How to Keep Your Body and Mouth Healthy During the Holidays

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching! Thanksgiving is almost here, and then December comes. From now until the New Year there will be parties, big meals, plenty to drink and desserts. LOTS of desserts.

But before you start over-indulging yourself with all the holiday goodies, I want to talk about what all these meals can do to your mouth and the rest of your body.

Big meals, surgery drinks (I’m looking at you, hot coco with whipped cream), and alcohol are full of calories. When you take-in more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. Try to minimize this by downloading a calorie-counter app on your phone — and then USE it.

Just a small change to your meals here and there can drastically affect your calorie count. Maybe have that extra slice of ham, but then pass on the bread. Choices like this can add-up to fewer or extra calories, which can leave you with extra pounds. And things like a calorie counter can give you the information you need to make good choices. In addition, just a small amount of exercise a day can burn off some calories and help keep those extra pounds off. (Again, a calorie counter can help you)

Sugary snacks and drinks also have a lot of carbohydrates – these are the things the bacteria in your mouth love to eat. As the bacteria eat the carbohydrates, they excrete acid. This acid can erode the enamel on your teeth causing cavities. And let’s face it – you don’t want a cavity.

So, what can you do to keep your body and mouth healthy this holiday season?

1) Moderate your intake. You don’t need to eat ALL the cookies, or the several slices of cake. Have 1-2 cookies, or a half slice of cake. It still tastes just as good, but with a LOT less sugar and calories.
2) Drink water instead of soda. This is something you should do all year long.
3) Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. But to REALLY get those teeth clean, try to brush three times a day, and use a fluoride mouth-rinse to kill the bacteria in your mouth.
4) Take it even a step further by brushing right after you have a sugary snack. Try keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste in your desk at work so you can brush after somebody brings in a plate of Christmas cookies.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll make sure your teeth are still happy and healthy once the new year begins.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at ModernFamilyDentalCare.com, or watch my Dental Minute video on how to keep your mouth healthy during the holiday season.

How to Keep Your Kid’s Mouth Healthy During Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what that means: Cute kids in costumes, running from house to house, and when they get to the door they yell “Trick or Treat!”

Then they get candy – LOTS of sugar-filled candy that will encourage the growth of bacteria and therefore cavities.

You see, cavities don’t just appear. For cavities to form, a series of events need to happen.

Your child’s mouth already has bacteria in it — this is absolutely normal. But when your child eats sugar, the bacteria feast on those sugars / carbohydrates. This causes more bacteria to form, and all that bacteria excretes an acid that wears-down your child’s teeth. Starting with the enamel, then eventually the tooth itself. This is when a cavity forms.

The problem with a cavity is that once it forms, it continues to eat away at the tooth until there’s nothing left. That’s when people need to visit the dentist to get a filling.

So, assuming you aren’t going to lock your child indoors this upcoming ghoulish night, how do you keep your child’s teeth from becoming cavity filled this Halloween?

The answer is simple – maintain your child’s oral health.

First, you need to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day. And, if possible, brush after they’ve eaten some candy. Brushing helps to wipe away the food particles that bacteria thrive on. Also, it helps to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the teeth.

Second, floss your child’s teeth at least once a day. This helps to remove the food particles that get trapped between the teeth. Also, it helps to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar, from between the teeth. (Do you see a theme here?)

Third, give your child water instead of sugar-filled drinks like juice and soda. If it’s tap-water, it’s probably fluoridated!

Lastly, if your child is old enough, have them use a fluoridated mouth-rinse. It will help to kill extra bacterial in their mouth, and the fluoride will help to repair the enamel on their teeth.

So, let your kid go out and have fun this Halloween! There’s nothing wrong with going out and enjoying candy occasionally. But remember: these tips will only work as long as your child has a healthy diet.

Happy Halloween!

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at ModernFamilyDentalCare.com, or watch my Dental Minute video on how to get your kids to brush their teeth:

Concord Location
Concord Mills
8455 Pit Stop Ct. NW, Suite 140
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 979-3436
Monday: Coming Soon
Tuesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Charlotte – Davis Lake:
Shoppes at Davis Lake
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
(980) 498-1037
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

Charlotte – Northlake:
8150 Mt. Holly – Huntersville Rd, Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 817-9547
Monday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

What is a Sinus Lift for Dental Implants?

If your dentist has said that you need a Sinus Lift, it’s probably because you need a dental implant in your upper jaw to replace a missing tooth. Unfortunately, the dentist noticed that there just isn’t enough bone to do the procedure. There is usually one reason for this – your jaw bone dissolved away because you were missing one or more teeth.

So, when a dentist comes across this, he or she will use a sinus lift to make sure there’s enough bone to secure a dental implant.

Now, I know it can sound scary when a dentist needs to do ANYTHING – especially when it’s s surgical procedure. But trust me, to a qualified dentist, this is a normal thing to do.

So, what actually happens during a sinus lift?

First, a dentist will cut the gum tissue where your back teeth used to be. Then, the tissue is raised, exposing the bone, and a small hole is made in the existing jaw bone. The membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window separates your sinus from your jaw. This membrane is gently pushed up and away from your jaw.

Then, bone-graft material is packed into the space between the membrane and the floor of the sinus bone. The amount of bone used will vary, but usually several cc’s of bone is added above the jaw. I like to use bone prepared with PRP, which allows for better and faster healing.

Once the bone is in place, the tissue is closed with stitches. Your implants will be placed about four to six months later. This allows time for the grafted material to become one with your bone. The amount of time depends on if PRP is used and the healing qualities of the patient.

After your sinus-lift, your dentist may give you saline sprays to keep the inner lining of your nose wet and prescribe medicine to prevent congestion and inflammation. You also will be given pain medicine, an antibiotic, and an antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection. Most patients have only a little discomfort after a sinus-lift procedure.

Then you’ll see your dentist again, about 7 to 10 days later. He or she will evaluate the surgical site and remove stitches if they will not dissolve on their own. You might be asked to return a few more times to make sure the area is healing properly.

Some specialists, including me (as I’ve mentioned earlier), have started using Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelet-rich plasma, which contains growth factors, is taken from your blood before surgery and mixed with the graft that is placed into your sinus. Those growth factors will help you to recover faster, and minimize your pain.

And if you are missing a tooth and need dental implants, feel free to RSVP (include link) for my FREE informational seminar or give one of my offices a call and ask for a consultation, and I’ll be happy to give you the perfect smile you’ve always wanted.

 

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at ModernFamilyDentalCare.com, or watch my Dental Minute video: