Gary Sabbadini, DDS Blog
By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
November 30, 2018
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Oral appliances are vital tools in helping someone get a healthy smile. It’s important, then, that someone wearing an oral appliance cares for it properly to ensure its long-term effectiveness. Here’s how to care for two of the most popular oral appliances – braces and retainers.

Caring for a Retainer 

Retainer care is all about keeping it bacteria-free, and in good shape so that teeth can go to their intended destination. 

You can clean your retainer with a gentle, unscented hand soap and warm water. Or, you can use a non-abrasive toothpaste to gently scrub your retainer to clean it. Usually, whitening toothpastes have abrasives, so stay away from those when cleaning your retainer. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your retainer with cool water after scrubbing it. And NEVER use soap with bleach or bleaching agents on your retainer. 

Use a Separate Toothbrush 

When cleaning your retainer, use a clean toothbrush that you don’t use on your teeth. This helps ensure that your appliance gets as clean as possible, and keeps it bacteria-free.

Don’t Use Mouthwash or Boil Your Retainer 

Never rinse your mouth with mouthwash while wearing your retainer or oral appliance, nor should you attempt to clean your retainer with mouthwash. Mouthwash, particularly flavored mouthwash that is colored, can stain and weaken oral appliances and retainers. Additionally, never boil your retainer to clean it, which can alter its shape and render it useless, which will cost you time and money to replace. 

After cleaning your retainer, store it in its case or in a clean glass of water overnight. 

Caring for Braces 

Braces are meant to be clean and free of food-debris so that teeth can remain healthy while the braces are worn. Food buildup can expose teeth to acid assaults that destroy tooth enamel and lead to cavities. The best way to keep braces clean is by brushing after each major meal per day for two minutes at a time. By keeping braces clean and free of debris, you can protect the surface and health of your teeth, and keep your brackets and wires in working order.

Try using braces-specific cleaning tools like Waterpiks and floss-threaders, which help flossing around brackets, and getting food debris out from the hard-to-reach areas.

ALWAYS Avoid Oral Piercings 

Oral piercings are popular among teenagers, and are surprisingly common with people that wear oral appliances. Surveys of adolescents and young adults (age 13 – 29) report that 25% to 35% have a body piercing at a site other than the ear lobe. Oral piercings are mostly made of metal, and they can do real damage to oral appliances like braces or retainers. An oral piercing of any sort can dislodge wires, break brackets and get caught in an appliance, which can lead to bleeding. Iyou have an oral appliance, we advise you to stay away from any oral piercing until it is removed.

Ask Us!

If you’re concerned about how to care for your oral appliance, or your child’s oral appliance, then visit our office. We can offer tips on how to keep your appliance in working order, and save you money on potential costly repairs.  

By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
November 19, 2018
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Thanksgiving is all about food and family, but some classic Thanksgiving dishes are absolutely terrible for teeth.  

Stuffing

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving classic that can really harm teeth. That’s because most stuffing recipes revolve around bread. Starches like bread provide cavity-causing bacteria the energy they need to chip away at tooth enamel. Additionally, starches can be very sticky and stay on teeth long after a meal has finished, and cause further damage. The high amount of starch sadly makes stuffing unhealthy for teeth. Combined with the fact that stuffing is full of carbohydrates and lacks dense nutritional value, and you begin running out of reasons to eat it. 

Try getting your stuffing fix by making a tooth-healthy breadless stuffing that uses beans instead of bread as a base! Beans are full of protein and fiber, which makes it a much healthier replacement for bread in stuffing recipes.  

Fruit Cake

A seasonal favorite that appears on tables between Thanksgiving and Christmas, fruitcake sounds like it would be a healthy treat, the word “fruit” is right in the name after all! Unfortunately, fruitcake is full of dried fruit, which can really damage teeth. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Dried fruit is also very sticky, and can stay on teeth longer after a meal in done. The sugar and the sticky consistency make fruitcake a no-no for healthy teeth. If you are looking for an alternative, you can make a fresh fruit crumble, which has much less sugar and isn’t nearly as sticky.  

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple in many households, and seldom appears on dinner tables outside of turkey day. Despite its tart deliciousness, cranberry sauce is packed with sugar and offers little nutritional value at all. In fact, one of the most popular choices for cranberry sauce –canned cranberry sauce – has 121 grams of sugar per can, and no protein or fiber at all. All of that sugar provides nourishment and energy to bad oral bacteria that cause cavities.  

As an alternative, try finding a recipe that calls for fresh cranberries, so that you can control the amount of sugar your family consumes this holiday season. 

But, What about the Turkey?

Believe it or not, that Thanksgiving turkey is actually a dental super food! Turkey contains high amounts of phosphorous, which helps bones and teeth absorb calcium and vitamin D that makes them stronger and more resilient. Turkey is also high in B vitamins, which helps keep cavities away. People with inadequate vitamin B-12 are at a greater risk of contracting more cavities than those with normal level of vitamin B-12. 

Be Sure to Brush

The best way to avoid cavities in any season is to maintain a healthy oral routine by brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once daily. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and try to eat mouth healthy fruits and vegetables that clean teeth as they’re being chewed.  

By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
October 16, 2018
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These Halloween Candies Can Destroy Teeth

Halloween is an awesome time for families to dress up like their favorite superheroes and explore their neighborhoods together, searching for candy. However, candy contains a lot of sugar and is really unhealthy for teeth. But, among the bad candy, a few Halloween classic candies stand out as truly bad for teeth.

Circus Peanuts 

How can a candy named “Circus Peanuts” contain zero actual nuts? Regardless of the lack of nuts, Circus Peanuts are a marshmallow candy that is made almost entirely of sugar. It comes in a bright orange shaped peanut, and is textured like a marshmallow. Circus Peanuts are a sticky candy, and that’s terrible news for teeth. Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives bad bacteria more time to eat away tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Atomic Fireballs 

This spicy Halloween favorite is a staple in many candy bowls nationwide, but Atomic Fireballs can harm teeth. Atomic Fireballs are basically spicy jawbreakers, which is a very hard candy. Hard candy comes in nearly every flavor and size imaginable, but chewing hard candy can lead to a cracked tooth. Hard candy also tends to stick around longer than other candy, which exposes teeth to sugar for longer. Extended contact with sugar can lead to more cavities because sugar provides bad bacteria with the energy it needs to destroy enamel.

Candy Corn 

This may be a bummer for a lot of Halloween fans, but Candy Corn is actually awful for teeth, and it’s largely due to one ingredient: confectioner’s wax, which is basically waxy sugar. The waxy consistency of confectioners wax makes it difficult for saliva to break down, and also causes it to stick to teeth. As specified above, sugar that sticks to teeth gives cavities the nutrition they need to thrive and worsen.

Avoid the Candy Binge this Halloween 

Do your best to limit the amount of candy your child has per day, and be sure that they rinse their mouth out with water, or brush and floss after eating candy to thoroughly remove any sugar or candy particles left behind on their teeth. 

If your child begins experiencing tooth pain this Halloween, then schedule an appointment with our office. Have a happy and safe Halloween, and don’t forget to brush! 

By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
October 09, 2018
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October 9, 2018

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Baby teeth play an important role in helping children develop healthy smiles that grow with them. Here’s five important facts about baby teeth that parents need to know to help their children keep their baby teeth healthy and strong.

 

 

1 – Baby Tooth Enamel is Hard, but Vulnerable 

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet it is always under constant attack by sugar, acid and external forces. You can help keep your child’s tooth enamel strong by giving them more water, which helps rinse teeth clean of harmful bacteria and acids. Additionally, limit sugar and sugary beverages in their diet to help give their enamel a break. Make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day. 

2 – Baby Teeth help Set up a Healthy Bite 

Baby teeth play a critical role in developing a healthy and aligned adolescent and adult bite. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, it can lead to teeth crowding the vacant spot, which can cause bite alignment problems. 

3 – Baby Teeth Need Proper Nutrition 

The proper diet can go a long way in helping your child maintain a health smile. When shopping for food, try to add more fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients and fiber. High fiber foods scrub teeth and keep them clean of food debris and damaging sugar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Adding more magnesium and calcium to your child’s diet can strengthen their tooth enamel, and help prevent cavities. 

4 – Baby Teeth CAN be Lost Too Early 

Usually, natural tooth loss begins around age 6, and concludes around age 12. If your child loses a tooth before then, schedule a visit with our office so that we can take the appropriate actions for the health of their smile.

Does Your Family have a Dental Home? 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you establish a dental home for your children by their first birthday. This helps you get a dental health plan that works for their smile, and helps them get more comfortable with oral healthcare at an early age.

By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
December 19, 2017
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Those of you celebrating Christmas are quite familiar with stockings, and have surely filled them with little gifts on more than one occasion. This year, we suggest balancing out some of the candy and tiny treats with some mouth-healthy stocking stuffers!  

Toothbrush – Great for Any Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, depending upon the health of the bristles, which makes Christmas the perfect time to resupply your child’s toothbrush stock! When choosing a toothbrush, try to find one that is easy for your child to hold, and that will comfortably fit into their mouth. You’ll also want to find one with soft bristles that won’t be agitate their gums, and look for the ADA seal of approval to ensure that you’re buying one that has been thoroughly evaluated and approved by a respected institution. Toothbrushes are perfect stocking stuffers to help your child keep their mouth healthy during the holidays!  

Sports Mouth Guard – Great for Any Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouth guards are composite inserts that act as a cushion for teeth and the facial area. Mouth guards – sometimes called mouth protectors – work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue or cheek. The great thing about mouth guards is that they come in every shape, color and size. If your young athlete is playing sports next year, then protect their teeth by getting them a proper mouth guard. 

Gum Sweetened with Xylitol – Great for Any Age

 

Instead of candy canes or chocolate bars, try stuffing your child’s stocking with something that tastes great AND cleans teeth – gum sweetened with Xylitol! This mouth-friendly gum benefits teeth because Xylitol stimulates saliva production. Saliva works to clean teeth by naturally clearing debris that can buildup and cause cavities. It also regulates oral acid levels and helps to prevent plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. Saliva is also very high in calcium, and can help strengthen enamel – the first line of defense against cavities!  

Toothpaste – Great for Any Age

 

Another great mouth-healthy stocking stuffer is toothpaste! When buying toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of approval on the package, so that you know it’s effective. We suggest buying toothpaste that provides complete protection, rather than just buying whitening toothpaste – which sometimes contains abrasives that can irritate young gums and teeth.  

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss – Fantastic for Young Brushers

 

Dr. Seuss’ wit and humor brightly shine in The Tooth Book. The story is intended for small children, and teaches them about the different kinds of animal teeth, and how to take care of their own teeth. This is a perfect book for the little ones that are just learning to read, and satiates their curiosity and funny bone!  

We Hope You have a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

 

We hope that your family has a happy and healthy holiday season, and that you all take care of your oral health over the break. Remember to brush your teeth twice per day and floss once per day, to help prevent tooth decay. If your child has an extended break, then schedule an appointment in our office for a regular checkup. The holidays are a great time to get ahead on your children’s oral health.  





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Gary D. Sabbadini, D.D.S.

1500 Tara Hills Drive, Suite 100 Pinole, CA 94564