October 11th, 2019
Children are born with a natural sucking reflex. In fact, sonogram images from the womb often reveal an unborn baby practicing by sucking on his or her fingers or thumb. Not only does sucking aid in your baby’s ability to acquire food and nutrients, but it is also a security and possible analgesic outside of meal times.
Though it is both normal and beneficial for parents to soothe their children with pacifiers during infancy, long-term use could interfere with oral health and development. Most children will stop using a pacifier on their own. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends halting pacifier use after age three. Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use after this time can cause the upper front teeth to begin to lean outward. It can also cause new teeth to erupt crookedly, and it can negatively affect jaw alignment.
If your child is not showing signs of self-weaning by age two, you may begin the process by limiting pacifier usage to specific times, such as nap time or when getting vaccinations. Offer an alternative security item, such as a blanket, and be sure to praise your child when he or she chooses the blanket over the pacifier.
- Never under any circumstances should you dip your baby’s pacifier in something sweet. Though it is a tempting way of encouraging your child to take a pacifier when crying, it can also lead to early childhood tooth decay.
- If your child has not discontinued pacifier use by age three, talk with Drs. Sacro and Quinones about behavioral modifications or appliances that can help your child wean.
- Never use negative reinforcement to discourage pacifier use. Punishment for pacifier use is not effective for changing your child’s habits.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s pacifier usage or which types of pacifiers are best for your child’s oral health, please give our team at Ferndale Family Dental a call at our convenient Ferndale, WA office!
October 4th, 2019
Adults are no strangers to feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. Your alarm clock rings and within minutes you ping pong around trying to spread peanut butter on sandwiches, answer your cell phone, remove the dog hair from your clothes, and make sure your child has completed his or her science fair project. Brushing your teeth can easily fall to the wayside. That is why our office promotes a simple, daily oral health regimen that you can easily incorporate into your busy lifestyle.
The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), in partnership with the Wrigley Jr. Company, is celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) during October. The ADHA encourages people to "Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew...Keep it Clean, Keep it Healthy!" and offers some great tips for a quick and effective home oral health routine, below:
Oral Health Routine at Home
- Brushing your teeth twice daily is the most important thing you can do to diminish the accumulation of plaque and the potential for other oral problems such as cavities and gingivitis.
- Flossing once daily removes plaque and food from beneath the gums and between teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. Tooth decay and gum disease often begin in these areas.
- Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial, non-alcohol based mouthwash kills plaque and gingivitis germs that brushing and flossing do not catch. We recommend using a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Chewing sugar-free gum helps produce saliva, which battles cavities. The gum also neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and removes remaining food. It is especially important to chew gum after eating or drinking.
It's easy to put the toothbrush down in order to take care of matters you feel are more urgent, but remember, a good oral health routine at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. "Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. An estimated 75 percent of Americans reportedly have some form of periodontal disease," said the ADHA. Periodontal disease also is linked to more serious illnesses such as diabetes and stroke.
Also, remember to keep regular visits with our office. Drs. Sacro and Quinones can help you learn more about proper care for your teeth and gums.
September 27th, 2019
Great question! Yes, in fact, tooth decay is preventable! Decay, which is caused by sugars left in your child’s mouth, can turn into an acid, which in turn can break down his or her teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits.
So, how can your child prevent tooth decay?
- Start early. After the age of two, brush your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. And, if possible, clean between the teeth with dental floss at least once a day, preferably before they go to bed.
- Don’t allow your little ones to eat after cleaning teeth at bedtime, as salivary flow decreases while they sleep and their teeth become vulnerable to cavities.
- Do not allow your little ones to nibble food or sip drinks continuously, and keep in mind that a low-sugar diet also helps keep tooth decay at bay. Allow time between meals for saliva to neutralize acids and repair the teeth.
- Drinking water frequently throughout the day can also reduce the possibility of new cavities forming.
- Dental sealants can also protect your children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants, which are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, act as a shield between the tooth and harmful bacteria.
Finally, make sure your child visits Ferndale Family Dental approximately every six months for a checkup and routine cleaning! Please give us a call at our Ferndale, WA office.
September 20th, 2019
Oral-systemic health is the idea that oral health is a critical and interconnected component to a patient’s overall health and well-being. Studies show that people who have poor oral health are more likely to have other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or a high likelihood of stroke.
Some of the data suggests that oral pathogens may trigger up to 50% of heart attacks, and that the oral bacteria P. gingivalis may cause a 13.6-fold increase in patients’ risk of a heart attack.
Still, the exact relationship between oral and overall health isn't fully known — whether one causes the other or how treating one might affect the other. But it should serve as a warning call to anyone suffering with poor oral health, especially periodontal disease.
More studies need to be conducted to establish the precise link between the two, but whatever it is, one thing is certain: good oral hygiene makes for good oral health. Many dentists and doctors realize the need to work together as a cohesive healthcare team to improve and maintain the health of their communities.
The American Dental Association says oral health is essential to overall health, and not just a luxury. They are setting goals to reduce the amount of tooth decay in low-income communities for both children and adults.
So what is a patient about this information regarding oral-systemic health? Here are some tips to increase and maintain your overall well-being:
- Have an effective oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time, floss daily, clean your tongue, and avoid sugary beverages.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Regular cleanings and checkups at your dentist’s office will keep your mouth clean and ensure you’re taking good care of it.
- Eat a healthful diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and natural, unprocessed foods contributes to the overall health of your body.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of pure, clean water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight eight-ounce glasses a day.
- Relax, destress. Stress can play a big role in all forms of disease. Take time during your day to relax, meditate, stretch, and allow your body and mind to rest.
If you have questions about your oral health and how it may be affecting your general health, feel free to ask Drs. Sacro and Quinones during your next visit to our Ferndale, WA office.