Tag Archives: cavities

Halloween Candy: Tips for Your Teeth

Halloween was on Sunday which probably means your children have a bucket full of candy. You know that candy is bad for your teeth, but do you know why? It’s because your mouth already has plaque bacteria in it, and when you eat candy, the bacteria feed on sugars which then produce acids that attack your enamel. This is what causes tooth decay and cavities.

The best solution for your teeth would be to avoid candy altogether, but what fun is that? Here are some of the candies that are particularly bad for your teeth and why.

Harmful Candies for Your Teeth

Chewy Candy

Chewy candy is known as the worst of the worst. It sticks to your teeth, giving the bacteria more time to feed on the sugars and attack your enamel. You have to be more intentional about your brushing and flossing to rid your mouth of these candies, which is sometimes difficult for children. So, add chewy candies like caramel, bubble gum, gummies, and taffy to the “do not eat” list.

Hard Candy

Crunching down on hard candy can be very bad for your teeth. On top of the sugar, it can cause cracking or chipping. They also raise the acidity in your mouth, causing cavities.  Hard candies, like Lollipops or Jolly Ranchers, also often last a long time to finish, so your teeth are coated in sugar for an extended period of time.

Sour Candy

Like hard candy, the acidity in sour candies alone causes these candies to make the list. In addition, sour candies tend to be sticky as well. 

What You Can Do To Help

Avoid All Day Exposure

After Halloween, it’s easy, even for adults, to constantly snack on candy throughout the day simply because it’s there. This just prolongs the amount of time your teeth are exposed to harmful sugars. Try to just eat a couple of pieces after lunch or after dinner.

Brush and Floss

After eating candy, it’s best to brush and floss your teeth as soon as possible. This way, you get rid of as much sugar as you can before it has a chance to sit on your teeth and cause decay. Also, consider a mouthwash to further eliminate plaque, sugar, and acid from your teeth. 

Drink Water

Sometimes you can’t get to your toothbrush right away, so drink water to help wash away some of the sugars. It keeps your teeth from sitting in a sugar coating.

Pick an Alternative

There are a couple of alternatives to the candies listed above. The first is chocolate. Chocolate isn’t necessarily good for your teeth as it’s still full of sugar, but it dissolves quickly in your mouth and doesn’t have a lasting effect. Even better, try dark chocolate because it has less sugar. Another option is sugar-free candy or gum. This eliminates sugars in general.

Need to come in for a post-Halloween cleaning? Contact us today!

4 Reasons To Consider Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones born without them, most people get their wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 21. Your wisdom teeth grow in behind your molars on both the top and bottom of your mouth and can cause significant problems in your mouth long-term. So much so that most people eventually opt to have them removed. It’s a routine procedure – more than five million people have their wisdom teeth pulled every year! 

Not sure if it’s the right choice for you? Here are four reasons you should consider getting them removed.

Pain. Growing teeth can be very painful, but your wisdom teeth can be extra tricky because you are older and they are so far back in your mouth. Additionally, when they erupt through your gums, it can create an entryway for bacteria, leading to gum and jaw pain.

Jaw Damage. Sometimes, your wisdom teeth can’t find a place to come in, so they become impacted or remain below the gums. When this happens, the tooth can become infected, and in more severe cases, a cyst can form. This can damage the roots of other teeth and your jaw.

Space. For many people, by the time their wisdom teeth grow in, they’ve already spent years and thousands of dollars on braces to correct and straighten their teeth. For most, when your wisdom teeth grow in, you don’t have any more room in your mouth, and their arrival can cause overcrowding. These new teeth may push their way in, forcing your other teeth to move out of the way. This can all be avoided by just removing them.

Cavities. Your wisdom teeth are already tough to clean because they are so far back in your mouth. But when they grow in, they can cause your gums to swell. This can create pockets between your teeth which are even harder to clean. Not to mention if the wisdom teeth grow in at an improper angle, they may be impossible to clean.  As a result of all of this, you can experience accelerated tooth decay that leads to cavities. 

Many dentists recommend you remove your wisdom teeth before they have a chance to grow in and cause problems. The likelihood you’ll have to have them removed eventually is high, and having the surgery is easier at a younger age when your roots and bones aren’t fully formed. Recovery from the surgery is usually quicker for younger patients.

It is important to talk with your dentist about your child’s wisdom teeth in their late teens. Most of the time, a dentist can see the teeth on an x-ray before they erupt and can be dealt with before they have the chance to cause problems. If you have any questions about your wisdom teeth, make an appointment with us to get them checked out!

5 Myths About Cavities and How You Can Prevent Them

There’s tons of misinformation about teeth and dental health out there, so we’re here to set the record straight. Here are five myths about cavities and how you can prevent them.

Cavity Myth #1: Only sugar causes cavities. 

We’ve always been told that cavities come from overeating candy and sweets, but sugar isn’t the only culprit. Cavities come from bacteria left on your teeth after eating, which turns into plaque. This bacteria often comes from sugary foods like cookies and candy but can also come from healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. So, cavities can form after eating a wide range of foods, and you should develop the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal to avoid them.

Cavity Myth #2: Only brushing my teeth will prevent cavities.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Brushing your teeth is an essential step in an oral hygiene routine, but it won’t prevent cavities alone. You can still get cavities if you skip flossing, mouth rinse, and your bi-yearly teeth cleaning and checkup. Be sure you are flossing, brushing, and using mouth rinse at least twice daily to avoid oral health problems. 

Cavity Myth #3: Kids get more cavities than adults. 

This might come as a surprise to some, but kids are not prone to getting more cavities than adults. Children have historically gotten cavities at a higher rate than adults, but not because their teeth are more prone. This myth was busted when the rates of cavities in older adults skyrocketed in recent years. 

Cavity Myth #4: You’ll know when you have a cavity. 

Unfortunately, the only way you’ll know that you have a cavity is if it has advanced far enough to be painful. If you are going to your bi-annual dental cleaning and checkup, your dentist should catch problems before they become painful. That’s just one reason you should visit your dentist for checkups. 

Cavity Myth #5: Placing aspirin next to a cavity will help with the pain.

This one is definitely a myth. First, you must swallow pain relievers for them to work, so don’t use this as a healing method. Instead, call your dentist. If you have a toothache, it might be a cavity or something else. It’s best to address the issue as soon as possible. 

If you are experiencing tooth pain, or have missed your six-month checkup, contact our office