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Dental Hygiene – The practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent oral disease, by regular brushing and flossing and visits to a dentist.

Halloween time is a fun time for the whole family…the weather begins to turn, leaving cooler weather for lots of quality family time. It also means its time to pick out Halloween costumes for the kids and family as well as looking forward to collecting bags full of candy from the neighbors and at school. In those bags of candy lies an unsuspecting hazard…Sugar! Sugar consumption without proper dental hygiene leads to tooth decay.

But this time does not have to be a time being scared of possible dental issues following Halloween. It can give parents and children alike a chance to learn new dental hygiene tricks to maintain their dental health throughout the year.

Dental Hygiene Tips

By following the dental hygiene tips below, parents can help prevent tooth decay for their trick or treaters while teaching them good dental hygiene habits:

1. Be Selective. Not all of the Halloween treats are scary. A good dental hygiene tip is to encourage kids to eat candy that melts fast and can be eaten quickly. Try to avoid gooey, sticky sweets (like caramels) that can linger on in the mouth and on the teeth. This will allow the bacteria in the mouth to produce more acid which will cause tooth decay. Remind kids after eating any sugary candy to brush their teeth or at the very least rinse their mouths out with water. This will lessen the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with the teeth. A really good idea might be to buy a new toothbrush that is Halloween related as a final “treat”.

2. Hide the excess candy. Do not just leave the Halloween candy around the house after the Halloween trick or treating is over. Store it in a secret place out of reach from kids and adults.

3. Avoid grazing. If you maintain dental hygiene tip #2 this should not be an issue. The idea is not to just keep picking at the candy throughout the day. This reduces the time the sugars are in the mouth decreasing chance of tooth decay. A better idea is to hold back candy and use it as an after meal treat. Then have your child immediately brush and rinse to neutralize the sugar and acid production. Another option, if you cannot brush or rinse is to give them a sugar free xylitol gum. The gum will help increase salivary flow which will also help to neutralize the acids in the mouth.

4. Eat a Healthy Meal first. Have children not fill up on snacks and Halloween candy but fill up on a healthy nutritious meal first. This will give them less temptation to overdo their candy consumption. This is a good dental hygiene tip for all year and not just Halloween time.

So there you have it, a few easy dental hygiene tricks to allow you and your family to fully enjoy the Halloween time. Candy is not necessarily the enemy, the enemy is not maintaining a diligent dental hygiene regimen. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.



Use of an anti bacterial mouthwash can be an important part of everyone’s dental hygiene. Many people have been instructed to brush and floss regularly but did you know that using an anti bacterial mouthrinse can be just as important? Walking down the aisle of any grocery or drug store can be quite confusing as there are a ton of options.

Types Of Mouthwash

Therapeutic Mouthwash. This type of mouthwash is meant to fight off dental diseases like tooth decay and periodontal disease. These will have anti bacterial and anti plaque (tartar control) properties. By reducing plaque and tartar you will decrease the risk of periodontal disease as well as decrease gum inflammation. They may also contain fluoride which will help in the fight against tooth decay.

Cosmetic Mouthwash. These include agents to freshen your breath. They can also include whitening agents. Generally, these mouthwashes do not include any therapeutic agents.

Therapeutic Mouthwash Advantages

-Mouthwash With Fluoride. Fluoride mouthwashes have the ability to possibly help decrease the risk of tooth decay. There have been numerous research studies over the years to prove that fluoride can strengthen and reduce the breakdown of enamel thereby reducing the possibility of tooth cavities. This will not work for all but has been proven to be a benefit for many. Some fluorides are also good antibacterials and help fight periodontal disease (example – stannous fluoride).

-Periodontal Disease Fighter. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque from bacteria and food that sticks to teeth. As the bacteria feed on the food particles they release acids that will break down the bone and cause inflammation of the gum tissue. Our body responds and causes bone loss and inflamed, infected gums. An antibacterial mouthwash may help prevent periodontal disease by decreasing the amount of bad bacteria in the mouth. There is also type of rinse (Periogen) that has been found to dissolve tartar, stains, and plaque. This rinse is a great way to keep your teeth from rebuilding tartar between cleanings. This is a powder that can be diluted with water in a waterpik and tends to be even more effective if a capful of your fluoride rinse is added to it.

-Help Keep Pregnancy Gingivitis At Bay. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene at all times but for certain groups it is even more important. For pregnant women it can be critical to control oral health. During pregnancy, a woman’s hormones are elevated which makes them more susceptible to developing periodontal disease if their dental hygiene is not maintained. Periodontal disease in pregnant women has been linked to low weight and pre term babies.

Help Diabetics. Patients with systemic diseases that make them more susceptible to infection like diabetics need to reduce the bacteria they are ingesting. It is even more critical to maintain good oral hygiene and mouthwashes are definitely recommended for those patients.

Therapeutic Mouthwash Disadvantages

-Canker Sore Irritant. This is caused when the alcohol content in your mouthwash is too high. It will irritate the canker sore and make it quite uncomfortable to use.

-Cover Up For Bad Breath. Use of a mouthwash can definitely lead to fresher breath but it is usually only for a short period of time. Only some mouthwashes are formulated to actually neutralize odor causing chemicals (example Closys). Not maintaining your dental hygiene, or chemicals from your diet are usually the underlying factors in most people’s bad breath but the mouthwash will just mask it for a short time.

Alcohol Based Mouthwash. Studies (Listerine) have shown that rinses with alcohol, if used as directed can actually cause saliva production to be stimulated in a semi dry mouth. The alcohol in mouth rinses has historically been used as a way to cause the essential oils (the bacteria killing aspect) in the rinse to keep from separating out in the liquid, and staying mixed. No one wants to rinse with something oily feeling. There are now quite a few alternatives to alcohol to do the job, so alcohol free rinses have become more prevalent. Many people do not like the burning sensation of alcohol, and in people with little to no saliva flow, alcohol based rinses can be quite uncomfortable. The choice is based on personal preferences.

Mouthwash Use Conclusion

Using a mouthwash can be another tool to keep your mouth healthy and free of periodontal disease. If you decide to use a mouthwash as part of your dental hygiene routine remember to continue brushing and flossing as well. They work together not separately. There are a lot of mouthwashes on the market today, talk to your dentist to see which one is right for you.

 



Choosing a toothbrush seems like a simple task but walking down the aisle of the local drug store you will see countless options. The options can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to look for. In many cases, toothbrush choice comes down to preference. The best toothbrush you can buy is one you will use at least 2x a day. Below you will find some tips on how to choose the right toothbrush for you.

Toothbrush Tips

Should You Use A Manual Toothbrush Or An Electric Toothbrush? – Both types are very effective at maintaining dental hygiene. However, for some the electric toothbrush will work better. This includes children, those with limited dexterity, and many seniors. It all comes down to choice and preference here. Manual toothbrushing can be just as effective as using an electric toothbrush in the right hands.

Hard Or Soft Bristles? – Stay away from toothbrushes with hard bristles. They are unnecessary and will end up doing more harm than good. Soft bristled toothbrushes are more than capable to remove plaque and food debris from our teeth. The goal is to clean our teeth not to damage them or the surrounding tissues.

Small Or Large Brush Head? – This comes down to personal preference. A good toothbrush is one that is able to reach all areas of the mouth and also be comfortable. If a smaller brush head is more comfortable for you then choose that one.

Toothbrush handle. Again, this comes down to comfort. Some toothbrushes have a grip to them and some do not. Use what is comfortable for you.

American Dental Association (ADA) Seal Of Approval. This seal is earned by the toothbrush manufacturer once it proves its toothbrush is safe and effective in brushing our teeth. The ADA states that for a toothbrush to qualify for a seal of approval it must meet the following criteria:

-All components of the toothbrush are safe for use in the mouth.
-Toothbrush bristles are not sharp or jagged, and will not fall out with normal usage.
-Handle material has been shown to be durable with normal usage.
-The toothbrush can be used by the average adult to significantly decrease gingivitis and plaque build up.
-Electric toothbrushes must meet additional safety requirements. This includes undergoing at least one clinical investigation to show the product is safe and effective for use.

When Should I Replace My Toothbrush? – A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice the bristles are beginning to wear down. A worn down toothbrush will not maintain your dental hygiene as effectively as a newer one. It is a minimal cost to maintain your beautiful smile. Also, if you get sick, you should change toothbrushes after getting better so you are not reinfecting yourself with bad germs.

Toothbrush Choice Conclusion

So, the bottom line is to choose a toothbrush that is most comfortable for you to use. After all, if the toothbrush is uncomfortable to you, you will not use it effectively or regularly. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental examinations.




Snap on smile is a newer technique to easily give you the smile of your dreams. For many there are hurdles to a beautiful smile, like cost, time, and even fear of dentistry. Snap on smile is a removable appliance that can be custom made to fit over your existing teeth. The advantage to this process is there is no need to do any permanent damage to your existing teeth. While a snap on smile can be used temporarily or in a more permanent manner, it still requires care and maintenance.

What Is A Snap On Smile?

Snap on smile is a revolutionary solution for many cosmetic dental issues. The beauty of the snap on smile is that it is a totally reversible cosmetic dentistry option. The snap on smile is much more affordable than porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. In general, the snap on smile procedure costs as much as a single porcelain crown.

Snap on smile is a removable arch of “teeth” which is designed to snap over the existing teeth. The snap on smile removable appliance is made from an extremely strong dental resin. It can be used as a short term or a long term cosmetic dentistry option. The following are the steps involved in the fabrication of a custom snap on smile:

Dental Impressions. This will include impressions of the teeth, photographs, along with a bite registration. A bite registration allows the dental lab to know the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. At this visit you and your dentist will also pick out the style, shape, and color of your new smile.

Dental Laboratory. The information gathered by the dentist is then sent off to the dental laboratory. The dental technician will digitally create the custom made snap on smile.

Snap On Smile Insertion. Following custom fabrication by the dental laboratory, your cosmetic dentist will then place the final product over your teeth. The snap on smile pops right in over your own teeth and should fit perfectly with little, if any modification.

The snap on smile is so simple to complete without the need for removing any of your natural tooth structure or need to use any anesthesia. The beauty is that it is completely removable at any time with no effect to your natural teeth.

Care And Maintenance Of Snap On Smile

As with any type of removable dental appliance, there are at home dental care instructions that should be followed in order to keep your Snap On Smile in the best condition possible and to extend the lifespan of the dental appliance.

Daily Cleaning. Each and every time you remove the snap on smile appliance it should be cleaned. It is also important to clean your teeth as well. This will ensure you do not develop tooth decay or periodontal disease. To clean your snap on smile, you can use a toothbrush to scrub and clean it so it is free of debris and bacteria. This is especially important since food, bacteria and debris can become trapped between the snap on smile and your teeth or gums, which can increase the chance of tooth decay or dental infection. You should also continue your dental hygiene routine each morning before you re-insert your snap on smile into your mouth.

Avoid Staining Foods And Drink. Your snap on smile is made of a durable resin material but it can be prone to staining just as your natural teeth are. Try to avoid coffee, red wine, and cigarettes if you are concerned about staining your snap on smile. While the snap on smile is quite resistant to many stains it is best to follow a strict cleaning schedule to ensure the stains do not develop.

Avoid Chewy, Sticky Foods. Even though your snap on smile is made of a durable dental resin it can break with sufficient force. You should also avoid chewing on ice or non food items like pens or pencils.

Remove Snap On Smile Properly. Always remove your Snap On Smile with both hands by gently rocking it from side to side. Avoid twisting the appliance when removing your snap on smile.

Snap On Smile Conclusion

The snap on smile is made from a durable dental resin material but the material does have a limited life. With proper care, it can last for a long time giving you many years of smiles.