Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Teethster (Dental Care and Easter Candy)

As you are preparing for Easter this year, you may be wary of the chocolate bunnies you’re stocking in Easter baskets or the jelly beans your stuffing in plastic eggs. This is a healthy fear; binging on chocolate and sugary candy can make teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria which causes tooth decay and disease. 

Hydrate Frequently to Avoid Cavities

Sugar, one of the main causes for enamel erosion, not only attracts bacteria but also combines with saliva to form acid. A weak enamel from acid erosion makes teeth vulnerable to bacteria, and creates an environment for tooth decay. Hand your children a glass of water with their baskets of candy. Instruct them to drink plenty of water between each piece of candy. Rinsing your mouth frequently will clean your smile of some acid formation and bacteria from  sugar. Since dry mouth is more conducive to bacteria, hydrating your mouth is a good practice for daily oral hygiene.

Pick the Dark Chocolate Bunny

We not recommend eating a bunny-sized portion of chocolate; however, choosing the dark chocolate bunny over a milk chocolate or white chocolate confection could be better for your dental health. Recent studies suggest ingredients in dark chocolate can reduce your risk of tooth infection. Tannins are natural substances found in the cocoa powder used to make dark chocolate. Tannins disrupt colonies of bacteria that collect along your gum line and in between teeth that could contribute to gum disease. Another benefit of dark chocolate are flavanoids and phenols which contain heart healthy antioxidants.

Use Fluoridated Toothpaste

After a day of eating on candy, your children need extra protection against cavities and bacteria. Make sure to help them brush thoroughly after indulging in sweet treats. A fluoridated toothpaste can help strengthen the mineralization of the tooth enamel, and protect teeth against acid erosion.
Here are a few tips for creating a fun, tooth-friendly Easter basket the whole family can enjoy.  
  • Don’t include hard candies and suckers that linger in the mouth and promote decay by constantly exposing the teeth to sugar.
  • Leave out jellybeans and other soft, chewy candies that can dislodge sealants or fillings and are harder to remove from the tooth’s surface.
  • Pack baskets with healthy alternatives, such as fruit or sugar-free candies and gum.
  • Chocolate candies are also good choices in moderation, as chocolate melts quickly in the mouth, which minimizes the amount of time teeth are exposed to the sugar.
  • Substitute candy with games, such as coloring books or outdoor toys for the warmer weather, including bubbles and sidewalk chalk.  Throw in a fun toothbrush as a great way to promote good dental health!
  • Don’t let sugary treats sit in your mouth for too long. Stick with candy that dissolves quickly or is chewable. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugar to create acidic reactions, and when there is a lot of sugar sitting on your teeth for long periods of time, the acid can damage the teeth enamel.
  • Parents may want to limit how much Easter candy their child can eat, especially if he or she ended up with a lot of egg-hunt loot!! What a brilliant idea to not become the “mean parent.” The amount of candy they consume is entirely up to them at this point.
  • Try to have them eat all the candy they want in one sitting, and then get rid of the rest. Dragging out the candy consumption is actually worse for your teeth, because you’re consistently feeding sugar to the bacteria. If your kids eat a lot at once, then they can just brush their teeth and be done with it.
Whether you’re 5 or 35, Easter candy can be incredibly tempting. Who doesn’t indulge in a little chocolate bunny or an assortment of Peeps when spring is in the air? However, too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing - 92% of adults age 20-64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. In fact, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, each person in that same age group has an average of 3.28 decayed or missing permanent teeth and 13.65 decayed and missing permanent surfaces. And it’s not just grown-ups: The Pew Center on the States says that about 60% of children have dental decay.
Abstaining from Easter candy is no fun for anybody. Asking a child to watch all their friends find and consume candy right in front of them while they’re left to munch on a celery stick is just cruel. You and your family can still enjoy the Easter season and keep your smiles healthy. Moderation is the key. Limit the amount of candy you and your child consume each day. Don’t graze on candy throughout the day; instead eat it in one sitting to reduce your mouth’s exposure to the harmful acids.  And if you must indulge, then brush your teeth immediately afterward.

A Family Dental Care Center: Dr. Seth Rosen
2030 W. Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't forget your teeth when it comes to Spring Cleaning!

Top 3 Reasons To Get a Spring Cleaning For Your Teeth!

SPRING IS HERE! The longer daylight hours and warmer weather mean spring cleaning for a lot of us. This year, take an hour out of your dusting and organizing to treat yourself to a little spring cleaning of your teeth!  Here are the top 3 reasons to get regular dental cleanings.

* Reason Number One:  Clean, Healthy Teeth Are Attractive 

One of the best ways to keep your smile bright and shiny is to have them professionally cleaned at least every six months. Just like your home, regular maintenance and cleaning does not reach all the nooks and crannies. You do some extensive cleaning and organizing a couple of times a year to keep those hard to reach areas clean. The same goes for your teeth! Regular brushing and flossing is great, but to keep teeth really clean and healthy, a professional cleaning is the only way to remove certain types of plaque and tartar build up.

* Reason Number Two:  Early Detection of Dental Problems

If you don’t clean out the closet, you never see what’s behind all the junk!  Having your teeth professionally cleaned also means that a thorough and careful inspection of each tooth’s health and condition will take place. If there is a small problem, such as a small area of decay, it can be spotted early and repaired before it becomes a bigger, more painful or expensive dental problem. 

* Reason Number Three: Professional Cleaning Helps Prevent Gum Disease

A professional dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline and in hard to reach areas. Bacteria found in plaque have been shown to cause gum disease. Keeping your teeth bright, shiny and plaque free helps maintain healthy gums. If it’s been a while since your last professional dental cleaning, never fear! It’s not too late to get back on track to good oral health!

Other helpful reminders!

* Take Time for Toothbrush Care

While cleaning up the rest of the house from the winter blues, take a moment to consider how long it’s been since you’ve had a new toothbrush. It’s important to buy new toothbrushes and change them out on a regular basis – every three months is a good guideline. Make sure the toothbrush you choose fits comfortably in your hand and your mouth, and that the bristles are soft to avoid any unnecessary injury to gum tissue. Since it’s cold and flu season, it’s also essential to remember to promote long-term good health by replacing your toothbrush to avoid spreading germs.

* Spring into a Wellness Routine

In the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays, it’s easy to let life take over and slip out of good habits like brushing and flossing teeth regularly. Re-establish these good dental habits now that spring has arrived!Start with brushing your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before bed. To protect teeth even more, carry a travel toothbrush in your purse or car in order to brush after eating a healthy lunch.Floss or floss picks are also very convenient tools to have in your purse or car. Floss is an important but often neglected way to take care of your teeth by getting food particles and plaque build up out of hard to reach areas between teeth. It’s essential for good dental health to floss once a day – before bed is the easiest way to make it part of a good dental routine!

A Family Dental Care Center: Dr. Seth Rosen
2030 West Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fun Facts of Human and Animal Teeth

We are all a bunch of Animals!

People and animal teeth have the same basic make up, although the shape and positioning may vary by species. All vertebrates have teeth – that means any animal including humans that have backbones. Teeth for any animal consist of a mix of calcium, mineral salts and phosphorus.

Those 32 teeth in your mouth have some interesting characteristics. For example, eight of them are incisors, or teeth that cut or tear. Two are molars that don’t come in until you are older. It is not always easy to get kids interested in proper dental hygiene. Try laying a few facts on them as they brush to make it fun.

Looking for ways to motivate your child to brush his or her teeth? Why not compare their teeth to those of their favorite animals? After all, everyone loves fun facts. Like people, some animals have several different kinds of teeth, while others have only one kind. Others don’t have any teeth at all! Animals’ teeth also give us clues about what they eat. Here are some fun facts comparing human teeth and animal teeth we thought you might enjoy.
  • – When you see a hippopotamus opening its mouth, it seems as though they have only four teeth! But they actually have 40 pearly whites.
  • – Dogs have more teeth than humans and rarely get cavities because their saliva has an extremely high pH, which prevents demineralization.
  • - An elephant’s molars can weigh up to 10 lbs. They fall out every 10 years and new ones grow in to replace them. Elephants can have up to six new sets of teeth during a lifetime.
  • - The teeth of the pocket gopher grow up to 15 inches a year!
  • - The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth, but it dines exclusively on tiny shrimp because it has no teeth
  • - The Giant Armadillo, common in the southwest, has the most teeth of all the animals. There can be as many as 100 teeth at one time.
  • - Snails can have more than 25,000 teeth, which are located on the tongue.
  • - Dolphins only get one set of teeth to last a lifetime and typically have around 250 teeth. This number can change for each type of dolphin, but the average has been determined to be around 250. As dolphins grow older, they will grow new layers over their teeth to keep them strong.
  • - And here’s one from prehistoric times! The Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T-Rex, had more than 60 thick, conical, bone-crunching teeth that were up to 9 inches long. Its jaws were up to 4 feet long.
  •  - It is not true that George Washington used only wooden teeth. He did wear dentures though, because the president suffered from severe tooth disease. To replace what was missing, the dentist one made dentures out of cow, hippopotamus and walrus teeth.
- The Hindus of India were the first recorded group to brush their teeth. They used a twig frayed to create bristles. The first bristled toothbrush came from China in 1498. The original bristles were from hogs, horses and badgers. A commercial toothbrush appeared in 1938, however, in the 1700s, one inventor made a similar tool out of cattle bone and swine bristles. Toothpaste at one time contained only wine and pumice.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 West Main Street #9 in West Norriton, PA