Fight Dental Health Issues with These Fruits and Vegetables

fight dental health issues with these fruits and vegetables In our previous blog, we talked about some of the great outdoor events around Williams Lake. Another aspect that makes Williams Lake an amazing place to live and visit is our access to fresh produce.

Cariboo Growers Farmers Co-op works hard to bring our town sustainable, clean, and fresh food throughout the entire year. Cariboo Growers not only has seasonal fruits and vegetables, but they also have locally raised meat.

Right now, they have sugar snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, garlic, turnips, and beans in-stock. They also have an array of fresh and succulent fruit to keep your pantry well-rounded.

Cariboo Growers only buys from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources, ensuring that you’re purchasing crops and livestock that aren’t harming the ecosystem. They buy all of their inventory from farms that are committed to the health of the soil, water, and diversity of the surrounding area.

By shopping at Cariboo Growers, you’re not only helping the sustainability of our community, but you’re also eating healthy produce that’s good for your oral health.

Today, we’re going to talk about some produce that will brighten your smile and defend against tooth decay and gum disease.

5 Fruits and Vegetables For Your Oral Health

In most cases, if a certain food is good for your body, it’s also good for your dental health. When it comes to choosing the right food for your oral health, try and avoid foods that are high in sugars and starch.

Fruits and vegetables are the best snacks for your oral health. For one, they don’t have added sugar, and they usually have a high concentration of water. Keeping your mouth hydrated is an important way to rinse away cavity causing bacteria. Keep a lookout for these fruits and vegetables for a healthier smile:

1. Dark Leafy Greens for gum health. Leafy greens and microgreens usually come in season in the colder months. So, keep an eye out for spinach, kale, arugula, and even collard greens. Leafy greens are chock full of vitamins and minerals, and they’re also low calorie. Kale and spinach have a lot of calcium, a vital mineral for strong bones and teeth. Dark greens are also high in B vitamins, which are renowned for strengthening your immune system and fighting off gum disease. If you don’t like the flavor of leafy greens, you can try masking them by putting them on pizza, making a vinaigrette, or cooking them down in a stew. We’ll talk more about ways to sneak vegetables into your meals later.

2. Apples for plaque control.
Apples are another produce that will be coming into season soon. While the sugar in apples isn’t great for your enamel, their hard fibrous skin is great for your gum health. When you bite into an apple, it stimulates your gums and scrubs away bacteria that’s lurking in between your teeth. The sugar in the apples also stimulates saliva production, rinsing away bacteria and excess food. While it’s not as good for your teeth as brushing and flossing, it’s a good snack to have after a meal.

3.  Strawberries for a whiter smile. Strawberries are going out of season now, but you can still find them at some markets. This tasty fruit has an astringent effect and helps remove surface stains. They also have malic acid in them, which helps remove tooth discoloration.

4. Carrots to remove plaque. Similar to apples, carrots protect your teeth, because they’re chock full of fiber. Raw carrots are better than apples, because they don’t have any sugar. Raw carrots increase your saliva production, and the fiber scrapes away bacteria and food particles. They are also a good source of vitamin A, which is good for your cardiovascular system and gum health.

5. Celery for gum health. Celery is a beloved vegetable for being watery, crunchy, and not having any calories. Its stringy nature helps it scrape away food and stimulate your gums, simulating a floss-like effect. However, like apples, celery isn’t a replacement for floss. Eat it as a midday snack with hummus to help satiate your appetite and keep your teeth clean.

Ways to Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Meals

With the busy nature of modern life and 9 to 5 work habits, eating a balanced diet can be difficult.

Most Westerners don’t get their daily recommended portions of vegetables. This is largely due to the fact that vegetables aren’t that tasty.

Eating celery just doesn’t sound as appetizing as eating a bag of Doritos. The fact of the matter is that eating a lot of vegetables is one of the best ways to get the nutrients, fiber, and water intake to promote your oral health. Here are some ways you can hide vegetables in your meals:

1. Get a Veggie Spiralizer. Make vegetable noodles out of a veggie spiralizer and use them instead of pasta. You can spiralize carrots, zucchini, and squash into tasty thin noodles, and incorporate pasta sauce, seafood, or meatballs. Veggie noodles are just as fulfilling as regular spaghetti, only you’ll also get the added health benefits without the carbs.

2. Make a cauliflower substitute.
Do you ever make homemade pizza at your house? It’s easy to make a cauliflower dough for your pizza. All you need to make cauliflower dough is a food processor or grater and an egg. Here’s a great cauliflower dough recipe.

3. Substitute red meat for squash. Are you a fan of grilling out on the weekend? Most westerners consume too much red meat. Instead of throwing a steak on the grill, you can try roasting butternut squash as a substitute on tacos or in chilis.

4. Say “no” to burger patties, and “yes” to mushrooms. Mushrooms are a good source of protein, and you can season them to perfection, because they absorb liquid easily. Portobello mushrooms are the best burger patty substitute, because they fit nicely on a hamburger bun. You can dress your portobello burger up with other toppings, cheeses, and sauces.

5. Make Zucchini Muffins. Muffins are an easy, portable, and filling snack. Squash and zucchini are a great way to add moisture and vitamin C to your bread and muffins. Zucchini muffins are a great way to start your day, while also getting a small serving of vegetables. These muffins also pair well with v8 tomato juice. Just be careful with tomato juice, because it has a lot of citric acid, which isn’t the best for your enamel. Rinsing with water after consuming an acidic drink will help against erosion.

Beyond eating enough vegetables, you can try eating a piece of fruit when you get a sweet tooth. Food with added sugar is directly linked to tooth decay.

Already Suffering from Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

If you’re already suffering from tooth decay and gum disease, changing your diet will help a little bit. However, your best bet is to get to the dentist, so we can assess the damage and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Call Williams Lake Smiles today at 250-398-8411 for a routine dental exam. Don’t forget to checkout Cariboo Growers for healthy seasonal produce, snacks, cheeses, and meat.

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus



Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon! Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Dahia and the whole Williams Lake Smiles team appreciate your continued support and understanding as we continue to move through this difficult time

We are gradually reopening in the safest way to ensure that we take all precautions to keep both our patients and our staff healthy.

At this time, we are focusing on addressing emergency needs for our patients. Full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually with priority booking to the patients that were delayed treatment during our time of closure. We will be contacting our patients to reschedule these procedures in the coming weeks.

Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the recommended guidelines. We consciously designed our office with well-spaced, separate treatment rooms that allow minimization of aerosol transfer throughout the office. We have also added a brand new HEPA air management system to allow continuous air filtration in all treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air. This puts us in a good position moving forward. However, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety and that of our team.

Upon returning to Williams Lake Smiles you will notice our new enhanced precautions:

-When you are scheduling an appointment, our staff will ask you a set of health-related questions.

-You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via email and asked a set of pre-appointment instructions and health-related questions. It is required that you complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step. Please also give our administrative staff all the necessary personal contact information to expedite our communications with you and your family.

-We have implemented new protocol for scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions virtually to allow for a contactless exit from your appointment.

-There will be new arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and other patients.

-You will be asked the above screening questions again on your arrival to your appointment.

-Your temperature will be taken on arrival. Again, we will have to reschedule your appointment if your temperature is elevated.

-You will be asked to put on the provided shoe covers and disinfect your hands upon arrival.

-All non-essential companions will be asked to remain outside of the clinic during the appointment. This includes friends, spouses, drivers, parents, and other children.

-We will maintain social distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they absolutely cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

-We have removed magazines and other items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind

-Glass barriers have been added in our reception area

-We have enhanced clinic disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.

-You will see new personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and different masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

-We have protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.

-We have enhanced continuous disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

-We will be disinfecting all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

-We will have longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.

-Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean fewer options will be available for scheduling your appointment.

We ask that, as we have so many patients to see, you treat your reserved dental appointment with the highest level of respect. Answer the screening questions honestly. Please arrive on time for your appointment. We may not be able to see you if you are late. If you miss your appointment it may be quite some time before we can get you back in.

We are committed to maintaining our high standard of dental health and safety under these new circumstances and appreciate your confidence in us.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

We are all excited to get back to work. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbours, and friends.


Dr. Rudy Wassenaar

Dr. Sophia Dahia

And the entire Williams Lake Smiles Team

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