Meyer & Johns Dental Blog

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America’s Favorite Halloween Candy Is…

candystore.com
www.candystore.com features an interactive map of favorite Halloween candy.

Even though it’s many people’s favorite holiday, Halloween might seem like a nightmare for dentists. Actually, at Meyer & Johns we LOVE Halloween — our staff is in the spirit all month long. It’s just the after-effects of all that candy we don’t like.  We talk about it every year, but sensible consumption and good brushing habits are key to winning the candy battle. We trust that you know what strategy works best with each of your children. If you’re still not sure, check out our blog post HERE for age and developmentally-appropriate approaches. 

 

We trust that you know what to do, so enough about teeth – let’s talk about the candy! Confectionary information and shopping website candystore.com has compiled a mountain of data on candy sales and consumption. They recently published an interactive map that lists the favorite Halloween candy for each of the 50 U.S. states, including pounds sold, as well as 2nd and 3rd-place choices by state. 

 

Missouri’s fave? The Milky Way bar, a preference we share with Maryland and Vermont. Some of the interesting tidbits include:

  • Corn Rules! Candy Corn is the most popular nationwide, taking the top spot in seven of the 50 states. Somewhat surprisingly, Skittles came in at #2, with five. 
  • Cowboy Candy?  Dubble Bubble gum was the favorite Halloween candy in Oklahoma and Montana. Don’t they know what they’re missing?
  • Location, location… Not surprisingly, the extreme Northeast and Northwest favor salt water taffy. 
  • Marketing wisely? Two of the most-recognizable and highly-promoted products – Twix and Kit-Kat – only ranked 1st in one state apiece. 
  • Sour in the South – Lemonheads were the top pick in Louisiana. 

 

Happy Halloween from your friends at Meyer & Johns Dental – Have fun, be safe, and don’t forget to brush! 

 

 

6 Scary Mouth Facts

October isn’t just Dental Hygiene Month, it’s also Halloween! In honor of the most frightening 31 days of the year, we’ve assembled a collection of six scary mouth facts. Read on at your own risk…

#1.  Mouth + Nose + Eyes + Ears = Connected

Yep, they’re all attached. Tear ducts feed into the sinus/nasal cavity, which shares space with the oral cavity and is also connected by the ocular nerve channel to your ears. That’s why tears make your nose run, why your sense of smell is so important to tasting things, and why your ears pop if you blow your nose too hard.

#2.  Saliva is actually a form of filtered blood.

Specialized cells in our saliva glands are responsible for absorbing some elements of the blood. Other plasma components are filtered and combined with secretions from the mucous glands in the mouth. The result helps us digest food, keep teeth clean, and ensure our talking, swallowing, and breathing mechanisms are all well-lubricated.

#3.  Oh, that dirty mouth! bacteria mouth

So, we know that our mouths are a hotbed of bacteria — both good and bad. However, most of the hundreds of strains that live in our mouth are inert – they don’t really do anything. Meanwhile, the good bacteria help protect us against bad bacteria, plus many environmental elements that invade our mouths through air, food, or beverage. But even some good bacteria can have bad effects elsewhere in the body if introduced into respiratory tracts (aspiration pneumonia) or under the skin (as in a bite!).

#4.  Not brushing could lead to a brain abscess.

No joke – teeth that aren’t cared for can form an abscess, a bacterial infection often caused by untreated cavities or tooth injuries. If left untreated, that infection can spread from mouth to the jaw, neck, or even your brain. Sepsis and bacterial meningitis are also potential complications of untreated tooth abscess.

#5.  Soda does horrifying things to your teeth.

It coats, it soaks, it accelerates decay. In fact, people who drink three or more daily glasses of soda each day have over 60% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss. This is mainly because the average soda contains between 10-12 teaspoons of sugar — that’s almost a ¼ cup!

#6.  Even more about spit…

scary mouth facts

As we’ve mentioned, our mouths produce a lot of saliva – enough each year to fill two bathtubs. But over the course of a lifetime, we will make 25,000 quarts of spit. That’s 6,250 gallons, or enough to fill the average in-ground residential swimming pool.

 

 

 

 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

For most, a consistent oral care routine & regular check-ups are all that’s needed for a healthy, beautiful smile.

National Dental Hygiene Month is an annual observance designed to celebrate the work of dental hygienists, as well as raising awareness on the importance of good oral health.

The month-long education effort focuses on the Daily 4, a basic routine that will help you maintain a healthy smile: Brush, Floss, Rinse and Chew. The American Dental Association’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org, recommends brushing with a soft-bristled brush. Your brush size and shape should fit your mouth to allow you easy access to all areas of your teeth and gums.

 

The Daily 4

1.  BRUSH

MouthHealthy.org promotes a five-point technique to ensure proper brushing and adequate cleaning;

  •   Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  •   Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  •   Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  •   To clean the inside front surfaces, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  •   Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
2.  FLOSS

Cleaning between your teeth is also an essential component of healthy teeth and gums. The ADA recommends cleaning between teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque that brushing may not catch.

3.  RINSE

Because your actual teeth comprise less than half of your mouth, rinsing helps eliminate bacteria and bio-film. Along with brushing and flossing, frequent rinsing can reduce the chance of dental decay or infection. However, you should avoid alcohol-based rinses due to unwanted side-effects in your mouth.

4.  CHEW

Clinical studies show that 20 minutes of chewing sugarless gum after a meal helps prevent tooth decay. Gum-chewing increases the flow of saliva, which helps wash away any remaining food or other debris, as well as neutralizing bacteria-born acids in the mouth and promoting disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth.

If your next appointment is during October, remember to high-five our outstanding team of dental hygienists and wish them a Happy Dental Hygiene Month!

Halitosis – More Than Just a Smell?

bad breath
Will people remember what you say with their ears… or their nose?

Garlic, onions, and fish… Oh, my. Contrary to popular belief, even though certain foods can linger on your breath until they are fully processed by your body, they don’t really cause bad breath. Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a pervasive and ongoing problem that can affect personal and professional relationships, as well as impacting self-confidence in social situations.

Experts say that as many as 80 million Americans suffer from chronic halitosis, and spend more than $10 billion attempting to keep it under their breath, so to speak. But what actually causes halitosis?

Smoking

This one is a no-brainer. Cigarettes make everything stink, especially the breath of the smoker. But more importantly, we’ve told you how nicotine can slow production of saliva, which is critical to maintaining a healthy mouth. More on that below…

Xerostomia

As we discussed last month, dry mouth can wreak havoc on your teeth. But the absence of saliva leaves many food particles in your mouth to decomposed between brushings. Additionally, the bacterial imbalance favors the growth of Volatile Sulfuric Compounds (VSCs), which release waste that causes most bad breath.

Unhealthy Dieting

Many current fad diets advocate for an unhealthy nutritional balance to achieve weight-loss results. Frequent or prolonged dieting can increase ketones, which naturally occur when digesting fatty acids. As our body processes these organic compounds, the waste byproduct is expelled through the lungs, which has been linked to halitosis.

Physical Conditions

In addition to dieting, various health conditions can cause chronic bad breath due to the release of unique chemical compounds that are exhaled through the lungs. Some of the most common include gum disease, allergies, diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease, kidney failure, and even cancer.

 

If you or a family member is battling chronic bad breath, ask us at your next appointment. We may be able to recommend a treatment option that can help.