Protect your Holiday Smile!

It’s that time of year where, nearly everywhere you go, you are surrounded by sweets and goodies. It is most likely that all of us, at one point or another, will succumb to the delicious treats we find, as we make our way through the holiday season. With that in mind, here are a few tips to protect your smile this holiday season!

  1. Eat the Sweets All at Once! It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s better to eat the sugary treats all at once so that afterward you can rinse with water and let your mouth return to it’s normal state. If you graze on sweet treats throughout the day, your mouth never gets a break from the acidic environment that the sugar creates, and it can be very hard on your enamel. So, if you are going to eat some treats, eat them in one sitting and be done!

  2. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Openers! This time of year, we tend to have a lot of packages and special treats to open. Sometimes cellophane, ribbons and other wrapping can be difficult to open. However, we warn you not to give in to the temptation to use your teeth! Use a scissors or some other tool to open those packages- you don’t want to risk breaking a tooth, especially this time of year.

  3. Carry a ‘Tooth-Kit’ in Your Car! This time of year we keep things like emergency blankets and jumper cables in our cars, just in case. It’s a good idea to carry a travel size toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in your car with you also! This way, between parties or family visits, you can make sure your teeth are clean, and ready for your next social event. Keep that smile fresh!

One of Dr. Wilk’s favorite phrases is, “Everything in moderation”.

While, he does say this all of the time, it is especially true at this time of year. We don’t want you to feel like you can’t go have a sweet from the break room at work, BUT be sure not to graze all through the day, and be sure to DRINK WATER throughout the day! (Like you haven’t heard that before!) Last, but certainly not least, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine at home - brush for 2 minutes, 2 times a day and floss once a day. Keep Smiling!

Winter Weather Tips

Since snow is already on the ground, we thought that we should talk about the inevitable: winter. It might not technically be winter yet, but it sure feels like it is! With all this cold, dry air we’d like to offer a couple of tips for your oral health.

  1. Carry Chapstick. Well, it doesn’t have to be the brandname Chapstick (although that IS what Dr. Wilk carries) but be sure to carry some kind of lip balm or vaseline with you. The dry air can really make your lips susceptible to chapping and cracking and keeping them moisturized also makes it more comfortable to brush and floss every day!

  2. Drink Water! This is just never going to get old. =) There is very little moisture in the air at this time of year, so drinking water not only helps to keep your teeth clean, but it keeps your mouth, lips and entire body hydrated, which is always a good thing.

  3. Replace Your Toothbrush. Well, you should be doing this at least every 6 months, but more like every 3-4 months. Even if you have recently replaced it, if you are experiencing your first winter cold or flu, throw your existing toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you are using an electric toothbrush) away and buy yourself a new one. Germ-free is the way to go! On that note, please don’t share your toothbrush with anyone.

  4. Address Sensitivity: If at any time the cold air causes sensitivity with your teeth, please be sure to call your dentist right away.

These tips can help keep your mouth and overall health in better shape this time of year. Enjoy the start of the season everyone! Stay warm, stay hydrated and keep on Sharing Smiles!

Holiday Party Tips

As the holiday season is rapidly approaching (two weeks until Thanksgiving!), it’s time to talk about how to keep your teeth in tip-top holiday shape! Regardless of whether you are out with friends, at home with your family or enjoying your holiday work party, enjoy these few tips from us to help your teeth stay healthy.

1. Choose light or clear beverages. Rather than a cola-based drink or a red wine, opt for a white wine or lighter color drink. This will help your teeth to stay whiter and brighter for the pictures that will, inevitably, follow. 

2. Find the Cheese! Almost every holiday party has a cheese tray. Not only does it taste great and help to tide you over until dinner, but the cheese will help to neutralize the pH level in your mouth while drinking acidic drinks like alcohol, soda or coffee. 

3. Schedule Your Post-Holiday Check-Up. The remainder of this year is going to fly by. We all know that. It’s better to schedule your first visit for 2019 now, so you don’t get caught up (as we all will) in the holiday festivities and forget to even make the call until after the New Year. Get your next preventative visit scheduled today!

And one more reminder: If you have insurance benefits remaining for 2018, you should try to use them now! Insurance benefits don’t usually carry over to the new year, so use them or lose them!

Happy Halloween!

Many of us have already trick-or-treated this past weekend and still some of us wait until the BIG day - Halloween - to fill our bags with sweet treats. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about this time of the year and how to make sure all the treats don’t play tricks with our teeth, so here’s a few last minute tips to help you and your family this Halloween!

  1. Time your Treats! Eat treats right after a meal rather than as a snack or much later on their own. When you are eating a meal, your mouth produces saliva and it’s better to eat the candy when saliva production is in full swing, as it can help to get your mouth back to a neutral state more quickly.

  2. Choose Carefully! This is a good rule for all of us but can be especially true for little kids (especially if you are the one still cleaning their teeth). Try to stay away from the super sticky, hard candies. These can really stick into and between teeth and they can stay there a long time and be very hard to remove. Things like milk chocolate and peanut butter, however, will melt off your teeth quicker and be easier to remove. We aren’t saying chocolate is healthy, we are just saying that a Reese’s might be better than a Jolly Rancher … for your teeth. (let’s be real though… they are all delicious.)

  3. Don’t Rush to the Brush! Ideally you want to wait 20-30 minutes after you consume your candy before rushing to the brush. Immediately after eating sugary treats, the pH level in your mouth is likely acidic, and it can cause your enamel to be softer than usual. Brushing at this time could cause you to damage your enamel or cause erosion. Waiting a little bit can let your mouth and enamel return to a more neutral state, which is better for brushing. Either way, brush gently - no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth. 

  4. Pay Attention to Costumes. Some costumes come with fake teeth or prosthetics that just aren’t made very well. Sharp edges of fake teeth can cut or scrape your gums and some could push on teeth in an unhealthy way. Be cautious of these things and if you are concerned, either: don’t use them or use them in very limited amounts of time. 

We hope everyone has a fun, safe and treat-filled Halloween!

Remember - everything in moderation, brush and floss every day and give us a call with any concerns or issues!