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.

 

Solutions for Managing Keto Breath

Have you started a ketogenic diet and suddenly noticed you have bad breath? You’re not alone in your keto breath. The ketogenic (keto) diet is a popular weight loss diet in which users consume foods high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates in order to achieve ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when a person consumes fewer carbohydrates than the daily recommended amount, causing the body to start burning fat for fuel. With low carb intake and the body burning fat for fuel, weight loss often results.

What Is Keto Breath and How Does It Occur?

Keto breath is a type of bad breath that occurs when the body is in ketosis. The breath is characterized by a distinct taste or odor in the mouth that’s quite different from ordinary bad breath. The breath has also been described as tasting metallic or having a nail polish remover–like odor as well as a fruity smell.

So how does the bad breath occur?

Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down stored fat for fuel. When your body burns the stored fats, a natural chemical known as ketone is produced.

Ketones are usually harmless and exit from the body through the mouth and urine. When ketones are released through the mouth, you experience keto breath. This unpleasant breath is one of the signs that your body has entered into ketosis. This unsavory breath can occur on any low-carb diet, including a paleo diet.

How Long Does the Breath Last?

For most dieters, the distinct breath may only last a few weeks after starting a low-carb diet. Fortunately, the breath is temporary and will significantly subside as your body adjusts to the diet.

What Can You Do to Manage Keto Breath?

While the bad breath only occurs for a short time, it can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. Here are some simple solutions for easily and effectively combating your keto breath.

  • Floss and brush your teeth at least 2 times daily.

Poor dental hygiene can worsen your keto diet–induced breath. Although brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis may not eliminate your bad breath completely, it can greatly reduce the odor from your mouth.

Consider carrying an extra toothbrush so you can brush right after lunch or after snacking at work or on the go to prevent your breath from becoming worse. 

  • Chew sugarless gum.

Chewing gum stimulates the production of more saliva in your mouth. Saliva prevents bacteria from sticking in the mouth and also helps break down plaque and eliminate acids in your mouth. Saliva basically rinses your mouth, keeping it clean, fresh, and odor-free.

Consider chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol, as it helps break down bacteria that causes bad breath.

  • Drink plenty of water regularly.

Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis is not just good for your skin and overall health, it can also help combat your bad breath.

When you drink water, the bacteria, plaque, and stuck food particles in your teeth are washed away. While on a keto diet, make a habit of drinking a lot of water, and swish your mouth after eating snacks. This will prevent the odor from building up, keeping your breath fresh all day long.

  • Rinse your mouth with fluoridated mouthwash.

A fluoridated mouthwash can be an effective yet temporary means of eliminating bad breath. Rinsing with the mouthwash helps prevent the formation of plaque and bacteria in places the mouthwash can reach and removes food particles from the mouth.

  • Eat foods that help mask bad breath.

Several foods can help mask bad breath, and there are some great keto-friendly options! Unsweetened yogurt with live cultures and probiotics inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach are all high in vitamin C, which also helps prohibit bacteria growth.

Keto diets are extremely popular right now, but the bad breath that comes with it can be a huge turnoff. Fortunately, you now have some options to help keep the keto breath at bay.

 

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Always consult your doctor before beginning a diet. If bad breath is an ongoing problem for you, it could indicate a more serious condition and you should schedule a visit with your dentist. Dr. Chris A. 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.

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.

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

cavities

These 5 Factors Can Put You at a Higher Risk for Cavities

Cavities are areas of a tooth that have decayed because of the work of certain bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is commonly associated with eating sugary foods, there are other conditions that can increase the possibility of tooth decay. Here are five important factors that can put you at a greater risk of having cavities.

1. Oral Bacteria

Generally, cavities occur when certain strains of bacteria accumulate on your tooth and feed on remnants of the sugar and carbohydrates that you eat. This process creates acids which react with the calcium-based enamel covering of the teeth and create porous areas which eventually become cavities. The volume of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth is one of most prominent factors that determines how fast you can develop cavities in your teeth.

2. Your Diet

The bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar or carbohydrates to stay alive and multiply. Similarly, acidic foods and drinks can react with the calcium in the enamel and erode it. Increasing the level of acidity in the mouth can also make it more difficult for the saliva to restore the pH balance in the mouth. Reducing the consumption of sweets, chocolates and other sugary foods that leave residues on the teeth as well as acidic drinks can help to control the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

3. The Level of Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth correctly early in the morning and just before going to bed would reduce the risk of having cavities. Brushing and flossing dislodges trapped food particles and the plaque developed by oral bacteria. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing it can form a much harder and thicker substance called tartar. Removing tartar usually requires the help of a dentist. In addition, it is important to change your toothbrush regularly and use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Dentists recommend that you change out your toothbrush at least once every three months.

4. Dryness in the Mouth

A dry mouth can make the mouth cavity more acidic and promote tooth decay. Dryness in the mouth is frequently caused by inadequate flow of saliva. It may also be due to the use of medications and chemotherapy. However, when the saliva in the mouth is adequate, the minerals in it can neutralize the effect of excess acidity and even help to rebuild the enamel. To reduce dryness in the mouth, you should drink more water or use a mouth rinse with enamel-fortifying ingredients.

Dr. Chris A Mott

Dr. Chris A Mott

5. The Shape of Your Teeth

In many cases, tooth decay and cavities develop more in the large teeth at the back of the mouth. The premolars and molars are more prone to decay because of the tiny irregularities on their biting surface. These areas normally trap sugar, fiber and leftover food that serves as nutrition for bacteria. That is why it is very important to spend more time brushing the biting surface using a toothbrush with medium-hard bristles. However, the size of the fissures on these teeth differ based on genetics.

These are some of the most critical factors that increase the possibility of developing cavities and tooth decay. With proper dental care, you can reduce the impact of these risk factors and keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not you or your children may be more prone to cavities, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Dental Coverage For Seniors Can Be Difficut to Find

It is no secret that aging is not a pleasant experience. It takes a toll on your general well-being including your teeth. Unfortunately, older people seeking dental services face considerable challenges because they cannot rely on their Medicare coverage.

According to an analysis by American Dental Association between 2011 and 2014, over a third of seniors with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, equivalent to an annual income of $23,000 had untreated tooth decay.

Dr. Michael Helgeson, CEO of Apple Tree Dental explained the cause of this is due to the fact that almost every senior after reaching the age of 65 has to pay for dental out of pocket.

Apple Tree is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis and it operates a total of eight clinics in both California and Minnesota targeting underserved seniors. It also has mobile clinics that provide onsite dental care services at nursing homes and other elder care facilities.

“Medicare does not cover dental care unless it is among the services received in a hospital. However, a senior citizen can have some dental coverage under the Medicare Advantage Program, though it is very minimal and the range of services varies. The plan is more of a loss leader meant to attract people.” Says Dr. Judith Jones, a dentistry professor at Boston University.

Somehow, the elderly  are victims of success in dentistry. Water fluoridation daily tooth brushing along with regular dental visits have led to the improvements in oral health. Today, more than 60% of the elderly living in nursing homes still have their teeth unlike in the early 20th century when people in their 30s and 40s had lost most of their teeth.

But all teeth require care without which, teeth problems will lead to pain which in turn limits the type of food one eats. Conversely, loose the teeth allow bacteria to enter the body.

According to Jones, poor oral health is a source of suffering and embarrassment to low-income seniors without access to dental care.

With no insurance coverage and limited income, seniors are forced to skip dental visits even though they may have overflowing dental issues such as difficulty with chewing and biting, painful and dry mouths, not to mention damaged teeth which leads them, many times,  to avoid interaction or even smiling.

Medicaid, a program created by the federal government to provide free medical services for low-income people covers children dental care but adult dental coverage is spottier. Most states offer emergency dental care to all people with Medicaid but there are eight states that do not offer dental benefits to adults. This is according to a study by Oral Health America.

“It’s not a worthwhile investment for seniors to purchase private dental coverage due to the high premiums and copays.” said Marko Vujicic, vice president of American Dental Association Health Policy Institute.

Low-income seniors only have a few options when it comes to dental care. Federally funded  health centers may offer senior dental services based on one’s income and Apple Tree may try and help a small number of seniors living in their service regions but they are simply a band-aid of sorts.

Dr. Judith Jones recommends Medicare to add a dental benefit for seniors providing diagnostic as well as preventive dental services and seniors needing costly restorative work like bridges and crown can copay. More work still needs to be done in order to make dental care affordable for all seniors.

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.

Operation Gratitude Sends Donated Halloween Candy to Our Troops!

Halloween is here again. Another opportunity has come to say a big thank you to our troops for their selfless service to our nation. As you look forward to wearing your specially crafted costume and collecting different kinds of candies from neighbors, family, and friends, we would like to take a  moment to let you in on a wonderful opportunity for you and your kids to donate your Halloween candy to our troops overseas through a charity known as Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who assemble and send over 250,000 care packages to our troops overseas. They also send care packages to service member’s children who are left here at home, first responders, wounded heroes, veterans, as well as new recruits. Their  goal is to show support and boost the morale of those who do so much for all of us and our country. To date, Operation Gratitude has sent over 1.5 million care packages!

Send Halloween Candy and Other Gifts to Our Troops

You can send a wide variety of candy bars to show your appreciation to our troops. Unlike previous years, you don’t need to differentiate between chocolate and non-chocolate candy or spend time sorting various types of candy. The only types of candy Operation Gratitude cannot accept at this time are the powdery candy varieties like Pixy Stix because they make the packages very messy. In addition to candy, you may send toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, Beanie babies, handmade hats, scarves and paracord bracelets if you would like to add a little something special in addition to your Halloween candy.

Package the Candy in a Nice Box or Carton

Using a box that is not larger than 24” x 24” x 20”, package your candy neatly and send it to Operation Gratitude. To keep loose candy safe in transit, line the boxes with big bags or put the candy in Ziploc bags. In each box, add a completed donation form, which you can download from their website. This form will give the volunteers details about the total number of packages, the total weight of candy and the toothbrushes you are sending, and make it easy for them to send an acknowledgment to you after they receive your package. You may also include letters or cards for our troops in your package.

Send Your Package Early

Send your package as soon as possible. Make sure it gets to the Operation Gratitude volunteers on or before November 15th so it can be included in the annual care packages that they will send to our troops this year. Consider the number of days it will take for your candy to arrive at their office and send it early to avoid delays. The best time to send your package is immediately after you gather the candy. Put together all the packaging materials now so you can send the candy to them before the deadline runs out. They don’t want any of the candy you send to get wasted.

Ship it or Bring it to Their Office

Ship your candy boxes to their address at:

Operation Gratitude

21100 Lassen Street,

Chatsworth, CA 91311,

(818) 469-0448

Please don’t ship candy boxes to any other address apart from this one. To confirm that your package was delivered to their office even before receiving a notice of acknowledgment from us, you can use the tracking facility offered by your shipping agent. For those who live close to their address in California, you may bring your gifts in person while their volunteers are on duty. You may also send your package through a dentist, school, business or club in your community that collects candy on behalf of Operation Gratitude.

Now, that you’ve all the information required to package and send your Halloween treat to show gratitude to our troops, make sure you prepare to get as much candy as possible during the event and follow the steps required to package them and ship them out. They will deliver your candy as promised.

Follow Operation Gratitude on Social Media

To receive current updates on all of our activities at Operation Gratitude, you can check out their official Facebook page and Halloween Candy Give back page if you have not done so before. Here you will find insightful tips, news updates and other information that will be useful to you.

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.