Keeping That Holiday Smile

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Cortney Davis, RDH

Keeping That Holiday Smile

There is a lot to be excited about and look forward to during the holidays; time with family, friends, giving and receiving presents, world peace (hopefully), service, and food. In my opinion food is the main ingredient in the recipe for a great Christmas. This time of year we are surrounded by delicious food. From holiday ham to endless desserts and treats, there are so many kinds of foods and drinks we consume while merrymaking with friends and family and soaking up as much “holiday spirit” as possible. So, eating and drinking your way through December is the norm. With all this yummy food around there is always one thing I remember to do, take care of my mouth. Yes, I admit a lot of yummy goodness goes into my overly-enthusiastic stomach, but that “gateway” needs some extra maintenance this time of year.  So here are a few tips to help keep your mouth healthy for the holidays.

My first tip is to enjoy sweets in moderation. During the holiday’s sweets are serious temptations. Holiday cookies or hot chocolate may be fun to eat and drink, but can certainly wreak havoc on your teeth. Rather than preventing yourself from eating all those treats altogether, consider saving them for special parties or occasions. By controlling your consumption of these sugary foods, you can minimize the damage to your teeth.

Another effective tip that I recommend is to reduce the possibility of staining one’s teeth. Red is a festive color, and it can also cause teeth stains. There are many different foods and drinks consumed during Christmas that can stain your teeth, such as cranberries, desserts, beets, red punch, or wine. After I consume food or drink that has the potential to stain my teeth, I like to slip into the bathroom and rinse with a small amount of water to ensure I don’t end up with heavy staining on my teeth.

The third tip, which is hard for me to follow is to remember to brush and floss after a big meal. This is very hard for many (myself included) because I tend to find myself sitting down and falling into a food-induced coma.  I have been known to have eaten holiday ham followed by apple cider and pie then finished it off with a pound of left over mash potatoes and after slip into a deep, restful nap on the couch. Then, I remember waking up to the feeling of gross, fuzzy plaque on my teeth, which didn’t feel so great. Leaving food on your teeth for too long can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. So remember, even if it’s flossing that extra roll out from in between your teeth just try and get as much of the food out of your teeth without waiting too long.

My final tip is to not delay dental treatment or emergencies during the holidays. Yes, we get very busy during the holidays, between cooking, shopping, going to family functions, or enjoying the holiday season it is easy to put off treatment you may need. It’s also easy to say to yourself that you will do it after the holidays. But, prolonging treatment or being late on a dental appointment could make things worse. Delaying dental treatment can cause more serious problems, and if you suspect something is wrong or have been diagnosed with something needed to be treated, it is best to get it done before it gets worse. Luckily for our patients, we still have nights and weekend appointments available during the holidays!!

I hope you enjoyed these helpful tips. I also hope everyone has a great holiday and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.deltadentalin.com/medialibraries/global/documents/grinmagazine-holiday13.pdf

http://www.dewda.com/blog/infographic-how-to-keep-your-smile-merry-and-bright-during-the-holiday-season.html

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AZ Mission of Mercy

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Nora Torres, RDH

                    AZ Mission of Mercy (MOM)

What a great experience to be able to participate in this great event! This was my first year volunteering and I am already looking forward to next year. Our dental staff has been a part of this for at least 4 years!

AZ MOM is held at the AZ state fairgrounds in Phoenix. This year it was held on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10. It has been going on since 1994 volunteers provide not only free dental care but also free healthcare, prescription medications to the uninsured and under-insured.

AZ MOM has several clinics in Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas. There are six locations across the Valley. In Arizona they have “provided over 200,000 patient visits and 300,000 free prescription medications for the most vulnerable in our community.”

You do not have to be in the health care field to volunteer your time. Help is always needed and appreciated. You can assist in checking patients in, transferring them to their next location, and translators are always needed.

Mission

“To provide charitable dental care and education to Arizonans, reducing health risks and suffering for those in need.”

Make a Donation

It is tax deductible! “For every $2.00 donation we receive, we are able to give $16.00 of desperately needed care.”

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  Some statistics from last year’s event.

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Sources:

www.amissionofmercy.org/arizona

https://azmom.org

Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

 

Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is the topic of mostly everyone this time of year.  So many of us love to see what Santa has left for us in our stockings.  When considering stocking stuffers, we have some recommendations to assist in keeping your child’s mouth and teeth at their healthiest.

When parents start thinking of what to place in their child’s stocking, they rarely think to put items that will benefit dental health.  Most parents fill their children’s stockings with candy, nuts, socks, hair bows, lotion or Chap Stick.  The list can be endless with what is placed in stockings.  So this year, why not give them items to help with their dental home care.

A New Toothbrush

Everyone loves a new toothbrush.  For the holidays, pick one that will get your kids excited about brushing their teeth.  There are character brushes, brushes that light up and even brushes that play music while you clean your teeth!  Be sure to choose a soft-bristled brush with the appropriate sized head for smaller mouths.

A Tooth Timer

If brushing the correct amount of time is difficult for your kids, consider getting a small timer to keep in the bathroom.  Most kids brush an average of 14 seconds but in their minds it was for two minutes.  A timer will insure that your child is brushing for the approiate time.   You can even join them by brushing together to make sure the family is brushing for two minutes.

A Fun Toothpaste Flavor

So many people choose mint or bubble gum for their toothpaste flavor.  You can look online and find some fun flavors.  Try giving your kids something silly that you wouldn’t usually pick.  There’s Bacon, Pickle, Cupcake, Oreo, Vanilla and Orange.  The list keeps growing.  Amazon has some great choices.

Flavored Floss

Floss is normally pretty plain, but it doesn’t have to be.  Like toothpaste, there is bacon, cupcake or pickled-flavored floss to match.  If those flavors don’t do the trick, there are banana and cinnamon-flavored options for kids to enjoy.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum with Xylitol

Did you know that chewing gum can actually be good for your teeth? While not a substitute for brushing, sugar-free gum can help in the production of saliva which washes away trapped food particles.  Further, gum containing xylitol has actually been proven to help reduce cavities.

Holidays are such a special time to share with your family and friend’s.  Signature Dental would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.xlear.com

http://www.colgate.com

http://www.oralanswers.com