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Happy Halloween! (scary teeth and candy eating tips)

Terrified of cavities!

We hope you have a fantastic Halloween! We have a warm place in our hearts for this scary holiday here at Mead Family Dental. Last year we featured Kathy as an undead pirate. I can hardly wait to see what she’s come up with this year!

As a dentist, Halloween makes me think of two things. Scary Halloween teeth and all that candy.

First…check out some of the very cool, very scary Halloween teeth I’ve found.

For those of you who prefer the horrifying monster look we have “minion fangs” found at www.halloween-mask.com.

 

 

“Dental Distortions” (www.dentaldistortions.com) provides several terrifying options for vampire fans.

For those who prefer their fangs on canine teeth you can choose the “nightslayer” option.

 

 

 

 

My personal preference has the fangs on the lateral incisors on the “nightbreed” model.

 

 

 

If you prefer a more demonic look I highly recommend the “Lucius” model.

 

 

 

 

And finally, no discerning trick or treater would want to miss a sweet halloween grill (from www.halloweencostumeworld.com).

 

 

Now, on a more serious note, let’s talk about candy. Halloween is a huge candy holiday. Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy each Halloween. That’s a lot of candy. And that’s some serious potential for tooth decay.

There are some things that parents can do to reduce the risks of decay for their trick or treaters. Here’s a few ideas:

It’s tough being a dentist on Halloween. But it’s my duty to spread the word about how we can reduce the risk of cavities for our little ghosts and goblins!

Did you like this post? Do you have any questions I could answer? Feel free to email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com or call us at the office at (989) 799-9133. This Saginaw dentist is always taking new patients and we’d love to be your Saginaw dental office!

Double whammy

Sometimes life isn’t fair. That’s how it works with cavities. As I’ve mentioned before, a cavity is just a hole that acid eats in your tooth.

“Acid, you say?” Yup. Acid is what causes cavities.

“Well,” you say, “it’s not like I eat acid or something. How does this happen? Where does the acid come from?”

That, my friend, is a very good question.

The acid in your mouth comes from two sources. Bacterial acids and dietary acids. Bacterial acids work kind of like this:

  1. you eat something sugary
  2. acid producing bacteria in your mouth grab some of this sugar as you’re eating it
  3. they eat this sugary stuff and produce lactic acid as a waste product
  4. the lactic acid lowers the pH in a local area and begins to break down/eat away tooth structure

The term dentists use for this eating away by acid is demineralization. The acid acts on the hard surfaces of your teeth and leaches out the calcium and other minerals leaving a little hole. This acid attack isn’t simply a one way street. Your saliva acts to repair this demineralization and in most cases is able to fix it before an actual hole in the surface of the tooth forms. However, in some cases where a lot of acid is produced, a hole in the surface of the tooth can form that cannot be fixed by saliva. Once a hole like this has formed it’s irreversible and must be fixed with a filling or a crown.

Dietary acids are the second source of acid in your mouth. Many foods contain acids. Citrus fruit, tomatoes, some beans and nuts can contain some acid. However, the biggest problem for your teeth is acid containing drinks. Sodas, energy drinks and other carbonated drinks contain carbonic and phosphoric acids. These drinks cause a huge whole-mouth drop in pH with every sip. The acid in pop alone can cause serious tooth problems, but many of them also include a LOT of sugar. And you remember what we just said about sugar above, right? (sugar–>bacterial yum yums–>acid production)

That’s why pop is a double whammy. It has a very low pH and it has lots of sugar, which the bugs in your mouth can turn into acid. So be careful with pop. It’s better to drink less of it (or none of it).

Are you a pop drinker and worried about your teeth? If you’d like to find out more or just need a dentist in Saginaw, we’d love help! In fact, we’d like to be your Saginaw dentist! Feel free to call the office at (989) 799-9133, request an appointment online or email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com.

5 things you can do right now to have fewer cavities

The 5th dentist

Are you sick of getting cavities? Would you like to stop worrying about your next dental check up? Would you prefer to see your dentist in the check out line at Meijer more than looking up at them holding a drill in their hand?

Then read this list. And do them. Today.

1) Brush your teeth 3 times per day (morning, lunchtime, and right before bed) with a soft toothbrush. I’m a fan of the Oral B Cross Action Power. But really, any soft bristled brush will do. Also, only hold it with three fingers when you’re brushing. We humans have a tendency to substitute strength and speed for thoroughness. Just remember, these are teeth, not the bathroom tiles. If you’d like a toothbrush and some instructions on how to use it, come in and see us!

2) Chew sugarless gum for 5 minutes (no more) after every meal. Preferably, gum with xylitol as a sweetener.

3) Check your calendar. If you don’t have an appointment for a cleaning then make one. If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, make one with us!

4) Stop drinking pop

5) Start flossing.

If you do these things, you will have less cavities. Period. If you do all of them and you’re still getting cavities, you may feel free to show up at the office and punch me in the arm as hard as you can.

Did you like this post? If you did, I would appreciate it if you’d share it with your friends! You can click on the heart shaped icon next to the title of this post and automatically share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+! Or you can leave a comment by clicking the “balloon” shaped button next to the title. Or send me an email at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I’m happy to answer any questions and appreciate your input. If you are looking for a dentist in Saginaw, MI we would love to see you!

Just because you read all the way to the end of this post…I’m going to give you a bonus 6th thing to help you get less cavities.

6) Read my previous posts about prevention, saliva, chewing sugarless gum and flossing.

 

On Labor Day

We can thank this man for Labor Day

The United States celebrates Labor Day today. Most of us celebrate Labor Day with a long weekend and a day off for the holiday on Monday. But do you know how Labor Day came about? I didn’t, so I did a little research…

  • Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, under president Grover Cleveland. The holiday had been celebrated as a “workingmen’s holiday” by labor unions since 1882. Many states made the holiday official soon after, but only after the infamous Pullman Strike did the president and congress move to make it a national holiday. The holiday honors working people and labor unions as well as to memorialize their struggles in the past.
  • In many other parts of the world it’s the first day of May (May Day) that celebrates workers and labor unions. In the U.S., May Day became the traditional “beginning of Spring” holiday because during the Cold War era the Soviet and Eastern Block countries essentially annexed the holiday.
  • Labor Day is also a landmark time for football fans. The college football season usually starts the weekend prior to Labor Day and the NFL begins it’s regular season the week following Labor Day. (Miami University was drubbed by Mizzou and USC edged out University of Minnesota–Doc’s alma maters) 2014 update: Miami was drubbed by Marshall (I’m seeing a pattern here) and Minnesota crushed Eastern Illinois.
  • For the fashion conscious Labor Day traditionally marks the time where you put away your white clothing.
  • Michigan has a 54 year long tradition of walking the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. The governor leads the 5 mile walk across the Straits of Mackinac and if you’re lucky enough to be one of 400 names drawn you can run the 5 mile bridge run.
  • Perhaps most importantly, Labor Day signals the end of summer. Here in Michigan, it’s the last big tourist weekend and it’s even law that public schools cannot begin their school year until after Labor Day!

The Mackinac Bridge, where a Labor Day tradition lives

So there you have it. A short primer about Labor Day. That’s a lot of information for me to throw at you just to let you know that we won’t be open on September 5th. We will re-open on September 6th with our normal schedule. We hope that you enjoy your holiday weekend, and we hope you have a wonderful autumn 2011!

Did you like this post? If you did, I would appreciate it if you’d share it with your friends! You can click on the heart shaped icon next to the title of this post and automatically share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+! Or you can leave a comment by clicking the “balloon” shaped button next to the title. Or send me an email at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I’m happy to answer any questions and appreciate your input. If you are looking for a dentist in Saginaw, MI we would love to see you!

The greatest compliment you could ever give us is a recommendation!

We try pretty hard to make your dental office experience a great one. If we did a good job for you, the very best thing you could do for us is to write a positive review. We’ve been able to attract a lot of great new patients using online reviews and most of them comment that they were impressed by the reviews we had received by our patients.

If you’d like to write an online review for us, here’s a couple of easy ways to do it!

To review us using Google Places:

  1. Click here.
  2. You’ll see a page that looks like this. Find the “Been here? Sign in to rate” link (lower right corner of the page)
  3. If you have a gmail account, you can simply sign in with your gmail address and password and you’ll be able to leave a review.
  4. If you don’t have gmail account you’ll need to create a Google login using your own email address.
  5. To do this they ask for your email address and then you create a password.
  6. They’ll also ask for your location (country only), birthdate and they make you copy some distorted letters into another blank. Finally, they ask you to read their “terms of service.”
  7. Once you choose “I accept. Create my account.” Google will send you a verification email. Once you receive this email all you need to do is click on the link enclosed in the email and you’ll be all set!
  8. You’ll need to go back to the original link once you’re signed in. From here you should be able to rate us using 1 to 5 stars (five being the best) and leave any comments.

Any reviews and information that you might tell someone considering us for their dental care would be really appreciated!

To review us using Yahoo local:

  1. Click here
  2. You’ll see a page that looks something like this: Yahoo local page
  3. Click the button that says “write a review”
  4. You’ll be prompted to sign in with a Facebook account, Google account or Yahoo account. If you don’t have any of these you can create a Yahoo account by following their prompts.
  5. You will probably need to click the “write a review” button again in order to rate us and leave a review.

We’re really grateful that you’ve chosen us to be your dentist. You can help us out as well as any prospective new patients by rating us and leaving a review! Thanks for your time and thanks for being such a loyal patient!

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