What causes a toothache?

What causes a toothache?

Today is National Toothache Day. Toothaches can have a variety of causes, including clenching or grinding, decay, a damaged filling, a fracture, an abscess or a gum infection. Call us if you have a toothache that lasts longer than 1-2 days, severe pain, an earache, fever or pain when you open your mouth.

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6 ways to reduce sugary snacking

Many people know that limiting sugar consumption is important for good oral and overall health. However, you may be surprised to learn just how difficult it is to keep your sugar consumption within recommended limits when you discover just how much sugar is in everything we eat! Check out these helpful tips from the ADA: http://bit.ly/2keQzf8


1.  Know the Limits

When choosing a snack, keep an eye on added sugar (sweeteners like corn syrup or white sugar that are added to prepared foods). Naturally occurring sugars are less worrisome, as they are found in healthy choices like milk and fruit.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people age 3 and older should consume no more than 12.5 tsp. each day of added sugar. (The same as one can of soda.) The World Health Organization states that adults should consume no more than 6 tsp. of added sugar, and children should have no more than 3 tsp.

When reading labels, you’ll see sugar is listed in grams. Since 1 tsp. of sugar equals 4 grams, aim to make sure the foods you are feeding your child fall between 12 to 50 grams a day.

2.  The Truth About Juice

Because juice is high in sugar and calories, water and milk are always the best options for your little one. In fact, if your child is under 1 years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests completely removing juice from his or her diet. 

Older children can occasionally drink juice, but if they do, there are two things to remember:

  • Children ages 1-6 should have no more than 4-6 oz. of juice each day, according to pediatric guidelines. Children ages 7 to 18 should drink no more than 8-12 oz. (Many juice boxes are about 6 oz., so younger children should have no more than one per day, and older children no more than two.)
  • Allowing your child to sip on juice throughout the day puts him or her at higher risk for tooth decay because you’re giving that cavity-causing bacteria more opportunities to eat and produce the acid that eats away at teeth. This can also happen with juice that is watered down. “Even though the volume of sugar has decreased, you’ve added the time that it takes to drink it,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Jonathan Shenkin.

So what’s a parent to do? Limit the amount of juice your children drink, and always offer water or milk first. If your child does drink juice, serve the recommended, age-appropriate limits at mealtimes only. When your family is done eating, clean up any leftover juice instead of letting your children leave the table with it.

3.  Skip the Soda

Call it soda, call it pop. But sugary, carbonated beverages by any name are bad news for your child’s teeth. “One can of soda is the amount of sugar recommended for three days for a child,” Dr. Hayes says.

In fact, a February 2016 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found a strong association between sugary drinks and poor dental health in teenagers. Researchers asked teens 14-19 in Mexico about how many sugary beverages they drank, then examined their teeth. They found 31.7% had tooth erosion, which means their enamel had been eaten away. The main culprit? Soda.

4.  Be Picky About Sticky Snacks

If you’ve been under the impression that gummy or sticky fruit snacks are healthy alternatives, you’re not alone. Many parents are surprised to learn they are really closer to candy than fruit, especially when it comes to sugar. “Fruit rollups and other dried fruit snacks are like nature’s candy,” Dr. Shenkin says. “It is like candy, but in some respect it’s worse than candy because it sticks to teeth longer than things like milk chocolate, which is easier to wash away.”

Even foods like raisins, which are often promoted as an all-natural snack option, can be troublesome. “The raisin is one of the worst foods because they’re so sticky and they actually adhere to teeth and stay there for an extended amount of time,” he says. “The sugar in that food is being consumed by the bacteria in our mouth during that time.”

5.  Serve Carbs with Care

Whether it’s the crunch or the fact that they’re shaped like their favorite animals, kids love crackers and chips. The truth? “Many crackers are cookies with salt,” Dr. Hayes says. Not only do the carbohydrates in things like crackers and chips break down into sugar, they also tend to get stuck in the tops of your teeth for long periods of time.  

6.  Set an Example

You’d do anything for your kids. Now, are you ready to do all of the above for yourself too? Dr. Shenkin says setting an example can make a big difference in your whole family’s health. Eat well, brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day. “If you want to change your child’s habits, it isn’t just about what they do,” he says. “Do the same thing with them.”

How to quit soda for good

Do you drink more soda than you'd like to admit? Drinking soda can be a tough habit to break. Here are some tips to stop drinking soda for good:

* 1.  Don't quit cold turkey— gradually cut back on soda so quitting is more manageable
* 2.  Mix soda with water to retrain your taste buds
* 3.  Count your calories to be accountable
* 4.  Switch to unsweetened tea
* 5.  Drink water before soda to quench your thirst

Check out more tips: http://bit.ly/1Bt1Pct

Skip sparkles in your water!

Skip sparkles in your water!

This time of year has a little bit extra sparkle. We want to help you make sure your sparkles are in all the right places— not in your water! The bubbles in sparkling water are carbon dioxide from carbonation, which turns into carbonic acid in the mouth. Acid from sparkling water can erode your tooth enamel just like soda. So skip sparkling water in favor of plain, still water, or indulge in moderation!http://on.today.com/206VyM5

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There's no better time than now!

There's no better time than now!

There's no better time than now to quit smoking. Today is the Great American Smokeout, a national event that encourages tobacco users to quit or make a plan to quit. Take charge of your oral and overall health and quit smoking today! Ask us how we can support your efforts at your next visit.

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