Category: General Tooth Care Info

The Importance of Sealants

There is a reason that in America today pediatric dentists perform more than twice as many sealants as general dentists and hygienists combined.  In order for sealants to have the optimum conditions and most potential for cavity-prevention, they should be applied as soon as a child’s adult teeth begin to come in (usually between the ages of 5 and 7).  While dental sealants are not a cure-all for the possibility of tooth decay, they can certainly help in preventing it.
 

What is a sealant?

A dental sealant is a plastic-like liquid that is applied to the biting surface of the tooth.  The goal of the sealant is that it covers all the pits and grooves and fissures that could potentially trap food and other bacteria within the tooth.  Unlike fillings, sealants are a painless procedure that is preformed to help reduce the likelihood of tooth decay.  The steps for applying a sealant to a tooth is relatively simple:

  1. First the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
  4. The teeth are then rinsed and dried.  Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.

Do they have negative side effects?

There have been debates that the exposure to the bisphenol A and BPA found in sealants could be harmful to children.  However, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has done extensive studies concluding otherwise.  They have deemed these concerns unnecessary stating, “This exposure is considered an acute and infrequent event with little relevance to estimating general population exposures.”  In the case of sealants, the benefits nearly always outweigh the possibly negative side effects.
 

Why they’re almost always worth the investment…

In America today, it is safe to say that nutrition has become something that our society as a whole has little grasp of.  Foods and beverages are expected to be quick and convenient.  Getting the most for your money has become the general mindset in relation to how we feed ourselves.  As such, our children are being fed foods that, while they may be cost effective, are anything but nutritionally beneficial.  This has lead to diets of fast food and sugary drinks that are packed full of harmful, tooth-decaying preservatives.  As such, you can recognize the importance of finding ways to protect our children’s teeth as much as possible.  Dental sealants now may be a way of helping save your child from a mouthful of cavities later on (although a change in diet would certainly be a good thing to implement as well).

Over 90% of adult tooth decay is on the biting service of the back molars.  Every year, tooth decay can be blamed for problems with heart health, sinus related issues, headaches, and other general health concerns.  When you begin realizing the importance of your oral hygiene in relation to the rest of your body, the benefit of dental sealants at an early age becomes clearer.  Taking this preventative measure can save your child’s oral health from a world of hurt. Even if your child is in their early teens and has not yet had sealants, it may still be worth talking with your dentist about the possibilities of getting sealants for your child.  If your child has a healthy mouth, then getting sealants may still be a viable option, even if they’ve had their adult teeth for a few years.  Dental sealants do have the potential to last up to 10 years, but regular check-ups should be scheduled so that your dentist can keep an eye on them.  A good number of insurances cover the cost of sealants, so don’t be afraid to ask.  Investing in your child’s mouth now, may save you from unneeded grief years down the road (both physically and financially).  Just be sure to remember that even with sealants, regular brushing and flossing is imperative to ensuring your child’s mouth stays healthy!

Sources:

–          http://www.nbcnews.com/health/decay-dilemma-do-kids-need-dental-sealants-752956

–          http://www.ada.org/1766.aspx

–          http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-sealants

–          http://www.deltadentalins.com/about/community/sealants.html

Why Eating Healthy is Best?
Why Eating Healthy is Best?

With so much continuous discussion about healthy eating, it can appear that there are many secrets and much mystery surrounding the acquisition of a healthy diet. Yet logically, eating healthy should simply be tied to increasing the quantity of fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, protein and healthy fats in the diet. Additionally, there should be a reduction of food items that contain excessive amounts of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. Any discussion about eating health should also include an exploration of key elements − variety, balance and moderation. The results are evident that consuming healthier food options is critical for creating a healthy lifestyle overall.

healthy eating

A Balanced Diet:

It’s recommended that a healthy diet includes a balanced diet. This can mean many things for many people. Vegans for example eat only vegetables and dairy-free items that are found in nature; they do not consume anything that is an animal bi-product. A balanced diet would be consuming enough protein, roughage, fresh fruits and vegetables for a vegan. For people that have celiac disease or have an intolerance to gluten, a diet free of whole grain foods, but including fresh fruits and vegetables, protein foods and dairy products would be considered balanced. Healthy eating and eating a balanced diet are also tied to a need for moderation, suggesting that one must eat when hungry and stop when satisfied to keep healthy and fit.
 

Add variety to diet:

Eating healthy can be also be achieved by adding a variety of food items from different food groups. This can also make eating healthy an adventure − when one is willing to be creative and include a variety of items in a balanced diet. Variety can be integral in creating a balanced approach to food consumption. The benefits of ingesting a variety of healthy foods are that each food contains different essential nutrients. For examples, the beneficial nutrients contained in apples are different from those contained in bananas or pomegranates.

Moderate diet:

A healthy diet that includes all types of food items in a balanced way is still in need of moderation. While you may love carrots and they are natural and quite beneficial, you would not do your body justice to consistently eat an abundance of carrots. Any one item in excess can be counterproductive to the goal of improved health and overall wellbeing.

Top reasons for healthy eating

Increased energy, clarity, healthy complexion, strong immune system, weight control and longevity are among some of the reasons healthy eating is essential. By eating a natural and balanced diet, one ensures that their body receives plenty of the minerals, vitamins and other nutritional elements required to function at optimum potential. By maintaining a healthy diet, you become increasingly aware of the choices you make regarding what you consume. It’s likely that one becomes pickier and choosier − and this is a healthy habit. Those who eat healthy tend to be less stressed and they also handle stress better. This healthy lifestyle will decrease an individual’s chances of acquiring various diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes and perhaps even avoiding several types of cancer. Disease and discomfort is greatly diminished by adopting healthy eating habits. 

apples_healthy

Difference between dieting and healthy eating

Some people misunderstand healthy eating as dieting, but there is no direct connection between the two concepts. Healthy eating allows people to get more enjoyment out of life. Eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle allows people to make wise choices and not select impulsive unhealthy options, such as certain fast foods. These eating habits can provide permanent positive changes in one’s life. Diets however, when employed strictly for reduction of body weight, provide a temporary effect. With such diets, individuals refrain from certain items in their diet, and for some this may be frustrating and hard to stick with in order to see the desired results. Healthy eating on the other hand can be satisfying, helping an individual to stay leaner and fitter in the long run, doing so in a healthy and conscious way.  

Making eating healthy a habit

As physics tells us, and we know to be true, what goes up must come down. This is true for healthy versus non-healthy food options. Some food that you might find in your local market can trigger inflammation, add too many calories or increase cholesterol because of unhealthy ingredients. On the other hand, there are companies that are just as concerned about your wellbeing as you are. Such companies create foods that are natural, satisfying and good for you. These are the products to seek in your local market, those from companies that take your health as seriously as you do. Where to start? Start by substituting the food you love with healthier options, healthier choices. If you love pizza − and it is part of a tradition to share a pie and relax with your family, there is no reason this should change. Simply make smarter choices and substitute less healthy pizza for one that is good for you instead. Some find it surprising to find that pizza is among the items that are relatively easy to find healthy substitutions in supermarkets nationwide.

Portrait of a pretty little girl biting an apple

Healthy eating options

When changing dietary patterns and gravitating toward healthier options, it’s sometimes best to adopt these changes gradually, as abrupt change in eating habits can cause a rebound effect, making the change temporary rather than long term. Adding fresh fruit and salad to a food consumption routine is a smart start toward a more healthful eating lifestyle. Some people opt for gluten free diets, dairy free options and preservative free options, to help structure positive changes in eating habits that can be maintained. For some people, vegetarian diets provide a healthy solution, focusing strongly on the benefits associated with consuming increased quantities of vegetables and fruit, combined with the benefits of eliminating the fat and cholesterol present in animal protein sources. Healthy eating is the best option for anyone seeking to improve overall health and lead a more productive and balanced lifestyle.
 

Food Preservatives & Why They Are Damaging to Your Family’s Health
Food Preservatives & Why They Are Damaging to Your Family’s Health

As parents, if we think that anything absent of a strange food coloring or not in a can is without preservatives or additives, then we are wrong. It’s important to know that there are a variety of preservatives and additives on the market, sometimes disguised as healthy options. Here are the most common types of additives:

  • Antioxidants
  • Sweeteners
  • Colors
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Acids
  • Gelling, thickening and stabilizing agents
  • Preservatives
  • Emulsifiers

These items can add additional flavors as well as preserving the shelf life. However, it should be understood that these food preservatives are not typically good for our health. More and more, healthy professionals are recommending that we consume preservative free foods that are increasingly available at the local market. In this article, we’ll explore the danger of food additives.

The real question is, “Are they safe?” The Government doesn’t seem to think so. The Agency that monitors this area of the government is known as FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). This agency and assorted health professionals have concerns that some additives can cause behavioral changes in children and health issues.

These can cause temper tantrums and disruptive behavior in children, and links have been established between a child’s mood and their behavior as a result of ingesting such additives. Hyperactivity has also been attributed to various food colorings, artificial flavors and sweeteners.

esphoto_food_colors_coal_tar_dyesA variety of health and wellness professionals increasingly recommend that people stay clear of the following:

  • Artificial Colorings
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Flavor Enhancers
  • Preservatives

There are some negative side effects that may happen when we consume these food additives regularly. It should come as no surprise to that the more natural the food we consume, the better it is for our body and our overall health. We know that if people who are gluten intolerant for example, consume gluten, that their bodies react negatively. They become sluggish, bloated and in some cases may experience serious sickness. With gluten intolerance, the individual’s body does not digest these enzymes and proteins.

If gluten is natural and found in nature and has this type of effect on people with gluten intolerance, imagine the likely mechanisms of how a healthy body may react to additives and preservatives that do not naturally appear in foods.

Studies have been done that indicate some secondary effects of consuming additives over a lengthy period of time, with frequent ingestion. Here are examples of findings:

Hyperactivity in children and adults

Some food preservatives may cause increased hyperactive behavior. Therefore, it’s recommended to limit the consumption of food additives.

Digestive system disorders

Food preservatives can also cause some digestive system disorders. These symptoms can include bloatedness, bowl irritability and stomach aches.

Headache, nausea & possible nerve damage

Studies have shown that consuming certain additives over a long period of time have been known to show nerve damage and other serious health problems.

food preservative allergiesAllergic symptoms

There are some food additives that can cause allergic symptoms in people, similar to the allergic reaction one might get from gluten, for example.

Although studies continue to be conducted, and the studies are not 100% conclusive, we know that additives and preservatives should be avoided when we can help. Thanks to natural foods, it’s becoming easier to avoid these additives at the grocery store, when shopping for your family. It’s advised to purchase items that are created with consciousness; food that is made with natural ingredients, preservative and additive free.

There are many healthy foods that provide satisfying taste and quality, without the use of food additives in their preparation. By reducing the consumption of food additives, we can feel good about the foods that we consume and those that we provide for our family.

Creative Thanksgiving Fun for the Family
Creative Thanksgiving Fun for the Family

Whether you’re entertaining all the aunts and uncles and cousins from out of town or having a quiet day with your family this Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to have activities to keep the kids occupied (especially when the dropping temperatures make it harder to herd them outside). Here are some great ideas to get the family doing some fun crafts and participating in some thanks-inspiring activities!

Crafts Ideas

turkey_votiveIf you’re the type who plans ahead, and have kids who are old enough to handle a hot glue gun, have them make a few of these turkey candle votives:

Not only will having their little pieces of art as the centerpieces of the Thanksgiving table make them feel special, but they’ll give you small keepsakes to use for years to come. Make a quick trip to the dollarstore or your local craft store to grab what you’ll need. Click on the link to see step-by-step instructions from the creative minds at the spoonful.com blog (http://spoonful.com/crafts/glowbird).

turkey_craft_2Or, if you have little ones who are a bit younger, you can turn this fun turkey craft into an afternoon, outdoor excursion for Thanksgiving day. These adorable orange-pinecone-leaf turkeys are easy to make and use items that you probably already have in your kitchen and backyard.

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the website to help your little ones feel like they’re a part of the holiday preparations (http://www.parenting.com/article/gobble-gobble-turkey).

Decoration Ideas

placematIf you’re looking for thanks-inspiring details for your Thanksgiving table, try making these craft paper placemats. Have everyone share what he or she wrote with the rest of the table before you dig into the pumpkin pie! (http://theglitterguide.com/2013/11/18/diy-to-try-thanksgiving-entertaining/)

chain_craftOr you could begin a fun family tradition by starting a thanksgiving paper chain to hang above the table or along the wall.

Use these pretty calligraphy print-outs or create your own by cutting out strips of paper in your favorite fall shades (http://www.secondhandwithstyle.com/2010/11/diy-thanksgiving-round-up.html). Have each family member date their strip of paper and then write when they’re most thankful for before adding it to the chain. Over the years, you can pull out the previous year’s chain and reminisce over past and present blessings. Or make one big chain with all the years strung together!

Gift Ideas

candleIf you’re the one travelling to visit family this Thanksgiving and want to take more than your traditional contribution of green bean casserole and pecan pie, have the kids help you put together one of these fall themed gifts to say thank you to the hosting family members. Tie cinnamon sticks around a vanilla scented pillar candle for a delicious smelling gift. See on Pinterest

thanksgiving_potIf you have a green thumb in the family, buy some succulents like elephants ear or jade and have fun decorating the terra cotta planter with painted designs. Or, for a more personalized touch, have the kids write to the recipient things they love about them and are thankful for. They’re sure to keep the pot long after the plant has died. These are great thanksgiving craft ideas.

We hope these ideas help create some wonderful memories for you and your family this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat Dairy Free & Get your Pizza Too!
Eat Dairy Free & Get your Pizza Too!

Why Dairy Free Eating?

For those who suffer from adverse affects caused by dairy consumption, eliminating dairy products from the diet is a step in the right direction to promote good health. As it turns out, for some individuals, a variety of conditions can be cured by simply choosing dairy free eating. Among the ailments that can be related to dairy consumption includes digestive issues, acne, ear infections and chronic congestion. Often, these conditions will disappear a few weeks after dairy is eliminated.

People who suffer from dairy-related conditions are frequently advised to try a dairy free diet for about one month to see if there are improvements. Many notice an improvement in quality of life, above the cessation of symptoms, once they eliminate dairy products. However, it is important to realize that while embracing a dairy free diet can be beneficial, it’s also necessary to ensure that valuable nutrients are not simply omitted.

Aside from eliminating specific conditions, there are other benefits from going “dairy free.” For example, whole milk is high in saturated fat and sugar, which are bad for health. While milk may be rich in calcium and vitamins A and D, it does not contain any iron or fiber, and certain milk replacements include various combinations of these nutrients. There are also a number of dairy related concerns related to hormones injected into cows and bovine-oriented diseases that could end up in milk.

For individuals who are gluten intolerant, another reason to be wary dairy, is because of certain flavored milk and yogurt products which frequently contain gluten byproducts.

There are also a number of ethical arguments that prompt some to support dairy free eating. For those concerned about livestock not being cared for adequately on dairy farms, a dairy free diet alleviates such concerns. Those who oppose dairy for these reasons point to the fact that many dairy farm cows do not have an opportunity to roam around fields; instead they live a confined existence. Cows should have a lifespan of about 20 years, but the sad fact is that most never make it to five years on a dairy farm. They are also moved along the production line as soon as they stop producing the required quantity and quality of milk.

Start your Dairy Free Diet

trader joes vegan cheese - non dairyMost people consider the idea of dairy free eating challenging. For the individual suffering from allergies and a compromised immune system, a healthy reboot may include dairy free eating. Those coming from an ethnic or cultural background with heavy amounts of dairy used in foods may find it especially challenging to begin a dairy free diet. Often it’s best to begin slowly, eliminating dairy from the diet item by item, until all have been replaced. Learning about healthy products that can substitute is a smart way to feel good about changing to a dairy free diet.

Perhaps most daunting is the idea of eliminating those foods that are comforting or fun to eat. For some, the love of a hot and tasty pizza or a cold cup of yogurt may be reason enough to object to a dairy free lifestyle. In order for some to be successful, it comes down to making a gradual transition.

To succeed in one’s attempt to begin a dairy free diet, there needs to be a strong strategy about making better choices when purchasing grocery items at the market. There are many wonderful replacements; products designed precisely to help ease the transition. You can still get your pudding, cream cheese, coffee creamer, butter, yogurt, milk, cheese and ice cream – they’re simply vegan options, dairy free. Many vegan foods, while made from dairy free ingredients, taste every bit as good (and often better) than the dairy foods they replace. This means that with an open minded approach and an adventurous spirit, choosing to eat dairy free requires no sacrifice at all! The idea is not to let go of favorite meals, but to find healthy and satisfying substitutes. After a while, people who start to eat dairy free claim to enjoy their food every bit as much, or more, than they did when they ate dairy.

For many who choose to eat dairy free, the best news is that pizza can be still be part of their diet. Eating dairy free means that you can still enjoy pizza with your favorite toppings, by simply substituting dairy cheese with non-dairy cheese. Dairy free pizza can be found in a variety of places. At the supermarket, Better4U Foods dairy free pizza is healthy, convenient and tastes great. This natural brand’s dairy free pizza is also gluten free and made with fresh “flash frozen” ingredients, without preservatives.

Dairy Free Cooking

better4u dairy and gluten free pizzaBaked goods are traditionally made with milk and other dairy products (like butter), yet this does not need to be the case. There are several excellent dairy free cookbooks, filled with delicious recipes that are free of dairy products.

It is quite possible to make delicious cakes, cookies and other foods without eggs or milk. Many of the world’s most talented chefs bake incredible cookies and brownies, dairy free, that rival the best versions made with dairy. Those who believe that eating vegan means suffering and eating tasteless food, have likely never tried good vegan fare. Delicious dairy free food is simply about making different, healthy ingredient choices. Today, you need look no further than Pinterest, Facebook or YouTube to find an incredible number of amazing vegan recipes that are easy to make and appropriate for every occasion.

Whether preparing your own dairy free foods − or popping into the local grocer to pick up a Better4U Foods Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza – choosing a dairy free or vegan lifestyle can be healthy and fun. Try it!

Food Preservatives – What You Should Know
Food Preservatives – What You Should Know

In the natural order of things, spoilage is the end-stage of every food left uneaten. Spoilage is the result of an increase in the number of microorganisms in food. In order to prevent spoilage and waste of said food, scientists and experts have come up with components or substances that are popularly known as food preservatives. The addition of food preservatives increases the lifespan of almost every food item. These preservatives are extremely helpful in preserving the freshness of food and inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. For many years, people have considered food preservatives as “all-good” products. However, after recent studies and research, it has been found that these products are not as good for us as once believed. As is often the case when man introduces a process that goes against the natural order of things, the use of food preservatives entails several risks which every consumer must know about.

Food Preservatives: What are they?

Almost all food and beverages seen at the market today contain food preservatives. Food preservatives are combinations of several chemicals designed by experts in laboratories. Each chemical included in food preservatives has special properties which prevent spoilage. Although most food preservatives sold in the US are considered as generally safe by the FDA, these products can still cause adverse effects to the human body. Common chemicals included in food preservatives are ascorbic acid, sorbic acid, and calcium propionate among many others.

Disadvantages of Food Preservatives

Compared to their benefits, food preservatives have an alarming number of disadvantages. These include the following:

  1. Little to no nutritional value

    empty nutritionFresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and others are generally full of vitamins and minerals which the body needs to perform essential bodily processes. When foods lose their freshness, their nutritional value also diminishes, as their enzymes and minerals begin to decrease. In the past, companies that produced food containing preservatives claimed that the nutritional value of food was preserved through the use of such products. However, it was found recently that food preservatives do not preserve nutritional value but merely preserve the flavor or taste of food. This is why you may notice that preserved foods taste fresh even when they have already been there for several days, months or years from the manufacturing date.

    Eating food with no nutritional value is useless. Although you may feel full after eating, your body’s cells will not feel energized and satisfied. This may compromise your health and make you less resistant to diseases.

  2. They may cause disease

    As you eat foods with preservatives, unhealthy chemicals are being accumulated in your body. These chemicals may cause toxic effects, especially when they are not flushed out of the body. The chemicals used in preservatives usually start destroying the body by targeting the cells. They may also cause mutations to your DNA, which in turn could cause serious disorders such as Cancer. Toxic chemicals also weaken your immune system. When your immune system is very weak, microorganisms can easily invade your body and cause severe disorders.

  3. They are expensive

    Preserved foods are not cheap. They can even cost more than the fresh foods at your local market. This is because they can be stored much longer than fresh foods and therefore their perceived value can be rationalized.

Choosing Healthy food

Health consciousness is something that hopefully grows with each passing day. It seems that everywhere we turn people are seeking to live more healthfully. Aside from exercising regularly, having adequate amounts of rest and drinking enough fluids, eating healthy foods is also an essential component of health. The following are very good healthy food choices:

  1. Gluten free choices

    gluten freeA gluten free diet used to be an exclusively adhered to by people suffering from Celiac disease. However, upon discovering the numerous benefits associated with eating gluten free, the dietary choice has gained popularity by the public as a healthy food choice. A gluten free diet excludes the consumption of foods that contain gluten, such as barley, wheat, rye and triticale.

  2. Fresh Cohen Diet

    cohen diet - fruits and vegetablesThe Fresh Cohen Diet is another balanced-nutrition diet which promotes consumption of fresh or raw fruits and vegetables instead of those which are processed. This diet has been claimed to aid in weight loss.

Overall health should be on the top of everyone’s list. It is our birth right as participants on this planet that we enjoy healthy good food and good health. We know that food, whether processed or not, does not have to contain preservatives and additives. There are options such as flash freezing vegetable and fruit, which preserves their nutritional value. It seems that there may be increased danger in consuming preserved foods and building up toxins, rather than eating as natural as possible and flushing these toxins out with a natural and gradual detox.

Teething Myths
Teething Myths

Every child is different, but every child goes through the teething process, and parents often ask what they can do to help. It seems like teething goes hand in hand with runny noses, ear aches and upset stomachs, which is difficult for the child, but also frustrating for a parent.

Historically, teething has been blamed for a variety of ailments, including runny nose, earache, diarrhea, fever, and other conditions. Contrary to popular belief, however, several studies have shown that teething does not cause any of these conditions. Multiple studies in Pediatrics and The Journal of Family Practice found that although diarrhea, cough, vomiting, sleep disturbance, rashes or temperatures higher than 38.9 C were reported occasionally, they were not reported in enough children during the time teeth were erupting to be significantly associated with teething.

It is important to remember that teething takes place over a period of 2 and a half years, so it is not surprising that coincidental symptoms occur. Children are often becoming more social during this time period, and may be entering daycare or preschool for the first time. They are around other children who may be sick, and are putting more items into their mouths and the mouths of other children. It is more likely that other mild infections may be present during this time, in addition to teething.

If you notice that your child has a high temperature, it is important to visit your child’s pediatrician. There are some symptoms that are correctly associated with teething, including daytime restlessness, thumb-sucking, gum-rubbing, drooling, hand or object-biting, and potentially a loss of appetite. Slight temperature elevation may occasionally be seen.

Some simple techniques can be used to help alleviate the true symptoms of teething. If you notice excessive drooling, try to keep your child’s mouth and chin clean and dry to prevent skin irritation. Sore gums are common, and can be rubbed with a chilled teething ring, damp gauze, clean finger, or cold wet washcloth. We do not recommend using common over-the-counter numbing gels, as they have recently been linked to serious health risks in some children. These gels may contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic which has been linked with a serious blood disorder that reduces oxygen in the bloodstream. Commonly used gels include Anbesol, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and some store brands. Using over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used at the recommended dosage for your child’s weight, although children should not be given asprin. Asprin can cause a potentially fatal disease called Reyes Syndrome, which affects the brain and liver.

We encourage parents to visit their child’s dentist with any concerns during the teething process, but to visit the pediatrician for vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

Sugary Drinks & Tooth Decay
Sugary Drinks & Tooth Decay

As sugary drinks have become more popular, more studies have been done to find out if the consumption of the drinks is connected to the rise in tooth decay. Whether it is an energy drink, sports drink, soda, or store bought juice-, all can be negatively influential in oral health.

The high acidity levels and sugar content in soft drinks and energy drinks are especially dangerous. Keep in mind that drinks that are sugar-free are not necessarily better. Yes, the sugar content is low, but the acidity levels do not change and the sugar substitutes are not very beneficial. As of late, many dental professionals have come to agree that these drinks are connected with the rise in tooth decay. For children, especially with the summer months in store, parents often give out drinks like Capri Sun, Gatorade, and various bottled juices. Some of these choices are better than others, but all of these choices are very high in sugar.

To ensure the proper development and protection for your children’s teeth, as well as the upkeep of your own, it is first recommended to reduce the consumption of these sorts of drinks. Also, knowing the way that these drinks should be consumed is also important. It is dangerous to drink any fizzy or sugary drink over a drawn out period of time- say if one were to sip a Pepsi over a few hours, because to do so means constant and prolonged acid and sugar exposure for the teeth. For example, it is better to drink a beverage of this kind with a meal. While you eat, the chewing action will produce saliva, which then moves along the acid and sugar content of the drink. It also helps to swish with water after drinking any of these drinks, but to brush them immediately after does not. The reaction between the drink and the toothpaste on the teeth can actually cause erosion. It is best to swish with water and wait thirty minutes to brush.

So as summertime begins, think of alternative, fun, and yummy drinks for the little ones. A great idea is homemade lemonade versus making it out of the can. Also, make your smoothies at home unless you have a trusted place like Jamba Juice. Many store-bought smoothies have high sugar content and are also highly pasteurized, which causes many of the nutrients to be lost. When you make them at home, you can add a little plain yogurt or milk (whether cow’s milk, almond, or soy- as long as they are calcium & vitamin D fortified) for a calcium boost. Another good idea for summertime is to put water in a pitcher, add cucumber, and refrigerate it- this way you can pull it out when the children are thirsty and want something besides ‘plain, old water’ to drink. It tastes a little differently, so it may take getting used to but is nice, cool, and refreshing. One last recommendation is tea- green, black, or an herbal blend, but leave out adding sugar. Go ahead and put a few tea bags in a big glass jar of water, put a lid on it, surround it with aluminum foil and put it outside in the sunshine. This is called sunshine tea; it is an easy way to make a big batch of delicious tea all at once. The foil will insulate the jar and draw the heat of the sun. Leave it out until the color has evenly spread (a few hours) and then refrigerate for delicious refreshment! With any of these ideas, it is most important to HAVE FUN! Feel free to experiment, but limit high acid fruits like lemon.

Happy smiling!

A Parent’s Guide to Dental X-Rays
A Parent’s Guide to Dental X-Rays

How Safe are Dental X-rays?

We are very careful to limit your child’s exposure to radiation. Using contem-porary safeguards, the amount of radiation re-ceived is extremely small. In fact, the risk associated with exposure to a dental x-ray is lower than undetect-ed and untreated dental problems.

How can I limit my child’s exposure to radiation?

1. Talk to your child’s dentist at each appointment, and ask whether x-rays are nec-essary.
2. Digital x-rays are utilized at The Kidds Place, significant-ly reducing radiation expo-sure.
3. Children must wear lead aprons to block the body from exposure.

How often should my child have x-rays?

Every child is unique and different, so the x-rays needed for one child may be differ-ent for another child of the same age. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as the American Dental Association recom-mend that children have x-rays taken by age 3 or 4 to evaluate growth and development.

This may involve taking one x-ray of the upper front teeth and one of the lower front teeth, as well as one on each side, depending on how many teeth a child has.

X-rays of upper and lower teeth do not need to be taken again at each check-up, unless the child has had trauma to a front tooth. X-rays of back teeth should be taken at a minimum of once/year if the back molars are touching each other. The sides of these teeth cannot be visualized with a dental exam, and often the only way to iden-tify decay is with an x-ray. Decay damages children’s teeth at a faster rate than permanent teeth, and when untreated can cause severe infection.

What if my child has never had a cavity?

X-ray films can detect more than just cavities. X-rays can detect certain infections caused by trauma, and can give valuable infor-mation about the developing teeth. Children’s mouths change rapidly as they grow, and x-rays provide vital details about the health of un-erupted permanent teeth, as well as the surround-ing bone and tissue. Your child’s dentist will use these x-rays to screen for diseases, tumors, miss-ing/extra teeth, malpositioned teeth, and ortho-dontic planning.

My Child has braces…does he still need x-rays?

X-rays may be taken at a check-up if your child has braces. If the orthodontic wires are in, we may not be able to see between all of the teeth, and may elect to defer x-rays until the wires can be temporarily removed. Children with braces are highly susceptible to decay due to diffi-culty brushing and flossing around wires and brackets, as well as because of the lim-ited diagnostic ability of x-rays while the wires are in. For this reason, it is crucial to take x-rays as soon as braces have been taken off, as cavities may have formed between your child’s teeth.

Will X-rays al-ways be taken at each visit?

No. X-rays are recommended only when necessary to evaluate and monitor your child’s oral health. The frequency of films taken is de-pendent on your child’s needs. Many times, two bitewing x-rays will be taken at your child’s check
screen for cavities that may have start-ed between visits. If your child has had trauma to one or more teeth, x-rays may be indicated at each follow-up ap-pointment to ensure that infection of the root does not begin. Drs. Luchini, Coombs and Johnson welcome any ques-tions you may have about your child’s needs.

Comparing Common Sources of Radiation:

Source:———————— Estimated Exposure
(MSV*)

Dental Radiographs

Bitewings——————————(2) 0.016

Medical Radiographs:

Lower GI series———————-4.060

Upper GI series———————-2.440

Chest X-ray—————————0.080

Average radiation from outerspace in Denver CO per year:

——————————————–0.510
Average radiation in the United States from natural sources per year:

——————————————–3.000

* A millisievert (mSv) is a unit of meas-ure that allows for common types of ra-diation to be compared to each other.

What should I watch for after my child has chipped his/her tooth??
What should I watch for after my child has chipped his/her tooth??

It’s a fact of life. Most children will experience a chipped tooth at some point. Kids are busy learning to walk, run, jump, and their front teeth are just waiting to be bumped into. As much as we try to prevent this from happening, it only takes a second before your child may join the growing “chipped tooth club”.

So you’ve taken your child to the dentist to have the injury checked out, but what should you be watching for a few weeks or months after an accident happens??

The most common consequence of a bumped tooth is a color change. The tooth may turn yellow, brown or gray. Sometimes this color change is dramatic, other times it may be very subtle. Sometimes it stays discolored, while other parents have reported that eventually the tooth may appear white again. If the tooth changes color, but does not have any associated sensitivity, no further treatment is needed.
Sometimes a bumped tooth can develop an infection weeks or months after an injury. The tooth may become loose in the socket, or it may have fluid that oozes out from around the edges.

You may see a “pimple” or “boil” type bump on the gums above the tooth. Any of these symptoms mean that the tooth will have to be extracted.

We realize that no one wants their 2 or 3 year old child to have to lose a front tooth, but when we observe symptoms such as these, the primary concern must be the developing permanent tooth. Permanent teeth must be allowed to develop in a healthy environment, and an infected or injured baby tooth can severely affect growth of the permanent tooth.

Immediately following the injury, make sure to provide your child with a soft diet to prevent them from having to chew or function on the injured tooth. This is the best way to ensure healing