Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

5 Ways Green Tea Benefits Your Oral Health

Green tea may well be great for your overall health and weight loss, but new research suggests that it has benefits for your oral cavity as well. Green tea has several compounds that help in controlling inflammation and fighting back bacterial infections. The hot beverage also has antioxidants which have many healthy attributes.

But how does it benefit your oral health? Here are five ways green tea benefits your mouth health.

Helps Control Periodontal Disease

Green tea has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help control periodontal disease (gum disease). A recent survey of 1,000 participants suggests that those individuals who drink green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who don’t.

Another study recently held found positive results when people were asked to eat candies containing green-tea extracts. If your gums continue to bleed or swell, don’t wait to visit a dentist for periodontal therapy

Prevents Cavities

Green tea has the power to control bacteria and reduce acidity in saliva and dental plaque. It is recently found to be a useful tool in preventing future cavities. A study recently revealed that people who rinse their mouth with green tea for five minutes had fewer bacteria and acid in their mouths and as well as reduced bleeding from gums.

There are several other research studies that suggest drinking green tea regularly shows promising results in preventing conditions like tooth decay.

Protects Against Cancerous Tumour Growth

The rich antioxidants of green tea have been shown to protect your body from cancerous tumor growth as well as protect against cellular damage. In a study recently held in Texas, green-tea extract was given to several patients with precancerous lesions of oral mucosa and the findings show there was a slowed progression in oral cancer.

There have been several animal studies that have also found that tea compounds can prevent cancer growth. 

Prevents Tooth Loss

Green tea prevents cavities and gum disease, so it makes perfect sense that it also protects your teeth and prevents tooth loss. Recent research reported that women and men who had more than one cup of green tea a day were more likely to hold onto their teeth than those who didn’t consume enough green tea.

Fresher Breath

Green tea has time and time been associated with fresher breath because it kills microbes that promote bad breath in the mouth. A recent study measured the level of smelly compounds in the mouths of patients after they were given green-tea extract to consume. At the same time, another substance was given that prevented bad breath.

The research findings suggested that green tea was far better in preventing bad breaths than the other substance including parsley seed oil and chewing gum.

Don’t Like Green Tea?

Green tea is great for your health but there are many individuals who do not like drinking green tea. If you are one of them and still want to reap the benefits of green tea for your oral health, then we suggest using oral care products that are rich with green tea extracts.

There are many kinds of toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral products containing green tea. You can even find chewing gum with green-tea extracts. Make good use of these products if you are not a fan of the tea itself. 

Green tea is great for your oral health but it doesn’t mean you should stop visiting your dentist. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist for regular dental exams and cleanings on a bi-yearly basis. So make sure you visit your dentist every six months to get a good picture of how your oral-health is functioning.

Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River is accepting new dental patients all year round. Check our website for appointment details. 

The Long-Term Benefits of Dental Sealants You Need to Know

Brushing and flossing your teeth is important but if you have kids, then dental sealants are the best way to protect their teeth from cavities. For those of you who don’t know what they are – dental sealants are thin coatings that are painted on the teeth to protect them from cavities.

It is a pain-free procedure and is extremely easy for children to go through. At Vitarreli Dental, we have a welcoming environment where children feel safe and our dentists are friendly natured and always willing to work with children.

  • Dental sealants are safe and effective contradicting what people usually think about them. They’ve been used for over 40 years to protect teeth from cavities and there is nothing wrong with having a sealant on the teeth.

According to dental research, sealants are capable of preventing 80 percent of cavities for at least two years after the first application. They continue to protect the teeth against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years.

  • The sealants can be on the teeth for up to nine years before going completely bad and needing replacement. Dental sealants are extremely good for children because there are a lot of children in the United States who miss their school time due to tooth decay. This condition which is very common in children can often interfere with their sleep, eating, and other regular activities. 

Moreover, sealants can help protect the teeth stay intact for as long as they are there. 

The only few drawbacks of dental sealants are that they require reapplication if they fall out, wear away, or chip. During replacement, the excess material often has to be drilled down or removed using a scaler which is scary for some children.

  • At Vitarreli Dental in Saddle River, we make sure the procedure of replacing a dental sealant is as smooth as possible for your child so that they can easily have it replaced without being frightened. We have created a friendly environment where children feel safe and welcomed, thus they don’t panic when the procedure is being done by one of our dentists.

Long-Term Benefits of Dental Sealants

  • Depending on the application technique, dental sealants can stay on the teeth for a lifetime. This is why it is important to work with an expert dentist with years of experience. If you are not careful and don’t work with a dentist who has considerable experience and uses advanced technology to apply sealants, you could be looking at frequent replacements.

That being said, here are some of the long-term benefits of dental sealants.

  • When children start getting new teeth in, they have a condition known as fissure or pits that are like morals and premolars. These can be sealed as soon as they erupt. This usually happens when a child reaches age 6, 12, or 18. 

Toddler teeth can also be sealed but the child should be old enough to tolerate this procedure. Toddlers are hard because the dentist and their assistant have to hold their mouth open and make sure they don’t move while the procedure is underway. The sealants are only applied to babies who are at a high risk of tooth decay. Talk to your dentist today about your baby’s teeth health to find out if they require sealants or not.

  • Adults also gain benefit from sealants because as people age, their teeth are exposed to decay and the protective quality of their saliva changes over time. This is why adults can opt for dental sealants to prevent decay. 

If you have more questions about dental sealants, don’t forget to come to one of our dental offices in Saddle River. Vitarreli Dental is accepting new patients for 2020. 

Brushing or Flossing – Which One is More Important According to Dentists

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), good oral health depends on both regular brushing and flossing. However, a lot of patients that walk-in Vitarelli Dental office in Seattle often ask if either is more important than the other.

We always recommend a healthy dose of both brushing and flossing every day for optimal oral health, however, if for some reason you choose to only use one method, flossing is more important than brushing.

The goal of both brushing and flossing is simple, it is done to remove food particles, bacteria and remove any plaque buildup between the spaces of teeth. The plaque has several colonies of harmful bacteria that gradually eat away your teeth. Since brushing only removes plaque from the outside of the teeth, and is usually unable to reach the spaces in-between, it is important to floss regularly. 

Flossing allows individuals to remove plaque from the spaces between the teeth and underneath the gums. These are usually very hard to reach areas and it is where the most harmful bacteria reside. If you are unable to remove the plaque from these areas, it can eventually cause oral diseases like gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontitis. 

The Correct Way of Flossing

  • Before you can achieve optimal oral health, you must learn how to floss your teeth properly. Proper flossing involves using the string in C-shape and covering as much surface as possible., You should cover half of the tooth diameter from every angle possible. Make sure that you move the floss in an up and down motion against the surface and the gum tissue.

This way, the floss will gradually clean the entire tooth including the spaces in between and underneath the gum. It is very important to use both brushing and flossing for the best oral health possible. 

  • According to a recent study, a lot of people don’t brush or floss their teeth properly. Dentists recommend spending at least two minutes brushing one side of your jaw with a brush and spending about 4-5 minutes flossing your teeth making sure to cover every teeth and the spaces in between them.

For people who are starting out with flossing, the time it takes to completely clean your teeth may be quite a bit. But once you start regularly flossing your teeth, the time significantly reduces as you get used to the dynamics.

Visit Your Dentist

Regular checkups will ensure that no underlying oral disease is left undetected. Early detection of an oral disease means better and easy treatment options. 

Doors of Vitarreli Dental are always open for new patients. You can simply call us for an appointment or log in to our website and request an appointment online. It only takes a few minutes for a regular checkup, so don’t ignore visiting the dentist until its too late.

How Can You Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night

Have you ever woken up from your sleep at night with sore teeth and jaws? There is a good chance that you could be grinding your teeth. The medical term for this condition is bruxism – a rhythmic clenching of one’s jaws and grinding of the teeth. The habit can develop at any age.

The worst part is that individuals who suffer from the condition usually grind their teeth unconsciously or in their sleep, but they can also do it while fully awake. 

An individual may start to grind their teeth during the day especially when they are working on a task that requires concentration. They often place their teeth together and start to apply force through the contraction of the jaw muscles.

This is usually associated with tasks such as heavy weight lifting, reading, driving, or writing. During sleep hours, the individual can start to clench their teeth in rhythmic contractions, unknowingly.

The Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

  • One of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding is a headache. People who grind their teeth at least 2-3 times a day are more likely to experience these headaches compared to a normal individual. 

Other symptoms include enlargement of facial muscles, muscle aches, stiffness of the neck and shoulders, temporomandibular joint discomfort, pain in the ears, and trouble sleeping. 

  • If teeth grinding is not controlled in a timely manner, it can start to show abnormal wear and tear on the teeth and cause mobility issues in the mouth. Moreover, if left untreated, it can lead to fracture or loss of teeth. Hence it is very important to talk to a dentist immediately so a solution can be found.

What are the Causes of Teeth Grinding?

  • The usual causes of the condition are depression, stress, smoking, anxiety, sleep disorders, and caffeine. However, there is very little proof that these directly support the causes. Research has also found out that sleep bruxism is usually found in people who snore a lot or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. 

People who occasionally smoke or drink alcohol and caffeine abnormally also suffer from the condition.

  • But according to research, about 70% of individuals grind their teeth due to anxiety and stress. It can also occur if you have a stressful work environment.

Teeth Grinding Treatments

  • How can you prevent yourself from grinding your teeth? It really comes down to the root cause. If you are grinding your teeth due to a sleep disorder, for example, you may have to make some lifestyle changes and reduce stress and anxiety in your life.

Whatever the cause is, it is important to visit your dentist to help him/her evaluate the situation with a comprehensive routine dental exam. This will allow them to come up with a treatment plan that is specifically designed for you.

  • The best way to prevent the condition and protect your teeth from wear and tear is to wear a mouthguard. The mouth guards are capable of reducing jaw muscle pain and protect the teeth from wear and tear. The guards are usually worn when you are going to sleep. Your dentist or doctor may be able to help you decide the times you have to wear a mouthguard.

Teeth Grinding in Children

Children who grind their teeth are usually suffering from anxiety or stress. If that is the case, then behavioral management is crucial to prevent it from becoming a permanent habit. There are many relaxation techniques including meditation that can help manage stress and anxiety in both children and adults.

Putting an end to this medical condition requires close evaluation by a dentist. The doors at Vitarelli Dental are always open for you. Visit our Saddle River dental office and we will evaluate your situation and come up with a treatment plan specifically designed to help you get rid of the condition. 

What Are the Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection and How to Treat it

Salivary Gland Infection, also known as Sialadenitis common affects the parotid salivary glands on the side of your face situated nearest to the ears of under the jaw where the submandibular salivary glands are located.

It is an oral condition caused by a bacterial infection. Here is what you need to know about the condition.

Salivary Gland Infection Facts

  • Salivary gland infection can affect anyone including toddlers, but according to statistics, the elderly and the chronically ill people experience it the most.
  • The medical condition is also known as Sialadenitis and is commonly caused by bacteria or viruses in the mouth.
  • The infection of the salivary gland is capable of spreading to the deep tissues of the neck and head. Most medical experts label this stage of the condition as life-threatening. 
  • A blockage or salivary stone can also cause acute infection. If you have chronic inflammation of the salivary gland, it can also reduce or completely stop the function of the organ.

Causes of Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary gland infection can be caused by a variety of oral conditions but it is most commonly caused by bacteria especially the staph or the Staphylococcus aureus bacterias. The infection happens mostly to people who have a dry mouth. This could be due to several reasons listed below.

  • Limited fluid consumption by the patient, prescribed medicine side effects or illness.
  • Due to salivary stone, blockage or kink in the duct of the salivary gland.
  • The condition can also happen to people having Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Common Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection

You may have salivary gland infection if you experience the following symptoms.

  • Redness, tenderness or pain on the side of your mouth, head, and neck
  • Swelling of the salivary gland and the surrounding tissue
  • Difficulty opening mouth while eating or yawning
  • Chills and fever
  • Infectious fluid being drained from the gland

If you experience the symptoms above, book an appointment with Vitarelli Dental and let us have a thorough look at your mouth. The key to preventing or treating this condition lies in early detection.

During your visit, the dentist will check your medical history and thoroughly examine the salivary glands in the mouth. You may also be required to go through imaging tests such as CT scan or ultrasound to help detect any salivary blockages due to tumors or salivary gland stones.

Available Treatments for Salivary Gland Infection

  • If the condition is still in its early stages and the parotid glands have not been severely infected, the doctor or the dentist may prescribe you intravenous antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading in the deep tissues of the neck and head. 

If the condition has worsened to a point that it has become an uncontrolled infection, it will lead to the swelling of the neck and may even block the airways. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bones in the face and can become life-threatening.

  • For conditions this worse, you may require surgical treatment. 

This is especially true if the infection does not respond to antibiotics after you have been on them for 48 hours. A doctor or a dental surgeon will perform oral surgery and attempt to drain the salivary gland in order to control the infection and prevent it from spreading further.

  • If there are salivary stones present in the salivary glands and are contributing to the condition, the dental surgeon will remove them surgically. If the stones within the salivary gland are small, then the doctor may use a technique called the sialoendoscopy which is a minimally invasive method of removing the stones. 

If you suspect that you have the symptoms of salivary gland infection, make sure to visit your dentist today for periodontal therapy. The doors at Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River are always open and our highly qualified dentists are every ready to assist you in beating this dangerous oral condition. 

5 Easy Ways to Naturally Get Rid of Cavities at Home

The teeth, just like any other part of your body, requires care and attention to keep them in a healthy state. There are a lot of people who don’t like visiting the dentist. If you have cavities and want to prevent them on your own, you have come to the right place. 

With excellent oral hygiene and some very simple and easy to adopt dietary changes, you can not only prevent cavities but also reverse tooth decay. 

Dentists at Vitarelli Dental have created a list of natural ways you can use at home to prevent tooth decay and stop cavities. 

Chew a Lot of Sugar-Free Gum

  • Chewing gum is actually a very good way to help prevent tooth decay as long as the gum is sugar-free. Most sugar-free gums contain something called xylitol, a component that acts as a natural sweetener. 

Xylitol, unlike other food, does not create bacteria inside the mouth. Moreover, when you chew on the gum, your mouth creates extra saliva that washes away the bacteria and food particles making sure your mouth is clean.

Make Simple Dietary Changes

  • Switching to a healthy diet has more benefits than just helping you lose weight. What you eat can change your health for the better no matter what your goals are. Research suggests that changing your diet can help reverse tooth decay. 

Since sugar and acidic food can lead to tooth decay, if you stop eating sugar-rich foods and beverages that have high acid, you may never face problems like tooth decay and cavities. 

  • Your diet should be rich in calcium because it is the main building blocks of your bones and teeth. To get more calcium, eat and drink dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, and sour cream. 

Always drink beverages unsweetened. Avoid sugar-rich beverages like fizzy drinks, soda, and juices. You can instead aim for fruit smoothies, unsweetened coffee and tea, and water. Speaking of water, drink a lot of it to keep your body well hydrated which triggers better saliva production in the mouth.

Never Stop Basic Dental Care

  • You must be very familiar with this – regular dental care keeps your oral health in check and stops your tooth enamel from decaying. If you want to protect your teeth from harmful conditions, follow this pre-cavity oral care routine.

Brush your teeth daily for at least two minutes, twice a day. Make sure to brush every surface of your teeth never ignoring the farthest parts of the mouth. 

  • Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing is important because there are gaps in the teeth where a toothbrush can never reach. Floss can help pull out food particles from these gaps and prevent germs from growing. 

Use a mouth wash and fluoride toothpaste. Mouthwash has antibacterial attributes that help you get rid of excessive bacteria in the mouth. Avoid mixing the mouthwash with water to get better results.

Change Toothbrush After 2-3 Months

  • A lot of people ignore this fact. A toothbrush, no matter how good it is, lasts for about 3 months before it needs changing. The bristles on the toothbrush can become harsh after continuous use which can lead to gum bleeding and other oral problems.

Picking the right toothbrush is also very important. Here are some tips.

  • Make sure to always purchase a medium-sized brush and make sure the bristles are soft and can easily reach the farthest corners of your mouth.

Never cover your toothbrush with a cover. It may seem that a cover protects your toothbrush but in reality, they harbor microorganisms and bacteria that can easily rest on the bristles and enter your mouth when you brush. Instead, just wash your brush properly before each use and let it rest in the open air. 

  • Change the toothbrush after 3 months because the bristles can easily deteriorate with regular usage and the toothbrush becomes ineffective. 

Get Regular Dental Cleanings

  • While brushing and flossing are good for cleaning your teeth, you will need to visit a dentist every six months to get them professionally cleaned. You may not like visiting the dentist but if you just go for regular dental checkups and cleanings, it will prevent oral problems that need scary procedures to bring your teeth back to normal.

A dentist cleans near the gum line on the front and back of your teeth making sure all the plaque is properly removed from these areas. Regular cleaning is important to reverse cavities and keep your oral health in check.

Regular cleanings are very simple and there is no pain or scary procedures involved. Book your appointment today with Viterrali Dental and let us clean your teeth to prevent future dental cavities.

Teeth Problems Caused by Thumb Sucking in Young Children

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for toddlers. Typically, the young sucks on fingers, thumbs, pacifiers and other objects to make them feel happy, secure and learn more about the world around them. 

Some children even suck their thumbs to soothe themselves which helps them sleep. As much as it is soothing for young children, thumb sucking can harm the teeth and cause other oral problems.

Here are some problems caused by thumb sucking in children that parents must be aware of.

How Thumb Sucking Affects the Teeth of Children

  • When permanent teeth come in children, thumb sucking can cause problems in the growth of the mouth and as well as the alignment of the teeth. It can also change the way the roof of the mouth is formed leading to oral health problems.

Many parents believe pacifiers are a good alternative to thumb sucking but according to dentists, they can affect the teeth and mouth in the same way finger sucking does. 

  • The harm to teeth, gums, and overall mouth depend a lot on the intensity of the sucking. If the child comfortably rests their finger or thumb in their mouth, then it is less likely that they will develop oral problems in the future.

However, if a child sucks their finger, thumb, or hand vigorously, they are more likely to develop oral problems including problems with baby teeth.

Some of the long-term effects of thumb sucking are listed below.

Long-term Effects of Thumb Sucking

Vigorous thumb sucking can lead to many problems of the teeth and mouth because of the way repetitive pressure the thumb places on the teeth, the roof of the mouth and the jawbone. This can lead to – 

  • Changes in the shape of the jaw
  • Alignment issues with teeth
  • Problems with speech patterns
  • Reduced development of a lisp
  • Sensitivity on the roof of the mouth
  • Overbite
  • Other bite issues including teeth tipping inward and outward 

Most of these issues can be avoided if the child stops sucking thumb when the permanent teeth come in. Children who continue to suck their thumb for a long time are at risk of developing the side effects mentioned above.

  • Talk to your dentist to learn how to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb. Here are some ways you can try encouraging them at home too.

Help Your Child Stop Sucking Thumb

Children love to be praised and acknowledged, based on this fact, here are some things you can do to stop thumb sucking in children.

  • Praise or acknowledge your child for not sucking thumb
  • Choose a method and make it interactive and fun for children
  • Visit a dentist and let them offer encouragement by explaining what could happen to their mouth if they don’t stop
  • Reduce anxiety in the child by providing other ways to comfort them

If these techniques don’t work for you then you may have to take special steps to ensure your child breaks the habit. You can cover their thumb with a bandage or put a sock on their hand at night. 

Visit one of our pediatricians if nothing works and they will gladly prescribe a bitter medicine that can be used to coat the tip of the thumb which prevents the child from sucking it. 

Why Oral Hygiene for Elderly is Critical for Their Wellbeing

Oral health plays a significant role in elderly people’s lives, their overall health, and wellbeing. Oral problems like tooth decay, gum disease (periodontitis), tooth loss, dry mouth, and oral cancers are more common in older people compared to younger people.

In order to prevent these oral conditions, the elderly need to:

  • Create and follow an oral health care plan
  • Visit regularly to the dentist
  • Support their health with daily oral hygiene routine
  • Talk to their family about their oral concerns

Unfortunately, a lot of elderly ignore visiting dentists regularly in their life, however, they do get in touch with a wide range of people responsible for monitoring and taking care of their health like their family members, health care workers, and home care professionals. 

If you believe you are lacking in oral health knowledge and skills needed to keep oral health in check, you can look at resource packages for the elderly depending on where you live. 

How Oral Health Effects Quality of Life of Elderly

  • Poor oral health in the elderly can create problems in eating and chewing a variety of foods. This can result in poor dietary or severe weight loss leading to several other diseases. 

Furthermore, ignoring oral health also leads to an inability to relax and sleep properly which can affect the self-esteem, appearance, and confidence of the elderly people. Sometimes the ability to talk and communicate with others effectively is also disrupted.

Taking Care of Your Health and Oral Health

  • You may not know this but researchers have found out that oral health and certain diseases including heart attack and stroke are closely related. This is because your mouth acts as a doorway for diseases.

Moreover, dental problems can create health issues for the elderly including chronic medical conditions such as cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases. Oral cancers are also diagnosed more in the elderly. If you suspect your oral health is poor, get oral cancer screening done. 

Aspiration Pneumonia

  • Aspiration Pneumonia is another health problem that is directly linked to oral health. If not taken care of, it can lead to hospital admission and even death. Lower respiratory tract infections are more common in the elderly who have accumulated dental plaque, a bacterial outbreak in the gums, tongue, and teeth as well as any dentures they are wearing. 

This can get even worse if the elderly have gum disease, tooth decay, or dry mouth. 

Diabetes

  • Elderly with diabetes experience more gum diseases and oral infections such as thrush. This is usually due to poor diabetic control which leads to gum disease. If gum disease occurs in the elderly who already suffer from diabetes, it could lead to cardiovascular complications.

Dry Mouth

  • Dry mouth is very common in the elderly due to prescribed medications. It is largely an unavoidable and uncomfortable condition for older people. It can affect one’s ability to speak, chew, taste, and even swallow food.

Moreover, dry mouth means more bacteria in the mouth which ultimately increases the risk of oral infections, tooth decay, and aspiration pneumonia.

Improving Oral Health for the Elderly

  • The elderly must take care of their oral health. If they are unable to manage oral health on their own, their caretakers must take the responsibility to make sure their oral hygiene is looked after at all times.

The elderly have special needs and sometimes they have to follow a special oral hygiene routine. But typically, brushing their teeth, flossing regularly, and regular dental care checkups can reduce the risks of the diseases mentioned above.

Vitarelli Dental Can Help

Dr. Vitarelli offers comprehensive dental care services in Madison and Saddle River,  NJ. Our practices emphasize a family-oriented environment that focuses on patient comfort and wellness. 

We believe in treating our patients with dignity, respect, and personal attention in a friendly, relaxing environment. Dr. Vitarelli and her team work harmoniously together to address your oral health concerns. We offer intelligent and honest diagnosis and high-end personalized dental treatment for all of our patients. 

Our treatment is personalized for each patient’s case with quality care and comfort. We use the finest materials and top labs and our attention to detail is second to none. We do our absolute best to provide you with exceptional care.

Elderly looking for dental care procedures can go through oral cancer screening, periodontal therapy, restorative dentistry, dental bridges and other dental procedures at our Saddle River and Madison Dental offices.

Do not delay your appointment with a dentist if you have not been to one in the past six months. A lot of common diseases can be avoided by keeping yourself regularly checked by a dentist. Our dentists will work closely with you to ensure premium oral health care at the most affordable prices. 

Should your dental condition worsen, we have procedures that can provide a viable solution. 

Dried Fruits Can Damage Teeth – Here’s How

Although known for their nutrition value, dry fruits can cause severe damage to your oral health. A lot of people eat them especially during the winter thinking that they are healthy snacks. Little do they know that these snacks are capable of damaging tooth enamel and causing problems to dental health.

Here are some reasons how dried fruit can be risky for your teeth health.

They Are Sugary

  • Dried fruits are prepared in two different ways. The first is sun-drying and controlled drying which takes about five days to yield perfect results. The other method, industrially drying is more common because of how fast it can yield results. 

The main purpose of drying the fruits is to drain the water from them so that sugar is concentrated. In the process of drying, the fruits attain 7 times more sugar than their fresh form. Moreover, most dried snacks that you buy from a local grocery don’t have vitamin C.

  • Sometimes lemon or lime juice is also added to the mix simply to increase the percentage of the vitamin. This step also lowers the pH level, making dried fruit acidic. So in simple terms, dried fruit has more amount of sugar and acid content than fresh fruit, both of which are dangerous for the teeth.

What Kind of Damage Does Dry Fruit Cause to Teeth?

Dried fruits can cause a variety of dental problems. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • Teeth discoloration. When fruits are dried, they can lose much of their natural color. Thus artificial colors have to be added to make them more appealing. Companies usually use food colorings made from mango, plums, or papaya. These can stain your teeth.
  • Secretion injury. Non-organic dry fruits can decrease the natural saliva secretion of the mouth. Saliva is very important since it helps fight back bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Reduced saliva means more bacterial activity in the mouth hence more oral health problems.
  • Broken teeth. Some dry fruits are very sticky and chewing on them carelessly can lead to the removal of dental fillings and even teeth breaking and cracking. Fruits like nuts, pineapple, peanuts, and almonds can cause your teeth to break or chip. Chew them carefully and patiently.
  • Caries. These fruits have sugar levels 7 times higher than fresh fruits. Since most of them are also sticky in nature, they can easily stick between the teeth and can lead to the formation of cavities.

In order to protect your teeth from potential damage, we highly recommend that you control the amount of dried fruit you eat. Brush and floss your teeth immediately after you have eaten a dried fruit that has high acidity and is sticky in nature.

  • Eating dried fruits is not recommended if you have dental fillings. Try fruit juice, fresh fruits, and vegetables as alternatives. Should you still end up eating them, rinse them with water immediately.

Visit our dentists today for a routine dental checkup and learn if your teeth are in the right health to eat dried fruits. 

7 Tips to Protect Your Children’s Teeth on Halloween

Holloween is just around the corner and for most kids, it means free bags of Halloween candy and a way to stockpile on candies for the entire winter. For parents, it also brings the fear that their children will suffer from various oral problems. 

Although it is completely fine for the kids to eat candy on Holloween, there should be a solid plan in place so you can control when and how much they are eating it. 

Here are some tips to help you set a plan and an oral hygiene routine to protect your children’s teeth on Halloween.

Limit the Use of Candy

  • Snacking too much on sugary stuff can easily increase the risk of cavities, and if your children are eating candy all day, the risk is tripled. You need to limit the use of candy on a daily basis.

Set a plan where you allow your kids to eat candy only at certain times. For example, limit candy consumption before going to bed.

  • You can even go for sugar-free sweet snacks. These snacks are not as bad as sugary snacks for oral health. 

Avoid Sticky Stuff

  • Candies pose a significant threat to teeth health, but if they are sticky in nature, the risks are doubled. The stickier the candy is, the harder it is to get rid of the mouth of food particles. Moreover, the saliva cannot wash away sticky candy as easily as it would on other types of sugary snacks.

If you see your children snacking too much on sticky candies like caramel chocolates, taffy, or gummy bears, try to tell them why it is important to avoid them.

Drink a Lot of Water

  • Most neighborhoods in the U.S get fluoridated water supply. Water that is rich in fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Make sure your children are drinking plenty of fluoridated water. 

If you do not drink tap water at home, choose bottled water that is fluoridated. 

Avoid Soda and other Sweet Beverages

  • Flavored drinks, soda, and sports drinks all have a lot of sugar in them. When the children’s teeth come in contact with drinks that contain a high content of sugar, the risk of tooth decay is significantly increased.

Combined with candy, the risk is tripled and by the end of the holiday, your children may have already developed oral problems.

Brush Teeth Every Day

  • This is important for you and your family throughout the year. During Halloween, you must make sure your children are not skipping on brushing their teeth. Invest in a fluoride toothpaste and have them brush their teeth twice a day.

It is very important to brush the teeth if sticky candy is involved. Brush once in the morning, and once before going to bed. Change the toothbrush after every three months to make sure that the bristles have not frayed.

Timing is Critical

  • Eating Halloween candy with other sugary food or beverages is a bad idea. Ensure that children are eating candy only after their meals because when you finish a meal, the saliva production is high. 

This will help the mouth wash down any excess candy and it will also prevent tooth damaging bacteria from forming in the mouth. If sticky candy is involved, make your kids brush their teeth immediately after to prevent cavities. 

Visit the Dentist

  • Regular visits to the dentist are very important for healthy teeth. If your children haven’t been to a pediatric dentist in the past six months, make sure you visit a dentist before Halloween.

A child may already have plaque and other dental situations that a dentist can fix before Halloween begins. If these problems are not fixed before Halloween begins, the candy could accelerate the process and tooth decay may be apparent. Don’t ruin the Halloween experience for you and your kids and visit the dentist today. 

Vitarelli Dental is always welcoming parents and children alike. We strive hard to make sure you and your family’s dental health is looked after. We may even give you a plan to help you stay away from common oral problems during Halloween.