With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, the holiday season is here once again! Are you prepared to protect your oral health this fall and winter? It’s no secret that much of the food we eat around the holidays isn’t exactly mouth-healthy. From pumpkin pie to hot chocolate, many treats are loaded with sugar. Check out the list below from a dentist to learn which holiday foods to avoid (or at least limit) in the coming weeks.
Starchy and delicious, Thanksgiving stuffing is unfortunately quite bad for your teeth. It doesn’t matter whether your stuffing is served as a side dish or cooked inside the turkey. Either way, it is primarily made up of carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into sugar. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and secrete harmful acids that attack tooth enamel.
Fruit is typically considered a healthy food group, but dried fruits are another story. Apricots, dates, and other dried fruits contain high levels of sugar and can easily get stuck to your teeth. The longer that sugar sticks around in your mouth, the higher your risk of tooth decay climbs. If you do snack on dried fruits during the holidays, be sure to brush and floss afterward.
While pumpkin pie may contain a lot of sugar, pies made from berries are actually doubly bad for your teeth. In addition to being sugary, berry pies can also stain your enamel. While it may be difficult, try to limit the number of times you visit the dessert table. Want a pro tip? Chew on sugar-free gum after eating a holiday meal to satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming sugar. Chewing gum also provokes saliva production, which helps wash away food debris and bacteria.
Eggnog – you either love it or hate it. Do you know who definitely loves this controversial holiday beverage? Oral bacteria! Eggnog is loaded with sugar, which bacteria digest to produce harmful acids. Of course, this drink also contains alcohol, which isn’t great for your teeth either. For a warm beverage on a cold day, choose green tea instead.
Leave your candy canes hanging on the Christmas tree. Not only are these peppermint treats basically pure sugar, but they also stick to your teeth. If you must indulge, consume candy canes in moderation and be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
You can enjoy the holiday season and prevent cavities at the same time if you know what holiday foods and drinks to avoid. Keep the above tips in mind as you celebrate the upcoming festivities. Happy holidays!
Dr. Bo Crofoot has over 15 years of experience helping patients maintain healthy smiles all year round. The proud Idaho State University graduate regularly takes continuing education classes to stay on top of the latest dental techniques and technology. For more tips on how to enjoy holiday foods without harming your oral health, visit the Cornerstone Family Dental website or call 208-656-2225.
How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? Maybe you’ve been frequenting the gym, or perhaps you’ve created a smart plan to reach your financial goals. Your efforts deserve a big commendation! However, you might consider adding another resolution to your list: Boost your confidence by improving your smile. A dentist in Rexburg is here to talk about how a beautiful smile can affect your life and how you can own the teeth of your dreams. THE EFFECTS OF A BEAUTIFUL SMILE Straight, white teeth look amazing, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how owning an attractive smile can benefit you. Additional perks include: * You will look younger. Tooth discoloration and other aesthetic flaws are often associated with old age. Attractive teeth can turn back the clock on your smile and detract attention from signs of aging at other areas around your face. * You will seem more approachable and more successful. People are naturally drawn to individuals who own confident, sincere, and beautiful smiles. * Your health may benefit. Research indicates that smiling can lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. When you love the way your smile looks, you are likely to smile more often. ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM SMILE Good dental health habits, such as regular brushing and flossing, can do much for your smile’s appearance, but they cannot fix misalignment, broken teeth, severe discoloration, or other serious aesthetic flaws. To correct such issues, you need the help of a qualified cosmetic dentist. During your consultation, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and talk to you about your goals and expectations for treatment. Then, they might recommend that you undergo one of the following services: * Teeth whitening. Professional whitening treatments are much more effective than any OTC whitening products. Most dental practices offer both in-office and at-home whitening options. * Porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that get placed on the fronts of your natural teeth. They can disguise practically any imperfection, including discoloration, minor misalignment, chips, teeth that are too small, and more. * Gum recontouring. Excess or uneven gum tissue can detract from your teeth’s natural beauty. Gum recontouring gently trims the gums to produce a more proportionate smile. * Smile makeover/virtual smile design. If you have multiple or complex dental problems that affect your smile’s appearance, you might benefit from a total smile makeover, which may include multiple treatments. The process begins with the help of advanced virtual smile design software, which can give you a realistic preview of how your makeover will change your appearance. A beautiful smile is a powerful thing! Your cosmetic dentist can help you achieve your dream look in 2020. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Bo Crofoot earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Creighton University well over 15 years ago. His advanced training and education equip him to perform many procedures, including transformative cosmetic treatments. To learn more about Dr. Crofoot and the services offered at Cornerstone Family Dental, contact us at 208-356-4240.
You’re enjoying a party at a friend’s house when suddenly there’s a severe pain in your tooth, giving you no choice but to call your dentist in Rexburg immediately. Not the way you wanted the holidays to go? Dental emergencies can happen even in the middle of a celebration – especially with all the extra sweets! Fortunately, you can follow these 4 simple steps to keep your teeth, gums, and dental work safe during the holiday season. 1. DON’T OVERDO IT WITH THE SUGAR The holidays are often the only chance you’ll have all year to enjoy certain treats, such as gingerbread cookies or eggnog. There’s nothing wrong with letting yourself indulge a bit, but you need to be wary of how much sugar you’re consuming; too much exposure could cause serious damage to your teeth and gums. Try to limit such treats to meals (when there’s more saliva in your mouth to help wash away the sugar) and be sure to eat plenty of tooth friendly foods such as cheese and carrots to keep potential dental damage to a minimum. 2. KNOW WHAT TO AVOID Some sweets are particularly naughty when it comes to what they can do to your teeth. Do your best to avoid: * Candy canes and other hard candies: the sugar they contain stays in your mouth for a long time (and thus increase the risk of a cavity forming), and they can do serious damage to your smile if you bite down on them. * Caramels and other sticky treats: not only do they tend to remain on the teeth, but they could also pull a filling or other types of dental work loose. * Wine and soda: these beverages can weaken your tooth enamel and may also leave unsightly stains. 3. STICK TO AN ORAL HYGIENE ROUTINE Traveling, shopping, and partying tends to take up a lot of your time during the holidays, but you should always have room in your schedule for proper dental care! No matter how busy you are, don’t forget to brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time; you should also be using dental floss on a daily basis. 4. SCHEDULE A POST-HOLIDAY CHECKUP NOW Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to get so caught up in the hectic holiday season that you don’t give your dental health the attention it deserves. That’s why it’s a good idea to put “visit a dentist near me” on your post-holiday to-do list. It’s a good opportunity to have cavities or gum disease identified and treated before they have a chance to inflict too much damage. By following these tips, you’ll be able to maintain your full, healthy smile going into the New Year. Don’t let a dental emergency interrupt your time to have fun with your friends and family! ABOUT CORNERSTONE FAMILY DENTISTRY At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, Dr. Bo Crofoot and Dr. Thomas Snarr are committed to building relationships with their community and providing a welcoming atmosphere for families to receive excellent dental care. If you have concerns about your dental health or want to schedule a holiday appointment, visit our practice’s website or call (972) 271-1302.
How much do you pay for dental insurance every year? And are you actually using the benefits that you’ve paid for? Only about 2.8% of people with PPO dental plans manage to reach or exceed the annual maximum; if you’re not part of this group, you could be leaving hundreds of dollars of coverage on the table each year. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t let your dental insurance benefits go to waste. 1. THE YEARLY MAXIMUM: USE IT OR LOSE IT Your insurance carrier will put a cap on the amount that they’ll pay for dental work within one full year (with the exact number being different depending on your policy). Your yearly maximum resets every year, meaning any unused money is lost instead of rolling over. That means if there’s a treatment that your insurance could help you pay for, you could save hundreds of dollars by having it done now and using the benefits that are currently available to you. 2. THE DEDUCTIBLE: YOU’LL SEE IT AGAIN You need to pay a deductible out of pocket before your carrier provides any coverage. Unfortunately, this amount only applies to the current year; once your plan resets, you’ll need to meet the deductible again. You’ll therefore save more of your own money by paying for necessary dental treatments now. 3. THE PREMIUMS: GET YOUR MONEY’S WORTH It costs money to keep your dental insurance benefits. Said benefits can save you money – but only if you use them! Even if you don’t have an oral health problem that requires treatment, at the very least you should take advantage of the preventive care you’re entitled to. For example, most policies will cover two dental cleanings and checkups each month to aid in the prevention and detection of tooth decay and periodontal disease. 4. OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS: FEES CAN RISE The rates for dental care don’t stay constant; many dentists might have to raise their prices next year to keep up with their expenses. Since insurance coverage is usually based on a percentage, higher prices typically mean a higher copay – so why take that chance? 5. TREATING ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS: THE EARLIER, THE BETTER A small cavity can easily be treated with a filling, but if it’s left alone, it might require more extensive procedures such as root canal therapy; it could even ultimately lead to an extraction, requiring you to pay for a replacement tooth. Oral health issues will only become worse – and more costly to treat – with time. The bottom line is that using your benefits now to get dental care could save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run. If you’re not sure whether you’ve made the most of your dental insurance this year, call your dentist today to ask about treatments you could still benefit from. The long-term result will be a beautiful smile and a healthier wallet. ABOUT THE PRACTICE At Cornerstone Family Dental, Dr. Bo Crofoot and Dr. Thomas Snarr are utilizing their expertise in multiple fields of dentistry to bring their patients in Rexburg and the surrounding communities the high-quality, comfortable dental care they deserve. Our practice is in-network with Delta, BCBSI and Deseret Mutual Benefits Administrators, but we can accept a variety of other plans as well. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (972) 271-1302.
The second-most popular holiday of the year is fast approaching, and it’ll be here before we know it. While Halloween may be fun for kids, getting cavities certainly isn’t! That’s why your dentist has written this helpful guide to a mouth-healthy Halloween. Continue reading to learn more about how to make sure your little one enjoys Halloween while staying away from tooth decay. LIMIT STICKY FOODS All Halloween treats should only be consumed in moderation, but sticky items especially so. Candies like caramel and gummies are more likely to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth. From there, bacteria in plaque feed on the high sugar content in the candy and create acid that breaks down tooth enamel, causing painful cavities. MAKE SURE THEY BRUSH AFTER EATING If your little one is going to eat sticky foods, at least make sure they brush their teeth afterwards. If they go to bed without brushing, the sugar in the candy will spend all night attached to the teeth. This will give the harmful bacteria in your child’s mouth ample time to wreak havoc. TRY NON-CANDY ALTERNATIVES Even though Halloween is known for candy, there are other ways to celebrate. Offer your child alternatives like glow sticks, stickers, and Halloween-themed pencils. If they’re stubborn in their desire for candy, steer them away from sour gummies and more towards chocolate. Chocolate washes away quickly and doesn’t linger on the teeth. Dark chocolate even contains antioxidants that prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth. VISIT YOUR CHILDREN’S DENTIST The best way to make sure your child’s teeth are in good shape is to have them visit their dentist every six months. Your kid’s dentist can give their mouth a good cleaning right after Halloween, undoing any damage that candy has done. The dentist can also provide dental sealants, which are helpful before Halloween. Sealants are thin, plastic-like coatings that are painted onto the grooves of your child’s molars. They work as a seal to keep bacteria from entering and causing decay. It’s also important to remember that if your child complains about tooth pain, take them into the dentist right away. When it comes to cavities, it’s better to get them treated sooner rather than later. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Thomas Snarr has been faithfully serving patients in the Rexburg, ID area for nearly three decades now. He’s always enjoyed getting to work directly with his hands and helping people, so dentistry was a natural fit for him. For more advice on how to make this Halloween more mouth-healthy, contact Dr. Snarr at (208) 356-4240.
The enamel of the teeth is the strongest material in the body; even your bones aren’t as tough! Unfortunately, durable doesn’t mean indestructible, and even your teeth can become chipped or broken. If left alone, this kind of damage can lead to even worse problems over time – even tooth loss! Read on to learn what you need to do if you ever chip a tooth, as well as what your emergency dentist can do to help. HANDLING A CHIPPED OR BROKEN TOOTH Your first step should always be to call your dental office to schedule an emergency appointment as soon as possible. Even if the tooth doesn’t hurt or is located in the back of the mouth where no one can see it, you won’t know how serious it is until the dentist examines it. In the meantime, you’ll need to take care of your tooth and the rest of your mouth. If there are any sharp edges, cover them with dental wax or sugarless gum so that they don’t irritate the soft tissues in your mouth. Eat only soft foods and don’t chew with the side of the mouth where the damage is; you should also avoid extremely hot or cold foods since broken teeth tend to be sensitive. Many over-the-counter medications can help relieve the pain of a chipped tooth; ask your dentist over the phone which one will work best until you can get proper treatment. If there’s any swelling (which can happen with serious fractures), you can use a cold compress to keep it under control. TREATMENT OPTIONS Sometimes a chipped tooth is so minor that only cosmetic work may be needed. Other times it’s so severe that it could allow an infection. Depending on your case, your dentist might recommend one of the following treatments: Dental Veneers: A thin cover is placed on the front of the tooth to cover the damage as well as other cosmetic flaws. Filling or Bonding: Tooth-colored resin can be used to repair the tooth in a way that looks so natural most people won’t even notice it. Crowns: If a large portion of the tooth is broken, a crown might be placed to protect the remaining structure. Root Canal Therapy: If an exposed tooth has been infected, it can often be saved with root canal therapy. (You’ll usually get a crown after this procedure since the tooth will be left somewhat fragile.) Of course, it’s best to try and avoid broken or chipped teeth altogether through good habits like wearing a mouthguard when playing contract sports or not biting down on hard candy or ice. That said, if your tooth does become damaged, taking swift, appropriate action is the best solution for making sure that your smile stays fully intact! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Thomas Snarr has almost 30 years of experience in the field of oral healthcare and uses his knowledge and skills to help patients in Rexburg change their smiles for the better. He completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Creighton Dental School; as such, he has plenty of options to offer to those with broken or chipped teeth. To schedule an appointment at his practice, Cornerstone Family Dental, visit his website or call (972) 271-1302.