Children's Dental Health month first started as a one day observance in the 1940s and became a month long celebration in the 1980s. Many of you with children or grandchildren will see kids bringing home flyers about children's dental health or coloring sheets with teeth, toothbrushes, and floss. Ask them some questions about what they may have learned about teeth and oral hygiene.
Children's Dental Health month is important because it reminds us that good dental health and hygiene is important from the moment that first tooth pops into the mouth. These baby teeth are important teeth and need to be maintained. By brushing a baby or toddler's teeth for them from early on, we are modeling good hygiene practices and showing them how to take care of their teeth.
It is important also that children have their first dental visit around age one. Are we going to clean their teeth at age one? No. We will do an exam to see how the teeth are erupting, make sure there are no problems with the teeth and give valuable advice about home care, diet and fluoride. After this visit the dentist will determine whether the child needs another exam in 6 or 12 months. This will get the child used to coming to the dental office in a positive and fun way. It makes appointments in the future a little less intimidating. We also reward kids with fun little prizes and a sugar free sucker at the end of their visit.
Did you also know that children need help brushing until they are about 10 years old? Children lack the dexterity (and patience) to adequately remove all of the plaque from their teeth. Does this mean you have to brush FOR your kids? No. Let your child brush and then you can go through with the toothbrush to make sure they didn't miss anything, particularly the harder to reach spots like along the gum line or those teeth hiding out in back. We also have timers here in the office that we will gladly give you to make sure that kids are brushing for the recommended two minutes.
If you have any questions regarding your child's dental health, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call or email the office.
Every day we are faced with dietary decisions. Some people struggle with weight more than others while some can eat anything they want and not have a worry. But do you ever think about what you are eating every day and how it can affect your teeth? Probably not. In our office we often discuss what you are drinking and eating and how it affects your teeth. Mostly we talk about acid and sugar in soda pop, juice, and sports drinks, and the sugar and creamers that some add to coffee and tea. These are the biggest cause of decay between teeth. And the biggest concern is the time these liquids are in contact with teeth. How much we drink is not as important as how often. So drinking a large quantity of something acidic and/or sugary in a short time frame is actually better for your teeth than sipping a small glass of the same thing for an extended period of time. Best is to eliminate these drinks or use them infrequently, for your teeth and your general health!
What about the foods you eat? We all know that candy bars, gums, mints, and hard candies contain sugar. Sure, we all pop a mint or piece of gum in our mouths to freshen our breath, but how often? And is it sugar free?
Things we don't think about are the snacks that we munch on or the snacks we give our kids. Sticky snacks like fruit snacks or gummies, fruit rollups, and dried fruit provide a big sugar attack on teeth. Because these snacks are sticky, they stick to the teeth for a longer period of time and feed the plaque and bacteria in your mouth. In the same fashion, chips and crackers that some mindlessly eat over longer periods of time , stick to the teeth (especially the groovy biting surfaces of teeth). As these foods begin to break down in the mouth, they break down into sugars that are again feeding the plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
There are some simple tips that can help you to still enjoy these snacks, but in a way that is more healthy to your teeth. First, follow the rule of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster: certain foods or snacks are sometimes foods and snacks. Secondly, eat your snack and be done, don't leisurely eat a pack of fruit snacks or skittles at your desk or in front of the TV over a period of time. An even better idea is to brush or rinse your mouth with water after sticky snacks.
We don't want you to give up yummy snacks all together, we just want you to enjoy them in a manner that doesn't lead you to tooth decay.
Cold and flu season is here again. We know that many of our patients may be concerned about catching one of these lovely viruses or one of the many other bugs going around. At esmiles, we take special precautions to prevent disease transmission all year long.
Each of our treatment rooms are cleaned and disinfected after every patient. Instruments are cleaned and sterilized after each patient. Our clinical staff members wear masks, gloves, and safety glasses (personal protection equipment) for protection. Clinical staff also wear gowns or clinic coats not only to protect themselves but also to keep the germs from following us home (or wherever we go after work) on our clothes.
In the reception area we also take extra precautions to prevent disease transmission. Pens, counters, door knobs and the bathroom are cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day. We also have hand sanitizer at the desk that you are free to use. Many of our staff protect themselves by keeping up to date on vaccinations, including the annual flu shot.
We occasionally have patients call and ask if they should still come to their appointment if they are sick. A good rule of thumb is if you are well enough to go to work or school and can comfortably lay back for your treatment or hygiene visit, then keep your appointment. If you are unable to go to work or school, have aches/chills, or fever, please stay home. While our clinical staff wear protective equipment, you will be sharing space with staff memebers and other patients who are not protected. We will kindly reschedule your appointment for a time when you should be feeling better.
If you have any questions regarding how we prevent disease transmission, please feel free to ask.
What would you think if your dentist told you to eat more candy? Would you think we were crazy?
You may have heard on the news or from one of our staff members about xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has great dental benefits.
When you eat xylitol, the bacteria that cause decay can ingest the xylitol but can't digest it, so they cannot thrive in your mouth. Xylitol also affects the bacteria's ability to adhere to your teeth, making it easier for your saliva and toothbrush to wash the cavity causing bugs away. Xylitol is especially helpful for those who suffer from dry mouth. People who have dry mouth often suck on hard candies to stimulate saliva flow which can cause tooth decay. By using a xylitol candy, you get the effect of stimulating saliva and fighting tooth decay.
We have partnered with Dr. John's candies, a local company that has made national news with their xylitol products. They have a variety of candies, suckers, coffee sweeteners, and drink mixes, made with xylitol. You can shop online for the Simply Xylitol products: http://www.drjohns.com/ When placing an order, use the code "AAPP" in the coupon or giftcard box at checkout to receive a discount.
If you have any questions regarding the use of xylitol, please ask any of our staff members.
We are proud to announce the launch of our new website. Staying better connected with our patient families and having a great source for current information in the world of dentistry led us to a new format in website technology. This new website is easy to update and will allow better integration with the happenings of day to day business in our office. We hope you will find this a valuable resource!
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