A Dentist’s Guide to Eating Halloween Candy

 Halloween Time is Here

Here we are again! Halloween is almost here in just 26 days and our cauldrons are full of delicious and delectable treats and our streets will be overrun with hundreds of zombies, army guys and Princess Elsa’s. As a dentist you would think I have fortitude to resit the sweet seduction of a fun size snickers bar. Well…… I don’t. Fortunately though, I have been able to avoid “cavity bugs” over the years and would like all of you to do the same.

How to Avoid Cavity Bugs this Halloween Season

  1. Toss the sour stuff- Sour candy has pH levels that are almost equivalent to battery acid. Sour candies are usually designed to be chewed or sucked on over time which is more damaging to teeth. These candies can linger in our mouths for hours.
  2. Scrap the hard and chewy stuff- Hard candy such as lollipops and jawbreakers can no only damage teeth but they also deliver a slow and steady stream of glucose for bacteria to turn into cavity-causing acid. And chewy things like caramel or fruit chews fit snuggly into the tiny grooves of our molars creating sugary sealant.
  3. Damage control-Don’t wait to long to brush. It only takes 20 minutes for cavity bugs to begin an all out assault on our enamel. At the very least, rinse out your mouth with water after you’re done eating any type of candy.
  4. Moderation is key- Create a specific time your children are allowed to eat the candy such as dessert or mid-day snack.
  5. Three Day Rule- After three days get rid of all of it. Yes I said it and yes you read it correctly. I know I sound like a party pooper, but after all I am a dentist.

The Benefits of Straight Teeth Using Invisalign

Popular Option for Straighter Teeth

A popular option for straightening teeth at Hendersonville Family Dentistry, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more! Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces work by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

Giving You A Beautiful Healthy Smile

At Hendersonville Family Dentistry, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Hendersonville Family Dentistry, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should be.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and  brushing and flossing are way easier. Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete.

Oral Health Concerns for Infants

Infant Doesn’t Need Dental Care

Babies’ teeth don’t appear until around six to eight months of age. It’s a natural misconception that they don’t need dental care. The steps you take as the parent of an infant can help your baby maintain good oral health and develop healthy dental habits in the future. It’s easy to take care of a baby’s teeth and gums, especially when oral hygiene for your infant becomes part of the normal daily routine.

Baby’s Oral Hygiene

  • Dental Hygiene for Birth to Six Months- Cleaning your infants gums is as important as cleaning teeth will be later. Hold your baby in your arms, and with a clean, moistened washcloth wrapped around your index finger, gently massage his or her gums.
  • Dental Hygiene for Six to 12 Months- After teeth begin to appear it’s time to switch to a soft, children’s toothbrush for teeth cleaning. Gently brush your baby’s teeth after each feeding, in the morning, and before bedtime, just as you did before teeth appeared.
  • Good Bedtime Habits-One of the most important things you do to protect your infant from tooth decay is to avoid the habit of putting baby to bed with a bottle. Use other soothing bedtime activities such as rocking and lullabies, to help your baby drift to sleep.
  • A Note about Dental Decay-¬†Many people are unaware that dental decay is transmissible. Avoid placing your baby’s bottle, sippy cup, or pacifier in your own mouth to test the temperature. Likewise, don’t share utensils with your baby.

The Evolution of the Toothbrush

Oral Hygiene Has Been Important Part of Maintaining Overall Health

For thousands of years, humans have found ways to keep their teeth and mouths clean. According to the American Dental Association (ADA). Early forms of the toothbrush have existed for nearly 5,000 years. What did the first toothbrush look like?

Evolution of the Toothbrush

  • 3000 BC- The “chew stick” was used by Ancient civilizations. People would rub a thin twig with a frayed end against their teeth to remove food and plaque.
  • 1498- The bristle toothbrush was invented in China and had many similarities to the toothbrushes used today. These devices were made by attaching the stiff, coarse hairs from the back of a hog’s neck to handles that were typically made from bone or bamboo.
  • 1938-Signaling the end of the boar bristle. Dupont de Nemours introduced nylon bristles, and Americans welcome Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush, the first nylon toothbrush.
  • 1960- The Squibb Company introduced Broxodent, one of the first electric toothbrushes to the American market.

Today, there are many brands of toothbrushes that often advertise different benefits. The variety of options may seem overwhelming, but the most important thing is for you to find a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use.

Why Crowns Are Recommended to Patients

Multiple Reasons For A Crown

There are multiple reasons for doing crowns and different types of materials that crowns can be made of. I will try to cover the most basic reasons crowns are diagnosed and recommended. Most often, they are made of porcelain material that is both durable and aesthetic.

Some of the most common reasons crowns are needed initially is because of the decay.Often times, especially with silver (amalgam) fillings, cracks and marginal leaks allow bacteria to filter underneath the filling causing decay to grow fairly large. When teeth have large fillings, especially ones that cover more than a 1/2 of the biting surface of the tooth, the tooth is at a much higher risk of breaking and fracture. When the tooth does eventually fracture, it can break in ways that we can’t predict, often leading to root canals or even extractions.

Crowns Provide A Stable and Reliable Protection.

Nevertheless, crowns provide a stable and reliable protection for teeth that have been weakened. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones at Hendersonville Family Dentistry, and we will be more than willing to help you!

Getting To The Root Of Root Canals

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is the removal of nerves and the replacement of the nerve with sterile filling. Your tooth is made up of many layers. The outside layer is called enamel and is made of minerals. The middle layer is dentin, which is also a calcified tissue, but less dense. The center of the tooth is called the pulp, and that host the nerves and blood vessels. A root canal is the removal and replacement of this center with sterile filling. A root canal is needed when an infection spreads to the center of the tooth. This can be from trauma, a cavity, a severe crack, or other compromises that causes nerve damage. An x-ray and examination are required to see if a root canal is needed. Symptoms may included but are not limited to pain, swelling, change in tooth color, and lingering pain from hot or cold stimulation.

The Process of a Root Canal

When it is time to begin treatment, you’ll receive local anesthesia to make you comfortable. The nerve chamber will be accessed and all of the infected area is removed including the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Then medicines are used to sterilize and alleviate any pain. Next is the placement of a filling material into the space where the nerve was located.

When the nerve and blood supply are removed, the tooth is non-vital, or dead and will become weak and brittle. It is recommended to place a crown on the tooth to keep the tooth from breaking or falling apart. The crown covers the top of the tooth and protect it by strengthening the tooth and preventing breakage.

A root canal saves the tooth that would otherwise be extracted.

Grinding Your Teeth At Night

Do You Live A Stressful Life?

Stress is the most common cause of grinding and clenching of your teeth. Have you ever woken up with a tired jaw, a headache or an even an earache? You are more than likely suffering from a moderate to severe form of night grinding. Sometimes teeth grinding doesn’t always appear with obvious symptoms. Flattened teeth, tooth sensitivity, and constant cheek biting are common symptoms that most patients disregard as normal.

The Solution to Teeth Grinding

If stress management and lifestyle changes don’t work to control your teeth grinding (bruxism), the most common treatment involve mouth guards and bit splints that will physically stop you from closing down. More involved treatments include the use of sleep studies, muscle relaxants and even botox injections.

Signs and symptoms of teething grinding can be identified during your regular dental exams and treatment options can be discussed with your dentist. If you know that you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please do not wait for treatment or expect it to resolve on its own. An early intervention can often times be the difference between a healthy mouth and one that is breaking down. Call our office today 615-822-8262 to set up an appointment with Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones to take a look at your teeth grinding issues.