Ever See A Bear With Dentures?

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This Wednesday evening is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Jews around the world will eat 2 foods; Apples and Honey. It's been said that Jewish history can be summed up in one sentence. They tried to kill us, they didn't...let's eat. But Apples and Honey?
Obviously, as a dentist and health professional, I'm concerned about how foods affect your mouth and health. So let's look at these 2 traditional Jewish New Year foods in that regard.
"An apple a day will keep the doctor away" is actually true. Apples are high in fiber and antioxidants, so they help support your immune system and promote gastrointestinal health (think regularity). The peels (red only) contain triterpenoids, which might also inhibit cancer cell activity.
Studies have shown that people who eat an apple a day are 28% less likely to develop diabetes. And, the phenolic compounds in apples may prevent cholesterol from solidifying on arterial walls, thereby reducing the incidence of heart attack and stroke.
Apples also seem to stimulate acetylcholine production in the brain.That might be good to help your memory and even slow or prevent Alzheimer's disease.
As for teeth, because they are so fibrous, apples help clean teeth as you chew. Chewing also stimulates saliva, useful because saliva has enzymes that begin breaking down foods, allowing their nutrients to be absorbed. And saliva has immune components that help fight bacteria, a cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Sorry, you won't get this benefit from your smoothie. We are meant to chew our foods, which is why having functional teeth is so important.
Honey's good too. It's been known as a remedy since ancient times for a variety of ills. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have shown that honey suppresses the activity of some nasty bugs like E. Coli and Salmonella.
The Mayo Clinic reports that honey can help cancer patients as it boosts their white blood cells and strengthens their immune systems which are degraded by chemotherapy.
NYU has reported that honey improves the body's ability to metabolize alcohol. It's a great source of fuel (carbs), can be used to reduce the effect of seasonal allergies and works as a cough suppressant.
In the mouth, the antibacterial properties extend to P. Gingivalis, a bacteria implicated in gum disease. It also prevents dental plaque from sticking to the tooth and actually reduces the amount of acid produced by bacteria, so it's not as cavity promoting as you might think.
Ever see a bear with dentures?

When it comes to apples, eat red ones and when it comes to honey, the darker the better.
So as my family and I eat our apples and honey this Wednesday, will I be thinking of all the beneficial health effects we'll be getting? No way. I'll be basking in the glow of a growing, loving family, ushering in a New Year filled with hope and promise and praying that we'll all enjoy personal health, inner fulfillment and peace around the world.
The entire staff at Manhattan Dental Health wish everyone the blessing of "L'Shana Tova", a healthy, happy, sweet New Year.
Michael
P.S. A special thank you to Karen and Frank Catino, owners of Rariton Bay Honey for supplying us with their amazing, local honey to Nancy and Len Anglis who gave us a beautiful honey spoon and to Debra Solomon for her wonderful cartoon.
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New York Dentist