5 MORE Holiday Dental Stocking Stuffers!

We all enjoy getting a stocking full of gifts during the holiday season. But for those of us filling the stocking of a friend or family member, it can be difficult to find items that fit inside the stocking! We’re here to help with some dental focused stocking stuffers!

1) Floss

Okay, okay, okay. I’m sure this isn’t the most thrilling thing to find in your stocking, but it’s small, cheap and extremely useful. It’s important to floss regularly along with brushing! And, as silly as this may sound, gifting floss to children gets them excited about the idea of flossing and gives their parents an opportunity to show them how to do it well!

2) Gum

Sugar free gum to be exact. Gum is a great way to help freshen breath and chewing gum after a meal can help pull left over food particles off teeth so that they don’t cause any damage. And sugar free gum offers all of these benefits without any of the sugar that can cause damage to teeth.

3) A gift certificate

Many dentists offer gift certificates for certain services, like teeth whitening. While gifting teeth whitening may be a bold move, it can be a great gift idea for someone who has already been considering going to their dentist for a whitening treatment.

4) Candy

What? Candy on a dental stocking stuffer list? Well, we don’t recommend candy outright, but we know many people use it as a stocking stuffer and so we thought we’d offer some tips. Chocolate candy tends to be a great gift because it’s easy on teeth and tastes delicious. Avoid gifting chewy candy or candy with nuts, particularly to people with fillings or orthodontic work. Things like caramel and peanuts can break brackets or pull out fillings.

5) A Dental Cheek Retractor Game

For any of you who have visited the dentist, you’ve probably experienced a cheek retractor. It’s a plastic device that holds your mouth open. And if you visit your local game store, you’ll find games that make you say silly phrases while using one of these cheek retractors. It’s almost impossible to enunciate words when your mouth can’t close or change shape and the results are hilarious! They’re great games and great stocking stuffers!

Hopefully this gives you some unique ideas for stocking stuffers for your friends and families and makes holiday shopping just a little bit easier!

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How Bad is Tobacco for Oral Health

It’s commonly heard from many people that smoking is bad for your health. Often, people hear this time and time again from the dentist, at school and even from peers. But how bad is it for you? well, there are a few things that you must know about this, and there are some very important factors to consider.  There are some factors that do show how distinctive smoking is for your oral health, and while your dentist might admonish you about this, here are a few reasons why if you are smoking, it might be best to quit.

The first, is yellowing stains. This happens a lot with smokers, where it creates a yellow sort of stain on your teeth. Smoking is notorious for this, meaning that the discoloration is actually from the tar that you find in cigarettes, and also the nicotine as well.  It’s very hard to whiten yellow teeth, especially with how deep the stains might be and how long they’re exposed to different chemicals that you might find in said products.  If you expose your teeth to these chemicals, it will weaken the enamel, which also does cause the tooth to become vulnerable not only to the overall superficial stains, but also the stains that go deeper into the teeth.

182Speaking of how deep this can go, it can also rot your teeth. Because of the chemicals within these tobacco products, it weakens your tooth enamel, which then causes it to become more susceptible to bacteria, various acids, and other substances that are destructive. If you don’t’ have a protective layer, it can eat away at the tooth and cause it to rot to the root.  This is super painful and it can cause a tooth to become loose, which could require removal and falling out.  Not only that, it can lead to infection, which is a much more serious issue.  Along with that, smoking causes less oxygen to flow in the blood, which will make the infections harder to fight, and this can then create other major issues such as gum disease.

Gum disease, as mentioned before, can be a big problem with those that smoke. Because there is less oxygen in the blood that you have, your immune system is weakened as well. Simply put, it leaves your mouth susceptible to infection.  You can get more bacteria built up, and it can go into your gums.  This then can cause destruction of the gum flesh, which makes it recede and become much looser and unhealthy.  Remember, the gums will anchor your teeth, and because of this, it could fall out.  If gum disease gets even worse, it can also cause the bones of the teeth there to fall out. Some studies have shown that if you smoke, you’re more than likely to get gum disease compared to those that don’t.

Finally, there is oral cancer. Because of tobacco products are carcinogenic, these chemicals can cause so many cancers, including oral cancer.  Not only do you have to worry about lung cancer and other cancer, oral cancer can be there too.  There are many chemicals found in various tobacco smoke, and over 70 of these are known to cause cancer.  Oral cancer can be dangerous because many people don’t know about the early side effects of it, and they won’t know anything about it until it’s actually spread. About 75% of people over the age of 50 did regularly smoke tobacco at one part of their life.  You might find oral cancer in the form of various bumps, lots of bleeding and swelling, numbness and pain, and even difficulty swallowing.

For many people, making sure that they have the best oral health is important. Seeing a Kennewick dentist will yield good results, and if you are smoking, it’s best to end it immediately. It causes more harm than good, and while it is an addiction, it is one that you can beat due to many different helpful items.  Your oral health, and overall health, is at stake when you’re smoking regularly, so do yourself a favor and stop doing that before it gets any worse than possible.