The Impact of “Scary” and “Sweet” Candy on Your Teeth

It’s finally that time of the year, the leaves are falling, the weather is getting cooler, and Halloween is right around the corner! With the spooky season rapidly approaching you should know which candies are “scary” for your teeth and which ones are “sweet”.

The “Scary” Candy

  • Sticky and gummy candies (Laffy Taffy, gummy bears, caramel)
  • Hard candy (jawbreakers, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers)
  • Sour candy (Lemon Heads, War Heads, Sour Patch Kids)
  • Popcorn balls

These “scary” candies can cause a whole monster of problems from enamel loss to tooth damage. The sticky/gummy candies adhere to your teeth giving the sugar time to seep into all those nooks and crannies. beware-candy.jpgHard candy sits in your mouth slowly coating your teeth in sugar and can crack or break teeth as you chew them. The sour candies are super acidic and break down the enamel, weakening your teeth and making them more susceptible to cavities. Treats like popcorn balls have sharp kernels that can cause bleeding gums and other painful sores in your mouth.

The “Sweet” Candy

  • Semi-Sweet and dark chocolate
  • Candy bars with nuts
  • Any fun-sized candy bars

Now, any candy not in moderation can be harmful. However, these “sweet” candies are a safer bet for your teeth and gums. The chocolate and candy bars with nuts can be quickly and easily rinsed out with saliva or water. The fun-sized candy bars are smaller portions which means less sugar while satisfying your cravings!

Speaking of sugar, it can have a pretty sinister effect on your teeth, enamel and your gums. In our mouths, we have bacteria that when introduced to sugar, creates acid. Sugar also lowers the PH balance in our mouths making it more acidic. This acid can bond to and erode your enamel, Scary right?demineralization.jpg This process is called demineralization, luckily our saliva is a base, so it helps prevent and restore some of the damage done in a process called remineralization.

Over time this acid wears our enamel down so much that the sugar can seep into our teeth causing cavities. When these cavities are left untreated, they can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. According to the ADA (American Dental Association), 91% percent of Americans over 20 have had cavities and 27% of them have experienced tooth decay.

Those are some spooky statistics! Thankfully there are some steps you can take to prevent the sugar from doing too much harm to those pearly whites. We suggest that after eating those “scary” treats, you chew some sugar-free gum. The sugar-free gum absorbs some of the acidic gunk stuck to your teeth, lessening its harmful effects on your enamel. It is also wise to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush. This keeps the sugar and acid from being ground into your enamel which can cause even more damage.

Always remember whether the candy is “scary” or “sweet” to eat in moderation, AND brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day also helps. Keep those beautiful teeth happy and healthy, schedule your dental check-up today!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

Here’s The Definition Of A True Dental Emergency

What is a dental emergency? If you feel pain, call! You don’t want it to get worse than it already is.

Also, getting a tooth knocked out is an emergency too! If this ever happens, the sooner you get to the dentist the better chance of your tooth being saved.

Did you know over 5 million teeth get knocked out every year! Whether it’s sports related or accidental. Speaking of sports, with the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs are going on, don’t try to mimic your favorite moves without using a mouth guard.

Prevention is Key!

It’s summer, a good time to learn a new sport or play in leagues. Any contact sport is best played with a mouth guard. You never know what to expect, an elbow to the mouth, falling to the floor, unable to catch your fall and a ball/puck to your mouth. A mouth guard can’t protect you sitting in your gym bag! Discuss with your dentist which option is the best for your activities.

What To Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

When your tooth is knocked out, other things are in danger as well. Nerves, blood vessels, and tissues can also be damaged from the trauma. After it’s been knocked out, you want to pick it up by the crown and not the root. Rinse the tooth gently, but not the root because you could be scrubbing away the periodontal ligament or the cementum which is important to hold your tooth in the socket. Soap and chemicals are damaging to the cells remaining on the root and will most likely make the tooth impossible to reattach and save.missing tooth.png

Another thing you can try is putting the tooth back in the socket. Sounds weird right? But it can help keep the tooth moist, giving it a better chance to be reattached. Another option to try is to leave it in a cup of milk because of the biological compatibility and low bacteria count, the milk can help preserve the tooth.

The most important thing to do is to call your dentist office ASAP! Your dentist will be able to determine if your tooth can return to full function or not. The longer you put off the dentist the higher the risk of permanent tooth loss If your tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will go over dental bridge and implant options.

Dental Emergency vs. True Dental Emergency

Is there a difference? Absolutely! Not to confuse you, but in both scenarios, you should see your dentist regardless! Let’s clarify the difference and explain anything that is unclear.

Signs of a True Dental Emergency

  • Tooth Loss
  • Extreme Pain
  • Tooth Abscess or Pus
  • Swelling
  • Cracked or Chipped toothpain.png

Losing an “adult” tooth is a dental emergency and needs quick action to save the tooth. With pain you should call your dentist, especially with extreme pain that doesn’t lessen or go away with over the counter medicine. That could be a sign that something more significant is wrong. Pus is a sign of infection and you could need antibiotics. It’s important to get treatment right away to help the pain and infection go away. If left untreated a tooth abscess may lead to continuous dental problems. If you see swelling on your gum line or jawline it can also be a sign of an infection. Cracked or a chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies. A cracked tooth exposes your nerves, which can cause more pain and if left untreated, the crack may get worse resulting in tooth loss.

Things happen and can’t be controlled, but it’s important to be able to identify what’s wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist right away.

You can never plan for a dental emergency, but you can always have your bi-annual cleanings scheduled and our number saved in your phone!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388