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Photo: Courtesy of - Your kids can turn in their candy for cash at Winter Park Family Dentistry.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 4 years ago

Tricks and treats for dental health

Buy-back event gives kids cash for candy
by: Dr. Ramzi Matar

Oral health is crucial to health wealth, no matter what age. While October is best known for Halloween candy, it’s also National Dental Hygiene Month. So it’s a perfect time to do fine tuning on how we care for our teeth, and one’s age and health condition do play a part.

Kids should see the dentist, once they reach the age of 1 or at the sight of the first tooth. Early appointments can help ease anxiety about going to the dentist as well as address sometimes-touchy subjects like the pacifier. I recommend weaning children off their pacifier by 2 years old, or up to 4 years old, to avoid any long-term dental damage. One tip is to slowly cut the tip of the pacifier shorter over the course of a few weeks to make it less desirable.

Fluoride is another hot topic, because it can be seen as controversial. But it’s the best defense to help prevent cavities in children.

Teens need to maintain a diligent home care routine. Those with braces should take even greater preventative steps as food can get trapped and cavities easily created. Re-calcifying agents, such as “MI paste” can help inhibit decalcification around the brackets too.

Young adults are also infamous for neglecting their teeth and gums. Those aged 20 to 30 often make regular dental check-ups a low priority, but this is actually a crucial time to keep up with regular dental visits as proper preventative care can catch future problems with early diagnosis and treatment.

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss for those in their late 30s to 60s. Gum disease is “silent,” not painful and as the damage is not reversible it can result in a number of long-term problems. A full mouth probing is necessary to really screen for this issue. Measurements are taken of the space between your teeth and gums – and should be repeated annually to ensure everything is healthy and staying intact.

The biggest senior issues include dry mouth, which causes aggressive root cavities and a rampant breakdown of dental work. Patients in their golden years also have issues brushing and flossing with efficiency due to the sometimes loss of dexterity in their hands. Power toothbrushes loaded with high fluoride toothpaste are a good ally to dental health, coupled with regular dental cleanings.

No matter what age proper dental care is a must! Paying for preventative care via regular checkups and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine now is a lot cheaper than neglecting your teeth and having to pay expensive dental bills when issues arise!

And if you’re looking to turn your candy into cash– we are happy to buy any unwanted Halloween goodies at Winter Park Family Dentistry’s first annual Candy Buy-Back! We’ll be giving $1 per pound during the first week of November and all candy collected will be donated to a good cause. Save your smile and catch some cash!

Dr. Ramzi Matar is a family dentist at Winter Park Family Dentistry. Winter Park Family Dentistry is located at 731 W. Morse Blvd. in Winter Park. For more information, call 407-644-0177.

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