Myths of Dentistry

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Cortney Davis, RDH

Myths of Dentistry

 It’s no myth that to some dental work can be scary sometimes. Statistics show that around 12 percent of the population in the U.S. says they are anxious when it comes to visiting the dentist, and many don’t know how to take care of their oral health properly. With the overwhelming anxiety and stress build up around dentists and dental health, it’s not shocking that people may have made up or heard several dental myths over the years. People then tend to believe these myths and decide not go to the dentist regularly, rather than find out the truth. Having false information can be harmful to your health, so let’s talk about some of the common myths which you may believe yourself or have heard.

Myth #1- As long as I brush my teeth twice a day or don’t have tooth pain, I don’t need to go to the dentist.

Fact: While brushing twice a day and flossing once daily is Important, it is not enough. It is also important to get routine cleanings. During cleanings, the hygienist will clean the hard to reach areas, will make sure your gums are healthy, and will educate patients on proper home care. Dentists will also use x-rays and visual exams to make sure a patient doesn’t have any problems with their teeth or gums. Many don’t know this, but you don’t always have tooth pain when you have a tooth problem or gum disease, and if left untreated a tooth problem and unhealthy gum tissue will only get worse and lead to more serious problems. That’s why it is so important to come in for routine check-ups.

Myth #2 The dentist only wants my money

Fact: While some dental procedures and treatments can seem costly, they are completely worth it. As stated above, if dental problems are left untreated for a period, the treatment needed typically becomes more extensive which will cost more than a simple cleaning every six months. If a dentist can catch the signs of infection early, treatment will be minimal and less costly.

Myth #3 Bleaching your teeth can damage them.

Fact: Bleaching is a popular service that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster. Scientific studies have shown that using peroxide to whiten teeth is both safe and efficient. Although bleaching can cause some sensitivity when a patient is using it, bleaching gel is safe concerning damage of the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter.

Myth #4. If gums are bleeding, brushing and flossing should be avoided. 

Fact: The exact opposite is true. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque build-up which causes bleeding gums.   Bleeding gums is a sign of gum brokerage, and more care actually must be done to avoid worse oral problems.

Myth #5 Baby teeth aren’t important, they will fall out anyway.

Fact: Yes, eventually all of your child’s 20 baby teeth will fall out eventually. However, many serve important functions for your child’s development. Baby teeth are known as the natural space maintainers for adult teeth and if a child loses a tooth too early due to dental problems, they could cause crowding for adult teeth. The health of your child’s baby teeth can also affect the health of their adult teeth. If you leave dental decay in a baby tooth untreated, it could eventually cause your child pain, abscesses, swelling, and affect the adult tooth developing under the baby tooth. Also, if the infection got worse it could even spread to other parts of the child’s body.

Myth #6 I shouldn’t go to the dentist because I am pregnant

Fact: A dental check-up is recommended during pregnancy. Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make conditions worse or create new ones due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Local anesthetics and x-rays are okay during pregnancy although they are to be done only when necessary.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.pediatricdentistrichmond.com/downloads/Top10Myths_Childrens_Teeth.pdf

http://www.stlawrencedentistry.com/top-10-dental-myths/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/5-common-dental-myths.htm

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

Often time’s orthodontic treatment is recommended before all of your child’s primary (baby) teeth have even fallen out. Early orthodontic treatment can alleviate future, possibly more invasive, orthodontic corrections.

Here are a few reasons for early interceptive treatment:

  • Corrective positioning for a better prognosis of how the permanent teeth with develop.
  • To correct any oral habits that cause developmental problems such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting.
  • To correct malocclusions, or poor bite relationships, such as overbites, under bites, open bites, cross bites, crowding, spacing, teeth erupting out of sequence, or missing teeth.
  • To correct growth problems such as narrow palates.
  • To guide the growth of the jaw bones to a more favorable position for permanent tooth eruption.

“The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by the age 7. Permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age 6 or 7. It is at this point that orthodontic problems become apparent.”

If you are unsure about the need for early interceptive orthodontic treatment for your child, it is a good idea to visit with an orthodontist to familiarize yourself with treatment options. If you are concerned with the appearance or development of your child’s teeth, or if you have questions please do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options and referral information.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/early-orthodontics-may-mean-less-treatment-later

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

What are those white spots on my teeth?

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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″

Dental “Myth Busters”

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Becky Larson, RDH

Dental “Myth Busters”

There are a lot of dental myths out there that are sometimes mistaken for dental truths.  Here are a few facts to help clear up some of the confusion.

Myth #1: You don’t need to brush baby teeth because they will fall out eventually anyway. 

baby_teeth_adult_teeth_differences

Absolutely not!  Baby teeth can still get cavities, which can spread to other teeth and cause pain.  Some baby teeth may even fall out too soon and cause problems with bite or improper development of a child’s permanent teeth.  It’s also important to establish good oral hygiene habits early on.  Children’s teeth should be brushed twice daily (just like adult teeth).

Myth #2: Fluoride is poisonous and should be avoided. 

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Wrong!  Each day the enamel layers of our teeth lose minerals (demineralization) due to the acidity of plaque and sugars in the mouth.  The enamel is remineralized from food and water consumption.  Too much demineralization without enough remineralization leads to tooth decay.  Fluoride helps strengthen enamel, thus making it more resistant to acidic demineralization.  Fluoride can sometimes reverse early tooth decay.  According to the American Dental Association, community water fluoridation is the single more effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.  Many dental offices also offer in office fluoride treatments that can help both children and adults.

Myth #3:  You lose one tooth each time you have a child.

Missing Tooth

Now that’s just silly.  Some women think that when they are pregnant the baby leeches a lot of their calcium supply.  That may be, but it doesn’t mean she will lose any teeth.  However, pregnant women are prone to cavities or having other dental problems.  This is due to morning sickness and vomiting, dry mouth, and a desire/craving for more sugary or starchy foods.  Pregnant women in these circumstances should be sure to continue their regular dental check-ups and try to maintain pristine oral home care.

Myth #4:  If your gums are bleeding you should avoid brushing your teeth and flossing.

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I can’t even begin to stress how wrong this one is!  If your gums are bleeding it means there is active inflammation and infection present.  That means you need to improve on oral hygiene by brushing more frequently or more effectively.  Bleeding gums is a sign of periodontal disease.  If caught early (in the gingivitis stage) it can be reversed.  Brushing should be done twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush.  Flossing should be done at least once daily.

Myth #5:  Placing a tablet of aspirin beside an aching tooth can ease the pain.

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Wrong again.  In order to ease the pain caused by a toothache, aspirin must be fully swallowed.  Placing aspirin on gum tissue for long periods of time can actually damage the tissue and possibly cause an abscess.

Myth #6:  You don’t need to see the dentist if there is no visible problem with your teeth.

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Unfortunately not all dental problems will be visible or obvious.  You should continue to visit the dentist for regular check-ups at least twice per year, in conjunction with your cleanings.  Dental radiographs or other instruments can detect cavities or other problems that might not be causing any symptoms yet.  It’s best to catch things early to minimize the treatment needed.

Myth #7:  After a tooth has been treated for decay it will not decay again.

Broken_Lost_Tooth_Filling

There are no guarantees in dentistry!  While the dentist will do their best to restore teeth to last for as long as possible, there is no way of knowing when or if a tooth will get recurrent decay.  Proper oral home care can prolong the life of dental restorations.

Don’t always believe what you hear!  If you have questions or concerns about your dental health be sure to ask your dentist, hygienist, or other dental professional.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment

http://www.livescience.com/22463-gain-a-child-lose-a-tooth-myth-or-reality.html

http://tips4dentalcare.com/2008/06/21/popular-myths-about-dentistry/

“They are just baby teeth. So what does it matter”?

Peggy

 

Peggy Storr BSRDH

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Many people think that dental care of baby (primary) teeth isn’t really necessary. They aren’t permanent teeth and they will be lost eventually. The truth is that as soon as those little teeth appear, they should be cleaned daily. A tiny smear of toothpaste should start about the age of 1, as should the first visit to the dentist. Many of the baby teeth will be in your child’s mouth until he or she is 13 years old.

Look in your child’s mouth. White spots or lesions are early signs of demineralization or decay of the teeth. These lesions can be reversed with proper homecare and administration of fluoride and or MI Paste.

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www.recaldent.com

Early-Childhood-Caries1

http://www.babyorganics.co.id/general/dental-caries-on-children/

Decay (cavities or caries) in baby teeth is a serious health concern that is now known to be contagious. Dental decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. While decay in permanent teeth has declined, decay in baby teeth is increasing. Left untreated, cavities can lead to dental pain that can affect a child’s eating, speaking, and learning. It can lead to expensive treatment, malnourishment, disruption of growth and development, and may even cause life threatening infections. If the dentist simply pulls the decayed tooth, it can affect how the permanent teeth grow in. The space from the baby tooth must be preserved or the permanent teeth may erupt in a crowded and incorrect position.

Most people are surprised to learn that cavities are contagious. But bacteria, particularly Mutans Streptococci, are responsible for tooth decay and bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another. If mom cleans the baby’s pacifier by putting it in her own mouth, or shares a spoon, she can transfer bacteria to the baby. Being mindful of diet is a first step in prevention of tooth decay. Dipping a pacifier in honey or sugar is a bad idea, as is letting a child go to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or anything other than water.

Chewy, sticky foods (such as dried fruit or candy) are best if eaten as part of a meal rather than as a snack. If possible, brush the teeth or rinse the mouth with water after eating these foods. Minimize snacking, which creates a constant supply of acid in the mouth. Avoid constant sipping of sugary drinks or frequent sucking on candy and mints. The sticky sour candies kids love so much are the worst as they stay in the mouth longer and cause significant increases in the acid that cause tooth decay.

Dental sealants can prevent some cavities. Sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This coating prevents the buildup of plaque in the deep grooves on these surfaces. Sealants are often applied on the teeth of children, shortly after the molars come in.

Fluoride is also recommended to protect against dental caries. People who get fluoride in their drinking water or by taking fluoride supplements have less tooth decay. Numerous studies report that products containing Xylitol decrease tooth decay. Gum or mints for children who are beyond the choking stage are recommended. Xylitol needs to be among the first three ingredients.

Dental disease can impact the total well-being of a child and is largely preventable.  So while they are “JUST BABY TEETH”, they are a vital consideration in the health of your child.  A healthy mouth contributes to the overall health every child.

Sources:

1. Ezer, Michelle, S, DDS, Swoboda, Natalie A DDS and Farkouh, David DMD, MS; Early Childhood Caries: The Dental Disease of Infants

2. Chow AW. Infections of the oral cavity, neck, and head. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 60.

3. Sleeper, Laura J, RDH, MA and Gronski Ashley; The Benefits of Xylitol; http://Dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/June 2014

4. http://www.thedentalleif.net

5. http:// twoothtimer.com

Tetracycline, Pregnancy, and Oral Care.

Have you ever heard of the antibiotic called Tetracycline? It is used to treat conditions including acne and respiratory infections. What a lot of people don’t know is that if you’re taking this and you are pregnant, this antibiotic can cause certain risk factors to your child. If you take tetracycline after the fourth month of pregnancy, you can put your child’s teeth in harm. It can cause discoloration, or graying of the baby’s teeth. Because the staining forms when the baby’s teeth are developing, the discoloration is embedded in the tooth’s enamel and inner layers.  The discoloration is either gray or brown in color. They cover the entire tooth, or appear as a pattern of stripes. tetracycline discoloration develops on the teeth while they are still forming under the gum line. During the development of the baby’s teeth, the drug becomes calcified (hardens) in the tooth, generating the tooth stain. Children are susceptible to tetracycline discoloration from the time they are in utero until age 8.

Which leads me to my next point….You can never start oral care too early. If you’re an expectant mother, you can start taking care of your child’s teeth while they are in utero. Eating a variety of  healthy foods, and taking calcium supplements can help prevent decay from forming. Not only does that help with the prevention of decay, it also decreases the baby’s risk of being born with a cleft lip and palate.  When the baby is born, you can continue to help the prevention of decay. After each feeding, take a soft, damp wash cloth and gently wipe the baby’s gums. This will also decrease the baby’s risk of bacteria build up. When they reach the age of 6 months, when their teeth usually start to come in, you can take a very soft tooth-brush, and gently brush the gum lines, where the teeth form twice a day. As the children get older, parents should be brushing their teeth until they are 6 years old. This helps them develop a pattern, and routine for when they get older, and brush by themselves. You can also prevent sticky, and sweet foods from being a main part of their diet. This will help prevent cavities, and tooth decay.