The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 14, 2013

Raising the Bar on Healthy Smiles


TARBORO — Sports drinks, energy drinks and those must-have morning coffees all have one thing in common - they typically contain an abundance of sugar or sugar-alternatives that are harmful to the health of those pearly whites. Another beverage, whose ingredients can also wreak havoc on your smile, is always the life of the party - the cocktail.

"Selecting healthy, natural superfoods with specific functions improves the ability of our body to create that beautiful smile we all desire," said Dr. Ken Banks, AACD cosmetic dentist and contributor to the recipe collection.

According to recent studies, cocktails infused with wholesome ingredients can improve immunity and offer a tasty tonic for teeth. The next time you are looking for refreshment, seek beverages that use fruits, vegetables, grains, and other superfood ingredients.

Fresh Ideas for Entertaining

To share insight on creating healthier beverages, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) partnered with professional mixologists, Ira Koplowitz and Nick Kosevich owners of Bittercube, to create "Raising the Bar on Healthy Smiles." This online collection of original, curative cocktail recipes benefits smiles while offering a unique twist to entertaining. For more recipes to drink to your oral health, visit

"There are numerous accounts throughout history of monks, physicians and alchemists who were interested in distilled alcohol as a cure for ailments, so it makes sense that these great-tasting recipes could also have healthy benefits," said Koplowitz.

When creating drinks for your next party or social gathering, adding these ingredients may benefit oral health:

Strawberries: The malic acid in strawberries acts as a safe bleaching agent that rivals many expensive teeth whitening products.

Pineapple: These flavorful fruits contain vitamin K and C, as well as other substances that promote healing. Eating pineapple generates a healing alkaline response in the mouth.

Carrot juice: Essential for forming tooth enamel, carrot juice is loaded with vitamin A.

Ginger: This spicy yet sweet root has anti-inflammatory properties, which support healthy mouth tissue.

Try these refreshing drink recipes, which use healthy ingredients for cheery cocktails that will make your guests smile big at your next gathering.

From the Wild

Recipe courtesy of Ira Koplowitz and Nick Kosevich, owners of Bittercube

2     strawberries, muddled

1 1/2    ounces white rum

1/2       ounce cane syrup (see recipe below or substitute

         with simple syrup)

1/4     ounce fresh lime juice

1     dropper Bittercube Blackstrap bitters

3     ounces sparkling water

    Strawberry slice and vertically slit lime wedge, as


Cane Syrup:

1    cup hot water

1     cup evaporated cane juice

To make cane syrup, bring water to a boil, remove from heat, add evaporated cane juice and whisk until combined.

For cocktail, muddle strawberries in mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients except sparkling water and lightly shake with ice. Double strain into tall glass over ice. Top with 3 ounces sparkling water, stir briefly.

Upon Return

Recipe courtesy of Ira Koplowitz and Nick Kosevich, owners of Bittercube  

3    1-inch cubes of pineapple

1/3    ounce    agave syrup

1 1/2    ounces brandy or cognac

1/2    ounce fresh lemon juice

1/4    ounce Curacao liqueur

1     dropper Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

    Lemon peel, 1 inch in diameter twisted

Muddle pineapple and agave syrup. Add remaining ingredients. Add ice, shake and double strain into coupe glass over ice. Twist the lemon peel over the drink and rub on the rim of glass.

Feed Your Child's Mind with Breakfast

Why is breakfast an important addition to any back-to-school plan? Because this morning meal can help set kids up for success in the classroom.

Through research, it has been proven that when you feed a child's mind with a nutrient-rich breakfast, he or she will perform better in school. A recent report by the American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation and National Dairy Council shows that kids who eat breakfast in addition to being physically active have better memory, attention and behavior; and score higher on tests.

Not only does breakfast boost brain power, it also leads to improved nutritional status. This is because kids who skip breakfast don't typically make up for the nutrients they miss at other meals throughout the day. When it comes to building a nutrient-rich breakfast, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt are smart foods to include. Together, they deliver a unique package of nine essential nutrients in a variety of tasty and affordable options.

The bottom line is a healthy student is a better student.

Frosty Orange Banana Sipper

Servings: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

1    medium banana, peeled, chunked and frozen

3    ounces frozen orange juice concentrate

1    cup low-fat milk

1    container (6 ounces) low-fat vanilla yogurt

Set milk in freezer 30 minutes before using. Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.