5 Halloween Costumes that are all about Teeth

Halloween is such a fun time of year for communities to celebrate the changing season, and for children and families to get into costume. This year, we thought we’d share our favorite Halloween costumes that are all about teeth.

1 – Tooth Fairy 

Our favorite dental character, the Tooth Fairy, makes an excellent costume choice for any young child going trick-or-treating this year! Tooth Fairies get to wear wings, a crown and carry an awesome wand or staff that can also feature a tooth!

 Dentist 

Many children admire their dentist! A dentist costume is easy to assemble, and you can make it more fun by grabbing a funny dental facemask. You can buy scrubs for children at most costume stores.

3 – Teeth 

There wouldn’t be any dentists without teeth! You can buy teeth costumes of all sizes and shapes, and you can accessorize your child’s costume with toothbrushes, dental floss, or toothpaste!

 Vampire 

One of our favorite Halloween characters is the vampire! Vampires make great costumes for kids, and give them the chance to have some fun with sharpened teeth. We advise getting your child an upper mouth guard that features fixed vampire teeth, and avoiding vampire teeth caps, which can become dislodged and accidentally swallowed.

5 – The Oral Health Family 

Our favorite costumes are ones that get the entire family involved, so why not dress up as the oral healthy family? This themed costume involves you and your children dressing as toothpaste, a toothbrush, a tooth, and floss, or a combination of those four.

Think Mouth-Healthy this Halloween 

Halloween is an excellent time to meet your neighbors, and for your children to gather heaps of candy. But, candy is terrible for teeth, so be sure that you are in charge of their candy consumption, and prevent them from binging on candy or eating candy right before bed. Additionally, make sure that your child maintains a positive oral health routine this holiday season.  

Try These Mouth-Healthy Halloween Treats Instead of Candy

Halloween is full of candy and treats for children and families to share and enjoy. But, most of the treats being shared on Halloween are packed with sugar, and are terrible for teeth. Here’s some mouth-healthy alternatives for parents to consider passing out this Halloween.

Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween treats don’t have to be sweet all of the time. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent healthy snack to enjoy during Halloween, and they are great for teeth! They contain a high amount of fiber, which helps scrub teeth clean of leftover food particles. You can buy pumpkin seeds in a variety of flavors, and most come in small snack packs that are perfect for handing out.

Clementines

Clementines look like miniature Oranges, and are a sweet citrus snack that can improve oral health. Thats because Clementines are full of vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant that helps heal gums, and fight gum inflammation. It does this by helping the body produce more collagen, which aids in cell repair and expedites the healing process. Clementines are the perfect size for little hands, and give you an easy way to share a healthier snack this Halloween.

Squeezable Yogurt Tubes

Yogurt is a dental super food, and can be sweet and quite kid-friendly! Yogurt is packed with calcium, which helps build strong teeth and bones, and can improve the strength of tooth enamel. Squeezable yogurt tubes offer kids a great way to enjoy a mouth-healthy treat that comes in all sorts of flavors.

Dark Chocolate

Rejoice, chocolate fans! There is a type of chocolate that is mouth-healthy, and easy to share this Halloween. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks and keeping enamel healthy. Try to find dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to get the most oral health benefits.

Bonus! Non-Edible Halloween Treats

You don’t have to pass out sweets or candy this Halloween at all. You can share non-edible treats like plush toys, stickers, glow sticks, bubbles, or temporary tattoos, among other things. Children enjoy small toys, so consider adding some to your Halloween bowl to share this year.

Urge Oral Health Routines this Halloween

As your family enjoys Halloween treats this year, be sure to urge a proper oral health routine. Have your children brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. Be safe and enjoy your Halloween from everyone here in our office!

Which Mouthwash is Right for My Children?

We get many questions in our office about the best ways to help children get a healthy smile that last a lifetime. Today, we’re going to cover some key point about mouthwash, and how different types offer different benefits.

Mouthwash is Versatile and Diverse

First, you have to narrow down what you’re helping your child accomplish by adding mouthwash into their oral care routine. Are you looking to clear up bad breath? Do you want to help reduce tooth decay or strengthen enamel? If you know what you want to get from a mouthwash, then you’ll be better prepared to choose the right one for your child.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

There are two types of mouthwashes available: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash gives your mouth a clean, pleasant taste and reduces bad breath. However, cosmetic mouthwash treats the symptoms of bad breath, and acts as more of a masking agent that overcomes bad breath.

Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwash helps treat tooth decay, prevent gingivitis and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not freshen your breath as well as cosmetic mouthwash, but it will help fight the causes of bad breath. Before using any therapeutic mouthwash, or incorporating it into your children’s oral health routine, call our office and schedule an appointment.

Children’s Mouthwash?

There are many mouthwashes specifically designed for children to use, and most of them do not contain any alcohol. Mouthwash for children is usually therapeutic and takes care of bad breath. These mouthwashes also come in kid-friendly flavors, and feature many of their favorite cartoon characters and superheroes. Children’s mouthwash helps fight cavities, and can help improve enamel strength.

When buying your child‘s mouthwash, be sure that the product contains the ADA seal of approval. This will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.

When Can Children Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash should not be used by children ages six and under. However, in some instances mouthwash may be prescribed for a child under the age of six, but that only occurs in special cases.

Consult Our Office

Mouthwash can be an effective tool for any person to add to their oral health care routine. If you have any questions about mouthwash, and the type that’s right for your child, then ask us during your next visit.

Your Teenager Probably Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep – Here’s how to Fix That.

A good night’s sleep is absolutely important for your children’s health and academic performance. Unfortunately, most teenagers do not get adequate sleep during the week. Here’s what parents need to now about teenager’s sleep patterns, and how they can help their children get the sleep they need to succeed.

The Facts about Teen Sleep

During adolescence, a person’s biological sleep pattern naturally shifts later for both going to sleep and waking up. Additionally, teenagers are notorious for having irregular sleeping patterns that change with their schedule. According to the Sleep Foundation, teenagers and adolescents need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, only about 15% of American teenagers actually get this amount of sleep during the school year.

Why Do Teens Miss Out on Adequate Sleep?

Teenagers have a variety of external and internal factors that can negatively affect their sleep patters. Teens tend to stay up later on weeknights and sleep in on weekends, which can throw off their biological sleep patterns. Additionally, teens are more social and connected than younger children, and spend a lot of their time hanging out with their friends on social media and video games.

Parents can help their children get more sleep by taking a few easy measures at home.

Establish a Sleep Schedule – and Stick to It!

A sleep schedule can improve your quality of sleep, and help you feel more rested after a full night’s sleep. A sleep schedule also helps people fall asleep more quickly, and allows the body’s biological patterns to get into sync.

Ease off of the Screen Time

Television, computer, and phone screens constantly surround us, and they can actually prevent us from falling asleep. That’s because screens typically engage our mind and stimulate thoughts. Try limiting their TV, videogames, computer and cellphone usage to a time period that is at least one hour from bedtime. This will help calm their minds, and make it much easier for them to fall asleep.

Cut Back on Late Night Sugar

Consuming sugar and caffeine in the two hours before bedtime can hinder your body’s ability to fall asleep. If your teen isn’t getting enough sleep, look at their diet to see if there is too much sugar or caffeine before bed.

Visit Our Office

Sometimes, a lack of sleep is not due to behavioral patterns, but actually something more serious like sleep apnea. If you suspect that your child has sleep apnea, then visit our office to discuss treatment options that may be available.

Are You Prepared for a Dental Emergency?

When it comes to raising children, parents have a lot on their plates. In order to help parents prepare for their rigorous duties, we’ve outlined a few common dental emergencies, and how you can handle them.

How to Handle Your Child’s Dental Emergency

First, stay calm and assess the severity of your child’s injury. Any blow to the head should be taken very seriously, and you should thoroughly evaluate your child and decide if they need to go to the hospital.

Toothache

A toothache is a common problem that people of all ages experience. The best to way to treat them is by cleaning the affected area of the tooth. Rinse out their mouth with warm water, and floss near the tooth to dislodge any debris. If their pain persists for more than a day afterwards, then contact us at the office.

Knock out Baby Tooth

Contact us! Unlike a permanent tooth, the baby tooth should not be replaced due to possible damage to the developing permanent tooth.

Knocked out Permanent Tooth

If possible, locate the tooth and rinse it with water only. Do not clean the tooth with soap, and only handle it by the crown, not by the root. After you have rinsed it off, store it in a plastic bag  or cup filled with milk, or your child’s saliva, not water. After storing the tooth, take your child to their pediatric dentist so that they can reinsert the tooth. If you want to keep the tooth, it is important that they see us as soon as possible.

Tools needed: cool clean water, Ziploc bag/cup, milk, clean gauze.  

Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth

Time is an important factor to restore a chipped or fractured permanent tooth. Have your child rinse out their mouth with water to reduce the chance of infection. If you have a piece of the fractured tooth, keep it in a bag or glass of milk and bring it to our dental office as soon as possible.

Tools needed: cool clean water, Ziploc bag, milk, clean gauze.  

Oral Cuts

First, rinse out their mouth with cool, clean water. If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If the bleeding can’t be controlled, then call the doctor or visist the emergency room.

Tools needed: cool clean water, clean gauze or clean cloth.  

Blow to the Head

If your child suffers any sort of head injury, it is important that you call 911 immediately. Take your child to the nearest hospital or emergency room to get them the necessary medical treatment.

Tools needed: clean warm water, floss.  

Visit Our Office

Dental emergencies happen, but the best way parents can prepare is by establishing a reliable dental home for their family. We would love to have your family join ours, so schedule an appointment with our office! We offer stress-free first visits that help ease anxious young children that are new to visiting the dentist.

Bruxism can Cause Major Tooth Damage – but It can be Beat

You’ve heard of cavities and tooth decay, but there’s a more subtle oral health ailment afflicting nearly 30% of children today – bruxism. Here’s what parents need to know about the problem, and how they can help their children beat it.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is more commonly known as teeth-grinding, and a surprising number of children suffer from it – around 3 in 10. Teeth-grinding usually occurs while children are asleep, and it can become a dental problem if left unchecked. Regular teeth-grinding can wear down tooth enamel, reinforce improper bite patterns, and leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay.

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism can be caused by a number of external factors, including stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and reaction to medication. Some children grind their teeth to relieve anxiety, and most are often unaware of it until the next morning.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism can cause headaches, earaches, facial pain and bite and jaw problems. Continual teeth-grinding can also lead to tooth enamel loss, and leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Those suffering from bruxism will often report jaw and tooth pain, particularly in the back molar area.

How to Treat Bruxism

Since the root of bruxism is varied, it can be hard to locate the exact cause. If your child is particularly stressed or anxious, try to decrease their stress right before bed by doing some stretching, or yoga. Or, encourage them to take a relaxing shower, or hot bath to help them ease into bedtime.

If your child’s teeth-grinding is ongoing, then their dentist may prescribe a night guard to protect their teeth and mouth. A night guard helps ease the pain of tooth grinding, and protects tooth enamel from being worn away.

Does Your Child Have Bruxism?

If you’re concerned that your child has bruxism, then visit our office. A trained dentist will evaluate your child’s mouth to determine if they suffer from bruxism, and provide a treatment plan based upon their findings. Untreated bruxism can harm your child’s oral health, and cause them to lose sleep, and negatively affect their performance at school.

8 Fun Facts about Flossing!

Flossing is an important part of a proper oral health routine, but most people would rather go shopping for groceries than floss! To help make flossing fun, we found some of our favorite facts about floss to share with you! 

1 – Flossing removes food debris and plaque that is wedged in the hard to reach areas between teeth. This plaque buildup can lead to cavities and cause bad breath. 

2 – To floss properly, you need to use between 18 and 20 inches of floss. This helps ensure that you have enough clean floss to use, and that it is firmly grasped while in use.

3 – Irregular flossing can lead to bleeding sensitive gums, but keep flossing! If you floss consistently, the bleeding will eventually subside.

4 – Did you know that you can buy floss in just about any flavor? The most popular flavors are mint, cinnamon, and bubblegum, but you can buy more obscure flavors like wasabi or even bacon!

5 – Brushing only cleans around 70% of the surface area of teeth, leaving the cracks and spaces between teeth uncleaned. Flossing helps scrub the remaining spots, and gets teeth 100% clean!

6 – The two main types of floss are monofilament, and multifilament floss. Monofilament floss is made of plastics and rubber, while multifilament is mainly composed of nylon and silk. 

7 – People with orthodontic devices like braces can floss too! Floss threaders and proxabrushes are great ways to helps people wearing braces remove food debris from between their teeth, and stuck in their brackets or orthodontic equipment.

8 – Waxed floss is easier to slide between closely spaced teeth. If your teeth are very close together, we suggest flossing with thin waxed floss. 

Visit Our Office 

Summertime is the perfect time to bring your family into our office for a quick oral checkup. We’ll evaluate the state of your children’s teeth, and provide a treatment plan that works for them and prepares them for a mouth-healthy school year. Call our office today to schedule your appointment.  

All About Spit: How Saliva Cleans Teeth

Spit may seem like a gross subject, but it’s actually quite fascinating! The truth is, saliva plays a pivotal role in cleaning teeth, and maintaining overall oral health, making it worthy of a further look.

What is Saliva?

Saliva is a liquid made of water, mucus, proteins, minerals, and an enzyme called amylase made by the salivary glands in the mouth, cheek, and tongue and lips. It is mostly comprised of water, which makes drinking water critical for maintaining adequate levels of saliva needed for oral health.

The Problem: Food Left over in the Mouth 

Food debris left on teeth can cause some serious problems for oral health. Sticky, starchy food like bread, sticky granola bars, chips, or gummy snacks will expose teeth to sugar for longer periods of time, and cause a sustained acid attack on tooth enamel. After tooth enamel has eroded, teeth become much more susceptible to decay and cavities. To prevent sustained acid attacks, food debris needs to be washed away from teeth and gums.

How Saliva Helps 

Saliva helps prevent cavities from forming, and aids in protecting against gum disease. It naturally cleans teeth by washing away bits of food debris and preventing a prolonged acid attack on tooth enamel. Saliva also contains antimicrobial agents that help combat bad bacteria that fuels cavities.  

Saliva also keeps the mouth at a healthy ph balance, and without adequate saliva, cavities and gum disease can occur much more easily.

Saliva is Mostly Water 

Saliva is 99% water, so drinking water is the best way to stimulate saliva production. The amount of water a person needs everyday varies, but eight, 8 oz glasses of water everyday is a good place to start. Talk to your doctor about how much water you and your family members need to stay adequately hydrated.

Routine Oral Care is Best 

Adequate saliva production is a great way to help keep teeth clean, but it is no substitute for proper, routine oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes each session It can be tough to convince your child to brush for the full two minutes, but there are some fun ways to help them achieve better brushing results. Go Online to find tooth-brushing videos for children.

Call our office to schedule an appointment for your child so that we can checkup on the state of their mouth. The summer is a great time for a quick visit that won’t cut into their valuable class time.  

The Weird History of Fake Teeth

Dental history is a winding story of tools and gadgets that helped humanity get healthier teeth. But, what happened when someone in the ancient world lost a tooth too soon? Here’s the odd history of fake teeth.

Old Animal Teeth 

The oldest dentures ever recorded date back to around 2500 BC, and were found in Mexico. Excavators estimate that the ancient dentures were made of wolf’s teeth, specifically, wolf molars. However, they were unable to confirm the specific animal origin of the false teeth.

Early Italy 

The Etruscans are famous for their many advances in medicine and science, and they also applied their focus to dental care. Around 700 BC, the Etruscans figured out a better way to replace teeth: by using gold wire to hold false teeth in the place of missing ones. The fake teeth were often human, or animal teeth.

Japanese Wooden Dentures 

Many methods similar to the Etruscans’ were popular until the 16th century, when Japan invented wooden dentures. These wooden dentures were made by taking softened beeswax and making an impression of the person’s teeth. Then, an artisan would hand carve teeth to match the impression, and then set the new teeth on a soft mouth guard made of beeswax.

Porcelain Hits the Scene 

France was making huge advancements in dental technology in the 18th century. In 1728, Pierre Fauchard wrote about crafting false teeth from wire brackets and hand-carved animal bone. In 1774, Alexis Duchâteau made the first porcelain dentures. While they looked aesthetically pleasing, the pure porcelain was prone to chipping and cracking.

Improved Porcelain 

In 1820, a jeweler and goldsmith named Claudius Ash made a huge advancement in denture knowledge and craftsmanship. He decided to mount porcelain on 18-karat gold plates with gold springs and swivels. This reinforced the porcelain, and resulted in dentures that work well and looked natural. 

Modern False Teeth 

In the 20th century, acrylic and rubber compounds were introduced into the construction of false teeth. Modern dentures are constructed of a blend of acrylic resin, metal, and sometimes porcelain. Now, modern consumers can purchase either partial or complete dentures, depending upon what their dentist recommends. Most sets are so meticulously built that they are easily mistaken for real teeth.

How to Keep Your Smile Healthy on Vacation

Summer time vacations can be a great time to get away with your loved-ones for some crucial family time. But, a jam-packed Summer schedule can leave us with less time to take care of our teeth at home, which is why we’ve decided to help families keep their smiles healthy while on vacation! 

Drink Water

Water is one of the best tools available to keep teeth naturally clean, and maintain a healthy oral ph balanceIt also helps ensure that saliva is produced, which aids in ridding the mouth of damaging acids and food debris. Also, swishing water helps remove food caught in teeth that can lead to enamel loss and acid buildup. When travelling away from home, be sure that everyone drinks plenty of water. 

Make Time for Oral Care

Vacations can, surprisingly, be tight on time. When planning a vacation, schedule a 10 to15-minute window for the whole family to take care of their teeth, every morning and night. By blocking off a time in advance, you set clear expectations with your family that oral health time is serious, and everyone will plan on attending.  

Pack the Essentials! 

1 – Tooth Brush

Everyone should brush his or her teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time. When traveling, buy a small travel case or cover for the toothbrush to keep the head clean and the bristles in good shape while it is stowed away. 

2 – Tooth Paste

You can’t really brush your teeth without toothpaste, so toothpaste is a must for any traveler. Look for a travel-sized tube that can easily fit in a small storage bag, and check to make sure that the toothpaste contains has the ADA seal of approval.   

 Dental Floss

Brushing only cleans about 1/3 of the total surface area of teeth, which leaves most of the teeth unclean. Try to get everyone to floss once per day, and clean between every space in their teeth. You can purchase travel floss, or a set of floss picks for easy flossing on-the-go.  

4 – Xylitol Gum

Chewing gum that is sweetened with Xylitol is a great way to freshen breath, and help protect enamel after a meal. Gum sweetened with Xylitol can helps enamel by stimulating saliva production that clears teeth of residual acid from a recent meal.  

Visit Our Office

We love helping busy parents find solutions that keep their families’ oral health in focus. Schedule an appointment with our office so that we can thoroughly evaluate your child’s mouth, and provide them with oral health tips and treatment options that work to build a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.