What’s Mine is Yours—Including My Cavities

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It’s common practice for parents to taste their baby’s food before feeding it to them, but has this practice contributed to more cavities than necessary? We think so. Early Childhood Caries – or ECC for short – is one of the most common childhood diseases. It’s a serious health problem, and is characterized by severe decay in the teeth of infants or young children. Fortunately, it is easily prevented. Unfortunately, too many people don’t know about ECC and so don’t take proper precautionary measures to do so. ECC is generally a consequence of parents and/or guardians tasting a baby’s food and/or letting that baby put their fingers into the parent’s or guardian’s mouth. If ECC is not treated early on, it can cause severe pain and swelling in the mouth, face and neck. In extreme instances, operations are the only way to stop the baby’s dental pain and suffering. There …

What You Need to Now About Canker Sores

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So, you have a sore inside of your mouth that’s making eating and drinking uncomfortable. Even when your mouth is relaxed, it’s painful – with a tingling or burning sensation always reminding you that “hey, I’m here!” When you check out the pesky bugger in the mirror, you see that it’s a round, white-ish/grey-ish sore ringed with red. Your first thought: you have an abscess in your mouth. Don’t worry – it’s nothing that serious! What you are experiencing is a little something called a canker sore. Canker sores are annoying, yes, but they’re not dangerous. The most harm they can cause is maybe a slight fever and swollen lymph nodes. While they seem to last forever, in actuality, they only last for a week or two. And that’s without treatment. Why Do Canker Sores Happen? The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, but there is a strong correlation …

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Thumb-Sucking

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Thumb-sucking is a natural habit for infants and toddlers – so natural, in fact, that it oftentimes begins in the womb. However, it’s also natural for parents to worry about the effect it will have on their child’s smile, and in many instances, their future “social life.” While most parents know that thumb-sucking can cause damage past a certain age, what many don’t know is at what age thumb-sucking becomes detrimental to the formation of the teeth, or what kind of lasting damage can occur if not stopped in time. It’s important that parents recognize when it’s time to put an end to the thumb-sucking , and that they have a clear idea as to how to do so in the most natural way possible. That’s exactly what this blog post is meant to do: to help you determine when your child is ready to stop the habit, and how …

Protect Your (and Your Child’s!) Smile with This Underused Tool

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 600,000 individuals end up in the ER each year because of sports injuries. Of those 600,000, up to 200,000 can be prevented with one simple tool: the mouth guard. Yet, even with these high numbers, only 55% of Americans report that they or their child wears a mouth guard to both practice and games, while a startlingly low 22% wears them at games only. Dental injuries are the most common type of sport injury, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety… An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer from an orofacial injury when they’re not wearing a mouth guard. And, unfortunately, these injuries are hardly ever of the minor variety. Oftentimes injuries to the face result in permanent damage to the entire facial structure and can require extensive amounts of medical attention. In fact, just …

How to Ease Your Child’s Discomfort During Teething

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In the parenting world, this is almost like a bad word, as it wreaks of non-stop crying, long days and even longer nights. The only thing keeping parents from losing their heads entirely through this tough growth period is the fact that their children are suffering far more than them. While there isn’t much you can do to ease your baby’s discomfort while they’re going through this painful process, you’re not completely helpless… To ease your child’s discomfort – even if it is only temporarily – there are a few tricks that I’ve learned myself as a parent, and that other parents have shared with me. They are:     Lightly rub numbing gel across their gums with your finger or a piece of gauze.     Let them chew on a cooling ring     Give your baby a teething biscuit or a piece of toast     And if all else fails, …

Dental Spring Cleaning

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When spring finally breaks through, people tend to think of spring-cleaning for their closets, homes, and yards. But, what about spring-cleaning for your smile? Start the new season out fresh by going back to basics of dental health. With all the advances of dentistry, especially in cosmetic dentistry, it’s easy to forget what the main purpose of dental care is all about – clean, healthy teeth and gums. It’s as simple as that. While I can say that I’m excited about the amazing advances that dentistry has made even in the last few years, it’s important to remember the basics of dental health. Just as a friendly reminder, here are a few tips for your everyday care so that when you come in to see us there are no signs of tooth decay or gum disease. –       Brush your teeth twice a day – morning and night. We’ve all known …

E-Cigs May Be the New “Cool,” But Are They Safe?

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For decades, cigarettes have been promoted as “cool,” especially to young adults. Despite common knowledge that smoking has a negative impact on teeth and the entire body, people have continued the practice. In fact, smoking has been a part of the human lifestyle for as long as we can remember. The earliest history of smoking dates back to Central America in the 9th century. Tribes made smoking tubes from reeds and other available materials. Over the years, traditional cigarettes have been snuffed out by advertising laws, increasing taxes, and the banning of their use in public places in entire states. But marketers aren’t worried. They are moving on to a new “cool” product, the electronic cigarette, and it’s working. Young people are picking up the new habit by the multitudes. Introducing… E-Cigs Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs are a battery operated smoking device. They don’t contain tobacco, but instead they utilize …

Proper Dental Care Extends the Life of Teeth

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Over the years, our teeth take a constant beating. Day-in and day-out, meal after meal, they munch, crunch and bite their way through nutrition and snacking. For some, teeth are also a handy tool for removing tags, opening soda bottles, chewing on ice and holding items when hands are full. (Of course, none of our patients would use their teeth for such purposes!) No matter how we treat them, the wear and tear will take its toll over time. It’s important to follow proper oral hygiene recommendations like brushing twice per day, flossing daily and avoiding sweet and starchy foods as much as possible. In addition, for those who grind their teeth, a mouth guard is recommended at night to help minimize damage. For more information regarding how to offset natural wear and tear on the teeth, read this informative WebMD article: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-smile-10/teeth-gums-age

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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There’s nothing worse than coming in from a freezing wintery day, looking forward to a mug of delicious hot chocolate, and suddenly getting a shooting pain in your teeth at the first sip. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem for many people, and is usually caused by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. Typically, a loss of tooth enamel or gum recession is the culprit, so the older you get, the more prone you are. Knowing what causes this can help to either avoid tooth sensitivity, or prevent it from getting worse so you can drink that coco happily. Several reasons can cause exposure to the dentin (the layer that surrounds the nerve). –       Improper brushing, such as brushing too hard or too often –       Acidic beverages (coffee, soda, juice etc) –       Tooth grinding –       A chipped or fractured tooth Seeing a dental professional …

Toothbrush Rumble: Which Will Win – Manual or Electric?

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It’s easy to automatically assume that just because something is electronic, it’s better than its non-battery powered counterpart. For example, many people would agree that they like driving an automatic car instead of a manual, because it’s easier or more efficient. However, if you find yourself in the dental care aisle and feeling a bit confused, here’s a little bit of info to help ease the decision making process. Both the manual and electric toothbrush have their advantages. A manual toothbrush will always get the job done. According to John Ictech-Cassis, DDS, DMD, “The idea of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums. Most toothbrushes will keep the teeth clean if you know how to use them.” With a manual toothbrush, you’re also able to gauge how much pressure you apply, so you don’t irritate the gums. As long as you brush twice a day for …