Protect Your Oral Health on Halloween

We all know candy can cause cavities, but some types of candy are better or worse than others. Whether you are choosing candy for your child, a party, or trick-or-treaters, think about candy and its effect on oral health.

Chewy candy and popular fruit-flavored candies are tasty and appealing, but they are especially bad for the teeth. These kinds of candies stick to teeth, and the sugar that remains on the teeth can be damaging before the child can brush.  Hard candy has been known to chip and break teeth from time to time.  If you do not want a child to chip a tooth and require immediate dental care, avoid peppermints and other hard candies in the trick-or-treat bags.

Halloween would not be Halloween without candy. Children can be satisfied with chocolate candy bars that pose less risk to the teeth. Nearly any child will be happy with miniature chocolate bars on Halloween, making them a great option to pass out on Trick-or-Treat night.

After your child comes home from trick-or-treating or a Halloween party, be sensible with the amount of candy you allow him to eat. Let him know he will have more candy to enjoy on another day if he only eats one or two pieces on Halloween night. Remind him to brush and floss his teeth each time he eats candy. It can still be a fun holiday, while taking sensible measures to protect your child’s oral health.

Remember that keeping up with your regular oral hygiene is especially important during Halloween with all of the candy being consumed.  If you or your children are due for a check up, it’s an ideal time to schedule an appointment.

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Flossing: A Key Ingredient To Oral Hygiene

Flossing may be a difficult habit to cultivate, but well worth the effort to help preserve the health of your teeth. In addition to making your mouth feel cleaner, flossing can help prevent cavities, alleviate breath odor and protect you from gingivitis.

Daily brushing is a must to remove food particles and bacteria from teeth. But brushing will only go so far. Dental floss reaches inside those nooks and crannies between teeth to remove food and bacteria before it converts into plaque or tartar. Plaque contains acids that can dissolve tooth enamel, increasing your chances of getting cavities.  Plaque buildup can also lead to gingivitis — a gum condition that causes gums to swell and bleed. Through daily flossing, you can prevent plaque buildup to reduce the risk of gingivitis and cavities and protect your teeth.

In like manner, flossing can help relieve bad breath by removing food that could otherwise rot in your mouth and produce foul smells. Rotten food releases sulfur compounds and acids that give off bad odors in your mouth. Daily flossing helps eliminate food particles so your mouth can stay fresh and clean.

As October is National Oral Health Hygiene Month, it’s good to reflect on the role that oral hygiene plays in protecting your teeth. Good oral hygiene habits will help preserve your teeth longer and enhance the beauty of your smile.  If you haven’t yet incorporated flossing into your oral hygiene, it’s time to make a change!  Dana Walters DDS is happy to help educate patients on proper oral hygiene techniques and practices; you are welcome to contact us today or schedule an appointment.

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Gums and Your Oral Health

Oftentimes when people think of oral health and hygiene, they overlook their gums and think only of their teeth.  Gums serve a very important purpose in the mouth.  They are an important protective barrier that protects your teeth and their support structures.  Healthy teeth depend on healthy gums to be strong and thrive.

Most gum problems are caused by bacteria contained in dental plaque that create an inflammatory reaction in gum tissue.  Gingivitis is the most common gum problem, and can be seen in over half of the adult U.S. population.  Gum disease (periodontitis) affects over a quarter of the U.S. population, and is very concerning as it can lead to gum tissue and bone loss that cannot be reversed.

It is important to check your gums regularly and make sure they are pink and firm without any pain, swelling, or bleeding.  Regular check ups with your dentist, a healthy diet, and  good oral hygiene at home are usually enough to keep gum problems from becoming a serious threat to your oral health.  If you are concerned about the health of your gums, or are due for a professional cleaning, contact Dana Walters DDS to schedule an appointment.

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Dental Bridges Can Restore Your Smile

Dental bridges are a proven way to help those with missing teeth regain their smile, improve their ability to chew and speak, and keep other teeth from drifting.  The device installed in the mouth is known as a “bridge” because it actually bridges the space left by one or more missing teeth and fills it with a prosthetic.

In creating this bridge, crowns are made for the teeth on either side of the gap, which are the anchoring teeth.  A false tooth is set in between, so that the supporting teeth with the crowns will keep it in place.  The false tooth, or pontic, can be created to fit using various substances, including combinations of gold and porcelain.

There are three main types of dental bridges available.  The most common is the traditional bridge, which places a false tooth between two crowns that are then attached to the anchor teeth.  Maryland bonded bridges use a porcelain or metal framework to support plastic or porcelain teeth.  This bridge uses wings on each side to attach to the existing teeth.  Cantilever bridges, which are not common, are constructed for situations where there are supporting teeth only on one side.

If you are in need of dental bridges, or would like to learn more about them, please contact Dana Walters DDS today.

 

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