Pregnancy and Oral Health

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Amanda Orvis RDH

Being pregnant comes with various responsibilities, your oral hygiene being one of them. It is important that you continue to maintain your normal brushing and flossing routine. It is also a great idea to rinse daily with a fluoridated mouth rinse. There are several brands to choose from, just make sure you look for the ADA seal which guarantees safety and effectiveness.

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     For most women your routine dental visits are safe throughout your pregnancy. Make sure when calling to make your dental appointments you let your dental office know what stage of your pregnancy you are in. Let your dentist know if you have had any changes in your medications or if you have received any special instructions from your physician. Depending on your specific situation and your treatment needs, some of your dental appointments and procedures may need to be postponed until after your pregnancy.

Dental X-rays are sometimes necessary if you suffer a dental emergency or need a dental problem diagnosed. It may be wise to contact your physician prior to your dental appointment to get their approval to have x-rays if necessary.

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     During pregnancy some women may develop a temporary condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which is typically caused by hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy. This is a mild form of periodontal disease that can cause the gums to be red, tender and/or sore. It may be recommended that you be seen for more frequent cleanings to help control the gingivitis. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, please contact your dentist.

During your pregnancy you may have the desire to eat more frequently. When you feel the need to snack try to choose foods that are low in sugar and nutritious for you and your baby. Frequent snacking can cause tooth decay.

Feeling nauseous? If you experience morning sickness you can try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. This mixture lowers the acidity in your mouth. The acidity can cause erosion of the enamel. Your gag reflex may be extra sensitive during your pregnancy, so switching to a smaller toothbrush head may be beneficial.

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/sealprogramproducts.aspx

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.idph.state.ia.us%2FIDPHChannelsService%2Ffile.ashx%3Ffile%3DA6FAA346-C53D-49A5-AB8D-6198A087A02A&ei=gJO3UsDwH8bbyQG8sYHYAw&usg=AFQjCNFlpM4U5Hwp3J00K0jdNoM5DHzOXw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc

http://www.google.com/imgres?sa=X&hl=en&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS478US479&biw=1600&bih=714&tbm=isch&tbnid=nldgrSnzOgvsAM:&imgrefurl=http://www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/index.php/management-of-pregnancy-gingivitis-3&docid=73o889OPRA5FCM&imgurl=http://

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Spheno Palatine Gangleonerualgia

Kim McCrady

Kim McCrady RDH BA

Spheno Palatine Gangleonerualgia

Spheno Palatine Gangleoneuralgia!  Now that’s a mouthful.  But believe it or not, most everyone has experienced spheno patlatine gangleoneuralgia at one time or another.  In fact, as scary as the condition sounds, its uncomfortable but harmless.

So, what causes spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia?  It is the rapid release of blood back to the brain back from the palate after something very cold has been present in the mouth and contacted the roof of the mouth.  This results in a sharp uncomfortable headache.  Fortunately, the headache does not last long.  Have you figured it out yet?  What is spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia?  If you guessed a good old fashioned brain freeze, you are correct.

The roof of our mouths are made up of a hard area, referred to as the hard palate.  Your hard palate is located toward the front of the mouth and extends to the about the middle of the second molars.  It is hard because there are three bones that fused together as you grew to create the hard palate.  The soft palate is located just behind the hard palate and continues down into the throat area.  It is soft because there are no bones present.  The brain freeze according to recent studies is caused by an intense and sudden increase in blood flow through the brain’s anterior cerebral artery due to dilation of the artery.  When the artery constricted, the brain-freeze pain sensation wears off.

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Of course, allowing your cold treat a moment to warm up before it contacts your palate is a start to preventing brain freeze.  But, if your brain freeze is underway the quicker you can warm your palate the quicker the headache will recede.  Cupping you hand like a mask around your mouth and breathing in and out into your cupped hand helps to warm the palate.  As well has pressing your tongue or thumb on the roof of the mouth can shorten that headache. The goal is to prevent the blood vessels in your palate from constricting and dilating due to extreme changes in temperature.

Next time you are in need of a conversation starter, consider asking your friends if they have ever experienced spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia.

Medical News Today:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244458.php

Discovery Fit and Health: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244458.php

Photo: http://robjundt.hubpages.com/hub/Brain-Freeze-Adventures

Tooth Brushes!!

Karen

Karen Kelly RDH

As a dental hygienist, one of my most frequently asked questions is, ‘There are so many toothbrushes, which one should I use or should I just switch to an electric toothbrush?’.  My response is, first, always use a SOFT name brand toothbrush (I know stores sell medium and even hard toothbrushes but don’t buy them!!) and second to make sure you are brushing correctly at least 2 times daily and brushing for at least 2 minutes.  When I say correctly, I mean to aim the toothbrush up into the gums at a 45 degree angle.

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 Properly angled brushing

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Unhealthy vs. healthy gum tissue

I see lots of people who do brush their teeth, but since they don’t actually brush along the gumline, their gums are red and puffy.  So, brush the gums like you are giving them a massage; use little back and forth or circular motions.  Don’t use long scrubbing strokes, it is abrasive!  Then floss and/or use an interdental cleaner of some kind each and every day.  No matter how good a toothbrush is and how good someone brushes, it’s impossible to get in between the teeth clean with just a brush.  Also, change your brush often!  When the bristles begin to flare out or it’s been 3 months, change it, it makes a difference to use a new brush.

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                        If your brush looks like this, throw it out!                

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 A brand new SOFT toothbrush

If you brush really well with a manual toothbrush, you probably won’t see that much of a difference if you were to switch to an electric toothbrush.  The problem is, many people don’t clean their teeth that well with a manual toothbrush so that’s where the electric toothbrush can really help.  We recommend 2 brands of the electric brushes, the Sonicare and the Oral-B Braun.  These are not the battery powered toothbrushes, these brushes plug into the wall and have a rechargeable battery.  They just have so much more brushing action than a manual toothbrush that even if you aren’t that great of a brusher, you can do an excellent job if you use one of these brushes daily.  In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, they stated, “The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.”(1)  In another study, “the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush was found to be safe and significantly superior to a manual toothbrush in reducing gingivitis, sites of gingival bleeding and plaque over time.  DiamondClean reduced gingivitis and gingival bleeding sites up to two times more and removed up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush after four weeks of use.”(2)   Sonicare also states that their ‘DiamondClean toothbrush effectively removed extrinsic tooth stain within one and two weeks of use, and it was significantly superior to a manual toothbrush at both one and two week checks.'(3)  On the Oral B website, they state that their Professional Precision 5000 toothbrush has produced these results:  34% less gingival bleeding at 6 months vs. a regular manual toothbrush and 29% lower gingival bleeding scores at 3 months vs. Sonicare® FlexCare (4)

It is still important to use the powered toothbrush 2 times daily for at least 2 minutes and allow the toothbrush to clean along the gumline.  If you have an electric toothbrush but it mostly sits on your counter, that doesn’t count when we ask if you use an electric toothbrush!

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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

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                                                     Oral-B® Professional Precision 5000

Electric toothbrushes come in many different models and prices.  Take a look at a store like Target or Walgreens, they have lots of choices so you can find one that will fit your budget and taste.  We carry our favorite electric brushes and replacement brush heads in our office as well, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about toothbrushes.  I like to answer questions about brushes so much that I go to Target and walk up and down the dental isle just so I can give advice to shoppers!!

So, remember what I tell my younger patients:  2 times a day for 2 minutes.  It’s easy to do and easy to remember!

Karen Kelley  R.D.H.

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 Just some fun photos to make you smile!

 

1.  http://222.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

2.  http://sonicare.com/professional/en_AU/pdf/Gingival_DC_2011_Milleman.pdf

3.  http://staging1.microsites.ce.philips.com/DP_AU_EN_3_3_Orc2/pdf/Stain_DC_2010_Colgan.pdf

4.   http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/oral-b-crest-professional-products/category/electric-toothbrushes/oralb-5000-professional-trial.aspx

Image Sources

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sonicare-hx9332-diamondclean-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush?ID=827710

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/proper-angle-for-brushing-your-teeth

http://www.impledent.com/patient-services/teeth-dental-cleanings/

http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/talkscience/2011/10/27/wonderful-things-more-than-meets-the-eye/

http://www.oralb.com/products/pro-health-gentle-clean/

http://www.oralb.com/products/professional-care-smart-series-5000/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Boralb%20%2B5000&utm_campaign=Oral-B_Search_Desktop_Brand+Awareness_Power|ProfessionalCare+SmartSeries+5000&utm_content=sGVAVXD2P|dc_21461550775_b_%2Boralb%20%2B5000

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Kids and Dentistry

I have to say that my favorite appointments are the ones with patients who are 18 and younger. No offense to the rest of the adult world, however, kids are the best. They are like little sponges soaking up all the dental knowledge I can share. Being a future parent I want to know all the information I can get to help my children have smooth transition into new experiences. Here are some kid tips for in office and at home to help our children have a great time at the dentist.

Office Tips:

When should my child first come to the dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) children should come no later than 12 months of age. That may sound early to most people. However, this helps create a dental home for the child. We can also answer questions that the parents may have. Your dentist and hygienist will give advice on snacking habits, teach oral hygiene tips and make sure your child’s teeth are coming in on schedule.

The first visit is called a “Happy Visit”, we show them the instruments and the dentist checks their teeth. Cleanings are dependent on the temperament of the child. Whatever they are comfortable with. We want a happy, calm visit.

Regular Check ups

Cleanings are to be 2 times per year. The dentist checks for dental decay, orthodontic needs, discuss sports guards and if sealants should be placed. Hygiene cleanings are performed. Fluoride treatments are given and oral hygiene instruction is tailored to the child’s needs.

What if my child has a cavity?

Then you are at the perfect place. At our offices we have wonderful doctors and staff who help each and every patient have a great experience. Start off by setting a good example to your child by being calm. The child will always be well-informed on what is going on during the appointment. Believe it or not we have had better experiences with not having the parent in the room during the procedures. This helps the child develop trust with the doctor and the child will more likely communicate with the dentist about his or her needs rather than the parent.

Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas is very effective for children. It is fast acting, calms the patient quickly, it is safe, reversible, and is affordable for most patients. Kids respond well to the nitrous. Just like adults your child will always have localized anesthesia to make the procedure virtually painless.

We may refer some patients to a pediatric dentist. This is decided by the child’s temperament, if there is a large amount of dental work to be done, or they need to be sedated. However, most of the time we can take care of all dental needs presented.

Home Tips:

Oral Hygiene Habits
Brush 2 times per day for 2 minutes. Make sure the brush has soft bristles. An electric toothbrush helps kids brush for longer and it is more fun.

It is recommended for parents to help children brush and floss until the age of 8.

Floss at least 1 time per day if not more.

Sequence-

  1. Rinse with mouthwash
  2. Floss
  3. Brush, spit in the sink and do not rinse afterwards. We want the fluoride to stay on the teeth.

Infants should have their oral cavity wiped with a clean damp cloth before bed at night.

Tooth brushing charts are a great motivator for kids who have a hard time brushing.You can find many online to print out.

Fluoride

Under 2 yrs smear fluoride toothpaste onto the brush. 2 yrs and above a small pea size should suffice. According to the AAPD.

Parents should dispense toothpaste to prevent from too much being digested.

Further questions about fluoride and its benefits consult your dentist or hygienist.

Diet

Have a balanced diet of veggies, fruit, meat and beans, dairy, and whole grains. Limit amounts of starchy and sugary foods.

Significantly decrease amounts of soda and fruit juices

Limit frequency of snacking.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that also helps prevent cavities. It is put in gums such at Ice Breaker Ice Cubes, Trident and others. It also can be bought to be used in baking. Xylitol is a great way to keep sweets in our lives with benefit of not getting cavities.

Dental Caries is the number one disease that affects children. The good thing is that cavities are preventable. Health in the oral cavity affects our entire bodies. With these tips and many others our children are on their way to a life of happy, healthy, smiles.

-Kara Johansen BSRDH

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Dental Care For Your Baby. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Nitrous Oxide. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask your Dentist About Diet and Snacking. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Regular Dental Visits. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

Bad Breath? No Problem!

Do you suffer from bad breath? Does it linger with you throughout the day and you just can’t get rid of it? Don’t be embarrassed, you and the 40 million Americans are not alone.

Halitosis, also more commonly known as bad breath occurs when unpleasant odors are exhaled through the mouth. In most cases, bad breath originates from the mouth. One of the most common causes of bad breath is the build-up of plaque. When people don’t floss, or brush as much as they should, the plaque then begins to harbor bacteria resulting in bad breath, even if you just brushed your teeth! Some symptoms to be on the look out for bad breath are; smell, bad taste or taste changes in your mouth, dry mouth, and a coating on your tongue.

 Most causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene. If good oral hygiene practices, or a dentist do no eliminate bad breath, you should consult your physician. Very few causes of bad breath may need medical attention from a physician. When to seek that type of medical attention is when you have a persistent dry mouth, sores in the mouth, pain with chewing or swallowing, white spots on the tonsils, fever,  or just started a new medication. New parents need to watch their babies or young children because bad breath may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problem.

If your bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene, here are a few tips to help your teeth stay healthy, and smelling clean!

  • brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride
  • brush teeth after meals, especially meals that contain foods high in acid
  • replace your toothbrush every 2 months, this helps your overall health as well. This way you won’t keep putting the same bad bacteria in your mouth over and over again.
  • make sure you are seeing a dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and check-ups to avoid any problems that might be brewing in your mouth
  • brush your tongue regularly, it really makes a huge difference
  • make sure you are flossing regularly so those food particles that get stuck in between your teeth don’t harbor bacteria
  • keep your mouth moist and wet by drinking lots of water! It’s not a bad idea to make it a habit to drink more water throughout the day because your overall health also benefits from it! Who doesn’t love a 2 for 1 special?

Don’t be embarrassed if you have bad breath, just remember you aren’t alone. Try the tips suggested above, and if they don’t work, come in and see a dentist. We want you to be comfortable, and our number one goal is to see you walk out the door with happy smiles!

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