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Halloween-Dental-Care

Tips for Your Teeth: Halloween Edition

For many of us, avoiding Halloween candy is difficult. (It’s just too delicious!) We all know it’s not great for our teeth, though. If you’re going to eat more candy than usual over the next week or two, you can at least use these tips to take good care of your teeth.

Dr. Gentry’s Tips for Healthy Teeth

  • Eat Halloween candy right after meals. The saliva produced during meals will help dilute the acids produced by the mouth bacteria in response to the sugar and the saliva will help rinse away food particles.
  • Avoid candy that lasts a long time. It’s the length of time the sugar is in your mouth that is the critical factor. The longer the candy is in your mouth, the more damage it can do to your teeth.
  • Stay away from sticky candy. The longer the sugary candy is stuck to your teeth, the more decay will occur.
  • Stay away from gummy bears, sticky fudge, and taffy.
  • Stay away from sour candy. Sour candy is highly acidic and acids can erode tooth enamel.
  • Drink more water. Tap water with fluoride is best. This will help wash away the candy.Halloween baby
  • Eat good, healthy foods and don’t fill up on sugary candy. You need good nutrition for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Stay away from sodas and sports drinks. The frequent contact with the sugary liquid will increase damage to your teeth.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after eating candy will cause your mouth to increase saliva production, which will neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food.
  • Brush as soon as possible after eating. If you ate sour or acidic foods rinse with water a few times first to neutralize the acid so you don’t push the acid into your enamel. Brush for two minutes.
  • Floss! Flossing removes plaque and food stuck between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to catch dental problems early, and “treat” them before they get really scary. … Remember good oral health is a major contributor to good overall health.

by Philip A. Gentry, DDS
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of General Dentistry
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Philip GentryBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Education, For B'more, People, University LifeOctober 25, 20160 comments
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Philip Gentry

15 Foods That Stain Teeth

1. Coffee

Your morning cup of Joe might be a necessity, but coffee contains dark pigments and healthy, but acidic, polyphenols and tannins that can lead to staining and discoloration. Plus, coffee also is very acidic, and acidic foods lead to tooth decay.

2. Tea

Tea has stain-causing tannins. If you sip tea throughout the day, avoid Earl Grey and choose a lighter-colored variety such as an herbal or green tea. To fight against tea stains, research published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene says to add a little milk to your cup. The casein in milk was found to significantly prevent and reduce tea-induced stains.

3. Red Wine

Those same troublesome tannins exist in your favorite glass of vino, too. Try pairing your glass of Pinot Noir with a handful of almonds to help counteract staining. The act of chewing hard foods like nuts can help scrub away plaque from teeth and mitigate staining. Swish out your mouth with water immediately after drinking wine.

4. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are very healthy and packed with antioxidants, but due to their darker hues, berries will stain your teeth. Eat berries, but brush right after.

5. Curry

Although the exotic spices taste amazing, those yummy yellow and red spices also tint your teeth, thanks to their deep pigmentation. The best way to prevent staining here is to make curry an “every once in awhile” treat. Your smile will thank you.

6. Hard Candies

Hard candies like Jolly ranchers might be one of the worst foods for your teeth. They are both sticky and acidic. Choose nonsticky dark chocolate instead.

7. Tomato Sauce and Ketchup

Anything that can stain your clothes can stain your teeth. Tomatoes also are acidic. Brush after your spaghetti and meatballs.

8. Cherry and Cranberry Juice

All fruit juice puts your teeth at risk of discoloration, especially when the fruits are richly pigmented like cherries or berries. Not to mention the fact that fruit juice is often high in sugar, which can act as a breeding site for bacteria in your mouth and lead to more dental damage and discoloration.

9. Soda

Regular and diet soda are very acidic to the body and, as a result, are damaging to your dental health. Drinking plain water is the best choice for your teeth. Drinking through a straw may help a little.

10. Balsamic Vinegar and Soy Sauce

Salads are healthy for you, but that balsamic may do a number on your teeth. Not only is balsamic dark in color, but it’s rather sticky and will latch onto teeth, which can lead to staining if it’s not brushed away soon after eating. Avoid too much soy sauce, it stains and contains too much sodium anyway.

11. Beets

Whether you enjoy them in your morning veggie juice or consume them whole, beets can be incredibly staining to the teeth. Brush your teeth after eating beets. You also can try pairing them with foods that are less damaging to your mouth—like cheese! Studies show that cheese can reduce acids in the mouth.

12. Popsicles

Popsicles may be lower in calories than other dessert options, but due to their sugar content and fruit juice base, they will stain your teeth. Chew sugarless gum instead to increase your saliva production, which helps to neutralize and counteract those acid attacks.

13. Gatorade

Some research suggests sports drinks are even more harmful to your smile than sodas. Researchers from New York University found that excessive consumption of these types of drinks can weaken and damage the tissue in your teeth because of a combination of acidic components, sugars, and other additives.

14. Grapes

If wine will turn your smile dark, then you better believe its main ingredient will do the same. Grapes are deeply pigmented fruits and may cause staining when eaten often. Brush after eating grapes.

15. Lemon

Hot water with lemon in the morning has become popular with celebrities. But citrus fruits like lemons or limes are highly acidic and can erode the enamel on your teeth—in turn, revealing yellow dentin tissue below. Avoid acids, drink water.

Dr. Philip A. Gentry, DDS
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Advanced Education in General Dentistry
Department of General Dentistry,
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Philip GentryCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeMarch 21, 20162 comments
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General-Dentistry

A New Year’s Resolution You Can Smile About

10 Steps to Healthier Teeth

1. Floss once a day. Without flossing you miss 40 percent of your tooth surface.
2. Brush twice a day. Brush for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and brush your tongue.
3. Schedule at least two dental check-ups and cleanings each year.
4. Eat healthy foods. Cut down on sweets and eat more fruits and veggies.
5. Stop smoking. It’s bad for everything!
6. Drink more water. Stop drinking soda!
7. Relax. Stress causes you to clench and grind your teeth, wearing them down and breaking your teeth. Have your dentist make you a nightguard if you do.
8. Chew sugarless gum after meals. This stimulates saliva flow to clean off your teeth.
9. Wear a custom-fit sports mouthguard when playing contact sports. This helps prevent broken teeth and concussions.
10. Smile more. You’ll feel better!

Check out UMB’s Dental Clinic!

You can call the Department of Advanced General Dentistry at 410-706-2940. They are located at 650 W. Baltimore St. and open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The patient’s parking garage is located at 622 W. Fayette St.
Philip A. Gentry, DDS
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Advanced Education in General Dentistry
Department of General Dentistry
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Philip GentryCommunity Service, Education, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, University LifeJanuary 4, 20160 comments
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