Shreveport Dentist: Why You Shouldn’t Hate Dentist Visits

How To Get The Man In Your Life To Go To The Dentist

Most of us grew up with the knowledge that one must visit the dentist “at least 2 times a year”. If you’re one of those people who has never missed a dental appointment, then you are well aware of the many benefits of having your teeth checked by a professional dentist every year.

The benefits of regular dental cleanings and dental exams have proven to be beneficial for everyone- from adult men, women, and children. However, there is a sad fact from extensive research that about a 1/3 of American women are more likely to get preventative dental care compared to men.

As a woman who is serious about her dental wellness, it can be very frustrating to see that the man in your life, whether husband or boyfriend, pays little or no attention to his oral health. What’s worse is as a lady with a man who has oral health issues like bad breath or noticeable cavities, getting the courage to at least talk to them about it and persuade them to make the necessary changes can be a very big challenge.

The good news is that there is still a chance that your man may agree to attend a dentist appointment with a little persuasion from you. The truth is, some men don’t even realize the importance of basic dental hygiene like brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing.

Why Don’t Men Visit Dentists as Regularly as Women?

Statistically, men tend to avoid dental visits more compared to their female counterparts. This prompted the Academy of General Dentistry to conduct a survey on dentists and asked them why most male patients often avoid dental exams and care compared to their female counterparts.

According to the dentists, approximately 45 percent of men don’t see the importance of seeing a dentist. About 30 percent of the dentists revealed that most men are embarrassed or just afraid to go to the dentist. And finally, about 18 percent of the dentists said that some men blamed their failure to make dental care appointments to busy schedules.

Other research has found that most men only visit the dentist when they have a problem with their oral health, even though the problem could have been possibly avoided through regular exams and cleanings. Other reasons are societal beliefs where men who visit dentists are perceived by the society as “weak” and that they should just “tough it out”.

So Why Should You Get Your Man to See a Dentist?

As we stated earlier, regular dental cleanings and exams are important for every single person. As a matter of fact, there is no single excuse as to why anyone should miss dental appointments. Just two visits a year are more than enough to prevent a wide array of dental issues.

Getting your man to see a dentist will help:

•Reduce their risk of developing cavities and tooth decay which might lead to expensive treatments thereafter

•Reduce the risk of gum disease which not only causes bad breath, pain, and discomfort, but also increases the risk of heart disease

•Reduce the risk of developing bad breath, which can strain your relationship with him

•Prevent sleep apnea, a condition that has been linked to high blood pressure

•Prevent browning of teeth and plaque, two problems that often lead to low self-esteem

So How Can You Get the Man In Your Life to Go to the Dentist?

Dental care for men is as important as it is for women and children. And given the fact that men tend to avoid dental visits, it’s important that you take the initiative and encourage them to do so. But how do you do it without making them feel embarrassed?

Well, first things first, find out their actual reason for avoiding dentists. If their reason has something to do with fear, anxiety, or a bad previous experience with a dentist, try to approach the issue in a gentle manner. They might feel a little bit embarrassed or even find it extremely hard to share the intricate details at this point. It’s your job to encourage them and show them how having their oral health taken care of by a professional dentist is important to you.

Another common reason is cost.  Many times men will opt to avoid the dentist as a way to save money.  the reality is if they wait to go to the dentist when they have an issue it may end up costing more than routine visits would have.

Luckily, Dr Mott can address any reservations a man has causing him to avoid the dentist. Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Dr Mott accepts most insurances and offers alternative payment options like CareCredit and Lending Club.  Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Oral health resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions for Oral Health

Improving health and well-being are common New Year’s resolutions. But have you considered goals for improving your oral health? Fully understanding the benefits of improving your oral health, which has major implications on general health, is essential for staying motivated to keep your resolutions.  Finding your motivation and taking small steps to achieve your goals will greatly improve your chances for success.

Now let’s take a look at some of the oral health resolutions you may want to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2019.

Brush and Floss Regularly

If your overall goal is to attain better dental health, regular brushing and flossing is a must. Brush your teeth at least twice a day to get rid of plaque-causing bacteria. Use a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

To get rid of food particles that may have accumulated between teeth throughout the day, floss daily, preferably before bedtime. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when you have a cold or the flu. Regular flossing and brushing help prevent gingivitis and tooth decay.

Choose Healthy Foods and Beverages

Choosing healthy foods and beverages is important for improving oral health. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks, such as soft drinks and juice, contribute to tooth decay by encouraging the growth of plaque-causing bacteria. Chewing gum containing xylitol immediately after eating can neutralize acids and reduce plaque as well as cavity-causing bacteria. Choosing foods that are high in calcium and vitamin C strengthens bones and teeth and improves gum health.

Whiten Your Smile

While flossing and brushing your teeth may help improve the condition of your teeth and gums, you may be looking for something a bit more dramatic to revamp your smile. Teeth whitening works by targeting stains at the surface level as well as deep stains. You may want to try over-the-counter tooth-whitening products at home or visit a dentist for a quick, gentle, and long-lasting teeth-whitening procedure.

Get a Straighter Smile

Perhaps it is time you corrected an issue with crooked teeth, tooth crowding, or issues due to thumb sucking or injury. Braces are often used to correct these abnormalities and enhance your smile, but Invisalign can also get great results by using a clear mold to straighten teeth. Consult your dentist to determine if Invisalign is a good option for you.

Opt for Restorative Dentistry

If you have deferred restorative dental work at some point, the right time to do it is in the New Year. Fillings, implants, or crowns can help to restore your smile as well as preserve the structure of the teeth.

Quit All Tobacco Products

Smoking has been found to be a top cause of poor oral health, but smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous for your gums and teeth. Tobacco stains teeth and increases the chances of gum disease and oral cancer. Make quitting tobacco products one of your resolutions. Don’t go it alone. Rally your family and friends to support you, install an app to track progress, and join online stop-smoking groups.

Make Routine Dental Visits

Don’t wait until you are in pain to visit a dentist. Visit your dentist every 6 months. The routine visits you have been neglecting could be all you need to catch and prevent oral disease. If you have anxiety about visiting the dentist, there are several steps you can take to make the process easier.

Don’t let another year slip by without making a commitment to improve your oral health.

 

Dr Mott

Dr. Chris Mott

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Alcohol and oral health

The Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

Tis the season for celebrations. This time of year, many choose to toast the holidays with an alcoholic beverage. While most of us know the dangers of heavy alcohol use, many experts agree that moderate consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle. But how does alcohol affect your oral health?

Immediate Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

  • Sugar – We all know about the effects that sugary foods and colored drinks have on our teeth and gums. One of the reasons alcohol causes oral health problems is that it contains a high amount of sugar, a leading cause of tooth decay.
  • Acid – The risks of tooth decay increase if you are mixing your alcohol with sugary and acidic drinks such as soda or juice. Sugar causes decay- and cavity-causing bacteria to thrive in the mouth, while acid erodes tooth enamel.
  • Staining – Colored drinks stain your teeth. The staining is caused by chromogens that latch on your teeth after the enamel has been weakened by the acid found in your drink. This means that drinks mixed with soda and juice cause twice as much harm.
  • Dehydration – Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which includes the drying of the mouth. With the reduced flow of saliva due to dehydration, harmful bacteria tend to cling on the enamel instead of being naturally washed away. This results in tooth decay. Bad breath is another side effect of dehydration.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

Heavy drinking, more than 15 drinks per week for men and 8 for women, causes serious oral health consequences. Besides the usual staining of teeth and tooth decay, there is a high risk of gum disease, mouth sores, and even oral cancer. Teeth erosion, or the wearing away of the enamel, is a common problem resulting from acid from excessive vomiting. Heavy drinking is also a leading cause of teeth grinding, especially during sleep. Teeth grinding can lead to sensitivity and decay from the wearing away of enamel.

Alcoholism also often results in folate deficiency and deficiencies in other B-complex vitamins. These deficiencies increase the chances of developing a swollen tongue, recurrent ulcers, mouth sores, altered taste, inflammation of the mouth, and tingling in and around the mouth. Heavy alcohol and tobacco use are also a leading cause of oral cancer.

Alcohol and Oral Health Preventive Practices

The best way to combat the negative effects of alcohol on your oral health is to avoid it completely. However, if you choose to drink in moderation, choose your drink wisely. Avoid colored, sugary, and mixed alcoholic drinks. Settle for light beers that have low acidity and high water content. Gin and tonics are also a great option since they are clear and do not stain teeth. Drier, low-sugar drinks such as brut champagne are also a good choice when trying to avoid damage to your teeth and gums.

If you do consume alcohol, simple, healthy habits practiced on a daily basis will help you preserve your dental health. Brush your teeth regularly, floss, and keep hydrated. Most importantly, pay regular visits to your dentist to ensure that you keep your smile beautiful and healthy.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Top 4 Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening: Good Oral Health

Teeth whitening is an easy and affordable way to restore brightness to your smile, making it a popular procedure in the field of cosmetic dentistry. While there are few restrictions to such a procedure, avoiding certain foods and drinks can help you maintain your teeth whitening for a longer period of time.

As Bossier dentist Dr. Chris Mott explains, “Teeth are specifically vulnerable to staining immediately following a thorough whitening session, and adjusting your eating habits after the procedure can assist your teeth to remain to brighten to their whitest possible shade.”

The foods and drinks discussed in this piece have proven to be those that can cause discomfort to other sensitive areas of your mouth as well as your teeth. It is suggested that these items be avoided if you choose to receive teeth whitening treatments.

Dark Beverages

Clear or light-colored liquids such as milk or water are perfectly fine following a whitening treatment, however, colored beverages can leave stains on your freshly whitened smile. Avoid drinking dark soft drinks, tea, coffee, and red wine for several days after undergoing a teeth whitening session.

Colored juices like tomato juice, grape juice, orange juice and cranberry juice may also stain your teeth, according to teeth whitening precautions. You can  reduce the contact of any liquids on your teeth by only sipping beverages through a straw.

Staining Foods

As with the beverages we just mentioned,  many foods and ingredients are more likely to stain your teeth. Staining culprits include dark soups, dark chocolate, tomato sauces, soy sauce, stews, beets, dark marinades, and blueberries. Indian and Spanish cuisines may also darken your teeth due to the liberal use of curry and tomato sauces. Avoiding these foods can keep your teeth bright and white. 

Cold Drinks and Foods

Teeth may be sensitive to cold temperatures for nearly 36 hours after a whitening session. To reduce pain due to temperature sensitivity, avoid direct contact with any cold foods and drinks. If your sensitivity is high, avoid eating some foods straight from the refrigerator and only consume items at room temperature or warmer.

Acidic Foods

The process of teeth whitening can easily leave teeth temporarily sensitive to all acidic foods and drinks, resulting in discomfort and pain while eating.

As the bossier dentist, low-pH items such as limes, oranges, vinegar, lemons, pineapple, pickles, grapefruit, and soft drinks can raise the acidity of your saliva, possibly damaging areas of your teeth that have already weakened by whitening chemicals.

Avoiding these items after your whitening treatment can assist you to prevent food-related pain. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, you may be specifically sensitive to acidic foods or drinks if you have preexisting cracks in your teeth, gum recession, or leaking dental restorations.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Dental Visit

An essential step before teeth whitening is consultation from your Bossier dentist to determine if whitening is recommended and to determine whether or not you may have sensitivity issues afterwards. Your dentist can easily carry out an evaluation of your teeth and also conduct a “touch and air” test to find out the kind of whitening treatment that would be most appropriate for your specific teeth.

If you need more advice about teeth whitening, visit Dr. Chris A. Mott. Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

3 Possible Dangers of Using Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are battery-powered or rechargeable toothbrushes with spinning, vibrating, or oscillating bristles that help clean the teeth. Because of these additional features, they are often perceived as being more effective in cleaning teeth with minimal effort. Despite these beneficial aspects of electric toothbrushes, they do offer a certain amount of danger if used incorrectly. In fact, according to Dr. Chris Mott, continuously using such a brush incorrectly can leave your teeth in worse shape than before. Below are some of the possible dangers of using these types of toothbrushes:

Danger to the Enamel

Brushing vigorously with an electric toothbrush can exert enough pressure to wear away your protective tooth enamel. This can be attributed to the abrasion that is caused by the spinning, vibration, or oscillations of the bristles when brushing hard with an electric brush. Dr. Chris Mott an experienced local dentist recommends moderation and light handed control in the use of these toothbrushes. In fact in extreme cases, the patient may be advised to stop using these types of toothbrushes altogether.

Receding Gums

After long-term use, you may also begin to notice that your gums are also receding. This is particularly common with the bottom front teeth. It often results in excessive sensitivity, where you experience pain whenever you drink something cold or hot. You may also begin to experience excessive bleeding when brushing your teeth. The teeth may also begin aching whenever you start brushing them. If you initially had healthy teeth, you may want to switch back to a normal brush and visit your dentist to assess the damage.

Over brushing the Teeth

Electric toothbrushes are very powerful gadgets. For this reason, brushing your teeth using these devices requires you to be extremely careful. However, so many people damage their teeth because they either brush them too often or too hard. Ideally, brushing your teeth vigorously or for more than two minutes can result in complications. In fact, this is the main cause of gum problems and abrasion cavities with these toothbrushes. This can be particularly challenging with children using these types of toothbrushes as they might not be aware of how hard they are brushing. To be on the safe side, Dr. Chris Mott advises that you supervise your little ones when they are brushing their teeth using these gadgets.

In spite of all these shortcomings, electric toothbrushes do have their own merits. For instance, besides being quite effective in their performance, they are also known to reduce incidents of gingivitis, a serious dental condition which is characterized by gum inflammation. If left untreated for long, this condition can even lead to the loss of teeth.

Although they are known to be more effective in removing plaque from teeth, electric toothbrushes need to be handled with great care. You do not need to apply excessive force in order to remove the plague. Instead, you need to be gently and let the bristles do their job. Just guide the brush and everything else will go well. Taking all these precautions will ensure that you have good dental health and you are not prone to irreversible teeth enamel damage or gum recession. If you have noticed any unusual dental problems, you can consult Dr. Chris Mott a local Shreveport Bossier dentist who provides quality advice and dental care to those people with dental issues.

 

 

Need a Root Canal? Here’s What You Can Expect

Toothaches can be quite uncomfortable. Nobody can deny this. The best way to deal with dental pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Mott can help keep your teeth and gums clean, healthy, and pain-free. We realize, however, that sometimes things happen and tooth pain is inevitable.

There are times when a root canal is the best possible course of treatment for particular dental ailments. Root canals have a history of being one of the most vilified dental procedures of all-time. There are so many joke and stories swirling around about root canals that people tend to avoid them altogether unless their dental issues prove so excruciating that they are forced to face their fears.

But, are root canals really so scary? Is there any truth to the stories people tell about them? We’re here today to solve that mystery and put your mind at ease once and for all concerning root canals. Let’s get started…

Before building up huge amounts of anxiety about whether or not you need a root canal, let’s discuss some of the times dentists opt to perform this procedure.

Reasons You May Need a Root Canal

Root canals become necessary when the natural cavity surrounded by pulp within one’s tooth where the nerve resides becomes infected. When a bacterial infection attacks this cavity, the bacteria in question produce a gas that exerts pressure upon the tooth’s nerve. It is because of this pressure that pain manifests.

Some people have been known to struggle with additional symptoms such swelling of the face and neck. The excruciating pain resulting from these infections isn’t always immediate. Most people first struggle with mild levels of discomfort which manifest whenever they are eating or drinking.

Rather than waiting for the pain to emerge, such problems can be identified using an X-ray, at which point you could come in to see Dr. Mott and seek treatment.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The term refers to a dental procedure during which the nerve of a tooth (and the pulp surrounding it) are removed. As scary as it may sound, this procedure will not affect the health of your tooth. The nerve and the pulp in your cavity only exist to fulfill sensory purposes. This nerve is the reason you can feel hot and cold temperatures around your teeth. Removing the nerve will do little to affect the health of your tooth.

The Procedure

Root canals are relatively straightforward procedures. Before one is performed, an X-ray must be carried out to identify the problem and determine the extent of the damage. Once the actual procedure begins, the area around the tooth in question is numbed.

A hole is then drilled into the tooth, providing access to the nerve and pulp which is then removed, along with any decayed tissue. The cavity of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. It is that simple.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Sometimes, the root canal cannot be completed on the same day, in which case the hole in the tooth is covered using temporary filling until the next appointment.
Root canals are almost always a success and are generally painless. People who complain about the pain of a root canal are usually talking about the discomfort they were dealing with before they sought the dental care to relieve the pain. When performed by an experienced professional such as Dr. Mott, root canals will relieve pain and restore your mouth to its original pain-free condition.

Dr. Chris A. Mott is a highly-experienced and well-respected dentist serving the Shreveport and Bossier areas. If you feel you may be in need of a root canal or just need a cleaning or checkup, please feel free to call our office and set up an appointment. We would love to welcome you into the Mott dental family.

Most Incredible Toothbrushes of All time

Toothbrushes are one of the most ordinary items in life, it is almost hard to imagine how their monotonous design can be complicated or simplified. But somehow, people still manage to add unusual aspects. New models of toothbrushes are introduced yearly. Here is an outline of some of the most incredible toothbrushes of all time.

  • Dew toothbrush, self-standing toothbrush

The handle of this toothbrush is weighted and has a rounded end so that it can balance on the base. When this toothbrush is set down, it sways momentarily until it balances hence eliminating the concerns that your toothbrush maybe resting on a dirty surface

  • OHSO pocket toothbrush

This pocket toothbrush is convenient and compact. It has a small easy to fill and air-tight chamber that holds toothpaste saving travelers the hassle of carrying both toothpaste and a toothbrush. It is stored in a small plastic case and it can fit in the pocket, purse or a backpack.

  • Brush and Rinse Toothbrush

The current methods of getting water to the mouth when brushing create a lot of waste, are sloppy and they strain the body. This toothbrush solves this problem by redirecting water from the faucet to the mouth allowing easy rinsing.

  • Environmental Toothbrush

The love for the environment and brushing earned Dentist Natalya Taylor the idea to create these environmental toothbrushes. They are made from natural cellulose fiber and bamboo. They are environmentally sustainable, 100 percent biodegradable and do not pollute the environment.

  • Double Fast Toothbrush

This is a double sided electric toothbrush with bristles on both the bottom and the top. They are ideal for people who are compulsive about their oral hygiene yet hardly have time to brush their teeth normally.

  • Toothbrush without Toothpaste

Known as Soladey-J3X , these are solar powered toothbrushes that do not require toothpaste. Instead, they have a solar panel at the base that transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush. The electrons react with the acid in the mouth creating a chemical reaction that kills bacteria and breaks down plaque. In order to operate efficiently, Soladey-J3X require twice the amount of light a solar powered calculator does.

  • Finger Mounted Toothbrush

Finger mounted toothbrushes are said to be one of the most effective toothbrushes. They comprise of a finger glove and a toothbrush that is a mounted at the top.

  • Silicone Baby Toothbrush

With a design similar to a finger mounted toothbrush, silicone baby toothbrushes are made of silicone and they are designed for babies who have not yet had teeth.

  • Pocket Electric Toothbrush

These toothbrushes are aimed at busy yet oral hygiene conscious women with crowded purses for a heavy tube of toothpaste and a big toothbrush. They feature a toothbrush that is concealed in a tube-like case that looks like a tube of mascara. They also have an AA battery that can last for about three months under normal use.

  • Tooth Tunes Toothbrush

Hasbro, a toy and board game company based in the US created these toothbrushes with the aim of convincing kids that brushing is fun. When the user presses a button, they play pop music and the better one brushes, the better the sound of the song being played.

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.

Patients Ask: Why Do We Have Morning Breath?

Having bad breath in the morning, or “morning breath”,  is quite common. In fact, most of us cover our mouths and look away when we wake up since that is not the breath we would like to great our partners with in the morning. Bad breath occurs for various reasons, some of which are easy to avoid or eliminate altogether.

What Causes Morning Breath?

The primary reason why we have bad breath in the morning is that when you sleep, your mouth essentially dries up. As a result, the bacteria that produce odor take this opportunity to thrive. This means that as long as the bacteria are present in your mouth and you are asleep you will most likely wake up with bad breath. The best way to avoid waking up with bad breath is to eliminate these bacteria. This can easily be done by brushing your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste before going to bed. After brushing you should go directly to bed without eating or drinking anything. You should also ensure you brush your teeth for up to two minutes instead of the usual thirty to fifty seconds that most people spend brushing. Flossing and rinsing using a mouthwash also helps significantly in ensuring the bacteria are eliminated effectively.

If you snore or sleep with your mouth open you will be even more prone to morning breath. This is because snoring and breathing through your mouth make your mouth even drier allowing the odor causing bacteria to thrive even better. There are a number of snoring solutions you can use but the most effective one is ensuring your mouth is clean prior to going to bed.

Other causes of morning breath include some medications which usually cause the mouth to be dry overnight. This is the primary reason older people who use more medications are affected by the issue of morning breath more often than others. Smokers are also more prone to waking up with unpleasant breath. This is because besides making the mouth incredibly dry, smoking also increases the temperature in the mouth which in turn creates better conditions for the odor causing bacteria to thrive. Allergies can also result with morning breath because the mucus that drips at the back of your throat is food to bacteria. If it is infected it can dramatically increase the number of the odor causing bacteria.

What Can Be Done?

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

To eliminate the issue of morning breath and other dental problems it is always advisable to consult a professional dentist. One of the top dentists in Shreveport family dentistry is Dr. Chris A. Mott. Dr. Mott is highly respected in the Shreveport area because he has more than twenty five years of experience. Through these years he has been able to perform basic to complex operations. Dr. Mott is also rated highly in Shreveport family dentistry because he uses state of the art equipment to ensure all his patients get the best treatments possible. Patients also get insurance and alternative payment choices when they visit Dr. Chris Mott, therefore making paying for services more convenient. Dr. Mott provides all the dentistry services in a way that makes his patients feel satisfied and comfortable.

When it comes to morning breath and other dental issues, Dr. Chris Mott is one of the best providers of Shreveport family dentistry services. If you are having issues with morning breath, please take a moment and call our office and schedule an appointment. Dr. Mott is happy to assist you with all of your oral health needs.

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, flickr.com creative commons.

 

 

How to Maintain Healthy Teeth Pt 2

In the first part of our two part series, Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris Mott shares the first 5 tips on maintaining a healthy mouth. Dr. Mott picks up where he left off and shares the final 5 tips below:

Use Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens enamel to reduce the chances of tooth decay. If your water is not fluoridated, your dental professional may suggest applying a fluoride application to your teeth. While many toothbrushes and mouth rinses contain fluoride, they should be used sparingly (about a pea-sized dab) in young children. Too much fluoride causes unwanted white spots on the teeth, but just enough will prevent tooth decay.

Stop Smoking and Using Tobacco

Tobacco not only stains teeth, but also increases the chances of gum disease and oral cancer. So it’s better you quit smoking or chewing tobacco and teach your kids not to start.

Protect Your Teeth

While sports and recreational activities are healthy, they can be a threat to your teeth. Schools might require children to wear mouth guards while playing contact sports to protect teeth from rough playing. This will be in your favor to prevent any damage to you or your child’s teeth. 

As unsupervised recreational activities like skateboarding and rollerblading can also lead to injuries, have your dentist customize a mouthguard for you or your child. You can also buy mouth guards at sports stores. Most will soften with hot water to mold to your individual mouth shape.

Say No to Sugary Foods

Mouth bacteria breaks down simple sugars into acids which will erode tooth enamel and start the process of tooth decay. It’s important to avoid sweets, chocolates, and sugary drinks, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks. Sipping on these drinks over a long period of time raises will raise the body’s acid levels. Additionally, carbonated drinks will worsen matters as carbonation increases decaying activity. Snacks such as sticky candies will also linger on teeth surfaces for long periods of time.

Make an Appointment

Dr. Mott recommends to have a dental check at least twice a year, and preferably more if you have problems with gum disease or other mouth problems. During these dental checks your dentist will remove built-up plaque you are unable reach while also looking for signs of decay. Moreover, a regular dental exam helps identify:

  1. The early signs of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the elderly. However, by the time the average person notices the signs, it’s almost always too late to reverse things. This is why a periodical dental check is important to find out if your gums show signs of trouble.
  2. Dangerous medication interactions. Older patients, especially if they take various medications, risk a dry mouth or xerostomia. Xerostomia is the reduction of saliva flow. This process increases the risks of tooth decay and gum disease. About 800 drugs can cause dry mouth, so you should make sure to inform your dentist about any medications you take. Changes in prescription and saliva-like oral mouthwashes can help alleviate the problem.
  3. The early signs of oral cancer. 9 out of 10 oral cancer cases can be treated if detected early on. However if undetected, the cancer spreads throughout the body and is difficult to treat.

Worn out teeth due to tooth grinding. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is triggered by anxiety or stress. Over time grinding wears down the teeth’s chewing surfaces, making them vulnerable to decay. If you have signs of bruxism, your dentist can recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to stop grinding.

Typically, good oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay and most gum diseases. All it takes is a few minutes a day of brushing and flossing your teeth and regular checkups from your local Shreveport dentist, for a lifetime of having a happy and healthy mouth!