Zoom Whitening: Is it Right For You?

Zoom is a bleaching process widely used throughout the country and around the world to lighten discoloration of enamel and dentin. Tooth discoloration may result from drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine; or from smoking. The aging process also can stain and darken your teeth. The Zoom in-office tooth whitening procedure uses the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp – said to accelerate the bleaching process – to activate the 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening. As the hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances, leaving the structure of the tooth unchanged.

Consultation and Treatment Planning

Before deciding whether Zoom in-office teeth whitening is right for you, Dr. Friscia will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to ensure proper health, as well as talk with you about your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening.

Dr. Friscia may also require you to undergo whitening if you are planning other cosmetic dental procedures, such as veneers or composite bonding, in order to ensure a better match between the restoration and your natural dentition, or after the removal of braces. During your consultation and evaluation, Dr. Friscia will also note existing dental work, such as crowns and veneers, which will not respond to conventional whitening agents.

The Zoom Procedure

The complete procedure takes less than an hour, but a regular teeth cleaning is recommended prior to the actual Zoom teeth whitening session. The procedure begins with a short preparation to cover the lips and gums, leaving the teeth exposed.  Dr. Friscia, or his dental assistant then applies the Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel, which works together with the Zoom light to penetrate the teeth and break up the stains and discoloration. The gel remains in place for 15 minutes while the light is activated. During this time, you can relax.

The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions of light activation, for a total treatment time of 45 minutes. Individuals with a strong gag reflex or anxiety may have difficulty undergoing the entire procedure. Immediately afterwards, a sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth.

Aftercare: Maintaining Whitening Effects

You will be given a Zoom home-use touch-up kit that includes custom-fitted whitening trays. Follow your dentist’s instructions for when and how to use this touch-up kit.

To help maintain the whitening effects of your treatment, Dr. Friscia  may advise you to avoid certain foods and beverages, or consume them in moderation to avoid staining your teeth. This includes tea, coffee, red wine, cola, etc.

Additionally, tobacco products will stain teeth, even after whitening treatments. As such, we suggest you quit using them. Maintain an appropriate oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) regimen to prevent stains from reforming, and see your dentist and hygienist regularly for scheduled teeth cleanings.

Toothpastes containing whitening agents also may be suggested, to maintain the results of the procedure.

Considerations

Sensitivity during treatment may occur in some people. The Zoom light produces minimal heat, which is usually the source of discomfort. Rarely, minor tingling is experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipates. Ask for an anti-sensitivity toothpaste prior to treatment to lessen sensitivity.

As with other whitening products, Zoom is not recommended for children under 13 years of age, or for pregnant or lactating women. Also, it is important to remember that whitening treatment may not be as effective for some people as it is for others. Only your dentist can determine if teeth whitening is right for you after performing a thorough oral examination that includes a shade assessment.

Have Missing Teeth? Get Dental Implants!

Smiling is one of those things you do without really thinking about. Whether you’re laughing at a joke or are just in a good mood, smiling is bound to happen. It’s healthy to smile and nothing should take that away from you.

However, a missing tooth can change all of that. Not only will you be aware of when you’re trying to smile, you’ll go to incredible lengths to cover your mouth out of sheer embarrassment! At times, missing one or several teeth can feel like the end of the world. This doesn’t have to be you. If you’re relating to this situation all too well, there’s a solution for you we want you to take advantage of today – dental implants.

Look Here If You’re Missing a Tooth

No option other than dental implants even makes the discussion for being the best solution for restoring missing teeth. Dental implants are widely known for being a permanent, fixed solution that feels natural and blends in with your smile. They’re a perfect fix for anyone with one or multiple missing teeth, whether you’re straight out of school or well into your senior years.

Unlike other solutions (including dentures and bridges), dental implants aren’t known for causing problems Dentures are notorious for accidental slippages, annoying maintenance and annual refittings. Bridges rely on neighboring teeth to support it, wearing them out and can cause further tooth loss. Both of these alternative solutions are outdated, they’re what your parents relied on before dental implants gained popularity. Let’s forego these not-so-reliable solutions and refocus on dental implants.

Here’s a breakdown of all the perks you get out of dental implants:

  • Dental Implants Prevent Bone LossAn awesome perk of having dental implants is its ability to stabilize your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the portion of your jaw once held in place by your tooth begins to recede, which can cause a ‘sunken’ facial appearance. Dental implants fix all that. Thanks to their ability to osseointegrate, dental implants prevent this process from happening, strengthening your jawbone through stimulation from speaking and eating. You won’t have to worry about getting a dental implant refitted every year or so to combat jawbone recession.

 

  • Dental Implants Make Eating Easier If you haven’t been able to eat your favorite foods in a long while thanks to the pain caused by a missing tooth or the limitations of dentures and bridges, you need no longer wait! Dental implants fully restore your chewing power. This is awesome, especially when compared to the lowly 40% chewing power dentures provide. Chewing power is everything, it’ll help alleviate any digestion problems you’ve been experiencing. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about trapped food beneath your teeth or having your teeth embarrassingly slip out while eating.

 

  • Dental Implants Don’t Require Special Care One perk of switching to dental implants from dentures or a bridge is how easy it is to clean them. Dental implants only ask you to take care of them the same way you’d take care of the rest of your teeth. That’s easy! Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist every 6 months for a deep cleaning.

 

  • Dental Implants Restore Your Confidence When you get a dental implant, you no longer have to feel down about your smile. You’ll be brimming with confidence, smiling without worry and you’ll no longer feel like you have to shield your face around family and friends! Every time you look in the mirror, you won’t even be able to tell which of your teeth are actually dental implants!

Dental Implants are Affordable!

This year, over 2 million patients in the United States will choose dental implants as the solution for their missing tooth woes. What about you? There are zero excuses for you not to consider getting a dental implant if you’re embarrassed of your smile due to a missing tooth; not even pricing can stop you. Nowadays, dental implants are affordable!

Here at Thomas F. Friscia D.D.S. F.A.G.D., we understand not everyone has huge spending power. That’s why we strive to provide the most affordable, transparent dental implant pricing in Morganville, New Jersey.

Get A Dental Implant Today!

Food Choices Can Affect Your Oral Health

Proper nutrition means eating a well-balanced diet so that your body can get the nutrients needed for good health and wellness. If your diet is low in the nutrients your body needs, your mouth may have a more difficult time resisting infection. This may contribute to periodontal disease, a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Although poor nutrition does not cause periodontal disease directly, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and can be more severe in people with nutrient-poor diets.

If you’re caring for children, a balanced diet along with good oral hygiene habits will help them develop strong, decay-resistant teeth. Pay particular attention to calcium, phosphorous and proper levels of fluoride.

Eating patterns and food choices among children and teens are important factors that affect how quickly youngsters may develop tooth decay. When bacteria come into contact with food in the mouth, acid is produced that attacks the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth decay, if flossing and tooth brushing are not completed on a regular basis.

Many dentists are concerned that their patients are consuming record numbers of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that affect their teeth. These foods generally have little if any nutritional value and over time they can take a toll on teeth.

Eating patterns and food choices among children and teens are important factors that affect how quickly youngsters may develop tooth decay. When bacteria come into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is produced that attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more. This can eventually result in tooth decay.

Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. Almost all foods, including milk and vegetables, contain some type of sugar; however; they are a necessary part of a healthy diet because many of them also contain important nutrients. To help control the amount of sugar you consume, read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars. Added sugars often are present in soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries.

If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to periodontal disease, a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Although poor nutrition does not cause periodontal disease directly, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and can be more severe in people with nutrient-poor diets.

To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups and limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or a piece of fruit. And remember that foods eaten as part of a meal cause less harm because the saliva released helps wash foods from the mouth and lessen the effects of acids.

For more information about the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed by your body (and your teeth and gums), visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Web site at www.mypyramid.gov. The USDA’s dietary recommendations are designed to promote optimal health and to prevent obesity-related diseases including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancers.


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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and oral cancer screenings are a routine part of dental examinations. During an exam, your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue.

What starts out as a tiny, white or red spot or sore could be the sign of something more serious. Although most spots or sores are harmless, harmful ones often look identical.

Oral cancers that are found early offer a better chance for successful treatment—making oral cancer screenings one more reason to see your dentist regularly.

In 2010, the National Cancer Institute estimated that 36,540 people were diagnosed with oral cancer. NCI figures also projected that 7,880 people would die from oral cancer (though not necessarily the ones diagnosed in the same year). The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed early is 75 percent compared to a 20 percent survival rate in those whose cancer has spread, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. How can you lower your risk for oral cancer?

As part of your daily oral hygiene routine, watch for changes in the soft tissues of your mouth especially sores that don’t heal within two weeks.

  • Avoid all tobacco products.
  • Avoid heavy alcohol use. (The combination of tobacco use and heavy alcohol use is estimated to cause the majority of oral cancers diagnosed in the United States.) Avoid exposure to the sun which can increase the risk of lip cancer.
  • Visit your dentist for regular oral cancer screenings that may save your life.

 

According to the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), over half of those in the U.S. survive from oral cancer after five years. If this condition is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment are high.

Dentists look for early signs of mouth cancer during regular checkup appointments, but it’s also important for you to recognize these warning signals so you can bring them to the attention of your dentist right away.

Signs and Symptoms

Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. And because early detection is crucial in overcoming this disease, you’ll want to visit your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks:

  • Sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
  • Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
  • The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
  • Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue
  • Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing
  • Trouble moving your jaw or tongue, or problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
  • Lingering sore throat or hoarseness

How It Occurs

Although the exact cause of oral cancer is unclear, there are certain lifestyle factors that can put someone at risk for this disease. Tobacco of any kind – cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco – increase your risk for oral cancer. In fact, the Mouth Cancer Foundation reports 90 percent of those with oral cancer consume tobacco. Heavy use of alcohol also increases a person’s chances of developing oral cancer, and the NIDCR says your risk is even higher when using both tobacco and alcohol.

In addition to tobacco and alcohol, age and eating habits can influence your risk as well. Most oral cancers occur in people over the age of 40, and a diet that is deficient in fruits and vegetables can make it easier to contract. Keep in mind sun exposure can cause cancer on the lips. More recently, there has been a rise in a subset of oral cancers associated with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV 16).

Oral Cancer Screening and Treatment

Oral cancer examinations by your dentist are quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages. The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that during a routine checkup of your teeth and gums, your dentist also visually checks your lips and face for signs of spreading beyond your mouth. He or she may also palpate the neck and jaw area, and examine both the top and underside of your tongue. These oral cancer screenings should be done every six months.

A dentist who suspects cancer will recommend a biopsy of the area, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). With a positive diagnosis, surgery may be needed to treat the affected area, and often this surgery is followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Your Best Option

When in doubt, seek prevention! You should already practice daily oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease: brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and limiting sweets. But by regulating certain lifestyle choices – smoking, alcohol use and sun exposure, for example – you can significantly lower your risk of developing oral cancer.

Ultimately, if you know what to look for and see your dentist for regular screenings, early signs of mouth cancer can be identified and taken care of before they become a serious problem.

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WORN-DOWN TEETH Wear have the years gone? Regaining your smile!

As we age, there is a natural and progressive breakdown that affects every part of our body, including our skin, bones, muscles, joints, internal organs and even our brains. Unfortunately, teeth are not immune to the effects of aging.

What is the normal amount of wear?

As we age, it is perfectly normal to have a certain amount of wear occur on our teeth. After the age of thirty, it is considered normal to lose about one millimeter of length of the upper front teeth, due to normal wear, for each decade of life. The average forty-year-old should not have more than one millimeter of wear on the edge of their front teeth, two millimeters for a fifty-year-old and so on.

A common problem today is excessive wear that occurs above and beyond expected age related wear. The result is an unattractive smile with short teeth and spaces between the teeth. Excessive wear can also result in temperature sensitive teeth, difficulty in chewing, chipping and fracturing of teeth, bite related problems such as headaches and TMJ (jaw joint) problems, and nerve exposure resulting in full blown toothaches.  Unfortunately, many people are completely unaware that they have a serious tooth wear problem. Tooth wear can occur rapidly over a short period of time, or it can occur gradually over long periods of time. For many people, the wear goes unnoticed, especially if it has taken place more gradually.

Enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies. Once that is worn through, the inner soft core of the tooth, the dentin, is exposed. Dentin is where the nerve endings are located. Once the dentin is exposed, wear proceeds approximately eight times more rapidly because the dentin is much softer than enamel.

Often the front teeth that are worn have thin, sharp and jagged edges. The back teeth can have flattened surfaces and worn down fillings. If there are crowns or caps present on the back teeth they often can have holes present on the biting surface from being worn thin. The wear in these cases can be on front teeth only, the back teeth only, or both. Treatment can include fabrication of a night guard if the wear is minimal. If the wear is extensive, treatment often requires restoring the teeth back to the original height and establishing a balanced bite, which helps to eliminate the grinding problem.

Abrasion

Abrasion refers to wear that is caused by external forces. The most common are the type that is caused by hard brushing and the use of abrasive toothpaste. Also, depending upon cultural differences, certain diets can be highly abrasive. Typically, the type of abrasive wear that we see most is caused by toothbrush abrasion and it often results in notched out areas at the gum line. Treatment usually involves helping the patient to recognize the cause of the problem so that they can alter what they are doing and then restoring the worn away tooth structure. This treatment may only require a simple filling or two with composite bonding.

Erosion

Erosion is the wearing away of tooth structure that is caused by acid. This is the least recognized form of tooth wear even though it has its own unique appearance that is quite different from attrition or abrasion. There are only two possible sources of acid in our mouths. There is the kind that we ingest, or bring in, and the kind that we regurgitate, or bring up.

The number one culprit of ingested acid is carbonated beverages or soda. Soda is highly acidic and the daily ingestion of soda can destroy enamel in a short period of time. Even acidic juice drinks like orange juice can have a deleterious effect on enamel. Ingested acid can damage the enamel on the surface of the front teeth, especially at the gum line, and at the biting surface of the back teeth.

Teeth that are worn due to acid erosion exhibit a satin-like surface texture and have rolled margins as opposed to sharp jagged edges seen in attrition from grinding. Treatment for all erosion cases involves identifying the cause of the acid and eliminating it. If soda drinking is causing the problem we will discuss and try to educate people about the harmful effects. Treatment in any case of acid erosion involves covering the exposed dentin and restoring the teeth back to their normal size and shape before any further damage can occur. In many cases the treatment will protect the remaining tooth structure, and prevent any further damage from occurring.

Excessive tooth wear is a serious problem that should not be ignored. In any case of excessive tooth wear, the key is proper diagnosis. Contact our office if you have any concerns.

Bad Dental Care Often the Culprit in Bad Breath

What’s the most common reason for bad breath? Bad dental care, say experts.

The condition stems from having “a concentration of bacteria-producing malodorous chemicals coming from the lack of oral hygiene,” said Dr. Friscia. The source of the odor, he says, is often particles of food stuck in between the teeth and an accumulation of bacteria in the back of the throat.

Several other factors can also contribute to bad breath, also known as halitosis:

  • Certain foods, like garlic and onions, add to objectionable breath odor.
  • Dry mouth, which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases, can cause bad breath. Saliva is needed to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor.
  • Tobacco products cause bad breath, too. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist for help kicking the habit.

Bad breath may also signal a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, or a liver or kidney ailment. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.

If bad breath is a chronic condition, ask your dentist for help in identifying the cause and developing a treatment plan to get rid of it.

The best way to prevent bad breath is simple: maintain good oral health. See your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and checkup. If you think you have constant bad breath, keep track of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take.

Brush twice a day to remove food debris and plaque. Brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between teeth.

 

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Cold and Flu Season: 5 Ways to Care for Your Mouth When You’re Sick

When he’s feeling under the weather, Thomas F. Friscia D.D.S. F.A.G.D. says one thing always helps him feel a little more like himself. “Brushing my teeth when I’m sick actually makes me feel better,” he says. “My mouth feels clean, and in a way, I feel like my health is starting to improve.”

When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth. “It’s important to take care of your dental health all year round, but especially when you’re sick,” Dr. Friscia says.

Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:

Practice Good Hygiene

When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. “The number one rule is not to share your toothbrush anytime, but especially when you are sick,” Dr. Friscia says.

You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Unless your immune system is severely compromised, the chances of reinfecting yourself are very low. “But if you’re still in doubt, throw it out,” says Dr. Friscia. “Especially if you’ve had your toothbrush for 3-4 months, when it’s time to replace it anyway.”

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. “Many cough drops contain sugar, and it is like sucking on candy,” says Dr. Friscia. “Sugar is a culprit when it comes to cavities.” The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can leave holes in your teeth.

Swish and Spit After Vomiting

One unfortunate side effect of a stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. You might be tempted to brush your teeth right away, but Dr. Friscia says it’s actually better to wait. “When you vomit, stomach acids are coming in contact with your teeth and coating them,” he says. “If you brush too soon, you’re just rubbing that acid all over the hard outer shell of your teeth.”

Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.

Choose the Right Fluids

When it comes to your mouth and your body, one beverage is always best. “The safest thing to drink is water,” Dr. Friscia says. “Sports drinks might be recommended to replenish electrolytes when you’re sick, but drink them in moderation and don’t make them a habit after you’ve recovered because unless they are a sugar free version, they contain a lot of sugar.”

You might also want something to warm you up. “When you have a cold or the flu, you may want something comforting to get through it, like tea,” he says. “Try not to add sugar or lemon if you can avoid it. Sugar can helps to fuel cavity-causing bacteria, and lemon is acidic. It’s something to keep in mind once you’re feeling 100% again, as well.”

 

 

Thomas F. Friscia, D.D.S., F.A.G.D Receives 2018 Best of Morganville Award

Thomas F. Friscia, D.D.S., F.A.G.D Receives 2018 Best of Morganville Award

Morganville Award Program Honors the Achievement

MORGANVILLE November 30, 2018 — Thomas F. Friscia, D.D.S., F.A.G.D has been selected for the 2018 Best of Morganville Award in the Dentist category by the Morganville Award Program.

Each year, the Morganville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Morganville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Morganville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Morganville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Morganville Award Program

The Morganville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Morganville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Morganville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Morganville Award Program

Kids’ Healthy Teeth During The Holidays

Chances are good that visions of cookies, desserts and candy canes may be dancing in your children’s heads this holiday season. While you will do what you can to limit their intake of these sugary treats, your kids will probably be eating their fair share of sugar at your family holiday parties. Despite their consumption of sugar, there are ways to keep your kids’ healthy teeth and gums in shape and to minimize damage to their dental health.

Why Is Sugar Bad for Dental Health?

Whether your kids are eating chocolate cake, sugar cookies or peppermint candy, they are ingesting sugar. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on this sugar, and the byproduct is acid. This acid can eat away at tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. The more time teeth spend exposed to sugar, the higher the risk that your children will face dental health problems. Hard candies, and sticky candies such as taffy and caramel, can be worse for teeth than other treats such as cake and cookies.

Brush after Eating a Sugary Treat

In general, the ADA recommends that everyone brush their teeth and gums at least twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Flossing should also be done at least once a day. During the holidays, encourage your kids to brush and floss even more than this, particularly right after they finish dessert. If a toothbrush is not handy, the next best thing to do is rinse. Encourage your kids to rinse their mouths with water — not soda or even sparkling grape juice — which will help wash away sugar, acids and any other food that may be stuck to their teeth.

Limit Sugar Time

Hard candy is one of the worst offenders at wreaking havoc on your kids’ healthy teeth because your child will be sucking on the candy for a long period. Additionally, limit the amount of soda and juice that your children drink since these wash over teeth and gums. If your children do eat hard candy or drink soda, encourage them at least to rinse afterwards. Sugarless gum is also a great way to keep your kids’ mouths busy while boosting saliva production, which will help wash away sugar.

You may also want to do as the French do and make cheese a part of dessert. Cheeses, such as mozzarella sticks, are not only kid friendly, they are also known to neutralize acid in the mouth, according to the ADA.

Make Dessert a Part of the Meal

Rather than serving dessert last, incorporate it into the holiday meal. This is helpful, because it is better to eat sugar at the same time as a balanced meal. The other more healthy foods will not only displace the sugar from your teeth, but they can also aid in neutralizing any acids from the ingested sugar.

Make Toothbrushing Fun

While it is important to stress good dental care throughout the year, the holidays present a special opportunity to make dental health fun. Perhaps you can buy your children a toothbrush in their favorite color or a toothbrush that is decorated with their favorite cartoon character. Colored floss is also fun!

Schedule a Dentist Visit

Last but not least, your child probably has time off from school around the holidays. This is a great time to schedule a cleaning and checkup with your children’s dentist. As always, you can ask your dentist for additional tips on how to keep your kids’ teeth healthy during the holidays.

Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide

With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.

Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.

But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” Dr. Friscia says. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”

To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:

Chocolate

Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Friscia says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”

Sticky and Gummy Candies

Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Friscia says.

Hard Candy

Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Friscia says. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”

Sour Candy

You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Friscia. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”

Popcorn Balls

Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth,” Dr. Friscia says. “They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”