Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Judge This Book By Its Cover

We have visited with you in the past about the dangers in Sports Drinks that many parents buy for their children to drink during their physical activities.  We found another great article about these dangers from that we would like to share with you.

While kids play sports in the summer heat, they will be tempted to gulp down large sugary sports and energy drinks to stay cool. Swigging too many of these beverages, however, can harm a child’s teeth. Delta Dental advises parents to monitor and limit the number of these beverages their children are consuming to help prevent cavities.
Young athletes do need to replace fluids, carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes after hard exercise. But the high sugar and highly acidic content of sports drinks can increase a child’s susceptibility to tooth decay and enamel erosion if too much is consumed.
Like soda, energy and sports drinks contain high levels of acidity and high concentrations of sugar. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that 12 ounces of a leading brand of cola and a leading brand of energy drink each contained 42 grams of sugar, while a leading sports drink contained 21 grams of sugar.1 According to a University of Iowa study, a leading sports drink had the greatest erosion potential on both enamel and roots of teeth when compared to leading brands of energy drinks, soda and apple juice.2
Sugar itself doesn’t rot teeth, but rather, the acid that is produced when sugar mixes with certain bacteria in the mouth. Decay forms around the parts of the tooth where the plaque accumulates. The high acid from the drinks themselves can also have an erosive effect on the whole surface of the tooth. Sugary, acidic drinks are particularly damaging when they are sipped frequently throughout the day because they spend a prolonged amount of time washed over the teeth.
Instead of buying the 32 or 64 ounce bottles of sports drink, limit kids to a single 12 to16 ounce bottle. Encourage kids to consume as much water as they do sports drink. Drinking water will help them stay hydrated during outdoor activities and make sure any residual sports drink doesn’t linger on their teeth. Another option is to dilute the sports drink with water to lower the concentration of acidity and sugar. If your kids find water boring, consider adding slices of orange, lemon or cucumber to make it more appealing. Interestingly enough, recent studies suggest that low-fat chocolate milk may be as good as a sports drink at promoting recovery between workouts.3
There are many alternatives that are quick and so much better for your children.  An occasional sports drink is not going to damage your child's teeth.  Using all beverages judicially is the key to a happy, healthy mouth that can keep giving for many years to come is the goal.
If your child hasn't seen us for their Back To School visit, please call and schedule your appointment today!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Parents Are You Sending Mixed Signals?

The Academy of General Dentistry has a great article about the mixed signals parents can send to their children about the dentist.  Sometimes our own aversions or fears come out in our body language, comments or procrastination.  

Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves

Children experience many firsts: first tooth, first words, first step, first birthday and first haircut. Parents want to be prepared for every step of their child's new life experiences, including dental visits. Only parents willing to model positive attitudes should accompany their child on a dental visit.

Parents averse to their own dental visits may transmit negative messages to children before, during and after a dental treatment. "Fearful parents can actually create a nervous and anxious child," says Jane Soxman, DDS, pediatric dentist and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. "Parents who are afraid of the dentist need to change their mindset."

Most children are not only comfortable but even curious during a first dental exam and cavity-filling procedures. However, a child may become problematic when the accompanying parent laces soothing messages with hints of fear or anxiety and relays incorrect assumptions about procedures.

"Because parents' interpretations and expectations towards dental visits can be quite different from the child's, parents need to be honest with themselves about their views of the dentist," says Dr. Soxman. "If a parent has severe dental anxieties, he or she needs to make every effort not to pass those fears to the child."

"Parents' presence is support enough for the child," added Dr. Soxman, who emphasizes the importance of parental presence for the first exam and until the age of 4, for restorative treatments.

Pretreatment meetings with a dentist provide directions and guidelines for the parent if he or she wishes to accompany their child during treatment. Parents learn how to provide moral support and to maintain a low, calm voice. Dr. Soxman suggests that the parent not "parrot" the dentist's requests but support the dentist as the authority figure during procedures. It is also important for the same parent to accompany the child during each sequential visit to fill any cavities.

"A parent's positive presence during early dental visits will empower a child to a lifetime of positive dental experiences," said Dr. Soxman.

Call us today, 541-451-1440, to schedule a Back To School Visit for your child. Show them that making the commitment to oral health care is important and work hard to establish consistent routines.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mouth Guards - Are They Essential?

To continue our discussion about mouthguards this week we would like to share this article by the ADA that explains why mouthguards play such an important role in the lives of your active family members.

Why don't kids wear mouthguards?

Parents are sometimes uninformed about the level of contact and potential for serious dental injuries involved with sports in which the child participates. Some, though not all, schools reinforce the health advantage of mouthguards for their contact sports. Cost may be another consideration, although mouthguards come in a variety of price ranges.

What are the different types of mouthguards?

Stock mouthguard: The lowest cost option is a ready-made, stock item, which offers the least protection because the fit adjustment is limited. It may interfere with speech and breathing because this mouthguard requires that the jaw be closed to hold it in place. A stock mouthguard is not considered acceptable as a facial protective device.

Mouth-formed mouthguard: There are two types of mouth-formed mouthguards. The first is a shell-liner mouthguard that is made with an acrylic material that is poured into an outer shell, where it forms a lining. When placed in an athlete's mouth, the protector's lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set. Another type is a thermoplastic, or "boil-and-bite," mouthguard. This mouthguard is softened in hot water and then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by using finger, tongue and sometimes biting pressure.

Custom-made mouthguard: The best choice is a mouthguard custom-made by your dentist. It offers the best protection, fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to fit your teeth.

How should I care for a mouthguard?

1-  Clean your mouthguard by washing it with soap and cool (not hot) water.

2-  Before storing, soak your mouthguard in mouthwash.
3-  Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated, plastic storage box when not in use. Make sure the     box has several holes so the mouthguard will dry.
4.  Heat is bad for a mouthguard, so don't leave it in direct sunlight or in a closed automobile.
5.  Don't bend your mouthguard when storing.
6.  Don't handle or wear someone else's mouthguard.
7.  Call us if there are any problems.

Call us today to schedule an 
appointment for your child 
and protect that smile!
(541) 451-1440

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Have No Fear Dr. Clark is Here! had a great article discussing the importance of helping your child successfully handle their anxieties about dental appointments.

With the end of summer approaching, it’s extremely important to make sure kids are ready to return to school with a clean bill of health, and this should not be short of a routine dental clean-up. Once the school year begins, the shuffle of classes, work, dorm-life, and other college distractions make it hard to stay true to even a simple dental check-up.

Some students, especially those that are older and in the working field, tend to put off their dental care needs or ignore them completely. Excuses range from scheduling conflicts to claiming oral health is an unnecessary expense. The truth of the matter is that most of the procrastination comes from fear of the dental chair and fear of the dental bill.

Unpleasant memories that people harbor about going to the dentist as young children seem to be universally common. Years later, they still can't shake the fear. Worse yet, the rising cost and lack of healthcare seem to make it taboo in the 20-somethings’ generation.

Whatever the reason, it's easy to understand the fears that develop in childhood. Many have memories of an ominous-looking machine hovering above a way-too-big chair. Someone sticks a sharp instrument into their mouth, while stretched back and tense in an uncomfortable position, with no easy way to escape.

You can have confidence in our ability to listen to your concerns, and to help you calm your child resulting in a comfortable and positive experience in our office.

Give us a call today to schedule your child's 
exam and receive 15% off of your exam!
(541) 451-1440