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DENTAL TIP OF THE MONTH
APRIL 2008

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April is Free Toothbrush Exchange at Dr. Peterson's Office.

Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush every three months because:

  1. The bristles just simply worn out
  2. They lose their effectiveness
  3. They can become breeding grounds for germs, fungus and bacteria 
  4. They can damage gum tissue.

Any child from age 12 and under can bring in their worn toothbrush to Dr. Peterson's office and Dr. Dan Peterson will replace it for free with one brand new toothbrush and a free tube of toothpaste

When should you replace your toothbrush:

bulletAt least every three months
bulletWhen bristles begins to show wear
bulletAfter an illness such as a cold or flu

A new toothbrush is 30% more effective at removing plaque

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The average American only replaces their toothbrush 1.9 times a year

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Protect your teeth and smile by wearing mouthguards

April Is National Facial Protection Month: Dental Specialists Advise Kids to Play It Safe

Many sports injuries can be prevented by wearing the proper protective gear. That's why three ADA-recognized dental specialties - advise young athletes to play it safe by wearing mouth guards and other appropriate protective gear when participating in many sports and activities.

Mouth guards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Over-the-counter versions cost as little as $5, although custom-fit mouth guards offer greater protection. Not only do mouth guards save teeth and protect jaws from breaks, they also may protect against injuries to the neck and central nervous system by decreasing the force transmitted through the jaw to the base of the skull.

However, mouth guards can provide protection only when they are worn. So parents and coaches should remind youngsters to always wear them when participating in any activity during which the mouth might come into contact with a hard object or the pavement.

How can kids and other athletes save face? Just remember these important tips:

bulletWear mouth guards for contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent jaw, mouth and teeth injuries and are less costly than recovering from the injury.
bulletWear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact. You don't have to lose your head due to a cycling or rollerblading mishap.
bulletWear protective eyewear.
bulletWear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs, and racquetballs can do severe damage.
bulletBe aware of family pets. About 44,000 people suffer facial injuries from dog bites annually. Supervise children when they're with pets (including cats and rabbits, too).
bulletBuckle up and use child safety seats. Unbuckled passengers are more likely to suffer a brain injury in a crash than the buckled driver. Air bags save lives!
bulletKeep babies and toddlers safe. They crawl and climb, so pad sharp corners of tables, lock cabinets, install stairwell safety gates, and secure windows. They also teethe, so hide sharp pencils.
bulletBe alert even as a spectator. Alert spectators can avoid foul baseballs and flying hockey pucks. Watch your step when climbing bleachers.
bulletUse common sense. If an activity carries risk of dental/facial injury, gear up. Without it, even a basketball game could land you in the emergency room.

National Facial Protection Month is sponsored annually by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (www.aaoms.org), the American Association of Orthodontists (www.braces.org), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (www.aapd.org). 4/07

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Spring Clean Your Teeth          

Add a dental visit to this year's spring cleaning list. A professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve the state of oral health.

a 'prophy' or professional dental cleaning is designed to preserve health, and prevent the spread of disease and gives the dentist an opportunity to locate other areas in the mouth that may need attention."

It is strongly recommended dental cleaning every 3-6 months.

What is a dental cleaning? Diagnostic services may include:

bulletReviewing and updating medical history; including heart problems, cancer treatment, pregnancy, diabetes, joint replacement, medications taken, surgeries or any other major changes in health history
bulletBlood pressure check
bulletOral cancer examination and screening
bulletEvaluation of your gum tissue
bulletChecking biting, chewing and swallowing patterns
bulletX-rays, examination of teeth to detect decay
bulletTreatment planning
bulletReferral to specialists for specific treatment

Preventive services may include:

bulletRemoval of plaque and tartar
bulletStain removal
bulletFluoride application
bulletSealants
bulletPolishing of fillings or crowns

Educational services may include:

bulletTooth brushing and flossing instructions
bulletNutritional counseling
bulletRecommendations for future treatment: when to return for following hygiene treatment, periodontal concerns, restorative options, etc.
bulletEvaluate possible cosmetic enhancements
bulletEvaluate self-care effectiveness
bullet Tobacco cessation counseling

4/04

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Protecting Your Teeth from decay

Fluoride= Healthy Teeth

     What causes tooth decay?

     Food particles left in our mouth after eating.   Bacteria feast on this food and a byproduct of their feasting is ACID, which eats a hole or cavity in the tooth's surface.

     What foods cause cavities?

     Foods high in sugar, starch and carbohydrates are very problematic because these foods provide high energy source for bacterial to feed on.  Also, sticky foods adhere to tooth surfaces offering long lasting food supply for bacteria.  Increased intake of poor food choices increases the chances for tooth decay.  

     How to avoid cavities:

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     Brush 2-3 x day for 2-4 minutes

bullet

     Floss 1x day

bullet

     Drink water with fluoride

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     Use toothpaste containing fluoride

bullet

     Eat snacks that contain less sugar and drink water with the snack

bullet

     Can't brush? Rinse with water and/or carry a travel toothbrush

bullet

     Chew sugarless gum with xylitol when you are unable to brush

bullet

     Drink water throughout the day 

bullet

     Limit the amount of food that contain sugar and eat them with meals not snacks

bullet

     See your dentist 2 times a year for exams.

bullet

     Eat "So-called detergent foods" like carrots, apples and raw vegetables.

bullet

     Before bed, rub toothpaste containing fluoride along the gum line and leave it to soak into the gum line while sleeping to ensure teeth get the fluoride they need.

DentalNotes, pg 2 Winder 2002
AGD Impact pg 21, Fact Sheet  Jan 2003,  .

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     Aging Mouths

    As we age there are dental conditions that need to be identified in order to keep our natural teeth, three of these conditions are:

    Dry Mouth caused by medications can significantly reduce saliva flow.  Saliva is needed to neutralize bacterial acids thus a dry mouth can increase our risk toward cavity formation.

    More susceptible to cavities at the roots of teeth due to receding gums.

   Gum disease, a bacterial infection that is the leading cause of tooth loss and can significantly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness and osteoporosis.

Your dentist plays a crucial role in diagnosing and prevention of these conditions through comprehensive and routine dental exams to identify conditions BEFORE they become major problems and key expenses.  

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March 26, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
Confidentiality of data including your identity, is respected  by this Web site. We undertake to honor or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in Nebraska.

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