Keeping Cavities Away: Tips for the Holiday Season

We are entering that home stretch of the year where we celebrate holiday after holiday. From Halloween to New Year’s Day there are festivities each month where we can spend time with family and friends – and eat to our heart’s content! Such a high volume of celebratory feasting can take a toll on more than just your waistline; it can also affect your dental health.

Dental Health and the HolidaysAt All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we believe it is important to head into the holidays equipped with the knowledge to make sure your teeth remain cavity free while still allowing you to enjoy the tasty delights of the season! Here are a few tips to keep cavities at bay during the festive time of year.

First and foremost, as with many things, moderation is important. That is a general health tip, but it also applies to your teeth. If you consume sugary treats, make sure you are eating a substantial meal to dilute the caustic effect that sweets have on your teeth. It is also a good idea to eat less chewy and sucking candies, and choose something that doesn’t linger. The longer it lasts, the more damage it does.

It is always a good idea to brush or use mouthwash after consuming something sweet. Colgate reports that bacteria forms following a meal and often has roughly 20 minutes to attack your tooth enamel unimpeded. Brushing right after a meal can help stop these germs in their tracks and help keep your teeth healthy.

Keep in mind, though, that if you had an acidic treat or meal, you should wait at least 30 minutes to brush. While this may seem to counter the last tip, the reason is that foods with citric acid can actually weaken your tooth enamel, and brushing so soon afterwards can cause more damage rather than helping. Regardless, don’t forget to carry around a portable toothbrush with you to your festivities to keep your teeth fresh throughout the holidays.

One last tip: Water! After eating, you can drink water to help wash away bad bacteria and leftover food particles. Water is a safe option – and helps keep you hydrated – so drinking a glass of water after your meal can help to make your mouth a happier and healthier place.

As long as you are mindful of what you are eating and you are willing to take a few extra preventative steps, your smile will continue to sparkle and shine. You can still enjoy all of the tasty foods and desserts that the holiday season has to offer without having to come to All Smiles Dentistry Albion with a terrible tooth ache. To learn more dental tips for the holidays, chat with your dentist at your next appointment. Call us today at 585-589-0000 to schedule your next visit or request an appointment online now.

Thanksgiving and Your Teeth

Despite Thanksgiving being a time for many to indulge – and sometimes overindulge – in their favorite foods, some of the foods we enjoy the most during the holiday season is bad for our teeth. To keep your mouth happy this holiday season, here are some of the foods you might want to avoid at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Sweets

Now, this is easier said than done. With everything from cookies to pumpkin pie available for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner, it’s hard to say no to all of the different delicious treats. However, these foods are filled with sugars that can be harmful to your teeth and will be sure to accelerate any potential cavities you might have. Not only that, but enjoying too many of these sweet treats will increase your waistline, as well!

Dried Fruits

Fruits such as raisins, prunes and apricots may not the most popular of Thanksgiving foods, but they’re still commonplace. However, while you’d think that being dried would make them better for you, this process actually makes them sticky. This means they are more likely to get stuck to your teeth. That paired with the high sugar concentration in each one makes them a dangerous option for your dental health and gums should you choose to ingest them.

Starchy Foods

For those who may not know, this means foods such as bread or potatoes, which are common staples on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. Consuming too much of these popular options can lead to having excess starches stuck in your teeth. Starchy foods break down into sugars, which in turn leads to your teeth and gums becoming a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to tartar, plaque and tooth damage.

As the saying goes, moderation in all things is key. At All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday, but if you find your mouth in pain before or after the holiday, let us help. We offer affordable, high-quality dental services in Albion, New York, and we’re sure to get you smiling again.

For more information on our services, call us today at 585-589-0000.

Gum Disease May Lead to More Serious Conditions

In previous blog posts here at All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we’ve discussed how gum disease can be damaging to your teeth and gums in the long run, but did you know that unhealthy gums and teeth could possibly lead to a number of other health issues?

Gum DiseaseAccording to a recent article from The Washington Post, studies are looking for correlations between gum disease and myriad other health issues, from diabetes, heart disease and stroke to at-risk pregnancies, pancreatic cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.

While these studies are interesting and may show some relationship between gum disease and these more serious conditions, this research is still in its infancy, and there’s been no study that proves a direct relationship between gum disease and one of these other diseases. Research is also still being performed to understand the severity of the impact of gum disease and how those who suffer from gum disease may be impacted in other areas of their health.

The numbers so far are intriguing enough, however, for experts to recommend extra gum care for patients who are at-risk for these diseases. Even insurance companies have begun offering extended dental coverage to patients who are suffering from the conditions mentioned above, including diabetes, to help prevent worsening oral health.

These studies offer the first indications that there might be a cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and other health concerns, which means that it’s all the more important to take good care of your teeth and gums. With regular brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, you can keep your mouth healthy and prevent the possibility of other health concerns down the line.

Whether you’re a patient who’s already dealing with other health issues, or a dedicated teeth-brusher who just wants to keep your mouth and gums healthy, we’re here to help. Our knowledgeable dentists are ready to answer your questions about gum health, and help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy. To make an appointment for your next cleaning, call us today at 585-589-0000 or schedule an appointment online now.

Factors that Can Affect Dental Sedatives

Dental SedativesSo you need to have an oral procedure done – what a bummer! At All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we know that the idea of having a procedure done can make you feel uneasy, especially if your procedure requires sedation. Now, there are some factors that can affect how the sedation affects you. We have compiled a list of tricks and tips to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

Preparing for Your Procedure

First of all, oral sedation may not be the best option. Novocain can be just as effective as sedation in many cases. However, most people choose sedation because they are afraid of needles. We won’t lie to you – certain shots of Novocain can be uncomfortable, depending on the area where it is being done, but it can sometimes be more cost-effective and even be easier for both you and your dentist to complete the procedure.

If you know that you require full sedation, you may need to avoid eating and drinking in the days and hours leading up to your procedure. The amount food and liquid in your stomach will often affect how well sedatives work, and we often will recommend not eating or drinking within the six hours prior to your appointment. Specific foods may also need to be avoided. For example, grapefruit juice has been known to conflict with your metabolism when it comes to breaking down sedation medication, which is why we recommend not eating grapefruit for a 96-hour period – 72 hours prior to the appointment and 24 hours after the appointment – says Dear Doctor.

If you are taking any natural remedies, prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, please discuss this with your dentist prior to the procedure, as well. Your dentist may need to adjust the amount of sedation given to you or even the type to avoid a potential drug interaction.

Smoking and alcohol consumption can also impact how sedatives affect you. Please be sure to discuss your habits prior to your procedure. Pre-existing medical conditions may also affect your recovery. For example, conditions like diabetes or hemophilia can affect your recovery time and should be discussed with your doctor ahead of time to discuss any possible concerns or complications.

Each person is unique and will interact with sedation differently. It is better to be up front with your dentist than to be unpleasantly surprised by a potential risk later.

After Your Procedure

What happens after your appointment? First off, make sure that you arrange for a ride to and from the dentist’s office as you will not be able to operate heavy machinery until the sedative has worn off. Depending on the type of procedure you receive, you may want to take some time off work as well so to give your body time to recuperate from the effects of sedation. You may need to take a half day or even a full day off to properly recover. Each procedure impacts each person differently, and there is no definitive way to say how something is going to affect you. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

It is important to remain hydrated and drink water after your appointment, as well. Remaining hydrated will help your body recover from the procedure. We also recommend getting a good night’s sleep prior to your appointment and the night after. Sleep can help you relax ahead of your appointment and can help your body recover from your procedure.

Before any appointment requiring sedation, our team will discuss your medical history and any concerns that you have with you to make sure that your procedure goes smoothly and without any issues. Sedation can seem daunting, but we can help answer your questions and relieve your concerns.

Of course, the best way to avoid requiring sedation all together is to keep up with your dental health regimen – which includes keeping regular appointments with your dentist. Schedule your next visit to All Smiles Dentistry Albion today by calling us at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

Getting a Crown – And Not As Homecoming King or Queen

CrownsDo you have crowns on the brain this week? While this week might be homecoming week at Albion High School, where a few lucky students will be crowned homecoming king and queen, here at All Smiles Dentistry Albion when we talk about crowns, we’re talking about teeth.

A crown is a cap or covering that encases a tooth’s entire surface, restoring it to its original shape and size after a cavity or injury has wreaked havoc on its structure. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth from further damage that could lead to you losing a tooth entirely when a filling or some other type of fix or restoration is simply not enough.

Crowns are a fairly common practice in the dentistry field. The most common kind of crown is made of porcelain, which is often the same color as your tooth, so you won’t be able to tell a difference where the tooth with the crown covering is just by looking at your teeth. Porcelain crowns last for many years, as well, but may need to be fixed or replaced in the event of chipping or cracking.

All Smiles Dentistry Albion will place a crown on your tooth if you have a decaying, broken or fractured tooth; a large or fractured filling that needs some extra help; or after we perform a root canal to make sure your tooth stays healthy. We can also use crowns and caps to cosmetically fix or enhance parts of your smile that you’re not pleased with.

We typically apply a crown over the span of two appointments. The first appointment will involve having molds or impressions taken of your teeth so that we can create a crown that meets the exact specifications and dimensions of your tooth. We’ll also place a temporary crown on your tooth until the permanent one can be attached. We’ll numb your tooth and the surrounding area, shave away any decaying tooth, and use a temporary non-harmful cement to place the temporary crown.

At your second appointment, we’ll remove the temporary crown, clean your tooth, and place the permanent crown on your tooth. We’ll make sure your bite is neat and accurate, and ensure that you don’t have any discomfort from chewing with the crown in place, ensuring a comfortable and natural-feeling experience.

We want our patients to know that this procedure may seem scary at first, but we perform crown placement procedures on a regular basis, and there’s really nothing to be nervous about! If you have any questions and want to speak to a dentist, make an appointment online today or call us at All Smiles Dentistry Albion at 585-589-0000 and let us help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.

 

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Oral Health When it comes to our health, we rarely think about the impact our dental health can have on our overall health. The reality is they are very much connected and by not taking care of your teeth you run the risk of developing other serious illnesses. Let’s look at a few aspects of the mouth-body health connection.

If you don’t take care of the pearly whites in your mouth, you run the risk of developing something like periodontal disease. This condition results in a chronic inflammation of the tissue around your gums, an infection below your gum line and disease-causing bacteria in your oral cavity.

Poor oral hygiene can also increase the effects of any preexisting conditions, which can cause more serious effects to your health. For example, if you have diabetes, developing periodontal disease can lead to an increase in your blood sugar levels, making controlling the amount of sugar in your blood stream even more difficult.

The development of heart disease and incidence of stroke is also connected to your dental health. Some scientists believe that bacteria in the mouth that is associated with periodontal disease can attach to our coronary arteries, which can result in the formation of blood clots and the narrowing of the arteries that could cause a heart attack. Inflammation caused by the disease could also allow plaque buildup to lead to swollen arteries, worsening any pre-existing heart conditions such as heart disease.

However, with proper oral care, these risks significantly drop. That’s why keeping up with your regular visits to the dentist are so important. By seeing your dentist regularly, you can keep an eye on your dental health, ensuring that not only you have healthy teeth and gums, but an overall healthy body.

Whether you haven’t been to the dentist in a while or need to schedule your next appointment, All Smiles Dentistry Albion is here for you. We offer gentle, comprehensive dental care that will help keep your mouth in great shape. To schedule a visit, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request your appointment online now!

You Can Wear White After Labor Day with Professional Whitening

Teeth Whitening Taboo style rule No. 1: No wearing white after Labor Day. But in no way does that apply to your teeth!

When it comes to your pearly whites, white is ALWAYS in style. Having stained or yellowing teeth can be a big confidence drag, and that’s why All Smiles Dentistry Albion takes the whiteness of your teeth very seriously. We offer a state-of-the-art whitening program to our patients that will help keep your teeth looking healthy and white, no matter what time of year it is!

Tooth whitening or bleaching is a simple, easy and non-invasive way to whiten your teeth. We use this treatment to change the color of your natural tooth enamel so that the white lasts. The difference between having your teeth professionally whitened and using an at-home kit is your end result. While a professional whitening is not permanent and you’ll likely need to receive a new treatment every few years, at-home treatments need to be repeated much more frequently to ensure that your teeth stay their whitest white. More frequent treatments mean more expenses, more hassles, and results that won’t last as long.

If you choose to have your teeth professionally whitened, we usually need two visits for the treatment. On the first visit, we’ll make a mold or impression of your teeth. These will be used to create custom, clear plastic trays. On the second visit, the trays can be adjusted if needed, and then you’ll take them home and wear them either twice per day for 30 minutes or overnight for a certain period of time with our special whitening solution.

And, for our loyal patients and regular caretakers of their teeth, have you heard about our Free Whitening for Life Program? For every re-care appointment you attend, you may be eligible for one free tube of whitening gel to keep your teeth bright and white – even after Labor Day! Ask your dentist at your next appointment to learn more.

Schedule your next visit to All Smiles Dentistry Albion today by calling us at 585-589-0000 or request your next appointment online now.

 

Pool Swimming and Your Teeth

Swimming in the summer is the perfect way to cool down from hot, unbearably humid days. With so many different people swimming in their backyard pools and at local pools, though, pool owners must treat the water to keep the water safe for everyone. Harmful bacteria in pools are typically killed with chlorine, an antimicrobial agent.

Pool Swimming and Dental HealthWhile chlorine is a great chemical disinfectant, too much chlorine in a pool can have negative effects on your teeth. Though also found in small amounts in tap water, excessive amounts of chlorine in swimming water can prove detrimental to your enamel.

According to Colgate, pools containing too much chlorine have pH levels that can cause enamel erosion. When enamel wears down, teeth may become discolored, the edges of front teeth may look transparent and, in later stages, extreme dental sensitivity sets in when consuming hot or cold foods. Worse, once enamel erodes, chips or cracks, the body cannot repair it.

A study done by researchers at New York University College of Dentistry revealed the effects of high pH levels in swimming pools. The study was based on a 52-year-old man whose complaints included extremely sensitive teeth, dark staining and rapid enamel loss during a five-month period.

The NYU team of researchers concluded the enamel loss was due to the patient’s 90-minute swimming exercise routine he started in the summer, and improper chlorination was ruled to be responsible for the patient’s dental issues. The man had never had professional maintenance done on his pool, and ended up with high pH levels in the swimming water.

So how can you protect your teeth from too much chlorine exposure? Because the pH levels in swimming water are not visible, there are a few things to check out for before you take a swim.

If you are a homeowner and want to maintain your own pool, check your pool’s pH balance once a week at minimum, and if you can, hire a specialist to examine it upon your first use each year. If you’re going to swim in a public pool or on vacation, look at the pool linings, ladders and railings. Water that is too acidic will eat away at such surfaces and produce faded colors, and can do the same to your teeth as well. You could also consider buying some pH strips to test the water before going in. According to the CDC, pool water should register between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale.

Test your swimming water this summer to avoid overexposure to chlorine and make sure your teeth stay healthy in any conditions. Of course, another part of keeping your teeth healthy is seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. To schedule your next appointment, call All Smiles Dentistry Albion today at 585-589-0000 or request a time online now.

Getting Back into the Back-to-School Routine

Back-to-school season is nearly upon us and you know what that means: it’s time to get back into a routine with your kids! Summers are great for vacations, lazy days and tons of fun, but when it comes to the health of your smile, routine is very important. So this back-to-school season, take extra care in reestablishing your kids’ healthy dental hygiene routine. Here are a few tips to get you started!

According to Mouth Healthy, the best way to prevent cavities is to have your kids brush their teeth for two minutes twice per day, and floss once per day – at night is usually best! It’s understandable if your brushing and flossing routine has slipped a bit during the summer months, but make sure to have your kids start getting used to their routine as soon as possible. Getting started early helps you avoid arguments about not wanting to floss on a school night, and your kids will pass their fall dental checkup with flying colors.

Back-to-School Dental RoutineKeep in mind that the routine may vary depending on your kids’ age. According to Colgate, for very young kids – ages 6 and younger – you may need to help them brush their teeth properly. Let them get going, but take over and make sure to get the job done right. Kids ages 7­­ to 12 should have a better idea of what they’re supposed to do when it comes to caring for their teeth, but they may not want to spend the necessary time doing so. Make sure you keep an eye on them while they brush to ensure they’re taking the care and attention needed to keep their smiles white and bright.

If you have a kid who just can’t be bothered to brush, roll the back-to-school tooth care routine into school shopping: once your child picks out his or her new notebooks and pencils, let them pick out a fancy new toothbrush and a cool flavor of toothpaste.

Once you’re ready to get started on the new routine, start practicing immediately. Bath, PJs, brush and floss, and bedtime should happen around the same time every day – and don’t wait until school starts to move bedtime up to the right time. If you get started now, you won’t have to fight with your kids to get them in bed, and they won’t be exhausted on the first day of school!

These are just a couple of tips for revamping your kids’ brushing habits in the back to school season. Keep in mind that keeping teeth healthy also requires regular checkups with your dentist, too! To book your next appointment, call All Smiles Dentistry Albion today at 585-589-0000 or use our online form to request an appointment now!

What Are the Five Worst Fair Foods?

It’s just about time for the Orleans County 4-H Fair, and we sure enjoy seeing the livestock entries from our neighbors and community members from throughout the county.
But, let’s be honest: It’s really the fair food that brings in many people, drawn one way by the aroma of fried dough and then another way on a wafting whiff of cotton candy.

We’re not going to be a wet blanket now and talk about all the things you shouldn’t eat at the fair. Well, sort of. The saying “everything in moderation” has hung around for a reason – it makes sense. So indulge yourself if you desire at the fair – we’ve heard the pickles on a stick are amazing – but we do encourage you to give your teeth a little extra flossing, rinsing and brushing when you get home.

With dental health in mind, let’s take a look at five of the fair foods that are the most troublesome for your dental health.

Kettle CornKettle Corn

It’s salty, it’s sweet, and it’s only popcorn, right? Guess again. Husks can lodge painfully between teeth, and the sugary residue can remain in your mouth long after you’ve stopped enjoying the popcorn. It’s particularly rough on mouths full of braces. If you must indulge, stop in a restroom and floss thoroughly.

Cotton Candy

We shouldn’t have to tell you about this one – it’s mainly just straight sugar. We know it’s delicious, though, and everybody’s got to have this melt-in-your-mouth confection once in a while. It’s essential that when you’re finished, though, you rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water to get as much sugar off your teeth as possible until you get home to brush.

Funnel Cakes and Fried Dough

Everyone loves these fair classics, whether doused in powdered sugar, cinnamon powder or both! Of course, with those toppings, you know they could be trouble. The sugars and fats from this sweet treat can easily cause cavities and feed the bacteria that cause plaque. As with anything, enjoy in moderation, and don’t forget to brush – or at least rinse with water – after you’re done.

Chocolate-Covered Anything

At the fair, you can’t forget to have a deep-fried peanut butter cup. Sweet and gooey and fried – it’s a truly summertime taste of Americana. But, of course, there’s a dark side – and it’s not dark chocolate. The chocolate itself, though, is insidious because its sugars can linger on your teeth, working harder than you’d think to destroy your enamel.

Candy Apples

The candy apple is a ubiquitous fair treat, and quite frankly, it’s popular for a reason. Whether you’re in the caramel camp or want your apple in a quarter-inch of hard red glossy candy, you’re putting your teeth in some danger. The candy version offers a good chance to crack a tooth with every bite, and the caramel version isn’t much friendlier. Plus, the sticky sugars of caramel can wreak more damage after the fact, as the sugars can feed the bacteria that destroy your teeth.

We all love our fair treats, but the key is to enjoy them in moderation – and, of course, to brush and floss as soon as you can afterwards! For more dental health tips, talk with your dentist at All Smiles Dental at your next appointment. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or make an appointment online now.