Everyone knows that candy isn’t good for your teeth but some varieties are worse (and better) than others. We’re counting down the top five kinds of candy that you and your kids should try to stay far away from this Halloween.
They’re delicious, they come in every flavor, and they’re terrible for your tooth enamel. The worst thing you can do to your teeth is expose them to sugar for long periods of time. Snacking on sugary or acidic foods throughout the day is one of the top reasons why people who brush well still get cavities. Sucking on a lollipop is like snacking — but with pure sugar. I like to compare lollipops to sugar baths. When you suck on one, you’re giving your teeth an extended soak in harmful, decay-causing sugar.
If you’ve ever gotten through an entire piece of taffy without thinking (at least once) “Wow, this stuff is actual rubber,” you’re in the minority. As you probably guessed, anything that’s hard to eat isn’t good for your teeth. Laffy Taffy can easily get stuck in your teeth’s tiny nooks and crannies and stay there, causing damage to the enamel. It can also wreak havoc on orthodontics, crowns, and fillings by pulling at them. I recommend staying as far away from the stuff as possible — especially if you’ve recently had any dental work done.
Caramel made it on our list of worst foods for your teeth so it’s no surprise that it’s on this list as well. Because caramel is pure sticky sugar, it might actually be the most damaging substance you can eat — both food and candy included. Caramel is just as difficult to eat as Laffy Taffy but unlike taffy, it truly is just cooked sugar. Chewing on the sticky stuff is like asking your teeth to decay.
If you or your child can’t go a Halloween without caramel, try brushing your teeth right after indulging. It’ll make sure none of the leftover sugar stays on your teeth post-trick-or-treating.
Sour-Patch Kids may not be as sticky as caramel or taffy but they are strongly acidic which can mean serious trouble for tooth enamel. The combination of acid and sugar that gives these gummy treats their signature taste makes them both delicious and harmful. Acids can eat away at enamel, leaving teeth primed and ready for decay. Their soft consistency also means they can get stuck in between teeth, encouraging decay in those hard-to-reach places. I recommend flossing (and brushing) if you eat any this Halloween.
Tootsie Rolls are a lot like caramel in that they’re too sticky and too sugary to not do damage to your teeth. The sweet treats are by far the worst chocolate-flavored candy you can eat this Halloween. Unlike most chocolates, Tootsie Rolls don’t melt in your mouth; the sticky substance lingers in the cracks and crevices of your teeth. If you don’t brush after eating one, the leftover sugar can cause decay. Try eating just one or two of these sugary sweets on Halloween and make sure to brush afterward.
Surprisingly enough, there are some kinds of candy that are actually good (well, not terrible) for your teeth. Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and calcium and can help reduce the risk of:
Your teeth can always use an extra boost of calcium and because dark chocolate doesn’t contain as much sugar as regular milk chocolate, the pros almost outweigh the cons. Chocolate melts quickly in the mouth which means any sugar it does contain doesn’t stick to your teeth. If you’re going to tuck into some Halloween candy this year, try to make it dark chocolate — for your dentist’s sake!
Getting dentures can be both an exciting and stressful time for patients. It’s exciting because patients are gaining a better bite and a brighter smile. It can be stressful because dentures require a few different appointments and, after the final try-on, the patient has to become familiar with a new dental routine.
Washing and taking care of dentures can feel a little overwhelming at first but rest assured, dentures don’t need a lot of maintenance to stay looking and feeling great. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have your dentures for years to come.
Rinsing your dentures after eating is the easiest and most self-explanatory way of keeping them clean. Food debris can get stuck in the cracks and crevices of the dentures, encouraging bacteria to grow. Giving them a quick rinse in the sink will keep that from happening. When you’re rinsing the dentures, make sure you handle them carefully. Dentures are fragile and can break if you drop them.
Just like with natural teeth, you need to brush your dentures regularly. We recommend brushing them at least once a day (though twice is even better). Use a soft brush and denture cleaner (not toothpaste!) to gently remove any built-up plaque or food debris. Make sure that when you’re brushing, you get every little bit of denture adhesive off. Leaving the adhesive on can cause long-term problems for the dentures.
Because dentures spend so much time in your mouth, plaque can become a serious problem if you don’t brush them daily.
Even if you have a full mouth of dentures (aka, top and bottom), you still need to brush your gums daily. Using a toothbrush with very soft bristles, gently brush your tongue, gums, and palette.
For some dentures, an overnight soak is the most important step in keeping them clean. Dentures need moisture to retain their shape and condition. If you really want to keep your pearly whites clean, try using a special solution to soak your dentures. This can help kill any bacteria that brushing didn’t get. Just make sure to rinse the dentures well in the morning. Denture solution can irritate the stomach if ingested.
We recommend that denture-wearing patients come and visit our office every six months. During the appointment, our dental assistants will professionally clean the dentures and inspect them for any damage. If there is damage (which there commonly is with dentures because they’re so fragile), we’ll fix it up new for you!
No matter how good your oral hygiene routine is, chances are you’ve experienced bad breath (also known as halitosis) at least a few times in your life. Although no one wants to hear it, most everyone has the occasional burst of bad breath thanks to certain foods and less than perfect oral hygiene.
Occasional bad breath is one thing but chronic bad breath is completely different (and significantly worse). Chronic halitosis can lead to a sharp decrease in confidence and can easily ruin relationships. Fortunately, most people with bad breath have the ability to get rid of it themselves
80% of bad breath cases have an oral source which basically means they’re preventable. The other 20% of people most likely suffer from a disease that has bad breath as one of its symptoms. This includes diabetes, liver disease, chronic bronchitis and some forms of cancer.
While those causes of bad breath are harder to fight, the vast majority of people can easily prevent and treat bad breath. Forgetting to brush and floss regularly are the two main reasons why people have bad breath. When you neglect to brush or floss, bacteria in your mouth begin to breakdown leftover food particles. This breakdown releases sulfur compounds (aka really smelly stuff).
Consistent poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities and periodontal disease (gum disease) which, over time, increase the number of bacteria in the mouth. Visit the Stanley Dentistry office to make sure poor teeth and gum health isn’t causing your bad breath.
Another easy (or relatively easy) way to keep bad breath at bay is to throw away any and all tobacco products. Smoking isn’t just horrible for your teeth and gums in the long run (tooth loss, oral cancer, etc.), it can also cause more short-term problems like bad breath.
Smokers themselves usually can’t tell that their breath smells bad because they’re around the tobacco odor constantly. If you suspect you have bad breath related to smoking, try asking a friend or family member. They’ll be able to give you a more accurate answer.
Saliva is really good at keeping your mouth clean and bad-bacteria free. Without it, our gums and teeth would be doomed. If you don’t have enough saliva (aka chronic dry mouth), foul-smelling bacteria can begin to grow in places it normally wouldn’t, causing bad breath.
“Morning breath” is caused by a decrease in saliva that naturally happens at night. While this phenomenon is common, having a dry mouth throughout the day isn’t. If you’re drinking plenty of water and you still feel like your body isn’t producing enough saliva, come into the Stanley Dentistry office. There are a few different medications that could help your dry mouth and eradicate your bad breath. You can also order the Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse from our patient store.
If you wear dentures and have bad breath, take a closer look at how you’re cleaning your dentures. Because dentures sit in the mouth all day, they can store food particles and bacteria. This is why thoroughly cleaning them every night is an essential step to keeping them in good shape and keeping your mouth from smelling bad.
For denture cleaning, we recommend using the Polident 3-Minute Anti-Bacterial Denture Cleanser which you can buy in our patient shop.
Tonsils are little pieces of tissue in the back of the throat that catch and filter germs and bacteria. In modern times, they don’t do a whole lot of work. This is why a lot of people elect to have them removed. Still, most doctors won’t remove tonsils in adults unless there’s a serious reason (painful, persistent tonsillitis).
This means a lot of people still have their tonsils which means a lot of people have tonsil stones. When you’re eating, small pieces of food can become trapped in the crevices of the tonsils. This is especially true if you have irregularly shaped tonsils that are covered in numerous pockets and craters. Over time, the food particles break down, releasing a foul, sulfur smell. When removed from the tonsils, tonsil stones are typically small, white, and smelly.
Some people get tonsil stones and some people don’t. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tried-and-true way to keep tonsil stones at bay but there are a few methods that might work for you:
If you feel like you’re doing everything right but you’re still suffering from bad breath, make an appointment at Stanley Dentistry. Our dentists will examine your mouth, listen to your concerns, and give you a more accurate diagnosis.
Many people think that smokeless tobacco (also called chewing tobacco, spit, dip, snuff and chew,) is harmless. Smokeless tobacco has over 3,000 chemicals, including 28 carcinogens or cancer-causing substances. One can of smokeless tobacco delivers as much nicotine as three packs of cigarettes. Holding an average sized dip in your mouth for 30 minutes gives you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes.
Tobacco use is the single largest cause of death in the United States, and can result in systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease and numerous types of cancer. Smokeless tobacco users have a higher daytime heart rate than nonusers and have twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Smokeless tobacco users suffer 1.5 times higher cholesterol than nonusers and has been linked to pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
In the mouth, smokeless tobacco users experience many symptoms including oral cancer, leukoplakia, periodontal disease, higher decay rate and tooth loss. Chew/spit tobacco users have an increased risk of cancer of the cheek, gingivae or tongue by 50-fold over that of nonusers. Since oral cancer is commonly diagnosed after it has metastasized, the 5-year relative survival rate is just 59%. Smokeless tobacco contains high levels of sugar, causing periodontal disease and tooth decay to be common signs in smokeless tobacco users.
Today, there are many alternatives to help quit tobacco use. Nicotine therapy agents, such as gums or patches, are available over the counter. Prescriptions, like Zyban or Chantix, can be prescribed by physicians and dentists to help with tobacco cessation. If you are a tobacco user, see your healthcare provider to get the help you need to stop smoking today.
Stanley Dentistry is committed to better oral health and practices oral cancer screenings with vizilyte technology as part of biannual dental exams and professional cleanings.
The dentists and team at Stanley Dentistry are accepting new patients. Contact us today!