Halloween is just one day away, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan.
Have a Plan
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. “Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest,” Dr. Rouhanian says. We at Quince Orchard Dental Care will have a candy take-back program. Every pound of candy donated you get $1. You can donate up to 10 pounds!!
We will donate the candy to the Troops.
Time It Right
Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. ”Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet,” Dr. Lewis says.
Choose Candy Carefully
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Drink More Water
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
Chew Gum with the ADA Seal
Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. “You might even want to think about giving sugarless gum out as a treat instead of candy,” says Dr. Plesset. Find one with the ADA Seal.
Brush Twice a Day & Floss Daily
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
Visit Our Dentists
Regular visits to Quince Orchard Dental Care can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”
It’s one of our favorite times of the year here at Quince Orchard Dental Care. We have decorated the office and are counting down to Halloween which comes with its ghosts, goblins and goodies. Among all the fun and the frolic, what is to be kept in mind is that the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.
The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When these micro-organisms eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, they produce a weak acid that is a primary cause of cavities.
But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says our Pediatric Dentist Dr. Abdillahi. “It’s OK to splurge on candy this Halloween as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”
To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, Quince Orchard Dental Care has a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also the most popular kind of candy handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Rouhanian says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” says our Orthodontist Dr. Hagan.
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful”, says our Pediatric Dentist Dr. Lewis. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Plesset. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth,” says our Endodontist Dr. Khalili. “They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”
A recent news report questioned whether existing scientific research support oral health benefits associated with flossing. The bottom line is that a lack of strong evidence doesn’t equate to a lack of effectiveness. Our doctors at Quince Orchard Dental Care are in the best position to advise you (our patients) on oral hygiene practices because we know our patient’s oral health status and health history.
The news story also implied that by not including flossing in the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the government has changed its stance on flossing, however, this is simply not the case. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake (i.e., added sugar).
The Dietary Guidelines have no bearing on the longstanding recommendation from the Surgeon General, the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), and other health agencies to clean between teeth daily. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reaffirms the importance of flossing in an Aug. 4 statement to the American Dental Association, which states:
“Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque. At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), CDC’s Division of Oral Health and Healthy People 2020 have additional information and resources about efforts to address and improve oral health.”
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.
More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque; some are good and some are bad for your mouth. Together with food debris, water and other components, the plaque buildup around the teeth and on the gum line will contribute to disease in teeth and gums.
Whether you use floss or another interdental cleaner is a personal preference, but it’s very important to understand the proper technique for each tool so that it is effective. We encourage our patients to ask our dentists and hygienist about how to use interdental cleaners to ensure efficacy.
To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association and our doctors continues to recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits.
Parents in the past have voiced their concern about BPA and dental sealants. Recently the ADA Science Institute staff tested the BPA release from 12 dental sealants used by dentists in the U.S. They found the BPA released from dental sealants is .09 nanograms, “well below” the EPA’s limit proposed for a 6-year-old child. A 6-year-old child is exposed to more BPA from food, drinks, and cosmetic products than from the amount that is in dental sealants.
The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, evaluated sealants and their ability to prevent or manage dental caries for two years or longer. The groups analysis indicated that children treated with sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the incidence of caries on the chewing surfaces compared with children that did not receive sealants. There were no reports of any adverse outcomes or health concerns related to the use of pit and fissure sealants, adding further to the merit of using sealants as a routine part of preventive dental services.
All of our doctors at Quince Orchard Dental Care agree dental sealants are a powerful and effective therapy in the fight against childhood dental decay and disease. We put a lot of emphasis on prevention and sealants are a great way to help prevent kids of all ages from getting cavities.
Treatment options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy and surgery. CPAP is the gold standard for obstructive sleep apnea, but what about patients who can’t or won’t tolerate it. For them the alternative is an Oral Appliance.
Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.
Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Our dentists will recommend the device that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
Just like anything else oral appliances aren’t for everyone. Those with central sleep apnea or those with morbid obesity, and patients with limited ability to open due to acute TMD should not try oral appliances. Lastly those with poor dentition need to first restore their teeth to health before an oral appliance can be made for them.
Beating sleep apnea should be an amazing experience, not a headache-inducing one. We work closely with many physicians who specialize in OSA and sleep centers and we make sure together we provide you with the best treatment options. Great news is there are many medical insurance policies that will at least partially cover the cost of oral appliance therapy! Dr. Rouhanian is a participating provider for many PPO insurances, BlueCross BlueShield, and our practice will also accepts Medicare and Tricare. Our team members have a lot of experience with insurances, and one of our goals is to help you maximize your available benefits.
Our main goal is for our patients to get healthy. We are your healthcare advocate and taking on Obstructive Sleep Apnea is just another way we want to help our patients improve their quality of life and achieve complete health.
Many patients have asked us what they can do about their snoring or their significant others snoring. They tell us they sleep the 7-8 hours recommended at night and still feel tired when they wake up. We all know someone who is always tired. Others who snore so loud they wake themselves up. We at Quince Orchard Dental Care wanted to make sure all of our patients know a little more about their options when it comes to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea and how our dentists can have a huge impact on their quality of life.
Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea.
Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.
Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, large tongue or tonsils, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.
Although our dentist cannot diagnose the disorder, they can recommend a patient to a sleep medicine specialist. Dentist see into the mouth more than physicians do and the signs are easy to identify. Starting this month we provide every patient with a questionnaire during their semi-annual Checkup visits to help screen for potential obstructive sleep apnea and snoring problems.
Treating obstructive sleep apnea is incredibly important to your health. When left untreated, sleep apnea often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and take a toll on brain function and cause memory loss. Sleep apnea also is a threat to your safety as it increases your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated sleep apnea raises your risk for serious health problems. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Erectile Dysfunction Depression
- Severe, untreated sleep apnea even increases your risk of death
At Quince Orchard Dental Care, we understand that not every patient has a dental plan or an unlimited budget. We participate with almost all PPO insurance plans and also accept Maryland Healthy Smiles. We also provide third party financing with CareCredit. We offer these options for your convenience and to protect the health of your teeth and your overall health.
We provide affordable dental care but we refuse to compromise the dental work and personal service we provide for our patients. From when you walk in the door until you leave we expect you to be amazed with how you are treated and the level of care you are receiving from us.
When deciding on your dental treatment, if you have dental insurances, your dental benefits should not dictate your treatment. Often, you may have dental needs that are not covered by your plan. Your treatment should always be determined by your needs that you and our doctors discuss, not your insurance.
Lastly it is important to remember when you postpone treatment of an infected gum or decaying tooth, you may need much more extensive and expensive dental work in the future. Early intervention is critical to the health of your smile.
Schedule your dental checkup with us today and save $231.00!!! That’s right!
You will receive an Exam, Cleaning, 4 X-rays, and Fluoride for only $109.00 (Reg price $340). What are you waiting for? Don’t let your dental health suffer. Pick up the phone now and call us at 301-527-2727 or click here to schedule an appointment with us to ensure your smile stays in perfect shape.
**New Patients only, not valid with other offers, restrictions may apply.
This month our team had a discussion about how many incorrect myths we hear from our patients regarding dental treatment and cavities. Then soon after we saw a great article on WebMD regarding it as well. So we wanted to share with you some of the highlights of that article along with some additional info we added in ourselves. We really hope this helps!
1. Myth: Sugar Is the Only Thing That Causes Cavities
The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities, and any carb you eat can start that process. That includes sugar as well as rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, and vegetables.
2. Fact: Acid Causes Tooth Decay
Acidic foods can break down your teeth’s outer shell (called the enamel), weaken the tooth, and make teeth more likely to decay. So to recap, the bacteria produces the acid which is responsible for tooth decay. Eating acidic foods often throughout the day (including juice and soda) can enhance that process. So go light on the acid and practice good oral care.
3. Myth: Kids Get Way More Cavities than Adults
Thanks to fluoride in tap water, this has actually cut decay in school-aged children by half in the last 20 years. On the flip side, cavities in senior citizens are on the rise because of medicines that dry out the mouth. They reduce saliva, which means you don’t get the self-cleanse that protects your teeth.
4. Myth: Aspirin Next to a Tooth Will Help a Toothache
You have to swallow the aspirin to ease your pain. Since aspirin is acidic, it could burn your gum tissue and cause a painful ulcer if you place it next to a tooth.
5. Myth: All Fillings Will Need to Replaced
Fillings do have a life expectancy; usually somewhere around 7-10 years but it depends on things like tooth wear and oral hygiene. If you keep up with your dental routine, you’re less likely to have problems, and your fillings may last longer.
6. Myth: You’ll Know When You Have a Cavity
Sometimes you will know it, but at that point, it has usually spread to a larger proportion than it would have if it had been found at a routine dental screening. If you feel a cavity, then it’s much closer to the nerve than you think. With timely checkups, our doctors can find a cavity before it causes pain.
7. Fact: Once a Tooth Is Treated, the Decay Stops
After our Doctors fills a cavity, the decay at the spot comes to a halt. But if you don’t take care of your teeth, a new cavity may develop next to the filling or even around it.
8. Fact: Cavities Are More Likely Between Teeth
Anywhere bacteria can hide that you can’t or aren’t able to reach with a toothbrush or floss is a likely place for decay. Using a mouthwash can also help get to tough spots.
9. Myth: Clenching and Grinding May Lead to Cavities
It may be a myth, but it’s too not far from fact. Cavities come from acid-producing bacteria. But clenching and grinding are among the worst things you can do to your teeth.
With normal chewing, teeth touch for a tiny fraction of a millisecond, which causes little stress. But clenching and grinding put a huge amount of pressure on your teeth. The strain can wear away the enamel, leaving it more vulnerable to decay.
Also, when you clench and grind, it can cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. They are more likely to decay. We always recommend a Night Guard to all of our patients who grind and clench. Most insurances companies cover a portion of your Night Guard as well.
10. Myth: Gaps in Teeth Lead to Cavities
Bigger gaps are easier to keep clean most of the time. So as long as food doesn’t get stuck in the gap when you eat and deposit bacteria, wide spaces are less likely to decay. Keep an eye on small gaps, though. Food may get stuck there and lead to cavities if it’s not cleaned out.
There are other dental products like the proxy brush that are meant to be used in gaps to make sure food and plaque doesn’t just sit there. Ask our doctors and hygienist for more information at your next cleaning.
11. Fact: Chips and Cracks in Teeth Lead to Decay
They create a home for bacteria where your toothbrush won’t reach. This can speed up decay. Use a fluoride mouth rinse to reach hidden spots.
12. Myth: Sensitivity in Teeth Means You Have Decay
While cavities can cause some sensitivities to cold and sweets, not all do. Other things might be making your teeth hurt like grinding, clenching, gum recession or tooth fractures.
13. Myth: Cavities Are the Only Reason for Root Canals
You need a root canal if the nerve inside a tooth is damaged. An unfilled cavity can lead to a root canal, but so can other things, like clenching and grinding causing injury to the tooth.
14. Myth: Babies Can’t Get Cavities
Baby teeth can get cavities that spread to other teeth if left untreated.
15. Fact: You Have to Brush, Floss, and Rinse to Prevent Cavities
Absolutely! Prevention is the key. You need to remove bacteria from teeth. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss and rinse every day. This is one of the easiest things you can do to maintain your oral health. If you remove bacteria each day from every area of your tooth, you won’t get cavities.
Half of the year is in the books and so make sure you don’t wait till the end of the year to use your insurance. So think of this as your half yearly reminder to make appointments for you and your family’s cleanings or unfinished treatment.
Summertime is Dental Checkup Time!
At Quince Orchard Dental Care, we know it’s always a challenge scheduling and keeping dental visits during the school year. Now is a great time to schedule your child’s checkup, cleaning and any treatment that you may have been delaying. Take care of recommended dental treatment now before it may become an emergency and save yourself time and money.
And during the month of July, you can schedule your child’s dental checkup with us and save $201.00!!! That’s right!
Your child will receive an Exam, Cleaning, 2 X-rays, and Fluoride for only $89.00 (Reg price $290). What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone now and call us at 301-527-2727 or click here to schedule an appointment with us to ensure your child’s smile stays in shape this Summer.
At Quince Orchard Dental Care, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Ossob Abdillahi to our team. Dr. Ossob was hand picked by our previous Pediatric Dentist – Dr. Stovall who made the decision to work closer to her home. Dr. Stovall has known Dr. Ossob for many years and is confident that she will deliver the same level of dental care that you are accustom to receiving at our clinic. With such a genuine personality and love for children, we are extremely thrilled to have Dr. Ossob working at our office.
Dr. Ossob Abdillahi graduated in 2005 from the School of Dental Medicine at the Université de Montréal, Canada. Upon graduation, she was the recipient of the Oral Biology award from the American Association of Oral Biologists. In 2006, she completed her General Practice Residency at the University of Washington. In the summer of 2007, Dr. Abdillahi volunteered with Dentists Without Borders, to provide dental care in a rural community in Tanzania. She obtained her certification in Pediatric Dentistry from Howard University in 2012 and she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Maryland Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Canadian Dental Association.
Dr. Abdillahi is excited to join the Quince orchard Dental Care team. She looks forward to developing a strong partnership with your family, and strives to deliver a pleasant and positive dental experience. Her approach is focused on positive reinforcement and prevention. She wants to provide a great first dental experience and foster a solid foundation for lifelong good oral health practices.
In her spare time, Dr. Abdillahi enjoys cultural activities, spending time with friends, and caring for her new puppy.