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Halloween is a fun time for kids and adults alike. However, it can wreak havoc on our dental health. We are exposed to candy and sweets for weeks on end. This can a bigger problem for those undergoing orthodontic braces treatment. Orthodontic braces treatment will generally limit certain foods to maintain the brackets and wires that are a part of orthodontic braces treatment. Some candies can be especially hard on the orthodontic hardware. These can lead to costly dental repairs. Below are some tips to help you and your family navigate the Halloween season.

Orthodontic Braces Tips For Halloween

Avoid Hard And Sticky Candies. When undergoing orthodontic braces treatment it is best to forego these types of candies as you will at increased risk for damage to orthodontic hardware. Some of the biggest offenders include bubble gum, gummy snacks, jelly beans, licorice, and popcorn.

Choose treats Wisely. Certain candies/treats are acceptable during orthodontic braces treatment. These items will likely cause less problems to orthodontic braces when consumed. These can include: chips, cheese puffs, yogurt raisins, plain m&m’s, Hershey chocolate bars, peppermint patties, and soft cookies. Avoid candy with nuts or caramel.

Eat Before You Indulge. When trick or treating on a full stomach you will be less likely to make poor choices and damage orthodontic braces.

Trade With Friends. Encourage kids (and Adults) to trade the candies they should not eat for candies that are better for them to eat. This again will limit the chance of breaking any of the orthodontic braces hardware.

Drink More Water. Drinking water will help neutralize the acids that will develop as the bacteria in the mouth feeds on the sugars introduced by Halloween candies.

Timing. Consume Halloween candy with meals or shortly after mealtime. Then brush and floss immediately afterwards.

-Sugar free lollipops and sugar free hard candies. Products containing sorbitol (or any other sugar alcohol) can actually help prevent cavities. The plaque bacteria can not grow properly with these sugar alcohols present. The sugar free candies also help you to produce more saliva which in turn helps neutralize sugar acids and decrease the chances of decay.

Brush And Floss. Make sure to brush and floss after indulging in Halloween candy. Allowing the sugars and sticky candies to stay on our teeth for hours on end can lead to increased tooth decay.

-Eat the candy only once per day. If you only partake in the sweet snacks once during the day after a meal you will decrease the length of time the harmful sugars are present. Snacking on small amounts of candy all day causes more decay than larger amounts once per day. You are more likely to clean all the debris off the teeth after a one time sitting you are if  you snack all day. The small doses of sugar stuck between the teeth from random snacking is much more detrimental.

Buy Backup Candy In Advance. Have backup candy on hand. If your kids get candy they cannot eat they wont be upset if you have candy alternates on hand for them.

See Your Dentist If Any Issues Arise. If any damage is noticed to orthodontic braces see your dentist or orthodontist immediately. Also maintain regular dental appointments to avoid long term tooth decay issues.

Orthodontic Braces At Halloween Conclusion

Halloween can and should be an enjoyable time free from worry and stress about dental health and orthodontic braces. Following the Halloween tips for orthodontic braces above can go along way towards that goal. Remember to maintain good dental habits and dental visits for a happy, healthy smile for life.



Dental implants vs bridge is a question many patients are faced with when attempting to replace a lost tooth or multiple teeth. The traditional dental bridge was the main dental procedure used by dentists for a very long time to replace missing teeth. As dental implants have become popular due to long term success rates the traditional dental bridge has become in many people’s mind the lessor alternative. Dental implants vs bridge is an interesting scenario as they both achieve the same thing but in different ways. The dental implants vs bridge debate is one that many of us will face in our lives. Below are some facts about both to help with your decision.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Procedure

Steps For A Dental Bridge

During the first visit to your dentist for the fabrication of a dental bridge, the teeth surrounding the missing tooth are prepared to accept a dental crown. The preparation involves removing the outer layer of teeth to allow for a dental crown to be placed over top them. Next, dental impressions of the teeth are taken, which give the dental lab technician a precise dental model from which the dental bridge, pontic (fake tooth between the dental crowns), and dental crowns will be fabricated. Your dentist will create a temporary dental bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the dental bridge is being made. This generally takes about 2 weeks.

At the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed, the temporary cement will be cleaned off the teeth, and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve an ideal fit. Depending on how extensive the dental bridge is multiple visits may be needed to check the fit of the metal framework and ensure the bite is correct. This is dependent on each individual’s case as metal can distort as well as teeth moving ever so slightly during time in between visits. If the fit is acceptable to the dentist, the dental bridge will then be cemented permanently in place. In the discussion of dental implants vs bridge, a traditional bridge is placed in only one way (cemented) while a dental implant can be placed in 2 different ways (screw retained or cemented).

Steps For A Dental Implant

Initial Consultation. At this initial appointment, your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination, including all necessary x rays, and then take dental impressions of your teeth. After your dentist gathers all the necessary preliminary information, your dentist will talk with you about the recommended treatment plan. You may also discuss at this time whether or not there is a need for a bone graft. At this visit, you can ask about the dental implants vs bridge discussion. Your dentist will happily review the positives and negatives with you.

Bone Grafting And Teeth Removal. If the tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will evaluate the bone density and quality and decide if a bone graft is necessary. The bone graft will add 4-6 months generally to the time line. This extra time gives your bone time to heal properly and add the new bone structure.

Dental Implant Placement. Once healing has taken place you will be ready for the dental implant placement. The procedure generally takes about 1-2 hours and completed under anesthesia. Once the dental implant is placed, you will need approximately 6 months for healing to take place and the dental implant to integrate into the bone (this process is called osseointegration).

Healing Cap And Temporary Dental Crown. With the dental implant fully integrated in the bone, your dentist will attach what is called a healing collar to the top of the dental implant. This healing collar will allow the gum tissue to form around the implant in a natural looking way. The healing collar is simply a round piece of metal that keeps the gum tissue away from top of implant. The healing cap stays on for about 7-14 days. In some cases a temporary dental crown is fabricated as well at this visit.

Abutment Placement. The healing cap will be removed and a dental implant abutment will be replace it. This abutment will be where the new dental crown will attach (either thru a screw or cement). Once the abutment is in place, your dentist will take a dental impression and send it off to the dental laboratory for fabrication of your new dental crown.

Permanent Dental Crown Placement. The dental implant and dental crown should be a permanent fixture without the possibility of tooth decay forming over time like a traditional dental crown or dental bridge.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Maintenance

This is where a dental implant will shine in the debate of dental implants vs bridge. A single dental implant will be cleaned just like your natural teeth. This means you can floss around the tooth just like a natural tooth. A dental bridge since it is one longer piece encompassing multiple teeth you will not be able to use regular floss. You will need to use what is called a floss threader. This will allow you to get under each part of the dental bridge and effectively clean around the areas of the dental bridge. This can be an issue for some patients with dexterity issues.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Cost

The dental implant will require more time (at least 6-7 months in best case) to allow for each step to be completed and healed properly. The dental implant tends to cost more overall especially if bone grafting is involved. In my opinion, dental implants vs bridge cost will be up to the patient. Time in some cases is just as important as the financial factor.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Pros And Cons

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Las Vegas Marielaina Perrone DDSDental Implant Positives

-Surrounding Teeth Unaffected. With a dental implant, there is no need to shave down possibly healthy tooth structure in adjacent teeth as there would be in a traditional dental bridge.

-Success Rate And Durability. Dental implants should with proper care last a lifetime and have a better than 98% success rate.

-Bone Loss Prevention. With a dental implant in place, your bone structure will remain as is and not resorb or break down. This is what happens when a tooth is missing in an area of the mouth

Dental Implant Negatives

-Surgery Required. A big negative in the dental implants vs bridge debate. This is especially true of those with dental phobia.

-Healing Time Needed. As mentioned above a minimum of 6-7 months are needed in the best case scenario to complete a dental implant procedure from start to finish.

-Financial Expense. There is generally a slightly higher fee for a single dental implant vs bridge and could go even higher if other procedures are needed like a bone graft.

Dental Bridge Positives

-Permanent. The dental bridge will be cemented in place and will never be removed to clean unless your dentist finds an issue.

-Simpler and Quicker Dental Procedure. Generally takes only 2 dental visits and can usually be completed in about 2 weeks time. This can be a huge positive for many in the dental implants vs bridge discussion.

Dental Bridge Negatives

Dental Hygiene More Difficult. With a dental bridge, you must brush and floss under and around the false tooth. Using floss threader as mentioned above may be difficult for some. Dental hygiene maintenance is a must if there is any chance of long term success for a dental bridge.

-Lifespan Shorter. A dental bridge generally lasts about 7-10 years. Some dental bridges can last longer and some can fail sooner. This is due to the wear and tear on adjacent teeth (these teeth remain susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Either tooth decay or periodontal disease can weaken support for the dental bridge.

-Surrounding Teeth Affected. A dental bridge requires support from the surrounding teeth that are used to hold the artificial tooth in place. If these teeth are not strong enough to have dental crowns, a dental bridge might not even be possible.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge Conclusion

Choosing dental implants vs bridge can be a difficult decision. Your dentist will help guide you through the process and help you make an educated dental implants vs bridge decision that is best for your smile. It is important to maintain regular dental visits no matter which side you choose in the dental implants vs bridge decision.




Energy and sports drinks have become quite popular among teenagers and athletes in the last decade or so. While they are being consumed in large quantities do we know the effect tey may have on our dental health? Well recent research out of Britain may have the answer for us.

Dental Health Study Of Elite Athletes + Energy Drinks

In a recent study, published in the British Dental Journal, it was found that elite athletes tend to have higher rates of dental disease (including periodontal disease and tooth decay). This finding is quite surprising because the researchers also found that these same athletes brush and floss their teeth more often than the average person.

The research included a survey of 352 Olympic and professional athletes across 11 sports (These included cycling, swimming, rugby, football, rowing, hockey, and sailing). The athletes were given thorough dental examinations for male and female athletes measuring 3 dental health factors: tooth decay, periodontal health and tooth enamel erosion. The research team also noted what the athletes did to try to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

These dental examinations revealed surprising results. They found substantial amounts of dental and oral disease. They found that almost half (49.1%) of the elite athletes had untreated tooth decay, a large majority showed early signs of periodontal disease (gingivitis), and about a third (32%) reported that their oral health had a negative impact on their athletic training and performance.

These findings were quite surprising as the research team also showed that these athletes were making valid attempts to aintain dental health. This study found that 94% of the elite athletes reported brushing their teeth at least 2x a day, and 44% reported regularly flossing their teeth. When compared with the general population these numbers are much higher. The general population brushes 2x per day at about a 75% rate while only 21% floss regularly. So the elite athletes were making an honest and diligent attempt to maintain their smiles.

The survey however did find that the elite athletes are regular users of sports drinks (87%), energy bars (59%) and energy gels (70%), which have been shown in prior research studies to damage teeth and periodontal tissues.

“We found that a majority of the athletes in our survey already have good oral health related habits in as much as they brush their teeth twice a day, visit the dentist regularly, don’t smoke and have a healthy general diet,” said researcher Dr Julie Gallagher (UCL Eastman Dental Institute Centre for Oral Health and Performance).

“However, they use sports drinks, energy gels and bars frequently during training and competition; the sugar in these products increases the risk of tooth decay and the acidity of them increases the risk of tooth enamel erosion. This could be contributing to the high levels of tooth decay and acid erosion we saw during the dental check-ups.”

As for hope for the future, the surveyed athletes almost unanimously said they would consider adopting even better oral hygiene habits to tackle this and a future research study has already begun.

Dental Hygiene Checklist

Brush, Floss, Rinse Daily. Brushing at least 2 times per day for a  minimum of 2 minutes each time added with flossing at least one time per day and rinsing with an antibacterial or fluoride rinse will be a great foundation to a healthy smile.

Avoid Sugary Foods And Drinks (including energy and sports drinks). Foods and drinks high in sugar give the bacteria in the mouth the nutrition it needs to create an acidic environment inside your mouth and can lead to increased incidence of tooth decay.

Consume Plenty Of Vitamin C. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to oral health issues. This can include loose teeth and bleeding or inflamed gum tissues. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits. Important to note that citrus fruits are highly acidic so you should rinse your mouth with water following to neutralize the acids so as not to harm your teeth.

Select Crunchy Foods. While not a replacement for dental floss, eating hard, crunchy raw foods (like carrots, celery, nuts, and apples) can naturally clean your teeth as well as freshen your breath.

Get Your Daily Amount Of Calcium. This will not only keep your teeth strong but also the bones in your body to keep going thru sporting events. Good sources of Calcium include milk, cheese, and soybeans. Also, ensure you get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium properly. A good source of vitamin D is from the sun. So get outside and exercise harder!

Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your teeth and body healthy and hydrated. Water is far better for you than any other beverage you can drink.  Rinsing after every meal or snack with water will help maintain your dental health. The water can neutralize the acids being produced by the oral bacteria. This will in turn limit the amount of tooth decay that can occur.

Routine Dental Examinations. Seems like an easy one but often neglected as we get busy. It is important to not only get your teeth professionally cleaned but also to diagnose and repair any problems while in their earliest stages.

Dental Health Conclusion

This study shines a light on the dangers of energy and sport drinks. If an elite athlete is feeling the effects the general population would be hit even harder. If you are going to partake in these beverages follow up with good dental hygiene to keep your smile happy and healthy.

 



Dental Infections (also referred to as an abscess) generally develops as a result of untreated tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. However, a dental infection can also develop from other reasons previous dental work or traumatic injury. When a dental infection begins to develop, a pocket of pus forms in the mouth as a result of an overwhelming growth of bacteria. Symptoms of a dental infection often includes swelling, pain (often radiating away from area), and sensitivity in the area. It is vital to seek professional treatment as without proper and timely treatment, the dental infection may spread to other areas of the jaw or even the brain.

Tooth decay and cavities are very common. About 90% of adults ages 20–64 have had prior tooth decay. Also, almost 30% of people in the same age group have untreated tooth decay. Treating tooth decay early is important to prevent further complications such as dental infections which can often lead to tooth loss.

Anyone who experiences dental infections should see a dentist immediately to prevent the dental infections from spreading.

One of the initial options for a dentist is to recommend an antibiotic to kill dental infections. Some antibiotics will work better than others. This is due to the type of bacteria causing the actual infection., There may also be some over-the-counter pain medications to help relieve the dental infection symptoms temporarily.

Antibiotic Use For Dental Infections

Dentists generally only recommend antibiotics for dental infections. However, not all infected teeth will require antibiotics during treatment. In some instances, a dentist may be able to drain the infected area of pus, remove the infected tooth, or complete a root canal procedure to fix the issue. Antibiotics should not be used unless absolutely necessary to complete dental infections treatment.

Antibiotic Types And Dosages For Dental Infections

The type and dosage of antibiotic your dentist will recommend will vary depending on the type of bacteria that causes dental infections. Different antibiotics work in different ways to eliminate different strains of bacteria. There are over 150 different strains of bacteria that are present in the oral cavity. Many of these bacteria have the potential to grow and cause a dental infection. Treatment can change depending on the bacteria causing the dental infection, although, dentists simply recommend an antibiotic that works against many types. This gives them the best chance to handle the infection effectively and quickly.

Classes Of Penicillin For Dental Infections

Penicillin type drugs are common forms of antibiotics for dental infections. This includes penicillin and amoxicillin. Some dentists may also recommend amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, as that combination may help eliminate bacteria that are being unsuccessfully treated by previous drugs.

Typical dosages of amoxicillin for a dental infection are either 500 milligrams (mg) every 8 hours or 1,000 mg every 12 hours.

Typical dosages of amoxicillin with clavulanic acid are around 500–2,000 mg every 8 hours or 2,000 mg every 12 hours, depending on the minimum effective dosage.

However, some bacteria have been found to resist these drugs, making them less effective. In fact, many doctors now simply choose a different antibiotic as their 1st line of treatment.

Dentists must also be aware that some people are allergic to these drugs. Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to similar medications should tell their dentist immediately before receiving their treatment recommendation.

-Clindamycin

Clindamycin is highly effective against a wide range of infectious bacteria. Some researchers recommend clindamycin as the drug of choice to treat dental infections, as bacteria may be less likely to resist this drug than penicillin-class drugs.

A typical dosage of clindamycin is either 300 mg or 600 mg every 8 hours, depending on which dosage will be effective for the individual situation.

-Azithromycin

Azithromycin also is able to work against a wide variety of bacteria, working to halt their growth. It may be effective in treating some dental infections, though dentists may only recommend it to people who are allergic to penicillin-class drugs or who do not respond to them or other drugs such as clindamycin.

 The typical dosage of azithromycin is 500 mg every 24 hours for 3 consecutive days.

-Metronidazole

Metronidazole is an antibiotic uses to treat a number of infections by both doctors and dentists. This drug is typically not the 1st choice of treatment.

The dosage for metronidazole is around 500–750 mg every 8 hours.

Time To Begin Feeling Better?

The speed with which each antibiotic takes to work on the dental infection varies depending on many factors. These can include the severity of the infection and how effective the drug is at eliminating the infectious bacteria present.

It is imperative for people to complete a full round of antibiotics, taking all of the prescribed medication exactly how the dentist says to take it. A person may begin to notice their symptoms go away after a couple of doses, completing the full dosage of antibiotics helps prevent the infection from returning or getting stronger.

The majority of acute infections resolve in 3–7 days.

Side effects Of Antibiotics For Dental Infections

While antibiotics are very effective for dental infections they can have some possible side effects. These side effects will vary by antibiotic type and individual. It is important to speak with your dentist regarding possible side effects and what to expect.

Dental Infection Treatments Beyond Antibiotics

Antibiotics may help clear active dental infections, but the tooth will still need work to clear up the root of the dental  infection. Antibiotic treatment is just one part of the treatment.

Typical treatment for dental infection can include one or more of the following procedures:

-draining the abscess

-filling in any cavities

-performing a root canal

-extracting the infected tooth

Natural Remedies For Dental infections

Some over the counter remedies may also help “control” the symptoms of a dental infection. This can include over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Sodium naproxen (Alleve).

Other things to try to relive symptoms at home:

-gently rinsing the mouth with warm salt water

-rinsing gently with baking soda and water

-avoiding very hot or very cold foods to prevent temperature sensitivity

-chewing with the opposite side of the mouth

-brushing with a very soft toothbrush around the sensitive area

-avoiding very sharp, hard-to-chew foods that may bump into the sensitive area or become stuck in the teeth

-sleeping with your head elevated to relive pressure

Dental Infections Summary

Antibiotics are not the sole answer to dental infections. They are a part of a larger dental infection treatment. Most if not all dental infections require further dental work by your dentist. This can include a root canal or a tooth extraction.

Prompt dental treatment is important to keep dental infections from spreading and making things more dangerous and painful. Some helpful home remedies mentioned above may help keep inflammation down or ease pain while taking antibiotics and preparing for the recommended dental procedure. maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen, such as brushing and flossing each day and seeing a dentist for regular checkups, may help prevent dental infections and their complications.