What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?

Sharma RDH
Sharma Mulqueen RDH
What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?
The tooth fairy is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money or maybe
a special toy! What could be better than that?
The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though!
The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!
The Tooth Fairy Legend Began with Ancient Superstitions
Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth; she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!
Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them. As you can imagine burning their teeth was very important!
The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!
The Tooth Mouse Might Be More Popular that the Fairy
In many Spanish speaking and French speaking countries like France, little children place their tooth under their pillow. Instead of the tooth fairy, they wait for the “Tooth Mouse” to come and take their tooth away and replace it with money.
What is the Tooth Mouse Called?
In French speaking countries, the tooth mouse is called La petite Souri
In Spanish speaking countries it is called
el Ratoncito Perez=Perez the mouse (Argentina, Spain)
el Raton=Little mouse= (Venezuela, Mexico and Guatemala)
Tooth Bunny
Instead of a tooth fairy or tooth mouse, El Salvador has a small bunny that comes for their baby teeth.
Tooth Tossing
In Middle Eastern Countries like Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. It is customary for the children to throw their lost teeth towards the sun, asking they send them a new, stronger tooth.
The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Botswana throw their teeth onto a roof in hopes that a mouse will take the teeth from the roof and replace them with teeth that are strong like a rodent’s.
In some Asian countries, when a child loses a tooth, they give it a toss. In India, they toss it onto the roof. In Japan, they throw it straight up into the air if it came from their upper jaw, and straight down if it came from their lower jaw. Why? To ensure their new adult teeth grow in as straight as possible.
How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came to Be
As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today! Today’s going rate for a tooth is $3.19.
The Tooth Fairy Plays an Important Role for Children
The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. When a child losses his/her teeth it can be a scary moment. Parents can comfort their children by congratulating them on losing a tooth. Bed time will be lots of fun preparing the tooth for pickup! The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!
From time to time you may be in one of our Signature offices and may spot a Tooth Fairy. Keep your eyes open.
 Tooth Fairy
If you have any questions regarding your children’s teeth, please call one of our offices and we will be glad to help you.
Sources:
http://www.toothfairysmilesatnight.com
http://www.worldcat.org/title/toothtraditionaroundtheworld
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Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

AriannaM

Arianna Ritchey, RDH

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

As a part of a regular preventive or periodontal maintenance visit with your dental hygienist, the topic of flossing usually comes up.  Most people have at least heard of flossing, and while some people floss regularly, most patients I see report flossing less than the ADA recommended once per day.  More often, people fall into the categories of flossing “once in a while” or “once in a blue moon.”  While some people are embarrassed to admit this to their dental hygienist, the condition and health of your gums reveal a lot about your oral hygiene practices at home without you saying a word.  (We can also read minds…just kidding.)

So, if most people have heard about flossing, and are reminded of it semi-annually by their dental hygienist, what is preventing them from actually cleaning between their teeth on a regular basis?

Maybe they don’t realize the impact that flossing has on the health of their gums and prevention of early tooth loss.  Maybe it’s difficult for them to manipulate string floss (it’s harder than it looks).  Maybe they are super busy (who isn’t?) and can’t find time to track down some floss and use it between their teeth.  Maybe they ran out of the sample-size floss their hygienist gave them a their last visit.  Maybe it hurts when they floss because their gums are inflamed, so they avoid the pain.  Maybe they are really committed and diligent for the first while, and then life gets in the way and they fall out of the habit.  All of these are totally understandable reasons, and I’ve been there.  (Hygienists are human, too!)

The good news is, your dental hygienist is interested in helping you to keep your mouth and gums healthy, and offers a judgment-free-zone to learn how to properly perform oral hygiene techniques, like flossing, and to help you come up with some ways to integrate flossing into your daily routine.  (Floss in the shower, floss while watching the intro to your show on Netflix, floss while on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest, floss while at a red light on your commute, etc.)

The other awesome thing your dental hygienist does for you, is giving you a clean slate to work with!  When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth by removing the plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) from your teeth, they are removing the bacteria that are causing the inflammation, pain, and bleeding in your gums.  (Hooray!)  Once these irritations are removed, the gums have a chance to heal, and by properly cleaning your teeth at home (brushing and flossing), you can keep them healthy.  When the gums are healthy, they don’t hurt, they don’t bleed, they are easier to floss, and you have a faster, easier dental hygiene appointments. (Even when your hygienist is gentle, nobody enjoys being in that chair.)

If you’re still reading, check out this video my former classmates and I produced that demonstrates proper flossing technique and briefly explains why flossing is important.  It’s a little cheesy, but definitely educational.  Make sure your sound is on, there’s some great instruction and music.  

After watching this video and practicing at home, if you’re still having difficulty with string floss, try some other interdental cleaners!  Here’s a great article that talks about lots of interdental cleaners and how to use them (scroll about halfway down).  

Remember, the best interdental cleaning tool is the one that you actually use consistently; if string floss just isn’t your thing, talk to your hygienist at your next visit, and we’ll be happy to give you some samples to try.  Happy flossing!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2015/03/22/what-is-a-periodontal-maintenance/

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/floss-and-other-interdental-cleaners

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2013/10/14/tooth-brushes/

youtube.com/watch

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2014/05/19/flossing-do-i-have-to/

I am a Dental Hygienist

PeggyS

Peggy Crooper, RDH

I am a dental hygienist… and I love what I do.

I am a dental hygienist. I am not a dental assistant and I am not a dentist.

“Yes, I am qualified to do this. Yes, I am licensed to do this. Yes, I went to school for this. Yes, what I told you is true”.

RDH3

I am a dental hygienist.

No, I do not “just clean teeth.”

Yes I do scale above and below your gum tissues to remove calculus, bacteria, and plaque from your teeth.

Yes I do polish your teeth.

Is that all I do? I will let you decide.

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I am a dental hygienist.

I give multiple injections to make sure you are comfortable.

I administer nitrous oxide to make sure you are not nervous.

I take x-rays of your teeth to detect bone loss, decay and restorations.

I take complete comprehensive health histories; I take your vital signs, perform oral cancer screenings and periodontal exams to ensure not only your oral health, but your overall health.

I counsel and motivate you with tobacco cessation, nutritional counseling and oral health care. I recommend you seek medical attention if it is in your best interest.

I treat your children and I apply fluoride and sealants to save you the time, pain and expense that comes with tooth decay.

I help you achieve that whiter smile and fresh breath to give you more confidence. We know that gum disease has a contribution to other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  We are learning more everyday about this systemic link and I educate you about this link.

But I “just clean teeth.”

RDHs

I am a dental hygienist.

They tell me it is not a real job. They don’t know that I went to school and have a degree.

Some have devalued my profession. Many do not even know that we are a profession.

They do not even know what to call me.

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I am a dental hygienist.

I have been trained to respond to medical emergencies and give CPR.

I have learned and understand how to treat a variety of patients.

I research their medical conditions, accommodate their special needs and put their concerns as a priority.

I have extensive knowledge of the general sciences, Anatomy, Microbiology, Human Development, Pharmacology, and Psychology.

I have to be well versed in oral pathology and I look for signs of oral disease, pathology, and cancer.

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I have learned to take multiple forms of x-rays and I am able to understand and explain pathology if present.

I have developed the extremely difficult skill and techniques of scaling that strains my hands, my neck, and my back while making sure you are not in pain.

I am a dental hygienist.

They say anyone can do what I do.

They say its “just a cleaning.”

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I am a dental hygienist.

To be considered for Dental Hygiene school, I made A’s in Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology. I took 2 years of higher-level courses in Psychology, Mathematics, English, and other required course work.

Once accepted, I had 2 years of intensive clinical training, alongside detailed courses in Head and Neck Anatomy and Physiology, Oral Pathology, Pharmacology, Dental Anatomy, Human Development, and Public Health.

I had countless clinical examinations.

I had someone watching over my shoulder while I tried not to shake.

I had 50 patient cancellations and no-shows.

I often had to pay my patients to allow me to treat them.

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I had anxiety and cried weekly.

I still have nightmares about school a year after graduation.

I took 5 licensing exams, while my nursing friends took one.

I paid thousands of extra dollars for my dental instruments, licenses, and loupes on top of my tuition. I will be paying student loans for years. And now that I am working and out of school, I must continue to take multiple courses every year to remain current and to maintain my licenses.

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I am a dental hygienist.

They thanked me.

They brought me homemade gifts.

They cried out of gratitude.

They recommended their friends and family.

They requested me.

They told me all about their life, their joys and their sorrows.

They grew to love me and I them. They know that I care about them.

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I am a dental hygienist.

I work in a private practice.

I work in schools.

I work in hospitals.

I work in retirement homes.

I work in jails.

I travel to other countries delivering care.

I travel to group homes for those with special needs.

I travel to multiple events to volunteer my time to helping my community.

I am a dental hygienist, and I may be underappreciated.

But I love what I do.

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When I do get those patients who are thankful for my help,

I am reminded of why I chose this profession.

When I find oral cancer,

or help someone control their periodontal disease,

or help someone quit smoking,

I know I make a difference.

So whether or not you know and appreciate what I do,

I know my role in prevention of disease.

I know my role in promotion of health. I know that I am a clinician, an educator, and a health care professional. And I know that I love what I do.

Amanda Andra AZ MOM

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

 

What are those white spots on my teeth?

AnnC

Ann Clark, RDH

                                                                                                      What are those white spots on my teeth?

Dental fluorosis is not a disease but a permanent cosmetic condition affecting the way the teeth look.  It occurs when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums.  Once erupted, teeth cannot develop enamel fluorosis.  This condition is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the development stage of the tooth.  After their eruption into the mouth, teeth may appear discolored;  such as: lacy white markings, yellow to brown stains, surface irregularities, or pitting into the enamel.

Causes
A major cause is inappropriate use of fluoride products such as toothpaste and rinses.  Children are offered products with some fun flavors.  They are known to eat and swallow them so remind them to spit out.  Taking a higher than recommended supplement can also cause fluorosis.  The perfect amount is already regulated into the water where it occurs naturally.  Symptoms of fluorosis range from small white specks or streaks to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel.  A normal healthy tooth is smooth and glossy and a pale creamy white.

Treatment
Most cases are mild not requiring treatment.  White spots are considered moderate if more than 50% of the surface is affected  and severe if pitting occurs.  The appearance can be improved by various technique options aimed to mask stains.  Such techniques may include:
Teeth Whitening and other procedures to remove the surface staining.  Initially whitening can temporarily worsen the appearance.
Bonding: a coating over the enamel bonded with a hard resin.
Crowns
Veneers: custom-made facings that cover the front of teeth.
MI Paste: a calcium phosphate product sometimes combined with a micro abrasion procedure to minimize discolorations.

Prevention
Parental care is the key to preventing fluorosis.  If you drink well water, which is not regulated, or bottled water,your public health department or local laboratory can analyze the fluoride content.
Fluoride is also in some fruit juices and sodas, so knowing the water content will help you decide whether or not a supplement is needed.  Also, keeping fluoride containing products, like toothpaste, rinses and supplements out of children’s reach is recommended.  Ingesting a large amount of fluoride in a short period of time may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.  Only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed for each time you brush.
Encourage your child to spit out and not swallow.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

webmd.com Fluorosis:Symptoms, causes, and treatments

American Academy of pediatric Dentistry:”Enamel Fluorosis”
Kidshealth.org: “Fluoride in Water”
Reuters Health:”U.S. Lowers Limits for Fluoride in Water”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research:”The Story of Fuloridation”
SimpleStepsToBetterDentalHealth.com:”Fluorosis”
CDC:”Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004″

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

            I know we live in a desert, but our mouths don’t have to BE a desert of dryness!  The first step is to figure out where is the dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is coming from.  There are several factors that can contribute to dry mouth including damage to the salivary glands, medications or medical conditions, and life style habits such as smoking, drinking, or alcohol or caffeine use.  There are so many variables and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of factors.

Often times, there is nothing you can do to reverse dry mouth, however, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (1):

  • Be sure to REGULARLY take sips of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Practice good Oral Hygiene – brushing 2x daily and flossing 1x daily. You can also use mouth rinses WITHOUT alcohol in them.  The alcohol will dry out the mouth and makes symptoms worse.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Chew Sugar-Free gum or suck on Sugar-free lozenges
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake

There are several companies that provide products that aid in dry mouth relief.  Some products and brands work well for some while others work better for others.  It truly is a trial and error process to see what works best for you.

Biotene is one of the biggest companies that focus on relieving dry mouth.  They have an array of products ranging from mouth rinses to chewing gum to saliva substitute.  It is sold in several stores, including Target and Walgreens.  Xylitol also has a variety of products that you can order including nose sprays, toothpastes, mints, and artificial sweeteners. (2) And of course, there are natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms as well.  Here is a good website that has a variety of things you can try to see if they alleviate any discomfort. (3)

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Dry mouth is NEVER easy to deal with, but hopefully with time and a little patience you’ll find something that will work for you.  If you need more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or dentist for other solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-health-impacts/dry-mouth-relief/
  2. http://www.epicdental.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=xylitol-products
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm