everything you need to know about TMJ

Everything You Need to Know About TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) affects millions of Americans every year. In fact, it’s estimated that there are more than three million cases annually. Despite being so common, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what TMJ is, its symptoms, and how to treat it.  

That is where Smiles NY comes to the rescue. We’re New York City TMJ experts and have been helping people with it for decades. We decided to pool our knowledge and create this guide to everything you need to know about TMJ.

Keep reading to learn what TMJ is, common symptoms, and effective treatments. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any specific questions or want to get your complimentary TMJ consultation.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome affects the joint that connects your jaw to your skull at the back of the cheekbone. You can think of it as the hinge that keeps your jaw connected to your skull. Someone suffering from TMJ has a damaged and oftentimes painful temporomandibular joint.

It’s worth pointing out that human beings have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of their jaw. TMJ sufferers often have pain in only one side, though they can experience pain and soreness in both sides.  

TMJ falls under the large umbrella of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). All TMJ issues are also considered TMDs, but not all TMDs are TMJ. Don’t worry if that is a bit confusing. It’s enough to know that TMJ is part of a larger family of disorders with common causes, symptoms, and treatments.

There are various causes of TMJ, including: genetic factors, various types of arthritis, various injuries to the jaw and teeth, grinding and clenching the teeth, dislocating the disc between temporomandibular joint and skull, and even stress.

TMJ is painful. Those who suffer from it report feeling tightness and sharp pain in their jaws and across their entire face. TMJ can also produce headaches, including migraines and cluster headaches. The good news is that this pain is temporary and will go away once you’ve properly treated your TMJ. Likewise for any associated headaches.

What are Common TMJ Symptoms?

It’s important to note that there are an almost unlimited number of TMJ symptoms and that many symptoms mimic other illnesses or disease. This makes diagnosing TMJ difficult and can also lead to misdiagnosing.

It’s important that you go to a dental or medical professional to be properly diagnosed and treated for TMJ.

Common TMJ symptoms include:

  •         Jaw pain – one either or both sides of your face
  •         Ear pain – you may also experience pain around your ears
  •         Mouth pain – including toothaches
  •         Eye pain or tightness
  •         Tightness across your face
  •         Difficulty chewing
  •         Pain while chewing
  •         Lockjaw
  •         A clicking or popping noise when you open or close your mouth
  •         Headaches – including migraines and clusters
  •        Ringing in your ears

Now that we have an idea about what TMJ is and some of its more common symptoms, let’s turn our attention to how to treat it.

TMJ Treatments & Therapies

There are various treatments and therapies for TMJ. Some of these require medical attention and some you can perform at home. We highly recommend that you seek professional medical or dental help when dealing with TMJ! While it may be tempting to simply take ibuprofen and drink tea to help soothe your jaw, this isn’t a long-term solution.

One of the most common forms of TMJ treatment is a custom-made dental appliance. Sometimes called oral appliances, these are similar to the mouth guards that athletes wear and can help improve TMJ symptoms tremendously. Dental appliances are also convenient and non-invasive, which makes them an excellent treatment option.

Physical therapy is another common treatment for TMJ. This can include jaw, mouth, and face exercises. It can also include using hot and cold compresses to relieve pain and stiffness in the temporomandibular joint. Your physical therapist will create a customized plan of action for you depending on your specific symptoms.

Another treatment option involves injections, which may provide pain and symptom relief for TMJ. These include steroidal injections and even Botox injections. Much like choosing surgery, it’s important to consult your dental or medical professional before taking this approach.

Finally, there are a variety of TMJ-related surgeries. These include arthrotomy (open joint surgery), arthroscopy, modified condylotomy, arthrocentesis, and other procedures. Surgery for TMJ isn’t usually necessary, and should only be considered if other treatments and therapies haven’t worked to relieve your TMJ. It’s important to weigh the risk and benefits of TMJ surgery the same as you would for any other type of procedure.

 

Contact us today if you need effective and quick TMJ treatment. Our expert team of dental professionals can help where others have failed. Call us today at 1-888-997-5272 to learn more.

How a Dentist Can Help You Stop Snoring

Can a Dentist Help Reduce or Eliminate Your Snoring?

It’s estimated that between 30% and 50% of the entire U.S. population snores. Now, this on its own isn’t necessarily harmful. Snoring may not be inherently dangerous or bad for your teeth, gums, and mouth. Your partner might get annoyed, but you don’t have to worry about much else.

In many cases, though, snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is most certainly something to worry about. Sleep apnea is when your tongue and throat muscles stop working and collapse into your airway. You stop breathing.

So, your snoring may be nothing serious or it may be an early warning sign of sleep apnea. You’re in luck, because we can help you here at Smiles NY. Not only are we some of the best NYC cosmetic dentists, but we offer custom made snoring treatments too.

Keep reading to learn how a dentist can help you stop snoring today!

Dental Appliances

It’s important to start off by saying that snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea. Sometimes it is due to an allergic reaction, a sinus infection, weak muscles in the throat or nose, or even a normal side effect of aging. It can also stem from other factors and problems.

If your snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, though, you’re going to want to get a dental appliance. This sounds very complicated, but dental appliances (sometimes called oral appliances) are actually simple. You can think of them as a custom-made mouth guard for snoring.

Dental appliances are made after taking a molding of your mouth. They work by keeping your airway open and safe from your tongue or throat muscles collapsing.

There are numerous benefits to choosing an oral appliance to help you stop snoring. They are non-invasive, easy to use, less expensive than other options, and easy to carry around with you. More importantly, they’re very effective at stopping snoring and helping you get a good night’s sleep.

CPAP Devices

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. These devices fit over your mouth and connect to a small air compressor. They then blow pressurized air through your throat and airway all night to keep you from snoring and falling into sleep apnea.

CPAP devices are made up of the mask itself, the air compressor (commonly called a CPAP motor), and a tube that connects the two. On some occasions, they can be slightly bulky and uncomfortable to wear while sleeping, but they are very effective. In fact, some studies suggest CPAP devices are more effective than oral appliances.

Regardless of whether you choose a CPAP device or an oral appliance, it’s important to consult your dentist first. They know about your specific situation and medical history. They will be able to direct you to whichever snoring and sleep apnea solution is best for your individual case.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation and to learn what we can do to help you stop snoring today. Give us a call at 888-997-5272 to learn more about what makes Smiles NY the premier dental practice in New York City.

Keeping Your Teeth Pretty in Ugly Weather

Keeping Teeth Pretty in Ugly Weather

As winter kicks into full gear, the last thing on your mind are your teeth. Bomb cyclones and snow drifts as tall as children, are understandably, a bit more pressing. Making it to your car in the single digits definitely overshadows taking care of your pearly whites.

Don’t neglect your teeth though. Winter is a tough season for teeth and practicing poor dental hygiene only makes it worse. So, how can you keep your teeth pretty in ugly weather? Well, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help. After all, we are New York City’s premier cosmetic and implant dentists!

Find three important tips for keeping your teeth healthy below. If you need a personal touch, contact us today for your complimentary consultation!

Fight That Dry Mouth

Winter means less moisture in the air, which also means, your mouth is going to be dryer. Now, dry mouth on its own is harmful enough. Combine dry mouth and a cold, or flu—things get much worse.

Dry mouth is caused when you don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth lubricated. This leads to bacteria building up on your teeth, between your teeth, and across your gums. It also leads to bacteria forming in the space between the gum and tooth, also known as a pocket.

During the winter, when there is less moisture in the air, dry mouth is more common. Make sure to stay hydrated and even drink more water than you normally do. You should also stay on top of brushing, flossing, and general dental hygiene habits. Finally, avoid drinking as much caffeine and alcohol.

Sensitive Teeth and the Cold

The number one complaint we hear from patients during the winter is that their teeth are sensitive to the cold. They teeth hurt when they breathe outside and are just generally uncomfortable. This makes sense, as the winter months are notoriously hard on sensitive teeth.

Your teeth are porous, which means that they’re susceptible to extreme hot or cold. When you breathe in cold air, your teeth actually contract. This allows cold air to hit sensitive spots along, and even under, your gum line. Once the cold air is gone, your teeth return to their normal size. This repeats over the course of the winter and, if left unchecked, can cause microscopic cracks to form on your tooth’s enamel.

These tiny fissures are breeding grounds for bacteria and plaque. This makes it vitally important that you maintain healthy brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routines. It also helps a lot to get a fluoride treatment or two during the winter to help bolster your enamel. You can also breathe through your nose and drink hot or cold drinks through a straw.

Don’t Forget Your Gums

Your teeth aren’t the only ones taking a beating during the winter months. Your gums are at an increased risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis, too. These shockingly common gum diseases (around half of all adults have gum disease) increase in the winter and it’s vital to keep your mouth protected.

You should practice proper oral hygiene and make sure to floss during the winter months. Of course, you should always be flossing, but you really don’t want to skip during the winter. You’re also going to want to make sure you get regular check ups and stay on top of any newly discovered issues.

It’s tough to keep your teeth pretty in ugly weather, but it isn’t impossible! If you follow the steps we mentioned above, you’ll be in good shape for having a healthy mouth during the winter. Don’t forget, we’re here to help too! Give us a call today at 1-888-997-5272 to learn more about our excellent periodontic services.

afraid of the dentist

Afraid of the Dentist? Here is How to Overcome Your Phobia

It’s estimated that thirty to forty million Americans are afraid of the dentist. 36% of respondents to a British survey admitted they avoided regular dental visits because of this fear. 35% of Canadians admitted to the same.

These statistics serve to highlight one simple fact: the dentist is scary!

Okay, dentists aren’t really scary, but there are a lot of people who are afraid of them. Whatever the reason this fear started, the result is the same: millions of people worldwide are hurting their teeth because they don’t want to go to the dentist.

We’re here to change that. Our team of experienced and passionate dentists don’t just want to make sure you have the whitest smile in New York City. We want to help people overcome their fear of dentists so that they can practice good oral hygiene at all times.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of four ways to help anyone overcome their fear of the dentist. Check them out and don’t hesitate to contact us today for a 100% complimentary consultation.

Acknowledge Your Fears

The first step to solving a problem, any problem, is admitting it’s there. This is true for someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and it’s true for someone struggling with dental fear. Acknowledge your fears!

Write down exactly what it is you don’t like about dentists. Go into detail. Once you have a list, talk to someone you trust about them. This can be a family member, friend, coworker, or even a dentist. Of course, it’s important to find a dentist you get along with. This brings us to our next tip…

Find a Dentist You Connect With

This is probably the single most important tip we can give you. Remember, dentists are people and there are going to be certain people you get along with better than others. Find a dentist you get along with and don’t look back.

There are a few different ways to do this. You can search online for dentists who specialize in painless dentistry or work with anxious patients. You can ask friends and family for recommendations. You can ask your primary care physician for a recommendation or referral.

However you find a dentist you connect with, make sure to take the time to properly research them before scheduling an appointment. Speaking of scheduling an appointment, it’s time for our next tip: take baby steps.

Take Baby Steps

You don’t have to go in for a filling right off the bat. You don’t even have to schedule a cleaning for your first appointment. You can go to the dentist for a simple consultation.

Part of this consultation may involve looking at your pearly whites, but just as much will be you and the dentist talking and getting to know each other. Mention to them that you’re anxious of the dentist. They won’t laugh or judge you, we promise.

This slower-down approach not only helps you see if you and the dentist connect and get along, but it can help to humanize the office and procedures themselves. These type of baby steps are perfect ways to ease you into the dental experience and help alleviate your fears.

Use Calming Techniques During Your Appointment

Our final tip for overcoming your fear of the dentist is to use calming strategies during your visit. These can vary widely depending on how nervous you are and what type of appointment you have.

We recommend deep breathing techniques for dealing with the basic fear of the dentist. Things get a bit more complicated when you’re dealing with phobia-level fear. Visualization and having a close friend or family member holding your hand are both powerful ways to keep your stress under control. Most dentists will let you have someone nearby if you explain the situation.

Smiles NY is New York City’s premier cosmetic and implant dentistry office. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Top 3 Habits That Are Destroying Your Teeth

Top 3 Habits That Are Destroying Your Teeth

92% of adults between the ages of twenty and sixty-four have tooth decay. Around 5% of adults in this age range have no teeth at all. Those are two sobering statistics

For these people, tooth decay and loss is the result of poor dental hygiene. There are the obvious culprits: brushing infrequently, not flossing, ignoring checkups, and drinking too much coffee. There are the less obvious, but still commonplace, culprits: smoking cigarettes, eating acidic foods, and more.  

There are five factors that will destroy your teeth and need to be cut out immediately.

We’ve listed them out below.

Learn them, avoid them, and contact us today if you need orthodontic dentistry or restorative work done.

Smoking Cigarettes

We mentioned this before because it’s one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Smoking is bad all around, of course, but it has some seriously negative implications for your smile.

Smoking stains teeth, causes bad breath, decreases your sense of taste, and lowers your immune system’s ability to fight infections (like gum inflammation and infection). Not to mention it increases your likelihood of developing many different forms of cancer.

Although we’re talking about smoking tobacco, there are numerous negative implications to smokeless tobacco as well. This includes products like chewing tobacco, dip, and snus. Risks associated with smokeless tobacco include: oral cancer, tooth discoloration and decay, as well as tooth loss.

Eating Snacks

Snacking throughout the day is something we all do. We shouldn’t, though, and for more reasons than putting on a couple extra pounds. Snacking in the middle of the day (think an early afternoon yogurt or fruit cup) leads to food particles getting caught between your teeth. They stay there until you brush your teeth at night. The result is several hours of unchecked bacteria growth and potential tooth decay.

Another negative side effect of eating snacks is an increase in your mouth’s acid production and a decrease in saliva production. This acid begins to wear away at the enamel of your teeth, while the dip in saliva means more residual food particles will get stuck in your mouth.

This one-two punch of increased bacteria and acid and less saliva doesn’t lead anywhere good. Cut the snacking out of your daily routine and you should see an improvement in your dental health.

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth is harmful, but the extend of the harm is surprising. Often thought of as no more than a bad habit, grinding your teeth is actually one of the most harmful things you can do to them.

Known medically as bruxism, grinding your teeth can wear down the biting surface over time. This leads to teeth fractures, which gather bacteria and have a tendency to become infected.

Another side effect of grinding your teeth is the loosening of the space between your teeth and gums. This open space, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, is called a pocket and, trust us, you don’t want one.

If you need premier dental care in New York, contact us today. Our team of dental professionals offer unmatched cosmetic dental services.  

Chipped Your Tooth? Here’s Why You Need it Fixed, ASAP

Chipped Your Tooth? Here’s Why You Need It Fixed, ASAP

No one likes having a chipped tooth. Not only is it painful and inconvenient, but flashing a smile with a chipped tooth is embarrassing. What most people don’t know, though, is that their chipped tooth can lead to serious dental problems.

Far from being just some cosmetic bad luck, chipped teeth bring with them the potential for a lot of gum, tissue, and filing issues. You could end up with periodontal disease, hyper-eruption, and more.

We’ll examine the different types of dental problems that can occur in a moment. First, we need to look at the different types of chipped teeth and how they might happen in the first place.

Types of Chipped Teeth

All broken or chipped teeth are not created equal. Not only are there several different types of chipped teeth, but each type varies in severity and the likelihood of leading to future dental issues.

There are craze lines and minor chips. These are probably what you think of when someone says they chipped their tooth. Both are small chips or cracks in your tooth that affect the enamel without extending further to the inside of the tooth. While craze lines and minor chips will not often lead to dental problems in the future, they are worth keeping an eye on.

There are cracked teeth. These are sometimes called whole tooth chips and impact everything from the enamel of your tooth down to the nerve. Cracked teeth need immediate dental attention. If they aren’t addressed immediately, you risk losing the tooth and having other dental problems.

There are major breaks. These include split teeth, root fractures, and others. A split tooth is when your tooth has fractured vertically into different sections. A root fracture is when a crack begins at the root of your tooth and grows through to the surface. Regardless of the type of major break, you need to seek immediate dental assistance. Without immediate dental care, you will undoubtedly lose the tooth and open yourself up to a number of future dental issues.

Your Chipped Tooth Could Lead to Serious Dental Problems

A chipped tooth can lead to any number of future problems. These range from the obvious (more decay) to the unusual (an increased likelihood of TMJ).

Some of the more serious dental problems associated with chipped or broken teeth include malocclusion, hyper-eruption, and periodontal disease.

Malocclusion is the misalignment of your upper and lower teeth. While this may sound minor at first, it can lead to difficultly chewing and pain in your jaw. It may also lead to TMJ.

Hyper-eruption is when you lose a tooth and its neighbor grows into the empty space. This can lead to all sorts of complications, including teeth growing in sideways, impacted teeth, and even exposed roots.

Periodontal disease is gum disease. There are around 65 million Americans who have some sort of gum disease, and many of these people end up needing either a gum graft or a bone graft to fix the problem.

Convinced that your chipped tooth is serious stuff? Then contact us today for a complimentary consultation from the premier dentists in New York!

 

odd dental hygiene myths . NYC cosmetic

3 Odd Dental Hygiene Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Our mouths are pretty misunderstood. Did you know, for example, that some people believe that placing a tablet of aspirin next to an aching tooth will alleviate pain? Others believe you don’t need regular dental checkups.

 

The list of strange dental beliefs goes on, but we don’t need to give the crazier theories even more credence by talking about them here.

 

Some odd dental hygiene myths are downright harmful. That’s the case with the three we’ve listed below. Don’t believe them and absolutely do not put them into practice in your daily oral routine.

 

Fluoride Doesn’t Help Your Teeth

The idea that fluoride doesn’t help your teeth just won’t go away. It isn’t true. In fact, this myth is harmful if it leads you (or anyone) to avoid a fluoride treatment when you need it.

 

Fluoride can help your teeth in a couple of ways. It can speed up the process of remineralization, which is when minerals are added to your teeth’s enamel making the stronger. It can help disrupt bacteria and acid production. Fluoride can even help children develop their adult teeth.

 

This myth was probably born from the fact that swallowed fluoride isn’t helpful to anyone over the age of sixteen. Adults need to either use fluoride toothpaste or receive a professional fluoride treatment to gain its benefits.

 

You Shouldn’t Clean Your Gums if They’re Bleeding

Have you ever gone to brush and floss your teeth and noticed your gums bleeding? You’re not alone, many people struggle with bleeding gums, even those who take very good care of their mouth.

 

At some point, someone decided that leaving your gums alone when they’re bleeding is a smart move. This could not be further from the truth.

 

Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease. The last thing you want to do when faced with potential gum disease is leave your gums alone! This allows bacteria and plaque to continue to build up. If left unchecked, this can lead to gingivitis or even periodontitis.

 

This myth probably comes from the fact that bleeding gums are frightening. The last thing anyone wants to do when they see blood is start poking around the bleeding area. That’s simple human nature. When it comes to bleeding gums, though, you need to maintain proper brushing and flossing habits.

 

Whitening is Harmful for Your Teeth

 

The final odd dental hygiene myth we’re looking at is the mistaken belief that whitening your teeth is harmful. This myth probably comes from the fact that your teeth are more sensitive after a whitening treatment. This is especially true with at-home whitening kits.

 

Whitening treatments don’t help or hurt the overall health of your teeth. It’s simply a cosmetic procedure used to remove stains from the surface of your teeth.

 

There are a million more dental hygiene myths that aren’t true. If you’ve heard one or if you have a question about whether you need a certain procedure, contact us today. We offer complimentary consultations on a range of dental procedures and are confident we can help you!

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays & Onlays: The Less Invasive Alternative to Complete Crowns

Dental issues, from the mundane to the serious, happen every day. They happen every week, every month, and every year. They happen to everyone and, almost universally, they happen at the worst possible times.

Enter restorative dentistry, or the practice of fixing dental issues and restoring your mouth to health. This is truly a smile saving practice. Nowhere does this become more apparent than when considering inlays and onlays.

Inlays and onlays are alternatives to dental crowns. They have some benefits, some drawbacks, and a whole lot of unique features. Check out some detailed info on them below and don’t hesitate to contact us now for a complimentary restorative consultation!

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are less invasive alternatives to complete dental crowns. Sometimes called partial crowns or indirect fillings, these can be used to treat structural tooth damage instead of traditional fillings. They are strong, long-lasting solutions to a large range of dental issues.

None of these actually tell you what an inlay or an onlay is, though. Inlays are fillings that strengthen the overall structure of your tooth. Onlays are fillings made from porcelain or composite resin applied to the outside of the tooth, often the biting surface.

The Pros of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays offer a number of benefits over complete crowns. They also have a number of drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the good stuff first.

The pros of inlays and onlays include:

  • They offer a snug fit, which helps to minimize future decay damage
  • They are strong, stable, and can even help strengthen a decayed tooth
  • They are less likely to become discolored, even over long stretches of time
  • They are easy to clean – simply brush as normal
  • They cost usually less than a complete crown

Now that we’ve established how inlays and onlays are beneficial, let’s look at some areas where they’re not quite as useful as complete crowns.

The Cons of Inlays and Onlays

By far the largest con of inlays is that any filling simply isn’t going to offer the same level of protection as a crown. There’s also something to be said for the longevity of complete crowns over partials. These factors vary case-by-case, but, generally speaking, a complete crown gives better protection overall.

A casting of your teeth must be taken to create both inlays and onlays. This means they’re created in a lab and not in your dentist’s office, adding time to the entire process. Of course, placing a crown will take a minimum of two visits as well, so which option is faster is up for debate.

Ultimately, the choice between whether to get inlays and onlays or a complete dental crown is yours. Which option you pick will largely come down to your personal preference, as well as your budget.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation and exploration of your options!

at home or in office whitening? which is right for you?

When to Know if In-Office Whitening is Right for You

32% of adults say they’re concerned with how their teeth look. 74% of adults say an unattractive smile will hurt their careers. 18% of adults say they routinely conceal their teeth in photos.

All of these statistics point to one inescapable conclusion – people wish their teeth were whiter. In fact, the teeth whitening industry is valued at $11 billion annually. With this info in mind, it’s safe to say that just about everyone wants a whiter smile.

So, should you opt for at home whitening or in-office whitening? Check out our guide below and learn how to tell when in-office whitening is right for you!

At Home Whitening

Most people think of Crest Whitestrips or another similar product when considering at home whitening. In fact, Crest alone accounts for a whopping 59% of the at home whitening market.

These whitening strips are a great choice if you’re dealing with surface level stains. Think coffee or wine stains. They’re not as effective at whitening long-term damage or structural tooth damage, though.

For this type of more substantial damage, you’ll probably want a different type of at home whitening solution. This is where custom made whitening trays and gels enter the picture.

There are at home whitening products that you can receive from your dentist. You make an appointment and get custom molds of your teeth made. You then use these alongside a stronger whitening gel your dentist prescribes.

Much like out-of-the-box whitening strips, custom at home whitening products are great for removing surface level stains. They’re also useful for reversing deeper stains, darker teeth, and some structural damage.

If you want to really whiten your teeth though – if you want those celebrity pearly whites – you’re probably going to want to check out in-office whitening.

In-Office Whitening

The first thing you need to know about in-office whitening is that it’s more expensive than at home options. That being said, it’s the best option for removing stains from your teeth. It also offers some serious advantages over at home strips.

The most obvious advantage to choosing in-office whitening is the time factor. While at home options can take several applications to show even basic results, in-office whitening takes only one treatment.

We use a special system here at Smiles NY called Zoom!® Whitening. This will make your teeth whiter in an hour. Yep, that’s right, one hour to whiter teeth and a healthier smile.

Another major benefit of in-office teeth whitening is sensitivity. Most people who use at home whitening products report levels of sensitivity ranging from mild to severe. Most people who choose in-office whitening report levels of sensitivity ranging from nonexistent to mild.

In-office whitening also lasts longer than the at home options. At home whitening will typically last as long as you continue to apply the strips. In-office whitening, on the other hand, can last for up to three years!

Ultimately, you’re the only one who knows if in-office whitening is right for you. Based on the substantial benefits, though, we can’t recommend it enough. With that in mind, we offer complimentary teeth whitening consultations. Contact us today for yours!

5 Halloween Tips for Oral Care

5 Halloween Tips for Oral Care

Halloween is always a fun time for all. Dressing up as your favorite characters, going out with friends and eating lots of treats make for a great time. However, as delicious as all the treats may be, it can be a hazardous time for your teeth. While you should enjoy yourself, it is important to maintain proper oral care. Doing so will prevent many issues that occur with the buildup of sugar. Keep reading for our top 5 tips for maintaining oral care during the Halloween season.

Avoid sticky treats

While treats should definitely be enjoyed during Halloween, one kind of treat should not be. Anything that has a sticky texture should be avoided. The length of time that a sugary food is in your mouth affects the process of tooth decay. Because sticky foods tend to be chewed for long periods of time, the risk for tooth decay increases drastically. Furthermore, these candies take longer to be washed away by saliva. Sticky treats to avoid include bubblegum, taffy, caramel, gummies or licorice.

Eat your treats with your meals

A good trick to go along with your treats is to eat your candy after a meal. This will prevent you from overeating your candy, as you should only be eating meals around three times a day. Also, the production of saliva increases during meals. This allows for the cancellation of acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. As a result, food particles are rinsed away easier.

Opt for the soft candies

Forget the hard candies and go for the soft ones. Softer candies leave the mouth faster, decreasing risk of tooth decay. Also, they do not require as much impact on your teeth as harder ones. Great options include peppermint patties, peanut butter cups, chocolates and candy corn.

Choose your costume wisely

It is not just candy that can harm your teeth. When designing your costume, make sure you are only using dentist-approved makeup on your teeth. Oftentimes, tutorials will suggest using black eyeliner to fake missing teeth. Instead, use blackout wax meant for teeth. The fake teeth that are sold at Halloween party stores should also be avoided, as they can contain a high level of lead.

Do not forget to brush

The consumption of sugary treats means that you should be even more stringent about your oral health routine. Never skip out on brushing your teeth after meals. To combat the sugar intake, use a mouthwash once a day as well. Flossing daily will help to prevent any cavities.

While some may think that you should brush your teeth immediately after eating, this is not true. Ideally, you should wait approximately 30 minutes after eating to brush. This is because brushing immediately after eating acidic foods can actually harm your teeth. Some foods soften your enamel, so brushing immediately after could damage it further. For best results, drink water immediately after eating to rinse away sugar. Then brush your teeth thirty minutes later with a fluoride toothpaste.

Enjoy your Halloween, but make sure you continue maintaining your oral care routine. Do not forget your semi-annual teeth cleaning—this is a preventative measure. Call Smiles NY at 888-353-7165 to schedule your cleaning today.