Which Candies are the Worst for Your Teeth?

Valentine’s Day Sweets

The holidays are a time for indulging in sweets, from candies to cakes to spiced ciders. Since many of these are rich in sugar, they can be quite hard on your teeth and gums. Of course, some sweets are worse than others, and a proper understanding of which are the least healthy from a dental standpoint can help you to assure better oral hygiene during the holiday season.

It’s not so much the sugar that harms your teeth as it is the length of time that the sugar is exposed to your teeth. It is better for your mouth to have a large amount of sugar pass quickly through your oral cavity than to have a small amount of sugar linger on your teeth for an extended period of time. Therefore, anything sticky, and anything that you suck on, like candy canes, toffee, and lollipops, is going to be worse than substances that are easy for your saliva to rinse away, like chocolates.

You can minimize the effect of sweets on your teeth by indulging only after meals, rather than snacking throughout the day. Contact our Issaquah dentist to learn more.

Replacing Your Toothbrush

Many people come to our Issaquah dentist with questions about how frequently they should be replacing their brushes. This is a valid concern, as many toothbrushes can become overrun by bacteria after a while. More importantly, the bristles of your brush are getting warped and worn out, robbing them of their ability to effectively clean your teeth. Those who are not mindful of a proper replacement schedule can sometimes do more harm than good.

Every Three Months

The simple answer is that you should replace your brush every three months. However, this number can be different from person to person. If you brush harder than most people, for example, you may see your bristles splaying every which way long before the three month mark. This is a clear sign that your brush should be retired. If you’re suffering from gum disease, you might want to change your brush as frequently as every few weeks. This helps you to get rid of the rampant bacteria that is developing in your tissues.

You can also keep your toothbrush cleaner for longer by adopting some simple sanitation habits. Remember that bacteria needs a damp environment to thrive, and so storing your brush upright to let it dry out between brushings is a good idea. For a little extra security, consider occasionally dunking the bristles in either hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash. Never microwave your toothbrush or put it in the dishwasher, as this can destroy the fragile plastic of the bristles.

If you have additional questions about your brush, contact Meadow Creek Dental.

An Easy Way to a Cleaner Mouth

When our Issaquah dentist gives you your routine check-up, do you find that you’re developing plaque in a lot of the same places? Sometimes this is because you’re just neglecting a certain area, but this can also happen to people who are pretty sure they’re doing a thorough job.

If you know enough to cover every surface on your teeth, but you’re still seeing the same problem areas at your dental cleanings, the answer may be simple: you need to rotate your starting point.

Changing Your Brushing Habit

The fact is that people are creatures of habit. It’s likely that you always start brushing in the exact same area, and the rest of your brushing routine probably looks nearly identical from day to day.

This means that the same area is routinely getting the best of your attention, and you’re only reaching other parts of your teeth after you’ve grown impatient with brushing, diluted your toothpaste, and aren’t as focused on doing a good job.

To counter this, pay attention to where you start every day and try to change it up. Divide your mouth into quadrants, and focus on starting in a different one every time you brush. You may be surprised by the improvement you see on your next trip to the dentist!

Your Child’s First Dental Check-Up

Importance of Primary Teeth

Our Issaquah dental clinic is a family dentistry, so we see a lot of children coming in for their very first check-ups. Some parents think that oral hygiene is less important at a young age, as the children do not yet have their permanent teeth, but this is a dangerous misconception. The truth is that your primary teeth have a very important role to play that can affect your child’s mouth well into adulthood.

Developing Healthy Habits

What you need to understand is that primary teeth are your mouth’s “training wheels”, and you can’t get too far on broken training wheels. These are the teeth that your child is using to develop proper chewing habits, speech patterns, and brushing technique.

If their teeth bother them, your child could develop long-lasting problems. These teeth also serve to guide your permanent teeth into place. If primary teeth are not cared for properly, the permanent teeth may come in crooked. The consequences on your child’s health and self-esteem can be disastrous.

Visit Meadow Creek Dental

The recommended age for a first dental visit is within six months of the appearance of his or her first tooth, or about when he or she turns one year old. Do the right thing for your children, and get them to Meadow Creek Dental as soon as they’re ready.

Familial Discord Linked to Poor Dental Health

There are many forces in your life that determine how likely you are to suffer tooth decay or gum disease. Some of the better understood ones are your oral hygiene habits and your genetics. However, it would appear that even something like the quality of your family life can play a significant role in your oral health. Domestic violence, including both verbal and physical, encourages bad oral hygiene.

This is according to a study conducted by a team at New York University, who found that people with a lot of familial conflict are more likely to develop cavities or lose teeth. For every above-average statistical increase in a married person’s aggression toward his or her partner, researchers observed a large increase in occurrence of cavities. Abused women would have an average of 3.5 more cavities, while men exhibited an average of 5.3 more. Children of fighting couples, meanwhile, had an average of 1.9 more cavities for every above-average increase of emotional aggression exhibited by their mothers towards the other parent.

The problem is that a noxious household environment is not conducive of organized routines, including brushing and flossing. Additionally, people in such environments are prone to eating sugary foods as a stress response.

Is Your Toothbrush Contaminated?

You should generally expect your toothbrush to gather bacteria as you brush with it, which is why it is recommended that you rinse it out and sanitize it periodically. However, if you share a bathroom with other people, there are worse things than bacteria to worry about.

According to a study recently presented at the meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, many toothbrushes become tainted with human fecal particles. Most of these come from shared bathrooms. Of the toothbrushes stored in such bathrooms, a full sixty percent are contaminated, while eighty percent of these had feces coming from someone other than the brush’s owner.

This contamination is largely the result of the toilet, which sends up a faint spray of water when you flush it. There isn’t much to this spray, but over time it can build up on anything that is left out in the open too close to the bowl. With this in mind, try to keep your brush in a closable container, and contact our Issaquah dentist for more information on healthy brush maintenance.