halloween dental

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween

While most of us consider Halloween to be one of the most fun times of the year, it doesn’t mean it’s a good enough reason to abuse your teeth. Maintaining excellent oral health is, after all, a vital aspect of our general health. So, unless you want to go to a dentist’s Halloween party this year, you must stay mindful of your sweet consumption. At our Stephen Spelman dental office, we’re all for indulging, but we also want to make sure you’re enjoying a healthy Halloween. Whether you have a sweet tooth or are searching for guidance on how to keep your child’s mouth cavity-free during Halloween, here are 9 recommendations for keeping teeth healthy.

dentist Halloween

Time To Eat Halloween Candies 

If you want to give yourself the best chance to save your teeth, you must time your treats accordingly. Interestingly, eating candy during (or shortly after) mealtime helps digestion as your saliva production is already high. This helps break down the candy quicker while it is in your mouth, minimizing any chance of decay and plaque build-up. 

1. Limit Family Candy Consumption 

If you want your kids to limit their candy intake, you will have to play by the same rules. Suppose you all collectively make a promise not to consume large quantities as a family. In that case, you can all hold each other accountable and help to prevent a family dentist Halloween trip.

2. Stay Away From Sweet Snacks 

Snacking any sort of candy treat will increase your risk of a Halloween dental mishap, but even more so if you prefer to snack on the sweet stuff. After all, sweet snacks are usually jam-packed with sugar, which, as you know, can be extremely harmful to your teeth and can cause cavities. 

3. Steer Clear Of Sticky Or Chewy Candy 

Sticky candy such as caramel, taffy, and gummy bears are notorious for causing dental issues, so do what you can to steer clear of them. The problem with these treats is that they cling to your teeth and are difficult to clean when brushing, meaning that the sugar has a longer amount of time to break down your enamel. 

4. Avoid Anything Sour 

The acidity of sour candies can cause serious harm to the enamel of your teeth. For those of you who don’t know, the enamel is the tooth’s hard outer covering protecting it. Unfortunately, enamel can actually start to disintegrate almost immediately after eating acidic food, so be aware of this if you want the Halloween dental blues.

5. Choose Sugar-Free Gums 

The more you can limit your sugar consumption, the better. If you are going to opt for some candies, then why not go for sugar-free gums? They taste great and don’t damage your teeth – plus, they are usually very low in calories, so your waistline will thank you too!

6. Reduce Sugary Drinks 

For the same reason listed above, sugary drinks are the enemy of good dental health. Drinking excessive amounts of sugary beverages such as soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks is a sure-fire way to book a dentist Halloween trip.

7. Drink More Water 

Water helps to clean your teeth and gums, washing away any residue left behind from consuming candy. 

8. Brush And Floss Teeth Soon After Eating Candy

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but you should try your best to brush your teeth after eating candies – especially if you eat sticky candy. As for flossing, decay-causing bacteria gets stuck between the teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach, which is why flossing is essential after eating large quantities of candies. 

As they say: “good things come to those who floss –  like healthy teeth & gums!”

9. Eat Dinner Before Trick-Or-Treating 

Just as you should never go to the supermarket when you’re hungry, you should try to avoid going trick-or-treating with an empty stomach. Of course, when you’re hungry, you will be more likely to say yes to any candy that you’re offered, which means you’re increasing the chances of the dreaded Halloween dental trip.

Consider Dentist-Approved Healthy Alternatives To Halloween Candy 

Not all Halloween treats have to harm your teeth, so why not start the trend of a healthy alternative to the sugary candies that people typically give out? Some examples of dentist Halloween-approved treats include pretzels, granola bars, cheese, sugar-free candy, nuts, and seeds. 

Does Halloween Cause Cavities? 

Of course not! Halloween itself doesn’t cause cavities. Whether or not this year’s events will end up being a Halloween dental disaster is all down to you. Try to stay in control of what you and your children consume, and make an effort to limit the number of sugary foods you eat. While it can be difficult to say no when there are so many tasty options around, your teeth will certainly thank you for it later down the line.

Conclusion 

So, there you have it. While Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year (especially for children), you must remain responsible and set a good example by not consuming too many sugary treats. Fortunately, you don’t need to miss out on all the fun as there are tons of dental-friendly alternatives out there. Just make sure you have the self-discipline to swap out the taffy for a sugar-free treat, and you’ll be good to go!

To arrange dental cleanings and exams for the entire family, call our office today. Both are essential for preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other essential issues.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

 

tooth extraction

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath after Tooth Extraction

bad breath after tooth extraction

Bad breath is a common after-effect of having a tooth extracted, as well as many other oral surgeries. Besides being unpleasant, bad breath after tooth extraction can be a sign of a bigger problem. It is usually not a cause for immediate concern, however, as many of the more serious problems that could occur after tooth extraction are accompanied by other, more noticeable symptoms.

So what causes bad breath after a tooth extraction, and what do you do about it?

Identifying The Causes of Bad Breath After Tooth Extraction

  • Bacterial Infection

Bad breath after a tooth extraction is sometimes caused by bacteria infecting the wound left by the extracted tooth. Many forms of oral bacteria create foul-smelling chemicals that are carried out of your mouth by your breath. In these cases, the bad breath is often accompanied by a fever, pus, and severe pain. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an infected wound, seek immediate treatment from your dentist.

  • Post-Surgery Bleeding

It is not uncommon for your gums to still be bleeding a little after surgery. The blood accumulating in your mouth, especially overnight, can give your breath an unpleasant smell. If bleeding persists after a tooth extraction, you should see your dentist to check if there is a problem.

  • Dry Socket

A dry socket is a condition that occurs when the blood clot over the empty tooth socket fails to form properly or becomes dislodged, exposing the bone to debris. Dry socket is most common after wisdom tooth extractions. You are more susceptible to the risk of the dry socket if you smoke or do not follow your dentist’s post-surgery instructions.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

It can be uncomfortable to brush your teeth properly after a tooth extraction, and a lot of people will avoid or only brush lightly over the area around where the tooth was extracted. This enables the bacterial plaque to form and can result in food getting stuck between your teeth and starting to rot, creating an unpleasant smell. 

After tooth extraction, it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene, as you have a wound in your mouth that needs to be protected from infection. 

  • Dry Mouth

Besides helping you to digest food, your saliva is also an important chemical that your body uses as a natural cleaning agent for your mouth. Saliva plays a vital role in washing bacteria and the smelly chemicals they produce out of your mouth. A reduction in your saliva production prevents this process from happening properly, giving you bad breath.

Reduced saliva production is a common side effect of many of the pain medications that are prescribed after tooth extraction. Since you will have a breathing tube inserted while under anesthetic that leaves your mouth open during the surgery, it is normal to wake up with a very dry mouth after a tooth has been extracted.

How To Deal With Bad Breath After a Tooth Extraction?

The most important and effective way to treat bad breath after a tooth extraction is to maintain good oral hygiene. Buy a toothbrush with very soft bristles, and ask your dentist about the best way to brush the affected area without disturbing the healing process. After the first few days, brush and use mouthwash after every meal, and remember to brush your tongue as well as your teeth, as your tongue can carry a lot of bacteria that can easily spread to your empty tooth socket. 

Mouthwash is the fastest way to get rid of any extra bacteria that might have built up in your mouth as a result of dryness post-surgery. Most dentists advise against using mouthwash in the first 24 hours after having your tooth extracted as the wound is still fresh.

The dryness itself will contribute to the causes of bad breath after oral surgery, so drink plenty of water, but avoid excessive rinsing and spitting, as this will get rid of the saliva that protects your mouth from bacteria and cleans away chemicals that can cause odor. 

If you are a smoker, smoking can greatly reduce the rate at which a wound in your mouth will heal, makes you more susceptible to dry mouth, and also puts you at greater risk of getting a dry socket. If you cannot give up nicotine for the duration of your recovery period, consider at least switching to a delivery mechanism that does not involve smoking, such as vaping. Although this still harms wound healing, it is far less detrimental than tobacco smoke.

Conclusion

If you have a bad breath after having a tooth extracted, there is no need to panic. If you are not experiencing any other symptoms such as pain, bleeding, or a fever, then it is unlikely that there is a serious problem. If your bad breath persists after a day or two, however, it is a good idea to see your dentist, both to make sure nothing is wrong and also to get their advice on what is causing it for you.

If any other negative symptoms occur after surgery, these could be a sign of something more serious and should be discussed with your dentist.

 

invisalign las vegas

What Are Braces, What Are They Used For?

Braces alternatives

Braces are dental appliances that use wire to apply pressure to your teeth, slowly moving them to correct their position and alignment. They are often used to move misaligned or crowded teeth, both for aesthetic reasons and to improve their function. Correcting misaligned teeth can make eating more comfortable and aid your long-term teeth and gum health, by distributing the pressure of biting and chewing more evening across your teeth. Crooked teeth can also make it more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene by obstructing brushing or flossing.

How To Avoid Braces? What Else Can You Use Instead of Braces?

Braces can be annoying to wear, as they make it difficult to eat and keep your teeth clean. Sometimes braces are the only way to correct a problem with your teeth alignment, but for many issues, other options for braces that are less inconvenient exist. 

Some types of misaligned teeth are unavoidable without using braces to correct them, such as tooth crowded, while others are caused by childhood habits. Other types can be caused as an adult, such as bruxism

Bruxism is a contraction of facial muscles during sleep that can be caused by your genetics, but it is also a common response to stress. Bruxism can cause you to grind your teeth or bite during sleep, which can push your teeth out of alignment over time. If you experience bruxism, reducing your stress levels, especially before sleep, could prevent you from needing braces further down the line.

Another common cause of crooked teeth in adults is the arrival of wisdom teeth. It is fairly common for your wisdom teeth to come out at the wrong angle because there is not enough room, apply pressure to the rest of your teeth. Having your wisdom teeth removed early can create more room for your teeth and relieve the pressure.

Your posture while sleeping might also contribute to crooked teeth, as it can create pressure pushing your teeth inward. A similar effect can be caused by resting your chin in your hand, or anything else that results in pressure on your jaw or mouth for long periods.

The Top Alternatives to Braces

  • Retainers

Retainers are a removable wire alternative to metal braces that can make more minor adjustments to your teeth’ alignment. You don’t need to wear them all day and can take them out whenever you want. Retainers are often worn while sleeping. They can only make small changes to your bite, however, and unless the misalignment of your teeth only needs slight correction, they are often used as a follow-up to more permanent braces.

  • Aligners

Aligners are a clear plastic-type of non-metal braces worn over your teeth that applies pressure to move them into the correct position. Invisalign aligners are removable and do not need to be worn all day. They can correct both major structural problems and make minor realignments to correct crookedness or gaps.

  • Veneers

If you want your teeth to be realigned for purely aesthetic reasons and they are not causing you any discomfort or health issues, you could consider getting veneers. Veneers are commonly used not just to cover damaged teeth, but they can also be used to cover tooth gaps and misalignments. Veneers are usually permanent or semi-permanent and some require a layer of tooth enamel to be removed to apply the veneers.

Veneers can be an easy alternative to braces for adults, but any teeth alignment issues in children should be properly corrected, as they can impact the future development of healthy teeth.

Braces Alternatives FAQs

Is There a Faster Alternative to Braces?

Braces can need to be worn for up to four years depending on the problems you are trying to correct. You can cut down this time significantly using accelerated orthodontics, which usually needs to be worn for less than eight months. There are various methods of accelerated orthodontics, all of which involve causing minor deliberate damage to the bone around your teeth. For example, osteoperforation involves drilling small holes near where your teeth connect to the bone. This stimulates your bone to grow faster, making your teeth shift into the correct position at a quicker rate.

Veneers provide an instant fix but do not correct any underlying misalignment issues that might be causing you pain or poor oral health.

Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Braces?

Aligners are generally cheaper than braces, although they may not be as effective as braces for every issue. Retainers are also cheap but are only effective for making minor adjustments to your teeth’ alignment.

Can I Get Veneers Instead of Braces?

Getting veneers will give you the appearance of having perfectly aligned teeth straight away, but they don’t fix any underlying issues that might be causing problems in your mouth. 

teeth whitening

Different Types Of White Spots on Teeth and What They Mean

las vegas dental whitening.

Have you recently noticed white patches on your teeth? Don’t panic, they might be nothing to worry about, and they are usually simple to treat.

What Are White Spots on Teeth?

White spots on your teeth can be an early sign of decay, although in some cases it is a purely cosmetic discoloration with no implications for your health or oral hygiene. In many cases, they can be prevented or treated to remove them and prevent further discoloration.

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

White spots on your teeth can be caused in adulthood, or as a child, depending on the reason. Some causes of white stains on teeth can be harmful if left unchecked, while others are benign:

The Cause of White Spots Teeth in Adults

White marks on teeth in adults are most commonly the result of the way your teeth developed as a child. Overconsumption and underconsumption of certain vitamins and minerals can affect the development of adult teeth when they are still growing. Genetics also play a factor in how susceptible your teeth are to developing white spots.

White patches on teeth that appear after you have reached adulthood are most likely an early sign of tooth decay. They can be addressed by improving your oral hygiene and can be covered by a resin to protect the tooth and limit further decay or the development of cavities.

The Causes of White Spot Teeth in Children

White patches on teeth in children are important to address, as white spots on baby teeth can be a sign of problems that may affect the development of their adult teeth.

One of the most common causes of white spots on teeth in children is swallowing toothpaste, as its high fluoride content can affect the growth of teeth, especially children’s teeth. This is because their adult teeth are still being developed, and too much fluoride in their system will affect how their teeth grow. Although mild cases of this are effectively harmless, more severe cases can weaken and thin the enamel layer on their adult teeth because of this.

Bacterial plaque is also a common cause of white teeth spots in children, often as a result of not brushing frequently enough, or not knowing how to brush their teeth correctly. It can also be the result of wearing braces, as wearing braces can make it difficult for your child to brush every part of their teeth effectively. While discoloration caused by plaque on baby teeth will not affect a child’s adult teeth, it can be a sign of poor oral hygiene habits that will affect their adult teeth if they are not improved.

Children can also develop white spots on teeth because of vitamin deficiencies in their diet, or vitamin deficiencies in their mother’s diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

Some people naturally have thinner enamel on their teeth which can lead to white spots on teeth. If you have always had white patches on your teeth that are not caused by other reasons, your children might inherit this susceptibility too. Eating too many sugary or acidic foods can also thin your child’s tooth enamel.

Different Types of White Spots on Teeth

  • Fluorosis

White patches on teeth are commonly caused by fluorosis, a condition resulting from ingesting too much fluoride. Swallowing toothpaste, drinking heavily fluoridated water, or taking fluoride supplements, are all common causes of fluorosis.

  • Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia is a tooth defect involving a thinner layer of enamel on the teeth than usual. In adults, it can be the result of vitamin deficiencies or physical damage to the teeth, and genetics also play a factor.

Sugar and acidic foods and drinks can also cause thin tooth enamel by dissolving the outer layer of your tooth enamel over time, as well as providing fuel for bacterial plaque to grow. This can be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene, as sugars and acids will do more damage the longer they are left on your teeth.

  • Demineralization

The accumulation of bacterial plaque on your teeth can decalcify your enamel over time. In these cases, the white spots are early signs of cavities that can be reversed if quickly addressed. Demineralization is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and is common for people who wear braces, as they can make cleaning your teeth more difficult.

  • Low Calcium Diet

Calcium is a vital mineral for the growth of healthy teeth. Increasing your intake of calcium can prevent or even reverse the development of white spots on teeth.

How Can I Get Rid Of White Spots On Teeth?

The best way to deal with white patches on teeth is to prevent them with good oral hygiene and to see a dentist at the first sign of white marks so they can advise you on the type of white spots you have and how to treat them. 

Treatments may include:

  • Topical fluoride may be prescribed if white spots are caused by a fluoride deficiency.
  • Micro-abrasion removes a layer of enamel from your teeth, which can remove some discolorations and stains.
  • Dentists can provide tooth whitening treatments to give your teeth a more uniform white color. Other tooth whitening products are available without a prescription, such as toothpaste, gels, and strips. These can take longer to work than dental bleaching treatments.
  • Veneers attach to the front of your teeth to hide the discoloration. They can be made to look very natural, although cheap or badly applied veneers can be easy to spot.

Conclusion

White spots on teeth can be caused by various factors in both childhood and adulthood. If you notice white spots on your teeth or your child’s teeth, talk to your dentist about it as there is plenty you can do about it. More importantly, the problem could get worse if you don’t address it on time.

bite udjustment

Signs You May Need Dental Bite Adjustment