Friday, June 28, 2013

When Should Parents Start To Clean Their Baby’s Teeth?

Many new parents wonder when it’s the right time to start cleaning their baby’s teeth.  They should start cleaning the baby’s mouth before their teeth come in. Start cleaning your baby’s mouth when they are just a few days old. To clean your baby’s mouth by rubbing the upper and lower gums with a clean, damp washcloth. They also make infant toothbrushes that slip over your finger; you can find these at your local drug store. Repeat this once in the morning and once before bed.

Once you child begins the teething process, brush their teeth with a child’s toothbrush with a pea sized amount of toothpaste and floss in between the teeth.  Continue this process until your child is about 6 to 7 years old; this is the time when you want them to start brushing on their own, with your supervision!

Instill good oral care habits today for a healthier smile tomorrow!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How To Get Through The Weekend With A Toothache

Ever find yourself stuck on a Friday night with an aching tooth, no dentist available until Monday?  You don't have to suffer!!  I found some great "at home" treatments that actually work!  These tips will help while you wait to get in to a dentist...

Salt- A warm salt-water rinse will help sooth the pain.  Grab a coffee mug, fill it with warm water and a generous amount of salt.  You don't want to use too little, you should be able to taste it.  Swish it around a few times and spit it out.  Don't drink it!

Aspirin- It's an anti-inflammatory and a great non-narcotic pain reliever.  Take a couple, following the dose on the bottle.  Need a faster approach?  Try making a paste out of a crushed aspirin and water.  Apply the paste directly to the affected tooth or area.  It will taste terrible, but will help ease the pain in minutes.

Natural Oils (tea tree and clove)- These oils are both natural antiseptics and work great for treating toothaches and soothing dry sockets.  They both will taste terrible and they can also be harmful to humans in large doses.  Avoid consuming these oils, use a cotton swab or a cotton ball to apply topically to the affected area.

Ice or heat-  It might help to numb the pain using an ice pack or a heat pack.  Throbbing teeth can be soothed either way, whichever feels better for you.  You may also choose to sooth it with ice cream or a hot beverage, however if a root canal is necessary, consuming anything too hot or too cold will hurt like crazy.   Depending on the situation (abscessed tooth, fractured bone, etc), you might want to seek the advice of a professional before applying cold or hot compresses as you could potentially harm your self further

Of course, if the pain is too severe or you have a swollen cheek due to infection, skip the home remedies and go straight to the ER.

And remember, Don't Wait For A Toothache!  Make sure to see your dentist regularly!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aloe Vera - A True Wonder Plant

This is a follow up to a post from earlier this year. I can't say enough about this truly is an amazing plant!

The Aloe Vera plant is used for healing in many cultures. It has been known to heal burns and scrapes, stomach ulcers, skin irritations, etc., so it makes perfect sense to incorporate it into our daily routine for oral care! There are many products out there that contain Aloe Vera, including toothpaste and oral rinses.

Here are some facts about Aloe Vera and it's medicinal qualities:

  1. It is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral
  2. It has regenerative qualities
  3. It has pain relieving qualities
  4. It is a natural anti-inflammatory
  5. It boosts immunity
  6. It has nutritional benefits
Personally, I'm convinced of it's healing and medicinal qualities, as I've used it for years to help heal scrapes and sunburns. I will definitely be looking for this toothpaste in the near future.  There is a ton of information available on the web about Aloe Vera. It is definitely worth checking out if you prefer a natural approach to healing the body.

Look for Aloe Vera toothpaste in your local health food store!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Habits That Can Harm Your Teeth

You may be wrecking your teeth without even knowing it.  I have listed some dental health “don’ts” below.

Thumb sucking- Sucking the thumb after your permanent teeth have arrived can cause major issues, such as misaligned teeth and damage to your jaw structure.

Eating lemons- Lemons are very acidic; this can eat away at your tooth enamel causing a rough texture on your teeth.

Brushing too hard – Brushing regular is a key factor for a healthy smile, but brushing to hard can actually cause more damage. When you brush too hard you are wearing down the tooth’s enamel which can make your teeth sensitive, also you are irritating your gums. Be gentler!

Chewing on ice- Everyone does this, right? Ice cubes seem so harmless, but did you know they can seriously damage your pearly whites? Chewing on ice can weaken any fillings you may have. This can also cause a chipped tooth or even a tooth fracture, which can cause an abscess and a trip to the dentist.

Holding Objects- Many people have a habit of placing the end of a pen, pencil and even their glasses in-between their teeth, while they are concentrating. You may not even notice how much pressure you are placing on your teeth. Biting on these objects can cause your teeth to crack or even shift.

Personally I do at least three of these awful habits, and I know that if I don’t start changing my ways, I will be harming my teeth in the long run, and I defiantly don’t want that!

Do you do any of these, or have any other habits that could harm your teeth?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Discussion: Aspirin placed next to a tooth will help a toothache? An Inner-Office Battle!

This morning I posted a question on Facebook asking "True or False, Aspirin placed next to tooth will help a toothache". When I posed to the question to the office staff, they all said "true". Thinking I had one over on them, I gloated that they are all wrong and I am right. It was then that I was bombarded with personal experience stories of how it has worked for some of them or one of their family members.

This really got me thinking about it. I looked on various websites (WebMD, Emergency Dentists and other dental center websites) and every one of them claim it be a myth.

Everyone makes a good point. As acidic as aspirin is, it could damage your gums and cause mouth sores, but will it help the toothache??

I am interested to hear your thought on this. Please comment and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6 Tips On Dealing With Braces

Dealing with braces can be very frustrating and time consuming. I know for a fact, because I wore my braces for 2.5 years. Throughout those years I have found some tips that will help make wearing braces less of a hassle.

1) Give it time- When you first get your braces on, they may not be what you expected or wanted. Once your teeth start to shift you will start noticing a difference.  Give it time!

2.) Eat soft food- When you first get your braces on you will most likely experience some pain. This pain can last up to a couple weeks. You will find that eating soft food is the way to go, until the pain subsides. Also every time that your orthodontists tights your braces you may notice some discomfort for about a week. This is a sign that your teeth are moving! I recommend taking some over the counter pain medication before your appointment, and throughout the day to help relieve the pain.

3.) Use wax- When you first get your braces on, you may notice some mouth sores. These are formed when your mouth and the appliance rub together. If you get these mouth sores go to your local store, in the oral section they have orthodontic wax. You take a small piece of the wax and cover the spot that is causing the sore. This wax is also great in case anything breaks, or a wire is poking you. (This is ONLY a temporary fix until you can get into your orthodontist)

4.) Cleaning your teeth- Brush and floss after every meal to help keep your teeth and braces clean. I always carried a small bag with me that included toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and etc. I also found out that using a water pick was way easier than flossing around those brackets.

5.) Stop worrying-  Stop worrying about how they look, most people don't even notice you have them on. Go ahead and smile, be proud of them! Remember it will be worth it in the end!

6.) Retainer- At the end of your treatment you will get a retainer. The retainer holds your teeth in the new potion after the braces are off. Your dentist will most likely have you wear the retainer 24/7 for the first three months. After those three months you may only have to wear them at night. *Make sure you wear your retainer as recommend by your orthodontist, otherwise your teeth will move back to their original position.*

Every time you feel like the braces aren't worth it, Remember you will have gorgeous, healthy smile the rest of your life!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Discussion: TMJ

I work at a doctor's office and recently I've been experiencing odd pains in my ear.  Thinking I had an ear infection, I asked our doctor for some antibiotics.  But when he looked in my ear, there was no infection, no sign of irritation whatsoever.  At that point, he started checking other things and very quickly determined that I was experiencing symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ).  I have a little knowledge of what TMJ is about, but I didn't know it could affect other things such as your ears, your equilibrium, the muscles in your face, the nerves responsible for facial movement, and in my case, your bite.  I have flair-ups that leave the upper left part of my bite feeling numb, making it difficult to chew and talk, besides just being really painful and annoying.  I have been trying to treat it myself, but I'm curious to hear your experience with TMJ.  Share with us your thoughts, stories and your suggestions.  I'm interested to hear how other people get through with TMJ!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Toothpick... Predates Humans?

The toothpick is the oldest dental cleaning instrument and it is still used today. Toothpicks as we know them, are made primarily out of wood or plastic. So something got me thinking today, where did the toothpick come from? So I engaged in an interesting endeavor to find the "history of the toothpick" (and the bosses here at Savon wonder what they pay me for :) ).

I was intrigued to find that toothpick goes all the way back the Neanderthals almost 25,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found Neanderthal skulls that show evidence of their teeth being cleaned with a sharp pointed object. It was assumed that during this period in time that toothpicks were made of bone.

Bronze toothpicks were found in prehistoric burial sites in Mesopotamia, East Alps and Northern Italy. Ancient Roman artifacts contain toothpicks made of silver and mastic wood.

The 17th Century took the toothpick to a whole new level. A toothpick was luxury item formed from various expensive stones and a metal. They were often treated as jewelry items. (by this time, the toothbrush was invented) It wasn't until 1869 that a young entrepreneur by the name of Charles Forester decided to monetize the age old creation with the invention of the first toothpick manufacturing machine. (later patented in 1872 by Silas Noble and J.P Cooley).

When America got into the industry, the toothpicks (as we know them) were cut from birch wood. The main producer of the toothpick was a manufacturing plant in Maine which was closed in 2003. Currently there are no factories in the USA that are making toothpicks.

So after a great steak dinner, when you grab that sharp little wooden object to pick the steak strips out of you teeth, remember that your are holding a solid piece of world history in your hands and are using the OLDEST dental cleaning object ever made!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Which is Better... D.D.S. or D.M.D?

Which is better for a dentist have a D.D.S. or D.M.D.? Is one better than the other?I have been asked these question many times and the answer usually comes as a surprise when I give it. 

D.D.S. is Doctor of Dental Surgery and D.M.D. is Doctor of Medical Dentistry.
They are one in the same. It all depends on where they went to school. The education and curriculum are the same for both. Most dental colleges offer the D.D.S. degree and the others will offer a D.M.D. degree.

Regardless of a D.D.S. or D.M.D., some dentist specialize in specific areas of dentistry and some do not practice some areas of dentistry. That has nothing to do with their degree, that is usually a decision based on the comfortability of the individual dentist.

To find a recommended dentist near you, check out the provider locator page on the Savon Dental Plan website at

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Eating Disorders And Oral Health

Many Americans are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. It is often the pain and discomfort related to dental complications that first causes patients to consult with a health professional. Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia-Involves an extreme fear of weight gain or a dread of becoming “fat” even though these individuals are markedly underweight.

Bulimia-Discrete periods of overeating (binge eating) which may occur several times a week or at its most severe, several times a day. This leads to self-vomiting.

Binge Eating-Binge eating may involve rapid consumption of large amounts of food with a sense of loss of control. Feelings of guilt and shame may lead to repeated episodes of binge eating.

Eating disorders that may include frequent vomiting and may result in nutritional deficiencies can also affect oral health. Salivary glands may become enlarged. Lips are often red, dry and cracked. Lesions may appear on oral soft tissues which may also bleed easily. There may be changes in the color, shape and length of teeth. Teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Half the World Suffers From Tooth Decay!

In a recent, 3-year long study, it was determined that, globally, approximately 4 billion people suffer from tooth decay.  Basically, 1 out of every 2 people have untreated or unresolved dental problems.  Think about that for a second, or better yet, look at the person next to you.  The purpose of this studty was to bring to light the lack of dental maintenance world-wide.  According to their study, the amount of recorded dental diseases has risen 20% over the last 20 years.  The biggest reasons for this are lack of dental coverage, insurance, or other financial aid, the extreme rise in dental costs, and, to put it plainly, laziness.  Many people only visit a dentist when there's a problem, in which by that time, in many cases, it's too late.  Over 500 hundred scientists participated in this study world-wide, in hopes of spreading awareness and educating the world on the rising problem of dental neglect.