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.”
Dentures, like tooth loss in general, tend to be associated with old age. And while the risk of tooth loss and gum disease does typically tend to be higher after age 65 according to the American Dental Association, younger adults in their 30s and 40s are not immune to gum disease and tooth loss. In fact, over 45% of American adults over age 30 are missing at least one tooth, according to statistics. The dentists at Linden Dental, in Naples, FL, offer full and partial dentures for various degrees of tooth loss.
Fix Your Smile with Dentures in Naples, FL
Tooth loss - whether it consists of a single tooth, several, or all - can have a profound impact on everything from a person's social life to their oral and general health. Difficulty eating and speaking clearly, social embarrassment, and oral health problems like bone loss and gum disease are all common problems that come along with tooth loss. Dentures can help to solve many of the problems presented by tooth loss.
Types of Full and Partial Dentures
There are two main categories of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures treat complete tooth loss when all of the natural teeth are missing on the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures can fill gaps when there are some healthy teeth remaining.
The three types of full dentures include:
Conventional full dentures - Permanent removable pair of dentures custom designed to conform to your gums once they have healed if extractions were involved, or after a period of time after the initial tooth loss.
Implant supported overdentures - Implants are surgically placed in the gums to replace the root of missing teeth. With a few implants, dentures can be attached for a more secure fit (not removable).
Immediate dentures - A temporary pair that can be worn immediately after tooth loss while the gums are healing and the permanent pair is ready.
The two types of partial dentures include:
Removable partial dentures - Made of a removable metallic wire base, partial dentures are similar to a dental bridge.
Transitional partial dentures - A temporary pair made of plastic, transitional partial dentures can be worn as the gums heal and you wait for a permanent pair.
Find a Dentist in Naples, FL
Tooth loss happens, but you are not stuck with a damaged and incomplete smile. For more information on the different types of dentures and to find the smile restoration option that is best for you, contact Linden Dental by calling 239-593-0777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Linden or Dr. Maria Linden today.
While crooked teeth are usually responsible for a malocclusion (poor bite), the root cause could go deeper: a malformed maxilla, a composite structure composed of the upper jaw and palate. If that’s the case, it will take more than braces to correct the bite.
The maxilla actually begins as two bones that fit together along a center line in the roof of the mouth called the midline suture, running back to front in the mouth. The suture remains open in young children to allow for jaw growth, but eventually fuses during adolescence.
Problems arise, though, when these bones don’t fully develop. This can cause the jaw to become too narrow and lead to crowding among the erupting teeth and a compromised airway that can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. This can create a cross-bite where the upper back teeth bite inside their lower counterparts, the opposite of normal.
We can remedy this by stimulating more bone growth along the midline suture before it fuses, resulting in a wider maxilla. We do this by installing a palatal expander, an appliance that incrementally widens the suture to encourage bone formation in the gap, which over time will widen the jaw.
An expander is a metal device with “legs” extending out on both sides and whose ends fit along the inside of the teeth. A gear mechanism in the center extends the legs to push against the teeth on both sides of the jaw. Each day the patient or caregiver uses a key to give the gear a quarter turn to extend the legs a little more and widen the suture gap. We remove the expander once the jaw widens to the appropriate distance.
A palatal expander is an effective, cost-efficient way to improve a bite caused by a narrow jaw, but only if attempted before the bones fuse. Widening the jaw after fusion requires surgery to separate the bones — a much more involved and expensive process.
To make sure your child is on the right track with their bite be sure to see an orthodontist for an evaluation around age 6. Doing so will make it easier to intervene at the proper time with treatments like a palatal expander, and perhaps correct bite problems before they become more expensive to treat.
If you would like more information on treating malocclusions, 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 “Palatal Expanders: Orthodontics is more than just Moving Teeth.”