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Best and Worst Halloween Candy

October 8th, 2019

With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.

Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.

But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”

To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:

Chocolate
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”

Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.

Hard Candy
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”

Sour Candy
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”

Popcorn Balls

Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth," Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. "They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”

It's Back to School Time!

September 4th, 2019

 

Going back to school is an exciting time for every child. It’s a chance to start fresh with a few new school supplies and maybe an updated look. A new school year can also remind kids about healthy habits that may have fallen by the wayside during the summer. After all, great oral health and overall health allows your child to focus on learning and having fun at school, instead of worrying about problems with their health. Help your child have a healthy smile this year with the following dental tips:

1. Buy a New Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Amidst all the new school supplies, don’t forget to stock up on dental supplies too! We recommend switching out toothbrushes after three months of use, or earlier if the bristles become frayed or smashed. A new toothbrush with your child’s favorite character, design, or colors, particularly if it’s an electric toothbrush, will make their everyday oral hygiene more fun. Be sure you also have plenty of floss and fluoride toothpaste for daily use.

2. Maintain a Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

This school year, don’t fall behind in your family’s dental hygiene. Daily oral care is the best way to combat bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease! Regularly check in with your child to make sure they are brushing and flossing properly. They should be gently brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing at least once daily. Children under the age of six will need parental help when brushing and flossing, and even older kids may still require supervision.

3. Eat Healthy Snacks & Meals

Provide a variety of nutrient-rich foods for your child’s breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks. We recommend a balanced diet of dairy products, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. All of these items are high in nutritional content that will aid in overall health and the health of your kiddo’s teeth and gums. Additionally, encourage your kiddos to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

4. Visit Us for Back-to-School Checkup!

You’ll be able to rest easy if you know your child has started the school year off with a clean bill of health! At their dental visit, we will examine, clean, and polish your child’s teeth, and can recommend even more tips to promote a healthy smile. We tend to fill up quickly around this time of year, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.

The Difference Between Dental Implants and Bridges

July 12th, 2019

A single missing tooth (or multiple missing teeth) can ultimately affect proper chewing and speaking, not to mention having a significant impact on the appearance of your smile. Thankfully, advanced options such as dental implants and dental bridges can replace missing teeth with results that address both functional and aesthetic concerns. With that in mind, what exactly are the differences between implants and bridges?

Let’s compare these two advanced treatments:

Dental Bridge

Dental bridges have been a popular restorative dentistry option for many years. This treatment is designed to literally “bridge” the gap caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is made up of a customized artificial tooth (or teeth) that is placed between the original teeth that are adjacent to the gap. There are different types of bridges; some are removable, while others are “fixed” into position. Dental bridges typically do not involve oral surgery. For patients who are not candidates for dental implants, bridges can often provide an effective alternative.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are also designed to replace missing teeth, but hold several distinctions when compared with dental bridges. These advanced treatment options are essentially designed to mimic a natural tooth down to the root. An implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically inserted through the gum and anchored to the jaw bone. Once it has fused to the bone, a custom-designed dental crown is affixed to the top of the post to provide results that both look and feel as much like a natural tooth as possible.

While implants and bridges are very different methods of treatment, it’s not uncommon for them to work together. In fact, many patients have what’s known as an “implant-supported” bridge to provide greater stability for the new teeth.

Ultimately, each individual’s needs and goals are unique. Our experienced dentist will meet with you for an initial evaluation and consultation to talk with you about your missing teeth replacement options and determine the ideal treatment plan.

Change Your Diet for a Healthier Smile

June 7th, 2019

Have you ever heard of the smile diet? It’s the concept that by making simple changes to what we eat and drink, we can significantly improve the health of our mouth.

Most of us already know that too much sugar causes dental decay and acidity results in loss of tooth enamel. The latest piece of research by the Oral Health Foundation and GSK supports this. Findings show that almost nine in ten (88%) of us believe that healthy eating is important for maintaining good oral health.

This is terrific news. It shows that our knowledge about nutrition and its relationship with oral health is improving. The difficulties for many of us now are around the practicalities of changing what we eat and drink to match those behaviours that we know are right.

We are still a nation of grazers and snackers, continuing to consume sugar and other unhealthy food types, in vast quantities. This is having a negative impact on our oral health as a population. Rotten teeth are being routinely removed across all ages. The challenges are there for us all to see. These foods and drinks are all convenient, readily-available, cheap, easy and quick to consume. They are also decisions made as a result of habit and emotion.

It all means that if we want to improve the health of our mouth and truly adopt the smile diet, we are going to have to tackle the above barriers head on.

Say no to unhealthy snacking, sugar and sweets

Seven in ten (70%) of us believe that snacking has an impact on our oral health. And we are absolutely right. Sadly, there is enough evidence to believe that our snacking habits are harmful to our oral health. Sugary snacks and confectionary still manage to attract us. It appears our sweet-tooth is hard to ignore.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says: “While chocolate, sweets, fruit juices and artificial milkshakes give us a short burst of energy and satisfy our taste-buds, they are packed with unhealthy ingredients that spell bad news for our mouth. Consuming too much sugar too often can lead to long-term problems like gum disease, tooth loss and tooth decay, as well as wider health problems such as diabetes and obesity.

“The good news is that snacking doesn’t have to be a bad thing – it all depends on the choices we make.”

Further findings from the nationwide study shows that most of us (87%) know that choosing lower sugar snacks is better for the health of our mouth.

“While snacking on the wrong things can be damaging to our health, the opposite can be said of healthier snacks,” adds Dr Carter. “Raw nuts, vegetables, cheese and even breadsticks are tooth-friendly choices that can do wonders, not only for our mouth, but our body too.”

Water and milk are best for oral health

While sugar is the cause of tooth decay, there is another diet nasty that is playing havoc with our smile.

Acids are commonly found across many widely-consumed drinks, including fruit juices, fizzy pops and alcohol. Acidic drinks can soften the enamel surrounding our teeth, leaving them vulnerable to wear, which can expose the sensitive dentine underneath. This is called dental erosion. Without our enamel, our teeth become more sensitive and can lead to pain and discomfort.

Dr Soha Dattani, Director Scientific & Professional Affairs at GSK Consumer Healthcare says: “Acidic foods and drinks can be very common. As consumers, this makes it incredibly difficult for us to avoid them. Even ‘diet’ and ‘sugar free’ drinks, that are being sold as healthier alternatives have remarkably low pH levels – making them especially acidic.

“For our oral health, even these are a no-go.

“While special toothpastes like Sensodyne Pronamel can help strengthen our enamel and make our teeth less sensitive, the best scenario is to avoid these drinks altogether. Milk and still water remain the best choices for healthy teeth.”

Although sugary and acidic may appear affordable and appealing, the consequences to our health may be both costly and unpleasant in the long run. This year’s National Smile Month is the perfect opportunity to focus on achieving our perfect smile. By removing unhealthier options and replacing them with deliciously nutritious alternatives, our physical health, mental wellbeing and our smile, will all feel the benefits.

Say no more to the potential damage caused by sugar and acid and give our mouth, teeth and gums the best chance to flourish. For National Smile Month, it’s time for all of us to truly embrace the smile diet.