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signs of impacted wisdom teeth

5 Warning Signs That Your Wisdom Teeth May Be Impacted

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

The Wisdom Teeth are the third and last molars and the last permanent teeth to emerge. They are located on each side of the lower and upper jaws and usually begin to come in during the late teenage years or the early twenties.

About Impacted Teeth

The eruption of your wisdom teeth can be painful, but impacted wisdom teeth can present even more of a challenge. Impacted teeth are those that are trying to emerge through the gums but are unable to do so properly because there is not enough room, either because of the jawbone or because of the positioning of adjacent teeth. As a result, the wisdom teeth become stuck in the jawbone as the roots continue to grow longer, causing significant pain.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are some signs that you may lead you to believe that you have impacted teeth. If you are experiencing any dental pain, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible. The early detection of impacted wisdom teeth can save you from further pain and the spread of infection as the condition worsens.

Constant Pain at Sites of Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can result in a pulsing pain that radiates from the areas of the mouth from where the wisdom teeth should emerge. If the condition is allowed to develop, the pain can spread as nearby teeth are affected by the impacted wisdom teeth.

Swollen Jaw

Initially, the swelling of the jaw may be little. However, as the condition progresses, the swelling will increase so that it begins to affect how well you can open your mouth or make chewing motions.

Cysts

The presence of a cyst is a glaring indication that you should speak to your dentist regarding your wisdom teeth. The sac from which your wisdom teeth grow can become filled with fluid when the teeth become impacted. This can cause not only pain but infections in adjacent teeth.

Headaches

The sudden presence of a headache, especially in addition to other symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, should not be ignored. A headache may stem from your temporomandibular joint, the area where your skull and jaw meet, and that is near where the wisdom teeth should be emerging.

Painful Gums

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause your gums to become very tender to the touch and swollen. If pressure is applied to an affected area of your gums, you may start to bleed. Having gums in this condition can make routine dental care practices, such as brushing and flossing, extremely painful, especially in the back areas of the gums that can be difficult to clean under normal circumstances. Because impacted wisdom teeth are particularly prone to infection, your gums may also become susceptible to gum diseases.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Professional dental care is required for your symptoms to be alleviated. Postponing a visit at your dentist’s office can result in a worsened condition and a possible spread of infection.

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choosing the right toothpaste

Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Toothpaste

All of the toothpaste on the market today is designed to clean your teeth, but not all of them accomplish that task equally. Some products have the potential to harm your teeth, while others simply don’t do enough to protect your teeth. Determine the right balance of extra features and core cleaning power to find the toothpaste that is best for you.

ADA Approval

First, make sure you choose a product approved by the American Dental Association and displaying the seal on its packaging. There are plenty of fluoride-free, organic, and all natural options tested by the ADA for both safety and effectiveness at keeping the teeth clean. Products without these seals have not necessarily been tested for their claims and quality, so you’re gambling with the health of your mouth by using them.

Focus on Needs

Consider what your teeth need the most to choose a toothpaste with the right extras. Whitening toothpaste can’t always replace professional whitening from a dentist, but it does work to prevent surface stains that cause your white smile to lose its brightness after treatment. Most toothpastes tend to target one of more of the following conditions or needs:

  • Sensitivity, in the gums and teeth, from mild to severe pain
  • Fluoride products are essential for kids, adults who don’t get enough of it in their diet, and people with diabetes and many other conditions
  • Anti-cavity, which most products cover but which should always be checked
  • Anti-gingivitis, ranging from over the counter to prescription products for healthier gums.

Watch Out

There are a few products you don’t want to use on your teeth, and they’re often sold as cosmetic products rather than medically tested toothpaste. Any whitening toothpaste with a very abrasive ingredient, ranging from natural walnut shell to plastic microbeads, can leave your teeth with enamel damage that is permanent and hard to treat. Activated charcoal powders can also discolor teeth along with eroding your enamel. Look for toothpaste products that reinforce enamel rather than damaging it.

Picking a Toothbrush

Of course, the toothpaste still needs to be applied to the teeth with the right tools to effectively protect you from cavities and gum disease. The wrong toothbrush can damage your enamel, scratch your gums, or fail to remove trapped food from between your molars. Only use soft bristled brushes unless given advice from your dentist to the contrary. For most people, stiff bristles are too hard for their gums. The tip of each bristle should be rounded and not pointed or square so that food debris and tartar comes loose with each sweep. Replace your brush every three months even if it still looks new and fresh since bacteria can build up over time.

Need more advice about what to do to take care of your teeth? Make an appointment with your dentist for a routine cleaning or a timely inspection. You can discuss your concerns without feeling rushed and determine if your current oral health practices are sufficient for keeping your smile bright, healthy, and strong.

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teeth whitening myths

The 5 Most Common Teeth Whitening Myths

Teeth whitening is one of the more popular cosmetic dentistry treatments you can have and can be safe and effective if you make sure to use the proper techniques. If you are considering whitening your teeth, it is important to know about the common misconceptions that surround treatment. Relying on these myths can cause you to damage your teeth or have unattainable expectations. Here are a few myths to be aware of:

Whitening Toothpaste Produces the Same Results as other Whitening Treatments

While there are many types of toothpaste that contain whitening agents, they are not nearly as effective as other whitening treatments. These other treatments include over-the-counter whitening treatments, such as strips and trays that contain gels with varying levels of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, the active whitening ingredient. Of course, the treatments that you receive at your dentist, who uses products with professional strength whitening agents, can yield even better results.

Fruit Can Be Used to Whiten Your Teeth

This adage about using fruit, specifically lemons or strawberries, has a small amount truth to it. The acid that is contained in the fruit can lighten the color of your teeth. However, it does so by eating away at the layers of enamel on your teeth. This eroding of your enamel can cause permanent damage to your teeth and is a harmful side effect of any whitening that may occur.

Teeth Whitening is for Children, Too

It is best to wait until the pulp in the tooth has fully matured, usually in the early teens, so that there will be less sensitivity. Whitening children’s teeth too soon can damage the live tissue inside the teeth and irritate and sensitize gumlines.

Your Veneers and Crowns have to be Whitened

The teeth whitening products that are available in stores and the procedures that you undergo in your dentist’s office will all be effective on natural teeth. However, with veneers and crowns, which are composed of porcelain or some other similar synthetic material, these treatments and procedures will have no effect. The color of the dental prosthetic will remain the same color as when they were first placed in your mouth. If you want them to match the new, whiter color of your teeth, you will have to replace them with new ones that are colored in the appropriate shade.

The Results of Teeth Whitening Lasts Forever

There are numerous teeth whitening products available that can help you whiten your teeth to the shade that you prefer. However, the outcome that you get does lose its effectiveness. If you do not reapply a teeth whitening application, your teeth can gradually turn yellow. This is because as you age, your teeth tend to turn yellow naturally. Maintaining whiter teeth as you age can require the occasional reapplication or touch-up of a teeth whitening product or procedure.

Take care as you consider your teeth whitening options and be aware of the misleading myths that surround the treatment that can cause you to compromise your oral health. Do your research, and always speak to your dentist before starting treatment.

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diy for swollen gums

DIY Home Remedies for Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can be caused by a variety of conditions including infections, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal fluctuations (such as during pregnancy). Because swollen gums can also be an indication of gum disease, it is best to contact your dentist and schedule an appointment to determine the cause of your swollen gums. If you experience pain while waiting to see your dentist, try these home remedies to ease the pain and discomfort of swollen gums.

Salt Water

Because salt acts as a natural disinfectant, the use of salt water is a tried-and-true method for soothing irritated gums. The salt reduces the bacteria in the mouth, which helps reduce the inflammation.

How to: Create a salt water rinse by dissolving one teaspoon of table salt into a cup of lukewarm water. Sip the salt water solution and swish it around your mouth for 15-20 seconds. Spit, and repeat the process until you have used all of the solution. Try using a salt water rinse twice per day.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling, another rinse-and-spit method to soothe inflamed gums, is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that has gained strong popularity due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil. Oil pulling not only heals gums, but this detoxifying practice also removes bacteria and prevents plaque build up.

How to: Swish up to a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for at least 20 minutes. This practice is best done first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and before brushing teeth. Thoroughly spit the oil out and rinse with water before brushing your teeth.

Hot and Cold Compresses

Hot and cold compresses are frequently used to reduce pain and inflammation for muscle or sports injuries, but they are equally effective for oral first aid. Cold compresses are useful because they reduce the swelling of soft tissue such as gums. Alternatively, hot compresses soothe and help relieve pain.

How to: Alternate hot and cold compresses until pain and swelling subside. For hot compresses, something as simple as a warm, wet washcloth held against your face will work. For cold compresses, an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel is quite effective. Alternatively, ice pack head wraps are convenient and efficient.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, a common ingredient in mouthwashes, toothpaste, and whitening products, is also an effective ingredient to combat swollen gums. Like salt, baking soda also cleans the mouth and aids in the reduction of oral bacteria and eliminates acidic toxins.

How to: Create a thick paste of baking soda and water. Using a clean finger or a toothbrush, apply the paste to your gums.

Black Tea

Black tea is renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Thanks to the tannins in black tea, black tea can be useful in treating swollen gums.

How to: Steep a high-quality black tea bag in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Once the tea bag has cooled slightly, place tea bag on your gums for up to 15 minutes, and then rinse with salt water.

If your gum pain persists or these remedies do not reduce any swelling, speak with your dentist as soon as possible to rule out any infections or severe diseases.

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dental visit clean and safe

5 Things Your Dentist Should Provide

Dental care is a lifelong commitment in which you and your dentist will need to work together to maintain healthy teeth and gums. When you choose a dentist, you expect him or her to possess certain qualities to make your visits comfortable and productive. While not every dentist is right for every patient, here are some essentials you should look for.

1. Do you feel safe and well-cared for in the office?

When you walk into your dentist office, do you feel that the staff is friendly and welcoming? For some, a trip to the dentist is a routine and painless part of life. For others, a dental visit can be incredibly stressful. Having a kind and compassionate dentist and staff can help dispel feelings of worry and anxiety. When you feel well-cared for, you’ll also be more likely to return for routine visits which are essential for a healthy mouth.

2. Are the dentist and staff accommodating to your needs?

A quality dentist will be accommodating to your needs. Choose a dentist who is willing to fit you in his schedule when dealing with dental emergencies. During your treatments, you should never feel rushed nor have your concerns brushed off. Your dentist should also be accommodating when it comes to your fears or concerns. For example, if you suffer from anxiety at the dental office, a quality dentist will try his best to move through the treatment slowly in an attempt to lower your stress levels.

3. Does the dentist walk you through procedures?

When it comes to effective communication, some dentists are better than others. Choose a dentist who will talk you through procedures. During treatments, you should know what he is going to do, what types of noises you can expect to hear, and what sensations you’ll likely feel. For people with a fear of dentists, talking through the procedure can help them better stay in control. Some dentists will also show what tools they are using and may demonstrate them beforehand to give you a better idea of what to expect. This process can take the unpredictability out of conventional dental procedures.

4. Are the office and patient rooms clean and hygienic?

The look and cleanliness of a dental office direclty reflects upon the dentist. Evaluate the office to determine how the staff cares for the facility. Is the waiting room clean and orderly? Are the treatment rooms neat and organized? Also look at the hygiene behaviors of the dentist and staff. Do the dentist and hygienists wear gloves and protective gear while providing patient treatment? Are tools and equipment cleaned and sterilized after every use? Be sure to ask these important questions and pay attention to your surroundings.

5. Is the dentist thorough with attention to detail?

You need your teeth for a lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to find a dentist that provides high-quality work. When performing cleanings and treatments, the dentist should be thorough to ensure that you leave with satisfactory results. A quality dentist offers skilled work with a high attention to detail. Dentistry is an ever-evolving field of medicine. Great dentists will continue to learn and train to provide patients with modern techniques.

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a new dentist. Remember that your dental provider should provide you with a comfortable, safe, and convenient place to undergo dental work. Find a dentist you can build a lasting relationship with to maintain a healthy smile well into the future.

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good oral health

Why Good Oral Health Can Prevent Disease and Sickness

Tooth decay and gum disease can affect more than just your dental health. Research shows that your oral health and systemic health are closely linked. The sticky plaque that builds up on teeth is made up of millions of bacteria. If you slack on your dental care, bacteria from the mouth can lead to inflammation or infection in other parts of the body. This is even more likely if your immune system is already compromised by disease or certain medical treatments. Fortunately, good oral health can significantly reduce your risk of developing a disease and other sicknesses caused by oral bacteria.

Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Poor dental care can result in much more than teeth stains and the occasional cavity. In fact, bacteria from periodontal disease and inflammation of the gums can enter your bloodstream and travel to the heart. Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, has been associated with poor dental health. In a recent study that observed the link between cardiovascular and periodontal disease, researchers found that people with diagnosed periodontal disease are four times more likely to develop a lacunar stroke.

Respiratory infection is another risk of poor oral health. Gum disease can cause you to develop infections in your lungs, such as pneumonia. These infections are caused by breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a prolonged period. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, people who never undergo dental checkups have an 86 percent greater risk of developing pneumonia than people who visit their dentist twice a year.

Your oral health can also affect your long-term memory and thinking skills. Bacteria from gum disease or gingivitis can reach the brain through the bloodstream or nerve channels in the head. In time, these bacteria can lead to the development of various dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study consisting of donated brain samples from ten people with dementia and ten people without, the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis was found in the brain of dementia patients. These bacteria have been found to induce brain changes in Alzheimer’s patients.

Tips for Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene consists of a mouth free of decay and debris. Your gums should appear pink and should not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss. Also, bad breath should not be an ongoing issue. If you struggle with these issues, it’s time to enhance your oral health care. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough examination and cleaning.

How you care for your teeth and gums has a direct effect on the rest of your body. Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and must be properly cleaned on a routine basis to keep the production of bacteria at a healthy level. Neglect your teeth and gums and your health as a whole will suffer. If you are experiencing health problems that you believe are associated with your oral health, discuss your concerns with a dentist.

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dentist in westfield nj

Choosing the Right Dentist in Westfield NJ

Building a healthy relationship with a dentist you can trust can make a significant difference in your long-term oral health. The right dentist will make you feel comfortable, relaxed, and will provide valuable advice on how to care for your teeth and gums. Don’t just choose the closest dentist to your home. In reality, you may need to travel a small distance to find a dentist that you love. If you’re in search of a dentist in Westfield NJ, consider the following factors before making your decision.

Experience

When choosing a dentist, you want someone who has experience in performing the specific procedures that you may require. For example, not all dentists are trained in cosmetic dentistry. If a dentist does not provide specific services, ask about his or her referral process. This allows you to maintain an optimal network of dental professionals.

Customer Service

The right dentist for you will have professional customer service, courteous staff, and an inviting office environment. When you walk into the dentist office, are you warmly welcomed by the staff? If it’s a family dentist, are the staff patient and accommodating with your children? Excellent customer service also means ease when scheduling appointments and inquiring about various topics, such as specific dental techniques.

Comfort

You want to feel comfortable with your dentist and staff. The right dentist will hear, understand and validate your feelings and concerns. You should also feel comfortable enough as a patient to explain your symptoms, express any fears or anxieties, and ask questions. You should also feel comfortable asking for pain medication if needed.

Emergency Care

It’s inevitable that you may need to visit your dentist for a toothache, mouth injury, or other unexpected emergency at some time in your life. If you experience a dental emergency, you want a dentist that will be able to accommodate you on short notice. Some dentists work only during the week, while others work weekends or accept emergency visits. Ask your dentist about his or her policies for dental emergencies.

Equipment

While the majority of equipment used by dentists are similar, some dentists use more advanced equipment than others. For example, if you desire braces but don’t want to go through the misery of having traditional impressions done, you may want to choose a dentist that offers digital impressions.

Payment Options

There’s no denying that professional dental work can be costly. If you do not have dental insurance, you could be looking at a bill in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars range. Many dental practices offer alternative payment options for individuals without dental insurance. Discuss what financial services are available with the dental staff to ensure that you get the treatments you need with a payment plan you can afford.

Hygienists

At most dental practices, routine cleanings are performed by dental hygienists or assistants. That same dental hygienist may also assist the dentist during procedures, such as when taking x-rays or setting up anesthesia. You’ll want to ensure that the hygienist also provides you with satisfactory service and proper etiquette.

Dental care is a lifetime commitment. As you and your dentist will become partners in your dental care for the long haul, you want to ensure that he or she is someone you can trust with your health. Overall, you’re looking for an experienced dentist in Westfield NJ with a good reputation that strives on customer service.

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toothache symptoms

5 Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing A Tooth Ache?

Toothache is undoubtedly the most common complaint heard by dentists. A toothache refers to any type of pain or discomfort that originates near a person’s teeth, gums, or jaw. While toothaches are often associated with cavities, not all tooth pain is caused by dental caries. Knowing what causes toothaches can help you prevent them in the future.

Tooth Decay

Many people equate tooth decay with a hole in the tooth, but not all cavities are visible from the outside. Tooth decay occurs when specific types of bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy enamel and dentin, the outermost layers of tooth. If the enamel and dentin layers are allowed to break down, the decay will eventually reach the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, causing toothache, infection, and ultimately tooth loss. A healthy diet coupled with routine dental care practices can be highly effective in warding off tooth decay.

Damaged Filling

Pain can occur when fillings become loose or damaged. In some cases, pain is only felt when you touch or bite your teeth together. This happens when the filling alters your bite. A trip to your dentist to have the filling reshaped will usually eliminate the pain. Damaged fillings can also cause sensitivity. Described as a sharp pain, this sensitivity lasts only seconds when the tooth touches something hot or cold. You may also experience a condition known as referred pain. This is pain that occurs in other teeth besides the one with the filling. Referred pain usually decreases on its own over several weeks.

Abscessed Tooth

One of the more painful toothaches occurs due to an abscessed tooth. A tooth abscess is a localized collection of pus that generally forms at the root of the tooth. Bacteria from plaque can build up when food and saliva stick to the teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed through routine brushing and flossing, the bacteria can enter the soft tissue inside the tooth or gum, resulting in an abscess. The most common signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth.

Infected Gums

Mild tooth sensitivity can occur when the gums shrink or recede. A tooth that has not yet broken through the gums (impacted tooth) can also cause the area around the tooth to be red, sore, and swollen. Healthy gums are firm, pink, and do not bleed easily. While the gum disease gingivitis does not usually cause pain, a more advanced gum disease known as periodontitis affects the bone and tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontist is caused by a long-term infection of the gums and can cause toothaches and eventually loose teeth that may need to be removed.

Tooth Fracture

Tooth fractures can range from minor chips in the outer tooth layers to severe cracks that form down to the tooth root. A tooth fracture may present with a variety of symptoms, such as erratic pain when chewing, pain when the tooth is exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, and pain with the release of biting pressure. An early diagnosis of a tooth fracture can typically be treated with bonding material or a root canal. If the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable.

A toothache is one of the most difficult types of pain to endure. While many causes of toothaches can be treated with early intervention, some badly damaged or infected teeth may not be salvageable and will require extraction. If you’re experiencing any type of mouth pain, contact your dentist for an evaluation.

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cosmetic dentistry westfield new jersey

4 Reasons You Need Cosmetic Dentistry

The American Dental Association recommends a complete dental care routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash. In addition to at-home care, most people receive their professional cleanings twice a year. Whether it’s for a regular cleaning or a filling or root canal, most people understand the importance of a dentist and the duties he performs. However, many people are not aware of what cosmetic dentistry offers.  Cosmetic dentistry not only improves the look of a smile (e.g.. whitening or veneers) but also helps to improve overall oral health.  Here are four reasons why you need to give cosmetic dentistry a try.

Your teeth are stained

If you’re a fan of wine, coffee, or soda, you know that stains are common and can sometimes be troublesome. While there are many over-the-counter options available, including whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, and strips, they don’t always have the most reliable results. Cosmetic dentistry offers a solution to the less strong at-home teeth whitening products; Creative Dental offers a teeth whitening treatment to patients. Not only does the process last only one hour but your teeth will be approximately eight shades brighter!

You do not like your smile

Do you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about your smile? Do your concerns about your smile hold you back at work? In your social life? You are not alone. Many people dislike their smile for reasons including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Yellowing or staining of teeth
  • Missing teeth

Creative Dental offers a Smile Makeover to its patients who want to improve their smile. Our dentists will work with you to create a custom treatment plan to fit your needs and create the smile you’ve been dreaming of!

You are in the spotlight and self-conscious

Do you have a job that requires you to be in the spotlight?  Are you always meeting new people and working face-to-face with clients? When people think of first impressions, they usually think of their physical appearance – and that includes your teeth! Making use of cosmetic dentistry services is an excellent way to improve your confidence.   Whether you request a simple teeth whitening treatment or you require a more complicated treatment plan, Creative Dental’s professional staff of dentists work hard to make sure you have a smile that boosts your confidence and makes you proud to step into the spotlight.

You have missing teeth

If you have a missing tooth, Creative Dental’s cosmetic dentistry professionals can help you. Whether you lose your tooth (teeth) through accident, injury, or disease, dental implants are a comfortable alternative to traditional dentures. Based on the health of your gums and bone health, your dentist will determine which prosthesis (tooth, bridge, or denture) is the best for you.

How does a dental implant work?

A titanium rod is inserted into the bone in the jaw. A prosthetic tooth (or bridge) is then securely attached to the titanium rod.

What are the benefits of implants?

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Improved speech
  • Improved comfort
  • Implants make it easier to eat solid foods
  • High-quality, durable
  • Convenient – no need to remove, wash, and care for traditional dentures

If you live near Westfield, New Jersey, contact us today and learn how cosmetic dentistry can work for you!

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holiday treats food candy

5 Holiday Treats That Are Worse For Your Teeth Than You Might Think

Protecting your teeth through the winter requires taking extra care during the holidays to watch what you eat. A Thanksgiving day meal of fatty foods may give you indigestion, but gravy and turkey are unlikely to threaten your oral health. These five holiday beverages and snacks are far more threatening, both to the teeth themselves and the rest of your mouth. Emerge from the winter with a healthy, white smile by limiting or avoiding these foods over the holiday season.

Hard Candies

Those candy canes, butterscotch drops, and other festive hard candies may make great stocking stuffers, but they threaten tooth health in two different ways. First, it’s easy to accidentally chip or fracture a tooth when impatiently chewing on a piece of hard candy. Sucking on candy also increases the chances of cavities because you’re exposing your teeth to the sugar for half an hour or longer at a time. Try softer, less sticky candies that don’t hang around in the mouth instead.

Sticky Sweets

Caramel coatings, toffees, and taffy gifts also increase the chances of an extended visit to the dentist after the holidays are over. These sticky candies and treats cling to the teeth and take a long time to dissolve with saliva alone. If you must enjoy a piece of saltwater taffy or a syrupy Christmas pudding, try rinsing your mouth with water immediately after each bite and brushing your teeth as soon as possible when finished. Sugar-free varieties also deposit less sugar in the gaps between teeth, resulting in a reduced cavity risk when you absolutely must have your favorite holiday candies.

Hot Beverages

Your teeth can handle the heat of a steaming cup of cocoa or tea, but it can still damage your tongue, gum tissue, and the roof of your mouth. Severe damage to your gums can threaten the health of your teeth as well. It only takes a single burn to cause permanent damage, but even mild scalding can add up when it’s a daily occurrence because you’re simply not waiting long enough to enjoy a hot drink. Order your morning coffee at a lower temperature or give that cup of cocoa at least 10 minutes to cool to prevent scalding and mouth burns.

Citrus Drinks and Foods

Since citrus fruits first ripen in the cooler temperatures of autumn, they’re naturally bountiful during the winter holiday season. A twist of lemon adds a zesty sour flavor to your favorite drink, but don’t be tempted to suck on the lemon no matter much you enjoy the taste. All citrus foods are sour thanks to citric acid, and all strong acids can damage your teeth by eroding the protective layer of enamel. Watch out how much lemon juice and sour candies you’re consuming as you celebrate the holidays or you could end up needing sealants.

Sugary Beverages

Finally, all of the various sweet beverages enjoyed around the holidays can increase your chances of cavities and gum disease. From fruity cocktails to mulled wine to alcohol-free eggnog, all the usual drinks are full of sugar, acids, and other mouth-damaging ingredients. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and watch your consumption of energy drinks and sodas to keep your spirits up while you’re celebrating.

Schedule a visit to see your dentist after the holidays end to make sure you haven’t done any damage. If you did enjoy a few too many caramels during a party and damaged a filling, finding any fixing the problem immediately is far easier than waiting until you’re in pain.

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