Hinsdale Orthodontist

The Caregiver’s Guide to Dental Health

November 10th, 2021

The Whole Tooth: Dental Health & Older Adults

Happy National Family Caregiver month!  If you’re one of the 44 million family caregivers in the United States, you’ve got a lot on your mind. However, keeping your loved one’s mouth healthy is important for their dental health, overall health and so much more.

“It’s also about comfort, safety and self-esteem,” says ADA dentist Dr. Judith Jones. “Keeping your mouth and teeth clean can prevent sensitivity or pain in your teeth. In terms of safety, there might be broken teeth, broken partials or unsafe partials they can swallow. And for their self-esteem, it’s important for individuals to have a sense of pride in their appearance and to have good hygiene.”

How much help you give will depend on the individual. If the person in your care can do the basics, let them. Some adults may have physical issues that make them unable to hold a toothbrush. Others may have memory issues, so they forget to brush and floss. People with dementia may need someone to clean their teeth each day and take them to a dentist.

No matter your situation, daily care plus professional care equal the best chances for a healthy mouth. Here are some important mouth care steps for older adults.

  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between the teeth daily with floss or other between-the-teeth cleaner.
  • Rinse dentures after each meal, brush them daily with denture cleaner and take them out before bedtime and store in water.
  • If the person has dry mouth, an alcohol-free mouthrinse may help. Sipping water, sucking (not chewing) on ice chips and using a humidifier while sleeping can help keep him or her hydrated.
  • Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water are good for the mouth and the body.
  • Make and keep dental appointments. Even people with dentures need to visit the dentist.
  • Watch for symptoms that could signal larger issues, and make an appointment with the dentist to have them checked out.

You may have questions specific to your own situation, so here are some starting points for different types of care cases. And always feel free to speak with your dentist or your loved one’s dentist for more advice.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Good Foods for Dental Health

October 27th, 2021

How to raise a happy child (ages 2 to 4) | BabyCenterWater rules

Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That's because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities. As of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.

If you can, choose dairy

Milk, and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar, which is a good thing for your dental health. Plus, they contain protein and are full of calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth.

Lean proteins for the win

Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.

Fruits and veggies pack an extra punch

Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.

Nourishing nuts

Nuts contain protein and minerals important for overall health. In addition, nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities. Why? Because tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that are activated by carbs. Another benefit is that chewing nuts stimulates saliva production, which can reduce your risk for tooth decay.

 

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Is it necessary to fill a cavity in a baby tooth?

October 20th, 2021

4 Important Facts about Baby Teeth that You Need to Know - Highpoint  Pediatric Dentistry

While all parents know baby teeth eventually fall out, it’s important to keep little teeth healthy because they are the blueprint for your child’s permanent teeth. Treating a cavity in a baby tooth is crucial to ensure the tooth stays in place until it falls out naturally because little teeth save space for, and are the pathway, for permanent teeth. Additionally, baby teeth are important to speech development and maintaining good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly. If decay in a baby tooth is not treated, it could cause pain, impair speech and potentially damage permanent teeth or cause them to grow in crooked.

Treatment options vary based on the severity of the cavity.

https://mouthmonsters.mychildrensteeth.org

12 Tips for a Healthy Halloween

October 7th, 2021

Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.

Here's how you can help your family stay healthy and have fun on Halloween.

Time It Right

Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.

Stay Away from Sweet Snacks

Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Instead have them as a dessert after a meal or a quick study reward with some water after.

Choose Candy Carefully

Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

Avoid Sticky Situations

Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Have a Plan

It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest.  Look for organizations that help you donate candy to troops overseas, like Operation Gratitude, or see if your dentist has a candy take-back program.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you "fill up" affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

Stay Away from Sugary Beverages

This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Gum with the ADA Seal

Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. Find one with the ADA Seal for maximum effectiveness.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won't do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.  This also helps get rid of bacteria left behind after brushing that causes bad breath.

Find fun-filled Halloween activity sheets and pumpkin stencils in the link below!

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/resources/activity-sheets/halloween

Have a wonderful Halloween season! - Dr. Johnson and staff

www.mouthhealthy.org

Two Thirds of What Goes on in your Mouth is Below the Surface

September 9th, 2021

Just like what’s under the bread in a sandwich, orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.

Speaking of extra teeth, did you know snails have over 14,000? A full set of adult human teeth has only 32.

Why is looking below the surface so important?
Well, some things may be hiding that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from erupting properly. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can even harm the roots of neighboring teeth, cause crowding and may cause already erupted teeth to move into unhealthy positions.

If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.
It may be easier for Dr. Johnson to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to Dr. Johnson by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit Dr. Johnson for an exam. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.Our Low-Dose Kid Friendly X-Ray Machine | Fresh Orthodontics

https://www.aoinfo.org/

3 Things All Athletes Should Do for Their Teeth

September 2nd, 2021

A child plays hockey while wearing a mouthguard

Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform

Helmet? Check. Knee pads? Check. Mouthguard? Check! Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform in any sport you play.

Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature. It does not matter what type of mouthguard you choose, just make sure it fits properly.

In fact, many sports won’t let you play without one.  USA Hockey requires all youth players to wear a mouthguard. “The referees have to be able to see it, and it has to be colored,” says Dr. Long, a former college hockey player and team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks

If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the hard outer shell of your teeth, which may increase your risk for cavities over time.  This bacteria can sit in your mouth guard and attack your enamel the entire time it's in during play.

 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits.  An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens.  A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings.

Keep your smile strong by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. Then, in the home stretch of your daily dental routine, use an ADA-Accepted mouthwash.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Why an Orthodontist is the Right Person for Orthodontic Treatment

August 19th, 2021

When your dog is overdue for a groom, you wouldn’t bring them to your appointment at the salon. To maintain a poodle's luscious locks or a husky's thick winter coat, you visit a groomer, the definite choice in caring for your dog’s specific needs. Well, the same is true for orthodontic treatment!

The uniqueness of each individual's tooth structure means that every case is going to be treated a little differently, whether it's an overbite, protrusion, cross-bite, etc. Orthodontists are specialized in properly aligning teeth and jaws and possess the dental training to give you your best smile, making them an easy choice for orthodontic treatment. To put it simply, it’s best to see an orthodontist for orthodontics!

Here’s why:

1. Orthodontists are specialists.

Orthodontists are specialists who focus on the bite and alignment of your teeth. Dr. Johnson prides herself in being a perfectionist when it comes to delivering the best, most comfortable smile to each and every patient.  Her job as an orthodontist is to not only make sure that your smile looks great, but your bite feels good and functions properly, too.

2. Orthodontists have 3,700 hours of orthodontic training.  YES! 3,700.

In addition to dental school, orthodontists are the only dental specialists who have additional education and training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of specialized training to be exact. They understand growth and development and are also called dentofacial orthopedists.  Dr. Johnson also takes time outside of the office to continue her dental training by regularly attending seminars, group-study programs, and working together on complex cases to achieve the best treatment possible for her patients.

3. Because of their extensive training, they can provide you with a truly customized treatment plan.

Straightening teeth and aligning the bite are both complex biological processes, not quick fixes. With expertise in those complexities (like changes in jaw bones, facial bone and soft tissue as teeth are moved), Dr. Johnson and her staff are well-equipped to provide a truly custom treatment plan that is best for you. When it comes to your health you don’t want to miss any critical factors. When it’s time to make an appointment for yourself or your family, take comfort in knowing that, by selecting Dr. Pamela Johnson and her staff, you will be seeing the right person for the job.

https://aaoinfo.org

Fight the Fear of the Dental Office

November 4th, 2020

We know going into any dental office, whether it's the dentist or orthodontist, can cause some nervous butterflies. You could be scared that the treatment may hurt, you haven't been in for a while, or you're nervous to hear how your orthodontic treatment may go. Whatever your reason, Johnson Orthodontics will make sure your dental and emotional health are taken care of. Here are some strategies you can use at your next appointment to help ease any anxiety you may have:

1. Talk to Us

Sharing your thoughts and feelings makes a huge difference when you are anxious. If you have anxiety about your visit to Johnson Orthodontics, make sure to get your concerns off your chest by speaking with Dr. Johnson. Our team will be able to give you the best treatment if we know your needs.

  • Tell us about your anxiety. You can explain this to the receptionist when you make your appointment, and remind Dr. Johnson and the dental staff when you arrive.
  • Ask questions. We will answer all your questions and concerns, and sometimes knowing what's going to happen during your treatment could alleviate your fears.
  • Give us a signal. Talk to Dr. Johnson and the dental staff about creating a signal for when you are feeling overwhelmed and need a break during your appointment.
  • Feel any pain, tell us. Please don't feel embarrassed if you feel any pain or about your pain tolerance. Talk to our team so we make sure you feel comfortable.

2. Distract Yourself

Here are a few things you can do to try to take your mind off what's going on when the team is working on your teeth. You can do one or a combination of the strategies below.

  • Listen to music or an audiobook. Bring your headphones in and you can drown out the noise around you.
  • Keep your hands busy. Sometimes having something in your hands can help, so if you have a stress ball or even a fidget spinner, bring it in.
  • Daydream. Close your eyes and imagine being somewhere else that's relaxing to you.

3. Use Mindfulness Techniques

Another strategy is to try breathing techniques. This can also be combined with the suggestions for keeping your mind occupied.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and exhale for the same number of counts. Do this multiple times before you come in, in the lobby, or while you're in the dental chair.
  • Do a body scan. Relax your muscles by starting from your head and going through each body part until you get to your toes.

Dental visits of all kinds can seem scary, but we promise to be there for you every step of the way. We want to make your time getting your orthodontic treatments as easy and relaxing as possible. So try these strategies, and don't forget to let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

source: mouthhealthy.org

Why Mouth Guards are Essential

October 28th, 2020

With schools returning to in-person learning and sports coming back, it's important to know that wearing a mouth guard while playing sports is essential to protecting your children's teeth.

Most parents support the idea that mouth guards should be worn, but studies show a significant percentage of them do not wear their mouth guards while playing sports. In early 2017, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) collected data in an independent survey* that delivered a clear message: 99 percent of parents whose children play organized sports felt youth should be required to wear mouth guards in order to play. Yet 37 percent of parents said their child never wears a mouth guard while playing sports. This includes games, practices and recreational play.

There is also a misconception that repairing a knocked out or broken tooth is not very expensive. According to the study, parents estimate it would cost $1,142 to replace a damaged permanent tooth, but in reality, costs to treat one knocked-out tooth over a lifetime can range from $5,000 to $20,000**. Parents and patients may not realize that restorations may have to be repeated periodically, which amplifies repair or replacements costs.

Which Sports Should Require Mouth Guards?

In a nutshell, all of them. The AAO's study shows that while a majority of parents think mouth guards should be required for football and hockey, only half the parents said the same thing for basketball and even less than that agreed for baseball. A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association ranked basketball as the sport at the top of the list for the highest rate of dental injuries for both men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletes. And according to mouth guard manufacturer Shock Doctor, one in four injures on the basketball court occurs above the neck.

Wearing mouth guards should also be extended to sport practices. Forty percent of parents reported that their child’s sports practices are less structured than games, and generally have few or no medical personnel nearby.

Overall, when playing sports, whether it's an official game, practice, or a quick scrimmage in the park with friends, a mouth guard should be worn to protect the teeth from injury.

source: aaoinfo.org

*The American Association of Orthodontists commissioned Wakefield Research to conduct the 2017 AAO Sports Survey among 1,000 U.S. parents whose children play organized sports. The survey was conducted in January 2017 using an email invitation and an online survey. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

**Sports Health, “Common Dental Injury Management in Athletes,” vol. 7, no. 3, May-June 2015, p. 250.

 

Limit Sugar Consumption To Help Reduce Cavity Risk.

August 24th, 2017

Stating “it should go without saying that tooth brushing is a prerequisite for a healthy set of chompers,” Reader’s Digest adds that another way to help prevent cavities is to “avoid eating sugar and other simple carbohydrates.” The article explains that bacteria in the mouth “thrive off of the sugars” left on teeth, releasing acids that can harm dental enamel and lead to cavities. The article also points to information on brushing and flossing at MouthHealthy.org.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on nutrition and dental health and tips to reduce sugary snacking.

The Itero Element Intraoral Scanner is here!!

February 6th, 2017

We'll make a great first impression!

The Itero Element Scanner is a state-of-the-art digital impression system that eliminates the need for messy putty in your mouth. With our Itero Element Scanner, we can digitally capture a detailed 3D model of your teeth and gums. Not only is this process far more comfortable than the old putty based impressions, but it's faster and can offer a superior clinical endpoint.

During the impression process, you can breath or swallow as you normally would. You can even pause during the process if you need to sneeze or just want to ask a question. The scanner gives us a 3D model of your mouth that can be used for dental services including the Invisalign outcome simulator to show you what your new smile might look like. We can also use the scanner to make retainers and appliances! be sure to ask us about our new digital scanner at your next appointment!

Sleeping Face Up May Help With TMJ.

September 20th, 2016

Reader’s Digest (9/13, Laliberte) provides the “best sleep position for 11 health problems,” including temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The article recommends people with TMJ or another type of jaw pain sleep face up. “Don’t keep your face on its side, because that can put pressure on the joints or the jaw itself and make the pain worse,” says Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, DDS, spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on TMJ disorders for patients

What You Need to Know About the Safety of Dental Sealants

September 13th, 2016

The American Dental Association guidelines recommend dental sealants for all children and teens due to the tremendous effectiveness of sealants to prevent and arrest the progression of caries. The oral health community and the public have been concerned about the potential adverse effects associated with the release of BPA from resin-based dental sealants. Testing by the ADA Science Institute found:
1.BPA detected at trace levels on dental sealants
2.BPA exposure from dental sealants is 100 times lower than BPA present in the air
3.BPA levels in dental sealants tested were well below the daily exposure level set by the EPA

Read the full report in the new online edition of the ADA Professional Product Review and share this helpful infographic on the safety of dental sealants with your patients.

Patients With Gum Disease May Be More Likely To Suffer Heart Attack, Stroke, Severe Chest Pain, Study Indicates.

September 6th, 2016

Reuters (8/23, Crist) reports that “a study of more than 60,000 dental patients” indicated that “those with gum disease were twice as likely to have had a heart attack, stroke or severe chest pain.” Researchers found that “even after taking other risk factors for cardiovascular disease into account, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking,” individuals “with periodontal disease were still 59 percent more likely to have a history of heart problems.” The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

AHA Sets New Standard For Added Sugars In Children’s Diet.

September 1st, 2016

The Hill (8/22, Wheeler) reports that the American Heart Association has announced a new standard for how much sugar children should consume a day. The group is “recommending only 6 teaspoons – the equivalent of about 100 calories or 25 grams – for children ages 2 to 18.” It also recommended children under 2 not consume any added sugars. The recommendations were published in the AHA journal Circulation.

AFP (8/22) notes that the AHA’s report found that American children on average eat three times more sugar than its daily recommended intake. The report said, “Eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.”
For more information visit: MorningHuddle.com

Brushing Teeth, Flossing Among Recommended Daily Habits.

August 29th, 2016

Business Insider (8/21, Gillett) includes brushing teeth and flossing among “17 quick and easy daily habits” that readers recommend to become a healthier person. The article notes that the ADA recommends brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Not following this guidance could increase the risk for developing other health issues, the article adds.

In an article in the Free Press (ME) (8/18), the Maine Dental Association noted that “the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, and visiting a dentist regularly.”

In the Harvard University (MA) (8/17) “Harvard Health Blog,” Robert Shmerling, MD, an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, discusses recent news questioning the benefits of dental flossing, citing a lack of research. Dr. Shmerling states, “These headlines...miss the mark on this flossing kerfuffle,” and he adds that “unproven is unproven, not disproven.” The “obvious next step,” says Dr. Shmerling, is for researchers to have “a well-funded, well-designed study” to examine the health impact of flossing. In the meantime, “I’m not going to wait for the research; I’m going to keep flossing,” he states.

The ADA has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners, and a Science in the News article titled “The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question” discusses evidence about the impact of flossing on oral health.

MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique.

Mouthguards Help Protect Children From Dental Emergencies.

August 22nd, 2016

The Danville (CA) Patch (8/14) stated that “a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear,” recommending children wear mouthguards while “participating in sports and recreational activities” to help minimize the risk of dental damage and facial injuries. The article noted that three types of mouthguards exist: custom-made, ready-made, and boil and bite.

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on mouthguards for patients and for dental professionals.

Dental Sealants Safe And Effective In Preventing Tooth Decay.

August 8th, 2016

The ADA News (8/1, Manchir) reports that “a 6-year-old child is exposed to more BPA” from food, drinks, and cosmetic products “than from the amount that is in dental sealants,” according to research published in the August issue of the ADA Professional Product Review. The article reports that “the ADA Science Institute staff tested the BPA release from 12 dental sealants used by dentists in the U.S.,” finding the BPA released from dental sealants is .09 nanograms, “well below” the EPA’s “limit proposed for a 6-year-old child.” Dr. David Sarrett, PPR editor, said, “This issue of the PPR provides a much-needed perspective on the amount of BPA in dental materials compared with other sources of exposure.”

In addition, a release on PRNewswire (8/1), states in continuing coverage that “a new systematic review and updated clinical practice guideline from the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) show dental sealants are a powerful and effective therapy in the fight against childhood dental decay and disease.” The systematic review and the updated clinical practice guidelines are both available in the August issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association and the July/August issue of AAPD’s Pediatric Dentistry Journal. Lead author Dr. Timothy Wright said, “The joint report reaffirms that sealants should be a routine part of cavity prevention, as children with sealants are up to 80 percent less prone to cavities compared to those without them.”
For more information visit www.ADA.com

Increasing Number Of Adults Turning To Braces.

August 4th, 2016

US News & World Report (7/27, Esposito) reports that adults are increasingly “getting braces to straighten their teeth, fix their bites and improve their smiles.” The article reports that “adults made up a record high of nearly 1.5 million orthodontics patients in the U.S. and Canada,” according to a 2014 survey from the American Association of Orthodontists. According to the article, “This rising popularity” is due in part to “orthodontic options that make braces inconspicuous.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on braces.

JADA Article Discusses Antibiotic Use In Dentistry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (7/25) reported that the CDC and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) collaborated to publish an article in The Journal of the American Dental Association August issue, concerning responsible antibiotic use in dentistry. According to the article, “In an effort to improve antibiotic use in dentistry, best practices were developed to guide dentists through the entire antibiotic prescribing process.”

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provides additional information on antibiotic stewardship for dental professionals.

Flossing Advised “If You Want To Keep Your Teeth.”

August 1st, 2016

In an articled titled, “Turns out, you really only need to floss if you want to keep your teeth,” the New York Daily News (7/25, Pesce) discusses flossing, noting the CDC’s recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found one-third of adults do not floss. “Do you need to floss? It depends on whether you want to keep your teeth or not,” said Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Although many Millennials have benefited from fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste, resulting in a lower decay rate, “our body chemistry does change as we get a older,” said Dr. Messina. “So some people might have a very high host-resistance (against bacteria) when they’re young, but they are going to find that is not the case as they get older.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on flossing, including how to properly floss teeth.

ADA Spokesperson Discusses Biggest Cavity Myth.

July 26th, 2016

A consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (7/21) website features American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discussing dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires “more extensive treatment” at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. “The best thing to do,” Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on caries for dental professionals and for patients.

Reader’s Digest: People May Make Eight Common Mistakes Brushing Teeth.

July 25th, 2016

Stating that it’s easier than one might think “to make tooth brushing mistakes,” Reader’s Digest (4/13, Bender) identified eight common mistakes people may make while brushing. For example, a common mistake is not brushing teeth long enough, the article stated, noting that “the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, but many people fall woefully short—and don’t even realize it.” According to the article, common mistakes also include brushing too hard, using an incorrect angle while brushing, using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm, using a toothbrush head that is too large, using the same toothbrush for too long, not flossing regularly, and not brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. “Dental disease is totally preventable,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram, “and a lot of it can be avoided by stepping up your home brushing program and having check-ups.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on the proper brushing technique.

USA Today Covers Study Finding Nail Biting And Thumb Sucking May Reduce Risk Of Developing Allergies.

July 21st, 2016

USA Today (7/19, May) discusses a new study, which CBS News first reported on last week, that finds children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails are less likely to develop certain allergies. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, “observed more than 1,000 participants from childhood to adulthood,” finding that “at age 13, 38% of children who frequently sucked their thumb or bit their nails had an allergy, compared to 49% of those who didn’t.” The results were similar for these individuals at age 32. Despite the findings, the authors said, “We do not suggest that children should be encouraged to take up these oral habits.”

Harvard University (MA) (7/19, McCarthy) added that continued thumb sucking after permanent teeth come in may cause problems with proper alignment of teeth. The article notes the American Dental Association offers tips to help children stop sucking their thumbs, recommending, for example, parents praise children when they are not sucking their thumbs.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on nail biting and thumb sucking for patients.

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