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Suncook Dental News & Events

Best to Worst Halloween Candy for Your Kid’s Teeth

Monday 16th October 2017
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Halloween is just around the corner. Between decorating, hosting parties, dressing up, and trick-or-tricking, Americans are predicted to spend over $9 billion on Halloween this year. An estimated $2.5 million will be spent on Halloween candy alone. That’s a lot of candy and a lot of potential tooth decay! But before you get too spooked, take a moment to read Suncook Dental’s ranking of the best to worst Halloween candy for your kid’s teeth.

The Truth About Candy

Let’s face it. Candy,  like any sugary substance, isn’t good for anyone’s teeth. However, not all candy is created equal when it comes to tooth decay.

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A Ranking of the Best to Worst Halloween Candy for Your Kid’s Teeth:

# 1: Sugar-Free Candy and Gum are Your Best Option

Without sugar, bacteria cannot produce tooth-decaying acids, so sugar-free candy is your best option at Halloween. Sugar-free gum containing xylitol increases saliva levels in the mouth, which actually helps protect your kid’s teeth by rinsing away excess sugar.

# 2: Sugar Straws are Not as Bad as You May Think

Sugar straws (e.g. Pixy Sticks™) aren’t as bad as you may think. The sweet and sour powdered candy melts very quickly and, unlike other candy, it doesn’t stick to your kid’s teeth.

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# 3: Chocolate:  Shorter Contact Time With Sugar

Chocolate is always a favorite among trick-or-treaters, and according to a Delta Dental survey, 86% of kids eat chocolate at Halloween. The good news is that because chocolate is typically consumed more quickly than other types of candy, there is less contact between its sugar content and your kid’s teeth.

# 4: Lookout for Lollipops and Hard Candy

Lollipops and hard candy take time to dissolve. This results in a higher sugar-to-acid ratio, which can break down tooth enamel and cause cavities. When bitten, these hard candies can also cause teeth to chip, crack, or break.

# 5: Gummies, Caramels, and Chewy Candy-–Oh my!

These are the worst candies because they are chewy, sticky, and high in sugar – the perfect potion for tooth decay! Because these candies easily get stuck to the teeth and are slow to dissolve, it is difficult for saliva to break them down.

The Importance of Proper Dental Care

Halloween comes only once a year, but consuming copious amounts sweet, sticky candy can have long-lasting effects. To keep your little goblin’s teeth healthy all year long, make sure he brushes twice a day, flosses once a day, and has a dental exam and cleaning every six months.

Child and Family Dental Services in Greater Concord, NH

The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Suncook Dental serves patients in the Greater Concord area, including Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Sports Drinks and Tooth Decay

Monday 18th September 2017
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It’s fall sports season! Whether your daughter plays field hockey, or you’ve got a high school football star on your hands, you’ve got to keep them hydrated. But if your athlete regularly hydrates with sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade, he could be causing serious damage to his teeth. This month’s Suncook Dental blog discusses the relationship between sports drinks and tooth decay, and information on how to reduce the damage.

The Truth About Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are becoming very popular among young athletes who use them to help replenish electrolytes and rehydrate. It just so happens that they taste good, too! Surprisingly, many of these sports drinks provide very few electrolytes and have high levels of carbohydrates and starches, which are very acidic and sugary.

Sports Drinks and Tooth Decay: How it Happens

During sports and rigorous exercise, the body loses water. This loss of water decreases the salivary flow in the mouth, leading to an increased amount of bacteria. Bacteria feeds off the sugar from the sports drink and produces more acid, which softens the outer tooth enamel. This softening of the tooth enamel causes erosion and tooth decay.

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How Will Sports Drinks Affect My Kid’s Teeth?

Overtime, sports drinks can cause cavities, white spots, tooth sensitivity, and even holes in the teeth. Your child may be prone to dental erosion and yellow, brown, or orange tooth decay. While this doesn’t happen overnight, continuous consumption of sports drinks, combined with a lack of routine dental care, can be become painful.

Prevent Dental Erosion and Cavities from Sports Drinks

When it comes to sports drinks and tooth decay, there’s a lot your child can do to avoid damage to his teeth:

  • Understand that water is THE superior sports drink.
  • Alternate between sports drinks and water.
  • Routinely floss and brush..
  • Eat calcium rich food (milk, yogurt, cheese) to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Avoid sugary or acidic beverages before bed.

Child and Family Dental Services in Greater Concord, NH

The best way to protect your child’s teeth is to schedule a dental exam and cleaning at least every six months. The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Suncook Dental serves patients in the Greater Concord area, including Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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The Best Protection: Custom Sports Mouthguards

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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The start of the school year is right around the corner and with it, the beginning of fall sports. As exciting as it is for your children to participate in sports, you want to ensure they are safe from injuries. An estimated 3 million teeth get knocked out during youth sports each year.  A custom sports mouthguard from your dentist is the best way to protect your child’s teeth. In this month’s blog, Suncook Dental shares reasons why custom sports mouthguards provide the best protection for athletes:

1. Custom Fit

Providing your child with a custom sports mouthguard ensures a better fit specific to your his or her mouth. Although you can trim a regular mouthguard, but it still won’t provide a 100% fit.

2. Comfort

Because a custom sports mouthguard is made specifically for your child’s mouth, it is much less bulky, and much more comfortable than a store-bought mouthguard—with no painful poking or pinching.

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3. Proper Wear and Use

When worn during athletic activities, a properly-fitted mouthguard protects your child from a range of oral injuries—from knocked out and chipped teeth, to tongue and lip lacerations. However, if the mouthguard doesn’t fit right, your child may either use it improperly (see the picture above) or not at all. Because a custom sports mouthguard provides a better fit and overall level of comfort, your child is more likely to properly wear and use it.

According to an American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry study, 56% of all concussions and 75% of all orofacial injuries occurred while athletes weren’t wearing mouthguards. Wearing a mouthguard can save a visit to the emergency room and potentially thousands of dollars in fees.

Mouthguards Aren’t Just for Contact Sports

A properly-fitted custom sports mouthguard will protect your child’s teeth and smile. While mouthguards are typically worn in contact sports like football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and boxing, the American Dental Association says they should be also worn in many non-contact sports, including gymnastics, inline skating, bicycling, and more.  “A custom sports mouthguard should be worn for any recreational activity that poses a risk of injury to the mouth,” says Dr. Andrew Albee of Suncook Family Dentistry.

Custom Sports Mouthguards in Greater Concord, NH

Need a custom sports mouthguard for your child? Contact the Suncook Dental team today. The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Suncook Dental serves patients in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
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Teeth Whitening Options

Tuesday 1st August 2017
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You’ve looked in the mirror and realized your teeth aren’t quite as white as they used to be. You’re ready to do something about it, but aren’t sure what your teeth whitening options are. In this month’s blog, we discuss the benefits of teeth whitening and four teeth whitening options available to you through Suncook Dental.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

According to a study done by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry;

  • 74% of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success.
  • When asked what they would most like to improve about their smile, survey respondents revealed that having whiter and brighter teeth is most important.
  • Last but not least, 96% of adults are more attracted to those with an appealing smile.

You’re ready to whiten and brighten your smile, but what are your options?

Teeth Whitening Options at Suncook Dental

At Suncook Dental, we provide four different teeth whitening options that range from take home, entry-level whitening formulas, to in-office cosmetic dentistry options.

1. DIY Teeth Whitening

Our most affordable teeth whitening option is an at-home treatment complete with seven prefab trays that already have our entry-level formula in them. For just a small amount of time each day, this seven-day application is both gentle on the teeth and easy-to-use. Visible results may be noticeable as early as a couple of days.

2. In-Office Visit

Our next option includes an in-office, one-hour session, complete with a special whitening solution and lightening gel. This option is perfect for someone who desires immediate results. Our dental team will evaluate your current tooth shade and discuss with you how many visits may be needed to achieve your desired shade. The benefits of doing an in-office visit is that it provides patients with the assurance of proper gel application with limited worry of bleaching gums or other damage.

3. Custom Made at-Home Application

Suncook Dental also offers a more comprehensive, take-home application. Our dedicated professionals will take impressions of your teeth to create a customized take-home tray similar to our entry-level take-home application. This is the best option in Dr. Albee’s opinion as it provides the most predictable, long term results and allows you to better maintain your desired level of whiteness.

4. Everything All-In-One

Our Everything All-in-One treatment provides a combination of custom in-office visits and at-home treatments  to achieve your desired level of whitening.

Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Whitening

Is teeth whitening safe?

All formulas used at Suncook Dental are 100% safe to use both in-office or at home. Our formulas are customized dependent upon the application, so gums are less likely to be bleached or burned. Our teeth whitening process simply removes years of staining and does not have a long-term effect on tooth enamel.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Teeth whitening can last 2-3 years. Proper dental hygiene, combined with routine cleanings, and daily flossing, will yield longer-lasting results. Coffee, wine, tea, red sauces, blueberries, etc. can still cause staining after treatment. Rinsing with water after eating and drinking helps reduce staining.

Can People with Teeth Sensitivity Get Teeth Whitened?

Yes! If you’re concerned about teeth sensitivity and are interested in learning more about your teeth whitening options, contact the professionals at Suncook Dental. Schedule a free consultation so we can evaluate your sensitive areas and determine which whitening option is best for you.

Teeth Whitening Services at Suncook Dental

The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides teeth whitening services in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We also provide routine and emergency dental services to children and adults. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Ouch! Causes and Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Friday 23rd June 2017

Summer is officially here and with that comes finding ways to cool off, like indulging in your favorite frozen treats. But when eating ice cream and other cold treats hurts your teeth, you know you have a problem. In this month’s Suncook Dental blog, we discuss the common causes and treatment for sensitive teeth.

Signs and Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

If you find hot and cold food items or beverages are abruptly shooting pain throughout your teeth, you are most likely experiencing issues with sensitive teeth or dentin hypersensitivity. Eating sweet and sour candies, or even sucking in air can affect sensitive teeth, too.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), roughly 40 million adults across the United States have experienced tooth sensitivity.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Over time, erosion of your teeth’s enamel begins to wear off and exposes the dentin, which houses tubules, highly sensitive nerve tissue within your teeth. The tubules channel sensations (including hot and cold, and sweet and sour foods) directly to the nerve center of your tooth, ultimately causing the soreness you’re experiencing.

Sensitive teeth could be a result of:

  • Brushing hard and aggressively
  • Using an improper brushing motion
  • Erosion caused by highly acidic foods and beverages
  • Age and decay
  • Broken teeth or worn fillings
  • Gum recession
  • Grinding teeth
  • Post dental treatment from procedures like crowns, fillings, and tooth bleaching

Treatment Options for Sensitive Teeth

First and foremost, discuss any teeth sensitivity issues with your dentist. Sensitive teeth caused by gum recession that’s left untreated can result in issues with gum disease later on.

Once your dentist determines the cause of your sensitive teeth, he or she will suggest a couple of treatment options, including clear sealants, desensitizing filling materials, and fluoride gel treatments to help protect the surface of the tooth. If gum recession is serious, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for gum grafts.

Toothpaste Options for Sensitive Teeth

Switching to a desensitizing toothpaste helps block off the already exposed nerve endings. We recommend either Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening. Designed to restore teeth and protect the enamel against erosion, Sensodyne creates a protective layer over the teeth to prevent pain and make teeth less sensitive over time.

Avoid toothpastes with whitening ingredients, which can cause further erosion. Additionally, although Potassium Nitrate helps to calm the nerves in teeth, toothpaste should not have more than 5% Potassium Nitrate. Avoid purchasing toothpaste with microbeads, which are very abrasive and can get lodged into the gums.

Proper Daily Dental Hygiene

Amidst topical applications and routine dental cleanings, it is always important to maintain proper daily dental hygiene daily. By brushing teeth twice daily and flossing once a day, you will help eliminate wear caused by acid erosion. DO NOT miss out on brushing at night!

Swishing around water in your mouth a few times a day after drinking coffee, snacks, or eating lunch helps as well. Lastly, test out a softer style toothbrush and be sure to GENTLY brush your teeth and gums in a circular motion instead of an upward motion.

Family Dental Services at Suncook Dental

The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Suncook Dental serves patients in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Why Flossing Should be Part of Your Daily Routine

Monday 22nd May 2017

By Dr. Andrew Albee, Suncook Dental

Have you been flossing regularly? If you’re like most people, you probably dread being asked this question during your dental checkups. I’m a dentist and I’m the one usually asking this question, but I totally get it. Flossing isn’t a lot of fun. However, there are several good reasons why flossing should be part of your daily routine.

Flossing and Oral Health

While most people follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation of brushing teeth twice daily, fewer follow the ADA recommendation of flossing at least once a day. Why is flossing so important? Because it cleans those tight, little spaces your toothbrush can’t—between your teeth and between the base of your teeth and your gums. If you don’t floss, bits of food lodge into these small spaces and just sit there, growing bacteria. Gross, right?  

These trapped, bacteria-harboring food bits can cause bad breath and overtime, they lead to the formation of tartar, a thick deposit that only your dentist can remove with a scraper. It gets worse. Eventually this tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis: red, swollen gums that are the first stage of serious gum disease. This bacteria-laden tartar and plaque can eventually spread below the gum line, causing periodontal disease, which is characterized by severe inflammation and eventually, tooth and bone loss.  

Flossing and Medical Health

Tooth and gum disease can have effects that go far beyond discolored teeth, bad breath, and tooth or bone loss. Some scientists suggest that the bacteria that flourishes in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to other serious medical issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness.

Flossing as Part of Your Daily Routine

I encourage you to make an effort to include flossing in your daily routine—even if you start by flossing just once a day. Flossing, combined with brushing, goes a long way in getting and keeping a healthy smile. And the next time we ask the question, “Have you been flossing regularly,” you’re going to feel really good about your answer!

Family Dental Services at Suncook Dental

The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Suncook Dental serves patients in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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The Many Benefits of Dental Implants

Tuesday 25th April 2017
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We’ve all heard about the importance of having a confident smile. In fact, research suggests several positive outcomes of smiling—from reducing stress to making yourself appear more approachable and trustworthy. But what if your missing or damaged teeth are making you uncomfortable with your smile? You may want to talk to your dentist about the many benefits of dental implants.

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What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a titanium post that acts like a tooth root. The post is surgically positioned below your gum line, allowing your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge on it. Unlike dentures, dental implants will not come loose.  

“We consider dental implants as the best option for patients with missing or damaged teeth,” says Dr. Andrew Albee of Suncook Dental. In this month’s blog, Dr. Albee discusses the many benefits of dental implants over other treatments:

Natural Look and Function of Dental Implants

“Dental implants are the next best thing to having healthy, natural teeth,” Dr. Albee says, pointing out that dental implants look, feel, fit, and function like natural teeth. “There are other treatment options available, but they can lead to bone deterioration, and may interfere with the important activities of everyday life, including eating, smiling, and speaking,” he adds.

A Worry-Free Long-Term Dental Solution

Unlike tooth-supported dental bridges, which typically last from five to seven years, dental implants can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for.

Dental Implants Protect Healthy Bone

Dr. Albee points out that replacing a missing tooth not only fills a gap, but also increases the longevity of the other teeth in your mouth by helping with the “workload.” In addition, a dental implant is the only tooth restoration option that helps stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.

Dental Implants vs. Bridges

In order to replace missing or broken teeth, dental bridgework necessitates the grinding away of any surrounding teeth–thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore those that are missing. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be ground away in order to support new replacement teeth.

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Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Unlike dentures–which may slip when you smile, speak, eat, laugh, or kiss–dental implants are permanently fixed in place, naturally fused with your jawbone. “Dental implants allow you to keep your teeth in your mouth–where they belong. Because dental implants function just like natural teeth, you can taste and enjoy your food without worry or hesitation,” Dr. Albee says.

Care for Dental Implants

“I tell my patients to care for their dental implants just as they would care for their natural teeth. This includes brushing, flossing, and having routine dental checkups,” Dr. Albee notes.

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Dental Implants at Suncook Dental

If you have would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, or are looking for a family dentist, Suncook Dental is here to serve you. The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Our caring and experienced staff serves patients in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact Suncook Dental today to schedule your appointment.

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TMJ Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Thursday 20th April 2017
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When you yawn, does your jaw pop or click? When you open your mouth widely, does your jaw hinge feel like it’s locking? If so, you may have temporomandibular joint disorder–or TMJ. Here’s a quick overview of common TMJ causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What is TMJ?

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, occurs when the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly. This joint or hinge is responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones from working properly is called TMJ. If you have TMJ, it may feel like your jaw is clicking, popping, or even “getting stuck.”

TMJ Symptoms

TMJ disorders have many symptoms and because these symptoms can also be present with other medical issues, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to receive a proper diagnosis. Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:

  • A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
  • Pain from yawning, chewing, or opening your mouth widely
  • A jaw that locks, goes out of alignment, or "gets stuck”
  • Tenderness or soreness in your jaw muscles
  • Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
  • A sudden change in the fit or alignment of your upper and lower teeth

Cause of TMJ

Here are some of the most common causes of TMJ, a condition that affects an estimated 10 million Americans:

  • Stress, which can cause clenching and tension around the temporomandibular joint, can lead to inflammation.
  • Biting or chewing hard or sticky foods (e.g. hard or chewy candy) can cause irritation to the joint.
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Poor Posture can negatively affect the alignment of the bones and muscles through your neck, spine, and jaw.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder

While there is no single cure for TMJ, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments to reduce your symptoms:

  • Eliminating muscle spasm and pain by applying moist heat or taking medication such as muscle relaxants, aspirin, or other over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Learning stress reduction and relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw.
  • Avoiding or cutting up foods that are hard to bite or chew.
  • Reducing the harmful effects of nighttime clenching and grinding by wearing a custom-made appliance that prevents your upper teeth from grinding against your lower teeth
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Family Dental Services

If you have questions about TMJ disorder, or are you looking for a family dentist, Suncook Dental is here to serve you. The father-son team of Dr. Charles Albee and Dr. Andrew Albee provides complete dental care for children through adults. Our caring and experienced staff serves patients in Suncook, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Concord, Bow, and Loudon. We offer both routine and emergency dental services. Contact Suncook Dental today to schedule your appointment.

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