Halloween Tips-for-Teeth

Halloween can seem like a kid’s ultimate daydream. But for their dental health, it can actually be their greatest nightmare. Just because Halloween has the potential to be bad for teeth doesn’t mean you should only let your children eat apples and carrots. 

That doesn’t mean that all candies are the same. There are certain candies that you need to pay a little extra attention to this Halloween season.

Good Candy

One of the best candies you can let your child eat is chocolate. Because it is soft, it easily dissolves off of the teeth after eating, which minimizes the risk of developing cavities.

Another good candy for your dental health are certain kinds of gum. Chewing gum after eating greatly reduces the risk of developing cavities. It can help clean the mouth out and promote the production of saliva, a natural cavity fighter. The best gum to chew is anything that is sugar-free.

The “Be Mindful” Zone

Certain candies are worse for teeth than others. Anything that is sticky can linger on the teeth longer, allowing bacteria to grow and create cavities. It can also pull out any fillings in the teeth, causing painful and potentially deeper cavities.

Hard candy can chip or crack teeth if you try to chew them. Make sure that your child sucks on hard candy, rather than biting it. A lot of hard candies can be sour, which tend to be very acidic and damaging to teeth.

Lastly, one of the greatest classic Halloween treats is the popcorn ball. While delicious, the kernels can become lodged in between teeth and into the gums. This creates areas where bacteria can flourish and eat away at the teeth.

Your Dental Saviors

At the end of the day, there is no particular candy that you should go out of your way to avoid. All candies have the potential to cause damage to the teeth. If you are mindful about what you are consuming and how you are consuming it, you will be just fine. It is important that you floss once a day and brush twice per day. Mouth rinses can also be beneficial after eating.

Happy Halloween and good luck Trick-or-Treating!

What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?

Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with Dr. Pedersen before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.

Crooked Teeth

Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.

Overbite & Underbite

Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.

Crossbite

A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.

Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth

These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.

Limitations of Invisalign®

While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact our Maynard, MA office at 978-897-5020.

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What is Biofilm?

​​The mouth contains a complex microbial ecosystem or system of microbiomes, that can both help and harm teeth. Biofilm, which plaque is an example of, is any collection of microorganisms that cling to each other and to a surface.  It’s impossible to completely remove bacteria or eliminate microbiomes from the mouth. However, as in any ecosystem, there is a balance that is necessary to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Good oral hygiene habits, healthy choices, and a balanced diet are our way of maintaining that equilibrium so that more dangerous and harmful bacteria are reduced and kept in check. 

Oral Hygiene and Biofilm

If good hygiene habits aren’t maintained then plaque and the microbiome it contains can harden and grow. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. After oral surgeries in particular there is a risk of infection if good habits aren’t maintained. For this reason, twice daily brushing, regular flossing, and using a mouthwash are critical. 

Since teeth make up a relatively small part of the overall surface area inside the mouth using an anti-bacterial mouth wash is a great way of fighting back harmful oral bacteria. By regularly brushing you force the biofilm and bacteria in your mouth to regenerate and prevent it from growing out of control.

Diet and Bacteria

Too much sugary food, or improper hygiene after consuming sugary food, can feed bacteria. Sugar is a sort of fuel for certain harmful bacteria present in your mouth. This is why candy, soda and other sugary foods and drinks are associated with causing cavities. Similarly, too many acidic foods can throw off the oral microbiome and fuel harmful bacteria.

Healthy Choices and the Oral Microbiome

Certain habits and behaviors like smoking or nicotine use can also throw off the oral microbiome. Nicotine usage can cause dry mouth which reduces saliva which naturally helps keep the mouth at equilibrium. Additionally, a thin film can form on teeth from smoking and vaping that can trap excess bacteria. Chewing tobacco similarly can fuel particular types of bacteria.

Regular dental checkups and examinations for more serious issues are also a crucial part of maintaining good overall oral health. At Maynard Family Dentists we are happy to help new clients learn about good oral hygiene. Make an appointment or call us today at 978-897-5020.

What Foods Stain Teeth: Common Culprits

Many people wish that their teeth were whiter. One thing that you may not realize is causing your teeth to be discolored is the things that you eat. The foods you eat can actually have a significant effect on the color of your teeth. Join Maynard Family Dentists as we dive into some of the most common foods that can stain your teeth.

Coffees & Teas

Tea and coffee are both highly acidic, which can weaken the surface of your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. Tea and coffee also both contain tannins, which help their coloring stick to your teeth. There is some evidence that having milk in your tea or coffee can help reduce the amount of staining.

Sauces

Dark-colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries also cause staining. Switching to lighter or creamy sauces can help mitigate some of the staining.

Fruits & Berries

There are many vibrant fruits that can stain your teeth. Think of the fruits that can stain your clothes – pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. In the same way that they can stain your clothes they can stain your teeth.

Sodas

Sodas are highly acidic thanks to their carbonation. In addition that, the dyes in these drinks – including light-colored ones – can cause staining. There are also chemicals in the drink that eat away at your enamel.

How to Mitigate Staining

There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of food on the color of your teeth. While cutting out the food listed above would be the number one way to reduce their effect, even we enjoy having them so we’ve included things you can do to reduce the staining while still enjoying your favorite foods.

  • Use a straw. Using a straw when drinking your favorite beverage helps reduce the amount that the acidity and coloring of the drink comes in contact with your teeth.
  • Brush after you eat. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you eat food that can stain. It’s important to wait a little bit of time to allow the acidity in your mouth to get balanced out so you don’t cause additional damage.
  • Rinse your mouth. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and remove some of the staining agents from your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Having regular checkups and teeth cleanings at your dentist is a great way to help your smile stay beautiful.

In addition to providing teeth cleanings, we also proudly offer teeth whitening services in the Maynard, MA area. Please give our dental office a call at 978-897-5020 or use the link below to schedule an appointment for teeth cleaning or whitening.

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