When You Must Indulge: 3 Rules To Make Eating Candy Less Harmful To Your Teeth

It’s no secret that candy is bad for your teeth, but does that really mean you have to choose between having healthy chompers and indulging your craving for sweets? If you’re willing to indulge your cravings in moderation and follow a few rules when doing so, maybe not. Following these three rules will reduce the harm your teeth suffer when you do choose to eat a little candy, and talk with a dentist for other tips on keeping your teeth in good shape.

Say “no” to overly sticky candy.

Sticky caramels and taffy are a bad idea for several reasons. First, they can pull fillings out of your teeth so that you need to have them replaced. Sometimes they may only loosen the filling, and you may not be aware of it until bacteria work their way into the crevices around the sides of the loose filling and begin causing decay. Second, sticky candies stick to the surface of your teeth, exposing them to sugar for longer periods of time. This sugar feeds oral bacteria, which then release acids that lead to tooth decay.

Instead of sticky candy, choose candy that has a bit of a crunchy texture and does not stick to your teeth. Chocolate bars and crispy, wafer-like candy are good choices.

When eating hard candies, stick with smaller sizes — and not suckers.

Sucking on hard candy is not particularly good for your teeth, either, since it bathes your whole mouth in sugar for the entire period of time that you suck. If you must have hard candy, choose smaller pieces, so they are not spending as much time in your mouth. Definitely say “no” to suckers — their large size means a long period of sugar exposure for your teeth. Sticking to sugar-free hard candy is another  option if you don’t want to choose between sweets and dental health. Some people find the taste unappealing, while others can barely tell the difference between sugar-free and regular hard candy, so it’s worth the try to see which camp you fall into.

Rinse your mouth out afterwards, or brush if possible.

Ideally, you would brush your teeth after indulging in a candy treat. However, this is not always possible. People tend to munch on candy when they’re in traffic, at a friend’s house, or sitting in a waiting room. If you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth out with water after eating candy. This will rinse most of the sugar off the surface of your teeth, slowing the tooth decay process.

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Gum Disease Destroying Your Teeth? 3 Reasons Why Delaying Dentures May Be Harmful To Your Health

Dentures are for older people. At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself. Unfortunately, if you keep delaying the dental work you need, you may do more than just postpone your dentures. If you suffer from gum disease and your dentist has recommended dentures, you shouldn’t postpone the procedure. Here are some of the health and dental issues you could face if you do.

Dental Infections

Gum disease is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in adults. If you suffer from gum disease that has not responded to treatment, your dentist may have recommended that you have your teeth extracted to prevent further damage.

Failure to follow your dentist’s recommendations may lead to dental infections that spread beyond the area around the affected tooth. In fact, infections can spread through your body, causing a septicemia – an infection of the blood system.

Bone Loss

Gum disease does more than just affect your gums. Gum disease, particularly periodontitis, also affects your jaw bone. Over time, untreated gum disease and tooth decay can cause bone loss. When this happens, even your healthy teeth will begin to suffer.

Your jaw bone will shrink, which will cause your healthy teeth to become loose. Not only that, but if you lose too much of your jaw bone, your dentures may not fit properly.

Unfortunately, once you begin to lose bone in your jaw, it will never grow back. The more severe the bone loss, the more difficult it will be to fit your dentures properly.

Health Issues

Gum disease doesn’t just cause dental problems. It can also cause serious health issues, especially if it goes untreated for too long. If you’re delaying dentures because you think you’re too young for dentures, you may be jeopardizing your health. Take a look at a couple of health problems you may develop.

Heart Disease

Periodontitis and the infections associated with the disease can lead to heart disease and strokes. Research has shown that gum disease can also cause existing heart conditions to get worse.

Diabetes

According to research, if you have diabetes, you’re at an increased risk of developing gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease makes it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.

You want to keep your teeth as long as possible. However, if you have gum disease, you may doing more harm than good. This list will help you understand why postponing your dental work may be jeopardizing your health.

Contact a clinic like Village Green Denture Clinic for more information.

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What Causes Erosion Of The Tooth Enamel

When you look closely at your teeth, it may appear that the enamel covering them is white. In actuality, the enamel is the clear top layer of the teeth that looks white because the white colored dentin layer underneath shows through. Keeping your teeth looking white and healthy can depend on the condition of the enamel. These are some things that can cause erosion of the tooth enamel.

Drinking Acidic Drinks

It is common knowledge that dark colored drinks, such as red wine or coffee, can stain the enamel of the teeth. This leaves you with dark looking teeth that are very unattractive.

However, did you know that the acid in red wine, coffee and soft drinks with a high sugar content can also cause the enamel to erode? Daily consumption of liquids that are highly acidic and contain sugar wears away the surface of the tooth enamel.

Digestive Problems

Those who suffer from digestive problems also commonly have dental problems. This is due to acid reflux from the stomach coming into contact with the teeth frequently. Acid from the stomach can cause the enamel to erode in the same way as acidic drinks.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders often trigger dental problems. This is particularly true for those with bulimia who force themselves to vomit frequently and cause acidic stomach fluids to pass through the teeth.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is another cause for erosion of the tooth enamel. Saliva is necessary to wash away damaging acids from foods and drinks. However, those who suffer from dry mouth do not have enough natural saliva to do this. This can cause the enamel to begin to erode rather quickly if not treated.

Those who use certain illicit drugs often suffer from dry mouth. This condition is also caused by certain prescription medications. It can be treated with dental products that help make the mouth produce more saliva.

Poor Dental Care Habits

Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of enamel erosion is poor dental care. If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, food remains on and between your teeth. Bacteria starts to grow and the damage to the enamel begins. This problem can be avoided by brushing and flossing after each meal.

Once the enamel begins to erode, you may notice spots on your teeth that seem softer and tend to flake off. When this occurs, it can lead to tooth decay as the dentin layer is no longer protected in the areas where the enamel has worn away. If you’re suffering from enamel erosion talk to a dentist (such as Dr. Roland DiGregorio).

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Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is a problem where your teeth react to hot and cold temperatures in an extreme way, often causing a painful feeling. It happens after the protective enamel on your teeth weakens, exposing the material underneath it. There are a few things that you may be doing that is causing your enamel to break down prematurely, making your teeth feel overly sensitive.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing twice a day is a great habit that will go a long way in protecting your teeth. Unfortunately, hard brushing does not make up for those times you forgot to brush, and could be causing more harm than good

Vigorous brushing is a way that the enamel on your teeth will weaken over time, exposing the dentin tubules underneath the enamel. If you naturally brush your teeth hard, consider switching to a softer toothbrush, because the bristles will not wear away at the enamel as easily.

Using Mouthwash Too Often

Mouthwash can freshen your breath and kill the germs that cause bacteria in your mouth, but it is possible to use mouthwash too often. Follow the directions, and stick to no more than once a day. Using mouthwash is not the only way to get fresh breath. Consider chewing gum after a meal instead. As long as it is sugar free gum, it should not do any damage to the enamel on your teeth.

Clenching And Grinding Your Teeth

If you have a bad habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, it could be a reason that your teeth are becoming more sensitive. The clenching and grinding motions slowly wear away at the protective enamel coating. Not only can it thin the enamel on your teeth, but eventually cause a tooth to crack.

For those that grind their teeth during the night unconsciously, you can have your dentist create a nighttime mouth guard for you.

Neglecting Dental Appointments

A cavity can lead to an increase in tooth sensitivity, because decay has caused your tooth to deteriorate through the enamel and exposed the dentin. That is why you need to visit a dentist regularly for your semi-annual 6 month appointment. Your dentist will also examine your teeth for thin enamel, and prescribe you a toothpaste that is designed to strengthen weak tooth enamel.

Now that you know more about what causes tooth sensitivity, you will take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring to you. To find out more, contact a company like Forest Lawn Dental Clinic.

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When Drugs Complicate Dental Care In Patients With Dementia

Having to deal with memory lapses makes it difficult for patients with dementia to remember something as simple as brushing their teeth. They therefore need help doing so. However, given that they are susceptible to heightened threat perception, this can also be difficult.

But even with all these challenges, taking care of a loved one with dementia might have still been manageable were it not for the complexity that medications add to the mix. Here is how drugs may be to blame for your problems.

Dry mouth effect

Most sedatives, antipsychotics and antidepressants that people with dementia take have serious side effects. Having a dry mouth is one of these side effects. And given the role that saliva plays when it comes to cleaning a person’s mouth, this may be one of the things that is making your work harder.

Without sufficient saliva, your loved one faces an increased risk of bacteria attacks. Add to this the discomfort that the lack of saliva lubrication will cause and what you end up with is an irritated patient who has an increased likelihood of contracting dental diseases.

The best way to go around this problem is to ask a doctor for an alternative prescription. And if there is none, opting for artificial saliva can help reduce the effect of a dry mouth. Making sure that your loved one takes an ample amount of water throughout the day will also help.

Syrup-based medication threat

Syrup-based medications usually contain sugars. These sugars tend to create a bacteria-friendly environment, something that will expose a loved one to the increased risk of dental infections.

Some dementia medications have sugar-free alternatives. It is therefore always advisable that you ask your loved one’s doctor if there are alternatives to the syrup-based medications that he or she is taking. If there are, use them. Doing so will go a long way in helping to reduce the increased tooth-decay risks that your loved one is exposed to.

Involuntary movements

Some drugs prescribed to dementia patients affect their muscles. They sometimes cause uncontrolled movements of a loved one’s jaws, something that can cause an incredibly high amount of discomfort. Cleaning the teeth of such a patient will therefore be a challenge.

If this happens to a loved one, it is advisable that you take him or her to a dentist. If he or she is using dentures, removal may be recommended – in severe cases. Also, a doctor may prescribe medication to counter the effects of the drug. For more information, speak with experts like those at the Durham Dental Centre.

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At-Home Oral Care Tips For Your Toddler

When it comes to taking care of your toddler, you have a lot of work on your hands. Not only should you be child-proofing your home and keeping your child away from hidden dangers, but you should also be doing your part to protect their oral health. Ensuring proper health for your child will serve as the foundation for good oral health as an adult. As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to accomplish this goal.

Limit Juice Intake

Some parents are under the impression that, simply because the juice bottle says 100% fruit juice, it’s totally safe for their child. However, this isn’t entirely the case. It’s important to understand that even too much of a good thing can be bad. While all natural, fruit juice is loaded with sugars and acids that, when consumed in large quantities, can promote tooth decay.

Tooth decay breaks down the outer layers of your child’s teeth, putting them at an increased risk for cavities and staining. Make certain you are limiting the amount of fruit juice you allow your child to consume each day. One serving a day is typically sufficient. If your child is still using a bottle, make certain you are putting them down for a nap with a bottle filled with water, not fruit juice.

Toss out the Pacifier

Contrary to popular belief, pacifiers aren’t all bad. For babies and very young toddlers, a pacifier is a great tool to help soothe and comfort your child. However, if your child is still using their pacifier when they start to approach the age of a preschooler, this could be damaging to their oral health. Extended pacifier use can have a negative effect on your child’s bite, preventing your child’s upper and lower teeth from lining up correctly.

This is especially true when their teeth are first developing. Additionally, if your child uses their pacifier when eating, bacteria and particles from the food they eat can also get trapped. Each time they put the pacifier in their mouth, they are also introducing this bacteria inside their mouth. This can also increase your child’s risk of developing cavities and lead to bad breath.

In addition to at-home care, make certain you are incorporating regular dental visits into your child’s oral care regimen. This won’t just ensure your child has a beautiful smile, but also a healthy one. For more information, contact a childrens dentist in Oakville.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Pericoronitis

The wisdom teeth are the very last molars to grow in, and by the time they make an appearance, there isn’t always room for them in your mouth. In some people, the wisdom teeth are completely trapped beneath the other molars, and can’t grow in at all. In other people, the wisdom teeth have enough room to partially break through the gums, but not to completely erupt. Pericoronitis is the name for the painful condition that results in the latter case. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

Why are partially erupted wisdom teeth a bad thing?

When your wisdom teeth are partially erupted, they create the perfect home for bacteria. Bacteria can enter through the opening in your gums and get trapped in the space between your gum tissue and your tooth. This area is very hard to clean. Over time, these bacteria will irritate your gum tissue which can lead to an infection. This infection is pericoronitis. 

How do you know you have pericoronitis?

The symptoms of pericoronitis are similar to other dental infections. The area around your wisdom teeth will be painful and swollen, and may appear red. If the infection starts to leak pus, you will notice a bad taste in your mouth, and your friends may tell you that your breath smells bad. 

If you notice these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist right away. Your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth to see if the wisdom teeth are partially erupted. 

Will your wisdom teeth need to be removed?

The wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed to treat pericoronitis. First, your dentist will give you antibiotics, which will clear the infection, sometimes for good. If the infection comes back, you will need further treatment. Your dentist can remove the gum tissue that’s blocking your wisdom tooth, which will make the area much easier to clean. If that doesn’t work, you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed

What happens if you don’t seek treatment?

Pericoronitis is an infection, and like other infections, if you don’t seek treatment, it will spread to other areas of your body. Infections in the mouth are very dangerous because they can easily spread to your tongue (causing swelling that can cause asphyxiation), the heart, or the brain. These infections can be fatal.

If your wisdom teeth have broken through your gum tissue but are still painful, you need to see your dentist. You could have pericoronitis, an infection that is easily treated, but if left untreated, can become serious. 

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