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Posts for category: Oral Health

April 22, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sealants   cavities   brushing   Toddlers   teeth   infant  


Photo by Kevin Fai from Pexels

 

As a parent, you have the power to give your child a beautiful smile! Toddlers and young children are not physically able to brush their teeth correctly. It’s important for parents to always help brush small children’s teeth, and to continue supervising and assisting with brushing until the age of seven to eight years old. Even once the child becomes older, it’s a good idea to check in on their brushing and flossing habits regularly!

 

Taking great care of your young child’s teeth is simple if you follow a few guidelines:

Consistency is Key. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, every single day. As soon as the teeth begin to touch, start flossing several times a week.

Use a child’s size toothbrush. A smaller toothbrush size ensures a better fit and more comfortable experience.

Use the right toothpaste. Toddlers and young children should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be able to spit the toothpaste out, not swallow it. Infants should use a fluoride-free toothpaste until they are two years-old, or capable of spitting the toothpaste out.

Brush effectively. Use small, circular brushes to sweep the food and bacteria off the teeth. When brushing the gumline, angle your brush at 45 degrees to get alone the gumline.

Brush your entire mouth. Brush each and every tooth, your gums, tongue and roof of mouth.

Aim for two-minutes, twice a day. It may seem like a long time, but it takes at least this long to brush every surface of every tooth.

Make it fun. Youtube is full of fun brushing songs, you can find brushing apps on your phone, or make up you own silly songs to keep it fun.

Model good oral hygiene! If your child sees that you value your smile and take great care of your teeth, he or she will learn to do the same.

 

Other ways to keep your child’s smile shining for life:

Limit juice, soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids that cause sugar to sit on the teeth.

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods.

Avoid sticky, gummy and acidic candies and treats. Opt for chocolates that melt away quicker and don’t stick as long.

Floss regularly, at least several times a week. Daily is best!

Make your child wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports or any activity where a mouth injury could occur.

 

As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to be a go-to resource for your pediatric dental questions. If you are in Anderson county or surrounding areas and need a dental home for your child, give our office a call at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!

April 16, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: brushing   dentist   Candy   sugar   teeth   Easter   fun facts   eggs   chocolate   jelly beans   bunnies   Peeps  

 

We’ve heard it for years. Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Most of us can get behind the whole “twice a day” because it makes sense. Brush your teeth in the morning to start your day and at night to wash everything away. But what about the “two minutes” part. It sounds easy enough, but have you ever actually brushed your teeth for two minutes? It can feel like eternity. Especially on those mornings when you are running late, the kids need breakfast, you can’t find matching shoes and someone spilt their cereal on the floor.

 

Admit it. We have all done it. We stick our toothbrush in our mouth, swipe a few times, rinse and call it done. And we won’t even talk about how quickly we brush our children’s teeth on those mornings. Besides, two minutes is just an arbitrary, made up amount of time, right? Does your dentist just say two minutes because it sounds good with twice a day? It turns out that there is actual evidence behind the recommendation. As you would guess, the longer you brush, the more effective you will be at cleaning the bacteria and plaque off your teeth.  
 

In one study from The Journal of Dental Hygiene, it was reported that the average person brushes their teeth for about 45 seconds, less than half of the recommended amount of time. Does it make a difference? The answer is YES. The same study found that brushing for two minutes removed 26% more plaque than brushing for 45 seconds. That’s a lot of plaque, that if left on your teeth regularly, will eventually cause dental caries.  
 

In 2012, the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, through a systematic review of 59 papers, found that people brushing for one minute removed, on average, 27% of plaque from their teeth. Those that brushed for two minutes, removed, on average, 41% of plaque from their teeth. Which sounds better to you? 
 

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that bacteria don’t just live on your teeth. They also coat your entire mouth’s interior, including your tongue, cheeks and gums. By brushing longer, you have increased time to brush these areas of your mouth, as well. 
 

How can you make it to the two-minute mark? Think of your mouth in terms of quadrants. Spend 30 seconds on each one: top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. If you really try to brush each tooth and gum area on both the outside and inside of the teeth, two minutes will fly by.  
 

For children, use two-minute times, find a fun song to brush along with or even get a great brushing app on your phone. Most of all, model good brushing for them. If you child sees you taking great care of your teeth, it will be easier for him or her to want to do the same. 
 

In addition to the length of time you spend brushing, how you brush also matters. Talk to your pediatric dentist to make sure that you and your child are using proper brushing techniques so that you can get the most out of those two minutes! If you are looking for a dental home for your child in the Upstate, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call our office today at 864-760-1440. 

It’s a common conversation in a pediatric dentist’s office.  “I don’t know what to do. My whole family has bad teeth.” Or, “I just don’t understand, we brush twice a day, everyday and she doesn’t drink soda. How can she have cavities?”

So, if the children that are receiving proper dental care are getting cavities, as well as the ones that aren’t brushing and flossing, we have to ask: Is there a such thing as bad teeth? Soft enamel?

Can your child’s, and your very own, dental problems be blamed on genetics, rather than poor dental hygiene? And if so, is this the ultimate excuse or are there ways to avoid these so-called, “bad teeth?”

In recent years, medical progress is being made on so many levels. Genetics are being studied on all levels to see just what role our genes play in our overall health and what we can do to overcome any genetic shortcomings. Because our dental health is so closely tied to our overall health and well-being (remember how dental disease and inflammation is linked to heart disease?), it makes complete sense that scientists are also studying the link between genetics and dental health.

So, is dental health genetic? The answer is yes. . . and no. Sometimes? It’s complicated. While scientists are finding genetic factors that affect some aspects of oral health, they are also confirming many environmental factors that play key roles in dental health- factors we can control.

Tooth decay, Bacteria and Sugar
Sugar in the food we eat feeds communities of hundreds of different types of bacteria that live on our teeth. The acid produced by these bacteria erodes the hard, outer layer of our teeth (the enamel) to cause cavities (tooth decay).

These bacteria in our mouth, the ones that cause tooth decay, aren’t present at birth. We normally acquire them shortly after birth, probably from other family members- think kisses on the mouth, pacifiers, teething items. Recent studies have been able to pinpoint which groups of bacteria are responsible for damaging our teeth. And it turns out that it’s not the genetic (inheritable) bacteria that are causing the tooth decay.

Want to take a stab at what types of bacteria can form cavities? You guessed it! The ones influenced by environmental factors like sugary foods! In fact, sugary drinks may be the very worst for your teeth! They are particularly adept at spreading sugar to every corner of your mouth, feeding the bacteria that cause decay. The good news is that the same types of bacteria in sugary foods that can form cavities, can also be brushed off your teeth!

But the story isn’t that simple.
While tooth decay is largely preventable, some people are more at risk of it than others. And genetics do play a role. Genes can affect how teeth develop and if teeth do not form properly, their enamel can actually be less resistant to bacteria. Genes can also affect whether your teeth will come in crooked or straight. Teeth that are crooked and overcrowded provide more areas for bacteria to hide and grow in, as they are more difficult to completely clean. Brushing and flossing become even more important in these situations, as a constant presence of these bacteria can cause cavities to form.

Tooth Color
The color of your teeth is another area that is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. The way in which the white enamel (and the underlying yellow dentine) forms during development is mainly due to our genes. Those whose teeth develop naturally with thinner enamel will have teeth that appear more yellow. Environmental factors that affect the teeth can be broken up into intrinsic factors (those that affect the teeth as they are developing) and extrinsic (those affecting the tooth after it develops). Intrinsic factors could include exposure to antibiotic tetracycline in the womb or excess fluoride as a child. Extrinsic factors affecting tooth color would be drinking coffee or tea and smoking.

So, tooth color, like tooth health, can be affected by both genetics and environmental. And while we can’t control the genetic factors, we can make changes to the environmental factors.

The message is still the same. Your teeth may be inherited, but bad oral health habits do not have to be. Everyone needs to take care of their teeth. Some people may have to work a little harder than others. But we can all take simple steps to ensure proper oral health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, brush your teeth and have regular check-ups.

Anderson Pediatric Dentistry can help you take care of your child’s smile. Give us a call today at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!

https://theconversation.com/bad-teeth-heres-when-you-can-and-cant-blame-your-parents-83887

https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/03/health/tooth-decay-causes/index.html

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/ada-04-genes-may-be-linked-to-tooth-decay-gum-disease

February 18, 2019
Category: Oral Health

 

Butlers, chefs, valets, groundskeepers, maids, florists, ushers. . . did you know that these are all members of the permanent staff that takes care of the White House through each administration? It seems there are lots of people around to take care of the President’s daily needs. But, did you know that the President has an official White House dentist, too? And why not? His teeth are an important part of his image and his health!

 

With all that the President has on his plate, you can imagine it would be hard to schedule a regular six-month dental cleaning and check-up. But, just because you become President, doesn’t mean you can stop caring for your teeth! Apparently, President Hoover agreed. During his administration in the 1930s, an official dental office was installed in the White House basement. Prior to that, Presidents had already had an official Presidential Dentist, but now they have a place to work, right in the White House.

 

The White House dental office may not have been very sophisticated when it was first built, but these days it boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a fully functional operatory. When a President or his family visits the dental office, they can receive treatment, much the same as you. The White House dentist performs regular check-ups, cleanings and X-rays, as well as any dental procedures that may be needed. He is expected to educate his patient on proper oral health and brushing techniques. Yes, even the President has to learn!

 

Of course, even a basement dental office and personal dentist can’t do all the worth. The President still has to brush and floss!

 

If you are not the President and can’t have a dental office in your basement, we would love to be your dentist. Call Anderson Pediatric Dentistry today at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!