All posts in Uncategorized

Sacrificing sleep? Here’s what it will do to your health.

young man in bed with eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder thinking about his problem

We are one groggy, cranky, sleep-deprived population.

 

Depending on our age, we are supposed to get between seven and 10 hours of sleep each night.

 

But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of us get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. In addition, 50 million to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome, which can ruin a good night’s shuteye.

 

And we’re not alone. In bedrooms around the globe, men, women, and children are tossing and turning. According to World Sleep Day statistics, sleep deprivation is threatening the health of up to 45% of the world’s population.

 

Risking life and money

 

Science has linked poor slumber with high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, weight gain, a lack of libido, mood swings, paranoia, depression and a higher risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia and some cancers.

 

Car crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and occupational errors also increase as we tire, not to mention a decrease in work productivity and efficiency.

 

A study by RAND Europe found that the United States loses an estimated $411 billion each year from workers who sleep fewer than six hours a night. That’s about 2.28% of US gross domestic product. Japan comes next, with $138 billion, or 2.92% of GDP, followed by Germany ($60 billion; 1.56% of GDP) and the United Kingdom ($50 billion; 1.86% of GDP).

 

But guess what would happen if those same people added an hour of pillow time? The US could add $226.4 billion back to the economy, the study said, and Japan would recover $75.7 billion, while Germany and the UK would be blessed with an additional $34.1 and $29.9 billion.

 

Consequences on your body

 

Exactly how does a lack of sleep affect the body? There are the obvious signs: irritation, moodiness, dull reflexes and a fuzzy mind. As you can imagine, how those continue to affect us depends on whether the deprivation is short-lived or long-term and chronic.

 

Weakened reflexes

Studies show that after 17 to 19 hours without sleep, you’ll be functioning as if you’ve been drinking enough to raise your blood alcohol concentration to 0.05%. Skip a full 20 to 25 hours of sleep, and you’ll soon be at 0.1% — well over the US legal driving limit of 0.08.

 

In other words, a lack of sleep for one night can impair your reflexes and decision-making to the same extent as being over the limit.

 

But sleeping less than the recommended amount on a regular basis can be almost as bad. A lab-based sleep study found that people who were sleeping fewer than six hours a night for two weeks — and who thought they were doing just fine — functioned as badly on cognitive and reflex tests as people who were deprived of sleep for two full nights.

 

This is evident in traffic statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 100,000 accidents reported to US police are the result of drowsy driving. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

 

An unfocused mind

While you sleep, your brain is busy. It’s preparing for the next day, sorting your experiences and making new pathways for learning.

 

To capture newly acquired information, absorb fresh skills and form key memories — as well as to retrieve them later — you need plenty of sleep time to let your brain do its work. A lack of sleep, therefore, impacts your ability to pay attention, learn new things, be creative, solve problems and make decisions.

 

A chronic lack of sleep is also closely tied to anxiety and depression, as the body struggles to cope with the stress of sleepiness.

 

Some studies have found a connection between sleep apnea, a disorder with which you actually stop breathing for up to a minute, and cognitive impairment, and insomnia has been associated with reduced brain size.

 

There’s even growing evidence that poor sleep early in life can lead to the development of the plaques and tangles that cause Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia.

 

A study published this month in the journal Brain found that healthy middle-aged adults who slept badly for just one night produced an abundance of the protein beta-amyloid, responsible for the plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s. A week of disrupted sleep upped the amount of tau, another protein responsible for the tangles associated with Alzheimer’s, frontal lobe dementia and Lewy body disease.

 

If that’s not enough, a study in mice by the University of Pennsylvania found that prolonged periods without sleep actually killed brain cells.

 

Continued sleep deprivation can also lead to wide swings in mood, increasing paranoia and even hallucinations. The chronically sleep-starved will also become less able to tolerate pain and resist coercion, which makes it one of the military’s favorite tools for torture.

 

Poor repairs

Deep sleep, the kind that comes only after a full cycle, is necessary for the body to release hormones designed to repair cells and build tissue in the body and brain, especially in children and teens.

 

Unfortunately, although preteens and teens need the most sleep of any age group — at least nine hours a night — they are the least likely to get enough rest.

 

Early start times for school, combined with today’s technology lures, high stress levels, and late-to-bed habits, are creating a nation of sleep-starved youngsters. Over 90% of US high school students are chronically sleep-deprived, with 20% getting fewer than five hours a night, according to a Sleep in America poll.

 

According to a study from the CDC, this sets teens up to engage in more risky behavior, such as drinking or texting while driving or not wearing a seatbelt or helmet, compared with those who get at least nine hours a night. Previous studies on teen sleep found that fewer than eight hours a night was also associated with obesity, migraines, substance abuse, lack of exercise, sexual activity, feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide.

 

The teen sleep problem is so bad that in 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement asking schools across the country to delay the start of middle and high school to no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Even though some schools are heeding that call, the advocacy group Start School Later says that more than four in five start classes earlier than the recommended time.

 

Weight gain

Studies show that poor sleep leads to an increase in hunger and weight gain. That’s partly due to the connection between sleep and the peptides that regulate your appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, which makes you hungry, goes up when you don’t get enough sleep. At the same time, leptin, which sends “full” signals to the brain, decreases.

 

A lack of sleep is known to increase stress, which pumps up the body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol.

 

Among other things, cortisol helps control blood sugar levels and regulates metabolism. During times of stress, the increased cortisol causes higher insulin levels, which in turn drops your blood sugar and results in cravings for fatty, sugar-filled foods.

 

Shorter, unhealthier lifespan

Getting less than the recommended amount of sleep each night on a regular basis raises your risk of dying. In a longitudinal study of 10,308 British civil servants published in 2007, researchers found that those who reduced their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night were almost twice as likely to die from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.

 

Here’s the worst news: As you head toward death, your chances of developing a major disease or medical condition are also much higher if you don’t get enough sleep. That’s because, during sleep, your body is literally repairing and restoring itself on a cellular level.

 

Studies show a significant association between a lack of sleep and cardiovascular disease. Weight gain can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Your immune system takes a hit, making you more vulnerable to colds, flu and all sort of viruses and other infectious diseases.

 

It may even mess with your genes. A small study of 15 men looked at the impact of sleep deprivation on “clock genes” that regulate circadian rhythm. They found that the loss of a single night’s sleep could alter those genes in key metabolic tissues. Whether that change is permanent is unknown.


Changing your sleep habits

 

The good news is that you can do something about your sleep deficit.

 

You can train your brain to seek better sleep just as you train it to learn and accomplish other skills. One of the first tasks is to set up your sleep environment and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. It’s that repetition that will train your brain to recognize that its time to relax and sleep.

 

Cool temperatures

Start with the bedroom. Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable and the room is cool: Between 60 and 67 degrees is best. Don’t watch TV or work in your bedroom; you want your brain to think of the room as only for sleep.

 

Mood lighting

Be sure to eliminate all bright lights, as even the blue light of cell phones or laptops can be disruptive. If that’s hard to accomplish, think about using eye shades and blackout curtains to keep the room dark.

 

Try to eliminate disturbing sounds as well. Earplugs or white noise machines can be very helpful, but you can create your own with a humidifier or fan.

 

During the day, try to get good exposure to natural light, as that will help regulate your circadian rhythm.


Develop a routine

Then, establish a bedtime routine you can follow each night. Taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or doing light stretches are all good options.

 

Food and drink to avoid

Other suggestions for good sleep include avoiding stimulants such as nicotine or coffee after mid-afternoon, especially if you have insomnia. Alcohol is another no-no. You may think it helps you doze off, but you are more likely to wake in the night as your body begins to process the spirits.

 

Also avoid rich, fatty foods just before sleep. If you have any digestive issues, eating fried or fatty foods, spicy meals, some citrus, and even carbonated drinks can trigger heartburn and indigestion.


Get moving

Exercise is key to promoting good sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as little as 10 minutes a day of walking, biking or other aerobic exercises can “drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.”

 

Follow all these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to closing your sleep deficit and improving your health.

 

Article Source: CNN

More

Happy Holidays from all of us at Quince Orchard Dental Care!

QODC Christmas 2This holiday season, we’d like to thank our clients for their continued patronage and our team for another year of good work. May this holiday season be filled with much joy, happiness, and memories for you and yours.

 

We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to make your smile even brighter this past year. We look forward to working with you again in 2018. So here’s wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous holiday season and new year filled with promise and prosperity!

More

Dr. Rouhanian answers the age old question if you don’t use it, do you lose it??

Dental Plan Benefits Dentist Medical Healthcare Hygiene Concept

In Short yes! If you don’t use all of your dental insurance benefits this year, you lose them forever! That’s right – no dental benefit plan we know of allows you to carry unused benefits over to the following year so don’t let those remaining benefits go to waste!

 

Here are 5 reasons to use your dental benefits before the end of the year:

 

1. Yearly Maximums

Your dental plan gives you a maximum of what can be spent on your dental care on an annual basis. This amount varies between insurance companies, and averages around $1500 per person per year. These maximums are typically reset at the end of the year, and if you have unused benefits, they will be forfeited.

 

2. Deductibles

The deductible is the amount of money that you pay out of pocket before your benefits begin to take effect. The fee varies between insurance companies and could be higher if you prefer to see a dentist that is out of your network. When your plan rolls over, you are required to pay your deductible again to start taking advantage of your benefits.

 

3. Premiums

If you are paying for dental benefits, you should be taking advantage of them! This sounds simple, but there are many people that do not exercise their benefits and let the insurance company take that money away from you, and put it straight into their own pockets.

 

4. Fee Increases

Another reason to use your benefits now is that it is always possible that fees will be raised to accommodate the cost of living or increased material costs. An increase in fees can also raise your copay for the treatment.

 

5. Dental problems do not get better over time
By delaying treatment, you may be opening the door for more extensive treatment to be needed in the future. What may be a simple cavity now can turn into a root canal, crown or extraction/implant down the road and cost you thousands. Treat your teeth with care now, and they will thank you for it in the long run.

 

If you have been postponing dental treatment, call our office today to see if you have any benefits remaining this year. We also have various financing options available to help with any portion that is not covered by your dental insurance. If you have no dental needs at this time, good for you! Please just accept this as a reminder that we are concerned with keeping your out-of-pocket dental costs to a minimum.

More

Is Your Water Too Acidic? Here Are The Most Damaging Brands

shutterstock_77875327If you think you’re making a healthy choice by buying bottled water, it might be time to think again. That’s because conventional methods of bottling water use extreme filtration and ozonation to treat the water prior to bottling, in order to guarantee a certain level of hygiene and sanitization. Sure, this water might be safer to drink than your average tap water, but what is it doing to your health?

 

In this article, I’ll examine the methods by which big-name water companies turn either tap water or natural water into bottled water, and what effects these ultra-processed waters can have on your health. Next, we’ll dig a little deeper into which bottled water products are healthier to drink, including those that are more alkaline and, therefore, better for you.

 

What conventional bottling is doing to your water

Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have determined through lab testing that bottled water is inferior to tap water. That may come as a surprise to you, as the marketing used by most big-name water companies suggests that the water you get from bottles is far better for both your safety and health than the stuff that comes out of your tap. But while those bottles may guarantee a certain level of safety from certain water-borne pathogens (which you’re highly unlikely to get from tap water anyway), they completely degrade the quality of that water in the process.

 

The majority of bottled water companies use extreme filtration methods to ensure standardization of their products. These methods include ion-exchange, reverse osmosis, distillation and deionization. Some companies may use a combination of these methods, or all of them, to cover their corporate backsides and avoid consumer liability.

 

The result of extreme filtration is “dead water”

No matter where you water originally comes from, be it a deep-water well, spring, river, lake or municipal water supply, the end product is always the same. It’s water that has been completely denatured and molecularly changed from its origin. “Dead water” is void of all the minerals that are typically found in natural water. It is so-called for two reasons.

 

First, this water has no life force. It has literally been sucked of all the health-supporting minerals and nutrients that our planet’s organisms (including humans) have grown to depend on. Second, organisms that drink only this extreme-filtered water would eventually die, as it can contribute to the death of tissues and cells in the body.

 

The result is a water that can actually harm — not heal — your health. Drinking demineralized bottled water actually contributes to nutrient loss in the body, as the dead-water acts to absorb minerals from your bones, joints and muscles. Kind of like a vacuum — the water sucks in the minerals it lost during the process of filtration in order to return to its natural state.

 

Bottled water may have harmful contents

There are plenty of other reasons why most bottled water is best avoided. How about the fact that around a quarter of all bottled water is simply glorified tap water, with a massive markup in price? Companies like Aquafina and Dasani simply take the tap water, treat it with ultraviolet light to kill any bugs that probably aren’t there anyway, bottle it and make a vast profit.

 

Not only that, many studies show that bottled water can contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene and even damaging heavy metals like arsenic. This health-harming effect is most readily seen in babies who are given bottled water. Research indicates that the lack of sodium and other minerals in this water can lead to hyponatremic seizures.

 

Most bottled waters are highly acidic

At The Alternative Daily, we’ve written various articles on how the modern American diet contains far too many acidic foods and drinks. In this article, we talk about how acidosis can occur in people who eat too many acid-forming foods, such as eggs, dairy, meat, white flour, sugar, coffee and soda. In essence, a traditional Western diet. These foods imbalance our internal pH, exhausting alkaline reserves and increases risk of disease and infection. Because most Americans are putting so many acidic foods in their bodies, any consumables that offset this imbalance can create a marked improvement in our health.

 

Most bottled waters are at the other end of the health spectrum. A 2015 study completed by the American Dental Hygienists Association sought to determine the pH levels of popular brands of bottled water, tap water and a range of other common beverages. Following extensive lab testing, the researchers noted that “the pH values for the tested beverages and bottled waters were found to be predominantly acidic.” Of the 12 bottled water brands tested, 10 had a pH of less than 7 and were therefore considered acidic. Only two of those 12 were alkaline.

 

The implications of this study reach far beyond the tooth decay and dental erosion caused by drinking acidic water. For starters, the pH values determined by independent testing were often considerably lower (i.e., more acidic) than those provided on the bottle label. Next, every bottle of acidic water you drink is damaging your health, by contributing to acidosis and the complications associated with this condition.

 

So if the labels of these bottled waters can’t be trusted, how do you know which brands are good for your health?

 

Using independent testing to determine water alkalinity

One of the easiest ways to determine which bottled water brands are alkaline is to do your own in-home pH testing. A pH kit is inexpensive and, when used correctly, relatively accurate.

 

But who has the time to do their own testing? The next best option is to tap into research completed by others. To give you an indication of which brands may be better than others, I used this article. There’s likely a degree of inaccuracy associated with their results, but they’re unlikely to be unbiased. It will give you a good starting point for drawing your own informed conclusions. Here’s a list of popular bottled water brands and their corresponding pH:

-Vitaminwater: 3.4
– Propel Zero: 3.5
– Propel Fitness Water: 3.6
– Penta: 4.0
– Dasani: 4.5
– Function: 5.0
– Perrier: 5.5
– Poland Spring: 5.8
– Voss: 6.0
– Ice Mountain: 6.0
– Crystal Geyser: 6.0
– Deer Park: 6.3
– Smart Water: 6.5
– Great Value (Walmart): 6.5
– Gerber Pure Water: 6.5
– Arrowhead: 6.83
– Evian: 7.0
– Volvic: 7.0
– Zephrhyllis: 7.5
– Absopure: 7.5
– Fiji: 7.5
– Super Chill: 7.5
– Evamor: 8.0
– Real Water: 8.0
– Essentia: 9.0

 

Tap water may be better for your health

The tap water that this same independent study examined also ranged from 5.8 in upstate New York to 9.3 in St. Louis, Missouri. This indicates that drinking water straight from the tap may be better for your health than bottled water. You certainly have a lower risk of developing acidosis from tap water than from the vast majority of bottled water brands.

 

To maintain a healthy blood pH of around 7.4, the water we drink should be between 9 and 10. This means that every single bottled water brand in the above testing, with the exception of one, is too acidic. Obviously, it’s not possible to always buy Real Water when bottled water is necessary. Try to choose those water brands that are furthest down in the list.

 

For example, if you go to a store and Essentia is unavailable but Fiji and Dasani are, it makes more sense for you to buy Fiji — even if it’s twice as expensive. After all, if you buy Dasani, you’re essentially just buying acidified tap water.

 

Beyond bottles: how to get the most from your water

It’s apparent that even if you shop wisely and only choose those bottles of water that are more alkaline in nature, you’re still not getting the most from your water. Plastic water bottles contain BPA and other hormone-altering chemicals that, over time, can negatively affect your health.

 

Not only that, not all spring water or groundwater is actually safe to drink anyway. Many “bottled at source” brands extract their water (whether knowingly or not) from sources that have been contaminated by industrial waste or agricultural runoff. These toxins are difficult to remove, even with extreme filtration methods. This means you may be introducing additional chemicals into your body with every swallow.

 

In an ideal world, every person would have direct access to a spring or body of water that has been tested and approved as safe for drinking. Each person would make regular trips to the spring. They could fill up their glass bottles for the day (or week) and all would be well with the world. But, for obvious reasons, that’s not exactly a realistic solution.

 

Install a high-quality filter at home

The next best thing is to drink tap water. Install a high-quality filter to remove chlorine, fluoride and other undesirable particulates. This filter would involve minimal processing to ensure that all of the naturally-occurring minerals in your water remained. If your pH testing shows that the tap water you drink is a little more on the acidic side, consider adding some alkalizing salts into the water, such as Himalayan pink salt. Another alternative is to add a splash of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

 

Finally, if you must buy bottled water, choose wisely. Buying a more alkaline brand like Essentia, Real Water, Fiji or even pH-neutral Evian is a whole lot better for your health than Dasani or VitaminWater. And another tip for all you bottled water drinkers out there: choose glass over plastic!

 

Article source: thealternativedaily.com

More

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

shutterstock_482851483It’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 microorganisms 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
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 Candy
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.”

 

Sour Candy
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.”

 

Popcorn Balls
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.”

More

3 Tips for Healthy Summer Smiles

Summer sun brings summer fun. While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine.

 

Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:

 

Stay on a routine QODC2
Whether your kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when they sleep in the next morning. “Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,” says ADA pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes. “It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”

 

No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, supervise that they are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s a chance to spend more time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them!

 

And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once a day. “Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch,” Dr. Hayes says. “However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.

 

Say no to sugary drinks and snacks
As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or nearly any community event. “Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice, and soda,” says Dr. Hayes. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in awhile, and not often.” Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”

 

If you find yourself spending more time at home, snack smarter, and let your children tell you when they’re hungry instead of offering snacks throughout the day. “They’re not afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!” she says.

 

Make your back-to-school dental visit early
Some schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these checkups can be a good way to be sure your child’s teeth stay healthy. It is a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help ensure you get the appointment time that works best for you. “We can help spot and take care of any issues, so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts,” Dr. Hayes says. “Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.”

 

Article Source: Mouthhealthy.org

More

The Top Reason For Seeing An Orthodontist

The top reason for seeing an orthodontisQODC1t is the same for adults and kids: to treat malocclusion or a “bad bite.”

 

People tend to have low self-esteem when it comes to their teeth. Often times, this stems from neglected dental issues such as misaligned teeth. Orthodontists are dentists specialized in treating misaligned teeth by realigning crooked teeth into a beautiful smile. This can work wonders and lead to a confident smile and a happier you.

 

That said, the top reason people visit the orthodontist is to fix a malocclusion, commonly called “bad bite.” Types of malocclusions include:
– Under-bites
– Over-bites
– Open-bites
– Overjet (or overlapping) teeth
– Cross-bites
– Spacing issues
– Irregular jaw growth (common in children)
– Problematic tooth development (common in children)\

 

Let the Orthodontists at Quince Orchard Dental Care create your perfect smile. Call us at (301) 527-2727 to schedule an appointment today!

More

Dental Tricks for a Healthy Halloween

shutterstock_492325054Halloween 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.”

More

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

shutterstock_156614831It’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
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 Candy
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.”

 

Sour Candy
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.”

 

Popcorn Balls
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.”

More