Category Archives: Tips & Ideas

Is Accidentally Biting Your Tongue Dangerous?

We all know that accidentally biting your tongue can be painful, but can it actually be dangerous?

There’s a reason dentists caution against chewing, eating, or biting down for the first few hours after your mouth has been numbed for dental work. Accidentally biting your tongue is extremely common, and in most cases, it heals easily on its own. Sometimes, however, bites can be much more serious and may require medical attention. 

Causes

Accidental tongue biting can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Car accidents
  • Numbness from dental work
  • Falling
  • Sports injuries
  • Sleep spasms
  • Seizures

Children are more likely to bite their tongue than adults due to their high levels of activity and their developing muscle control. 

Treatment

A bite on the tongue does not usually require medical diagnosis or treatment. Usually, the bite will heal on its own within a few days. In rare cases, bites might be more serious and require medical attention.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a doctor will likely ask you to rinse your mouth with water to make it easier to see the bite. If swelling is extensive, ice wrapped in a cloth can help reduce swelling to make way for proper treatment. A recent study recommends stitches for tongue bites in children over 2 cm long unless they are near the tip of the tongue. 

When to Seek Help

It can be difficult to know when a tongue bite is more serious because even minor tongue injuries bleed excessively. In rare cases, an untreated bite in the tongue may lead to infection. If you experience any of the following signs of an infection, seek medical attention right away:

  • Fever
  • Excessive swelling or throbbing at the site of injury
  • Clear or white discharge from the wound

Even when not infected, some bites need help to heal properly. If you notice any of the following with your tongue injury, you should see a professional:

  • Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure 
  • Bleeding that stops and then starts again
  • A bite that has completely pierced or severed the tongue
  • A large, open wound
  • Difficulty opening your mouth, breathing or swallowing
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to an over-the-counter pain medication

The human jaw is very powerful, and accidentally biting your tongue (especially when your mouth is numbed) can lead to serious injury. A tongue that is severely injured or severed needs immediate attention. Professionals recommend seeking treatment within 8 hours of the injury to avoid permanent damage.  

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Accidentally biting your tongue can be painful, and in some cases, it can be dangerous. Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help! Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in treating injuries, defects, and diseases of the head, neck, jaw, and general facial regions. We handle everything from the routine to the extreme. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele in Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Is Accidentally Biting Your Tongue Dangerous?

Most Common Dental Problems in Seniors

Dental problems in seniors are nothing new. As seniors advance in age, so do their teeth, causing oral health problems.

With age comes wisdom. Unfortunately, so does declining oral health. Here’s a look at some of the most common dental problems in seniors.

Dry Mouth

According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth in seniors is a leading cause of advanced age cavities. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging, but it is a side-effect of over 500 medications. As we age, the number of medications we take increases. Thus, many seniors experience dry mouth.

This is one reason your dentist asks about any medications you are taking. Your oral health care provider can help suggest remedies and treatments for dry mouth to help reduce the risk of cavities. Dentists often recommend the following treatments:

  • Drink more water
  • Use mouthwash
  • Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production
  • Use a humidifier
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soda
  • Get a fluoride treatment

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is another common dental problem for those over the age of 60. It’s caused by a bacteria found in plaque that irritates the gums and makes them swollen, red, and prone to bleeding. Gum disease is unique in that it’s relatively painless in the early stages. This causes it to be easily overlooked and left untreated. 

Untreated gum disease can wreak havoc on oral health. In the advanced stages, it causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and roots. This leaves open pockets that can easily trap food and allows more plaque to develop. Over time, the gums, bones, and supporting ligaments are destroyed. Eventually, teeth start falling out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in seniors. 

Gum disease is best treated when it’s caught early, so it’s just as important to see the dentist regularly in old age as it is when you’re younger.

Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer is far more common than most people know. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that over 35,000 cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed each year. A vast majority of these cases are found in adults over the age of 60. 

Dental visits often include screenings for oral cancer. Like gum disease, oral cancer is typically painless in the early stages so it can be easy to miss. However, early detection can save your life so it’s important to see your oral healthcare provider often in every stage of life. 

Other Dental Problems

Other common dental problems in seniors include:

  • Darkened teeth
  • Decreased sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Thrush
  • Uneven jaw bone
  • Tooth loss

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Whether you are 7 or 77, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide the oral health care you need. Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in treating a wide range of dental problems in seniors, as well as other surgeries and treatments ranging from the mild to the extreme. We take pride in offering the highest level of care for each and every one of our patients.

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Most Common Dental Problems in Seniors

What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can cause some serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and more.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that even when treated can have some negative side effects. 

3 Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is very common, especially among overweight males over 40 years of age. In all forms of the disorder, breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of the disorder. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and collapse during sleep, blocking the airway.
  • Central Sleep Apnea is much less common, and is usually a sign of other health problems. This occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome is extremely rare. This is when a patient suffers from both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The most common signs that you might have sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Stopping breathing repeatedly during sleep
  • Waking up with a morning headache or a dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak with a doctor right away. Early treatment is key to keeping sleep apnea under control.

Problems with Sleep Apnea

There are some serious health issues that can arise with untreated sleep apnea. These include:

  • High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease — When sleep is regularly disrupted, patients can suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are more likely than the average person to suffer from a heart attack.

The heart problems that arise from sleep apnea are due to the sudden drops in blood oxygen level. When breathing stops during sleep, it’s like your heart is suffocating. The blood oxygen level drops low and then back up again once breathing resumes. This puts a serious strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to extensive heart problems, especially when left untreated over time.

  • Type 2 Diabetes — Sleep apnea is often linked to obesity, and the symptoms can go hand-in-hand. LIke obesity, people with untreated sleep apnea have a higher than average chance of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. 

 

  • Metabolic Syndrome — Metabolic Syndrome is a disorder that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased circumference around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. When untreated, sleep apnea can cause metabolic syndrome which is also linked to heart disease.

 

  • Complications with Medical Procedures — When patients with sleep apnea are sedated lying on their backs for medical procedures, some serious complications can occur. If you have sleep apnea and are undergoing surgery, you should let your doctor know ahead of time.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we are committed to helping our patients live their best lives. If you are suffering from the effects of untreated sleep apnea, our highly trained team will work with you to create a plan to get you back to a good night’s sleep. This plan might include jaw surgery, and if it does our board-certified oral surgeons will take excellent care of you. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Oral Health: What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

What Types of Floss are Better for Tender Gums?

Most adults experience bleeding and sensitivity occasionally when flossing teeth. But did you know that some types of floss can be abrasive?

When it comes to tender gums, choosing the right dental floss can decrease pain and lead to a healthier, happier mouth.

Why Floss?

Oftentimes people balk at the idea of not brushing their teeth, yet they floss infrequently. Brushing is obviously necessary and is the single most effective way to clean your teeth, but even the best toothbrush can’t get all the way into the tiny cracks between your teeth. Flossing between your teeth daily helps remove plaque and reduces the risk of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

It’s a common saying among dental providers that floss is cheap and dentists are expensive. Flossing your teeth regularly can prevent costly dental work down the road. Take a look at this step-by-step guide for correct flossing from the American Dental Association.

Different Types of Floss

  • When it comes to the many flosses available, it’s important to remember that the best floss is one that you use every day. That being said, there are several varieties of floss and it can feel overwhelming trying to pick one. Here’s a look at some of the common types of floss and the benefits of each:Waxed floss — Typically made of nylon, this type of floss has a waxy coating that makes it harder to break but it has a harder time cleaning the tightest spots.
  • Unwaxed floss — Also made of nylon, this floss has several skinny strands wound together. This makes it better for cleaning tight places but breaking and shedding is common.
  • Dental tape — Available in both waxed and unwaxed versions, dental tape is wide and flat and fits well in mouths with more space between the teeth. This type of floss tends to be more comfortable and less abrasive than nylon floss.

Floss and Tender Gums

It’s normal to experience tenderness and bleeding when you first begin flossing, or floss for the first time in a while. This pain should ease within a few days of continued flossing.

Sometimes, no matter how much you floss your teeth, your gums are still tender and bleed. If your gums are extremely sensitive, a tape floss should help. Due to its wide and flat construction, dental tape is less aggravating than other flosses. A waxed tape is the best bet, but any product that is labeled “tape” instead of “floss” will help.

If dental tape is uncomfortable, buy a few different kinds of floss and try them out to see which kind feels the best in your mouth. If you still have trouble finding a floss that is comfortable, ask your dental care provider for recommendations. They probably even have some samples you can try.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Here at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we know that you have many options when choosing an oral healthcare provider. And just like choosing from the various types of floss for your mouth, we hope you’ll look for an oral surgeon that meets your specific needs and makes you feel comfortable. Our team works hard to provide quality care to each and every one of our patients. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!

What Types of Floss Are Better for Tender Gums

What Are Abscessed Teeth?

If you’ve ever woken up to a swollen jaw and persistent pain, you know the calamity that is abscessed teeth.

Characterized by severe achiness, sensitivity, and swelling, an abscessed tooth is not something to be taken lightly.

What Are Abscessed Teeth – The Two Types

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus around the tooth caused by a bacterial infection. There are two types of tooth abscess: periapical and periodontal. A periapical abscess is the most disruptive as it forms at the tip of the root, deep in the gums. A periodontal abscess is also located in the gums but is along the side of the tooth.

Causes of Abscessed Teeth

When you have a cracked tooth, a cavity that is left untreated, or an old filling that needs replaced, bacteria can get inside the tooth. If it’s not cleaned out and removed properly, it can penetrate deep into the roots and invade the dental pulp (the blood vessels, tissue, and nerves furthers inside the tooth). This bacteria causes an infection that then leads to swelling, pain, and abscessed teeth.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain and throbbing toothache that can radiate to jaw, neck, and ear
  • Swelling in the face, jaw, or neck, sometimes extreme
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to biting down or pressure on the tooth
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-tasting and odorous fluid in your mouth

An abscessed tooth is a serious medical condition and should be treated promptly by a professional. If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly severe swelling that makes it difficult to breath and swallow, you should go to an emergency room right away. When not treated immediately, abscessed teeth can lead to the infection spreading deeper into your jaw and neck, and even throughout other parts of your body.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Your dentist, endodontist, or oral surgeon may treat an abscess with antibiotics, drainage, cleaning, and a root canal. In more serious situations, your tooth may need to be pulled altogether.

The best options for preventing abscess are simple oral health care routines. Take care of your teeth and mouth by drinking fluoridated water, brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride-containing toothpaste, and flossing between your teeth daily. Additionally, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, whenever the bristles start to fray.

Eating fresh, healthy foods and limiting sugar can also help maintain oral health, as can regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist. As an added layer of protection, consider using an antiseptic mouth rinse to help rinse away food particles and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you are experiencing symptoms of this condition, don’t live with pain any longer. Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. From treating abscessed teeth to placing dental implants, our highly-skilled team does it all. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today!

What Are Abscessed Teeth

Thanksgiving Dinner: The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Dishes for Your Oral Health

Although there are some great options for maintaining your oral health, many of the popular Thanksgiving foods are full of sugars and starches.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, bringing with it the dishes you’ve dreamed about eating all year long. Here’s our guide to navigate the best and worst Thanksgiving dishes for your dental health.

Best Dishes for Oral Health

This star of the Thanksgiving feast really packs a protein punch. Other than the occasional tough turkey that might get stuck in your teeth, it’s an excellent choice for your dental health.

Green Bean Casserole – Nearly all of the common components of green bean casserole are healthy, making the downsides of this dish nonexistent. Go ahead and indulge if this is one of those foods you wait all year for!

Two of the main ingredients in this Thanksgiving dish, milk and cheese, are high in calcium which is essential for strong and healthy teeth. The starches in the pasta aren’t ideal, but as long as you avoid overindulging and drink plenty of water, mac and cheese is in the clear.

Pumpkin Pie – Despite the high sugar content, pumpkin pie isn’t a terrible choice for keeping your mouth healthy. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A, which is key to building and maintaining tooth enamel. Be sure to follow a slice of pumpkin pie with a glass of water and brush your teeth soon after enjoying dessert.

Worst Dishes for Oral Health

Cranberry Sauce – it’s sticky, sweet and acidic for teeth making it #1 on the list of worst Thanksgiving foods for your teeth. If it’s eaten with a meal or on your turkey, cranberry sauce isn’t too troublesome. But eating a straight spoonful of this sugary culprit is definitely not advisable.

Mashed Potatoes – One of the most popular Thanksgiving dishes, mashed potatoes and gravy is teetering right on the edge of best/worst holiday foods for your dental health. On the positive end, potatoes provide a lot of important nutrients. The downside is the potential for bacteria developing from the starches in the potatoes. Add in a generous amount of gravy and the nutritional benefits are seriously diminished.

Candied Yams – Though yams themselves are full of good vitamins and minerals that promote healthy gums, candied yams have marshmallow and sugars added making them sticky and sweet. If you choose to enjoy these with your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to drink plenty of water to wash away the sugars from your mouth.

You can read what the American Dental Association has to say about these foods here, but in short, even the worst foods don’t need to be avoided altogether. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, friends and food. Enjoy your favorite dishes and be sure to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you have concerns about your oral health this holiday season, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. We are your experts in wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgeries, implant placement and more. Our goal is to treat your concerns while ensuring you remain as comfortable as possible. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation! We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah.

Thanksgiving Dinner The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Dishes for Your Oral Health

How Does Sucking Thumbs Damage Kid’s Oral Health

Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for infants. Sucking thumbs, pacifiers and other toys brings comfort to young ones and helps calm and soothe them.

For most kids, thumbsucking is occasional and not concerning. There are cases when the habit is prolonged and presents serious oral health problems.

When Should Kids Stop Sucking Thumbs?

For infants, toddlers and even preschoolers, thumbsucking is natural and relatively harmless. But once a child turns four, it’s time to start getting serious about breaking the habit.

Thumb sucking after age four is more serious. Typically at this age the sucking starts to get more aggressive and habit forming, so most oral health professionals agree that thumb sucking should be stopped before a child reaches four years old.

Oral Health Problems From Sucking Thumbs

The problems that arise from thumbsucking are determined by the frequency, aggressiveness and duration of the habit. Naturally, the more frequent, aggressive and longer lasting the thumbsucking is, the greater the potential for oral health problems.

While it’s possible for thumbsucking to cause problems with baby teeth, the bigger concern is the long term impact on permanent teeth. The American Dental Association states that thumbsucking once permanent teeth start to come in may cause problems with tooth alignment and bite. This happens because the thumb puts pressure on the front teeth, causing them to jut forward so that they don’t touch the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed.

Additional problems can arise in the pallet (roof of the mouth) and the skeletal formation of the mouth.

How To Stop Kids From Sucking Their Thumbs

The potential problems that arise from thumbsucking aren’t small, and it’s best to try to stop children from hanging on to that habit past the age of four. Here are some tips to help:

  • Distraction: pay attention to the times and places kids most often suck thumbs and try to distract them with something else at that time/place
  • Positive reinforcement: offer rewards and excessive praise at times when your child doesn’t suck their thumb instead of scolding them for the behavior. Consider introducing a rewards chart with fun stickers and prizes for positive results.
  • Something on the thumb: products can be purchased that go on the thumb to discourage thumb sucking, like foul tasting nail polishes. Or you can find products in your own closet to help. It can be as simple as a bandage covering the thumb (make sure it’s too big to swallow) or a sock or glove covering the hand.
  • Wait it out: If you’ve tried everything and just can’t get your child to quit thumbsucking, be patient. It likely won’t happen overnight. All children will eventually give it up, often when they reach school age and feel social pressure to stop.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you are concerned about the impact that sucking thumbs has had on your child’s mouth, it’s a good idea to consult a professional. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to establish a treatment plan that you and your child feel comfortable with. We have offices throughout northern Utah in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele. Contact us today!

How Does Sucking Thumbs Damage Kid’s Oral Health

What Foods Should I Avoid After Oral Surgery?

It can be painful to even open your mouth after oral surgery, let alone chow down on a tough steak. Take extreme caution when choosing what to eat.

Although many oral surgeries are not considered major surgery, they are unique in nature because of their direct impact on your ability to eat. Here are some helpful tips in knowing what to avoid.

Avoid These Foods After Oral Surgery

As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid foods that are tough, crunchy or chewy for about seven days after your surgery and while you recover. Foods that are overly hard or brittle can be painful on a tender mouth. Avoid these foods, as well as any others that are difficult to chew:

  • Pizza
  • Rice
  • Popcorn
  • Meat, especially tough and chew meats
  • Apples
  • Chewy candy
  • Chips
  • Hard and dense breads

It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that are spicy or acidic. These foods can cause pain during and after eating. Additionally, you will most likely be on pain medication for a few days following your surgery so it’s important to avoid alcohol during that time.

Eat This Instead!

Though it may be tempting to grab a hamburger when you’re feeling hungry after surgery, there are some much better options for you and your mouth. Typically, for the first -3 days following your oral surgery, your surgeon will recommend a liquid only diet. These days can be challenging to get the proper nutrition, but try to maintain balance with foods like broths, juices and the occasional slushie. After the first phase of healing has passed and you get the go-ahead to start incorporating more soft foods into your diet, try some of these foods:

  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Yogurt
  • Soup with soft vegetables, purees, broths or cream soups
  • Protein shakes
  • Applesauce
  • Refried beans
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Shakes and smoothies
  • Pudding
  • Very soft pastas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft cooked vegtables
  • Hummus

According to the American Dental Association, it’s important to seek out nutrient-rich foods including eggs and beans whenever possible to provide the vitamins and nutrients needed for healing after dental surgery. Most of the time, patients are able to resume their normal diet after seven days of eating soft foods only.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Undergoing oral surgery is no small thing, and it’s normal to feel apprehensive at the prospect. Our team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to help every step of the way, from the initial consultation all the way to the follow-up visits, our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If you are feeling anxious or have any concerns about care or diet after oral surgery, just let us know and we’ll take the time to answer any and all of your questions. We service the greater Salt Lake County area and have offices in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele in Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

What Foods Should I Avoid After Oral Surgery?

Can I Treat an Abscessed Tooth at Home?

When serious infection is involved, taking the time and appropriate measures to treat an abscessed tooth properly is essential. After all, there’s very little that can compare with the throbbing pain of toothache.

In today’s blog, we will delve into what an abscessed tooth is and how you can treat it at home while you wait to see an oral surgeon.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus in the tooth caused by a bacterial infection. When a tooth is chipped, broken or decaying, bacteria can easily get inside. Sometimes the bacteria can enter through an old cavity or failed root canal. Once the bacteria reaches the center of the tooth, it causes infection and pus accumulates and swells. This then creates a toothache, and will spread over time. If not treated by a dental professional in a timely manner, the infection can spread to the gums and the jawbone and can cause serious trouble.

Symptoms

An abscessed tooth is no joke. If not professionally treated, the infection can spread and can even become life threatening. In some cases, an abscess may rupture on its own and bring a relief of pain, but the root cause will remain if not treated by a professional and the abscess could return anytime. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a dental professional right away.

  • A severe a persistent throbbing toothache
  • Sensitivity to touch, biting, chewing, and to hot and cold temperatures
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling and tenderness around the mouth and jaw
  • Trouble swallowing and even breathing

Some of these symptoms can be very concerning. If you are experiencing a fever and swelling around the face and neck and cannot reach your dentist or oral surgeon, go to an emergency room immediately. Infection from a dental abscess can spread quickly and should not be treated lightly.

Home Remedies

Although it is never safe to treat an abscessed tooth at home, there are things you can do to ease the pain and help the swelling while you wait to see your dentist or oral surgeon.

  • Saltwater rinse:
  • rinsing with saltwater can help relieve pain and encourage healthy gums

  • Cold compress:
  • for any pain or injury, a cold compress can reduce swelling and temporarily relieve pain. The same is true for a toothache. Apply the cold compress directly to the jaw where the pain is most acute.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here to Help

Searching for ways to treat an abscessed tooth? Look no further than Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. Nobody should have to suffer with the pain of an abscessed tooth, and our board-certified oral surgeons can provide the relief you’ve been searching for. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Can I Treat an Abscessed Tooth at Home

How To Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy This Halloween

As fun as the traditions surrounding Halloween are, it can bring up some concerns over the health of kids’ teeth.

It’s that time of year when little ghouls and goblins go knocking door-to-door, coming home with bags of free candy. Follow these tips to help keep their little fangs bright, shiny, and sharp as ever.

Healthy Teeth at Halloween: Dos

  • Use moderation – Encourage your kids to limit their portion sizes. Smaller, bite-sized candy bars are preferable to a full-sized candy bar. Consider setting aside the larger candies and saving them for special occasions.
  • Drink lots of water – Drinking water helps wash away candy that might be stuck on the teeth, helps reduce acidity, and promotes a healthy mouth. Most water is fluoridated, which can help keep those little fangs healthy.
  • Chew sugar-free gum – Though chewing gum might feel counter-intuitive, chewing sugar-free gum helps promote saliva production, which helps reduce the risk of cavities.
  • Brush those fangs – Halloween is a great time to treat your little vampires to a fun new toothbrush and maybe even a mouthwash to encourage diligence in their oral healthcare routine. For little monsters who are especially young, parental supervision and assistance during brushing is helpful and even necessary.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – Eating balanced meals and limiting sugary drinks can promote oral health and reduce cavities.
  • Encourage little witches and wizards to participate in Halloween candy buyback programs – Many dental offices host candy buyback programs around Halloween. Have your children pick out their favorite candies and donate the rest. There’s no sense in contributing to cavities and inducing belly aches by eating mediocre candy. Allow kids to enjoy the sweets that bring them joy, and get the rest out of the house to avoid passive snacking from boredom.
  • Limit candy consumption to specific times of the day: According to the American Dental Association, it’s best to eat sweets right after lunch or dinner when saliva production is the highest. Saliva helps prevent the buildup of acid and can aid in rinsing away food particles. Eating candy immediately after mealtime is a far healthier alternative than munching on candy throughout the day, which allows plaque to sit on the teeth for a longer period of time and build up, leading to cavities.

Healthy Teeth at Halloween: Candies to Avoid

The very worst candies for little goblin teeth are extra sticky and chewy candies like caramels and taffy, hard candies like jawbreakers that last a long time and linger on the teeth, and sour candies that are super acidic. All of these candies wreak havoc on teeth and fangs alike. Avoid these sweets and encourage kids to choose chocolate or sugar-free gum or candies instead.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here to Help

If you’re concerned about your kids’ teeth, the board-certified oral surgeons and Oral & Facial Surgery can help answer questions and help you develop a treatment plan appropriate for your child. We truly care about each of our patients and will work to make sure your visit is comfortable and informative for both you and your little vampire. We have offices in Tooele, South Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!

How To Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy This Halloween