Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Fluoridation

Adding fluoride to public water supplies is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay and has played a major role in in improving the public’s dental health for more than 70 years.

"Fluoride’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay extends throughout one’s life, resulting in fewer—and less severe̵—cavities," says former Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. Read on to learn more about what the 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has proclaimed as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

What Is Community Water Fluoridation?    
Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. Think of it this way: Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D, table salt with iodine, and bread and cereals with folic acid. 

The number of communities who make the choice to fluoridate their water continues to grow. The latest data show that in 2014, 74.4% of the U.S. population on public water systems, or 211.4 million people, had access to optimally fluoridated water.

How Much Fluoride Is Recommended In Community Water Systems?
It is recommended that community water systems adjust the amount of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. Use the chart below to see what that amount is equivalent to. 

Fluoride facts

5 Reasons Why Fluoride in Water is Good for Communities
  1. Prevents tooth decay. Fluoride in water is the most efficient way to prevent one of the most common childhood diseases – tooth decay. One study has shown that children who live in communities without fluoridation are three times more likely to end up in the hospital to undergo dental surgery.  
  2. Protects all ages against cavities. Studies show that fluoride in community water systems prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Why fluoride is called nature's cavity fighter.
  3. Safe and effective. For more than 70 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently has indicated that community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than 100 health organizations recognize the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association
  4. Saves money. When it comes to the cost of treating dental disease, everyone pays. Not just those who need treatment, but the entire community – through higher health insurance premiums and higher taxes. The average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water supply is less than the cost of one dental filling.
  5. It’s natural. Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater and the oceans. Water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay. It’s similar to fortifying other foods and beverages, like fortifying salt with iodine, milk with vitamin D, orange juice with calcium and bread with folic acid.

If you have specific questions about your family’s fluoride needs, please contact your family dentist, pediatrician or physician.

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Monday, 15 February 2021

Teeth-Healthy Snacks for Kids With Growing Teeth

You don't need another reason to feed your child nutritious snacks. Though, you might be interested in knowing those wholesome foods that fuel your child's growing body also impact the health and development of their teeth. Understand how your child's foods affect oral health and find out which teeth-healthy snacks to keep stocked in your pantry or fridge.

A Teeth-Healthy Snack Plan for Kids
The eating habits your kids learn today will impact them for the rest of their lives. Teach them the "what," "when," and "how" of teeth-healthy snacking to set them up for years of nutritious choices.

What Are Teeth-Healthy Snacks?
With more options than ever before, it can be challenging to determine which kid-friendly snacks are the healthiest choices. When it comes to your child's teeth, foods high in vitamins and minerals, and low in sugar make the best snacks. Sugar feeds the bacteria in plaque and causes it to release an acid that attacks the enamel on your teeth. If left unchecked, these attacks can lead to tooth decay. Choosing naturally sugar-free snacks is an excellent starting point for teeth-healthy eating.

When Should You Snack?
Kids need regular snacks to fuel their growing bodies throughout the day. However, it's important to implement a schedule for meal and snack times, so they don't constantly graze. Acid attacks can occur up to 20 minutes after you finish eating before they are neutralized, so your kids' teeth need a break between meals. If you feed them a sugary snack, serve it alongside other teeth-friendly foods. This will reduce the effects of acid production and help clear the mouth of sugary food debris.

How Do You Limit the Effects of Sugary Snacks?
It's not practical (or fun) to eliminate sugar from your child's diet. Enjoying a slice of birthday cake or a bowl of ice cream is an integral part of growing up. But you can limit the effects of these sugary snacks on your kids' teeth. Start with making sweets a special occasion instead of a daily event. Your kids will be more excited to partake in the occasional treat, and their teeth will appreciate the break from regular sugar baths. Also, be picky about the types of sugar. Avoid hard and sticky foods like lollipops or fruit gummies that stay longer in the mouth and prolong acid attacks. Finally, follow up sugary snacks by brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily to remove plaque and food debris.

Snacks Kids Can Eat for Healthy Teeth
Now that you understand how to build a teeth-healthy snack plan for your kids, here are some ideas for snacks your kids will love.
 
Vegetables and fruits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends filling at least half your child's plate with vegetables and fruits. These foods are high in water and fiber, which helps balance out any sugars they might contain. Plus, chewing on a crunchy apple or carrot helps stimulate saliva production and clear away food particles from your teeth. Some fruit and veggie snack ideas include:
  • Raw carrots and celery sticks dipped in hummus or ranch dressing
  • Sliced apples with sugar-free peanut butter
  • Spinach, frozen berries, and plain yogurt blended into a smoothie
Dairy. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can be low in sugar and rich in calcium, which is excellent for strengthening your child's teeth. Plus, cheese is a naturally chewy food that helps stimulate saliva production. Meanwhile, yogurt can be easily rinsed from teeth after eating. Some dairy snack ideas include:
  • String cheese
  • Plain yogurt with berries
  • Glass of milk
Lean Proteins. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs not only contain valuable protein, but they are also rich in phosphorous, which can help strengthen teeth. Some lean protein snack ideas include:
  • Boiled eggs
  • Roasted chicken and veggie kabobs
  • Sugar-free beef jerky
Seeds and nuts. High in protein and minerals and low in sugar and carbohydrates, nuts and seeds can be a delicious teeth-healthy option. Plus, some seeds and nuts — like chia seeds or almonds — are high in calcium, strengthening teeth.
  • Dry-roasted almonds with sea salt
  • Chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, and fruit mixed and set overnight into pudding
  • Trail mix with favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit with no sugar added
Water. Fluoridated water is arguably one of the most essential components of snack time. Fluoride helps teeth become more resistant to acid attacks, and water helps rinse away any leftover food debris. Plus, it replaces other kid drinks — like fruit juices, sodas, and sports drinks — all of which are high in sugar. Make water more appealing by infusing it with fruit or adding carbonation.

How to Make Eating Healthy Fun
If your kids are used to sugary and starchy snacks, it might be difficult to trade in cookies for carrots. Make healthy eating fun with some of these tips:
 
Cook meals together. Give your child ownership of the healthy eating process by including them in the prep work. Find a cookbook full of recipes that appeal to kids and let them choose one or two to make throughout the week. Older children can learn the basics of chopping and roasting vegetables. Younger kids can help you thread pre-chopped veggies onto skewers or layer fruit and plain yogurt for a parfait. Mixing up a veggie dip, wrapping up a turkey roll-up, or placing toothpicks into cheese cubes are all great activities for little hands.
 
Plant a garden. Start healthy eating habits right at the source: homegrown vegetables. Stick to a few vegetables that are relatively easy to grow, such as lettuce or peppers. Or even begin with a window-sill herb like basil or cilantro. When it's time to harvest the fruits — or veggies — of your labor, pick a delicious recipe together to make a snack the kids can be proud of.
 
Make healthy snacking convenient. Part of making healthy snacking fun is making it easy. A kid will rarely choose celery sticks when potato chips are available. So swap out that candy for fruit and those crackers for almonds. Then, make your healthy choices extra convenient by putting containers of pre-cut veggies and fruits in the fridge where your child can see them. If you have a pantry snack drawer, fill it with single servings of nuts, sugar-free beef jerky, and nut butters.
 
Keep going. Healthy changes won't happen overnight. Kids may need up to 12 exposures of a particular food before they decide they "like" it. So keep serving those carrots alongside other healthy options you know they'll eat. Additionally, try preparing foods in different ways — such as roasted broccoli instead of raw florets or plain chicken instead of chicken with taco seasoning. Some quick adjustments might help overcome any texture or flavor preferences.
 
Keeping children nourished and well-fed is no easy task, so great job pursuing teeth-healthy snack options for your little ones. By encouraging your child to eat healthy now, you are instilling lifelong habits. Simply stay patient and remember the goal: Children who learn to love foods that protect their teeth and help them grow.
The above article is from colgate.com

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Gum Disease Pictures: What do Healthy Gums Look Like?











If you suspect you have gum disease and are experiencing some of its symptoms such as sore gums, it may help to compare your gums to the pictures of healthy gums and gum disease below, from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. If your gums look like they’re in the early stages of gum disease, bring it to the attention of your dentist and hygienist at your next visit.

Gingivitis
The most common way to identify gingivitis is to look for gum inflammation and bleeding.
 
 
Early Periodontitis Pictures
During the early stages of periodontitis, symptoms include noticeably receding gum and pockets between gums and teeth.
 
 


Advanced Periodontitis
As periodontitis progresses, tissue and bone that support teeth are lost, causing loose teeth.
 
Healthy Gums vs. Unhealthy Gums
If you have healthy gums, they will look firm and pink. Some signs of unhealthy gums include redness and swelling, gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, and gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth. There are a few factors that can undermine healthy gums, including tobacco use, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, and poor immunity due to more severe medical problems. Also, certain medications, including some types of antihistamines, decongestants, and painkillers, can cause dry mouth, which can promote gum disease. 

It's important to remember that healthy gums aren’t just important for your oral health. Maintaining healthy gums can also be important for your overall health. Numerous research studies suggest an association between periodontitis and other more serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In fact, there are now several studies that suggest an association between advanced gum disease and heart disease or stroke. 

How to Get Healthy Gums Again
If you have mild gum disease (gingivitis), you can regain healthy gums by paying attention to oral hygiene. Using an anti-gingivitis toothpaste like Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean helps reverse early signs of gum damage and gives you clinically proven healthier gums. But serious gum disease, known as periodontitis, requires more sophisticated treatment to restore healthy gums. Your dentist may use one of these techniques to treat severe gum disease and promote healthy gums:
  • Root scaling and planing: Removal of the plaque and tartar on your teeth above and below the gum line.
  • Gingivectomy: Removal of diseased gum tissue, and elimination of any pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria can easily grow.
  • Extraction: Removal of loose teeth, or removal of teeth that are badly decayed or damaged.
  • Flap surgery: Cleaning the teeth roots and repairing any bone damage.
How to Maintain Healthy Gums
Because a healthy mouth starts at the gums, maintaining an oral health routine focused on the health of your gums in crucial to the overall health of your mouth. When you have healthy gums, your teeth are well-supported by the tissue in your gums and your chances for long-term oral health are significantly increased. If you don’t maintain healthy gums, you are more likely to have gum disease, which can progress to a number of problems with your teeth and oral health. And as we talked about above, other long-term, chronic health conditions can be associated with periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease.

In order to help keep your gums healthy, there are several easy steps you should take on a daily basis. Here is a checklist you need for healthy gums:
  • Toothbrush: When selecting a toothbrush for healthy gums, look for a soft-bristle brush that has bristles of varying heights to reduce irritation. This will help the toothbrush stimulate your gums and get into hard-to-reach areas.
  • Toothpaste: The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Comprehensive all-in-one formulas such as Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste can provide a number of benefits that help care for your teeth and gums for a healthy mouth. You may also want to consider a toothpaste like Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean which is formulated specifically for you gums. It can reach and neutralize the plaque bacteria built up around the gum line that can cause bleeding gums and even gum disease.
  • Dental Floss: Flossing may be one of the most important things you can do to help prevent gum problems and maintain healthy gums. There are also types of soft floss that make flossing easier, so people with sensitive gums can have healthy gums. Another option: interdental devices such as dental picks and flossers can be used to clean between the teeth and promote healthy gums. 
  • Mouthwash: Using an anti-gingivitis mouthwash as part of your oral care routine can help kill the bacteria that cause plaque to maintain a healthy gums and teeth. And mouthwashes may offer you additional benefits like whitening, enamel protection, or cavity protection.
  • Gum Stimulator: Available at most drug stores, a gum stimulator can help you keep clean and healthy gums. This simple device features a rubber tip that is used to gently clean and stimulate gums for good circulation and to help prevent gum disease.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Regular visits to a dentist are important for healthy gums because the dentist can identify problems early before they become serious. Follow a regular oral care routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day to maintain healthy gums. Some dentists may recommend an antibacterial rinse or mouthwash to help preserve healthy gums after you are treated for gum disease.
The above article is from crest.com

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Busting 7 Myths about Oral Health

It's essential to know the truth about oral health because bad oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and other complications. Oral health can also impact your overall health! There tend to be many misconceptions about oral health, but it's essential you know the facts. Learn the truth behind common dental myths so you know how to take care of your teeth.

Myth #1: 'Sugar-free sodas are better for my teeth'
Just because soda is sugar-free, it doesn't mean it's harmless to your teeth. Sugar surely contributes to tooth decay and cavities, but sugar isn't the only thing. Even sugar-free sodas contain acids and carbohydrates combined with bacteria and saliva to result in plaque, also known as biofilm, buildup. If your teeth are not cleaned regularly, that plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis.

Myth #2: 'Dental health doesn't affect my overall health.'
Oral health is a good indicator of overall health, and poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for disease in other parts of your body. Moderate to advanced gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and is more prevalent among people with diabetes. Bacteria and other germs can spread from the mouth to other areas of the body via blood flow. Bacteria that spread to the heart can cause damage and inflammation.

Myth #3: 'I can wait to see the dentist until it's an emergency.'
With dental health, prevention is vital. Keeping your dental hygiene appointments and check-ups allow your dentist and dental hygienist to spot and treat issues before they become emergencies. As discussed above, you don't want to wait until your dental health affects your overall health.

Myth #4: 'Cavities in baby teeth aren't as serious as cavities in adult teeth.'
Oral health in children is essential, even if they lose their baby teeth. Tooth decay and cavities can impact how adult teeth form under the gums. Also, if kids don't learn how to take care of their teeth while they still have their baby teeth, they will be unlikely to keep good habits once they are older. So, encourage and teach your children to brush and floss daily according to a dental professional's recommendation.

Myth #5: 'Silver dental fillings aren't risky.'
"Silver" fillings are dental amalgam fillings because they are made from a combination of multiple types of metal. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting. However, dental amalgam fillings also contain small amounts of mercury. In large amounts, mercury is toxic. According to the FDA, dental amalgam fillings are safe to use in most children and adults. If you know you have sensitivities or are allergic to tin, copper and other metals, tell your dentist. They can use fillings of another material.

Myth #6: 'Gum disease isn't very common.'
Gum disease is actually widespread. According to a study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 52 percent of people age 30 and older have gum disease. As we get older, we're naturally more susceptible to infections, including gingivitis and gum disease. For example, 64 percent of adults age 65 and older have gum disease.

Myth #7: 'Pregnant women can ignore bloody gums.'
The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that pregnancy hormones can lead to sensitive and inflamed gums. This condition has been called "pregnancy gingivitis" because dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Symptoms include red, sore, and bleeding gums.

However, gingivitis doesn't occur in all pregnant women. Brushing your teeth, cleaning between your teeth with floss, water flossers, or interdental brushes daily, and additional dental cleanings will abate bleeding gums. Preventing gingivitis from turning into gum disease is crucial for mom's and baby's health.

We've busted several myths about oral health. Keep up with your daily oral care routine and ask your dentist and dental hygienist for tips about taking care of your teeth. They'll help you sort fact from fiction.

The above article is from colgate.com

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Friday, 15 January 2021

Sensitive Teeth: What they Mean, Causes, and Home Remedies

What Does Tooth Sensitivity Mean?
Is eating ice cream or sipping hot coffee painful? Do brushing and flossing cause a zing? If you feel pain or tingling, then you may have sensitive teeth. At least 45 million Americans suffer from sensitive teeth; one-in-five adults suffers from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is highest between the ages of 25 and 30 years.

A layer of hard enamel protects the crowns of your teeth. A layer of cementum protects the tooth root under the gum line. Gum tissue is a protective blanket that covers the tooth roots. Underneath the hard enamel, or cementum, is the porous dentin which is made up of tiny openings called tubules or channels. Inside each tubule lies a nerve that comes from the tooth's pulp (the mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of the tooth). When the dentin loses its protective covering and is exposed, it may cause hypersensitivity and discomfort when you drink cold liquids, eat hot foods, eat sweet or sour foods, or when you breathe through your mouth. Even brushing and flossing can be painful. 

The nerves inside the tooth get stimulated causing everything from discomfort to a sharp, sudden, shooting pain deep into the nerve endings of your teeth. Some of the causes of tooth crown disintegration include tooth decay, a cracked tooth, a chipped tooth, or a broken tooth; damaged teeth may fill with bacteria, entering the pulp and causing inflammation. Teeth sensitivity can mean significant pain and it often impacts daily activities, such as eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. It can also lead to painful dentist office visits and procedures.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity, and sensitive toothpaste can help protect against painful teeth sensitivity. Identify the cause of your tooth sensitivity and ask your dental professional for advice. To determine the root for your sensitivity and whether or not sensitive toothpaste will help, see if any of the following causes apply to you.

You will notice sensitive teeth when stimuli, such as hot or cold sensations, reach the nerves inside the teeth and cause pain or tingling. Some common causes of sensitive teeth include: 
  • Your toothbrush type: What type of toothbrush do you use? Most dental professionals recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The soft bristles prevent long-term damage to your enamel and are gentler on your gums. When combined with a sensitive toothpaste such as Crest Gum and Sensitivity, the right toothbrush can help avoid painful discomfort. Most of Crest toothpastes use an active ingredient called stannous fluoride, which is clinically proven to help protect teeth from painful sensitivity.
  • Teeth Whitening: Whiter teeth can boost your self-confidence and improve your appearance, but you can have too much of a good thing. If you have sensitive teeth, be sure to use teeth-whitening products no more frequently than the manufacturer recommends. Try limiting yourself to one whitening product, and then use other oral care products for sensitive teeth so you can maintain a regular oral care routine and enjoy a brighter smile, or try whitening products designed for sensitive teeth. Crest Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening Toothpaste can help maintain your whiter smile while helping to protect against sensitivity. 
  • Irregular flossing: Do you floss regularly? Flossing is one of the most important components of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing can prevent plaque build-up that leads to gum disease, receding gums, sore gums and tooth sensitivity. Since 80% of sensitivity starts at the gum line, it’s important to care for your gums to ensure a healthier smile. When combined with sensitive toothpaste such as Crest Gum and Sensitivity, it can help protect your teeth and gums from painful sensitivity.
  • Tooth Decay: Sensitive teeth can be an early sign of a cavity. A cavity in a tooth is another way by which nerves in the center of the tooth become exposed. Crest Pro-Health toothpastes contain stannous fluoride, which helps protect sensitive teeth from cavities. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan-free.
  • Gum Disease: If you have gum disease, you can develop sensitive teeth if the inflamed tissue in your gums is not protecting the tooth roots. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. It can progress and destroy the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues, exposing the teeth roots. Gum recession can occur due to age. Chewing tobacco, or snuff, causes the gums to recede. A healthy mouth starts at the gum line so be sure to incorporate gum care oral care products into your routine.
  • Damaged Tooth Enamel: Everyone's tooth enamel can start to wear away with age, but tooth enamel can also wear away due to factors including high exposure to acidic foods or overzealous brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. Damaged enamel exposes the inner layer of the teeth and causes them to become more sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure.
  • Brushing Too Hard: Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause gum recession and root exposure over time. Tooth enamel can be worn down or abraded and the dentin exposed by brushing too hard, brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. Tooth roots can become exposed by aggressive brushing, incorrect brushing, or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. The sensitive tooth roots can also become exposed.
  • Acidic Foods: Eating acidic foods and beverages on a regular basis can cause enamel to erode, increasing the likelihood of sensitivity. regularly consuming foods and beverages with high acid content (citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, tea), or by sucking on hard candy.
  • Dental Work: Believe it or not, even caring for your teeth can cause sensitivity. Sensitivity can occur after dental work, however, it is temporary and usually disappears in four to six weeks. Dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, crown placement, root planing or tooth restoration can cause temporary sensitivity that can last for four to six weeks.
  • Teeth Grinding: Do you grind your teeth? Grinding your teeth can cause damage to the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) and expose the tooth’s inner layer (dentin), making it more susceptible to sensitivity and decay.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
  • Crest Gum and Sensitivity Toothpaste: Clinically proven to promote healthier gums, the uniquely formulated toothpaste helps protect from sensitivity by treating it right at the source. The foamy action works at the gum line to help neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and forms a protective shield against food and drink that causes sensitivity. 
  • Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Floss for Sensitive Gums: The softest Oral-B Glide floss is 2x softer vs. Glide Original and is designed to make flossing more comfortable for even the most sensitive gums.
  • Oral-B Sensitive Gum Care Replacement Brush Head: Equip your electric toothbrush with a specialized brush head that combines extra soft bristles to remove plaque from hard to reach areas while still being gentle on gums.
  • Crest Gum Care Mouthwash: The alcohol-free formula helps to reduce gum disease, inflammation, and bad breath germs for a healthier gum line, which can help alleviate sensitivity.
How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?
Sensitivity toothpastes work by either blocking the exposed dentinal tubules or by desensitizing the nerve endings in the dentinal tubules. Most sensitivity toothpastes, including the leading sensitivity brand, work by numbing the nerve inside your tooth. Crest Gum and Sensitivity works differently. It fights sensitivity at the source by treating your gum line. Additionally, it’s formulated with stannous fluoride which helps block the tubule openings to keep the external triggers such as heat and cold from ever reaching and stimulating the nerve inside the tooth. Stannous fluoride also binds to enamel to create a micro-thin shield, strengthening the tooth.

How to Whiten Sensitive Teeth
If you want whiter teeth but you have sensitive teeth, start by following a complete oral care routine. Continue to use oral health products for sensitive teeth, and gradually introduce gentle whitening products. Crest Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening Toothpaste  cleans stains on the surface of teeth and protects against tooth sensitivity.

The above article is from crest.com

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Breastfeeding: 6 Things Nursing Moms Should Know About Dental Health

Breastfeeding is one of the first (and most personal) decisions a mother makes for her baby. It can help your baby’s body fight infections and reduce health risks like asthma, ear infections, SIDS and obesity in children. Nursing moms may lower their chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. But did you know breastfeeding can impact the dental health of both baby and mom? Here’s how:

Breastfeeding May Help Build a Better Bite
Several recent studies, one in Pediatrics in 2015 and one in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months were less likely to have teeth alignment issues such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites, than those exclusively breast fed for shorter lengths of time or not at all.

Still, this doesn’t mean your exclusively breastfed baby won’t need braces someday. Other factors, including genetics, pacifier use, and thumbsucking, affect alignment. “Every baby, every child is different,” says Dr. Ruchi Sahota, mother and American Dental Association spokesperson. “The best thing for mom to do is to take the child to the dentist and make sure the dentist is able to monitor eruption, that baby teeth are coming out at the right time and permanent teeth are coming in at the right time.”
 
You Don’t Have to Wean When Your Baby Gets Teeth
It’s a question that often pops up in parenting message boards and conversations with new moms: Should I stop breastfeeding when my baby starts teething? The answer is not if you don’t want to. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a baby’s life; the World Health Organization encourages moms to go for two. “As it goes with breastfeeding, every child is different, every mother is different,” Dr. Sahota says. “You should stop breastfeeding when you think it’s the best for you and the baby but not just because the teeth come in.” 

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Another benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, Dr. Sahota says, is a reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay, the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. This type of tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk or fruit juice. (Water is fine because the teeth won’t be bathed in sugary liquids for a prolonged time.) It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. 

Breastfed Babies Can Still Get Cavities
It’s one of the most common questions nursing mothers ask: Can breastfeeding cause cavities? Yes, it can. Although natural, breast milk, just like formula, contains sugar. That is why, breastfed or bottlefed, it’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. A few days after birth, begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth every day. Then, brush her teeth twice a day as soon as that first tooth emerges. Use fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

Need Dental Work Done? Double Check Your Medications    
If you need to have a dental procedure that requires medication while nursing, check with your dentist, personal physician and pediatrician to make sure it is safe for baby. “It’s important to know there are antibiotics we can give you that won’t hurt the baby,” Dr. Sahota says. “It’s not only safe to go to the dentist while you’re pregnant and while you’re nursing, it’s very important to do so for the best health of your child.” 

Another helpful resource for nursing moms is the U.S National Library of Medicine’s Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Simply search for any medication and get information about how it affects your supply, your baby and if there’s an alternative available. Talk to your doctor about what you find. 

Mom, Take Care of Yourself
Dr. Sahota says there’s one thing she sees in new moms, breastfeeding or not. “I definitely see moms who are, as simple as it sounds, are not able to take care of themselves as well as they did before the baby,” she says. “Moms that are just not brushing as much as they used to, whether they’re brushing once a day or not brushing at all.” 

A dip in dental care could lead to more gum disease and cavities. Cavity prevention is especially crucial for moms, as even the simple act of sharing a spoon with could transfer that bacteria into your baby’s mouth. “It’s really important to do the basics: Brush twice a day, floss once a day. See your ADA dentist regularly,” she says. “Make sure you have prevented decay and don’t have any cavities so you don’t transfer that to your baby.”

Dr. Sahota says she also sees more teeth grinding (bruxism) in moms. “I see a lot more head and neck muscle tension, which causes our jaws to be a little bit more tense and then that causes us to grind our teeth,” she says. “Trouble sleeping when we’re pregnant, that can cause us to grind our teeth a little bit. Postnatally, stress can increase and it can also be an issue.”

All moms need to stay hydrated, especially if breastfeeding. “Not drinking enough water, that in itself is a very dangerous thing for your mouth,” she says. “If we have a dry mouth, we put ourselves at risk for gum disease, for cavities, so many things.”

And there’s one last piece of advice Dr. Sahota gives all moms. “Just like if you’re on an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you put it on your child,” she says. “If you’re not healthy, you will not have the time and the energy to make sure your children are also healthy.”

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Dental Group of Meriden-Wallingford
298 Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: (203) 235-5588
DentalGroupCT.com 

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Antibiotic Prophylaxis: Prosthetic Joints and Orthopedic Implants

If you have had a joint replacement and taken antibiotics before dental work in the past, you may not need to make a trip to the pharmacy before your next procedure. The American Dental Association has found it is no longer necessary for most dental patients with orthopedic implants to have antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infection.

What Is Antibiotic Prophylaxis?
Antibiotic prophylaxis (or premedication) is simply the taking of antibiotics before some dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, tooth extractions, root canals, and deep cleaning between the tooth root and gums to prevent infection. We all have bacteria in our mouths, and a number of dental treatments—and even daily routines like chewing, brushing or flossing—can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream (bacteremia). For most of us, this isn’t a problem. A healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm. There is concern, however, that bacteria in the bloodstream could cause infection elsewhere in the body.

Prior to 2012, premedication prior to dental procedures was common for joint replacement patients, even though there was little evidence to support the practice and experts recommended against its practice for most dental patients. In 2012, the American Dental Association and American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons published updated guidelines, stating that dentists “might consider discontinuing the practice of routinely prescribing prophylactic antibiotics”. In January 2015, the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs issued another guideline, which continued to discourage prophylactic antibiotic use for most patients with prosthetic joint implants. Guidelines are re-evaluated every few years to make sure that they are based on the best scientific evidence.

Why Don’t I Need Antibiotic Prophylaxis? 
Based on careful review of the scientific literature, the ADA found that dental procedures are not associated with prosthetic joint implant infections, and that antibiotics given before dental procedures do not prevent such infections.

In fact, for most people, the known risks of taking antibiotics may outweigh the uncertain benefits. Risks related to antibiotic use include nausea, upset stomach and allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening). Other risks include developing antibiotic resistance in bacteria, which can complicate treatment of infections such as strep throat, pink eye and meningitis; as well as increasing the risk of C. difficile infection, which causes diarrhea and other intestinal problems. Patients over 70 years old are also at increased risk of experiencing adverse  reactions to some antibiotics. 

Who Can Antibiotic Prophylaxis Help?
Depending on your personal medical history, you may still be a candidate for premedication. For example, antibiotic prophylaxis might be useful for patients undergoing dental procedures who also have compromised immune systems (due to, for instance, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chemotherapy, and chronic steroid use), which increases the risk of orthopedic implant infection. It may also benefit others with heart conditions. Always talk with your dentist or physician about whether antibiotic prophylaxis before dental treatment is right for you.

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

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