Scary and Not-So-Scary Halloween Treats: A Dental Perspective

It’s that time of year again, where goblins and ghosts haunt your streets in search of a tasty morsel or two. It’s the time of year that children love and dentists despise due to the vast amounts of sugary Halloween treats. Most kids hurry home and, after a thorough checking of their candy by an adult, dive into their sugary treats with complete disregard for their dental hygiene. After all, who’s going to stop and think about brushing and flossing at a time like this? This is Halloween, for Pete’s sake! It only comes once a year!

We parents can work together to make Halloween fun and not so devastating to your kid’s dental health. By choosing dental-friendly Halloween treats to pass out, both kids and parents can look forward to some Halloween shenanigans. Here we go over some of the healthier snacks and treats to give to your trick-or-treaters.

Not-So-Scary Treats

Most dentists will agree that it’s best to stay away from sugary treats all-together, however, they do understand that kids will be kids, so they have some healthier options to offer kids. Chocolate treats that don’t have sticky fillings are a good option. Sugar-free gum or cookies that won’t stick to kid’s teeth are good as well. Look for cookies that are soft and not filled. You could also choose to give away pretzels or goldfish crackers that are nutritious and not loaded with sugar. Pencils, stickers, notepads, bouncy balls, or yo-yos are also fun options that won’t damage their pearly whites.

Super-Scary Treats

As a general rule, anything sticky is horrible for your teeth. This includes anything gummy, taffy, caramels, or sugary nuts or coconut. Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or suckers fall into the super-scary treat category as well, especially the suckers with the bubble gum or tootsie roll fillings. These are especially bad because your child’s teeth are exposed to the sugar for a longer time period as the candy dissolves. What’s more, if your child bites down on hard candies they could quite possibly chip or crack a tooth.

Candies such as Sour Patch Kids or any other highly acidic candy should be avoided at all cost. This acid can damage the tooth enamel and also feeds damaging bacteria in your child’s mouth.

If your child wears braces, you need to be especially careful about the types of treats your orthodontist approves of. Foods like gum, popcorn or other soft candies can become trapped in your child’s braces and either damage their braces or their teeth, and in some cases both.

Best Options for Dental Health

As we mentioned earlier, you can bypass the candy option all together and choose to hand out treats that are still fun but not edible. Rubber spiders, tattoos, raisins, crayons and mini-coloring or puzzle books are all great options, especially for kids with braces. And the best part of these types of treats is you don’t have to check them for tampering. They are safe as is.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Image courtesy of tifotter, creative commons.



Brushing Your Teeth With Charcoal Can Help How?

Should You Brush Your Teeth With Charcoal?

People will try anything from advanced toothpaste to whitening strips and gels to get shining white teeth. But most of the time, these products just don’t produce the results they are looking for. YouTube and Pinterest have revealed that the secret to whiter teeth lies in activated charcoal use. Many bloggers suggest that activated charcoal helps remove the stains left on your teeth from tea, coffee, and red wine in an effective way. Is it a good idea to substitute your mainstream toothpaste with the black powdery charcoal? A number of dental experts were consulted and give their opinions as to whether it is harmless and effective to brush your teeth with charcoal or if you should simply stick to your regular toothpaste.

“Activated charcoal is one of the purifying agents used to absorb impurities,” reveals Dr. Mark Wolff. The powdery substance, in addition to being utilized in air filters, is used in hospitals to treat poisoning or overdose of drugs. The surface of activated charcoal has cracks and crevices that can trap toxic substances. This prevents your body from being harmed by the substance. Afterward, your body removes all the harmful elements via bowel movements.

Today, this useful powder is being used as an ingredient for detox regimens, face masks, and other cleaners. After dominating the health and beauty market, activated charcoal is now being utilized to whiten your smile. As activated charcoal can easily remove toxins from the human body, can’t it wipe away the stains from your teeth?

Reviews from many users reveal that it does in fact work. You just need to break the capsules that contain activated charcoal and blend the powder with water. This creates a paste that can be applied to teeth for three to five minutes. Once you rinse away the charcoal, your smile will come out white and gleaming. Some people choose to benefit from toothpaste that contains charcoal.

Dr. Wolff also revealed that many people have discolored teeth due to poor dental hygiene. Some foods, such as blueberries, can stain teeth as well. Attempts to use charcoal in toothpaste have not proven to be a major success. Dr. Kim Harms, a representative for the American Dental Association, has an opposing view. He says that there is no proof that activated charcoal is helpful in removing stains from teeth. “The substance is just like any other abrasive and it can potentially damage your teeth and gums,” says Dr. Harms.

According to Dr. Harms, products that contain fluoride should be used to clean teeth. You should not stop going to dentists and avoid everyday cleaning of teeth just because you brush your teeth with charcoal. Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter and helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Dr. Harms pointed out that there are innumerable options that can work more effectively than charcoal toothpaste. Instead of opting to brush your teeth with charcoal, you should consult your dentist about purchasing whitening toothpaste that helps you remove stains from your teeth. Dr. Wolff also recommended people to go for the typical whitening toothpaste that has proven to be safe and effective over the years. Other products may turn out to be too abrasive. If you still want to brush your teeth with charcoal, Dr. Wolff advises you to use it cautiously and stop its usage immediately if your teeth become sensitive.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

tax season

Tax Season Special Post: 5 Steps to Prepare for Tax Season Early

We realize this post isn’t about dental hygiene, flossing, or wisdom teeth. We also realize that the dreaded income tax day has come and gone. However, in the spirit of tax season we decided to shake things up and feature an article that will help you get a leg up on next year’s taxes. After all, reducing stress will also decrease teeth grinding, so we see this article as a win-win! Feel free to  let us know what you think.


5 Steps to Prepare for Tax Season Early

After tax season, most people heave a sigh of relief, but the pressure you usually experience during this season can be avoided if you know to how to prepare early. Follow the tips in this article and by the time the little reminders about filing your taxes arrive next spring, you will have very little to worry about.

No matter how many alpha-numericly  labeled forms you have to fill out like the 1099s from the bank or the W-2s sent by your employer, you will be fully prepared for the task. Whether you decide to make use of tax software online or one of the popular mobile apps designed to make things simpler, you will have all the documentation and data required to speed up the process.

Early preparation will help you to avoid costly mistakes that can cause you to lose money or receive unpleasant letters from the IRS. It will also help you to double check all your tax documents so you can enjoy the benefits of additional savings and peace of mind. In addition to the help you can receive from tax accountants and software, here are five effective ways to prepare early for tax season.

Develop a Better System For Each Tax Season

Learn from any challenges you faced or mistakes you made during this last tax season. For instance, you may have had some trouble summing up your gains or losses, or providing receipts for tax deductions. Instead of waiting until you receive fresh reminders from IRS, you should improve on your record keeping and accounting. Create a special place where you will file all tax related documents that come in during the year so you can easily find them.

Put Your Receipts Together

To receive maximum tax returns, you should itemize all possible tax deductions you can benefit from and start putting all your receipts together in one place. Whether they are just a few dollars or more, deductions like out-of-pocket charitable contributions, students loan interest and moving expenses to a new job are some of the commonly overlooked tax deductions. Keeping all of these receipts in order throughout the year as you receive them will save you a boat-load of time come next April. 

List Out Your Income Sources

Before the tax season comes, create a personal list of all your taxable income sources. Don’t depend on the random arrival of various tax forms from others. Your income sources could include: your employer, interest on savings, shares, and mutual funds. Using your personal income list will help you to prevent the late arrival of forms when you felt you had completed all your income tax forms. This will also give you an idea of who you may need to contact in order to obtain these forms in a timely manner if you have not received them by the time you are ready to file. 

Make IRA Contributions

Don’t allow the nature of IRA contributions to encourage you to procrastinate. Even though you can delay this contribution until the deadline for filing taxes, and it will still be accepted, we do not suggest you do so. You can reduce your stress level by removing this additional task from the list of things to do during the tax season. Get it done early; there’s no reason to wait.

Reconsider Withholding Instructions

Traditionally, it makes sense to minimize withholding and pay it during the tax season, so you can keep the money with you for the whole year. However, with the extremely low interest on money kept in a savings account, you should adopt a different approach. Change your withholding levels so that you can receive a tax refund that you can deposit as a lump sum, which will earn a much larger sum of interest.

In short, the information provided here will help you to develop a system that will speed up the tax documentation process even before the tax season arrives. These tips will also help you to keep all your tax-related records properly throughout the year. Why not prepare now and decrease your stress later? Who knows, you just may be able to file early next year.

Shreveport Dentist

Do I Have To Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Often when a person has their wisdom teeth coming in the first thing they think is that they have to get them taken out. However, this may not always be the case. It’s important for those with Wisdom teeth coming in to have an examination by a reputable dentist, such as Dr. Mott and see if extraction is really necessary or if there are other means to save your third molars from being removed.

There are a lot of things that factor into why wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, should be removed or not. The pain of wisdom teeth coming in can appear out of nowhere, suddenly causing extreme discomfort overnight without any given warnings. Some of the reasons may include impacted teeth, which occurs when wisdom teeth do not emerge at the right angle in relation to the jaw bone, oral infections, cavities, and looser gums around wisdom teeth.

What should be done to wisdom teeth?

Most dentists would recommend wisdom teeth extractions to avoid the pain but some people prefer a more comfortable approach in dealing with the problem. As you know, there are slight risks when it comes to wisdom teeth removal, particularly from the harm that may happen throughout the surgery, such as infections and nerve damage.

There are cases where wisdom teeth are not required to be extracted, specifically for wisdom teeth which are functional, cavity-free, with healthy gum tissues, and disease-free. The best thing that anyone can do is to have their wisdom teeth monitored by a reliable dentist. It’s important to take the advice of an experienced dentist such as Dr. Mott.

Having healthy wisdom teeth is good but that does not mean that they won’t be a problem later down the line. If you keep your wisdom teeth, then you should take care of them effectively to avoid complications that could lead to having them removed later. Keep in mind that the teeth are prone to infections and other oral problems. If you do not take care of your wisdom teeth properly, you could end up having serious surgeries, which are costly and painful.

Dr. Mott is an experienced and reputable dentist with years of experience and developed expertise when it comes to making a decision about whether a wisdom tooth should be extracted or not.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Mott has encountered many dental problems, from the simple to the complicated, and has delivered result. When you are caught up in making the right decision, he can give you the best advice for your problem. Whether it’s about your wisdom teeth, root canal, bridge, or any other dental problem you may have, Dr. Mott is committed to achieving the best outcome for your needs.