Your Child’s Teeth: Nobody Ever Told Me That!

Your Child’s Teeth: Nobody Ever Told Me That!

Here are 20 facts about your child’s teeth and dental care that nobody ever told you about!

1.  During pregnancy women need frequent, preventive dental appointments to make sure they have no gum disease that may affect the fetus.

2. If you start your baby’s mouth care early, and practice dental prevention, you will save a lot of money in the long run.

3.  Within a few days of a baby’s birth, parents need to clean the baby’s mouth, cheeks, and gums after feedings with a soft, damp piece of gauze or cloth.  This is true for children of both nursing and non-nursing moms.

4.  Monitoring the health of your child’s teeth and gums is outside the pediatrician’s area of expertise.  Dental diagnosis and treatment requires a general dentist adept at working with children.  For children who are behavior problems, there are pediatric dental specialists.

5.  Between six and twelve months, when the baby’s first tooth comes in is the ideal time for your first dental visit with your baby.

6.  Not all bottled water contains fluoride.  If you are relying of fluoride to supplement your child’s dental needs, don’t guess.  Ask your dentist instead.

7.  Even baby teeth may need orthodontic treatment.  That’s why it is so important to take your child to the dentist for regular check-ups.  Habits like thumb sucking, and the improper use of pacifiers can cause significant facial deformities in the long-term.  Nail biting is a sign of anxiety, and becomes a long term habit that, when continued into adulthood results in broken teeth and a collapsed bite.

8.  If an accident causes a permanent tooth to chip or fall out, you may be able to save the tooth.  Bring the tooth immediately (whole or in pieces) to the dentist.  Be careful not to touch the root.  If you can put it in a container or zip lock bag, soaking in milk, it would be beneficial.

9.  Begin flossing your child’s teeth at an early age, as soon as he or she gets a few baby teeth in.  This will get your child used to the process.

10.  If necessary, your child’s jaw structure can be altered by orthodontics.  This is best done when a ‘window of opportunity’ exists for changing facial structure.  We will make the appropriate referrals for you.

11.  The older a person is, the more difficult it will be to remove wisdom teeth and the longer they will take to heal.

12.  Your child’s toothbrush needs to be replaced every one to two months.  This is especially important after an illness.

13.  To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, don’t put baby to bed with milk or juice in a bottle.

14.  Parents have the option of having a qualified pediatric anesthesiologist present if a child needs to be sedated in order to do necessary dental work.

15.  When permanent molars emerge, have the dentist or hygienist check to see if sealants or some type of coverage will be necessary to help prevent decay.

16.  Children can get gum disease at an early age.  This is rare, but it happens.  It is called juvenile periodontitis.

17.  Even inherited physical appearances such as buck teeth can sometimes be corrected by braces.

18.  Children need only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their toothbrushes.  Don’t let them eat toothpaste because they may ingest too much fluoride.

19.  Parents should start early putting their fingers in the baby’s mouth to clean it and to get the baby used to the feeling of having the teeth wiped and brushed.

20.  Remember that your child’s permanent teeth will be performing in his or her mouth for 70 years or more!  The fewer problems they have with decay early on, the stronger these teeth will be later.

(Source Credit: I Hate Dentists! by McHenry Lee, DDS)

5 Food Items That Can Affect Your Smile

5 Food Items That Can Affect Your Smile

They say it takes fewer muscles to smile than it takes to frown. But a lot of people stop themselves from smiling their happiest smile. This happens when their teeth which should have otherwise contributed to their beauty, hamper the very effect that a smile is supposed to create. Tinted, crooked or cavity stricken teeth are not a pleasant sight. Tacoma dentist, Dr. Duke Bui, recommends the following few edibles that you should try to stay away from. Doing so will keep you smiling by keeping your teeth healthy.

1. Sugary Foods

It is a myth that eating candy makes your teeth rot. Its false part is that it is not just candy that can be harmful for your teeth. Rather anything that contains sugar in different forms such as glucose or fructose can be potentially harmful such as bread, fruits, dairy products, etc. Almost 10 hours after sugary foods have been consumed, the remnants of food particles accumulated on the teeth start harming the enamel. Hence it is advised that you brush your teeth two-three times a day to stop sugar from activating harmful bacteria.

2. Citrus Fruit

A balanced pH level of your mouth is crucial for dental health. If your pH level is towards the acidic side, citrus fruits may make matters worse for you by increasing the acidity level. Oranges, lemons, grape fruit and lime are a few citrus fruits. It is suggested that you use mouthwash right after having any of these fruits to stop the erosion of your teeth’s enamel and further damage the teeth’s core.

3. Carbonated Drinks

There are two things in carbonated drinks that harm the teeth of those who consume them regularly – carbonic acid, the element that gives them the fizz and sugar. The sugar creates an environment that’s more conducive for the growth of bacteria while carbonic acid erodes enamel. Damage to enamel is irreparable and once it takes place, it makes your teeth much more vulnerable to external attacks.

4. Coffee

A lot of people who have tea or coffee more than twice a day have increased chances of getting stained, darkened and discolored teeth. This effect becomes even stronger when the intake of tea or coffee is not followed by an episode of mouthwash. This happens so because tea and coffee are full of tannins. However, those who take milk with their tea or coffee have a decreased chance of discoloration because of milk’s property to neutralize the negative effects of tannins. Nevertheless, save the cost of visiting a dentist by simply washing your mouth well after taking your drink.

5. Drugs

There are certain drugs which might indirectly affect your teeth too. For example, diet pills can reduce saliva production, turning your mouth dry and a better place for the accumulation of bacteria that harm your teeth. Other drugs may decrease the pH levels in your mouth thereby increasing acidity. To fight the effect of such drugs, use supplements that balance pH levels. Also regularly have tonics such as calcium supplements that increase bone mineral density overall, and therefore make teeth less vulnerable to external attacks.

Although these tips can come in very handy, nothing beats going and seeing your Tacoma dentist to alleviate all dental problems.

Is There Something Cancer-Causing in Your Dental Kit?

Is There Something Cancer-Causing in Your Dental Kit?

The very first thing you do right after getting out of bed is going to the sink to freshen up, isn’t it? And right after you brush your teeth, the burst of freshness that your mouthwash gives you is indeed irreplaceable. However, this freshness may not be long lived in case your mouthwash contains alcohol (Listerine, Scope). For a long time alcohol has been hailed as a great germ killer. But is it worth the risks it poses when used as a major ingredient in mouthwash?

What Exactly Happens

Alcohol-containing mouthwashes kill bacteria and germs in your mouth that accumulate throughout the night. This leads to an environment conducive for the healthy growth of gums and teeth while replacing bad odor by fresh breath. However, the very same alcohol-containing mouthwashes create a burning sensation and penetrate the lining inside the mouth to fight bacteria which weakens and makes it more vulnerable to carcinogens.

What Research has Revealed

Recent research showed  that alcohol present in mouthwash may lead to oral cancer. Here is an excerpt from the summary of one of such studies.

‘…  we believe that there is now sufficient evidence to accept the proposition that alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer and further feel that it is inadvisable for oral healthcare professionals to recommend the long-term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes.’

Research points to the possibility of alleviated chances of cancer of the larynx and pharynx as well as an increment in dental cavities. If you are not a regular consumer of alcohol but use alcoholic mouthwash daily, you’re 5 times more likely to have oral cancer than a person who does not use an alcoholic mouthwash. Whereas someone who uses alcoholic mouthwash and frequently smokes and/or drinks will be 9 times more likely to have oral cancer.

Are You Convinced?

Other studies within the last 10 years showed that there are not enough evidence to definitively link mouthwashes containing alcohol to oral cancer. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) reviewed 9 separate studies looking at the association between mouthwash and cancer. 6 out of the 9 studies showed no association at all and even the three studies that showed positive results were not deemed credible due to recall bias. The JADA concluded that there are no credible link between mouthwash use and cancer risk.

Are You Confused Yet?

Until concrete evidence is available, the decisions on whether to use mouthwash containing alcohol or not remains a matter of personal preference.  Tacoma Dentist recommends that you don’t give up using your alcohol-containing mouthwashes just yet. We believe that they provide a valuable role in your mouth’s defense against gum inflammation and plaque. But if are concerned with using alcohol-based mouthwashes, then read on.

Substitutes for Alcoholic Mouthwash

Yes, it is alcohol in your mouthwash that creates that sensational experience you have gotten used to by now. But here are a number of equally healthy substitutes for alcohol-containing mouthwash. A few of them are Oxyfresh, BreathRx, Listerine Zero, Gum Tonic and Tom’s Maine Natural Cleaning. Look for these brands in stores located close to you.

Flossing Can Add 6 Years to Your Life

Flossing Can Add 6 Years to Your Life

You have a been a faithful dental patient. You get your teeth examined by your Tacoma dentist, Dr. Duke Bui, and teeth cleaned by Laura, the hygienist, at least two times a year. The last thing you always hear from Laura as you hurriedly jump out of your chair is “Brush your teeth twice a day and remember to floss!” But have you ever wondered why it is so important?

In his book, “The Real Age Makeover,” Dr. Michael Roizen, a frequent guest on the Opera Winfrey Show, found that flossing alone can add 6 years to your life.

We all know that bacteria in the mouth can lead to gum disease. The same bacteria in the mouth can enter into the bloodstream and cause plaque build-up and eventually heart disease. So keep this perspective in mind when Laura reminds you to brush and floss.

Here’s a quick, basic reminder from the American Dental Association (ADA) regarding oral hygiene:

  1. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  2. Floss daily.

  3. Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

  4. Eat a balanced diet and avoid (or limit) snacking.

  5. See your dentist and hygienist at least two times per year for exam and cleaning.

  6. So how about it? Want to add an extra six years to your life? Brush and floss daily!

Dr. Oz is Giving Bad Dental Advice

Dr. Oz is Giving Bad Dental Advice

On his popular TV show, Dr. Oz revealed his secret for home remedy for keeping your teeth pearly white. The secret? Baking soda and lemon juice.

While the TV doctor may have good intentions, he is not a dentist. He has not given you good advice. Dr. Oz is telling you to brush with an acid base food that will only erode the enamel on your teeth.

Unfortunately, because he is on TV and the people who watches his TV show believes what he says is true. The dental community do not agree with what he says, and he should give dental experts air time on his show to give the public the correct advice.

So what is the safest ways to whitening your teeth? Dr. Duke Bui, a Tacoma dentist, recommends either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide products. These are customarily available through your friendly dentist and over-the-counter.