dr. janse

Managing That Halloween Sweet Tooth

HALLOWEEN IS Oak Hills Endodontics favorite spooky time of year, but when it comes to sugar’s effects on teeth, all that candy can be downright scary. The reason sugar is bad for our teeth is that it feeds harmful oral bacteria that excrete acid, and the acid erodes enamel and leads to tooth decay. So how can we keep our costumed Halloween adventures clear of tooth decay?

Ranking Candy On Dental Health

Very few houses give away treats like sugar-free xylitol gum to trick-or-treaters, so the chances are slim that the candy will actually be healthy. However, some types of sugary candy are worse than others, or present different kinds of problems.

  • Hard candy is a problem because there’s a risk of breaking our teeth if we chew it, but sucking on it isn’t safe either because that means holding a source of sugar in our mouths for an extended period.
  • Sour candies are like a double attack against dental health, because not only do they contain a lot of sugar to feed the bacteria, but they are also highly acidic, so they can harm our enamel directly!
  • Sticky or gummy candy is especially bad for teeth because it remains stuck there, feeding the bacteria for a long time and giving them a larger opportunity to attack the enamel.
  • The good news is that the least harmful sugary candy is chocolate! It doesn’t stick to teeth like most other candies, and the cocoa in it has many beneficial properties. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar will be in it, so aim for dark chocolate.

Reducing The Candy Quantity

Being picky about which types of candy we eat is one way to reduce the risk of tooth decay, but an even better way to do that is by simply eating less candy. As parents, we can help our children out with this by coming up with a plan before trick-or-treating time. We could let them trade the bulk of their candy haul for some kind of non-candy prize (There are many dental offices that collected Halloween treats to donate to soldiers overseas and offer a prize in return.  So, call a pediatric dentist in your area or your general dentist and see if they have such a program.)  or limit the number of houses they visit. We just have to make sure to discuss the plan with them in advance.

More Tooth-Healthy Strategies

There are a few other simple things you can do to reduce the dental effects of all that Halloween candy. You can drink more waterto rinse out the sugar, limit the frequency of candy consumption more than the quantity, and wait thirty minutes after eating candy to brush your teeth. The reason for that last one is that it takes your saliva about half an hour to stabilize the pH of your mouth after eating sugar.

Keeping Teeth Healthy Year-Round

The Halloween season will come to an end, but the job of keeping our teeth healthy is never done! Make sure you’re always brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, keeping those sugary treats to a minimum, and scheduling regular dental visits! Let’s keep those natural teeth health!

Have a spooky Halloween from Oak Hills Endodontics!

Giving Back to Our Community

The staff at Oak Hills Endodontics believe in giving back to our community.  Here is how Dr. Bates shares his knowledge and expertise to serve his community:

Dr. Bates At San Antonio Christian Dental

Since 2006, I have volunteered and still do each month performing exams and root canal treatments and permanent fillings on the teeth I treat. I love it! Can’t say enough about giving back and how good it makes me feel to help these unfortunate, wonderful individuals. We don’t fully appreciate our blessings until we serve the underserved.

Haven for Hope is a place of hope and new beginnings for people in Bexar County experiencing homelessness. It is made up of two major programs: the Courtyard and the Transformational Campus. Both are on the Haven for Hope property and require a visit to the Intake Department to get started. The Courtyard is a low-barrier safe sleeping program that offers shelter and basic needs. The Transformational Campus is a center that offers services and shelter with an emphasis toward addressing the root causes of homelessness.

On-Campus Partnership: Haven’s On-Campus Partners are those non-profit agencies who have a legally binding agreement with Haven for Hope of Bexar County, Inc. On-Campus Partners are located on Haven’s Campus and work directly with Haven. San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic is one of Haven for Hope’s On-Campus Partners. San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic is on a mission to extend Christ’s healing by providing charitable dental care to underserved Bexar County adults.

San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic provides free dental care for low income and homeless Bexar County adults.

For More Information about Haven for Hope go to https://www.havenforhope.org/

Rescue Your Tooth With Root Canal Therapy

TEETH ARE ALIVE, just like every other part of the body. That means they are susceptible to infection. Whenever an infection becomes severe enough, the tainted part has to go or else all the surrounding tissue will be compromised as well and the patient’s life will be at risk! That’s where a root canal comes in.

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canals are a way of getting rid of the infection in a tooth without getting rid of the actual tooth. A root canal won’t save your tooth—by the time you need one, it’s too late for that, but it will allow you to keep it.

An endodontist will drill into the tooth to reach the infected pulp at its core. Next, the pulp is removed, leaving the tooth hollow. After the space is flushed out, the root is filled with sealer and the crown with cement, and the whole tooth is capped off with an artificial crown. This procedure ensures that no more bacteria can get inside the tooth and minimizes the chances of the tooth breaking.

To get a better understanding of what’s involved in root canal treatment, check out the video below:

When Do You Need One?

The way teeth become infected is through decay, cavities, or cracks from an injury, which means it’s usually an avoidable problem. If you’re brushing and flossing properly, your teeth are unlikely to reach a level of decay that allows bacteria to reach the living dental pulp inside them. However, some people are genetically more susceptible to tooth decay.

Infection can lead to an abscess at the tooth’s root or death of the pulp. If you have tooth decay extensive enough to require a root canal, you’ll probably be experiencing significant pain in and around the infected tooth. With an abscess, there will also be swelling and inflammation. Tooth pain alone isn’t always a sign of an infection, but it’s always worth checking out to make sure.

Other symptoms of tooth infection include:

  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to pressure (particularly when chewing)
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under jaw
  • Rush of foul-tasting fluid and pain relief if abscess drains

Before You Get A Root Canal…

Call our office at 210-342-2444 and schedule an appointment if you have any of these symptoms. You can save time if you download paperwork from this website and bring it with you to your appointment. And, don’t forget to bring a complete list of all the medications you are taking.

Our Endodontists at Oak Hills Endodontics are experts and keeping our patients calm and comfortable during root canal therapy, but if you have any questions or concerns just give us a call and we would be happy to answer all your questions.

Keep Those Teeth Healthy!

Remember that preventing the problem is always better than needing a solution! Healthy teeth don’t need root canals, so keep brushing twice a day and flossing daily and cut back on sugary drinks so that your teeth will stay healthy!

We love our patients! Thank you for choosing our Oak Hills Endodontics! Saving Natural Teeth One Smile At a Time!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Our Team’s Favorite Smile-Friendly Snacks

                                     

 

Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

Our Smile-Friendly Snack Picks

From (Dr. Janse): Cashews and Almonds
From (Theresa- Front Desk): Kale Chips,  Pistachios and Popcorn
From (Jessica-Assistant): Broccoli, Cashews, and Popcorn

In addition to trying out our favorite snacks, keep these tips in mind when planning snacks that benefit your oral health:

 

Eat More Of These

Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.
Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Keep In Touch To Learn More!

Now that we’ve shared our favorite healthy snacks, we want to hear from YOU! If you have any healthy recipes you make make at home, share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what kinds of creative snack ideas you’ve come up with.

Thank you for CHEW-sing our practice!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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