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.

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.

Are Your Wisdom Teeth Bothering You?

Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

One of the areas we evaluate during your new patient or recall exam is the presence of absence of third molars, more commonly known as “wisdom teeth.” If they are present, have they erupted into oral cavity? If so , we have to evaluate if they are decayed and can the decay be removed and the tooth restored. Some third molars can be restored, but some are not accessible and a recommendation for their removal is made.

Unsure If You Have Third Molars?

Some patients don’t even know they still have third molars. Rarely, an unerupted third molar can fora cyst. If this should occur, it must be removed. This is why a panoramic radiograph of the entire jaw bone must be taken periodically during your exam. If it has been recommended for you to have your wisdom teeth removed, the sooner you have it done the better. The younger you are the easier it is to tolerate the procedure and healing process. If you have a concern about your wisdom teeth, consult with Hendersonville Family Dentistry. An appointment can be made to see our Oral Surgeon that comes into our office once a month.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Number One Cause Of Tooth Loss.

The number one cause of tooth loss in people over 35 is not tooth decay, The number one cause is periodontal (gum and bone) disease. Approximately 70% of teeth in people aged 35 and older is due to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can be classed in three stages.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

The first stage and easiest to treat, is gingivitis. Most of us have a pretty good understanding of what gingivitis is by watching ads on the television and seeing seeing ads in magazines.  Symptoms may include red, tender tissue around the teeth or an individual tooth, bleeding on flossing or brushing, bad breath, and pocket depths measured by your hygienist or dentist of 2-3mm.

The second stage of periodontal disease is progression from gingivitis to a situation where the disease causes increased infection of the gum tissue and now into the small ligaments that go around each tooth, creating a small separation between the tooth and the bone.

The last stage of periodontal disease, is classified as advanced. At this point, what may have been a localized infection around a few teeth results in a worsening of everything mentioned above. The disease is now where it can spread to the other teeth and that may not have been previously affected/infected.

The above is not good news if the disease is not diagnosed or treated. What is good news is that periodontal disease is treatable with great success if identified and treated early. It is very important to see Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones and even your dental hygienist at Hendersonville Family Dentistry and  follow their recommendations!