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Halloween candy, teeth, sugar, brush and floss, oral health, Dr. Andy Bullard, teeth whitening, Greenville South Carolina

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

With Halloween just around the corner, and lots of temptation all around us, let’s talk about Halloween candy and your teeth.  When it comes to your oral health, sweets in moderation are okay, as long as you also brush twice a day and floss before bed.

Tooth Decay

What you want to avoid is tooth decay that can lead to cavities or even tooth loss.  Bacteria in your mouth can cause decay.  And guess what? SUGAR fuels the bacteria, and bacteria produces acid that eats away at your teeth.

Best and Worst Candy

The worst candy for your teeth are those sticky ones.  Think about taffy, caramels and anything else that really hangs on to your teeth.  Candy that dissolves quickly and doesn’t get wedged between teeth is better because it doesn’t stick around for bacteria to grab hold to.
Of course, it’s not just about decay.  Hard candy can be a problem if it just breaks your teeth or dental work.

Enjoy the Holiday

Enjoying Halloween candy on October 31 and in the days before and after the holiday is something most of us enjoy and look forward to, especially the kids.  So, have fun and enjoy life, just remember to brush and floss, and visit the dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and checkups.
The goal is to form healthy habits taking care of your teeth, and helping kids do the same.  If you do that, you can enjoy those sweet treats.

Visit the Dentist

To schedule a dental visit, give us a call at 864-520-2942 or click here.  Our office is located at the corner of North Main St. and Stone Ave.

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Brush twice a day

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Are You Using the Right Kind of Mouthwash?

ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT KIND OF MOUTHWASH?

There are two main types of over-the-counter mouthwash we recommend.  Are you using the right kind of mouthwash? Here’s what you need to know:  one is for your gums to fight the bacteria that cause gingivitis and the other is for your teeth to help strengthen against cavities. Both can be used as a breath freshener. There are also some mouthwashes that are only for fresh breath and have no therapeutic effect.

DECIDING WHICH ONE TO USE

In consultation with your dentist, deciding which type of mouthwash to use may depend on whether you’re more susceptible to gingivitis or decay.  If you have bleeding gums, then the antibacterial rinses to fight gingivitis would be most effective.  If you have a lot of filings and crowns, fluoride might be the best choice.  If fresh breath is all you’re after, the antimicrobials used to fight gingivitis will also work to control bad breath because bad breath is usually caused by bacteria.

AVOID MOUTHWASH WITH ALCOHOL

A common ingredient in many mouth rinses is alcohol.  We recommend finding a rinse without alcohol because it can be harsh on the tissue in your mouth and increase dry mouth.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE MOUTHWASH?

We don’t recommend using mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth because you’ll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste.  We suggest you also read the recommendations and directions listed on the product you chose to use.

ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT KIND OF MOUTHWASH?

You will want to use mouthwashes that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance.  And remember that mouthwashes do not take the place of brushing and flossing.    It’s important to visit the dentist twice a year.  To schedule a checkup, click on the link or call our office at 864-520-2942.

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Dental Cleaning is one of the most important functions we provide is to use our instruments as a supplement to your brushing and flossing.

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Avoid These Foods for Healthy Teeth

Avoid These Foods for Healthy Teeth

Your diet plays a large role in the health of your teeth.  Avoid these foods to keep your smile healthy and bright.  First on the list are sodas.  Sipping on sodas constantly feeds cavity bacteria.  The sugar and acid can destroy your enamel.   Other acidic and sugary drinks, like energy drinks, sports drinks and coffee and tea with sugar also damage teeth and feed harmful bacteria. Water is the best thing to drink throughout the day.

Don’t Chew Ice

Chewing ice can fracture teeth and dental work. For many, chewing ice is a habit. It’s one habit you should avoid.  Even though ice doesn’t contain sugar, it can still wear down your teeth and lead to expensive dental work.

Avoid chewing ice

A Warning About Sticky Foods

Many dried fruits are sticky and will hold sugar against your teeth for an extended period of time.  This increases your chance of getting cavities.  This might surprise you, but raisins can be worse for your teeth than chocolate.  If you like to snack on trail mix containing dried fruit, be sure to brush and floss after you eat.

Dried fruit leaves sugar on your teeth

Limit Citrus Intake

Lemon water or other citrus flavored water is refreshing, but it can lead to an increase in cavities.  Be mindful of your citrus intake and rinse with water after eating acidic fruits, such as oranges, limes, grapefruit and lemons.  The American Dental Association suggests you eat acidic foods as part of a meal instead of by themselves.  This includes tomatoes.

Hard Candy Danger

Hard candy is sticky and sugary.  This is awful for your teeth.  I’m talking about mints with sugar, lollipops and your other favorites in the candy aisle. Breath mints that contain sugar are no different than any other type of candy.  Therefore, select sugar free mints.

Avoid These Foods

Limit sweets in general.  What’s good for your body is also good for your teeth.  As you’ve heard before, everything in moderation.  As always, brush and floss to keep those teeth happy and healthy.

Checkups are Important

Regular visits to the dentist keep you aware of how your teeth are doing.  I recommend checkups twice a year.  This professional examination can identify problem areas and help form a checklist to achieve and maintain healthy teeth and gums.  We are accepting new patients.  You can call us to schedule at 864-520-2942 or click here to request an appointment.

Taking care of your teeth

Dental checkup

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Children’s Dental Health Month

Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental health Month, so it’s a good time to talk about building healthy habits from an early age.

Teaching kids to properly care for their teeth will help them develop healthy habits from the start, and not struggle to brush and floss regularly, like most adults.

Tooth Decay

Dental disease is preventable, and prevention is always better than treatment.

Children’s Dental Health Month is a time to raise awareness that cavities can be prevented, and healthy habits begin at home with parents and caregivers.

Tooth decay, which we also call cavities, is the most common chronic disease in children.  Kids get cavities because they’re not brushing properlyTheir diets may also contain too much sugar.

Dental Checkup, brushing and flossing

What Parents Should Know

Parents should be actively involved in brushing their children’s teeth up through the age of eight years old.  This means parents should be in the room with their kids, thoroughly brushing their children’s teeth for two minutes, twice a day.  Start the flossing habit each night before bedtime too, as soon as your kids have two teeth that touch.

It’s good to get young children involved in brushing their teeth, but children below the age of eight are generally not able to properly brush and care for their teeth by themselves.

Family Dentistry

Our practice is focused on family dentistry.  You can book a checkup and a cleaning on our website or by calling 864-520-2942.  We work with your schedule to provide morning, evening, weekend and emergency appointments, and all major insurance is accepted.  We created a video to show you what a checkup with x-rays will look like, click here.

Important Recommendations

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages parents to implement mouth care routines beginning as early as infancy, before a child’s first tooth even appears. Here’s what DHEC recommends for parents:

  • Begin oral care during infancy by wiping a baby’s gums and mouth with a soft cloth
  • Brush a child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day for two minutes. Children under the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste, and children over three should use a pea-sized amount.
  • Take their children for regular dentist visits beginning at the age of one.
  • Talk to a pediatrician, family doctor, nurse or dentist about putting fluoride varnish on children’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth.
  • Limit a child’s consumption of sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Ask their child’s dentist about dental sealants that protect teeth from decay.
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    We care for patients of all ages

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Dr Andy Bullard recommends using an electric toothbrush, teeth whitening,

Is An Electric Toothbrush Really Better?

Is an Electric Toothbrush Really Better?

A lot of people ask “is an electric toothbrush really better?” Well, it is my belief that just about every adult patient (and every young patient in braces) should have an electric toothbrush. There are 2 reasons for this: time spent brushing and force of brushing. When I was a student in dental school I had a professor that said a manual toothbrush could be as effective as an electric brush if used properlyand technically that is true. What I have realized after looking at teeth for 20 years is that we are simply too impatient when we brush our teeth.  In the morning we’re in too much of a rush and in the evening we’re too tired to use a manual brush properly, and it is really difficult to change our habits.

Brush for Two Minutes

If you use a manual brush, time yourself brushing. The proper amount of time to brush is 2 minutes, at least 2 minutes. For many people this will seem like an eternity. One of the major benefits of an electric toothbrush is that most of them run for 2 minutes, so you turn it on and you know you are done when it turns off. Still, it can be a challenge to stand there and stare at yourself in the mirror and wait for the full 2 minutes, so I recommend walking around while you brush. Sometimes in the evenings, and when you are not so rushed getting out of the door to start your day, you may want to do 3 or 4 minutes of brushing, especially if you have a lot of fillings or crowns.  The dental work can hold bacteria more than tooth enamel.

Be Gentle on Your Gums

If you have issues with receding gums or have had gum grafts or have sensitive teeth, it is better to stick to the 2 minutes because you can actually brush too much (or rather too hard).  Not only can electric toothbrushes clear away bacteria well, they can also be more gentle. Most people brush way too hard, which can cause gum recession and even can wear away your teeth. With an electric toothbrush you just hold it against your teeth and gums and it does the work, removing the need for hard scrubbing.

Picking the Correct Toothpaste

Most toothpastes are abrasive, especially some of the whitening toothpastes. Most whitening toothpastes do not bleach your teeth, they make them whiter by scouring stains off. There was a study done with a toothbrush on a mechanical arm brushing against teeth for a couple of hundred thousand cycles. When only water was used there was no damage to the teeth, but when toothpaste was added large notches were worn in the teeth. Now, toothpaste is vital as a carrier for fluoride, but the plainer pastes and gels are better for you, especially if you have gum recession or sensitive teeth.

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Brush twice a day

Don’t Use Too Much Force

Many manual toothbrushes also have medium or firm bristles. Never buy anything but a soft bristled toothbrush. The brushing motion should not involve hard scrubbing. Brushing should be thorough, not forceful. Time spent brushing is much more important than heavy force. Again, brushing too hard is often a difficult habit to break, thus increasing the value of an electric toothbrush.

Start Shopping

So if you do not yet have an electric toothbrush, start checking them out. I think you’ll be pleased with the results! To schedule a checkup and cleaning, call our office at 864-520-2942 or request an appointment online.

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Checkup time!