Healthy Halloween Tips & Treats

Halloween is right around the corner! It is a time for fun, tricks, and best of all TREATS! It can be hard to avoid sweet temptations, especially with the amount of leftover candy that accumulates after the big day. While eating candy on Halloween is perfectly fine, it is important to have a game plan in order to not go overboard. Your teeth will thank you later.

Brush twice a day.
It is extra important to make sure you’re brushing twice a day while consuming sugary treats, but this should be a rule of thumb you follow every day. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to ensure your teeth are taken care of.

Eat Halloween treats shortly after mealtime.
When you are going to eat candy, get your fix with or shortly after a meal. According to the ADA, saliva production increases during meals. This can help cancel out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Eating candy post mealtime will help reduce the residue that causes tooth decay.

Avoid hard and or sticky candies.
Hard and sticky candies are the worst Halloween sweets. Hard and sticky candies can remain in your mouth for longer periods of time. How long a sugar treat stays in your mouth affects your oral health. The stickier the candy, the longer it will take for your saliva to wash away the sticky residue.

Drink more water.
It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water, especially when you are eating sugar. Fluoridated water helps fight cavities and prevent tooth decay!

Choose your Halloween snacks wisely.
Snacking will increase your risk of cavities, and it increases even more if those snacks are loaded with sugar. Those treats are easy to get to during Halloween. But snacking on candy throughout the day in not ideal for your dental health. Choose some healthy snack options like these to help curb that craving:

  • Pretzels
  • Apples
  • Beef Jerky
  • Goldfish
  • Popcorn
  • Raisins
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dried Fruit
  • Snack Packs of animal crackers, graham crackers, or baked cheese crackers
  • Cheese and Crackers

Visit a dentist regularly.
Regular visits to your dental office is always a good idea. Scheduling a visit after Halloween is a great idea! At Clark Family Dental we care about our patients. While oral health should be taken seriously, you should always remember to have fun. Give our office a call today to schedule your checkup!

Tips for Reducing Your Oral Cancer Risk

Oral cancer is a very real and deadly plague. Though not as talked about or given as much attention as other types of cancer, as it is currently measured, its five year survival rate is only 60%. It is also more common than you may have thought – according the OCF (Oral Cancer Foundation), approximately 42,000 Americans are affected by oral cancer each year. That means that 115 individuals get diagnosed with it per hour!

Oral Cancer is a group of cancers that develop in parts of the mouth, face, throat and eyes, as well as in the tongue, tonsils and gums. It is characterized by deformed or unhealthy looking tissue. Here at Clark Family Dental, our qualified dentists are trained to recognize sign of oral cancer, and if it’s been a while since you’re last checkup, we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with one of them. When you come in, you will find that we genuinely care about the health and well being of our patients.

Here three of some the best things you can do to reduce the likelihood becoming a victim of oral cancer:

  1. Don’t use tobacco. Due to the extremely high correlation that this practice has in relation to the development of oral cancer, if you have this habit, we advise you to cut it out of your life. All around, you will feel healthier and stronger, and you will also reduce the likelihood of receiving other deadly illnesses such as lung cancer.
  2. Practice good oral hygiene. One of the simplest ways you can preclude the development of oral cancer is by simply brushing your teeth and flossing every night. In addition to giving you a cleaner, whiter smile, this practice can save you from all sorts of diseases and health issues!
  3. Get a checkup. Because oral cancer does not typically cause pain or provoke other noticeable symptoms until it has continued to other parts of the body, many people do not know they have oral cancer until it’s too late. According to a recent statistic, only about 15% of people who visit the dentist get checked for it. When it comes to protecting yourself from this cancer, getting it diagnosed and treated early has everything to do with survival!

Contact us to schedule an appointment with Clark Family Dental today! Whether you be a new or current patient, we will be more than happy to perform your checkup and answer any questions you may have.

How to Avoid Painful and Expensive Dental Issues

Taking care of your teeth is more important than most people believe. If you don’t take care of your teeth now you may end up spending thousands of dollars in the future to fix dental problems that could have been avoided with proper preventative care. Take the time to be informed on the daily things you can be doing to help with future dental issues. It will be worth it in the long run and will save you time, money, and pain.

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. There are many forms of preventative dentistry such as daily brushing and dental cleanings. To maintain optimal oral health ,the American Dental Association recommends visits to the dentist at regular intervals determined by a dentist. These practices are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and white. Children should be taught proper oral hygiene at an early age. Here are some ways to practice preventative dentistry:

Brush your teeth daily– The most important part of preventative dentistry is to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Most people should replace their toothbrushes three to four times per year.

Floss daily– Daily flossing helps to clean out the tight spaces between the teeth. If you have braces, you may need to use floss threaders to get between the metal brackets.

Visit your dentist– You should see your dentist at least once or twice per year for an exam to check for any problems in the teeth or gums. Dental cleanings and exams allow dentists to identify problems and take care of them right away.

Eat a balanced diet– Eating a balanced diet also helps to protect your teeth by providing them with the nutrients they need. Limit your sugar intake, including simple carbohydrates.

What are the Benefits of Preventative Dentistry

Preventative dentistry prevents people from developing dental problems later on in life. If you use proper dental care, you can avoid or lessen the effects of cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontitis. Everyone benefits from preventative dentistry. Children, in particular benefit because it allows their newly developing adult teeth to come in strong and healthy. If you’re an adult you can benefit from preventative dentistry because it helps you to keep your real teeth healthy and strong. Oral health is connected to the health and your body as a whole. This is because the mouth is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Maintaining a clean mouth benefits your overall health.

In addition to reducing your risk for health issues, practicing good preventative health can save you money. Even with dental insurance, the costs associated with poor oral hygiene can add up. Preventative dentistry can go a long way in reducing your need for costly treatments. Request an appointment today with our friendly staff at Clark Family Dental. We can help on your road to good dental hygiene and help save you time, money and pain.

Summertime Dental Tips

Summer! It makes us all think of our favorite treats; lemonade, fresh fruit, ice cream, and cook outs with sweet corn on the cob. While all of these treats bring a smile to your face, they can be a bit hard on your smile. Staying up late at family get togethers can make it hard to remember that evening 2 minutes of brushing, and it’s awfully tempting to reach for sweet tea or icy lemonade to hydrate instead of water, but just because the seasons change doesn’t mean your oral hygiene should suffer.

While you’re enjoying your favorite outdoor activities try to keep hydrated with water, instead of sugary drinks, or acidic drinks like lemonade. If you do enjoy a lemonade or a soda (who doesn’t?) try following it with water to help rinse the sugar away if you can’t brush immediately. Especially after you brush for the evening always reach for water if you feel thirsty. As tempting as it can be to crunch on ice on a hot summer day, it can cause damage to your teeth and is not advisable. Try sticking to sipping on ice water.

Summer brings a bounty of sweet, vine or tree ripened fruit. After you snack on all the lovely fruit, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth to remove the extra sugar that can linger and lead to bacterial growth. Each brushing session (even an ‘extra’ one) should last 2 minutes.

Hosting a cookout or packing a picnic? Be sure to provide some floss, or handy floss picks, to clear those pesky corn bits from between teeth. Speaking of flossing, don’t let go of your nightly brushing and flossing routine. Consider moving it up in the evening if you plan on staying up late. Brushing and flossing right after desert, especially if dessert is a nice ice cream cone or sundae, is a good way to be sure you don’t forget before bed time, and it’s also a good way to curb nighttime snacking. When you are continually snacking your saliva doesn’t have a chance to do it’s natural job of rinsing the sugars and acids that cause decay away from your teeth.

At Clark Family Dental we recommend taking good care of your smile all year, and we’re always here to help. Summer is a great time to schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning. Starting the summer with a spic and span smile is a great way to kick off the celebrations!

Root Canal Treatment

Our culture places a great deal of fear around the idea of a root canal. It has become synonymous with anything painful and uncomfortable. Much has changed in dentistry over the years however, and root canal procedures and management of discomfort have improved significantly. Understanding the procedure start to finish can go a long way in helping to ease the nerves.

What Is A Root Canal?
When a tooth is damaged due to neglect, decay or injury, a root canal is done in order to save the tooth from having to be removed, allowing you to keep the natural tooth structure. Once a cavity has spread through the enamel and dentin to the tooth’s nerve tissue within the pulp chamber, painful infections or an abscessed tooth caused by bacteria growing around the nerve is almost always the result.

If the infected tooth is left untreated, the following complications will eventually occur:
-Swelling
-Bone loss around the tip of the root
-Severe tooth pain
-Discoloration of the tooth
-Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperature
-The infection drains into the gums or the cheek
-The living tooth will die and decay

What Happens During A Root Canal?
Depending on the condition of your infected tooth and your history with the dentist, a root canal procedure will generally take one or two visits. The first step is getting a local anesthetic to numb the infected area. The dentist will make sure that the area has been sufficiently numbed. Then, a rubber dam may be placed surrounding the tooth being worked on so that harmful bacteria is kept out. A small hole will be created in the tooth to gain access to the root canal. Once the damaged area can be reached, the pulp (nerve) will be cleared out by our specialists, and the canal will be thoroughly cleaned. Specially shaped files will be used to clear away the infected nerve tissue. The empty pulp and root canals will then be thoroughly disinfected. Once all of the infected areas are removed, the now clean and empty area will be filled. The hole that was created to reach the infection will then be covered up with a filling. Depending on where in your mouth the root canal took place, a filling and or a crown will be needed in order to protect the tooth from further damage.

Tips To Follow After Root Canal Treatment:
-Sometimes it’s not always possible to reach all of the infected areas. Taking any prescribed antibiotics is essential to prevent further infection.
-If you experience pain after the procedure for an extended period of time, call your dentist right away.
-Follow proper hygiene habits and clean the tooth and gums regularly where your root canal occurred. Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush for a full two minutes. Follow up by gently flossing between each tooth to remove any built-up food in the gaps
-Avoid putting too much pressure on the side of your mouth where you had your root canal. Steer away from foods that are chewy, hard or crunchy. Give your tooth time to heal.

Schedule an Appointment
Drs. Chris and Beth Clark at Clark Family Dental focus not only on your comfort but also your health and the health of your teeth. Our New Albany, OH dental office serves patients from surrounding New Albany communities. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let us restore health and comfort to your mouth.

Helping Your Teen Achieve Independent Oral Health Care

As children get older and become more independent it gets harder and harder for parents to have a direct influence on their child’s dental care. When your child makes this transition into adolescence it seems that schedules become more crowded and teens get more responsibility. Often responsibility over their oral health care is pushed to the side and before you know it dental issues arise. It’s important to catch these issues early on. Here are some tips that will help you and your teen to keep dental care a priority.

Keep dental supplies in a convenient spot

It’s always nice when you get to use a new toothbrush right? Your teen feels the same way. They may feel independent but they aren’t buying their own toothbrush yet. Make sure there’s plenty of toothpaste, floss and mouthwash available.

Orthodontic Consultation

You can get braces at any age but it is most common during the teenage years. During this time your teen grows so fast including their facial muscles and bones. Our office can guide you in the direction you and your teen need to go and see what options are best for you. There are many options available that may surprise you.

Healthy Habits

It’s hard to control what your kids eat especially when they aren’t with you. But you can make sure you have healthy food choices in your home. Having a good variety of healthy food and snacks will allow them to still choose for themselves while staying healthy at the same time.

A healthy smile is an attractive smile

Teenagers are certainly more aware of their looks during this time that almost any other time in their lives. You can use this to your advantage by emphasizing how attractive a healthy smile can be. It is one of the top reasons each of us cares for our teeth. A white, healthy, sparkling smile is what we all want right?

Regular Dental Checkups

It’s important that regular dental checkups are a priority. We know that you and your family are busy but don’t neglect this area of your teens life. If you do it could affect their overall health, including self esteem. Don’t tell your teen this, but they are still kids and it’s your job to stay on top of dental appointments. Show teens the importance of regular dental care and checkups, a habit that will benefit them the rest of their life. Give Clark Family Dental a call and schedule an appointment for your tee today!

Why You Shouldn’t Open Things With Your Teeth

Every day we use different tools to accomplish something. Whether it is fixing a tire or opening a can of pickles. Sometimes the tools we use are simply our two hands. Sometimes we need an electric drill. Something we shouldn’t use as tools are our teeth. Biting our fingernails is a common one. Using our teeth to open a bag of chips is another. Opening the following items with your teeth may seem like a good idea but it is just not worth the risk of damaging those pearly whites.

Packages

Any sort of sealed package like a bag of chips, an object that is in shrink-wrap, or closed boxes with packing tape usually require a sharp edge of some sort to open. It’s certainly appealing to quickly rip into them with your teeth because you think it saves time, but the sharp plastic of shrink-wrap or tape can result in cuts, and if the material doesn’t tear easily, you can even dislocate your jaw out of place from the strain of trying to tear it.

Bottles

You might think you are impressing people because you know how to pop the metal top off of a glass bottle with your teeth, but you run the risk of chipping or cracking a tooth in the process. The sharp metal edge of a bottle cap could cut your gums or mouth and if the glass breaks you would have further injury. If you don’t have a bottle opener handy, you can also bang it open on a sturdy table edge.

Nuts or Seeds in a Shell

It seems convenient to use your teeth to open a nutshell and hey if a squirrel can do it then why not right? Wrong! You are very likely to end up with a cracked or chipped tooth instead of a cracked shell. It’s worth the effort to look through your kitchen drawer for that nutcracker. It just might save you an emergency trip to the dentist office.

Sales Tags

Sales tags on clothes are annoying. And sometimes seem relatively easy to remove. But don’t underestimate the strength of that plastic. They can be surprisingly strong and hard to break. And will make a weakened tooth worse. Save yourself a damaged tooth and use a pair of scissors or nail clippers instead.

No matter what the object is, it’s never a good idea to use your teeth as tools for anything other than chewing your food. But if you ever find yourself with a damaged tooth Clark Family Dental offers cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry treatments. We are here to help and will answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes can lead to many health problems which can be overwhelming. Clark Family Dental is here to help with oral health related issues as a result of Diabetes. Did you know that Diabetes can lead to gum and teeth problems? Without addressing these issues and without proper care any oral health problems you may have will just get worse, which can lead to even more health issues. This is why It’s important to be aware of the oral symptoms that Diabetes can lead to.

Dry mouth and Gum Disease

Dry mouth is one of the most common problems that those with Diabetes have. You have probably experienced this for yourself or have heard someone talk about it. Dry mouth symptoms can include a dry tongue, dry and cracked lips, difficulty chewing, swallowing and talking. These are all annoying and uncomfortable but more importantly than that, dry mouth can also lead to more serious issues. Because Diabetes reduces your mouth’s saliva production it can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and lead to gum disease. Saliva helps wash away plaque and tartar; the less saliva that is in your mouth, the more likely chance you have of plaque and tartar build up.

Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums which increases the risk of gum disease. One form of gum disease is gingivitis and if left untreated can lead to more serious issues. Diabetes also reduces the body’s resistance to infection and it puts the gums at risk even further for gingivitis.

Oral Surgery Complications

Diabetes can complicate oral surgery if you ever need it, especially if it is poorly controlled. Because Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection it also makes it harder to heal which can increase the risk of disease. Sometimes you blood sugar levels may be more difficult to control after oral surgery as well. As a result, It is important to find a dentist that is aware and sensitive to your needs and has your best interest at heart.

At Clark Family Dental we understand that having Diabetes can be overwhelming, especially when you are first learning about it. We keep up-to-date on periodontal therapy and we can work together with your physician if needed to find the best solution for you. We want you to feel comfortable working with us and the treatment you need will be specialized and tailored toward your specific condition. Clark Family Dental is your clear choice in the New Albany area. Contact us today.

New Year’s Dental Health Resolutions

We have started a new year. Do you have resolutions? We all want to make goals and they usually include bettering ourselves in some way. What if one goal could help you look and feel better? What if accomplishing that goal was right around the corner and could improve your smile and as a result confidence? Making a dental health goal for yourself can do just that. Whether you would like help in preventative dentistry or you would like to take that smile from ordinary to extraordinary, we can help you accomplish it! Our friendly staff is here to help you with your New Year’s Resolution of obtaining that sparkling smile that you’ve always wanted.

All too often people get discouraged about their New Year’s resolution because it’s too big or they feel too overwhelmed after a few days or weeks. They haven’t planned well enough or they get too busy and forget to keep track of their original plan. Maybe at the beginning they had some support but soon everyone gets too busy with their own lives and the support starts to dwindle. What if we could make the plan for you? What if we planned out the goals and made the appointments for you? What if we were your own personal hotline to answer any questions you may have on your specific plan? What if we said that it is our job to support you and we love it? Would you want to know more?

That goal of a beautiful smile is right around the corner and more attainable than you think. We have a bright office and friendly staff that are ready and excited to help you to achieve your dream smile. We can lay out a plan that works best for you and your schedule. No more feeling discouraged about not accomplishing your resolution. A few steps taken by you and the rest is up to us and you can feel confident that we take pride and care in helping our patients accomplish their beautiful smile goal. You won’t feel any pressure from us, we are here to serve you and find the best suited plan that fits your life and goals. What are you waiting for? Ready to feel confident again? Ready to take on your day with a glowing smile? We love our current patients and are also accepting new patients so contact us today and make your first appointment in accomplishing that New Year’s Resolution of having a more beautiful and healthy smile!

Helpful Tips To Cope With Dental Fear

Dental Phobia Is Real

If dental appointments make you nervous, then you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, because regular dental checkups are essential to your overall oral care, skipping check ups can exacerbate dental problems. Here are a few tips for overcoming dental fear, so that you can get the dental care that you need:

Tips for Overcoming Dental Fear

  • Establish a Hand Signal to Stop Treatment: It isn’t always easy to communicate with your dentist when his or her hands are in your mouth, which is why establishing a hand signal is such a good idea. Before your appointment begins, agree on a hand signal with your dentist that will tell your doctor that you need a break. For example, you could hold up your index finger to show that you need a break.
  • Read More About Your Procedures: Sometimes, people are simply afraid of the unknown. If you are nervous about undergoing a procedure that you are unfamiliar with, take a few minutes to research the topic. Reading about root canals or crown placements might not seem like a fun topic to research, but when you know what is happening, you might not be as likely to stress.
  • Ask for Laughing Gas: If your dentist offers Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, consider making it a regular part of your dental visits. This safe, breathable gas relaxes patients, so that you can kick back and stay calm.
  • Bring Distractions: Consider bringing along a few distractions, such as a smartphone or a friend. Instead of listening to drills and suction tools, you might be able to relax and enjoy your favorite music or podcast. Friends or family members can talk with you or hold your hand, which can help to soothe your nerves.

Here at Clark Family Dental, our goal is to make each and every one of our patients as comfortable as possible. If you have dental appointment anxiety, please let us know. We will do everything in our power to make your visit relaxing.