Santa Monica Family Dentist

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | Santa Monica CA Dentist

Santa Monica CA dentist

How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile. 

 

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth 

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine. 

 

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies 

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.  

 

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard. 

 

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel. 

 

Steps for Preventing Decay 

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.  

 

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our Santa Monica dentist is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.  

 

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact Drake Dental of Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue? | Santa Monica CA Dentist

Santa Monica Dentist

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know. 

 

What is hairy tongue? 

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance. 

 

Who is at risk of hairy tongue? 

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances. 

 

What causes hairy tongue? 

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae. 

 

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our Santa Monica dentist at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.  

 

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact Drake Dental of Santa Monica for an appointment today.

Visit Our Santa Monica Dental Office

Drake Dental

1243 Seventh St. Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310) 451-5348
Infodrakedental@gmail.com

Providing Dental Care For the Communities of:

Santa Monica
Venice
Marina Del Rey
Pacific Palisades
All of West Los Angeles

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Contact Our Office

  • America Dental Association

Santa Monica Family Dentist

See What your Neighbors Are Saying About Us

“Dr. Drake is AWESOME! He thoroughly explained the entire procedure and made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. His office staff is friendly and very helpful, as well.”

Lori H. Santa Monica, CA Dental Patient

Dr. Drake is so awesome! I was terrified of the dentist & he made me feel so comfortable. He truly has your best interest at heart & will recommend what’s best. Plus, each and every person in the office has been so nice & pleasant! I would definitely recommend!

Michelle K.

Dentist in santa monica, ca

Read Our Santa Monica Dental News

Changing Your Spots: White Areas on Teeth | Dentist Santa Monica, CA

September 15, 2023

White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things you should know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them.  […]