Great Holiday Foods for Your Teeth

When you hear the jingles in the stores and see the decorations on your neighbor’s house, you know that the holiday season has arrived. Among other traditions, you can also expect food to play a big part of the holiday, whether it’s snacks for a party or a big family dinner. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional holiday food can be harmful to your teeth, from sticky candy canes to sugary, maybe alcoholic eggnog. Thankfully, there are also lots of seasonal dishes and treats that can keep your smile as healthy as ever.

You probably already have a sizable list of foods you know to be bad for your teeth: soda, coffee, and candy. However, what about the crackers you set out as hors d’oeuvres? Even without extra-sweet ingredients added in, bread and related snacks are full of carbohydrates – that is, sugar – and their crumbly, dissolvable nature means that these bacteria-feeding carbs get stuck to your teeth. Alcohol, not counting the sugar it is often made of or mixed with, will dry out your mouth; dry mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria. Even the cough drops you take for colds and the flu not only have sugar in them, but also expose you to that sugar over a long period of time. Cough syrup, despite having similar amounts of sugar in it, is quickly swallowed and doesn’t expose the teeth to that sugar too long. Simply put, too many holiday edibles encourage the decay of your teeth.

Not to worry! Lots of holiday foods diminish, if not reverse, the damage other foods can do. Two common party snacks, for example, are meat and cheese. The calcium and proteins provided by meat and cheese can actually strengthen your teeth and gums. Nuts, like meat, also provide your mouth with a burst of protein and saliva production that help defend your teeth from bacterial build-up. Instead of sweetened cranberry sauce in your dishes, try using fresh cranberries; they can interrupt the bonding process of the decadent bacteria. Though dried fruit is a bad idea, crunchy fruit and raw vegetables can help scrub plaque off of your teeth.

The holidays and their traditions are fast approaching. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of traditional foods, or you find yourself chewing on that food for a long period of time, your teeth can suffer. However, holiday tradition have also given us a lot of food to protect and strengthen our teeth as well. So, when planning out the next holiday party or dinner, keep these foods in mind. They may just save your smile.


Periodontal Disease 101

What it is
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen.

Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth.
There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out.

One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:
– Gum tenderness
– Gum recession
– Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
– Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment
Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets.

Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation.
For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue.

Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year.
If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.

Bottled Water or Tap Water for your Teeth?

bottle vs tap

Bottled Water verses Tap Water

Always a topic of controversy.  Water is the most essential element you need to keep your body healthy.  Water helps your body by keeping your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord, protects sensitive tissues and gets rid of waste in your system. With that being said, what is the best option for you to drink to ensure you keep your teeth and body healthy?

Bottled Water-

There is much controversy about bottle water and yet some of our major brands are just glorified tap water which is regulated by the FDA.  The most significant difference between bottle water and tap water is the amount of fluoride contained in the water.  Bottled water contains less.  The biggest controversy isn’t in the water itself but in its containment system.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee agreed that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in polycarbonate (used to make watercooler jugs, sport-water bottles and other hard plastics, but not PET), may cause neurological and behavioral problems in fetuses, babies and kids. A separate NIH-sponsored panel found that the risk was even greater, saying that adult exposure to BPA likely affects the brain, the female reproductive system and the immune system. The FDA has reviewed these reports and says it will keep monitoring the data to see if the agency needs to take regulatory action.

Tap Water

Currently, the U.S. Public Health Service recommends a range of 0.7 to 0.12 milligrams of fluoride per liter of drinking water.

It has been proven that communities with water supplies offering fluoride show a significant reduction of cavities in the population. These studies were conducted in the early 1940’s.  Since then, the US market currently produces a wide range of fluoride toothpaste and rinses that weren’t available when the studies were originally done.
So that leaves the question, is too much fluoride bad for you?  Fluoride in high doses is toxic and can cause a variety of health conditions.  However, in small doses it is proven to be safe and effective in preventing cavities.

So this may leave you wondering “How would you know if your getting too much fluoride?” Seeing your dentist(J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD) regularly is essential to ensure you are getting the right amount of fluoride.   There are many indicators your dentist can identify to ensure that your body is not receiving more fluoride than is needed. As a dentist, we believe that water treated with fluoride is the healthiest option for your teeth.  However, too much of anything is never good.  If you live in an area where the water is treated with fluoride, call and schedule an appointment with J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD   at our Huntersville, NC office.

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office




Baking Soda verses Professional Teeth Whitening

How good is baking soda for your teethBAKING SODA – THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Baking Soda has been used to brush ones teeth for over 150 years.  It can be successful in removing stains and discolorations from the surface of your teeth.  Brushing your teeth with baking soda can remove stains caused by drinking tea, coffee, soda and tobacco. It is a cheap alternative to provide you with a whiter smile. The down side is although baking soda will remove stains and give you fresher breath, it does not kill the bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities.  The abrasiveness of baking soda over a period of time can wear down your enamel making your teeth more sensitive and susceptible to cavities.


A whiter beautiful smile will bring forward a more confident beautiful you.  The Teeth Whitening products provided by the office of J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD are 3 times more effective than even the over the counter teeth whiteners.  The office of J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD using our teeth whitening products can provide you a noticeable whiter smile in just a few hours.  Even though baking soda can be an effective teeth whitener, it will take much time before you see any results. The most effective way to care for your teeth is always under the supervision of a dentist. Each persons mouth is different and can react to over-the-counter product in an adverse way. J.C. Duncan always has your overall dental health as his first priority and can identify and treat any areas of concern prior to your procedure. We only have one set of permanent teeth and our office is dedicated for you to get the most out of them.

Don’t Delay, Call J. C. Duncan DDS FAGD Today

103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078*
(704) 948-1300



Let’s face it.  Nobody is thrilled about visiting the dentist.  But what if I told you that JC Duncan and his staff could change how you feel about the dentist?  Would  you be willing to give it a try?

JC Duncan and staff takes the time to spend the time with every patient.  Our goal is to make you comfortable and at ease.  We want to  make sure all your needs and concerns are addressed.  We realize every person is unique and has a different level of pain tolerance and anxiety.  Our goal is to eliminate all your fears to make your dental visit a comfortable and pain free experience.

Regular dental care is as important as your regular check up to your primary physician.  Poor dental health can contribute to many ailments and serious conditions.  JC Duncan and staff is vested in keeping you healthy, happy and smiling.

Dr. J.C. Duncan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from North Carolina State University and earned his D.D.S. degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Duncan has also been awarded a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry.

He is a current member of the following organizations:

Contact J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry:

103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 948-1300