HALLOWEEN IS OUR
favourite spooky time of year, but when it comes to sugar’s
effects on teeth, all that candy can be downright scary. The reason sugar is
bad for our teeth is that it feeds harmful oral bacteria
excrete acid, and the acid erodes enamel and leads to tooth decay. So how can
we keep our costumed Halloween adventures clear of tooth decay?
Ranking Candy On Dental Health
Very few houses give away treats like sugar-free xylitol gum to trick-or-treaters, so the chances are slim that the candy will actually be healthy. However, some types of sugary candy are worse than others , or present different kinds of problems.
Reducing The Candy Quantity
Being picky about which types of candy we eat is one way to reduce the risk of tooth decay, but an even better way to do that is by simply eating less candy . As parents, we can help our children out with this by coming up with a plan before trick-or-treating time. We could let them trade the bulk of their candy haul for some kind of non-candy prize or limit the number of houses they visit. We just have to make sure to discuss the plan with them in advance.
More Tooth-Healthy StrategiesThere are a few other simple things you can do to reduce the dental effects of all that Halloween candy. You can drink more water to rinse out the sugar, limit the frequency of candy consumption more than the quantity, and wait thirty minutes after eating candy to brush your teeth. The reason for that last one is that it takes your saliva about half an hour to stabilize the pH of your mouth after eating sugar.
Keeping Teeth Healthy Year-Round
The Halloween season will come to an end, but the job of keeping our teeth healthy is never done! Make sure you’re always brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, keeping those sugary treats to a minimum, and scheduling regular dental visits!Have a spooky Halloween!
BECAUSE PREVENTION IS
such a major part of good dental care, it’s critical to visit
the dentist for regular check-ups. In most cases, two regular dental
cleanings a year will be all you need, but not always. So what are the signs
that you shouldn’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to come back?
For this blog post, we’ve listed the top five.
EVEN THOUGH WE ALL
know how important it is to go to the dentist, dental anxiety can
make many people avoid crucial dental check-ups. For some, dental anxiety
starts in childhood and lasts a lifetime. How can we help our children start
out with a positive mindset towards the dentist so that they will always seek
the professional care and attention their teeth need as adults?
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of “Mountain Dew Mouth”? It’s what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda. The term comes from rural Appalachia, where that particular drink has long been the carbonated beverage of choice and tooth decay is alarmingly common. But this doesn’t just happen in Appalachia, and Mountain Dew isn’t the only drink that contributes to tooth decay.
The Dangers Of Sugary Drinks
When we eat or drink something with sugar in it, the sugar sticks to our teeth afterward. Sugar itself doesn’t do any damage to our oral health, but it is unfortunately the favourite food of the bacteria that lives in our mouths. These bacteria eat the sugar and then excrete acids that erode our tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. They also cause inflammation that increases the risk of gum disease.
Any source of sugar can negatively impact oral health . Sugary drinks (including fruit juice, but especially soda) are particularly dangerous because they aren’t filling like solid food and are therefore easy to keep drinking.
Effects Of Carbonation
So if sugar is the problem, then can’t we keep our teeth healthy by switching to diet soda instead of giving up carbonated beverages altogether? Diet soda is certainly an improvement, but sugar isn’t soda’s only threat to dental health . The other is acid. Sugar leads to tooth decay because oral bacteria eat sugar and excrete acid that erode tooth enamel. Soda cuts out the middle man and applies acid directly to the teeth.
Even diet sodas and
carbonated water contain acid. The three types of acid
commonly found in soda are citric, phosphoric, and carbonic.
Any drink with citrus flavouring will have citric acid, many colas get their
flavour from phosphoric acid, and carbonic acid is what makes these drinks
fizzy in the first place.
WE’VE ALL HEARD OF
the Tooth Fairy, even if the details are a little different from one family to the next. But did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only common in certain countries? Across the world, there are many different ways families celebrate a child losing a tooth!
El Ratoncito Perez And La Petite Souris
In many countries, instead of a tooth fairy, they have a tooth mouse ! Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico have their teeth swapped for coins by El Ratoncito Perez (also known as Raton Miguelito). La Petit Souris (Little Mouse) collects the baby teeth of children in France and Switzerland.
Some countries like Argentina also have a tooth mouse, but instead of putting the tooth under a pillow, children place it in a glass of water and wait for a coin to take its place by morning!
Children of other countries that celebrate this mythical mouse believe if they put their tooth under their pillow, the mouse won’t trade it for money or candy, but it will guarantee that the new tooth grows in strong and healthy.
Tooth To The Roof
In countries like Greece, China, Singapore, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth on the roof . Some of these countries believe if the tooth lands straight, the new tooth will grow in straight, but if it lands crooked, the new tooth will grow in crooked! Do you have good enough aim for that tradition?
Native American Traditions
There are many different ways American Indian tribes celebrate losing a tooth. The Cherokee Indian children would run around the house with the tooth and throw it on the roof while saying, “Beaver, put a new tooth in my jaw!” four times.
The children of the Dene Yellowknives, on the other hand, give the lost tooth to their mother or grandmother, who in turn puts the tooth in a tree. Then the family dances around the tree to encourage the tooth to grow in as straight as the trunk!
The Tooth Fairy And Money
The tradition we’re most familiar with, of course, is the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, Denmark, England, and Australia, when a child loses their tooth, they put it under their pillow at night in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will come and replace it with money (or sometimes candy).If your or your children are bored with the Tooth Fairy and are looking for ways to spice up your family traditions , here are a few neat alternatives you could try instead of just replacing the tooth with money! If you’re really good at video editing and special effects, you might even do something like this:
MAINTAINING GOOD ORAL HEALTH
is crucial for everyone, but that can mean different things for men than for women. That’s why we’ve put together a list of concerns men should particularly watch out for, as well as some tips for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy!
Brush That Charming Smile!
Many women say a man’s most attractive feature is his smile. However, on average, men tend not to take care of their teeth as well as women do, and that puts those charming smiles at risk! According to a national survey, men were 20% less likely than women to brush their teeth twice a day, and they also change their toothbrushes less often. Make sure you’re brushing two minutes twice a day and regularly replacing that toothbrush like you’re supposed to!The good news? Your luxurious beard might actually be helping you keep harmful germs away from your face and out of your mouth!
THE DISEASE WE USUALLY
think of when we hear “health risks of smoking” is lung cancer,
but the damage smoking can cause isn’t limited to the lungs. A smoking habit
can do a lot of harm to oral health as well, far beyond merely staining the
teeth and causing bad breath. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ways
this can happen.
Smoking Harms The Gums
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, begins with inflammation of the gums. If untreated, it can lead to extensive damage to gum and supporting bone tissue, and it enables bacteria to spread from the mouth all through the bloodstream. Smoking introduces hundreds of toxins into the mouth , which not only doubles the risk of developing gum disease, it makes it harder to treat.
Whitening Of The Oral Mucosa
Stomatitis Nicotina, or smoker’s keratosis, is the inflammatory swelling of mucous glands in the mouth. This shows up as thick, whitish patches on the roof of the mouth. While it is usually not painful, smoker’s keratosis can be pre-cancerous.
Increased Risk Of Oral Cancer
A staggering 80 per cent of people diagnosed with oral cancer are smokers. Oral cancer affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Early symptoms include persistent mouth sores or pain, unusual white patches in the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness, swelling, and a sensation of something caught in the throat that won’t go away. Because many of these symptoms can be caught early at a regular dental exam, the dentist is your first line of defence against oral cancer .
The Harm Isn’t Limited To The Smoker
Second-hand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Not only does smoking affect the oral health of the smoker, it can put the oral health of everyone around them at increased risk too , in addition to many other negative health effects. Infants and young children are most likely to suffer from this smoke with asthma attacks, infections, and even SIDS.
Breaking The HabitThe good news is that smoking is the most preventable cause of all of these dental health problems, because we can either quit smoking or never start. Even someone with a long history of smoking can significantly reduce their risk of health complications by quitting, so don’t assume there’s nothing to be gained by kicking the habit.