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Don’t Let Trick or Treat Mean a Trip to the Dentist

These Dental Tips Can Help You Have a Healthier Halloween

Worried about how much chocolate your child will eat this Halloween? Follow these dental tips to help prevent cavities and tooth decay from giving you a scare!

Halloween is a fun and whimsical time of year. Creative costumes, pumpkin carving, and of course, candy, are big hits with the little ones (and some parents!). We love the holiday so much that Americans spent around $8 billion on Halloween in 2016!

For older participants, Halloween might consist of passing out candy or watching a scary movie at home. With the younger fanatics, particularly children, the best part of Halloween in the candy. For parents, however, Halloween can spell a stressful situation.

While a little bit of a sweet tooth isn’t too much to worry about, a few too many candies might mean a trip to the dentist somewhere down the line. Sugar, especially in sticky-sweet confections, can damage your teeth and gums, causing cavities or tooth decay in kids and adults. Thankfully, you and your family can enjoy the holiday while still keeping your oral health in mind by following these helpful tips!

Avoid Sticky and Long-Lasting Candy

While about 90% of all foods contain some sugar or starch, some can be more harmful than others. Candies that stick to your teeth while you eat them and long-lasting sweets can linger in your mouth, leaving tooth enamel exposed to harmful acids. Try to avoid treats like gummies, taffy, hard candies, and caramels (to name a few) whenever possible.

Eat Candy With Meals

To help minimize damage to the mouth from sweets, especially if your child insists on having a something like a lollipop or sour treat, time their consumption around meals. After dinner, let them indulge in a piece of candy. The saliva production from their last meal will help to fight those harmful acids and lingering bits that can erode the teeth. Another reason to eat candy around meals is that you should be brushing your teeth shortly after eating, anyhow! Remember to wait for at least 30-minutes, though, as brushing any sooner might do more harm than good.

Follow a Candy Plan

If your family has trouble keeping their hand out of the candy jar, set aside time before the holiday to create a candy plan. Before you go trick-or-treating with your children, talk to them about the dangers of going overboard with chocolates and candies. Not only can they get cavities and toothaches, they can get tummy aches, too! Separate the candy, decide what you are going to keep, and put it somewhere out of sight while designating a few pieces a week. Some of our parents even donate their leftover treats to local organizations!

Replace Sugary Drinks with Water

If you’re planning to keep most of your Halloween haul, you might want to consider making some substitutions to your family’s diet. Instead, Dr. Williams suggests replacing sugary drinks with water. Since you’ll likely get thirsty after indulging in candy, water will not only satiate your thirst, but it can help to wash away any leftover food particles. Sodas and sweet teas can encourage further deterioration since they can also turn into acids in the mouth.

Don’t Use Candy As a Snack

It may seem harmless to enjoy a couple of pieces a day between meals as a mid-day or midnight snack, but it is quite the opposite. Snacking, in general, can increase your risk of cavities, which is why many dentists stress the importance of healthy eating – particularly in between meals. Developing a plan for your Halloween candy is a great way to control sugary urges. Foods like fruits and veggies make for great snacks instead of candy.

Suggest a Candy Swap

Another great way to reduce candy consumption is to offer your kids the option to replace their candies for other rewards. The best option is healthier treats like yogurt, celery slices, and other veggies or fruits. But, as most kids aren’t known for their sophisticated palate, it can be difficult for picky kids. If you’d like to stay away from food altogether, consider letting them cash in candy for small toys or games. 

Teach Your Family Healthy Eating Habits

Speaking of healthy eating, if you haven’t already, consider changing up your family’s eating habits. If you normally enjoy eating healthy foods that are low in sugar and starches, a bit of candy afterward won’t do as much harm. We mentioned fruits and veggies are good alternatives, but you can also incorporate leafy greens and lean meats into your diets, especially around Halloween! However, if you’re enjoying a bloody burger with potato chips or acid-rich foods like citrus or tomato sauces, candy will be double-trouble for your mouth.

Don’t Forget to Brush

Following a regular dental care routine is important year-round, but it is especially vital to stay on top of brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth around Halloween time. Remember, you should be brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. After brushing, don’t forget to thoroughly floss your teeth to get any hard-to-reach bacteria that was left behind! You should follow that up with a fluoride mouthwash. Talk to your dentist about the best options for your kids!

Above All, Enjoy a Safe Holiday

The best part of any holiday is ensuring your family remains safe and has a good time! If you are concerned about Halloween candy, plan ahead! Some behind-the-scenes tips include limiting the amount of houses you visit or the size of their trick-or-treat bag, which your child likely won’t notice. Keep up with regular dental visits, as well. You should be visiting your dentist every six months to stay on top of any possible oral conditions. At Williams Dental and Orthodontics, our staff delivers top-quality care and attention to patients in Skiatook, Oklahoma.  Contact us , https://www.williamsdentalok.com/ or 918-396-3711 to schedule your first consultation with Dr. Williams  today!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Why Is National Dental Hygiene Month Important?

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and at Williams Dental & Orthodontics in Skiatook, Okla., we want you to understand the importance of caring for your teeth and gums. Numerous individuals have dental health problems because they fail to take proper care of their mouths, leading to deep cavities, severe gingivitis or a loss of teeth. In many cases, these problems were preventable, but when you wait too long to take care of your gums and teeth, you might need several procedures to improve your bite or to create an aesthetically pleasing smile.

Many Adults and Children Have Untreated Dental Cavities

Research reveals that approximately 65 million adults in the United States have mild to serious gum disease, and two out of eight adults have untreated cavities in their teeth. Children also have dental health issues caused by failing to brush or floss, and oral health problems with primary teeth can lead to additional problems with the secondary teeth. Today, dentists are finding that more children and teenagers already have gingivitis at young ages, putting their oral health in danger.

Dental Examinations

When you visit a dental facility, you are cared for by the dentist, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Make sure to bring along your dental insurance information and previous dental records. Our office staff can request your medical images and other information from previous dentists so that we understand your oral health history. We may need to collect new X-rays of your mouth, and our dentist will check your teeth to see if there are any problems with the soft tissues inside your mouth.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

One of the best services that we can provide for your teeth during National Dental Hygiene Month is professional cleaning. While you may brush and floss as recommended by a dentist, it is still possible to have a buildup of plaque on your teeth, especially near the gums or between the teeth. Fortunately, we can use special instruments such as dental picks, scrapers or polishers to remove hardened plaque that contains bacteria. These bacteria are what can erode your dental enamel along with causing gum disease. The buildup of plaque can also lead to having chronic halitosis or a foul taste in your mouth.

Teeth-whitening Procedures

Professional plaque removal will improve the health and appearance of your teeth, but you may also want to eliminate deeper stains that are caused by food, tobacco or beverages. Teeth-whitening procedures can give you a brilliant smile that improves your self-esteem, and it requires approximately one hour. Our dentist can protect your dental restorations with brush-on substances. Each of your natural teeth is covered with a strong hydrogen peroxide solution that will bubble away stains when water is added to your mouth. After rinsing away the hydrogen peroxide, you will notice how clean your teeth look, and with the proper oral health care, you can maintain your smile.

Repairing Small Problems

If your teeth aren’t in perfect condition, then we have ways to repair the enamel, underlying materials or supportive tissues. When you have a tiny cavity, it is a good idea to have it filled right away with a color-matching resin. Our dentist can also apply bonding materials to teeth that have tiny scratches or chips. If the edge of a tooth is worn away with a rough edge, then our dentist can polish the enamel to create a smoother surface that won’t irritate your gums.

Root Canals and Dental Crowns

When a dentist finds a serious issue such as a larger cavity, you may need a customized dental crown to protect the tooth’s biting surface. In some cases, the infection from a cavity enters a tooth’s pulp to damage the nerves and roots, so you might require a root canal. This procedure requires anesthesia as the dentist removes the top portion of the tooth to remove the pulp, nerves and roots before filling the tooth’s shell with a waterproof resin.

In addition to dental crowns, there are other restorations available, including veneers that are applied to your front teeth to hide stains or to change the shape of a tooth. These thin porcelain covers can improve your smile, and if you follow our dentist’s advice, the restorations will last many years. If you have missing teeth, then there are several choices available to restore your bite and smile. You might need a fixed or removable bridge that is made from metal or plastic to hold full-size dental crowns in the proper location.

Dental Implants

If you have missing teeth, then dental implants are an excellent option, and if you have healthy alveolar bones, then you can have an implant procedure right away. When you lack bone tissue, our dentist can provide medications that increase your growth of bone, and within a few months, you can have a dental implant procedure. First, a dentist will anesthetize you to insert a titanium post before adding a screw that will hold the special dental crown in place. It is possible to have multiple dental implant procedures in one day.

We Offer Denture Services

When you prefer wearing dentures, our dentist can collect molds of your mouth to have the devices made in a dental laboratory. Dentures have plastic resin supports that should fit on your gums correctly without causing discomfort from sores. Our dentist can adjust your new dentures, or you can have older dentures adjusted. We can also have your dentures repaired when the items have any type of damage, and this process can help the devices to last longer.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Remember that October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and it is the perfect time to replace an old toothbrush, buy new dental floss and switch to toothpaste that contains fluoride. Call us today at Williams Dental & Orthodontics at 918-396-3711 to schedule an appointment for your checkup to learn more about the health of your gums and teeth.

Start Them Young: Flossing Edition | Skiatook Dentist

Getting our children on a good dental routine can be tricky. It takes some time to teach them to brush properly – but when does flossing work itself into the process?

Flossing should be introduced when your little human’s teeth start to fit closer together, generally between two and six. Start off by using floss that is soft so that it is gentle on their teeth and gums.

As we all know, the process itself is relatively simple. Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth to gently scrub down the spaces your toothbrush can’t reach.

Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth, and always use a new piece. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. We have been taught to floss after we brush, but in fact, it is better to do it before to loosen any debris your toothbrush won’t be able to get to.

If their gums begin to bleed as you begin to teach them, don’t worry – it’s natural. Their baby gums will become stronger as they get older. If it doesn’t seem to go away, bring it up at their next dental appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Smile for Santa: Pediatric Dental Tips | Skiatook Dentist

Ask any tiny human their favorite time of year and chances are you will likely hear it’s Christmas. Not only do they get lots of presents from Santa and no school in sight, but everywhere they go there is another delicious treat waiting for them to eat. Between the cakes, cookies and candy canes, the holiday season is a tiny human’s dream. What isn’t dreamlike is a parent trying to keep their little one from ruining their smile during all of the holiday festivities. In fact, it can be downright tough to keep a smile on their child’s face while keeping that smile healthy. But a healthy smile starts with a good foundation. Here are some tips to start your little one off on the right foot:

Daily routines. Repetition is the best way to start a good habit, so make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Supervisor their work until they can thoroughly do it themselves. Once teeth coming in begin to touch, introduce flossing.

First dental visit. The AAPD suggests baby’s first dental visit occur when their first tooth comes in, or around the age of one. Keeping them on a six-month dental schedule will not only ensure they keep a healthy smile, but will also help prevent dental anxiety as they grow.

You are what you eat. We can instill all the dental knowledge we can, but if you have a bad diet, it won’t help. Same goes for your little one. Keep things in moderation. Limit the sugary snacks, cooked starches and sweetened drinks.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream | Skiatook Dentist

We love ice cream any time of year, but especially during the summer. The heat is unbearable and a quick way to cool down is to enjoy a chilly treat like ice cream or a fruity popsicle. The issue is, the sugar intake involved in making these frozen concoctions can definitely cause some dental issues if you over-indulge.

It truly is a shame that ice cream is bad for our teeth – it’s just the thing to beat the summertime heat. But the sugar turns into food for plaque, and plaque is the beginning stages of future dental issues, like cavities and tooth decay. The more sugar you have on your teeth, the easier it is for the plaque to feed on it. If you have poor dental hygiene, it will surely lead to a dental visit in the future.

The good thing is, there are frozen treats you can have that are not only good for our diet, but also good for your teeth. There are thousands of recipes that not only use fresh foods, but are also easy to make. One of the best ideas is frozen fruit ice cream. Freeze some bananas chunks and strawberries overnight. Strawberries have malic acid, which helps remove teeth stains. Throw it in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use more strawberries for a sorbet, more bananas for a creamier texture. But that’s it – just frozen fruit and you have a healthy sugar-free treat for everyone!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding summertime dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

How to Get Your Kids to Brush | Skiatook Dentist

As a parent, it is important that our child’s health is in top form. We take them to the doctor if they get ill, and make sure they are healthy in the meantime. One of the best ways to make sure they are healthy is by maintaining their oral health. After all, our mouth is the first line of defense against lots of illnesses. Unfortunately, there is nothing a little human dislikes more than brushing their teeth. So, how do you instill good oral health? Here are a few tips:

Make it fun. Kids love games, so why not make this “chore” fun? Buy fun tooth accessories or create a competition if you have more than one child. Who brushes longest, who has the most bubbles when they gargle. Nothing wrong than a little healthy competition when it comes to being healthy.

Never underestimate the power of a bribe. It may sound bad, but there is nothing wrong with having goals. Treat brushing like a chore wheel. If they work towards a reward, they will be much more inclined to participate. Think of it as a catalyst to building good habits.

Family time. There are no reasons why you can’t turn a daily routine into family togetherness. We all need to brush every day, why not do it together? Not only will this be a chance to spend some time together, but you can also show them the correct way to brush and floss. The better you teach them, the less chance they will have major dental issues in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Teaching Your Child to Floss | Skiatook Dentist

89683018Getting our children on a good dental routine can be tricky. It takes some time to teach them to brush properly – but when does flossing work itself into the process?

Flossing should be introduced when your little human’s teeth start to fit closer together, generally between two and six. Start off by using floss that is soft so that it is gentle on their teeth and gums.

As we all know, the process itself is relatively simple. Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth to gently scrub down the spaces your toothbrush can’t reach.

Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth, and always use a new piece. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. We have been taught to floss after we brush, but in fact, it is better to do it before to loosen any debris your toothbrush won’t be able to get to.

If their gums begin to bleed as you begin to teach them, don’t worry – it’s natural. Their baby gums will become stronger as they get older. If it doesn’t seem to go away, bring it up at their next dental appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Why We Need to Instill Good Dental Habits | Skiatook Dentist

istock_000020358353_smallIt is one of the routines our children think is more like punishment. While it may seem this way to them, we as parents know otherwise. Creating good dental habits will not only benefit your child’s overall health and help create some adorable smiles for pictures, but it will also prevent having dental issues that may hurt your little humans down the road. They may be temporary teeth, but not keeping them healthy and strong will cause permanent damage. Here are the top three versions of gum disease that affect them most:

Chronic gingivitis. Common with children, chronic gingivitis causes gum tissue to turn red, swollen, even bloody. Easily preventable with good hygiene and regular dental visits, this type of gum disease is a common childhood issue that can be bypassed with good fundamentals. Because children are losing lots of teeth during this time, mistaking a more serious issue as your typical growing process is something that is pretty typical. Look for the signs. If they are complaining about brushing and they say it hurts when they do, it may be time to pay you dentist a visit to ensure there isn’t something more serious.

Aggressive Periodontitis. This one will not affect the younger children as much as it will the bigger kids and can affect even the healthiest of patients. Focusing mainly on the molars and incisor teeth, it is characterized by a severe alveolar bone loss.

Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis. Similar to aggressive periodontitis, the generalized version tends to affect those going through puberty and will affect the entire mouth. Inflamed gums and extreme plaque and calculus are distinctive traits of this version. The hormonal imbalance we go through during this time of our young lives makes it very easy for adolescents to develop gum disease. The more hormones raging through their blood, the more sensitive gums are and easily susceptible to irritations. Keeping a good dental regime will help them get through this tough time. As they progress through puberty, being prone to infections will also lessen.

It is important to provide your child with a good role model when it comes to keeping up good oral health. Taking the time to teach them how to properly brush, floss and rinse takes time and can be tedious, but it will prevent them from having a lot of painful days. And, of course, that’s what every parent wants for their child.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy and Owasso.