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Friday, March 28, 2014

March Madness...Brackets or Braces?

During March Madness people often talk about their brackets and how they're doing. But rarely outside of our office are they talking about the brackets found on teeth! Brackets are a component of braces which aid in straightening teeth.
If you have a bad bite or your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may benefit from braces. Braces can help improve your smile and make your teeth straighter. They can also improve your dental health and overall health because untreated orthodontic problems can make it hard to bite and chew and can interfere with eating. If you have a bad bite, you may also be prone to cavities or gum disease because it may be hard to clean your teeth. Braces come in many different styles, including tooth-colored plastic braces or traditional metal braces that come in a variety of colors. Removable clear retainers can sometimes be used.

If you've ever wondered if braces would improve your smile, give us a call and we can help you decide the best option for making your smile everything you'd like it to be!

Information from www.mouthhealthy.org

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thumbsucking

Did you know that thumbsucking is one of the top ten concerns of people who visit the American Dental Association's website mouthhealthy.org? Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep.
After the permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth so be sure to go in for regular dental visits and check with your dentist f you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking.

Tips for helping your child stop thumbsucking:

  • Praise your child for not sucking.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.
If the above tips don’t work, remind the child of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night. Your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe a bitter medication to coat the thumb or the use of a mouth appliance. 

Info from www.mouthhealthy.org

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a great way to help stop cavities before they they start!  Brushing and flossing help remove food and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles can't reach all the way into the depressions and grooves. Sealants protect these areas by "sealing out" plaque and food, and as long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants are painless and easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the teeth and hardens, acting as a barrier to protect the enamel from plaque and acids.  Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing  and may last several years before they need to be reapplied.
While sealants help prevent cavities, you should still brush twice a day, floss daily, and continue to see your dentist regularly. At your regular dental visits, your dentist will check your teeth to see if you need another sealant application.

Ask your dentist if sealants would be a benefit to you. In the meantime, happy brushing!

Info from www.mouthhealthy.org

Friday, February 28, 2014

Children's Dental Health

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. While this month is coming to a close, children are always welcome in our office! We enjoy providing a comfortable, caring environment for both children and adults so the whole family can receive their dental care together. This provides a comfortable atmosphere for your child and makes it convenient for you! Your child can become a member of our No Cavity Club, and always gets a balloon and a toy from our toy tower after their checkup.

We even have accommodations for your children when you are at the dentist - no need to find a babysitter when you come in for your appointment! We are pleased to offer free onsite babysitting in our Smile Zone. Just let us know when making your appointment that you would like to sign up your child.

Here are some fun educational ideas you might enjoy with your child at home, including online games, a toothbrush chart, and two minute videos - perfectly timed to watch while brushing teeth. Here's wishing you and your children a lifetime of beautiful smiles!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Toothpaste Guidelines for Kids

How much toothpaste should you be using for your kids? To help prevent children’s tooth decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. Caregivers should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to 6 years old.
The ADA previously recommended using water to brush the teeth of children under two. They have changed their recommendation based on a review of scientific evidence. For half a century, the ADA has recommended that patients use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities, and a review of scientific research shows that this holds true for all ages. The new guidance is intended to provide children with the full benefit of cavity protection while limiting their risk of developing fluorosis, which is a mild discoloration of teeth usually appearing as faint lines. Children should spit out toothpaste as soon as they are old enough to do so.  

To fully prevent tooth decay, the ADA also encourages caregivers to take their child to the dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than the child’s first birthday. Happy brushing!

source: http://www.ada.org/9611.aspx

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentines Sweeter Than Candy

Looking for a fun sugar-free Valentine? Last year's list was such a hit, we thought we'd add a few new ideas for this year!


You army favorite valentine!
No free printables, but you can purchase them or 
get ideas for great phrases to attach to your little army men!

You make my heart race free printable

And in case you're not here for the kids...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mouthguards

Seahawks green and blue have been surfacing all over our office this football season! Before game days we've been wearing our Seahawks gear. Kate, Raychel, and Kim are posing in front of an amazing work of art created by one of our patients.
During games we've noticed a flash of bright green from an unusual place on the field...the mouth! That's right, some of those Seahawks have been sporting bright green mouthguards.

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard.

Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.

There are three types of mouthguards: 

  • Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, they usually offer the best comfort and protection.If you'd like to sport your school colors or favorite team colors, our office can customize your mouthguard in a variety of colors!  If you prefer a more discrete mouthguard, you can see in this video how small and almost unnoticeable custom mouthguards can be.
  • Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  • Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. These are bigger and more bulky than custom mouthguards, and often come in many different color assortments.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-fitted mouthguard, you should still wear a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.

This information was adapted from the American Dental Association's mouthhealthy.org. For more information on mouthguards, including tips on taking care of them, visit their website.