Gary Sabbadini, DDS Blog
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.  

By contactus@pinolepediatricdentistry.com
December 06, 2017
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Piercings are a trendy way for teenagers to fit in with their friends and express themselves. Teens can pierce just about any part of their body, but it can be particularly concerning when your child gets an oral piercing. Tongue, lip and cheek piercings can damage teeth, gums and cause infections that can lead to more serious illnesses.  

Piercings can Damage Oral Appliances

Oral piercings are popular among teenagers, and are surprisingly common. 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.  

The bottom line is this: if your child has an oral appliance, we advise they stay away from any oral piercing until it is removed. 

Oral Piercings can Lead to: 

Nerve Damage

If your child gets their tongue pierced, they may get minor nerve damage. Simple nerve damage to the tongue will make their tongue feel numb for a few hours after the piercing. Sometimes, the numbness can last much longer and require an appointment with a doctor or dentist. Nerve damage can even affect their sense of taste.  

Infection, Pain and Swelling

Mouths are full of millions of types of bacteria, and by exposing an open wound like an oral piercing to bacteria can lead to infection and pain. If not treated, an infection can spread and cause major illnesses down the road.   

Chipped Teeth

Hard metal oral piercings often clack against nearby teeth, and can cause serious damage. It is common for those with oral piercings to play with their piercing by moving it around with their tongue or clicking it against their teeth. This can cause them to chip, scratch or lose their teeth. Oral piercings can also damage dental filling and sealants.  

If Your Child has an Oral Piercing: 

Keep it Sanitized

To lower their risk of infection, have your child clean their oral piercing once per day. Make sure that before they clean it, they thoroughly wash their hands to avoid introducing any germs into their mouth. Unclean piercings can collect food debris and begin to smell, and taste awful.  

Remove It Before Physical Activity

If they play sports make sure that they remove their piercing before hitting the field or court. Dental injuries are one of the most common injury in youth sports, and they can lower their risk of losing teeth by removing the metal clacking around in their mouth before participating.  

Does Your Child Have an Oral Piercing?

The dangers presented by oral piercings far outweigh the fashionable benefits. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry strongly opposes the practice of oral piercings. Speak with your children about the potential risks involved with oral piercings before they get one. If your child already has an oral piercing, make sure that they keep it clean and disinfected, and that they take it out before taking part in any sports or activities that involve contact, so that they can avoid suffering a serious oral injury. 

If your child has prolonged bleeding or pain related to their oral piercing, then make an appointment with our office immediately. They may have an infection, and it must be treated by a pediatric dentist. 





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Gary D. Sabbadini, D.D.S.

1500 Tara Hills Drive, Suite 100 Pinole, CA 94564