Halloween Treats and Teeth

It’s only a  little more than a month until Halloween. Candy and Costumes fill the shelves. Eveyone is so excited, except your dentist!halloween-candy-by-phanton-kitty

Trick-or-treating’s candy haul is pretty much a dentistry fright fest. But are some sweets worse than others for your teeth?  Here is a list from us of the worst and best treats!                        

WORST: Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it–which could produce cavity causing acids.

NEXT WORST: Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers, are almost as bad.  Although they do not stick to your teeth, they take a long time to dissolve. Not to mention the risk of  breaking a tooth biting into a hard piece.

BAD: Sour candy is also bad for your teeth due to  it’s  higher acid content, which can break down tooth enamel. While powdery candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities.

NOT SO BAD: Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet.ice-breakers-cubes-gum-35441

BEST: Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, and it is sweetened with xylitol–a natural sugar that bacteria is unable to form plaque on. 

Which kind of candy are you giving out this year?


Texas Book Festival 2013

Every year this wonderful event draws the people of Texas to the Capitol grounds for the last weekend in October where book lovers, music lovers, children who enjoy storytelling, history buffs, foodies, and the simply curious visit our beautiful state Capitol building and the surrounding grounds and streets.  Popular authors, some 225 this year, come to Austin to share their latest work with book enthusiasts.

Texas Book FestivalThe Paramount Theatre  also lends its lovely auditorium for a guest speaker of famous or infamous reputation.   Streets are pedestrian friendly and lined with tents that hold a book store and authors who sit for book signings by their interested public. Speaker tents provide an outdoor shaded expansion of the book festival where cooking demonstrations, music and fun for kids of all ages make for a great time.

Business as usual in the Capitol is put aside on this weekend to allow the general public into the Senate and House Chambers where questions from the audience are entertained by the guest author and noteworthy discussion provides stimulating thought and a personal experience of the author’s insights. Many small meeting rooms in the basement of the Capitol building host authors from every genre of reading to discuss their work.

Find information about this special event Texas Book Festival 2013

See you there!  – Laura Howard.

Even if you’re between dental visits you can get great book recommendations from Laura on Goodreads!



The Dangers of Sticky & Crunchy Snacks on Austin Teeth


We all know that sugary foods are bad for your teeth. But did you know that some sugary foods are worse than others? And that some non-sugary snacks can also be dangerous to your smile? At 12 Oaks Dental in Austin, we want to educate you on the harmful effects of certain tasty treats to help you protect your smile.

While it’s common knowledge that sugar and sugary foods can cause extensive damage to the mouth, it may surprise some to know that not all sugary foods are equally dangerous. Sticky foods, and particularly sugary sticky foods, are more detrimental to teeth than sugar alone.

The sticky texture of these types of foods, including caramel and taffy, causes them to become stuck on the surfaces and in crevices of teeth. When this happens, sugars linger in the mouth for longer, making teeth more prone to decay.

Foods other than sweets can also be harmful to teeth and oral health. Hard foods like popcorn kernels and ice cubes can cause damage and even lead to broken teeth in Austin. While teeth are strong and meant to help us chew food, they do have a breaking point. Consistent crunching of ice can lead to little cracks and chips, while snacking on popcorn can lead to other problems in the mouth.

This movie theater favorite is particularly dangerous. Hard, unpopped kernels can hide easily and aren’t detected until it’s too late, which can no doubt lead to broken or chipped teeth. But the husks can also cause issues by getting stuck in the gums and causing irritation.

To help keep smiles healthy, it’s important to see your Austin dentist regularly for routine cleanings and checkups – especially if you’re an ice cruncher or popcorn popper. If you do happen to catch that pesky hidden kernel with your molar, don’t wait. We’re not only here to help prevent problems, we’re also here to help fix any issues you may have and get you back to smiling. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!


Sensitive Teeth in Austin? We Can Help!

Sept1-Sensitive teeth

Do you have sensitive teeth? Sensitive teeth are actually one of the most common dental complaints that over 40 million Americans suffer from. But at 12 Oaks Dental, we can help.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Teeth can become sensitive by brushing too hard or by using a hard-bristled toothbrush, consuming too many acidic foods or beverages such as citrus fruits and soda, and even by using some whitening toothpastes. These habits can cause your enamel to wear down and expose your nerves, which results in easy nerve irritation. The pain associated with this is what most people refer to as sensitive teeth and the pain is increased by eating or drinking cold or hot food, touching your teeth, or exposing them to cold air

Relieving Sensitive Tooth Pain

If your teeth do become sensitive, don’t worry. Relieving sensitive tooth pain in Austin is part of what we do! If your teeth have been highly sensitive for four or more days, it’s best to contact us as soon as possible. We will initially do an in-depth exam to make sure that the pain you’re experiencing isn’t related to a cavity or abscess, and then we can work on relieving your sensitivity.

Our Austin dental office can help ease tooth sensitivity pain by applying sealants, fluoride, or other desensitizing products, or by prescribing a desensitizing toothpaste that can help block the sensation from transferring from the tooth to the nerve. This results in less pain for you and your smile. And of course, we may need to recommend that you cut back on acidic food and drink and change your oral hygiene habits to keep tooth sensitivity at bay.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t wait. Contact us today and let us help ease your pain.

Flowers and Ribbons and Glitter, OH MY!!

Hello high school football fans!  HOMECOMING will be here before we know it and you know what that means…. IT”S MUM TIME! Now, I usually subscribe to BIGGER IS BETTER in this category but I have been making this Mini-Mum Pen for a few years and it’s always a big hit.  My daughter likes to give them to her friends on the Monday before the game so that they can enjoy them all week.


A “round barrel” pen                     Glue gun & sticks                              Double sided tape                         Stapler & staples
2” Mum flower                             Assorted ribbons (1/4”-1/2”wide)     Stickers                                       Trinkets



1. Cut two strips of double-sided tape the length of the pen, apply it lengthwise to both sides of the pen, wrap ribbon around the pen from the ink tip to the end, cut and glue the end in place.Mum Pen Supplies



2. Cut (2”- 4 ½”) ribbon and arrange 4-6 ribbon strips in a slight “fan”, staple at the top, attach trinkets and stickers to ribbons and the center of the flower.Mum Pen Making



3. Glue ribbons and flower to the end of the pen…Voila! These make great gifts for friends and teachers too.Voila! Mum pens





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