Clinical dental tips to promote oral health through Halloween and beyond

Oct. 4, 2012
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Sherri Worth offers tips you can share with your patients to keep their oral health optimal through Halloween and beyond.
Halloween is right around the corner and we all know what that means — candy, candy, and more candy! We all know that sweet treats can cause cavities, but it can be prevented with a few simple tips. Here are some things I share with my patients to help them stay on top of their oral health even during Halloween ... --------------------------------------------ADDITIONAL READING
A Halloween candy alternative:
"How you can team up with zombies this Halloween to help your patients" -------------------------------------------- First, have a good dinner before the big night so that you and your kids will have nutrients to start off the evening. Make sure that the kids (and you) drink plenty of water. If you can, influence your kids to rinse out intermittently with water to “flush the sugar bugs away.” This will help keep the sugar from resting in the grooves of your teeth. Brush your teeth and your children’s teeth thoroughly before going to bed.PLEASE do not take the sugary candy to your room or to bed with you!Proper dental health education is extremely important when it comes to the overall health of my patients. Having healthy teeth and gums goes far beyond the mouth, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your gums healthy. The oral cavity is the window to the health of your body. Leaving your teeth with poor oral hygiene puts you in a position as a potential victim to periodontal disease and infection, which can impact your heart, lungs, and entire body. Think of having a constant infection in one area of your body (your mouth), which attacks and spreads to all other organs and areas of the body. Clean up your gums and teeth, and you are cleaning up your overall health. You can help your teeth and gums stay healthy with a few minor changes to your everyday routine to eliminate infection. For one, I recommend that you floss every single day. Although you’ve heard it a million times, flossing really does have an impact. Just do this test: do not floss for a few days, then floss and smell the floss — it smells disgusting. Well, that is what happens when you do not have your teeth cleaned. The bacteria builds up and slowly (without you realizing) creates a latent infection throughout your mouth.Another "silent killer” is acid reflux. Acid reflux can cause tooth decay at a rapid pace. I have seen perfectly healthy patients come in for X-rays/exams and almost overnight have extensive decay. Most people are unaware that they have acid reflux that can be due to dry mouth which is caused by many medications. Dental enamel is attacked by the acid in the reflux. Dental erosion involves the loss of enamel by a chemical process that does not involve bacteria (such as occurs in typical teeth cavities). If you have reflux, rinse your mouth with water only. Don’t brush your teeth straight after a reflux attack, as the toothbrushing combined with the acid from the reflux actually increases enamel erosion. You should add fluoride rinses and possible fluoride tray applications to your home-care routine. Simple things such as weekly use of home fluoride trays, toothpastes, and mouthrinses can help you avoid a mouth full of decay.
Dr. Sherri Worth is an accomplished leader and innovator in cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. Specializing in porcelain veneers, crowns and bridges, implants, and reconstructive dentistry, Dr. Worth’s perfectionism is demonstrated not only in her patients’ flawless teeth, but in her state-of-the-art dental facility. Located in Newport Beach, Calif., her facility fuses the latest technology and equipment, including digital imaging and X-rays, with a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. Dr. Worth completed both her undergraduate Bachelor of Science and her graduate Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her cosmetic training at The Center for Esthetic Dentistry at UCLA and Advanced Education in General Dentistry at UCLA, after which she started her cosmetic dental practice.