regular-dental-cleanings

Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings

Having a regular dental cleaning is one of the best medical practices to keep your teeth strong and healthy. According to the American Dental Association, you should have a dental examination every six months. For the most part, you should avoid food and activities that compromise your dental health, but regular dental cleanings will ensure your teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean.

Frequenting your dentist is a significant health practice if you want to keep your teeth healthy and your gums from bleeding. There is a lot that goes on when you go for a dental cleaning, and this article will explain everything that happens during the appointment. Let’s get started.

At the Dental Clinic

There are several reasons people visit a dentist. Apart from the regular checkup that involves dental cleaning, dentists will check for many other possible infections that would be a risk to your health.

During routine checkups, dentists will look for cavities, plaque, and tartar on the teeth. For cavities, X-rays will be performed. Plaque is the sticky and scummy film that forms on your teeth which, if unremoved, hardens and leads to the formation of tartar. Dentists will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar, in what is called scaling. Tartar buildup can happen quickly, especially if oral hygiene is neglected between checkups.

Another part of oral examination is the head and neck examination to check for any signs of mouth cancer, diabetes, or deficiencies in vitamins. After the examination, the hygienist will perform the dental cleaning.

Oral practices before and after dental checkups

During every dental visit, your oral hygienist will remind you that you play the most significant part in keeping your teeth healthy. Flossing and brushing your teeth is just part of what should be your daily practice. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth in good health:

•It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, when you wake up and before you go to bed. It will slow down tartar buildup.
•The kind of toothpaste you use is of utmost importance. Dentists recommend using toothpaste with a fluoride ingredient.
•Floss every day.
•Control the buildup of plaque by regularly using mouthwash. Besides plaque control, it also helps in keeping your breath fresh.

Why dental visits are important

There are several factors regarding why you should never miss or postpone a scheduled appointment to your dentist. Below are some of the important points about regular dental checkups:

  1. Consistent oral checkups are the surest way of ensuring you have healthy teeth and non-bleeding gums. This will help you avoid gum diseases like gingivitis.
  2. Scaling and tartar removal will keep you from having discolored teeth. When you have clean white teeth, you can smile freely and have self-esteem and confidence.
  3. Gum diseases are often associated with cardiovascular diseases. When you visit your dentist twice a year for checkups, you reduce the chance of heart disease.
  4. It is estimated that oral cancer claims a life each hour that passes in the US. Dentists have explained these deaths can be curbed if cancer cells are detected early enough during routine dental checkups.
  5. In the case of a tooth fracture or an open cavity, a dentist would quickly fill them during your dental cleaning. It is also easier to treat an early sign of a tooth problem than waiting for it to worsen.
  6. Sometimes you could have a hidden problem under your gum surface. Of course, it is impossible to discover this at home, which is why visiting a dentist is important. An X-Ray can detect hidden issues.

Conclusion

With all the benefits and cautionary advice within this article, the importance of regular dental cleanings cannot be overemphasized. The benefits that come along with a dental cleaning and checkup should spring you into action to make an appointment with a dentist.  Prevention is always better than cure.

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and his highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Shreveport 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.

common-dental-problems

7 Symptoms of Common Dental Problems

A clean and healthy mouth makes is essential for eating, speaking, breathing, and appearance. Dental health improves your self-esteem and enhances your social interaction, which is vital to living a happy, positive life.  You may not realize many common dental problems also attribute to health issues.

Recent Studies show that common dental problems may increase your risk of major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Common dental problems also provide signals to many health disorders. For instance; bleeding gums are a common sign of diabetes, blood disorders, or leukemia.

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay (also referred to as cavities or carries) are damaged areas of your teeth that have turned into holes. Most people associate cavities with children, but they affect people in all age groups. More than 90% of U.S. adults and approximately 1/3 of the world’s population have cavities.

Cavities usually occur when carbohydrates such as cereal, cake, bread, fruits, and soda get stuck between teeth. The carbohydrates, bacteria, and saliva in your mouth form dental plaque; a clear sticky film that clings to your teeth. Acids in the plaque slowly dissolve your teeth enamel, damaging your teeth and causing cavities.

To spot a cavity in your teeth, watch out for dark spots, white spots, and holes on your teeth. Small cavities are more difficult to recognize, but the trained eye of a dentist will catch them. Get rid of food particles and plaque in your mouth by brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

2. Toothaches

A toothache, also known as tooth pain, is a sharp or dull pain on your tooth and the surrounding area. The pain happens when your tooth’s nerve roots are irritated. Severe toothaches have a significant impact on the work, sleep, moods, eating, and daily activities of a person.

In general, toothaches indicate a cavity. The unpleasant pain is also caused by a variety of dental problems including; gum disease, sensitivity, teeth grinding, tooth fracture, abscess and many more. The list of possible causes is extensive, and it is best to visit a dentist immediately before the pain gets worse.

3. Bad Breath (Halitosis)

This is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Bad breath is common among adults, but people rarely get treated because it’s perceived as embarrassing.

There are two main ways to know if you suffer from bad breath. You can lick the inside of your wrist, wait for 5-10 minutes for the saliva to dry out and then smell your wrist. You can also use dental floss on your back teeth and smell it after 2 minutes.

Bad breath can be a symptom of poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco products, or dental cavities. Persistent Halitosis may also signal gum disease, oral infections, oral cancers, and even nose or throat conditions.

4. Discolored Teeth

Discolored or stained teeth can cost someone their confidence, self-esteem and even the desire to smile. Yellow teeth are a natural part of the aging process. As your teeth enamel wears off with age, the yellowish dentin beneath starts to show. However, teeth discoloration may be a symptom of poor dental hygiene and smoking.

Beverages such as coffee, teas, wine, and colas contain substances that can also affect your enamel and cause teeth discoloration or staining.

5. Bleeding, Swollen or Tender Gums

Bleeding, swollen or tender gums are symptoms mainly caused by gum disease (Periodontal Disease). This common dental problem is caused by mouth bacteria eroding your gums and teeth. The swelling and redness are your mouth’s response to the harmful bacteria in your gum.

Dental hygiene and regular dental checkups play a significant role in preventing gum disease. What’s more, recent studies have linked untreated gum disease to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke, so it’s important to have it treated immediately.

6. Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth twinge when you eat cold foods or drink hot beverages, you may be experiencing teeth sensitivity. Generally, sensitive teeth are a symptom of worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots. However, the sensitivity may also be caused by gum disease, cracked teeth, cavities, or a worn filling.

7. Jaw Pain

This throbbing, uncomfortable pain can affect a person’s speaking, eating or sleeping ability. The jaw is responsible for holding your gums and teeth.  Jaw pain can be a symptom of many common dental problems. Jaw pain can be a symptom of Temporomandibular disorder or TMJD (dysfunction of the muscles that move your jaw), teeth grinding, clenching, cavities, gum disease, tooth gaps, and damaged teeth.

Conclusion

Maintaining good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups contribute significantly to reducing your chances of developing most common dental problems and the uncomfortable symptoms that come with them.

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.

3D-Printing-Dentistry

Benefits of 3D Printing in Dentistry

In recent years, the concept of 3D printing for dentistry has been taking the industry by storm. Among all the major industries, dentistry is one that continues to be heavily influenced by this technology.

It seems the applications of 3D printing in dentistry are endless. From fixing a damaged tooth, creating crowns to dental implants, this innovative technology has made it easier for dentists and technicians to provide faster, effective, and cost-effective dental treatments.

A Fast-Growing Billion Dollar Industry

According to a report released in 2015 by SmartTech, 3D printing in dentistry could well be worth a whopping $3.1 billion by 2020. The company also predicted 3D printing systems sales to dental labs or professionals will rocket to approximately $480 million by the end of 2020.

Also, SmartTech predicted that more than 60% of all dental production needs could be easily fulfilled by utilizing 3D printing technology.

The Major Applications of 3D printing for Dentistry

Here are a number of 3D applications in dentistry that could make the work of dental professional much easier:

  1. Surgical Guides

Usually, dental procedures require the professionals to use drills to remove cavities or properly shape the tooth prior to installing a crown or inserting fillings.

Being a highly sensitive procedure, the drilling process must be very precise. Thankfully, 3D printing has made the procedure much easier, effective, fast, and risk-free.

A surgical guide is created by simply scanning the patient’s mouth and creating models similar to the mouth. The model will pinpoint the exact opening where the procedure is to be performed.

2. Crowns

When you break your tooth, a crown is required to fill the damaged part. However, the process of creating tooth crowns is often expensive and time consuming.

But with 3D technology, dental labs all over the world are able to create a new crown in as little as 30 minutes. The doctor scans the patient’s damaged tooth and then uses a special kind of software to create a model crown.

So far, this technology has made the crown filling process much easier, quicker, and affordable for patients. The same technology is currently being used to produce bridges, dentures, caps, and other dental products.

3. Night Guards and Aligners

One of the biggest applications of 3D technology in dentistry is the creation of transparent night guards and aligners.

Transparent night guards and aligners are gaining popularity due to their invisibility.

3D printing has made it extremely easy for dental labs to produce these devices in a fast and efficient manner. A simple scan of a patient’s mouth is required to produce an exact fitting model.

4. Creation of Surgical Tools

Besides allowing for easy creation of dental implants and devices, 3D printing has proven to be very useful in the creation of surgical tools.

By the use of 3D technology, dental labs are now able to produce surgical tools like drills to make surgical procedures easier, faster, and efficient.

Benefits of 3D Printing in Dentistry

There is no denying that 3D technology in dentistry has revolutionized the dentistry industry. Here are some of the major benefits of the technology to both the dental professionals and patients:

1. Dental products and procedures are faster and more accurate

The conventional ways of creating dental implants and other devices is expensive and can be time-consuming. Of course, this means that patients are charged more for the treatments.

The same goes for dental procedures.

3D technology has made the designing and creation much faster, accurate, less costly, and increased production capacity of implants and dental devices. And thanks to the same technology, dental procedures are now faster, safe, effective, and less expensive for patients.

2. Dental professionals get to save money

Setting up a dental laboratory is not cheap. There are numerous costs incurred in the production of dental implants and tools, not to mention skilled labor. The same goes for dental clinics that incur recurrent costs in dental tools and equipment, employees’ salaries, and more.

Imagine how much dental labs would save by making a one-time purchase of a 3D printer to produce dental implants and other products. Imagine how much dental clinics would save by purchasing less expensive crowns, dentures, bridges and more, and install faster and safely.

3. Cost-effective for patients

A big part of the costs incurred in running dental labs and clinics often reflect in patients’ bills. Therefore, by adopting 3D technology, patients will be able to save money while receiving faster and effective treatments.

Wrapping it Up

3D printing in dentistry is without a doubt growing rapidly and has shown great promise for the future. In the next few years, this widespread technology will undoubtedly achieve immense global success.

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.

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.

 

Halloween Candy

8 Tips to Avoid the Halloween Candy Creep

It’s the Halloween season. Scary costumes and spooky decorations aren’t the only things out to frighten you. Halloween candy has a way of creeping up on you. The thought of overindulging in Halloween candy can be particularly troubling for those trying to lose or maintain their weight or those wanting to prevent tooth decay.

Here are 8 tips to avoid the Halloween candy creep.

1. Choose Wisely

Want to hand out candy on Halloween but need to avoid the temptation of eating all the leftovers? When you’re purchasing candy, buy something that kids will love but you don’t. Not a fan of chocolate? Hershey’s bars are a good choice. Mini packs of sugar-free gum are also a nice alternative. Kids love gum, and if you sneak some for yourself, you can do so guilt-free.

Giving out packs of pretzels or crackers is surprisingly popular with kids. They get a fun school-approved snack, and parents appreciate something for their younger trick-or-treaters who aren’t ready for candy.

Non-food goodies such as tattoos, crayons, glow sticks, stamps, or pencils are another option. Kids with braces or food allergies will be glad to get something they can actually enjoy.

Curious to know which popular candy is best and worst for your teeth? We break it down here.

2. Eat Breakfast

Eat your breakfast. Filling up on protein in the morning can leave you feeling full longer. You’re less likely to mindlessly reach for candy when you’re not hungry.

3. Keep Candy Out of Sight

Between now and Christmas, it seems like candy jars are everywhere in the workplace. Ask your co-workers to stash their candy in a cabinet or their desks. You could even gift them with a colored candy jar with a lid. Out of sight, out of mind.

4. Establish Limits

If you want to treat yourself with a little candy this Halloween, decide on a certain time of day to eat your sweet. Eat slowly and take time to enjoy it. Choose preportioned candy such as a mini Snickers rather than snacking from a large bag of M&Ms. Setting some limits can help keep your candy consumption in check.

5. Chew Gum

Instead of reaching for sugary candy, chew sugarless gum. You will get the same sweet sensation without the extra calories and damage to your teeth. Cravings for sweets tend to come when you are feeling stressed. Studies have shown that chewing gum can help you feel less stressed.

6. Find Healthy Options

Enjoy fruit as a healthy alternative to candy. Cantaloupe, blackberries, strawberries, and grapes can easily be brought to the office to fulfill that mid-morning sweet craving.

7. Go for a Walk

If you’re feeling especially tempted, take a walk. Apart from helping you avoid the sweets, it will give you a burst of energy get you through the day.

8. Donate Your Candy

Operation Gratitude is an amazing organization that sends care packages to armed services members, first responders, veterans, and their families. Their Halloween Candy Give-Back Program collects your candy to add to their care packages. Click here to learn how you can ship your Halloween candy donations or to find a local drop-off site.

 

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.

 

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.

water fluoridation

What You Should Know About Water Fluoridation

Using fluoride in drinking water has been debated since its first use in US more than 50 years ago. This issue has resurfaced after Portland, Oregon decided to implement water fluoridation back in 2014. Before this time, Portland was the only large city in USA not having fluoride in their drinking water. What exactly is fluoride, and how much of it is contained in the water that comes out of the tap? Here are some facts about water fluoridation that you should know.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and it is known to strengthen the tooth enamel as well as prevent dental cavities.

Why is fluoride routinely added to public water supplies?

Almost all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride but its level is too low to effectively prevent the teeth from decaying. Over 70 years ago, scientists began to perform tests in order to find out if adjusting the concentration of fluoride in water would enhance the general oral hygiene of the society. This project was referred to as community water fluoridation.

In the 1930s, it was noted that the severity and occurrence of tooth decay was much lower among people whose water contained higher level of natural fluoride which made other cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan to start adding fluoride to their water supply. Today, over 204 million people in the United States of America alone live in places where fluoride is added in the water supply.

How safe and effective is water fluoridation?

According to research, fluoride has been proven to reduce tooth decay by about 25% and water fluoridation is named among the 10 greatest public health inventions of the 20th century. The sources of fluoride have also increased to include certain dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste, professionally applied fluoride products like gels and varnish, and prescription fluoride supplements. In the year 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the level of fluoride in the water supply be lowered to 0.7mg per liter of water. Previously, the fluoride content ranged from 0.7mg-1.2mg per liter of water.

After a careful study of the communities whose water supply was fluoridated, it can be stated that indeed fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Argument Against Fluoridation

Though most of the water supplies in the USA are fluoridated, the risks and benefits of having fluoridated water are still debated.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

There has been an argument where critics states that adding fluoride to water can lead to certain health conditions, the most common one being dental fluorosis; a condition that is caused by intake of excess fluoride. It leads to teeth discoloration and

streaks on the teeth. Other studies suggest that there is a link between brain damage, fractures, cancer and fluoride though no clear connection has been found.

According to Dr. Chris Mott, a downtown Shreveport dentist, the recommended amount of fluoride should provide an adequate level of mineral salt that helps to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults as well as minimize dental fluorosis. If you have any questions concerning water fluoridation and dental health, please contact our office. Dr. Mott would be more than happy to discuss this issue with you further.

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.

 

 

7 Steps to a Better Smile

7 Steps to a Better Smile

It is one of the most sought after things in America. Whether you’re a man or woman, young or old: everyone wants a beautiful smile. Your smile is one of the first ways you make an impression on others, it can tell them a lot about you – including how well you take care of yourself. It is, therefore, important to take good care of your oral hygiene to avoid health complications and make a good first impression, whether it’s on a date or for that big meeting. Having a bright smile not only makes you look better, but also makes you feel and act confident. Acquiring a better smile isn’t always hard, building good consistent habits can go a long way.

Here a some basic ways to make sure you have a good smile, brought to you but Dr. Mott.

Brush Regularly

One of the best ways to clean your teeth is through brushing habitually. This may seem obvious, but just because you already knew it doesn’t mean you practice it! Brushing your teeth is extremely important to do every day, twice a day. It helps to remove food particles that stick to your teeth after meals that encourage bacteria and tooth decay. Brushing your teeth will keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling good. It is helpful to brush your teeth after meals as well. If your dentist, such as Dr. Mott, prescribes fluoride toothpaste because of soft or decaying teeth, that can also help prevent unsightly tooth decay. Be sure to use soft bristled toothbrushes, and be firm but not too harsh while brushing your teeth.

Floss

Another obvious one! However, even less people follow this basic step to improving their smile. Flossing is important for keeping the area between your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing reaches the areas of your mouth that plaque, food particles, and bacteria are likely to accumulate. Flossing regularly will curb gum diseases and keep you healthy. It is recommended by Dr. Mott to floss at least once a day preferably before you go to sleep.

Visit your Dentist

Going for thorough checkups is crucial as it enables the dentist to sense any problem at an early stage so that he or she can catch it and fix it before you need major work done. It also allows the dentist to give you your bi-annual lecture so that you’re more likely to stay on top of your brushing and flossing. You could also take some time to examine your mouth yourself. This is simple: you could start by looking to see if you have swollen gums, bleeding gums, or any other unusual thing in your mouth. Consult your dentist, such as Dr. Mott, on what you should look out for.

Diet

It is essential to make your diet as healthy as possible: incorporate foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin C. This is because calcium strengthens both bones and teeth. Vitamin C also enhances the health of the gums. Ensure that your meals are free from sugary foods and if they are it is best to brush as soon as possible.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking poses risks of gum diseases and bad breath. Smoking causes mouth cancer and can severely affect the health of your gums and teeth. Additionally, the effects of e-cigs are unknown and may have similarly harmful effects so it’s best to stay away from those.

Whiten Teeth

Whitening teeth is a safe and very common procedure. You can get kits from target, or you can get teeth professionally whitened if you feel that it is necessary. You should also seek the dentist’s guidance if your teeth have severe yellowing. It is also of importance to consult your dentist prior to beginning any whitening process.

Cosmetic Procedures

Having crooked, discolored or missing teeth can alter your image and confidence. If you really want a solution to something that can’t be fixed by keeping good habits, you may want to consider a cosmetic procedure such as implants or braces.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Achieving a great smile by keeping healthy habits is entirely doable, and it will also keep you and your mouth healthy. Following the tips provided will ensure that you keep that sparkling smile for years to come. If you need a checkup, advice, or a cosmetic procedure, contact Dr. Mott today and learn how you can achieve the smile of your dreams.

Photo Credit: New Age MD

bad breath

Foods That Mask Bad Breath

Most people are well aware of foods that cause bad breath, however, very few know of foods which can actually freshen one’s breath. Bad breath affects more than half of people world wide. Most of the time, bad breath is caused by certain foods we consume. Other factors include decay in the mouth, smoking, and inflammation of the gums, plaque, or even certain medications.

According to Dr. Mott, a Bossier family dentist, good oral hygiene is still the best way to keep from having to deal with bad breath. Some kinds of foods, however, can actually help you fight bad breath. Here are some options that could freshen your breath in between meals:

1. Yogurt

One of the waste products from anaerobic bacteria is hydrogen sulfide. This is one of the main components that cause bad breath. Yogurt lowers the amounts of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth. In order for it to be effective, it’s essential that you consume sugar-free yogurt. This food tip will especially prove beneficial if the yogurt contains active cultures. Make sure to check whether the yogurt you’re buying contains live active cultures or probiotics. Both are good at fighting bad breath as they create protein chains that inhibit growth of odor-causing bacteria.

2. Food Rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C effectively helps to inhibit growth of odor-causing bacteria. Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. Also, pure lemon juice is an effective anti-bacterial agent that helps in neutralizing odors from odor-causing foods such as onions and garlic. Avoid drinking sodas or juices from citrus fruits which are loaded with sugar. Yes, they may contain lots of Vitamin C, but they’ll do more harm than good to your teeth and waistline. It’d be best to consume citrus fruits as pure juice or raw fruits.

3. Crunchy Fiber Foods

Fiber-rich foods help increase the production of saliva. Crunchy and fibrous foods such as apples are excellent at removing particles and plaque from your teeth. They do just about as good of a job as brushing your teeth. Apples, celery and carrots are not only healthy, but great at fighting bad breath. As well, walnuts are perfect as they have omega-3 fatty acids which help lower the amounts of bacteria in your mouth. Feel free to crunch your way to better breath!

4. Herbs

Several herbs work exceptionally well when it comes to freshening breath. In addition to having anti-bacterial properties, they have a pleasant taste and odor. You can suck on them, chew on them raw, or steep in hot water for tea. Such herbs include peppermint, parsley, green tea, coriander, cardamom, rosemary and cinnamon.

5. Sugarless Gum and Candies

As a standard rule: any snack that increases the flow of saliva will help reduce odor in the mouth. You can opt for various flavors. Mint, for instance, will temporarily mask bad odor. On the other hand, cinnamon can stop it at once. The plant essential oil (cinnamic aldehyde), which is commonly used for flavoring cinnamon candies and gums, helps reduce odor-causing bacteria.

6. Water

It’s essential that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Good hydration will help with your breath and your and your overall health and well-being. Water moistens your mouth and throat, washing down food particles and bacteria that could be in your mouth. Always thoroughly rinse your mouth after eating or drinking anything other than water. Avoid drinking coffee, soda or any other drinks which contain loads of sugar or sweeteners.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Often, bad breath is caused by imbalances of bacteria in the oral cavity. In the long run, masking bad breath is just a short-term solution. It’d be wise to visit a dentist, especially when the foods mentioned above aren’t helping considerably.

Dr. Chris A. Mott, owner of a top Bossier family dentistry office, is highly-experienced and well-respected by his patients. He offer substantially helpful advice on maintaining good breath and overall excellent oral health.

Visit https://www.drchrisamott.com for more information regarding your oral health and learn how you can improve and maintain your health.