-to-reach areas such as the back of the mouth. Bacteria can build up in your back teeth, causing plaque to form if not brushed. Your back teeth (molars) are the teeth that does all the chewing so it is important to adequately brush those teeth
  • Don’t neglect the gumline. When brushing your gumline, make sure to use short, gentle strokes away from the gumline as if sweeping bacteria away from the affected area.
  • Brush the inner surface. The inner surface of your teeth is an often-neglected area of the mouth and needs as much – if not more – attention as the outer surface. Make sure you spend some time brushing the inner surface to avoid plaque and tartar build-up.
  • Brush your tongue in order to remove extra bacteria and freshen your breath. If you have never brushed your tongue before, try buying a tongue scraper. You will be amazed how much plaque can accumulate on the surface of your tongue!

When it comes to the type of toothbrush you should use, many dentists recommend using a soft-bristled brush and a small-headed brush to reach all areas of the mouth. An electric toothbrush is a great option, especially for those who have limited manual dexterity. Some electric toothbrushes even have settings that help you adhere to the two-minute rule. One of my favorite dental products ever invented is the electronic toothbrush!

Recommendations for Toothbrush Care:

– Do not share toothbrushes. Bacteria lives on everything out there especially a used toothbrush. Exchanging your toothbrush with another person could expose you to an increase risk of infection especially for those who suffer any existing infectious disease or compromised immune system.

– Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with water after brushing. After brushing your teeth, make sure you run the bristles thoroughly with water to help reduce the amount of debris etc on the brush head. It is recommended to stand the toothbrush upright to allow the brush to air-dry until used again. Do not store toothbrushes next to another person’s toothbrush with the bristles facing one another.

– Store toothbrushes in the open. Storing your toothbrush open to the air will allow a dry environment that is less conducive to the growth of microorganisms. Storing toothbrushes in closed containers on a routine basis is not recommended. Bacteria love moist environments, which is why it is recommended to store your toothbrush in an open environment.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Over time your bristles will become frayed and worn. Factors such as frequency of usage, technique of brushing, etc will affect the rate at which the brush becomes worn. Try to pay attention to when your and your children’s brushes need to be replaced. On average, children’s toothbrushes need to be replaced more frequently than adults.

For more tips on proper brushing techniques, contact Dr. Kathy Bui.