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DENTAL TIP OF THE MONTH
February 2008

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National Children's Dental Health Month

February is Give Kids a Smile Day

Cavity Prevention Tips From the American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises parents to teach children the importance of oral hygiene at an early age, so when they grow up they will continue good habits that will contribute to their overall health. Oral hygiene, just like diet and exercise, should be factored together when teaching children how to keep themselves healthy. 

The American Dental Association offers these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

bulletAfter each feeding, clean the baby's gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth.
bulletWhen teeth start to appear, brush them with a child's size toothbrush and plain water. Look for toothbrushes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They have been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
bulletBegin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch.
bulletStart dental visits by the child's first birthday. Make visits regularly. If you think your child has dental problems, take the child to the dentist as soon as possible.
bulletBrush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure to floss daily. Look for toothpastes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They have been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
bulletChildren should be supervised while brushing to keep them from swallowing the toothpaste.

School-Age Children and Adolescents

bulletUntil they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child’s size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Continue to assist with flossing as needed. Look for dental products that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They have been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
bulletBy age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but often require supervision until about age 10 or 11, to make sure they are doing a thorough job. Since each child is different, your dentist can help you determine whether your child is brushing and flossing properly.
bulletVisit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
bulletAsk the dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
bullet Adolescents may need reminders about practicing good oral hygiene, the importance of regular dental check ups and making nutritious food and beverage choices.

Please see for Dr Peterson's contribution to Children's Dental Health

January 2008 ADA

Reader’s Digest Dental Story

December 2005’s Reader’s Digest  featured, “The Checkup That Can Save Your Life,” which delves into the relationship between oral and systemic health through case reports and research results. The subhead, “The dentist may be the most important doctor you see this year” ... And the article concludes “ … as medical science reaffirms that head and body are indeed connected, there’s more reason than ever to brush twice a day, floss daily, and get dental checkups every six months or see a dentist promptly if you have a problem.”

 

We aim to please

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Decay Potential of Certain Foods

High Potential for Decay

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Dried fruits

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Hard and soft candy

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Cake, cookies, pie

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Crackers

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Chips

Moderate Potential For Decay

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Fruit juice

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Sweetened, canned fruit

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Soft drinks

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Breads

Low Potential for Decay

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Raw vegetables

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Raw fruits

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Milk

No Potential for Decay

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Meat, fish, poultry

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Fats, oils

Ability to Stop Decay

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Cheeses

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Xylitol

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Nuts

Diet and Behavior Dilemma, Clinical Preventive Dentistry Leadership Conference, Dr. Palmer. 2/04

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Feb. 21, 2003 is Give Kids a Smile Day

A Silent Epidemic: National Crisis of Access to Dental Care for Underserved Children.

give kids a smile! National Children's Dental Access Day

      Give Kids A Smile is a nationwide campaign to improve access to dental care for needy children.   The American Dental Association will help general dentist to sponsor voluntary programs delivering free or discount oral health care to underserved children on Feb. 21, 2003.  Dentists and their staffs will provide educational outreach, screenings, preventive care and treatment to underserved children throughout our nation. 

    The ADA created Give Kids a Smile as an annual vehicle to focus national attention on what the U.S. Surgeon General has called a “silent epidemic” of oral disease affecting children from low-income families, and to build support for public and private solutions that will help these children get regular oral care.

    Give Kids a Smile is nothing new—dentists routinely provide free and discounted care to people who otherwise couldn’t afford it.   ADA states: “Although the 'Give Kids A Smile' project will help thousands of children, the larger purpose will be to deliver the message that we can't solve this problem alone and that for every child we care for on that day, hundreds, even thousands more will continue suffering until the nation gets serious about oral health…charity alone will never fix the problem because charity is not a health care system.”

   The American Dental Association also states: “ What’s different about this program is that in addition to helping a lot of kids, we’re trying to effect real change in the state of oral health in America by calling attention to the extent of untreated dental disease and the need to improve access to dental care.  Our goal is prevention because the real irony is that preventive programs could effectively eliminate dental disease, and they do not cost a lot of money!

     Dr. Peterson is a local dentist who is taking on this challenge to improve the dental health care needs of our local residents through community service.  He provides dental services for one of the largest nursing homes in our area.  He and his staff members are providing toothbrushes, toothpaste, oral care tools and educational materials to local schools, preschools and libraries. He will be educating local third through fifth graders on ways to improve their dental health. It is our hope that we will be able to offer oral hygiene instruction, hygiene materials, and fluoride treatments to needy children in our area. We hope to improve the oral health in our community, by helping to create smiles that will last a lifetime.

Also, remember:

As permanent teeth come in remember to have dental sealants applied to protect teeth from decay. A dental sealant is a clear material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay most often occurs. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting teeth from bacteria and the acid that attacks enamel.: Sealants                             

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February 2002

Preventive care such as cleanings and fluoride treatment provide your child with "smile" insurance. 

February is National Children's Dental Health Month.  Early dental care plays an important role in children's overall health. The American Dental Association recommends that parents take action early to insure the health of their children's teeth because attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life.

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Dental Visits- including a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the child's first birthday. Routine dental exams uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small. 

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Benefits of Fluoride-it  is one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. Your child can get fluoride protection through:
- drinking fluoridated water
- taking prescribed fluoride tablets or drops, only if you don't live in a    fluoridated community
- fluoride application in the dental office
- brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
- using a fluoride mouth rinse for children over age six.

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Baby bottle tooth decay can destroy your child's teeth. To prevent your child from getting baby bottle tooth decay:
- Begin clearing your baby's mouth during the first few days after birth. 
- Never allow your child to nurse or breast feed for prolonged periods
- Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
- Help your child develop good eating habits early and choose sensible, nutritious snacks.

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Sealants are used to protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay, the most widespread dental disease among children
- A sealant is a clear plastic material that is painlessly applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most often.
- Sealants protect normal depressions and grooves in the teeth called pits and fissures.

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Thumbsucking-continued thumbsucking when permanent teeth are erupting can cause improper growth of the mouth and tooth misalignment.

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Mouth Protectors-Any child involved in a recreational activity, such as soccer, hockey, football, roller blading, riding a scooter and even bicycling should wear a mouth protector. Ask your dentist about using a mouth protector.

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Dental Emergencies-Knowing how to handle your child's dental emergency can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth. 
     Knocked-Out Tooth: If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of cool water. Go to your dentist with the knocked-out tooth immediately (within 30 minutes if possible). Consider using the ADA-accepted tooth preservation kit to keep knocked out teeth.

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February 2000

Teeth Ache During Winter Walks?

Tooth sensitivity is a common complaint which can get worse in the cold winter months.  Breathing through your mouth while you walk outdoors in chilly winter air can be a painful experience.

The lips, cheek and tongue usually insulate the teeth from the cold if your mouth is closed.  However breathing abnormally cold air through your nose disturbs the thermal balance in your mouth. 

The mouth's  immediate temperature changes can cause the teeth to expand and contract.  Over time, the teeth develop microscopic cracks the allow cold and hot sensations to  reach the nerve.

So in the winter months try breathing thought your nose and out the

Resource: Dental Notes December 2000

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Valentine's Day Survey Finds ``No Brush, No Kiss''

        74% of Women Say White Teeth Is The Key To Attraction

      While candy and roses may be the way to a woman's heart this Valentine's Day, men should know the key to a kissable smile is white, healthy teeth. This hygiene-conscious opinion is particularly true among women in the 25- to 34-year-old age group, with 88% of surveyed respondents believing white teeth is the key to attraction.

     With this in mind, giving Valentine's Day partners a boost of confidence on that special day is even more crucial. Those hit by Cupid's arrow can turn to the gentle Sonicare toothbrush, which guarantees whiter, healthier teeth in just 28 days. .

    Inspired by the sonic technology used in dental offices, Sonicare is personally used by more U.S. dentists and hygienists than any other power toothbrush brand.

     In honor of Valentine's Day, Philips Oral Healthcare, maker of Sonicare, and Roper ASW surveyed more than 500 women and 500 men across the country to find out what makes a kissable mouth:

      -42% of women wish their significant other had whiter teeth and/or healthier gums
      -Surprisingly, 46% of women over 65 shared the same sentiment, implying that romance never dies

As for sharing a kiss before brushing in the morning:

    -45% of women say "no toothbrush, no kiss"
    -The "no brush, no kiss" trend is highest among women in the 18- to 24-year-old category (55%); this opinion is even more resounding with men in the same age bracket (18 to 24), who second the notion 66% of the time, implying that women are more likely to make an exception for a morning kiss.

Geographically, people in the West are more lenient about their partner's hygiene:

   -Only 40% of people in the Western United States avoid kissing their significant other before they brush their teeth in the morning; while 48% in the Northeast avoid the kiss before brushing

    -Also, 77% of people in the Northeast say teeth affect how attracted they are to a person; while only 69% of those in the West share the same sentiment

Presentation ideas: http://www.mndental.org/classroom/grades_4_6/
http://www.mndental.org/classroom/
http://www.mndental.org/dental_health/sip_decay/

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