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Aura Family Dental
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Smart Snacks for Healthy Teeth
Getting your kids to eat fruit, veggies and yogurt instead of candy, chips and ice cream might feel like pulling teeth. But it's important to encourage them to eat "smart" snacks to keep their teeth – and body – healthy.

Whether you’re transitioning your older kids to a healthier, balanced diet or just getting started with a little ones, here are some tips for healthy snacking:

Set the tone. Your kids mimic what you do, so it’s important that you eat smart snacks too. And be sure to practice good oral hygiene in front of your kids; if you brush and floss after meals and snacks, your kids will too.

Get creative with snacks. Show your kids that healthy snacks can be fun! Prepare tasty combinations, such as apple slices with peanut butter, fruit smoothies, cheese rollups, or yogurt sprinkled with granola and bananas.

Keep your kids involved. When you make your grocery list, ask your kids to brainstorm about what kinds of food they'd like to eat. This is a good opportunity to help them understand what's good for their teeth and what's not. Then go grocery shopping together and teach your kids how to read the Nutrition Facts label so that they can check the sugar content.

Prepare nutritious meals. Snacking smart is great for your teeth, but so is eating well-balanced lunches and dinners. Make sure to add fruits and vegetables to every meal so that your kids become accustomed to them.

We can help you come up with even more ideas for healthy snacks – come in for a visit, and we’ll work on a plan together.

Baby Teeth Care Basics
It's never too early to start taking good care of your baby's teeth. Here are some baby teeth care basics:

- Prevent early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay, by making sure baby doesn't sleep with a bottle containing any sugary liquids -- even breast milk. And never give your child a pacifier that's been dipped into anything sweet.

- Start brushing baby teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Routine baby dental care should also include massaging the gums with a clean gauze pad. When all teeth have erupted, floss at least once a day to help prevent the buildup of dental plaque.

- Wean your baby off thumb-sucking if he or she is still doing so by age four. Otherwise, it can cause overcrowded or crooked teeth.

- Consider a combination of fluoride treatment and dental sealants, thin plastic coatings applied on baby molars to keep dental plaque from accumulating. Talk to your dentist before giving your child any fluoride dental treatment and have your child use only un-fluoridated toothpaste until two years of age.

- Take your child to the dentist after the first tooth arrives or by age one. Regular dental visits combined with daily baby teeth care can help give your baby a good head start on the road to dental health.

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How Will My Dentist Help Me Manage Pain?
Over­the­counter medicines, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be effective for pain relief following dental procedures. Still, there is no one­size­fits all approach to treatment. To help your dentist decide what course of action is right for you, make sure you update your health history form, talk to your
dentist about medications you are currently taking and ask plenty of questions. Feel free to include your primary medical doctor in the conversation. If you are in recovery or struggled with addiction in the past, tell your dentist. Let your dentist know if anyone in your family has struggled with addiction.
What Should I Do If I Am Prescribed an Opioid? (Opioids are narcotic pain relievers that require a prescription from a
medical professional.)
If you are prescribed an opioid, ask your dentist or pharmacist the following questions before filling the prescription:
1. What is the goal of this prescription?
2. When and how should I take these?
3. How long should I take these drugs?
4. Are there any risks for me from this medication?
5. What do I do with any extra medication?
How Should I Store and Dispose of Leftover Medication?
After picking up your prescription, take it according to directions. Store it safely out of sight and out of reach from children in a locked cabinet. Put the
medication back immediately after taking any dose.
Unfortunately, prescription medications have become a leading source of drug abuse among teens and young adults. These medications are often obtained from a friend or family member who had received a prescription for a legitimate purpose. Parents are sometimes fooled into handing over these drugs to treat an apparent symptom of physical distress or pain. More often, they are stolen from the medicine cabinet or lifted from the trash.
You play an important role in keeping prescription medications from becoming a source of abuse in your household and in the community. Keep your narcotic pain medication in a locked cabinet. Dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications safely and immediately to reduce the risk of
Brought to you by the another person taking these drugs for nonmedical reasons.
Follow these guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:
Follow any disposal instructions on the label or patient information you get with your prescription.
Don't flush medicines down the toilet or pour them down the sink unless the disposal instructions say to do so. (You can also consult this list from the FDA.)
If there are no disposal instructions, participate in a drug take­back day or find a Controlled Substance Public Disposal Location near you.
If you are unable to attend a drug take­back day, take unwanted prescription medications out of the original bottle and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter in a sealed bag or closed container. This makes medications less appealing and less recognizable to anyone who can see your
trash—including your kids.
Remove all personal information from prescription bottles to protect your privacy.
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Fresh Ways to Combat Decayed Teeth
 

Rotten teeth affect millions of men, women and children the world over. People become susceptible to the factors causing rotting teeth virtually the moment that their first baby teeth appear. And while the primary cause of rotting teeth is as complex as it is pervasive, one thing is clear: left untreated, a rotting tooth is destined to become a dead tooth.
 
Rotten teeth are the result of the demineralization of tooth enamel by the acid-producing bacteria that normally grow the human mouth. The erosive power of this chemical process is why cavities and rotting teeth appear discolored and translucent. In so-called "best-case" scenarios, the acid responsible for rotting teeth will create a small dental cavity. In worst-case scenarios, the acid will eat through the enamel and dentin into the pulp of the tooth producing first a toothache and then a dead tooth.
 
The Sugar Connection
 
Research shows the consumption of sugar and starchy foods creates the perfect environment for the growth of the acid-producing bacteria responsible for rotting teeth. This partially explains the alarming number of children who experience decayed or rotten teeth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 6 out of 10 children in the U.S. will have a least one cavity filled by age 5. Studies link this alarming statistic to three things: 1) the omnipresence of sugary snacks; 2) giving little ones pacifying bottles of juice, milk, or formula to drink during the day or overnight; and 3) inconsistent oral hygiene.
 
Preventing rotten teeth takes a little common sense and a lot of dedication. The key to avoiding rotting teeth is reducing the amount of cavity-causing bacteria and dental plaque in your mouth. This requires a real commitment to good oral hygiene, including
 
·        Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day
·        Using tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride 
·        Flossing daily
·        Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash
·        Cutting back on starchy and sugary foods
·        Increasing saliva flow by chewing xylitol gum
·        Regular dental cleanings by a dentist DDS, DMD or dental hygienist

Has it been so long?

If you’re nervous about having to sit through a lecture on the importance of dental health, you can stop worrying. We’re not here to cause you anxiety or point fingers. Trust us, we of all people know that dental health is affected by a number of factors that could be environmental, hereditary or habitual. Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
 
This might surprise you, but there’s almost nothing that can surprise us when it comes to teeth. If you think your teeth are bad, we’ve probably seen worse. A large part of our training and professional work involves being exposed to just about every dental problem you can imagine. Without that kind of experience, how could we properly evaluate your teeth and treat them? We couldn’t.
 
One of the most important things you can do is to be up front with us. If you have dental anxiety, don’t silently suffer in the chair – tell us! The same goes for anything specific that might scare you – whether it’s needles or anesthesia or just sitting in the chair. And please tell us what we can do to make your visit more comfortable. Many people find that a blanket and pillow makes their visits much more relaxing. Others like us to explain what we’re doing before we do it. And some people find that taking frequent breaks is helpful.
 
Let’s talk about what you need before you talk yourself out of scheduling another visit. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure that you have a positive experience getting the dental care you need.

The Impact of an Impacted Tooth

A tooth is considered impacted when it only partially grows through the gums. This can happen because another tooth blocks it, or it grows in crookedly. The third molar typically erupts from age 17 to 21 and is the last tooth to appear, which is why it’s the most likely tooth to become impacted – there’s usually no room left for it.
 
Although an impacted tooth does not always lead to pain or discomfort, the impaction can cause other problems. A partially erupted tooth can create an opening in the gum where food and other particles can accumulate, leading to gum infection. Impacted teeth can also develop tooth decay, and they can also push on adjacent teeth, causing all your teeth to shift.
 
For these reasons, it’s usually recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 21. The younger you are the better (and faster) the surrounding tissue and bone will heal. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms if you’re over 21, though.
 
No matter what age you are, if an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, come in for a visit. Better to get treatment than unnecessarily endure pain and discomfort!
 
Persistent pain or an infection usually means the tooth will need to be removed. Sometimes this can be done right in the office. Otherwise, we can give you a referral to a recommended oral surgeon.

Soda Drinkers More Prone to Cavities

Dentists can usually spot a soda drinker. These patients are often prone to dental cavities and white spots on their teeth known as decalcifications, which are actually the start of new cavities.

A cavity is an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods or beverages and bacteria that live in our mouths. Sweetened soda contains a high amount of sugar, a carbohydrate that can promote cavities. Soda may be even more damaging to the teeth than other sugar containing beverages because it is acidic as well.

Before we drink a sugar-sweetened soda, the pH in our mouth is about 7.0, which is slightly more acidic than water. When the bacteria in our mouths are exposed to sugar, they metabolize it and produce acid. The acid causes the pH on the tooth surface to drop. At a pH of 5.2 or below, the acid begins to dissolve the hard enamel that forms the outer coating of our teeth. Over time this leads to erosion that causes cavities and painful toothaches!

A study examined the effect of several types of sweetened soda and mineral water on the teeth. Teeth exposed to cola, orange and lime soda had significantly more decalcification than those exposed to mineral water. Of all of the sodas tested, cola caused the most decalcification. Sweetened soda seems to damage teeth in two ways. The soda has a low PH and makes the mouth acidic, and the sugar content promotes tooth decay when it comes into contact with bacteria in the mouth.

The easiest way to prevent cavities is by brushing your teeth at least three times a day, especially after eating or drinking and before bed. Reducing the amount and frequency of eating sugary foods and beverages can decrease the risk of forming cavities.

Always try to make healthier choices. If you have to have sweetened soda, it is better to drink it at one sitting than sip it throughout the day. Better yet, drink it through a straw in one sitting, to bypass the teeth altogether.

Even Seniors Get Cavities

As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.
 
Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That's great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.
 
Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:
 
·        Difficulty brushing & flossing
·        Not enough fluoride
·        Gum disease
·        Dry mouth
·        Poor diet
 
There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.
 
For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.
 
Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.

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Aura Family Dental
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2014-12-23
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What to Do in a Dental Emergency?

Accidents happen all the time and not all of them require immediate care. But if you've had an injury to your teeth, mouth or jaw, you should see a dentist right away. If you’re not sure your problem is an emergency, here’s a list of the most common ones -- plus a few things you can do to minimize pain and damage before seeing your dentist:
 
Broken Tooth -- Save any pieces of the broken tooth and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Apply a cold compress to the area to decrease swelling and pain until you can be seen by the dentist.
 
Broken Jaw -- Apply a cold compress to limit swelling and see your dentist right away.
 
Knocked-Out Tooth -- Gently rinse off the knocked out tooth without removing any attached tissue. If possible, hold the tooth in place in the socket. Otherwise, put the tooth in a glass of milk and get to your dentist right away.
 
Something Stuck in Your Teeth -- Carefully try to remove the object with dental floss. (Don't try using a sharp instrument!) If you're unable to dislodge the object with dental floss, contact your dentist.
 
Toothache -- Rinse your mouth out with warm water. Then use dental floss to make sure there isn't any food or other debris causing the pain. If the pain persists, call the dentist.
 
Lost Dental Filling or Dental Crown -- For dental fillings, seal the area with a piece of sugarless gum or over-the-counter dental cement. If a dental crown has come loose, try to put it back in place with dental cement. If that doesn't work, bring it with you to the dentist.
 
Dental Abscess -- If you notice a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gums, rinse with salt water and immediately contact your dentist. Dental abscesses can lead to more serious infections if not promptly treated.
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