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With Halloween fast approaching, most kids (and some parents!) do not consider the dental implications to the candy consumption that will go on on around Halloween. Those sweets don’t just

Halloween Marielaina Perrone DDS

Happy Halloween!

take a toll on your waistline, they can also damage your teeth. These treats can put your teeth at risk very quickly if proper dental hygiene is not maintained. This is not to say you and your children should not enjoy Halloween but there needs to be some thought to maintaining your teeth during Halloween time.

Top 5 Worst Halloween Candies for your Teeth

1. Gummy Bears, fruit gummies. Not only are gummy bears a candy that is sticky and tends to linger in the mouth it is pure sugar. A single serving of gummy bears contains about 30 grams of sugar. This equals to about 8 teaspoons of pure sugar sticking to your teeth and in between them. Worse are sour gummies wish also have a high amount of acid added for their sour flavor. Dental tip: Avoid gummies on Halloween and the rest of the year as well.

2. Starburst Chews. This taffy like candy has about 22 grams of sugar per serving (about 9 pieces). Starburst candy is another sticky candy that will stick to your teeth and linger unless removed. The sugar will be fed on by the bacteria in the mouth which in turn produce the acids that cause tooth decay.

Halloween candy Marielaina Perrone DDS

Halloween Candy Tootsie Rolls

3. Tootsie Rolls. Another candy with a high sugar count, tootsie rolls are so sticky that the candy can pull out dental work like a crown or filling when you bite into them. Tootsie rolls, like all sticky candies, get stuck in between teeth which prolongs the exposure to sugar in your mouth. This increases your risk of tooth decay.

4. Gobstoppers, jawbreakers. Gobstoppers claim to fame on this list is not from its sugar content. While still quite high at 14 grams of sugar per serving, gobstoppers are bad because they take so long to consume, and most people bite into them to crack them as they get smaller. This leaves your teeth exposed to the sugar content longer than the other candies on the list, and makes it easier to fracture a tooth.

5. Blow Pops. The effect these have on your teeth is very similar to the Gobstoppers. They are in your mouth for a very long time and then you get a sugary gum to chew on the inside, these are also bitten into, but usually with front teeth. Double whammy!

Tips to Avoid Tooth Decay

We all know Halloween candy will be consumed and it is a time to enjoy that freedom. But everything must come in moderation. If you choose to indulge in the candy for Halloween, please

Happy Family Marielaina Perrone DDS

Have a Safe, Happy Halloween!

follow these simple steps to avoid tooth decay:

1. Rinse with water immediately following eating Halloween candy

2. Brush and floss immediately after ingesting Halloween candy.

3. Consume your allowed portion of candy once per day, perhaps after dinner, and be sure to follow proper oral hygiene after. Eating candy a little bit at a time all day, is much worse because, it keeps sugar and acid levels high all day long, giving bacteria ample ability to break down teeth.

4. Don’t bite hard candy, allow it to soften in your mouth. Lollipops and hard candies don’t need to be finished, they can be re wrapped and saved for tomorrow.

Halloween can be fun for the whole family just follow the steps outlined above for a safe, fun holiday!

 

 

Bad breath is an issue that affects all of us. Bad breath can be caused by the various foods we eat or poor oral hygiene. Whatever the cause is everyone wants to know how to keep it away. Everyone should begin with a proper oral hygiene regimen which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to the dentist. Even with proper dental hygiene you still may develop bad breath from time based on what you ingest.

Top 5 Foods To Keep Bad Breath Away

1. Chew Fresh Herbs. Parsley has long been known to mask bad breath. But did you know other fresh herbs can also mask bad breath. Coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary and cardamom are all excellent at fighting bad breath.  You can choose to chew on fresh herbs or place the fresh herbs in hot water (as a tea). These fresh herbs will go a long way to hiding that garlic you had at lunch.

2. Active Cultures.  Active cultures as in yogurts. Recent studies found that a serving of yogurt every day can reduce the level of odor causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. The active cultures in yogurt also cuts back on bacteria in the mouth. Accumulation of plaque and development of periodontal disease were reduced in the study’s yogurt eaters as well. Another plus is that the American Diabietic Association has found that ingesting the recommended dosage of vitamin D (also found in yogurt) creates an environment that is inhospitable to bacterial growth. If you choose to eat yogurt avoid the high sugar varieties. Greek yogurt actually has the benefit of higher protein than regular yogurt, and is great for people who are sensitive to cows milk, as it is generally made from goats milk.

3. Foods with Crunch. These include apples, carrots, and celery. This basically includes any fiber-rich fruit or vegetable.The crunchy foods will help reduce the build up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. These crunchy foods will also increase saliva production which will keep the mouth moist and constantly rinse out food debris that can cause bad breath. So a great snack following a meal is a nice juicy apple to cleanse the mouth.

4. Mask the bad breath. Sugarless gum should not be considered a replacement for brushing your teeth after a meal, but is a good habit if you can’t brush after a meal. Unfortunately we are not always able to brush after every meal. But in a pinch chewing sugarless gum can freshen breath (masking odors) and is another way to increase saliva production to rinse away plaque and bacteria. Mints can mask bad breath as well, but only briefly. Remember to always choose sugarless when you can. Be sure to thoroughly read the label, mints such as tic tacs are almost entirely sugar , yet they label the sugar content as zero!!! The sugar content is based upon weight, and one tic tac, (although almost entirely sugar) weighs less than the amount that needs to be labeled. Look for the asterisk (*), and read the bottom label to see what it means.

5. Vitamin C rich foods. Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C  rich foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth. A diet rich in vitamin C is also is important for preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis,(major causes of bad breath).

Bonus Bad Breath Tip

Avoid white sugars. Sugars allow for bacterial growth in the body and especially the mouth. Sugary beverages (soda, gatorade, juice, redbull), dry your mouth out, and a dry mouth is a haven for bacteria. Water is always the best option, tea is great too, especially green tea, but don’t add sugar. If you do drink sugary beverages follow them with plenty of water to rinse your mouth and neutralize the acids.

Bottom Line to Ward off Bad Breath

So after a meal, when you are unable to brush, think of the list above to keep your bad breath at bay. You do not have to live with bad breath. In most cases, bad breath is easily taken away with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.

Dental Hygiene Top 10:

1) Brush Properly. Believe it or not there is a wrong way to brush for proper dental hygiene.. It is important to brush after breakfast in the morning to remove plaque and bacteria that have accumulated over night (and from your morning meal) and to brush last thing at night because saliva (which helps to wash the cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up as we sleep. Toothbrushes should come with a small head and very soft bristles. Your dental hygiene all starts with proper brushing.

2) Floss your teeth at least once a day if not more. This will keep plaque from building up. Use dental floss to clean in between the teeth where plaque collects. Floss before you brush to remove any plaque or food particles. It is important to floss regularly because about 90% of cavities occur between teeth. Hold floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers and guide it between your teeth using a gentle sliding action. When the floss reaches where the tooth meets the gum, curve it into a V shape against the tooth and gently slide it up and down between the gum and the tooth, Do Not” Shoeshine” (rubbing floss side to side ) as this motion can cause notching in the root. Repeat for the other side and every tooth. An inter dental brush can be used for larger gaps.

3) Rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day. Make sure you do not swallow it. Discuss with your dentist which rinse is best for your oral condition and dental hygiene maintenance. Listerine is a great product with many combinations to suit almost every need. It is also one of the only rinses backed by years of scientific research.  The benefits of a mouthwash are that they can reach areas not touched by brushing alone. Rinse twice a day. Once in the morning and last thing at night and always after brushing.

4) Limit your sugary foods to avoid getting tooth cavities. Think about what you are eating. Do you want the best or worst foods for your dental and overall health? If you do choose a sugary or high acid food, chew a sugar free gum or xylitol gum. This will increase salivary flow in your mouth which will get rid of lingering sugar and neutralize acids faster. The bacteria will not cause decay in a clean neutral environment.

Dental hygiene

Dental Hygiene – Fluoride Toothpaste

5) Use a fluoride toothpaste. A fluoride tooth paste will help strengthen your enamel, making it tougher for bacterial acids to break down. Toothpaste also helps control plaque build up and keeps your teeth white and healthy!

6) Electric Toothbrushes. These are recommended by most dentists for their superior performance when compared to old fashioned manual brushing. Electric toothbrushes tend to have small brush heads that cup around the tooth and are faster and more efficient in cleaning areas of the mouth where bacteria and plaque collect. They are great for people who brush aggressively, as they brush for you. They are also easier if you have limited manual dexterity. Many also have a timer so you know you are brushing for the correct amount of time. Using an electric toothbrush will make all your dental hygiene efforts even easier to attain.

7) Eat your vitamins. Maintain a healthy diet to give your teeth and oral tissues (bone and gum tissues) the nutrients they need. Make sure you have enough B vitamins and calcium to keep your teeth strong! This is often overlooked in most dental hygiene programs.

Dry Mouth

Dental Hygiene – Biotene

8) Avoid Dry Mouth. Saliva provides an essential defense against tooth decay and periodontal disease by washing and rinsing the bacteria in the mouth. Patients who experience decreased salivary flow generally have increased dental health problems. Chronic dry mouth or xerostomia could be a side effect to certain medications or a symptom of a systemic disease. Your dentist can recommend several products to combat this problem. The leader in this category is Biotene. Without proper salivary flow or moistness in oral cavity your dental hygiene will suffer.

9) Clean Your Tongue. A major cause of bad breath can actually come from bacteria building up on your tongue with a high percentage of it accumulating at the back, making it hard to reach. Use a proper tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath.

dental hygiene - orabrush

dental hygiene – orabrush

A daily tongue scraping will help remove harmful bacteria. The use of a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush. A good example of a tongue scraper for dental hygiene is the orabrush.

10) Change your toothbrush out regularly. Did you know you should change your toothbrush every two to three months for good dental hygiene? If you do not then bacteria will collect on the bristles and you will transfer them back into your mouth. Also over time the bristles will become worn and ineffective. The same rules apply for electric toothbrushes. If your toothbrushes are wearing out before two months then you are probably brushing too harshly. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you the proper way of brushing to maintain proper dental hygiene. Always chose a toothbrush with soft not hard bristles as hard bristles can cause damage to the teeth and your gums.

Follow the steps above along with regular visits to your dentist and you will be on your way to having great dental hygiene.

dental hygiene

Dental Hygiene – Listerine