National Children’s Dental Health Month

20130201_Website_DentalHealth_ArticleGraphic

 

Each year the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. This is the perfect opportunity to fine tune your efforts to ensure your child maintains proper oral hygiene.

With thanks to the ADA for their wonderful resources of information, here are some ways to help you take care of your children’s teeth as they develop.

When Teeth Erupt

Slideshow_Baby_Teeth

Your baby is born with 20 teeth below the gums, and they usually start coming through between 6 months and a year. Most children have their full set of teeth by 3 years old.

Teething Signs and Symptoms

Slideshow-teething

Teething can be a rite of passage for babies and parents alike. As their teeth come in, some babies may become fussy, sleepless and irritable, lose their appetite or drool more than usual. Diarrhea, rashes and a fever are not caused by teething. If your baby has a fever or diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable, call your physician.

When to Start Brushing with Toothpaste

Decay can happen as soon as teeth first appear. If you see some pearly whites peeking out  when your little one smiles, it is time to pick up a tube of fluoride toothpaste.

When to Schedule Your Baby’s First Dental Visit

Slideshow-firstvist

It’s another milestone in a year of exciting firsts. Your child’s first dental visit should take place after their first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday. Why so early? As soon as your baby has teeth, they can get cavities.

When to Start Cleaning Between Teeth

Slideshow-floss

It doesn’t matter if you clean between ​your child’s teeth before or after they brush as long as you clean between any teeth that touch. You can use child-friendly plastic flossing tools to more easily clean between your child’s teeth until your child learns to do it.

You Can Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Slideshow-babytobed

Baby bottle tooth decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth (but other teeth may also be affected). Frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar can cause tooth decay. This can happen when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.

Keep Their Mouths Clean

Slideshow-dontshare

The next time your child’s pacifier goes flying, don’t pick it up and put it in your mouth because you think that makes it cleaner. Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed through saliva, so you could actually be introducing germs to your child instead of protecting him or her from them. The same goes for mealtime. It can be second nature to offer a bite of your food to your baby from your fork or use their spoon to make sure their food is ready to eat. Keep your utensils, and your germs, separate for healthy mouth and body.

Water Works!

Slideshow-water

When your child has worked up a thirst, water is the best beverage to offer—especially if it has fluoride! Drinking water with fluoride (also known as “nature’s cavity fighter”) has been shown to reduce cavities by 25%. While sweetened drinks like fruit juice (even those labeled 100% natural), soda and sports drinks can cause cavities, water with fluoride protects teeth. Sugary drinks also contribute to weight gain, and water is calorie-free.

There’s One More Way to Keep Cavities at Bay

Slideshow-sealout

Brushing and flossing go a long way to protecting your teeth against cavities, but sealants form an extra barrier between cavity-causing bacteria and your child’s teeth. School-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and ADA’s Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.

And, of course, last but not least, make an appointment to get your child’s teeth checked and cleaned. Just call the office at 734-485-2200

So many toothpastes to choose from!!!!!

Gotta brush my teeth!!!

Gotta brush my teeth!!!

Today, there are many, many different types, brands and flavors of toothpaste to choose from but, have any of you thought about when and where toothpaste was first used?

Although tooth cleaning tools have been dated back to  3,500  3,000 BC when Egyptians and Babylonians made a ‘brush’ by fraying the end of a twig. It seems that it was actually toothpaste that came first!! Egyptians are believed to have used a paste to clean their teeth from around 5,000 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have used toothpaste and the Chinese and Indians first used toothpaste around 500 BC.

The original teeth cleaners were actually powder based and made from ingredients such as powdered ox hoof ash, burnt eggshells, crushed bones, oyster shells and pumice. The Romans added charcoal and bark for flavor and the Chinese flavored theirs with ginseng, salt and herbal mints.

Thankfully in the 1850’s, production of tooth cleaning potions took a turn for the better and toothpaste appeared. Colgate started mass production of toothpaste in jars in 1873 and by the 1890’s they introduced the forerunner to today’s familiar tube.

Original Colgate toothpaste

Original Colgate toothpaste

Over the years toothpaste formulations have developed to the smooth glossy pastes that we know today. Fluoride was first introduced as an ingredient in 1914 and ever since then formulations have been introduced that treat specific diseases such as gum disease and plaque or relieve conditions such as tooth sensitivity. More recently, there has been the introduction of teeth whitening pastes.

So, what kind of toothpaste can we find today?

  • Fluoride Toothpaste – This is the most important ingredient as it has been instrumental since it was introduced as an ingredient in reducing the amount of cavities. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from the acid released by the bacteria in your mouth as they devour the starches and sugars that remain in your after eating food and beverages. A point to note though is that if you live in an area where the water is fluoridated, you still need to use fluoride toothpaste. Studies have shown that toothpaste delivers a higher concentration directly to your teeth even  where the water supply has added fluoride.
  • Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth – Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures? Don’t worry, there are toothpastes on the market that are specially formulated to ease these irritations. They contain special compounds such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride which over time can offer relief by blocking the pathways in teeth that attach to nerves.
  • Anti-plaque or Tartar Control Toothpaste – These toothpastes inhibit the build up of plaque. This in turn reduces the toxic effects the plaque accumulation has on the surrounding tissues which reduces the chances of gum disease developing.
  • Whitening Toothpastes – Bleach is not a typical ingredient in whitening toothpastes. Rather, they contain abrasive particles and chemicals that polish your teeth. Studies have shown though, before you worry, that whitening toothpastes are no harsher on your teeth than ordinary toothpaste.

There are also special formulations of toothpaste available for children and some that help patients who suffer from dry mouths. While the word toothpaste pretty much covers everything we use today to clean our teeth……it comes in the form of paste and gel AND you can actually still find powders to clean your teeth!!! Today’s products can also incorporate breath freshening strips helping to keep your smile feeling fresh and giving you, as Colgate once said “The ring of confidence”

Brand names include; Colgate, Crest, Arm & Hammer, Oral B, Biotene, Sensodyne, Close-Up, Toms and Aim.

Toothpaste Brands

Toothpaste Brands

Flavors are many and varied from the more popular Fresh Mint, Spearmint and Wintergreen; you can find Cinnamon, Gingermint, Chocolate, Oreo, Pickle, Cupcake and Bacon. As well as the Strawberry, Watermelon and Cherry flavors that are aimed at children.

Novelty flavors

Novelty flavors

Just remember that when you use toothpaste, you ONLY need a small blob, the size of a pea…..NOT the huge crested wave size strip of paste you see in the commercials!!!Then brush for at least two minutes before you rinse well.

Brush twice daily for two minutes

Brush twice daily for two minutes

Now………here are eleven…..

Unexpected-Uses-for-Toothpaste-at-TidyMom

  1. Stops bug bites and insect sting from itching and decreases the swelling. Just dab a small spot over the area, especially overnight.
  2. Soothes burns if applied to affected area – NB!!! Only on burns that don’t involve and open wounds.
  3. Heals zits (spots) quicker, dab it on overnight, wash off in the morning.
  4. Get rid of stinky smells, especially garlic and onion when you’ve been chopping in the kitchen. Just scrub hands with toothpaste and smelly odours disappear.
  5. Removes stains on carpet and clothing. On clothes just apply toothpaste to the stain and rub until the stain is gone and wash item as usual. For carpets, apply toothpaste and scrub then rinse immediately. Use only tooth ‘paste’ NOT gel and do not use whitening toothpastes as the bleaching agent they contain may bleach your fabric too. Although the whitening pastes would be good for running shoes and sports shoes to brighten up white trim and soles.
  6. Removes crayon stains from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently, directly on the wall until crayon disappears.
  7. Cleans up silver jewelry and diamonds. Rub toothpaste on to jewelry and leave overnight, wiping clean with a cloth in the morning. For diamonds, use toothpaste on a brush and gently scrub dirt away.
  8. Deodorize baby bottles by using toothpaste with a bottle scrubber to clean away residue. Rinse well afterward.
  9. Defog goggles by wiping toothpastes on inside of a mask then rinsing and wiping the surface clean.
  10. Cleans and strengthens nails. Clean nails with toothpaste on your nail brush instead of soap!
  11. Remove soap scum from your glass shower door. Just quirt toothpaste onto your cleaning sponge. If the marks are stubborn apply the toothpaste directly to the door and let it sit for a while before wiping it off.

toothpaste-brush-smile-word-10957168

REMEMBER! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BRUSH ALL YOUR TEETH….

……….JUST THE ONES YOU WANT TO KEEP!

Don’t forget your toothbrush!!!!!!

YAY!!! Vacation time!!!

YAY!!! Vacation time!!!

Whether you’re going for a camping in the wilds of beyond, city sightseeing, calm relaxing beach, family and kids Disney resort or visiting friends and relatives type of vacation you STILL need to look after your teeth and keep up with your dental hygiene regime while you’re away.

City Vacation

City Vacation

With the pressures of daily life that we all experience these days (and doesn’t it just always seem to be ever more pressure piling on??) your vacation is a time when you hope to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. There is never the thought, that you might have to spend time tracking down a dentist whilst on your travels. Finding a dentist on your home turf can be difficult enough, never mind when you are far away from home and, especially if you are out of the country.

Disney

Disney

While we are used to our dentists here in the US being trained over an 8 year period (after earning their undergraduate degree) and in some cases going on to do further training in one of 9 specialties, as well as having to pass national exams and meet individual State requirements before they get their license to practice. This is not necessarily the case in every other country, especially if you are going to be visiting or traveling in developing countries or remote areas where access to dental care is extremely rare if not impossible.

Camping Vacation

Camping Vacation

So!!! What do you do to minimize the possibility of needing a trip to a dentist while you’re on vacation?

Dental Exam

Dental Exam

First of all; make sure you keep up to date with your regular exams and cleanings. At least this way, you allow your dentist to keep on top of any minor issues that are just developing, such as checking to make sure you have no cavities needing fillings and that all fillings, crowns, dentures and retainers are fitting properly and not loose.  Remember, that if you are flying, air cabin pressure can accelerate pain in sensitive areas and may also cause discomfort after some medical and dental procedures. So, you will need to factor in recovery time and follow up appointments when you organize your vacation dates.

Secondly; make time for your dentist to take care of any issues he finds before you leave as any minor things could easily turn into pain or sores that could really spoil your vacation.

Thirdly; double check with your heath insurance to find out if there are any in-network providers where you are going. Also, find out their policies on emergency coverage, when you will be somewhere without coverage. Remember to take your insurance card with you, both medical AND dental. Think about having a separate credit card as a contingency to cover emergency costs and any co-pays.

Disposable Toothbrush

Disposable Toothbrush

Lastly; take a supply of disposable brushes (that you can use anywhere), toothpaste, mouthwash and floss with you. If you can find the pre-pasted disposable brushes that don’t need water all the better for ‘on the go’ brushing. Just remember, that if you are somewhere remote, or in a developing country you should use bottled water to rinse rather than use the local supply.

Relaxing break

Relaxing break

Hopefully, you will have no issues, dental, medical or otherwise and that your vacation will truly be what you hope for………just DON’T FORGET YOUR TOOTHBRUSH!!!!!

Dr.Schmidt & Team’s Christmas Cookie Exchange Winner – Candy Cane Snowball

Here at the office we enjoyed a Christmas Cookie Exchange.  Talk about some delicious cookies. Yum!

Ypsilanti dentist Christmas Cookie Exchange -Candy Cane Snowballs

We decided to vote for the favorite cookie and the Office Christmas Cookie Contest WINNER was our hygienist Susan B. with the Candy Cane Snowballs.

We thought you all would like to have the winning cookie recipe.

Candy Cane Snowball Recipe

 You will need:

 2 cups of butter, softened      

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

8oz white candy coating, coarsely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until easy to handle.

 2. Roll into 1in balls. Place 2in apart on un-greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies to wire rack and let them cool.

 3. In a microwave, melt candy coating at 70% power for 1 minute and stir. Microwave at additional 10 – 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

 4. Dip the top of each cookie into the candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Then dip into crushed peppermint candy. Place on waxed paper and let them set.

 

 Let us know what you think of this recipe.  

Don’t forget to Brush 😀

Congratulations to Susan!

Yours for better dental health,

Dr.Schmidt & Team


The Most Confusing Aisle In The Store?

If you have been shopping for toothpaste lately, you know that it can be very confusing.

Unlike the old days when the choices were few, these days it seems that there are way too many options! Whitening toothpastes, tartar control, paste or gel, gum health, desensitizing, – which is best? This is a question we get asked all the time. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do would be to forget the labels and buy whatever is on sale!!

The fact is – buying a particular type or brand of toothpaste is usually not as important as the way you brush and how often you do so. But in any case, here is a quick run-down.

Tartar control toothpaste:  Tartar is calcified plaque which naturally forms and can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. While tartar control toothpaste has been shown to reduce the formation of new deposits, it can’t remove current ones and does nothing to prevent these formations where they are the most dangerous – underneath the gum line.

Paste vs. gel: No significant difference here; it’s more of a personal preference.

Desensitizing toothpaste:  These pastes have ingredients in them which block the small tube-like channels that connect to the nerve tissue inside of your teeth. If you have exposed roots due to gum recession or teeth that are generally sensitive to hot and cold, this may be a good solution for you. But please be patient – it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the magic to kick in. If you experience sensitivity that prevents you from enjoying your favorite cold/hot beverages & foods – please talk to us we can help.

Whitening pastes:  The abrasiveness of these products may reduce surface stains, but they do little to treat the actual yellowing of teeth from the inside. The good news is that most teeth can be whitened with the right treatment. Be sure to ask us what the proper whitening method is for you.

“Gum Care” toothpaste: Studies have shown these to be questionable at best, and they may not be as valuable as standard toothpastes in preventing cavities.

Expensive or bargain brand? The good news here is that price doesn’t seem to be related to effectiveness when choosing a toothpaste. As a matter of fact, recently Consumer Reports magazine rated an expensive paste near the bottom of their list with bargain basement Ultra-Brite near the top in several categories!

So which brand should I use?

Most studies are fairly inconclusive on this one. Your best bet is always a brand that contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of approval. And if that brand happens to be on sale – all the better!!

In the end, the most important thing is to brush often (morning, night-time, and after every meal), use a soft brush, try to reach every surface of every tooth, and spend two minutes doing so.

The proper technique is important as well, and we will be glad to demonstrate this to you at your next visit to Dr. Schmidt’s office.  If you have any more questions or would like to set up a visit, please give us a call at 734-485-2200. We are here to help you!

Did you know that we are on Facebook? Please “like” our page at www.facebook.com/ypsilantidentist for great dental health tips, contests, giveaways, and great special announcements! Visit our website at http://www.ypsilantidentist.com