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Halloween & Teeth

A man and a woman handing out candy to children on Halloween

Halloween is almost here! This holiday is notorious for candy and treats! Unfortunately, even consuming these treats in moderation can harm your dental health. We know that sugar is terrible for our teeth, but you may not know why. 

Sugar & Tooth Decay 

Plaque bacteria is always forming on and between the teeth, and, if given the right food, it can wreak havoc on your vulnerable tooth enamel. Sugar acts as the food for these bacteria, allowing them to multiply more quickly and adhere to your teeth, eventually forming tartar. 

Your tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in your body, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to plaque, bacteria, and tartar. As these substances break down the tooth enamel, they sneak inside, causing dental cavities and infections. 

Preventing tooth decay 

Everyone is at risk for tooth decay because we all have plaque multiplying on our teeth as we speak! However, the enamel on baby teeth is much thinner than adult teeth. Since kids are the ones eating the majority of candy on Halloween, they’re the most at-risk. Below are a few ways to make sure your child’s teeth are as healthy as can be: 

  • Make regular trips to Jennifer Lopez Dental for a dental cleaning and a checkup for your dental cleanings and an exam by Dr. Lopez. 
  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. These simple habits play a significant role in improving your dental and overall health. 
  • Remember that the sticker the candy, the worse for your teeth! Stay away from food and candy that can pull out fillings or break the teeth. 
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating to flush away some of the residual food or bacteria.

From all of us at Jennifer Lopez Dental, have a safe and healthy Halloween! To schedule an appointment for your post-Halloween dental cleaning and exam, please call our Miami, Florida general dentist’s office today! 

It probably isn’t shocking to discover that fear of the dentist is widespread! Between 10-15% of Americans avoid their dental checkups because of dental anxiety. That’s around 25-40 million people!

People who suffer from a fear of the dentist experience the early loss of teeth and are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Dental anxiety can also take an emotional toll. If you aren’t keeping your dental checkup appointment, your teeth may become damaged or discolored, which may cause problems with self-esteem.

4 Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety 

  1. Let us know about it – Rest assured that we here at Jennifer Lopez Dental will do anything we can to make your visit to our office is as comfortable and stress-free as possible! If you have anxiety about your upcoming appointment at our office, please give us a call so we can answer any questions you may have.
  2. Do research to ease anxiety – Much of the fear centered around the dentist stems from not knowing what to expect. Make sure you learn as much as you can about your procedure and feel free to ask us questions. 
  3. Feel free to distract yourself – If distraction is a good way for you to ease your anxiety, we recommend bringing in a set of headphones! Listen to soothing songs, mindfulness meditations, or your favorite podcast. Focusing on something besides your treatment can be a big help. 
  4. Consider sedation if all else fails – Once you’ve ruled everything else out, it might be time to consider sedation. We offer a few different options for sedation depending on the procedure, age of the patient, and severity of anxiety. If you’re interested in learning more about sedation, we can go over your options with you!  

The longer you wait to get treatment, the more dental care you may end up needing in the long run! We recommend coming in for your dental checkups to catch any potential problems early on when they’re easier to treat.

To schedule an appointment, please contact Jennifer Lopez Dental here in Miami, Florida!  

If you’re wondering whether your kids are eating too much sugar, there are a few signs to look out for. And this is an important question to ask! It’s not a secret that a high-sugar diet contributes to cancer, ADHD, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar can also be a tough habit to quit, especially when it’s established in childhood. If you limit sugar early enough for your kids, you can break this harmful sugar cycle! 

Signs That Your Children Are Eating Too Much Sugar 

According to the American Heart Association, children should only be consuming up to 12 grams of sugar per day. To put this in perspective, a single box of Juicy Juice apple juice contains 23 grams, almost twice the allotted daily amount for kids! For this reason, it’s a good idea to check the labels on your children’s snacks. 

Below are a few signs that your kids are consuming too much sugar: 

  • Cravings – Sugar is extremely addictive. Like any addictive substance, the more you get, the more you crave. If your child is continuously snacking on or asking for sugary snacks, he or she may be developing a sugar addiction. 
  • Attitude changes – If your child experiences frequent attitude or demeanor changes, this can be a sign of a fluctuating blood sugar level. For example, if your child goes from energetic one minute to moody, sluggish, or lethargic the next, sugar highs and lows could be to blame. 
  • Dental cavities – Lastly, sugar is the number one cause of dental cavities in children. If your kids are developing multiple cavities, their diet might be the cause. Even if your kids are diligent about brushing and flossing, consuming too much sugar will result in cavities anyway. These sugars cling to and damage the teeth before your child even has a chance to brush. 

If the above signs seem familiar to you, it may be time to reevaluate your family’s sugar intake. To make an appointment for your child to receive a dental cleaning and check for cavities, please call Jennifer Lopez Dental. Our family dental office is based here in beautiful Miami, FL. 

When it comes to keeping gum disease at bay, nothing beats an interdental brush! These tiny brushes clear away any food debris and plaque hiding between the teeth, which will keep your gum tissue healthy.  

If plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up between the teeth, the gums will become irritated and swollen. Interdental brushes are great for everyone, but we recommend them especially those who have a history of problems with their gums.

What are interdental brushes?  

Interdental brushes are very small and have handles similar to a toothbrush. They have a small, conical head with bristles, meant to clean between the teeth. Interdental brushes come in different sizes depending on the spacing between your teeth; for example, you will need one size for the gap between the front teeth, and another for the gaps between the molars.

Tips on using an interdental brush  

You should always make sure to follow the advice of your dentist when using your interdental brush. Below are a few tips that may also help:

  • Make sure you’re using the right-sized brush for the gaps between each tooth. Don’t force the brush between the teeth.
  • Brush gently between each tooth. Brushing too vigorously may do damage to your gum tissue.
  • Brush in a pattern around your entire mouth. Having a starting and ending point ensures that you won’t miss any spaces between the teeth.

When you first begin to incorporate interdental brushing into your routine, it’s common for your gums to become tender or bleed a bit. Continue using the brushes as normal, and the bleeding and tenderness will reduce as the tissue becomes healthier.

If you have questions or concerns about interdental brushing, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment here at Jennifer Lopez Dental. We’re happy to give advice about interdental brushing at our Miami, Florida dentist’s office!

Stress is inescapable, especially with everything going on in our world right now. It’s widely known that stress harms our health, but it’s less widely known that this also extends to dental health.

Our bodies were built to withstand short, temporary bursts of stress. However, when stress levels are continuously elevated, it will eventually become very damaging to emotional, physical, and dental health.

5 Dental Problems Caused or Exacerbated by Stress 

Below are 5 of the ways that stress may manifest in your dental health:

  • Cold Sores – If you’re already susceptible to cold sores, higher-than-average stress can lead to an outbreak. Stress weakens your immune system, which allows the virus that causes cold sores (herpes simplex virus or HSV) to sneak past your defenses. Cold sores can be painful, but they usually go away on their own after a week or two.
  • Gum Disease – As stated above, stress weakens your immune system. It can also decrease the body’s ability to rid the mouth of harmful bacteria. If these bacteria are allowed to build upon the teeth, you become vulnerable to gum disease and gingivitis.
  • Canker Sores – Similar to cold sores, canker sores are also a common result of stress. Canker sores shouldn’t last more than a week or so, but if you’re looking for a way to ease the pain of canker sores while they heal, there are over-the-counter rinses and gels found next to the toothpaste in most drugstores.
  • Neglect of Oral Hygiene – Most of us got in some unhealthy habits during quarantine! This may have included neglecting your dental hygiene routine. Once you let your guard down, it doesn’t take long for plaque and bacteria to build up and begin wreaking havoc on your tooth enamel. Set a reminder on your phone and make sure to stay on top of your routine!
  • Bruxism – Lastly, bruxism is a common result of stress. But it’s tricky, because you may not even know you have it! Bruxism is the term for the nighttime clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. This condition will put a lot of stress on the jaw and teeth, causing headaches, pain, or chipping and cracking of the teeth.

If you’re concerned about how your stress could be impacting your dental health, or if you need to make an appointment for a cleaning and a checkup, please call Jennifer Lopez Dental in beautiful Miami, Florida. Dr. Lopez looks forward to seeing you!

To make the most out of your next trip to the dentist for a dental cleaning and a checkup, there are a couple of questions you can ask to maximize your time spent in the dental chair! The more educated you are about your dental health, the better able you are to care for your teeth and your family’s teeth!

3 Questions to Maximize Your Dental Health

  • How is my oral health overall? 
    Asking about your overall dental health will allow you to get a more comprehensive view of what you’re doing well and what you can work on. This is also a great way to determine if your habits or lifestyle contribute to your oral health or hygiene.  
  • How can I improve my dental health? 
    Pay close attention to any treatments or procedures that your dentist recommends. Your dentist can also help you ensure that you’re using the right kind of toothpaste and floss, whether you’re brushing correctly, or if there’s anything else you need to incorporate into your dental hygiene routine.
  • Is there anything I should talk to my family doctor about? 
    Lastly, dental health is closely linked to overall health. Your dentist will be able to spot signs of a non-dental health problem during your dental exam. Asking this question will allow you to make sure that the right medical professionals have all the relevant information.

Part of making sure you have a healthy smile is by ensuring a daily oral routine. Pain, tenderness, bleeding, or loose teeth can all be signs of dental problems, gum disease, or gingivitis. If you the symptoms mentioned above, please call Jennifer Lopez Dental. Our Miami Dentist, Jennifer Lopez, is here to help! We also see dental patients in South Miami, Kendall, Doral, Sweetwater, and the surrounding area. Find a dentist near you today.

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