Halloween Dental Survival Candy Guide

Halloween Dental Survival Candy Guide

With Halloween fast approaching, there’s no denying that costumes and decorations are exciting, but candy and sugary treats can wreak havoc on our teeth. Candy, as well as hurting children’s teeth, can lead to hyperactivity and weight gain. In some cases, the wrong types of candy can also lead to broken teeth and damaged braces.

But as your Des Plaines and Mount Prospect dentist, I understand it’s Halloween. Kids especially need to satisfy their sweet tooth. That’s why we put together this Halloween survival guide to help you and your little ones navigate through this sugar laden holiday.

How Halloween Candy Damages Your Teeth

Sugar is sticky. On our teeth, it becomes a tasty meal for bacteria. Bacteria eat sugar and turn it into a mildly acidic substance.

Over time, this creates a horrible environment for your teeth. That’s when cavities start to develop. Even without the sugar, some candies can still break teeth or cause damage.

However, not all sugar is created equal. You can still enjoy candy here-and-there without risking damage to your teeth. Just keep in mind which types of candy to avoid, and we can help you make it to Thanksgiving without any problems.

Sorting out the Truth on Treats- the good, the bad and the ugly

Chocolate

dark-chocolateLuckily for chocolate lovers: the darker, the better.

The cacao compound found in chocolate, CBH, hardens your tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to cavities and sensitivity. It’s best to look for dark chocolate with 75% cacao content or higher and with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving.

I’d say dark chocolate is one of the best candy options for Trick or Treat during Halloween.

Candy Bars with Nuts

If a candy bar has nuts, it already has more nutritional value than most others. Nuts contain high levels of protein, vitamin E, and other nutrients.

But what about teeth?

Nuts can help break up the sticky portions of candy bars. This means less sugar makes it onto your teeth. They also help scrub the sugar from your teeth. Although, a candy bar with nuts is no excuse to avoid post-candy brushing.

Gummy Candy

gummy bears

Gummy candy is also very sticky and difficult to clean off from our teeth no matter how well we brush.

Sugar from gummy candy works its way into the deep crevices on our teeth which leads to increased risk for cavities and long-term damage. No one wants a toothache the night before Thanksgiving.

Hard Candy and Lollipops

First of all, hard candies can break your teeth. This fact alone makes them one of the worst candies to have kicking around after Halloween.

Hard candies and lollipops sit in our mouths for a long time giving the sugar plenty of time to settle onto our teeth. It’s tempting to consume these candies compulsively while sugar and bacteria wreak havoc.

I suggest brushing your teeth and flossing as soon as possible after eating hard candy or lollipops to avoid acid damage.

Sour Coated Candy

sugar-coated-candy

Their acidic property accelerates the damage caused by bacteria which can make your teeth more vulnerable.

Gummy candy with a sour coating? That’s probably the worst candy for your teeth. Avoid sour candy as much as possible.

Extra candy? Drop them off at our Packages4Patriots Candy Buy Back!

des-plaines-candy-buy-back-2017

Every year we work with Packages4Patriots to collect uneaten, unopened Halloween candy for our US troops.

We will be collecting candy the week of Halloween during regular business hours. Children are welcome to drop off candy anytime in exchange for $1 per pound and a goody bag including a toothbrush and toothpaste! Any candy donations from adults who would like to find a good home for their unused candy this Halloween will gratefully be accepted as well.

All collected candy will be given to Packages4Patriots who puts together care packages around the holidays and throughout the year to send to the men and women overseas bringing smiles to those who have set out to protect our country!

This program has been very successful in the past year and we hope that 2017 is the best yet!

Let us know if you have questions regarding our Dental Halloween Survival Guide or Halloween Candy Buy Back!

Dr. Tom Meyer, DDS, FICCMO
dentist Mount Prospect, dentist Des Plaines

Are you ready for a different dental experience?

Make an Appointment

Seniors with Missing Teeth: Solutions and How it Impacts Their Overall Health

Seniors with Missing Teeth: Solutions and How it Impacts Their Overall Health

As we get older, our bodies aren’t as strong as they used to be. It isn’t uncommon to receive diagnoses of osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, or even experience tooth loss.

Some people assume that a missing tooth or two is common, something that we’ll all have to deal with eventually. A few people even believe they’ll be in full dentures by the time they reach a certain age, simply because others in their family may have experienced that.

But does it have to be that way? Is there a solution for people with missing teeth?

Dental Implants- an ideal solution for a missing Tooth

Thankfully- the answer is yes! Dental implants are playing a vital role in the health of my patients. Those with implants have healthier dentition, as well as stronger facial bone support.

Dental implants are pretty amazing. They are so strong and stable in the jaw bone that people who have them feel like they’re talking and chewing with their original teeth.

How do dental implants work?

3 reasons why dental implants are the best choice to replace missing teeth

1. First, the implant post, made of an incredibly strong metal that is bio-compatible with human bone, is placed into the jaw bone. Once placed, the metal implant integrates into the jaw bone, which means that the bone grows around and fuses to the implant post.

2. After a few months, once the bone and implant have fused, I expose the top of the implant. It shows through the gum just a bit – enough for a dental crown to securely fit on top of it.

3. This dental crown looks, fits, and feels like a real tooth. Patients can floss normally and eat any food they want.

Missing Teeth: How It Impacts Senior Health

All of this talk about implants makes them sound like a wonderful investment – which they are! But some people wonder if dental implants are more of a luxury than a necessity. Do they really need to be concerned with replacing missing teeth?

Definitely! Missing teeth can have an adverse effect on a person’s oral health as well as their general health.

1. Jaw Bone Recession

dental-implants-tom-meyer-dentist-des-plaines-chicago

The teeth act as an anchor for the jaw bone. Without teeth, the jaw has nothing to support. So, it slowly begins to recede. You may have noticed this with people who have worn full dentures for many years. Their jaw bone – particularly the mandible, or the lower jaw – is very thin.

Jaw bone recession doesn’t just happen when people lose all their teeth. It can and will happen with one missing tooth.

The recession won’t necessarily affect the entire jaw bone, but it will affect the bone around the missing tooth. It’s really easy for people with one missing tooth to experience bone loss and gum disease around adjacent teeth. If not properly cared for at home and with the assistance of a dental professional, the problem could escalate and more teeth could be lost.

2. Loss of Vital Nutrients

Happy elderly couple having breakfast in kitchen, smiling at camera.

But missing teeth don’t just affect the mouth – there are general health consequences as well.

The digestive process begins in the mouth. Enzymes in our mouth begin breaking down the food we eat. Chewing breaks the food down even more.
When a person loses a tooth, chewing becomes more difficult. The more teeth that are missing, the more difficult proper chewing becomes. Denture wearers find it even harder to eat because their dentures can become loose and uncomfortable.

Overtime, those who can’t chew their food properly will end up losing out on vital nutrients. Some have even lost interest in eating altogether, which compounds the nutrient problem.

But when patients replace missing teeth with dental implants or invest in implant supported dentures, chewing is easier and nutrients are more likely to be absorbed.

How dental implants can benefit those with dentures

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, almost 28% of seniors are fully edentulous. That’s quite a few people who are dealing with dentures, and one of the reasons why so many people think that losing a teeth or ending up with dentures later in life is something that is common to most people.
For those who already live with dentures, I want to encourage you to consider implant dentures.

Implant developers have created what’s known as implant supported dentures. This means that fully edentulous seniors can now be candidates for implants.

How implant dentures work

1-implants-dentures

1. We start with implant surgery. Four to six implants are placed on your upper arch and four to six are placed in the lower jaw bone as well.

2.The dentures have clips that fit onto the implants. They snap into place, like a snap-button shirt.

Not only do these dentures keep the bone strong, they keep the dentures secure. Eating is much easier and the dentures won’t become loose or fall out. It’s an ideal long-term solution for denture wearers.

Consider Restoring Your Missing Teeth with Implants

If you have a missing tooth or teeth, I urge you to consider getting dental implants from my Meyer Dental Group Des Plaines dental office. Dental implants will help keep your jaw bone healthy and allow you to chew foods thoroughly – an absolute must for proper digestion.

I invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation. Together, we can find the best solution for your dental needs.

Are you interested in replacing missing teeth with dental implants? Contact my Des Plaines dental office for more information about this procedure.

Learn about traditional braces

Learn about traditional braces

A “bad bite” or malocclusion can affect your dental health, overall health, and self-confidence.  Malocclusion is the dental term for teeth that don’t fit together properly. It literally means “bad bite.” Malocclusion that is not corrected can affect your profile and appearance. Traditional braces can be used to bring teeth into proper alignments again.

About orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic treatments will usually start once all baby teeth have been lost.  However, we are seeing the importance and great impact of early intervention orthodontics.   While children are in transition of baby teeth to their permanent teeth, orthodontic therapy can help widen the dental arches.  This will often times allow permanent teeth to come into the ideal position on their own, as well as increase airway spaces allowing for better oxygen exchange for optimal health and development.

Problems that come with a “bad bite”

Poorly aligned teeth can also contribute to the following:

  • tooth decay
  • bone loss of teeth
  • jaw joint problems

In turn, jaw joint problems can cause

Correct your bite with braces

Correcting your bite through traditional braces can improve your dental health as well as your overall health with an added bonus of boosting your self-confidence and giving you a terrific looking smile!

At Meyer Dental Group, we are happy to evaluate you to find out of traditional braces or early intervention orthodontics is right for you!  We proudly serve the Des Plaines, Mt Prospect, Arlington Heights, Chicago and surrounding areas.  Call us at (847)827-6290 or make an appointment for your orthodontic consultation.

Professional teeth whitening vs. over the counter kits

Professional teeth whitening vs. over the counter kits

Professional teeth whitening may seem like an unnecessary expense. These days, over the counter kits have advanced in technology and they may seem like a great way to get a white smile fast and without breaking the bank. There are lots of over the counter options available now, from gel strips to whitening rinses to whitening trays and brightening toothpaste. But what are the real differences between getting your teeth whitened professionally and using an over the counter kit?

Coverage in Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over the Counter

At-home kits are great if you need a quick fix before a big day like a wedding or having your photo taken. But keep in mind that most at-home kits many only whiten your front three teeth. This is a great alternative to traditional professional whitening services if your tooth is capped. Getting your teeth professionally whitened will still provide better coverage.

Regulation

Even though there are a few regulated products, many of the whitening strips out there are not and may be ineffective! If you are thinking of purchasing an over the counter kit, speak the Meyer Dental Group team first. They will help you find a cosmetic whitening system that will work best for your teeth.

Your Teeth Condition

If your gums and teeth are in impeccable condition, an over the counter kit may be a good option for you. If you have sensitive gums or teeth, it is best to speak to us to get a system that will not cause teeth irritation. Overusing a whitening kit can also result in wearing down your teeth’s enamel in the long run.

Brightness

For over the counter whitening kits, there are roughly 10% less active bleaching agent than there are in a professional kit that we provide.

Price

We know that custom made whitening trays may seem expensive, but let’s break it down in the long run. Many different types of over the counter kits are not as effective as you may think and will end up costing you money as you try and find one that works. A perk of a custom made dental tray is that although it may be a bit more expensive, it’s made just for your mouth! The tray is made to order, fitting perfectly over your teeth and along your gum line. This will make sure the bleaching gel fits evenly around your teeth and stays off your gums. So even though you may be paying more, you know you will come out pearly white teeth from your whitening experience. Plus, you get to keep your custom made trays so you can touch up your teeth down the road if needed.

Contact Meyer Dental Group

It’s important to learn the difference between over the counter whitening and professional teeth whitening. You have to factor in the whitening treatment’s coverage, the effectiveness, and your teeth condition. It’s also important to think about the level of brightness you want your teeth to have and the price. Contact the Meyer Dental Group in Des Plaines if you have any questions regarding professional teeth whitening and if it’s right for you.

You can also read more about professional teeth whitening at Meyer Dental Group here.

4 Things You Should Know About Sedation Dentistry

4 Things You Should Know About Sedation Dentistry

If you are hesitant about visiting the dentist, you are not alone! At Meyer Dental Group, we see many patients who require additional support to reduce anxiety and pain during an appointment or procedure.

Here are four things to know about sedation dentistry in Des Plaines, IL:

1. It Can Improve Pain Management and Help Reduce Treatment Time

Are you anxious about booking an appointment in case a dental procedure is required? Fear and nervousness can work our bodies up into a heightened state of anxiety. This state can make pain management and healing more difficult. Sedation encourages your body to relax, reducing stress and allowing pain medication or pain management therapies to work properly.
3>2. Not Every Procedure Requires Anesthesia

Not every dental procedure requires going under or receiving numbing injections. We keep up with advancements in technology to offer non-invasive solutions. Many dental crowns can be completed in one visit, limiting the need for a separate implantation visit and anesthesia. Special laser tools allow us to catch cavities early, and many shallow cavities can be treated with an air abrasion technique. This technique does not use a drill and often requires no injections.

3. There Are Non-toxic Solutions

Many patients suffer from dental anxiety but also do not want to be put under for dental procedures. After all, many common techniques involve chemicals and toxic substances. If you want a healthy solution, there are non-toxic, holistic options available that support whole body health. To read more about sedation alternatives, read our post about Dental Anxiety and NuCalm.

4. Relaxation Techniques Can Help

Common relaxation tools and practices include massage, neck warmers, noise-cancelling headphones, and listening to music. We also encourage the use of NuCalm, a four-part relaxation system that helps reduce anxiety and how people interpret pain. All of these tools can help reduce anxiety and how pain is perceived.

Talk to Us About Your Concerns

Do you still have questions about sedation dentistry in Des Plaines, IL, or the surrounding areas? Contact the Meyer Dental Group for more information or book an appointment today.