Posts for: October, 2017
Halloween means loads of fun for kids everywhere: a chance to put on fanciful costumes and have some safe, spooky enjoyment. But the reward for all that trick-or-treating — bags full of sugary candy — can create monstrous problems for young smiles, in the form of tooth decay. Short of taking all those treats away, are there any ways to lessen the impact on your children’s teeth?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the answer is: Yes!
As long as kids are brushing twice and flossing once a day, it’s okay for them to enjoy a few sweet treats on Halloween. But starting that same night, or the next day, you can help protect them from cavities. Here’s how:
Sort It Out:
Some treats are potentially more damaging to teeth than others. For example, candy that’s sticky and clings to teeth — like gummy bears and taffy — takes longer to get cleared away by saliva. Lengthier contact with the teeth increases the risk of tooth decay. The same is true for sweets that stay in the mouth for a long time, like hard candy. Sour candy is often acidic, and that acid can weaken the hard enamel coating of teeth, making them more prone to decay. But there’s some good news: Chocolate, a favorite treat, washes off the teeth relatively quickly — and dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Give It Away:
You can always give away some or all of your candy stash to people who will appreciate it: first responders or troops serving overseas, for example. Some organizations sponsor donation (or even buyback) programs. Try searching the web for programs like “Operation Gratitude,” among others.
Timing Is Everything:
If you do allow candy, limit it to mealtimes. That’s when saliva production is at its peak — and saliva helps neutralize acids and wash away food residue that can cause cavities. Whatever you do, don’t let kids snack on sweet treats from the candy dish throughout the day: This never gives your mouth a chance to bounce back from the sugary saturation.
Get Healthy Hydration:
For quenching thirst, water is the best choice. It helps your body stay properly hydrated and is needed for healthful saliva production. Sugary or acidic beverages like sodas (regular or diet), so-called “sports” or “energy” drinks, and even fruit juices can harm teeth. Fluoridated water (like most municipal tap water) has been shown to help prevent tooth decay. If you drink bottled water, look for a fluoridated variety.
Following these tips — and making sure your kids maintain good oral health with brushing, flossing, and routine dental office visits — will help keep them safe from cavities, not only at Halloween but all year long. If you have questions about cavity prevention or oral hygiene, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tooth Decay — How to Assess Your Risk” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
The next time you visit your dentist you might see an item quite different from the other dental instruments and equipment in the office: a blood pressure cuff. Checking blood pressure is becoming a more common occurrence in dental offices across the country.
Abnormal blood pressure and some of the medications used to treat it are often a factor in some dental procedures, particularly if anesthesia is involved. But your dentist may also check your blood pressure for another reason: dental visits represent another avenue to screen for this condition that increases the risk of serious health problems.
Undiagnosed high blood pressure is a prevalent but often “silent” problem because the early stages of the condition may not display any symptoms. Many people first become aware they have an issue only after a blood pressure check at their family doctor, pharmacy or a health fair, for example. Otherwise, they could go months, even years without this vital knowledge about their health.
But while people may only visit their doctor once a year (or less) many see their dentist much more often, even twice a year, for routine cleanings and checkups. Including blood pressure screenings as a routine part of dental treatment could alert patients to a potential issue much earlier than their next doctor’s visit.
In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association looked at a group of dental patients with no reported heart disease risk and who had not seen a doctor in the twelve months before their dental visit. During their visit their blood pressure was checked. Of those then referred to a physician for an abnormal reading, 17% learned for the first time they had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s estimated about 80 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and many don’t even know it. Diagnosing and controlling high blood pressure is a key factor in treating these life-threatening conditions. And many dentists are joining the fight by making this simple screening method a part of their dental care services.
If you would like more information on blood pressure screening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Monitoring Blood Pressure: What you don't know can hurt you.”
This tooth replacement may be exactly the treatment you’ve been looking for.
Dealing with tooth loss of any magnitude, whether it’s just one tooth or all of your teeth, can be a devastating experience. After all, you thought you would have your teeth forever. Unfortunately, there are many problems that can arise that can result in tooth loss. If this problem has happened to you, our Ajax, ON, dentists - Dr. Saeid Jafarpour, Dr. Kevin Kwong and Dr. Azza Elhaddad - are here to tell you how dental implants might be able to set things straight!
Sure, losing a permanent tooth immediately leaves an unsightly gap in your smile. Of course, there are a host of other complications that can befall your smile if you ignore your tooth loss. It’s important that you not only get a tooth replacement quickly but that you choose one that will offer the most benefit to your oral health.
One complication of untreated tooth loss is jawbone loss. The bone requires ample stimulation from tooth roots in order to thrive and stay healthy. When a tooth falls out or is extracted, the jawbone will no longer get the proper stimulation it needs, which will cause it to deteriorate.
Fortunately, dental implants are designed to take over the role and function of tooth roots, even going so far as to prevent the bone from losing density and shape. This is just one of the major benefits to getting dental implants from our Ajax implant dentists.
Whether you need to replace one or all of your missing teeth, dental implants can help. Implants are placed into a drilled hole in the jawbone where, over time, the metal implant will fuse together with the bone and tissue as it heals. Once the implant and jawbone have joined together it creates a reliable and long-term foundation from which to support an artificial tooth.
If you are replacing a single missing tooth then a dental crown will be custom-made and placed over the implant to complete the restoration. Of course, multiple implants can be placed along the jawbone to support a dental bridge or full set of dentures (if you are dealing with complete tooth loss).
If you are ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for dental implants then it’s time you scheduled a consultation with us in Ajax, ON. Call Ajax Dental Centre today to find out how implants could restore your smile for life.