Did you know that the formation of the mouth and teeth takes place within the first 6-8 weeks of fetal development? It is almost unbelievable to think that by the time your baby is born all of the teeth they will ever have are already developing in their jawbones. Our bodies are simply amazing! This fact only underlines the importance of early and regular preventative care and developing good oral hygiene habits early.
Primary (baby) teeth play an important role in your child's oral, facial, and total body development. They are the foundation to establishing healthy habits and confidence that your child will carry with them for a lifetime.
1. The purpose of all teeth is to chew food and maintain proper nutrition and health. Pain from cavities or other types of dental infections can make it more difficult for your child to eat nutrient dense foods that are healthy for both their body and oral development. Many nutrient dense foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, meat proteins, and whole grains take a great effort to chew. We need to have our teeth, palate, and tongue working together in order to maintain a healthy diet that includes the nutrients necessary for a healthy body. If your child is experiencing dental pain, they will most likely be unable to eat many of these foods or may favor one side of their mouth over another. While your children's bodies are growing, so are their mouths. Harder to chew foods engage your whole mouth promoting the spreading of their palate creating a wider tooth arch. A narrow arch has the potential to create breathing issues for a child as they grow which may require additional dental or perhaps even medical intervention.
2. Primary teeth help maintain space and guide proper eruption of the permanent teeth. If a child loses primary teeth to early the adjacent teeth may drift into empty spaces and block the eruption of permanent teeth. The only way to fix the misalignment of a tooth/teeth once it has grown in, is with orthodontic treatment (braces). Along with guiding your permanent teeth, primary teeth help your child learn how to pronounce words and sounds correctly and with confidence. A child who is not afraid to speak up will more fully participate in the environment around them. While there are many reasons a child may be hesitant to speak an early lost tooth and dental pain should no be one of them.
3. Pain from cavities or other type of dental infections can interfere with your child’s ability to concentrate and learn in school and their desire to participate in activities outside of school. Additionally, unplanned dental appointments to treat an emergency will result in your child missing school or opportunities to participate in activities with peers or family.
Regular visits with your dentist will ensure that your child’s mouth stays healthy. Dentists are able to monitor your child’s oral development and identify any potential issues early allowing them to be corrected before becoming a larger problem. We want to be your partner in maintaining your child’s beautiful smile and help reinforce the habits you are encouraging at home. We are always available to answer any questions you have and we always LOVE hearing from you in-between visits!
October marks the start of the celebration season filled with sweet treatsand delicious hot drinks. It also means that our mouths and teeth will have to fend off constants attacks from sugar. If we are being honest with ourselves, there is absolutely NO WAY we won't be consuming any of the delicious treats and drinks offered up this season. Fortunately, there is a better way we can consume sugary treats that will keep our mouths and teeth safe from harm. Read on for our 3 tips to help you safely enjoy your treats this fall and holiday season.
1. Length of time it takes you to eat or drink your treat
For your teeth it is less about the amount of cavity-causing foods and drinks you are consuming and more about how long it takes you do so. The duration our teeth are exposed to sugar the better. Bacteria in our mouth convert sugar to acid, it's the length of time your teeth are exposed to this acid that can cause the most damage. For example, sucking on a hard candy or slowly sipping on hot chocolate can cause more damage than eating a piece of chocolate or cookie monster-ing a cookie.
2. Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth
It may be tempting to brush immediately after eating but it is best to wait for at least 30 minutes after consumption. The acid created by the sugar consumed can make your tooth enamel (top layer of the teeth) weak making it easier to be scrubbed away by a toothbrush. Waiting 30 minutes will allow the enamel to re-strengthen and become safe to brush. If you can't wait the 30 minutes then our third tip- drinking water- is your best option!
3. Rinse with or drink water
There is a good reason why water is the champion of beverages! Among its many benefits, water will also dilute the acid and help to wash it from your mouth, reducing its potential to cause harm. Eat your treats with water instead of hot chocolate or alternate drinking water with a sugary beverage. If you can remember to swish it around yourmouth before you swallow (or spit) it that will help to remove most ofthe acid from your mouth and teeth.
CLEATS? CHECK! HELMET? CHECK!
SHIN AND SHOULDER PADS? CHECK AND CHECK!
ADEQUATE SPORTS MOUTH GUARD?
Recent studies have shown that most people are not aware of the frequency and severity of trauma to the mouth from both contact and non-contact sporting activities. Many sports-related traumatic dental injuries are preventable with the use of a proper fitting sports mouth guard. We know using proper fitting protective equipment works, it's the reason we all take the time to fit ourselves and children with the right helmet or chest pads before we even consider walking onto the field. Including a properly fitted sports mouth guard in your equipment check list each season is an easy way to be sure that you protect your teeth, gums and brain from trauma associated with impact from elbows, balls, punches, head-butts and sticks to the face and head.
Typically sports mouth guards cover the upper teach (statistically these are the teeth that carry the greatest possibility of injury), however if you have braces, implants, bridges or other dental work on your lower teeth your dentist may suggest a guard to protect these areas as well.
THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF SPORTS MOUTH GUARDS TO CONSIDER WHEN RESEARCHING YOUR OPTIONS:
Stock guards. These come out of the package preformed and ready to wear. These are easy, quick and are the least expensive option. Unfortunately the one-size fits all model does not work very well in your mouth and these guards are often bulky and lose, making it difficult to speak and breath easily. The rubber material that they are made of is soft and does not provide the impact resistance needed to reduce the rate and severity of concussions, and trauma to the mouth and teeth. Also, stock guards will not provide protection in areas that have missing teeth or orthodontic appliances (such as braces). I would recommend using they type of guard only if you are in a pinch and your option is a stock guard or no guard.
Boil and bite guards. These come in a preformed shape with a firm hard exterior, and moldable interior which can be altered by boiling the guard in water and then biting into the warm rubber for a more customized fit. These guards can create a better fit than stock guards, since you are fitting it to your mouth and teeth. Unfortunately you are still constrained by the general sizing (often only youth and adult) which may not fit correctly. Similar to stock guards, the materials these are made of tend to be softer and will not provide the protection needed to reduce the rate and severity of concussions, and trauma to your mouth and teeth. Cost varies depending on the brand. While a boil and bite guard may provide more protection than a stock guard will, it still lacks in the ability to provide the protection needed especially if you are missing teeth or if you have anything other than an "average size" mouth. I would recommend using a boil and bite as your "extra" guard and keep one in your sports bag at all time just in care a custom guard is not available.
Custom Made. These are made by your dental office and custom designed to precisely fit your mouth. A custom made guard will provide you with the most comfortable fit and best protection for your mouth. Most athletes prefer to use a customized mouth guard because the fit is superior to the others and therefore it interferes less with their performance (breathing, speaking, running etc.). The materials used for custom guards are designed to withstand a hard hit and provide the protection needed to reduce the rate and severity of concussions, and trauma to your mouth and teeth. Also, any missing teeth. orthodontic appliances or other specifics would be accounted for and therefore provided the best protection for your mouth. Talk with your Dentist about what would be right for you and ask them to make your guard with your name, team colors or jersey number on it! I would recommend a custom made guard for any contact or non-contact sport where you may incur trauma to your mouth and lower face i.e. mountain biking or skateboarding.
How does a sports mouth guard protect me against concussions?
There have been studies conducted that showed athletes wearing store bought mouth guards suffered more traumatic brain injuries/concussions than those wearing custom made guards. While all mouth guards will help to absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw, not all guards do this equally. The main difference of protection is thickness-store bought guards are on average 1.65 millimeters (mm) thick versus a custom guard witch is on average 3.50 mm thick. The difference 2 mm makes is huge when considering the amount of shock absorbance and barrier protection provided from direct hits. Also, the type of material the mouth guard is made of can have an impact on how much protection it provides. Most store bought guards are made of a soft pliable rubber material and custom guards are made out of a stiff laminated material. If you do sustain a hit to the mouth your custom guard made from a thick stiff material will provide much more protection that a thinner pliable rubber guard.
IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ABOUT 80% OF SPORTS PARTICIPANTS WILL SUSTAIN A DENTAL INJURY, WITH INJURIES PEAKING IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS.
A large portion of these injuries consist of cuts, cracked or broken teeth and broken jaws. Considering the cost of replacing or repairing a permanent tooth has been estimated between $5,000-$20,000 not including the emotional stress and time it takes to deal with an injury, investing in a well made mouth guard seems like a small price to pay for a highly reduced risk of sustaining an injury allowing you to enjoy your participation in sports and activity with reduced worry.
Our teeth, small but mighty, are a lot more important to our health than we may realize. Without teeth, you would’t be able to eat popcorn at the movies, a big juicy steak off the grill or sweet strawberries right of the vine. You need healthy teeth (and gums) to eat nutritious food, and we need nutritious food to keep our teeth and bodies healthy. Tooth development and health is influenced and affected by the foods you eat as a child. As an adult, the foods you eat help to maintain the foundation you built as a child. The conditions of your teeth and gums can often be the first indication of a larger systemic issue going on in your body. The mucosal cells, which is the tissue inside your mouth that covers most of the oral cavity apart from the teeth, completely regenerate every seven days. This means that any nutrient deficiencies or excesses will show up in your mouth tissue before they have the opportunity to travel and be noticeable in other areas of your body.
Okay-so, when you are standing in the grocery store list in hand, what foods are you picking up to get your your healthiest mouth yet?
We’ve made you a chart to help sort it all out!
Gingiva (gums)- we tend to not spend much thought on them, unless they hurt or are bleeding, but they are an important link to our total body health, and deserve some attention. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is linked to premature birth, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health problems. Treating, or even better preventing, periodontal disease can lead to better overall health and lower health care costs.
The earliest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis, and this can be prevented or reversed by the daily use of tools we all already have at home-toothbrush and floss! At your hygiene visits your hygienist will assess your periodontal health, record your periodontal tissue levels, and review your home oral care habits. The doctor will review this information preform an examination to look at your teeth, jaw, palette, and gums to asses if there are any unusual bumps, colors, or damage that need to be monitored, further evaluated or treated. Our goal is to keep you from developing any level of periodontal or other diseases, and we will do all we can to help you achieve this goal.
When we look in your mouth we can see indications of many health conditions that affect parts of your body located nowhere near your mouth. Keeping regular visits with us gives you two opportunities to speak with a medical professional and have a part of your body assessed that your primary medical doctor does not spend much time looking at, and may not be as familiar with. The intricate and subtle nature of oral diseases and oral presentations of systematic medial problems are best evaluated by your Dentist.
If left untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, where the gum pull back from the root of the tooth creating a space where bacteria can enter your body causing an infection and inflammation of the bone in your mouth, and potentially traveling to other parts of your body like your heart. Research shows that the common thread between periodontal disease and chronic health conditions is inflammation-the body’s natural response to an infection or injury. The build- up of inflammatory substances in the blood seems to worsen heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
The take away is probably not surprising: Continue to visit your dentist, and brush and floss effectively to prevent inflammation. We even give you the tools and knowledge before you leave so that we know you have what you need to keep your mouth in tip top shape!
Healthy teeth do more than look nice in your family pictures, they allow your child to eat all types of foods and keep good nutrition habits, develop proper pronunciation and clear speech, and to have a positive self-image as they grow. But we understand the battle of brushing and flossing may be one that sometimes, you chose to surrender after a particularly challenging morning or evening.
With that being said, tooth decay remains the top disease affecting our children. Hope is not lost though, even the loudest protester to a daily brushing and flossing routine will not be destined to a lifetime of tooth decay. Here are 3 low cost and time saving commitments you could make today that will help streamline your daily brushing and flossing routine AND protect your child’s teeth against decay and the occasional wave of the parenting white flag.
1. Sealant and Fluoride Treatments
Prevention always costs less than fixing something once it becomes an issue. Sealants and fluoride are easily applied on the teeth and, as research shows, provide effective protection against bacteria and tooth decay. While sealants and fluoride are not a replacement for good brushing and flossing habits, they can provide an extra layer of protection, especially for those hard to reach teeth.
2. Early and regular visits the dentist. Studies have shown that bringing your child to the dentist early, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child has their first appointment by the age of one (1) and, making regular (every 6 months) visits greatly reduces the likelihood of early childhood cavities. The first couple of appointments are intended to look at the child’s teeth, and educate the parent(s) on preventative care habits. Establishing an early and regular routine for a child allows them to become comfortable during their dental visits and educate them on the importance of brushing and flossing, and the potential problems it prevents.
3. Make it fun instead of a chore.
Even adults have trouble keeping up with a regular oral hygiene routine, so it’s not a surprise that children do not run squealing with delight when it’s time to brush. Find a fluoridated toothpaste flavor they enjoy, use hand held flossers with kid friendly designs, and let your child choose where in the home they want to brush their teeth. The best routine is one that is easy to complete and maintain, so if hanging upside down off the couch gets your child to brush then let them do it, also some of those positions actually let parents see and brush all the teeth much better.
Our teeth are one of the only structures in the body that at certain points cannot repair itself, this makes it even more important to keep a good oral hygiene routine. Choosing even one of these tips to try, will go a long way to helping you and your child maintain a healthy mouth, body, and the active lifestyle that you and your family enjoy.
We decided on the name Flossophy (pronounced like philosophy) for two reasons . First, it’s pun-ny and we like that, because we all think we are hilarious around here; and second, our philosophy in
practice is to provide high quality and compassionate dental care to all of our patients. One of the best ways we can do that, is to give you the knowledge and information to guide you in making informed and
confident decisions regarding your dental health and, to be the experts that you can rely on to help walk you through each step.
Welcome to our Flossophy we hope you like what we have to share!