3 Candies to Avoid This Halloween

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Whether you go all out for Halloween or just stay in, most people agree this holiday provides the perfect excuse for chowing down on chocolate and candy. Most people can also agree that bingeing on sugar isn’t great for anyone’s teeth — or waistlines. But did you know that certain sweets are worse for your teeth than others? Take a look at these three candies that you should avoid this Halloween.

Lollipops

Lollipops and smaller hard candies stay in your mouth longer than other sweets, which gives bacteria a steady supply of sugar. Believe it or not, it’s better to eat candies quickly — the quantity doesn’t matter — than to suck on one hard candy for a long time. If you can’t resist having one, try to eat it quickly.

Sour Candy

Sour gummies, powders, and hard candies may taste delicious, but they’re terrible for your teeth. Why is that, you wonder? They’re acidic, and tooth enamel is sensitive to acid. Eating sour candy softens the protective layer on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities.

If you find yourself eating sour candy despite your best efforts to avoid them, make sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately afterward. You should also wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth so you don’t accidentally brush away small pieces of enamel.

Sticky Candy

We saved the worst for last! Sticky candy is terrible for your teeth because it just doesn’t want to leave your mouth. If you don’t brush right away, the residue can stay on your teeth for hours. Even after brushing, trace amounts may remain in tooth crevices. Bacteria will enjoy the feast, but you probably won’t enjoy the cavities.

If you’re due for a dental check-up or have a concern about your teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Mal Braverman at the New York City Cosmetic Dentistry Center. Don’t let those Halloween temptations ruin your smile!

You’ve Got a Cavity, Now What?

A cavity occurs as the result of tooth decay, which can affect both the outer coating and inner layer of the tooth. When carb-heavy foods stay on your teeth, the bacteria within your mouth turn those crumbs into acids, which begin to form plaque. Over time, plaque dissolves the enamel and creates holes in your teeth. Regular daily tooth care and regular visits to your dentist can prevent many cavities.

Signs of a Cavity

dr mal braverman dentist cavityCavities can be painful because they can expose the roots of your teeth. Some of the signs of a cavity include pain while chewing, especially if the pain is concentrated on one tooth. Cold or hot foods might also result in sensitivity or pain. When a cavity is deep enough, you might even spot a dark area or spot on the surface. If you run your tongue over your teeth and feel any chips or cracks in the enamel, this can also indicate a cavity.

What to Do

If you have these symptoms, it’s best to get an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. If you wait too long before seeing the dentist, the bacteria in plaque can continue to decay the tooth. This can require more extensive treatment, which is typically more expensive and painful than a simple filling. When you catch a cavity early, the filling process is fairly straightforward. Excessive decay can result in the need for a crown, or a cap over the tooth, along with a root canal.

When the pain is severe, try taking over-the-counter pain medication and using warm compresses against your jaw near the tooth that is bothering you. Orajel can temporarily numb the pain, but be careful when using this product close to a tooth with a cavity.

Keep up on regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits to prevent your risk of cavities. If you need a dentist in the NYC area, contact Dr. Mal Braverman to schedule an appointment.

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Long Enough?

Dental hygiene depends on effective daily habits, but in addition to choosing toothpaste that’s formulated for your teeth, picking out the perfect brush, and flossing each day, you also need to think about how long you brush. There’s a sweet spot, but it comes as no surprise that most people don’t brush their teeth for nearly long enough—ideally, everyone should brush their teeth for two to three minutes, but most of us only do it for 30 seconds. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you’re brushing long enough.

Do You Brush Every Tooth?

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If the answer is no, then you’re not brushing your teeth long enough. It’s essential to brush every tooth in your head from front to back and top to bottom. Keep in mind that you can’t do that if your brushing style involves randomly scrubbing your teeth. Brush your chompers thoughtfully, moving the bristles of your toothbrush in circles over your teeth.

 

Do You Brush Aggressively?

Take a look at your toothbrush. How are the bristles looking these days? If they’re all spread out and squashed, then you have an aggressive brush stroke, which suggests you don’t spend enough time brushing your teeth. How could you? Your teeth probably ache after half a minute. Harsh brushing is often the reason behind bleeding gums, too.

Do You Brush at Least Twice a Day?

Just a few decades ago, dentists hammered home the importance of brushing three times a day, but that feat proved impossible for any member of the population attending work or school. Today, the recommended daily minimum is twice a day. Needless to say, brushing your teeth less than that means you definitely aren’t brushing them long enough — or often enough. Don’t forget that in addition to brushing regularly, you should floss once a day.

If your smile isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, make an appointment with cosmetic dentist, Dr. Braverman at New York City Cosmetic Dentistry Center. He can make your smile just perfect.

4 Foods That Help Your Teeth

Poor eating habits can cause more than just weight gain. Eating foods high in sugar and starches can also damage your teeth. Help strengthen your teeth and gums by choosing foods that help you maintain a healthy mouth.

Dairy Products

Cheese and yogurt are great sources of calcium and protein. Both contain good bacteria that help fight tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel. Make sure you select yogurt with no added sugar, though.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals. Kale and spinach are particularly high in calcium and help strengthen tooth enamel. Leafy greens also contain folic acid, a nutrient found in vitamin B, which is especially important for pregnant women. If salads aren’t your thing, try adding spinach or kale to a pizza or mix into a smoothie.

Fruits like apples can assist with keeping your mouth healthyFruit

Fruits can help soothe your sweet cravings without adding processed sugar to your diet. Apples are excellent choices because they are high in fiber and water. When you eat an apple, your mouth produces a lot of saliva, which washes away bacteria and food particles that contribute to cavities. The texture also stimulates your gums and keeps them healthy.

Vegetables

Vegetables are also tasty and can help your teeth. Carrots are full of fiber and provide a major source of vitamin A. Crunchy fruits and vegetables act a little bit like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. Celery is another smart choice and contains antioxidants that encourage healthy gums. If you find celery bland, add a topping like cream cheese or natural peanut butter.

Eating better helps keep your mouth healthier. Remember though, nothing takes the place of brushing and flossing your teeth. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, call Dr. Braverman for a professional cleaning that will keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

3 Most Common Teeth Issues and How to Avoid Them

Keeping your teeth in good condition is crucial to staying healthy. However, it’s easy to forget the little things you can do to avoid common tooth issues. If you don’t know the most common problems with teeth and how to avoid them, read on to learn more.

Sensitivity

Have you ever bitten into something cold and realized it hurt? Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental issues people suffer from. Depending on the severity of the sensitivity, it can have an impact on your daily life. There are several ways to help reduce the sensitivity of your teeth. Toothpaste made specifically for this issue uses potassium nitrate that helps block tubules in your teeth, cutting down the pain you feel. It’s important to avoid acidic items such as oranges, soda, and coffee, which all damage the enamel on your teeth.

Cavities

Have you ever come home from a dentist appointment to give a laughing tally of how many cavities you have? Cavities are no laughing matter and can lead to more severe problems with your teeth if they’re not taken care of quickly and effectively. The best way to ensure that you don’t get cavities is to get rid of the plaque buildup in your mouth by brushing and flossing twice a day. Don’t miss your dentist appointments, either, so you can catch issues before they become a problem.

Yellow Teeth

Over time, teeth start to yellow, which can lead to lower confidence and unwillingness to smile. While yellow teeth may not necessarily be considered a health problem, it is a big problem for many. To avoid yellowing teeth, stay away from items that are known to cause the issue, such as tea, coffee, and smoking. You can also use over-the-counter whitening products or visit a dentist who specializes in whitening.

Be more comfortable in your smile and the health of your mouth. Contact Dr. Braverman today for more information on avoiding common teeth problems and fixing any issues you currently have.