Category: Children

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.

 

 

 

 

Thumb-Sucking and Its Effects

thumb-sucking
Thumb-sucking is a habit most children outgrow by age 4.

Thumbs In, Lights Out

It’s the picture of childhood innocence: A tired toddler down for a nap, holding a love-worn blanket and sucking their thumb. Whatever gets them to sleep… right, parents? However, if this sweet scenario continues for too long, it may have negative effects on your child’s teeth, speech, and jaw development.

Sucking is a reflex that is present from birth, but research shows that extended thumb-sucking may cause issues. The good news is that most children break the habit on their own, usually between age two and four. The bad news is that if they don’t, you will need to take action.

What’s the Big Deal?

All babies go through an appropriate oral stage of development. But if thumb-sucking  is allowed to go on until the child’s permanent teeth begin to develop, it can block front teeth from fully erupting, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Additionally, it can cause them to push forward (overbite) or the two middle teeth toseparate   (malocclusion or gap teeth). These problems sometime occur more severely on one side, since children usually suck the thumb on their dominant hand. When the thumb-sucking is particularly forceful and extends over a long period of time, those forces can even potentially impact the growth of the jaws. Speech experts also note that the habit may be a risk factor in developing an interdental lisp. This correctable articulation difficulty occurs when the tongue protrudes forward between the front teeth, causing “S” and “Z” sounds to be produced as “th”.

How to Correct

It is most important to remember that thumb-sucking is a method of self-soothing. As such, it often occurs when children need comfort, feel insecure, or are anxious. Therefore, you should focus on correcting the cause of the child’s anxiety. Unchecked oral fixation can lead to negative habits in teens and adults, including biting fingernails, comfort eating, smoking, and even alcoholism.

The ADA’s consumer site offers several tips for helping your child stop thumb-sucking, including:

  • Praise for keeping their thumb out of their mouths
  • Rewards for progress and success
  • Seek your dentist’s help – Have Dr. Meyer or Dr. Johns explain thumb-sucking’s negative effects to your child at your next appointment.