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Dental habits that keep teeth healthy during the holidays!

Thanksgiving arrives this week, signaling the start of a cherished holiday season filled with both giving and receiving.

Thanksgiving is not only a good time to think about others, but also a time to think about our own oral health and overall health. 

Here’s some advice from Brident Dental to help your mouth and gums stay healthy during this festive period when the tendency is to indulge ourselves in food choices that we frequently resist throughout the year.

 

  • Don’t Forget about Nutrition: Sugar is the enemy, not only for dental reasons, but also because childhood obesity is such a big concern. Whether it’s pumpkin pie or a marshmallow-topped yam casserole, Thanksgiving dinner can be a delight for your sweet tooth. But all that sugar also becomes a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. TIP: If you’re cooking, consider swapping sugar for substitutes like xylitol or erythritol – sweeteners that don’t cause decay.
  • Veggies & Salad: We all love turkey, filling and sweet potatoes, but make sure to balance your Thanksgiving meal by including vegetables and salads. TIP: Red and orange veggies are usually high in vitamin C (good for gums), while leafy green vegetables are a great calcium source for strong teeth.
  • Walk It Off: Take a post-meal walk before having that piece of pumpkin pie. TIP: A light lunch or breakfast is a good idea, and so is getting in a workout before Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Holiday Dental Visits: Holiday weeks are the perfect time to visit the dentist. Kids are out of school, and many dental offices have available appointments. And, as Black Friday approaches, look for deals on dental work and orthodontics. 
  • Preventative Steps: Drinking water intermittently helps keep sugar and food particles from resting in the grooves of your teeth. It’s important to maintain good habits by brushing the teeth thoroughly and flossing before going to bed.

 

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My Perio Protect Journey, Part 2
I arrived at the Western Dental office in Hawthorne, California for a dental check-up. Being a new patient and a member of the Western Dental Plan, my exam and x-rays were free of charge. The main purpose of my visit, though, was to begin the Perio Protect program. Dental appointments can give me a twinge of anxiety, but the staff at the office made me feel calm and welcome. The first step of the process was getting a thorough set of digital x-rays from a very friendly and efficient x-ray technician (I was done in about five minutes). They needed those to build my file and to make sure I didn’t have any hidden problems before starting Perio Protect. But all looked good. Next was a teeth cleaning. The hygienist went to work on my teeth, cleaning, polishing and checking the depth of the gum “pockets” around each tooth. Anything over 3 millimeters, she explained, indicated warning signs of possible periodontal disease, or at the least, gingivitis (a milder form of the disease). I checked out ok, except for a few “4’s” around the back molars. Her advice: give extra attention when brushing, and make sure to floss. And Perio Protect was definitely going to help. After a thorough exam by the dentist, a dental assistant prepped the trays used to take impressions of my upper and lower arches. (The impressions would be used to make the customized Perio Protect trays I would need for my home-care routine.) She filled the trays with impression material (kind of like soft Silly Putty), then placed the first tray over my upper teeth and held it in place for a few minutes while the material set. After repeating the process on my lower teeth and rinsing out remnants of the impression material, they had all they needed. My part was done, for now. The office would send the impressions to a lab to make my Perio Protect trays. I’ll be back in a few weeks to pick them up and get started with the program. Can’t wait to reap the benefits!
My Perio Protect Journey, Part 1
Perio Protect is a take-home dental care treatment that prevents gum disease (with the added, long-term benefits of killing bacteria, freshening breath and whitening teeth). A Perio Protect kit consists of two light-weight dental trays made of a soft, pliable material that fit snugly over upper and lower teeth. Each tray is filled with a small amount of Perio Protect gel and worn for 15 minutes each day. The following describes one patient’s experience. Everyone loves the feel of a clean, fresh mouth. So when I heard how Perio Protect could maintain healthy gums and guarantee fresh breath by killing bacteria, I wanted to learn more. Being in the dental business, I was invited to attend a training session for dental hygienists that highlighted how Perio Protect works and the benefits of the treatment. By wearing customized trays filled with a small amount of Perio Protect Gel for 15 minutes each day, powerful medication is delivered deep below the gum line, reaching every possible nook and cranny where bacteria hide and multiply. Its clinical benefit is in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, but Perio Protect also alleviates swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, maintains fresh breath and restores overall oral health. Over time, the mild concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel whitens teeth. Even though I’m meticulous about my oral hygiene, I learned what I was missing with my toothbrush, rinses and floss. I got a lot more detail than I needed, but enough to make me schedule an appointment the next day. I’ll report back after my visit. Stay tuned…