It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but if your one-horse open sleigh finds you dashing through the snow to an unexpected dental emergency appointment, you may be lacking in that jingle bell spirit! And after the holidays, no one wants to ring in the New Year with their top resolution being to "Get My Cavities Filled!" Take a look at these common seasonal treats and their dental connection.
- CANDY CANES. Innocently biting down on these much-harder-than-expected pieces of candy can chip your teeth and dental work. While peppermints and other hard-candies are potentially bad for your teeth when you crunch away, they can pose an even greater concern if you let them slowly dissolve in your mouth! Caution is a definite must with treats in this category.
- GUMDROPS. While one of the sweetest ways to decorate for the holidays, these treats are essentially made of corn syrup and sugar that is then rolled in sugar. Unfortunately, this sugar-laden treat is extra-gummy, which causes it to stick between your teeth and take an extra long time to dissolve.
- TOFFEE, CARAMELS, TAFFY. Although this Holiday treat is usually packaged in a ribbon decorated box, these extremely sticky foods are not a gift for your teeth. These chewy candies stick to enamel, dental work, and braces.
- GINGERBREAD HOUSES. While nothing says the holidays like a gingerbread house, these chewy, sticky gingerbread sugary iced covered gumdrops and peppermints make for a better addition to your Christmas decor than to improve your dental health.
While this list wasn't very jolly, and candies and sweets are normally on the Dental naughty list, Scooges we are not! Indulging in a treat or two is part of the Holiday fun. Take a look at a few ways to help you "Dentally" navigate this season.
- BE CHOOSY. Just like you search for that perfect present for your family and friends, take the time to choose the perfect holiday treat for yourself. If you are concerned about cavities, wear braces, or are generally concerned with your oral health, stay away from the sticky, hard, and excessively sugary desserts.
- EAT SWEETS WITH A MEAL. Saliva does more than keep mouths from getting dry. It also helps prevent cavities by washing away food particles and neutralizing the acids from food and bacteria, which damage enamel.
- RINSE AFTER EATING. Rinsing your mouth with plain water after a meal or snack, especially a sugary one, also helps wash away the sticky sugars and carbs, which oral bacteria convert into enamel dissolving acids.
Ho-Ho-Hopefully these tips can provide you some direction as you make your holiday dessert list and check it twice! Remember to increase your brushing and flossing if you are indulging in some seasonal treats. By giving yourself these two gifts, you'll be ringing in the New Year with a beautiful, healthy smile that truly is "Sweet!"
Have you ever wondered why some people have dull and yellow teeth, while others have bright, white smiles? It's more than luck!
Everyone's teeth naturally dull over time because of aging and the contact our teeth experience with staining foods, such as chocolate and coffee. However, teeth-whitening treatments can give you the whiter smile you've been after.
- GET REGULAR TREATMENTS. Unfortunately, the effects of teeth-whitening or bleaching treatment are only temporary, but regular treatments can help you keep your teeth white much longer. The effects of in-office bleaching can last for several months to a year, so you may prefer to repeat your use of at-home bleaching kits every few months to maintain your white teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach and are safe to use daily.
- REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Not everyone's teeth can be tuned bright white. Some just don't respond to whitening treatments. If your teeth are a light yellowish color, they may readily respond to teeth-whitening procedures, but bleach will not likely work on grayish teeth. Brownish teeth tend to fall somewhere in between.
- PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE. For the best whitening results, it's necessary to keep your teeth in good health. Visible fillings, implants, or bridges that are metallic stand out against the white color that you'll want to achieve. Maintaining good oral hygiene will help you avoid tooth decay and keep your smile bright. In addition to brushing your teeth for two minutes twice daily, these actions can help to promote a healthy mouth:
- FLOSS DAILY
- PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANINGS AT LEAST EVERY SIX MONTHS
- LIMIT SUGARY AND STARCHY FOODS AND BEVERAGES THAT CAN STAIN TEETH
It's that spooky time of year again! Yep, It's the week of Halloween 2020!! Although 2020 has been a very interesting year, to say the least, if you do plan on going door-to-door trick or treating, attending a party dressed in a clever, silly, or scary costume, or simply staying home and devouring all of that candy that you purchased, please keep in mind the following tips from the American Dental Association to help reduce tooth-decay!
- EAT TREATS WITH MEALS. Instead of sitting down with just your bag of candy, eat a couple of treats at one of your well-balanced meals. The saliva production increases during meals, washing out food particles and helping to neutralize cavity causing plaque acid.
- CONSIDER CHEWING ADA-ACCEPTED SUGARLESS GUM AFTER MEALS. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for scientifically proving that chewing the gum for 20 minutes after meals helped prevent tooth decay because the gum increases saliva production, neutralizing cavity causing plaque acid.
- DRINK WATER AFTER TREATS. Water can help wash away the sugar from the candies.
- BRUSH & FLOSS. Floss once a day, brush twice a day and eat three balanced meals a day.
- MAINTAIN REGULAR DENTAL CHECK-UPS. Regular dental cleanings and exams can reduce your risk for dental problems.
Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly upon the consumer's preference. Fact is, floss comes in a very wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, the most important thing is to buy a dental floss that is functional at cleaning the areas in between your teeth. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.
FLAVORED DENTAL FLOSS. Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss. Unlike unscented floss, flavored floss freshens their breath while simultaneously removing the bacterial plaque.
FLOSSERS. There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas between your teeth and scraping off the plaque. Technique is the key. Even with flossers, make sure that the floss forms a "C-shape" around the tooth while flossing.
GENTLE DENTAL FLOSS. Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason, some companies make floss with a soft coating that is less abrasive on the gum tissue.
Of all of the previously mentioned options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, the best rule of thumb is to find a floss that gives you the greatest chance of succeeding at consistently flossing on a daily basis.
Although we can all agree that life is full of RISKS, most people don't realize that some very common health related risks can actually be easily reduced! Since many Americans find that following a very strict health regimen too difficult to maintain, today's BLOG takes a look at a simple way to dramatically neutralize some of the health related issues that we all face, and "Wellness" starts with Healthy Gums!
Let's take a look at the stats:
- 80% of American Adults have gum disease.
- 93% of people with gum disease are at risk for diabetes.
- 54% of people with gum disease are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
- 30% of people with gum disease are more likely to develop kidney cancer.
- 49% of people with gum disease are more likely to develop blood cancer.
- People with gum disease are twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Understanding these statistics can bring an increased awareness of why the dental profession consistenty discusses the importance of gum disease prevention! Besides regular professional dental cleanings, effective toothbrushing a full two minutes twice daily and flossing once a day can greatly reduce the diseases that many people develop during their lifetime. It's all about reducing the plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that daily forms on the surface of the teeth. As bacterial acid forms, the infammatory process begins with all of its cascading health related effects! Disrupting bacteria decreases the acid concentration, which leads to an improvement of your dental health!
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