Dental Tips Blog

Jan
5

What to Do When Your Child Eats Toothpaste

Fluoride is extremely safe to use and can help your child stay cavity free, but swallowing large amounts of it (or anything for that matter) is another story.

There’s a lot of scary information on the internet about the harmful and potentially deadly effects of fluoride. It’s no wonder you feel your stomach sink when you one day find your child snacking away at a tube of toothpaste.

What should you do?

When You Catch Your Child Eating Toothpaste

As in any surprise situation, try not to panic. The first step is to determine how much your child actually ate.

Was it just the small amount on brush? That’s usually safe. Toothpaste doesn’t have enough fluoride for such a small amount to cause problems. Kids generally should have only a pea-sized amount on brush. Work with your child to practice spitting after brushing to make sure that he or she doesn’t pick up a habit of regularly swallowing toothpaste.

If it appears that a significant amount was swallowed, then it’s a good idea to give your child something dairy to eat. Calcium in milk binds to fluoride in the stomach and can help prevent gastrointestinal problems (like nausea.)

A small one-time snack of toothpaste shouldn’t cause any serious problems beyond a bit of tummy ache. But to be on the safe side, you can call the Poison Control Center for more direction.

How to Prevent Fluoride Emergencies

Keep those sweet, fruity, fluoride-rich kids’ toothpastes out of reach! Until your child is old enough to take care of their own oral hygiene, monitor how much product they are using.

Contact your child’s dentist for specific recommendations on the safe use of fluoride for healthy tooth development.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Sep
15

Help Your Child Avoid Cavities – 4 Strategies

Learning that your kid needs a filling or two can be one of the worst feelings! You don’t want to put your children through any dental treatment that can be avoided.

How can you prevent cavities form showing up in the first place? By following a few preventive steps, you can keep your kid’s smile sparkling and healthy.

  1. Fluoride, Fluoride, Fluoride!

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is essential to healthy tooth development. It also strengthens tooth enamel against attacks from acid and cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride is used in toothpaste, mouthwashes, professional treatments, and prescription supplements as necessary.

  1. Introduce Great Oral Hygiene Habits

Begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as all the baby teeth come in. Encourage independent flossing as soon as your son or daughter can handle floss correctly. Brushing should be done at least twice a day for two minutes. A great oral hygiene routine will definitely lower the cavity risk!

  1. Seal Out Decay Before It Starts

Dental sealants are:

  • Fast
  • Safe
  • Cost-effective
  • Powerful cavity fighters

A sealant is a thin layer of material painted onto the grooves of chewing teeth. This prevents bacteria from hiding in the deep grooves and starting cavities.

  1. Watch the Diet!

Try to limit the amount of sweetened drinks and sticky carbohydrates that your kid eats. These items create an acidic environment in the mouth, which wears down tooth enamel. Carbohydrates are also what feed the bacteria that cause cavities.

To find out exactly which preventive measures are best for your child’s dental health, schedule a visit with your local dentist. A dental check up is the best way to ensure a low cavity risk for your kids!

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Aug
18

Does My Child Really Need Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are an increasingly popular preventive dental procedure for kids. But does this mean you should jump on-board and have them placed for your child’s smile?

What Sealants Do

With dental sealants, a thin layer of a resin material is painted into the grooves of the back teeth. This “paint” reduces the depth of the grooves, making it easier to keep them clean. It also prevents cavity-causing bacteria from settling in too deep.

The sealant placement process involves:

  • Polishing the surfaces of the tooth
  • Lightly etching the tooth surface
  • Painting the sealant material on in a thin layer
  • Curing the tooth with a bright light for a few seconds
  • Checking the surface for a tight bond
  • A fluoride treatment is recommended for strengthening the tooth even more

Are Sealants Safe?

Yes! Dental sealants don’t cause irreparable damage to tooth structure. They don’t leak any harmful toxins into the body system, and the placement process is drill-free. There is virtually nothing that you or your child should fear (not even shots!)

Benefits Now and Later

Dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the deep grooves of teeth. This makes them ideal for kids that have a hard time remembering to brush. By sealing out cavity-causing bacteria, you can reduce your child’s cavity risk altogether. Sealants can spare your family with the frustration of having longer appointments later on to repair the damage done by cavities.

Find out whether dental sealants are right for your kids by scheduling an examination with your local dentist. Regular check-ups will ensure that your children are given the best foundation possible for a future of healthy smiles!

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Jun
22

Why is Sugar Bad for Teeth?

You might have believed that sugar causes cavities, but there is more to the story. Understanding just how sugar harms teeth can help you to make better decisions for the health of your smile.

Acids Compromise Enamel

Sugar is acidic and it weakens the enamel through frequent exposure. The softened enamel is then opened up to developing decay. Specific cavity-causing bacteria are what cause the actual decay. The bacteria are common to all humans because we share them with our family members.

How Cavity Germs Work

The bacteria hide out in hard-to-reach spaces between teeth and in the grooves of chewing surfaces. What do these bacteria like to eat?

You guessed it – sugar! The germs thrive on carbohydrates you eat and then produce an acid waste product that also breaks down tooth enamel.

Control Bacteria Levels

You can help prevent cavities by reducing the amount of bacteria on your teeth. Regular flossing and brushing are essential to keeping the harmful germs at bay, and fluoride use will strengthen your enamel against the effects of acid.

Limit the Effects of Sugar

Processed products and foods containing refined carbohydrates like cookies, cake, bagels, and crackers will also leave lingering sugar acids in your mouth. Sweetened drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks contain acids and liquid sugars, which are highly damaging to teeth.

More important than how much sugar you eat is how long your teeth are exposed to that sugar. Sucking on one big lollipop for hours is more harmful to your teeth than eating a whole bowl of candy in five minutes!

Get on top of your cavity risk and the latest facts about tooth decay prevention by visiting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Mar
14

Can Chewing Gum Help Your Smile?

Posted in Fillings

There are many different chewing gums available and while some are beneficial for your oral health, some can actually promote cavities in your teeth. In order to make the right decision for your smile, it helps to know about your body’s natural way of protecting your teeth and how chewing gum effects it.

It’s All About Saliva

Did you know that saliva helps clear your mouth of acids, that affect the enamel of your teeth, as well as food particles? The less harmful bacteria, plaque and acids in your mouth, the healthier your mouth will be and the harder it is for cavities to form.

Which Chewing Gum Is Right For Your Smile?

When it comes to gum, there are two types to choose from:

  • Sugar-free gum – Alternatively sweetened chewing gum can be very helpful in maintaining your good oral health because it encourages saliva flow. The more saliva in your mouth, the better capable it is of neutralizing and washing away harmful debris and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
  • Sugar-sweetened gum – While sugar-free gum can have many oral benefits, the same cannot be said of sugar-sweetened gum. While your mouth may enjoy the treat, your teeth do not. The sugar contained in chewing or bubble gum acts as food for the harmful bacteria thrive on, encouraging rampant tooth decay.

Xylitol Sweetener For A Healthier Smile

When it comes to selecting a sugar-free gum, opt one that contains Xylitol. This sugar substitute doesn’t just sweeten chewing gum, but it also actively prevents plaque bacteria from adhering to your teeth – inhibiting the growth of some bacteria, and even tooth decay.

Opt for a cleaner smile, by chewing a xylitol-containing gum after eating and by seeing your dentist regularly!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Jan
6

Dental Care for Retirees

It is an exciting time when you reach the point of retirement.  You leave behind your worries and cares of your past career.  There is one thing that you should not leave behind though…your health, including your oral health.

Your oral health is related to your overall health.  It is very important to include a trip to your dentist along with trips to your medical doctor on a regular basis.  Your dentist will examine your teeth for cavities, check your gums for gum disease, screen for oral cancer, and address any other dental concerns you may have.

As you age, you can encounter some new challenges when it comes to your oral health.  One of the possible oral health challenges of aging is dry mouth.  As you age, you tend to take more medications which can reduce your flow of saliva as a side effect.  As a result, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities since you have less saliva in your mouth to help flush away the bacteria.

Some suggestions to help fight cavities with dry mouth are:  to stay hydrated, eat a low-sugar diet, use topical fluoride, and buy artificial saliva to re-lubricate your mouth.  Another concern that you should be watchful for throughout adulthood and into your older years is gum disease, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.  It is preventable and even reversible if you catch it early.

It is very important to have good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis, including brushing twice a day, low-sugar diets, avoiding tobacco, and flossing at least once a day to avoid these new challenges.

Remember that regular check-ups with your dentist can prevent you from needing more treatment over time. Be sure to schedule an exam at least every 6 months!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Nov
22

Smart After School Snacks

When it comes to after-school snacking, it certainly seems easiest to stock the refrigerator with prepackaged and processed goodies. You may want to think about having some healthier options on hand, and not just because they are healthier for your kids’ bodies – certain healthy (and tasty!) foods are great for your children’s dental health, too!

Whole Grains, Whole Lot of Healthy

Try to replace packaged sweets and white bread and pasta with whole grain options. The processed stuff uses a lot of unnatural sugar, which creates an acidic environment in your kids’ mouths. This acid promotes the growth of cavity-causing bacteria that feed on sugars such as those found in processed products.

Whole grains contain more fiber, which helps to cleanse the teeth and provide true brain-fuel. Try offering your kids whole grain bread and crackers, granola, and even popcorn as healthier carbohydrate options.

Steer Clear of Sugary Drinks!

Sports drinks, soda, and juices all contain harmful acids and sugars, so try to replace those as much as possible with sugar-free options and even just good plain water!

Provide Healthy Options

If your children are used to having certain snacks on hand, they may not be able to imagine anything else tasting good. Try to include them in the brainstorming process and have them help out in assembling mini yogurt parfaits, ants-on-a-log, seasoning popcorn, or making apple-slice-and-cheddar-cheese sandwiches. Encourage your kids to reach for the healthy options, but make those accessible to them. Keep fresh sweet pepper, cucumber, celery, and carrot slices at the ready for quick and easy munching.

Posted on behalf of:
Rowe Family Dental Care
2320 Satellite Blvd NW #120
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 622-5909

 

Feb
16

Do Adults Need Fluoride?

Growing up, you probably heard how important fluoride was for your teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that encourages proper tooth development and also helps tooth enamel resist decay. Just like calcium, it’s a necessary part of the human body. Kids aren’t the only ones that can benefit from fluoride – adults do too!

Fluoride at Your Dental Appointment

Professional strength fluoride applications help fight sensitivity and provide the pores of the teeth with a chance to absorb minerals that greatly decrease your risk of tooth decay. Applications such as varnishes can last for several hours, making them much more effective than gels or foams that were previously used by dentists. 

Fluoride in Your Drinking Water

Systemic fluoride helps strengthen bones and teeth as they grow. When your finished growing, the superficial fluoride strengthens the teeth as you drink. Municipal water supplies are required to have monitored fluoride levels while bottled waters do not. In fact, many bottled waters do not contain fluoride at all and even have a slightly acidic pH. 

Fluoride in Your Toothpaste or Mouth Rinse

The small amount of fluoride in your home products provides your teeth with a minimal, daily dose of the mineral to help repel new tooth decay. It can also help early signs of demineralization to reverse, before they become cavities. If you have a high risk of cavities such as a large number of restorations or frequent tooth decay, then daily fluoride is a must.

Your dentist may prescribe a stronger fluoride for daily use if you are at risk for decay or undergoing orthodontic treatment. Even if you use fluoride, regular dental check-ups are important to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. Book your preventive care visit every 6 months.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

 

Dec
8

Simple Tips to Limit Plaque Buildup

Some of us build up more plaque than others, even if we brush frequently and eat a balanced diet. Our bodies may metabolize things more quickly than others, making it where we battle heavy plaque accumulation on a daily basis. If this sounds like you, here are a few things to try to limit or manage your buildup more effectively:

Consider Flossing Alternatives

Cleaning between your teeth is one of the most important things you do every day, but a lot of people really dislike flossing. Experiment with different types of flossers, floss picks, or try a water flosser. See which method is easiest for you to work into your daily routine rather than not trying anything at all. Some methods like water flossing are even more efficient than traditional floss! 

Chew Xylitol Gum

Xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar that acts differently than other types of sugars. It actually prevents plaque from being able to accumulate or building up on the surface of the teeth. Some popular brands of gum are sweetened with xylitol and say so on the front of the packaging (just be sure to check, since not all “sugar free” gums contain xylitol.) Chewing a piece between meals or after snacks can improve your breath and prevent buildup from forming across your smile. 

Drink Water Between Meals

What you drink can be adding to the plaque buildup that your mouth experiences during the day. Drinking coffee, tea, sodas or sports drinks between meals can contribute to the development of buildup on your teeth. Water is a natural lubricant that cleanses your mouth as you drink it and won’t add to your risk of cavities or plaque. Drink up!

Posted on behalf of:
Toothmasters
139 Aliant Pkwy
Alexander City, AL 35010
(256) 329-8401

Aug
29

Lunch Ideas That Are Great For Smiles

Packing a lunch can save you several bucks a day, and makes it easier for you to be sure that you’re eating healthy options. As parents get ready to send their children back off to school, most of them are also considering ways to make a fun lunch that is also part of a balanced diet. Whether or not you’re packing a lunch for your child, or yourself, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to keep your smile healthier as well.

Opt to drink tap water with your meal. This is an excellent calorie saver, a natural tooth cleanser, and the fluoride inside of the water will keep teeth strong. Other options will just add to plaque buildup, and if you’re away all day you won’t be able to brush between meals.

Always add crisp, fresh produce to your lunches. Fruits and vegetables are healthiest when they’re fresh and uncooked. The fibrous texture cleanses the teeth as you chew, and also massages the gum tissue for optimum blood flow. Vegetables are also very low in calorie counts, so you can eat more of them without the guilt of feeling like it’s bad for your teeth or your health.

Remember your dairy! Eating sliced or cubed cheese can help you feel fuller, get necessary calcium, and even neutralize the pH inside of your mouth. Studies suggest that eating cheese during a meal will reduce the acidic levels inside of the mouth, preventing enamel from being eroded or an increased risk of tooth decay.

Keep it fun! Compartmentalized lunchboxes and colorful food are an easy way to spruce up your meal and make it more enjoyable for your child (or for you!)

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

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