At Home Care

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!

The Candy is Coming! The Candy is COMING!

We all know that in the next week or two, Halloween candy will be everywhere, as will be the temptation to eat it, All. Day. Long. Halloween can also be an opportunity to discuss good oral habits and teach them to your kids. Here are a few tips that are easy to understand and discuss, and can make a big impact on your dental health at Halloween and all year round. 

  1. Don’t spread your candy-eating out! While we aren’t telling you to eat all the candy in one sitting, it is a better idea to eat a few pieces at once after a meal, rather than eat one piece of candy every 20 minutes throughout the day. Remember the candy alters the pH of your mouth and when it’s gone, your mouth can recover. The sooner you finish eating the candy, the sooner your mouth can get back to normal. 

  2. Drink water! There isn’t a better time than right now to start carrying a water bottle and drinking it throughout the day. Quite the opposite as what’s above, drink water throughout the day, frequently. This helps wash debris off of your teeth and allow your pH to return to normal quicker. 

  3. Use fluoride products! Some people have fluoride in their water, specifically if they live in the city and drink city water. However, some people do not or they drink bottled water, which may or may not have fluoride. Regardless, we can all benefit from the fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Using these every day can really make an impact on our teeth and lessen the chances of decay. 

  4. Eat First! Candy Second! Making sure we stick with our regular meal plans and eating habits can help us to not over-indulge on the sweets. Be sure you have a full stomach and are hydrated before you dig into the candy drawer!

As long as we are eating normally, drinking water throughout the day and keeping up with our brushing, flossing and rinsing, Halloween treats should not negatively affect our teeth. It is also a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the importance of our dental health and how they themselves can really make a difference in their smile. 

One more fun idea for you to try with your little ones is to set up a candy bank for your kids. Because we don’t want our kids eating the candy all day long, have the candy in one location that they know you have to retrieve for them. Only after they finish their meal or help with a chore are they able to choose 1 or 2 items. This limits the time that they are eating candy and also makes sure that they understand it is a special thing. 

If you are trick-or-treating this weekend, we hope you are having fun, being safe and, of course, Sharing Smiles. 

Halloween Dental Tips!

Let’s be honest, in the coming weeks, we are all going to be eating more than our fair share of Halloween treats. During this time, it is especially important that we are taking care of our teeth in the best way that we can. It also is a good idea to limit your treat-eating to a particular time of day and make sure you aren’t grazing on sugary treats all day long. Along with making sure you are eating a healthy diet throughout the day, here are some tips to make sure you are giving your teeth the care that they need.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. You’ve heard this one before. Consider buying yourself an electric toothbrush to help in brushing for the right amount of time and making sure you aren’t pushing too hard. 

  2. Floss once a day! Remember that 33% of your tooth surface exists between your teeth and can only be cleaned by flossing!

  3. Rinse! Using a mouthwash, or even water throughout the day, can help to rid your mouth of debris and return your mouth to a normal pH level. Using a fluoride rinse at night can help give your teeth a little boost during this extra-sweet Halloween season.

  4. Visit your Dentist. We would venture to guess that the majority of us are OVERDUE for our preventative visit with our doctors. These should happen every 3-6 months, based on what your oral hygiene needs are. While this is always important, we think it’s even more urgent, as the end-of-the-year holidays are getting closer and we don’t want to be spending our holiday time in dental pain. Call today to take care of your teeth!

Halloween is Coming!

It’s that time of year when we start eyeing the candy aisle and wondering what we will buy for all of our cute, costumed, trick-or-treaters that will show up in a few weeks. While, it is true that nearly all sugar-y candy is not good for your teeth, there are a few tips on what to buy for your neighbors and how to handle your own intake of candy:

  1. Stick to the chocolate! While, yes, there is still sugar, chocolate melts off of the surface of your teeth and so the sugar won’t ‘stick’ there for a long time. Compared to a sticky candy, like a Jolly Rancher, a milk chocolate is a better option. (You still need to rinse with water after eating chocolate though!)

  2. Limit how many and how often you will eat your Halloween candy. Treating it like a dessert and having 2-3 pieces after dinner in a  short amount of time is better than having one piece every 15-30 minutes throughout the day. You can also have your child just choose their favorite kinds of candy to keep and donate the rest to groups like Support the Troops that send them overseas to our soldiers!

  3. Be sure to brush and floss! Whether you are eating milk chocolate or sticky candies that can get stuck in-between or in the grooves of your teeth, it is important to keep up with your at home brushing and flossing routine. 

  4. Spit, but don’t rinse, when you brush your teeth. This seems weird, and is not what most of us probably do. However, if you don’t rinse with water right after brushing, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a few more minutes to sit on the surfaces of your teeth, giving a little extra boost to it’s benefits to your teeth. Try it!

Halloween is a fun time and a special treat for all of us. It is also a great opportunity to remind ourselves, and our children, about how to keep up our brushing and flossing habits at home, and also talk about why sweets should be eaten only in moderation.

Friendly Reminder: If you haven’t yet finalized your costume, consider this your 3-week warning!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

What better way to celebrate this October holiday than by trying to implement our four dental health tips into your daily routine. Dental Hygiene Month is meant to raise awareness of how important the health of your mouth is and to also encourage everyone to take better care of their teeth! With that, we give you four tips for better oral health:

  1. Brush: We are aware that we sound a bit like a broken record here, but you should brush your teeth TWICE a day for TWO minutes each time. It is THAT important. =)

  2. Floss: One time per day. Over 30% of your tooth structure exists between your teeth, so flossing ensures that ALL of your teeth and ALL of their surfaces gets clean.

  3. Rinse: There are a lot of great mouth rinses out their that can provide a fluoride boost before bed. Remember though, even rinsing with water throughout the day or after a meal can help get rid of debris in your mouth! If you do use a mouth rinse, look for one without alcohol.

  4. Chew: While too much chewing can put additional stress on your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), chewing a sugar free gum after a meal, can not only pull food debris out of the nooks and crannies of your teeth, but it increases saliva flow and helps to restore your mouth to a neutral pH level. Better yet, find a gum with xylitol, like this one, and give your teeth a protective boost!

All in all, try to set some good habits going now. That way, by the time the stress of the holidays come around, your dental habits will be in tip-top shape and ready to take on the changes in the routine that are sure to come up.