Thursday, January 26, 2023

Question From Our Member...Thumb Sucking

Questions From Our Members

E. Blake of Oakland, California asks: 

“I took my 4-year-old to the dentist for her first visit.  The check-up went fine, but the doctor told me that if I didn't break her thumb sucking real soon she would need braces later on.  Is that really possible?”

Savon’s Answer

First, we need to say that we are not dentists here but we do have a great group of dentists that we get advice from.

Thumb sucking, finger sucking, or the use of a pacifier puts unnecessary pressure on the teeth, as well as the bone and soft tissues of the mouth.  Because these parts of the mouth are still growing, it can cause issues with jaw growth and tooth movement.  Extended thumb sucking can lead to what we know as “Buck Teeth”.

You should pay close attention to your child‘s thumb sucking habit.  Your child may be a passive sucker, where the thumb simply rests gently against the mouth.  If your child falls into this category, there is less of a chance for damage to occur.  But if your child aggressively sucks his thumb, pressure will be placed on the mouth and teeth, leading to improper alignment and mouth and jaw growth. It can also affect the shape of the face if not stopped early enough.

Original post, from our January 2023 newsletter!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Update on Dental Treatment in Mexico - Safety is an Issue!

Update to a previous blog:  For those of you considering Mexico as a place for cheaper medical and dental treatment, please consider safety first.  Our government has issued travel warnings to some Mexican states due to increasing violent criminal activity.  *Those states include Baja California, Tijuana, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas.  The popular city of Algodones, where many people choose to have treatment, is located in the Mexican State of Baja California. 

Many people still choose to outsource their dental and medical care.  Many come through the state of Arizona from other states to cross the border for dental care. Algodones is just on the other side of the border from Yuma, AZ.  There are mixed feelings on this topic, but the fact remains that the risk may not outweigh the benefits.  Just food for thought.  

Be safe and Keep smiling!

*(Source: travelinglifestyle.net - publication 01/23/23.)

Thursday, January 19, 2023

What's an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth. A common tooth to get impacted is the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars usually begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 21. In most cases, they may become impacted due to the lack of room in your mouth. They may come in sideways or be tilted in your jaw.

You can have an impacted tooth and not even know, as some are painless. When an impacted wisdom tooth tries to come in it can become infected and swollen. Sometimes you even feel pain in nearby teeth, or in the ear on that side of your face.

If untreated an impacted tooth can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. This infection can spread to the throat or into the neck. Impacted teeth also can get cavities, and lead to tooth movement, decay, or gum disease. It also can change the way your teeth come together.

Original Post on October 13th, 2010 by btflbutterfly77

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Temproary Home Remedies For Common Oral Problems

Here are a few ways to treat some dental problems from home, until you can visit your dentist.

Sensitive Teeth:
Cause~ Exposed nerve root.
Treatment~ Lay off whiting treatments, brush teeth a little softer than normal.

Lost Tooth: 
Cause~ Sports.
treatment~ Rinse it with milk and push it back in right away, then bite down gently on a soft cloth or moistened tea bag to hold it in place. Then visit your dentist.

Burned Palate:
Cause~ Hot food.
Treatment~ Try using Kenalog in Orabase, an over-the-counter corticosteroid paste that creates a protective coating on the burn and speeds healing.

Burned Tongue:
Cause~ Hot drink or food.
Treatment~ Rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.

Jaw Soreness:
Cause~ Temporomandibular joint disorder.
Treatment~Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow, instead of facedown.

Canker Sore:
Cause~ Sugary foods/Citrus.
Treatment~ Apply vegetable oil to a cotton ball and hold it against the sore three or four times a day.

Lost Filling:
Cause~Popcorn, Peanuts, Carmel.
Treatment~You can use sugarless chewing gum (chew it first) or soft wax to caulk the hole and reduce the sensitivity until you can visit your dentist.

Gum Pain:
Cause~Gingivitis (gum disease), tobacco use.
Treatment~ You can ease the pain by swishing peppermint tea around your mouth.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Smoking Causes More Than Bad Breath

Quitting smoking isn't easy, but there is a reason why you should make the effort to quit. Smoking causes more than just bad breath, it can lead to oral cancer - which includes the mouth, throat, salivary glands, tongue, and lips.

Early signs of oral cancer include:
  • Lumps
  • Red or white patches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Numbness in the mouth
  • Thickening of the cheeks
  • Voice changes
Oral cancer's top risk factor is tobacco whether it's from smoking or chewing.

To help prevent oral cancer you should visit your dentist regularly for check-ups, and keep up on your oral routine at home by brushing and flossing daily.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

When to file a complaint with the Dental Board

I thought this might be worth re-posting, as so many people these days tend to over-react to situations that they feel they are not in control of.  It doesn't apply to everyone, certainly, but nonetheless, I think it bears repeating.

Too often when a patient encounters a problem with a dentist, he/she will go directly to the Dental Board of Examiners before exploring other options for resolution. This is a very time consuming and tedious process, for both the patient and the doctor. There is almost always another way! Here are some tips for resolving issues with your dentist:
  • Make sure the problem is the kind of issue that warrants a complaint with the board. Issues such as billing, overbooking appointments and rudeness by office staff are NOT reasons for a Dental Board complaint. These types of complaints can usually be resolved with a verbal or written complaint to the office manager. If this is not effective, then a written complaint to the owner/corporate entity will usually do the trick.
  • If the issue is a quality of care issue, and you feel that you are due a refund or wish for the doctor to re-do the procedure or replace an inferior product, the first option is to try to discuss the problem with the doctor directly, bypassing the office staff. Be clear and concise. State what you believe is the problem and let the doctor know what you expect him to do. Lack of communication is the number one problem in these types of disputes.
  • If the above option fails, try putting your complaint in a formal written letter, addressed directly to the doctor (never the center or office manager) and send it certified mail, registered (so only he/she can sign) and request a return receipt. Again, state very clearly in your letter of complaint exactly what the issue is and what you would like the doctor to do. Let him/her know that you are aware of all of your options and that you are attempting a resolution before you take the problem to a higher level. You will most definitely get his attention.  Make sure to give the doctor ample time to address the letter. 10 days is usually sufficient, though it doesn't usually take that long. In my years of working in this field, I have found that this option is almost always the most effective.
  • Always try to be open to compromise. 

Remember, don't make a hasty decision! Go to the Board of Dental Examiners ONLY after you have exhausted all avenues for resolving the problem. 

As always, keep smiling!  

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Prepping Children For The Dentist

Do you have a young child that needs to visit the dentist, but you are worried about how they will handle the visit?

Preparation is the best method when it comes to going to the dentist.

Here are a few tips on preparing your child for their first trip:

  • Choose a dentist wisely - Seek a dentist that will fit your child's needs. You may want to consider a pedodontist (pediatric dentist) these dentists specialize in children's dentistry and usually, their offices are very inviting to children such as they have games while waiting, a theme throughout the office. etc.
  • Let them observe - Take your child to one of your dental appointments and let them watch. The best observation is dental cleaning!
  • Sunglasses - This will help keep the brightness out of their eyes and allow them to keep their eyes open to reduce anxiety.
  • Trust the staff - This is not the first time they have worked with children, they will have tricks up their sleeves to help make the experience go smoothly. 

Always remember that the office staff wants you to have a great experience!