Beware: Common Summer Snacks Are Bad for Your Smile

damaging snacksIt’s warm out. And when it’s warm, we tend to switch the type of food and drinks we consume. But have you ever thought that what may be good tasting may not be making your smile happy? There are many common summer treats that, while tasting fantastic, are causing damage to your smile. Everyone at my dental office in Lewisburg wants to educate you on what some smart summer snacks are and which ones to avoid.

What to Eat

Some good choices for summer snacking can include proteins, veggies, and cheese. Proteins, like nuts and turkey, are great at fighting acid and tooth decay while cheese is packed with calcium that not only protects bones, but teeth as well. Veggies are a great alternative to some sugar-dense fruits and many, like celery, contain a lot of water which helps to rinse bacteria from the mouth. When it comes to drink choices, we can’t stress enough the importance of water.

What to Avoid

  • Soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks – These beverages are full of acid and sugar and can eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Choose a smarter option like water and if you have to drink a sports drink or soda, drink it with a straw to limit exposure to the teeth and drink sparingly.
  • Iced coffee – When the weather is warmer, coffee drinkers tend to shift to a more climate-friendly morning picker upper. The problem is that this caffeine favorite is rarely just enjoyed in the morning, but rather sipped throughout the day. This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid, causing more damage and even staining your should-be pearly whites.


  • Pickles and pickled foods – Like sugar, acid is also dangerous for your smile and these foods are packed with both smile-damaging ingredients. Take it easy on these and opt for a raw veggie instead.
  • Starch-loaded snacks – Snacks like potato chips and white bread are high in starch, and starchy foods like these can often get stuck in the grooves of teeth. Once they’re stuck, they can then feed the bacteria and plaque in the mouth, making it a great place for cavities to form.


While you’re enjoying the summer sun, make sure that you’re choosing snacks that not only hit the spot, but are healthy for both your body and your smile. At my Lewisburg dental office, we encourage you to make healthy decisions about the treats you buy next time you’re at the grocery store. Your teeth, and your dentist, will thank you for it.

Serving patients in Lewisburg, Selinsgrove and Williamsport.

Are You Sleeping with A Killer?

ssleep apneaWhen people sleep in the same room, there’s always a chance that someone will not get a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s because one of the individuals steals the blankets, or the other one is a loud snorer, co-sleeping can sometimes be less than ideal. However, with all of the possible causes of a restless night, only one can actually kill you. At my dental office in Lewisburg, we want to create awareness for one of the scariest disorders that can haunt our sleep: Sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a term used to describe what happens when an individual stops breathing, sometimes several times, during the night. Often confused with simple snoring, sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that can lead to some pretty scary health problems. Unfortunately, it is often times not sufferers who realize they have this disorder, it’s the person they share a room or bed with.

Sleep apnea has been linked to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Car accidents caused by drowsy driving
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • And much more

While sleep apnea has a strong correlation with obesity, even some fit individuals can experience it. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse, making it difficult for an adequate supply of air to get through. This often causes the sleeper to awake suddenly, gasping or choking for air. What’s even scarier is that this can happen several times a night and can cause people to stop breathing completely, sometimes for a few minutes at a time.

Some other common symptoms of sleep apnea besides snoring can include excessive daytime sleepiness and even unintentionally falling asleep during the day, feeling as if you never get enough sleep, waking up choking or gasping for breath, and chronic fatigue. All of these symptoms don’t need to be present to indicate sleep apnea and only a sleep study can officially diagnose the disorder.

Once your disorder is diagnosed, there are a few treatment options available. From a CPAP, which is a mask that’s worn during sleep and forces air into the nose or mouth, to a mouthpiece worn at bedtime to keep the airway open, at my Lewisburg dental office, we urge anyone who has any symptoms of sleep apnea to undergo evaluation and follow the treatment that’s right for them. Don’t settle for sleeping with a killer; get checked and start treatment as soon as you can.

Serving patients in Lewisburg, Selinsgrove and Williamsport.

Common Dental Misconceptions Explained

dental urban legendsNothing bugs us more than when people make up stories to try and scare others. We’ve all heard of urban legends, and some of us may have even fallen victim to believing them. What concerns all of us at my Lewisburg dental office are the legends that cause misconceptions about dentistry and the fact that, if believed, could cause people to avoid dental care.

One of the most common dental urban legends out there is one that says root canals are super painful when, in fact, they’re really not a big deal. Those who have had a root canal often say that there was little or no pain involved in the procedure. Where the misconception of pain comes into play is before the procedure even happens. Root canals are needed when there is an infection or deep decay and, as a result, a lot of pain. What your Lewisburg dentist wants you to know is that a root canal is a way to relieve the pain, not cause it.

Another tale that’s well-know is that baby teeth aren’t important. Many people think that if a baby tooth falls out prematurely, or gets a cavity, that it’s not a big deal. In fact, baby teeth are important, as they hold the place for your permanent teeth. If they fall out too soon, or if they become infected or decayed, the natural eruption and placement of your permanent teeth could be altered, leading to greater dental problems down the road.

Lastly – and this one is really important – is the belief that if gums bleed, it’s not a big deal. At my dental office in Lewisburg, we try to educate our patients on the fact that bleeding gums are a sign that something is not right. Healthy gums don’t bleed unless you’re brushing or flossing too roughly. Bleeding gums often mean that you have developed gum disease or even gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis could lead to periodontitis and eventually loss of teeth.

Don’t let common dental urban legends keep you from a strong and healthy smile. If you hear of a dental story that you think may not be true, just call my Lewisburg dental office. We’ll be sure to set the story straight, relieve any fear you may have, and get your smile strong and healthy.

Serving patients in Lewisburg, Selinsgrove and Williamsport.

How to Handle a Dental Problem While on Vacation

dental emergency while on vacationYou’ve finally made it to your destination. You’re ready to relax, and your vacation has officially started. All of a sudden, it happens. An unexpected dental problem pops up from nowhere and threatens to ruin your hard-earned time off. But don’t worry, tips from my dental office in Lewisburg can help get you back to smiling – and back to that hammock.

A dental emergency can mean anything from a chipped tooth to a lost filling, a knocked out tooth to a toothache. But just because a problem in your mouth occurs when you’re not at home doesn’t mean that you can’t fully enjoy your vacation. There are several ways you can resolve or ease a variety of dental problems even when you’re away from your Lewisburg dentist.

Dental Problem: Broken/Chipped Tooth

How to Help It: Rinse your mouth and any tooth pieces with warm water. If you’re bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the area until the bleeding stops. A cold compress can help reduce pain a swelling. Simply hold it to the outside of the mouth.

Dental Problem: Lost Filling

How to Help It: Using either a piece of sugarless gum (one with sugar will cause pain!) or a dental cement that you can find at a drugstore, fill the cavity until you can get to a dentist.

Dental Problem: Knocked Out Tooth

How to Help It: If you can find the tooth, do not touch the roots! Hold it by the part that’s usually exposed in your mouth to keep damage minimal. Rinse the tooth with warm water and try to put the tooth back in place. If you can’t get it back in, put the tooth in some milk (it’s best for preserving the tooth) and find a local dentist. It’s important to get the tooth back into the socket within an hour in order to save it.

While these tips can help you get back to your vacation, perhaps the best way to avoid a dental problem while out of town is to get a checkup before you leave. At my Lewisburg dental office, we will make sure your mouth is in its best shape and that there aren’t any potential dangers just waiting pop up as soon as you lay down your beach towel. You can also help protect your teeth by avoiding dangerous snacks like popcorn, sticky candy, and chewing ice.

If you’re planning a vacation, schedule a pre-trip appointment at my dental office in Lewisburg.

Serving patients in Lewisburg, Williamsport and Selinsgrove.