April 8th, 2018
We all have probably heard that consuming overly-sugary foods and beverages can lead to tooth decay, but did you also know that your mouth is likely to be the first place to indicate signs of poor nutrition? It’s true. Evidence of poor nutrition is evident, usually, within the mouth before it shows in areas of the body. Everything you eat and drink has an impact, no matter how small or how brief, on your dental health.
Nutrition depends on many things; to consider nutrition per the recommended guidelines developed by the Department of Agriculture, a person’s nutrition depends on age, gender, level of activity, and other inherent health factors. This means that calories and other dietary restrictions are based on several different factors, and that no two people are exactly alike, but everyone’s diet should have balance and moderation. For instance, unless a person has certain dietary restrictions that prevent it, people should consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, grains are important—of course, again, this depends on dietary restrictions—and foods such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are an especially important part of our diet. Dairy should be low-fat and limited to moderation, and foods that are rich in protein such as fish and skinless meat—remember that certain meats can be hard on the body and should be consumed in moderation—but also protein-rich foods such as legumes—i.e. beans and lentils.
While a diet is an incredibly important aspect to full body health, quality dental health depends also on several other factors that include: the frequency a person eats—regular snacking is not recommended, because it’s hard to keep the teeth clean—the combinations of foods a person consumes in one sitting, and any other conditions—gastrointestinal problems and systemic diseases such as diabetes—which may alter the way our bodies process food.
Remember, our mouths are one of many of the components to full body health, and oral health is not only about just twice daily brushings one once daily flossing—although these are very, very important components.
March 5th, 2018
A baby needs his or her gums and initial teeth cleaned as frequently as his or her parents. It’s not true that because a baby is going to receive a new set of adult teeth that the health of baby teeth can simply be ignored. Plaque begins to form on a baby’s gum line as soon as he or she takes that first bit of milk or formula into his or her mouth. To clean a baby’s gums, even before his or her baby teeth have sprouted, use a soft, damp cloth and gently massage the baby’s gum line. You can begin to do this just a few days after birth, and continue with it until a child has sprouted all his or her baby teeth.
When a child gets his or her first tooth then it’s time to brush. Use a tiny amount of toothpaste—a toothpaste that’s meant for small children (if you have any questions as to the types of child toothpastes then talk to your child’s dentist at Premier Smile)—the amount of toothpaste used should be in an amount that’s comparable to a grain of rice—small. Massage the child’s tooth or teeth with a child-sized toothbrush twice a day. Keep a tooth brushing routine and the child will begin to adopt the habit as they grow.
As the child gets older, and he or she has a mouth full of teeth, you can begin to up the dosage of toothpaste—in an amount no larger than a pea—and he or she can help you brush his or her teeth. As the child gets older and more autonomous you can have the child brush his or her own teeth, but until the child is autonomous enough to handle the entire process, alone, you should still be present to supervise.
Also remember that a child’s first dental visit should happen early. Plan on bringing your child into Premier Smile so that he or she may not only have their teeth cleaned and examined, but he or she will also experience the dentist’s office; hopefully, in giving them a proper introduction to the dentist they will be less likely to develop a fear or anxiety.
February 4th, 2018
Water is always a choice. Water keeps your whole body healthy. Water cleans your teeth, and most water contains fluoride, and fluoride is extremely beneficial to dental health. But when you drink sparkling water, water that has an added carbonation to add a fizz—an added something that provides a satisfying feel similar to drinking soda—does that added carbonation and acidity affect your dental health? In particular does it harm the enamel? (Remember that enamel is the hard outer-covering on the tooth).
According to research, enamel is not overtly affected by the acidity of sparkling water. In fact, researchers found that sparkling water doesn’t have any more negative effects on tooth enamel than regular water. But, one thing not included in the study is the addition of flavorings into the sparkling water. For instance, many acidic flavorings are added to sparkling water—grapefruit and lime to name just a few—and these flavorings do have higher levels of acidity, which then do have a negative impact on tooth enamel. That doesn’t mean you have to stay clear of all flavored drinks. Soda pop, even diet soda, is especially hard on teeth and many flavored waters are much better for your mouth—and for your entire bodily health—than sodas. Soda, unfortunately, is bad for our mouth, and waters that have sugar added—these are supposed to be labeled sweetened waters (still make sure to check the label to be sure there’s no sugars added)—are equally as bad. Remember, drink plenty of plain water, because it has so many great benefits for bodily health. If you wish to drink a sparkling water, or even to indulge in a sugary drink (although it would be better to eliminate sugary drinks all together) then indulge in them sparingly. Try to have one with a meal, or at a snack time; try not to get into the habit of drinking carbonated waters all day long.
It may be time to book that next appointment at Premier Smile! Remember that regular trip to the dentist’s office is a part of practicing good oral health.
January 29th, 2018
As an adult, your oral care routine tends to remain fairly static for a large part of your life. Brush and floss. Rinse, perhaps, if you’re fond of it. And, unless you need prosthetics, that’s about all you’ll ever do. But, what about your kids? Toddlers? Adolescents? What sort of routine should they follow? Is it the same as yours? And, should it change from time to time? Since it’s February, and Children’s Dental Health month is upon us, let’s take a quick dive into “what’s-what” from toddlers to teens when it comes to oral care.
Use a warm washcloth or gauze pad to wipe your child’s gums after feedings. While most infants don’t begin sprouting teeth until around month six, you’ll still want to keep their gums free of oral bacteria that can develop from normal feeding.
Before your child’s first birthday, visit the dentist for an initial check-up
Around month six, and with the arrival of a child’s first teeth, ask your dentist if it’s the right time to start brushing. For tips on how to make this first step in oral care fun, check out our article on toddler tooth-brushing training tips!
By this age, your children will be brushing like a mad person. Be sure they learn not to brush too hard. Teach by example, and they’ll keep this good habit their entire lives.
Once a child starts to have teeth that touch, you can introduce flossing. This is extremely variable, and not really related to age, so work with your dentist on this one.
Begin experimenting with disclosing tablets so your child can see how effective their brushing is as they learn to wield a brush on their own.
Brushing and flossing should be the norm by this time in a child’s life. Experiment with a variety of floss options to find one that works for your child. Rotate between floss picks as well, to what works for your kids.
Once a child learns to spit (this time varies widely) an alcohol mouth rinse could be used if warranted. Ask your dentist, but at this age, there isn’t often a need.
Everything changes when kids become teenagers. Orthodontic appliances of all sorts come into play, and oral care can start to seem like a burden. Some kids also start consuming high carbohydrate and acidic beverages, so brushing and flossing are obviously required, and mouthwashes can be used particularly for kids with braces.
Proper prosthetic care is important to keep one’s mouth smelling and feeling fresh, so, yes … brushing the retainer becomes part of the routine.
Be sure your kids are getting up-to-date lessons on brushing technique from their dentist and/or hygienist.
So, as you can see, setting an oral care routine for your little ones is mostly about prepping them for brushing, the middle years are about getting them into the habit of doing things on their own, and (to a degree) the teenage years are, at least a little bit a fallback to having to be a bit of a watchdog on your kids behalf. They’ll gladly, and sometimes vehemently disagree with you as to how to take care of their teeth … your fun is in learning how to encourage, support and provide foresight without being too much of a parent while doing it! And, of course we are always here to lend help and support!