Defeat Monster Mouth: Healthy Teeth Tips for Kids

children-smiling_2 Defeat Monster Mouth: Healthy Teeth Tips for Kids

Did you know February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? This month is dedicated to educating kids and parents about the benefits of great oral health. According to the CDC, cavities are the most common chronic disease among kids aged 6-19. In fact, a kid between the ages of 14-17 is 4 times more likely to have cavities than asthma! With all that in mind, here are 5 things parents and kids can do:

To help your children protect their teeth and gums and greatly reduce their risk of getting cavities, teach them to follow these simple steps:

  • Brush twice a day with an ADA — accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque-the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that cause tooth decay. When you do eat these foods, try to eat them with your meal instead of as a snack-the extra saliva produced during a meal helps rinse food from the mouth.
  • Make sure that your children’s drinking water is fluoridated. If your water supply; municipal, well or bottled does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups. They should continue to see the dentist at least once every year.

Kids’ dental care also depends on parents to review certain areas of prevention with their dental professional. This includes tooth decay, what thumb-sucking can do to baby teeth and how to get your child to become familiar with his or her dental office’s surroundings. In later years, your attention should focus on the prevention of crowded teeth and healthy gums, both achievable by seeing a dentist at least twice a year for an oral examination and professional cleaning.

 

How Important is Diet to My Child’s Oral Health?

A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth. In addition to a full range of vitamins and minerals, a child’s diet should include plenty of calcium, phosphorous, and proper levels of fluoride.

If fluoride is your child’s greatest protection against tooth decay, then frequent snacking may be the biggest enemy. The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candies, dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels and potato chips combine with plaque on teeth to create acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities.

Each “plaque attack” can last up to 20 minutes after a meal or snack has been finished. Even a little nibble can create plaque acids. So it’s best to limit snacking between meals.

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5 tips for improving your child’s smile!

iStock_000025088553Medium_2 5 tips for improving your child’s smile!

Smiling at people is one way of showing them our love. There is no better way to convey love and happiness and no one can resist a child that smiles openly and with delight.

Yellow or brownish teeth can make your child shy and uncomfortable, but these problems are quite common nowadays.

In today’s fast paced world maintaining hygiene and dental health is an issue. Stains on your child’s teeth are an unpleasant problem that can be caused by many different factors. Having a dental exam is the first step that will allow you to determine the causes of the stained surfaces and whether there is a need for treatment or not. After the possibility of a cavity has been ruled out, you can proceed in the search for other causes of staining problem.

 

Children Oral Health is more than just their smile

 

Healthy “oral structures” include firm gums and strong teeth. They are important for children in so many ways!

  • Eating – Food is broken down by chewing. Teeth then work along with saliva to break down food even further before swallowing.
  • Speaking – Both baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth are important for helping children to speak properly and form sounds.
  • Self-Esteem – A bright and healthy smile can enhance appearance and increase confidence.
  • Aesthetics – Fresh breath feels good — and makes a child nice to be around!

 

Oral health is an essential component of a child’s overall well-being

 

Dental disease in children is preventable, but once it sets in the disease can affect a child’s physical development in the form of reduced body weight and interference with growth. It can also affect a child’s school attendance and academic performance, leading to significant implications for a child’s social development and future success.

Parents and caregivers play a critical role in maintaining good oral health and establishing proper oral hygiene habits. Once caregivers understand that tooth decay is caused by an infectious, transmissible and diet-dependent disease, they can take multiple steps to reduce their child’s exposure to bacteria and its effects.

 

As Saint Valentine is approaching, the best way to greet someone you love is by showing them your pearly whites, so be sure that you follow these simple steps to avoid having a yellowish smile, for both you and your child. While dental hygiene is of the biggest importance, always remember that having fun while cleaning your teeth should take the higher priority, as that will surely increase the both the numbers and the intensity of the smiles you would get from your child.

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Be At Ease Without Gum Disease

gumdisease1 Be At Ease Without Gum Disease

Gum disease, What is it?

 

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

 

There are 5 types of gum disease:

  1. Gingivitis – Is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. It is also reversible with proper treatment.
  2. Chronic Perodontitis – Is the stage where the gum and bone recede and form pockets where residue of food can be accumulated and afterward create plaque, which presents the main cause of gum inflammation.
  3. Advanced Perodontitis – A stage of a severe gum damage, when there is no longer an anchor for the teeth and they get wobbly and loose. The result is usually a tooth loss, therefore, it is very important to catch and treat gum disease as early as possible.
  4. Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions – Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying condition, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease are the most common co factors
  5. Necrotizing Periodontal Disease – This form of the disease rapidly worsens and is more prevalent among people who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, chronic stress or choose to smoke. Tissue death (necrosis) frequently affects the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues and alveolar bone.

 

The gum inflammation may pass unnoticed at first. It can form around teeth in the back of your mouth where you can’t see it. It is a dentist or a periodontist that can determine with certainty if you have some degree of gum disease.

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants.

 

What are the causes?

 

Gum disease is mostly caused by an improper oral hygiene. It allows bacteria in plaque to settle on the teeth and infect the gums. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis like:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

 

Preventing Gum Disease

 

Preventing gum disease is important for your teeth, but it’s also important for your overall health as well. Here are five simple steps to take right now that can help ensure your gums stay as healthy as possible:

  • Brush and floss: The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss regularly, but to get the best effects, you need to be sure you’re doing both correctly so you eliminate bacteria at the gum line and between teeth without harming the gums themselves.
  • Have regular checkups: Seeing a periodontist regularly is critical for adults since a periodontist has been trained to identify the early signs of gum disease even before they cause symptoms.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking decreases circulation that helps keep gums healthy, and it’s also a primary contributor to gum disease.
  • Watch what you eat: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals is important to keep the gum tissue healthy so it can support your teeth and ward off disease. Avoiding sugary snacks is also important since the bacteria that cause gum disease thrive on sugar.
  • Chew sugar-free gum: When you can’t brush after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum can help promote the production of saliva so tiny food particles can be cleared away and your mouth’s healthy environment can be restored.

 

Treatment

 

The goal of gum disease treatment is to control infection and to arrest its progression.

Treatment options involve good nutrition, and proper brushing and flossing that can control the growth of harmful bacteria and in advanced paradentosis even surgery to restore supportive tissues.

Antibiotic therapy are used to kill specific bacteria. They are placed under the gums or given as pills to treat gum disease. Antibiotic pills typically are given only for acute (sudden and short-term) infections. Acute and long-term (chronic) gum infections require a procedure called scaling and root planing.

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