Dental tips for children are important this time of year. As Halloween may not be first the major show, and fall treats alone steal the spotlight! Before we share those tips to help your kids care for their teeth during this time of year, we will share some of the treats we’ve come across.
The first treat comes from “15 Fabulous Fall Treats That Aren’t a Mouthful of Pumpkin Spice,” so you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the pumpkin flavor that seems to be all the rage. Full articles listed later.
Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp: “You’re going to want to serve this crisp while it’s warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”
The next recipe is something a little different… what do you think of Sweet Potato Snicker Doodles?!
Our last recipe comes from a hearty list, “40 of Our Best Fall Desserts,” Chai Cupcakes. “You’ll get a double dose of the spicy blend that’s frequently used to flavor tea in these moist single-size cakes. Both the cupcake and frosting use the blend, which combines some of the best flavors of the season.”
The AAPDS recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be by the AGE OF ONE or when the FIRST TOOTH APPEARS. Regular check-ups should occur every SIX MONTHS.
Parents should help their children brush their teeth TWICE DAILY – after breakfast and before bedtime are ideal. It’s recommended that parents/caregivers supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
The BEST TOOTHBRUSHES for children have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be proportionate to the size of the child’s hand.
Parents can begin FLOSSING for their children when two teeth are touching. Children can begin flossing on their own around age 7.
Look for FLOURIDE TOOTHPASTE with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
Sugary candy, food, and drinks are part of the holidays. With this, the risk of cavities and poor dental health also increases. Parents should try to moderate sugar intake, and WATCH OUT FOR CARBONATED DRINKS, which actually erode teeth more than sweetened drinks.
Keep an eye on on snacking – ideally, children should have NO MORE THAN THREE SNACK TIMES a day.
COOKED STARCHES CAN LEAD TO CAVITIES just as sugars can. In fact, cooked starches such as bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips frequently take longer to clear the mouth than sugars.
LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE by checking labels and buying sugar-free varieties of food options, if available.
CHEESES such as aged cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and Monterey Jack are great as a snack or to eat after a meal because they clear the mouth of food and neutralize the acids that attack teeth.
This story originally appeared on The Mouth Monsters
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are designed to make you feel both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the directives of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
Our office will conduct a health screening and temperature check upon your arrival.
We have hand sanitizer available throughout the office.
You may see that our waiting room no longer offers magazines, books, children’s toys, etc. to reduce the spread of germs.
Our clinical staff will wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to better protect themselves and their patients.
Appointments will begin with an oral rinse to reduce bacteria in the mouth prior to treatment.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (972) 964-3774 or contact us today.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Can I put off my dental appointment until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?
Regular dental appointments are an important part of taking care of your overall health. While it can be tempting to put off your regular checkup until things feel more “normal” again, I advise against it. Routine appointments give me an opportunity to check for a number of health conditions and catch them early. Some conditions, like tooth decay, can be more difficult, painful and expensive to treat if they’re left undetected.
Your health and safety is, and has always been, my top priority. My staff and I are taking every precaution to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission at your visit.
What about teledentistry? Can / substitute a virtual visit for my regular appointment?
A phone or video appointment isn’t the same as your regular appointment. Teledentistry can be helpful in some situations, such as deciding if an oral health issue you’re experiencing is an emergency that requires immediate treatment or if it’s something that can wait a bit. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, call my office and we’ll help you decide if you need to come in.
What are you doing differently because of COVID-19?
There are a number of science-backed steps my staff and I are taking to help limit the spread of COVID-19. These include:
Increased personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats.
Increased cleaning protocols. This includes using disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms and frequently cleaning items like pens and clipboards.
I’ve heard it’s safer to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning – the office will be cleaner because there haven’t been patients coming through before me. Is that true?
You should schedule your dental appointment for the time of day that works for you. The same enhanced cleaning protocols occur all day long, including leaving the room empty after a patient leaves to allow the appropriate time necessary as part of thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the space between patients.
How is your dental team monitoring themselves for COVID-19?
Staff at our practice are subject to daily health screenings. This includes taking their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever and asking them a series of health-related questions each day to make sure they’re not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
You said you cannot see me as a patient because of my COVID-19 risk. Can you do that?
Yes. The safety of our patients and the dental team is our highest priority. As Dentists, we use our professional judgment and guidance from the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA) to determine risk levels for seeing patients. If it was determined that you were high risk, or had a high temperature on the day of your appointment, we can have a conversation about which factors determined delay of service, so that you can self-monitor and reschedule.
If you are bothered by sensitive teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentists to try and determine the true cause.
Once you know the cause, you will have a better chance to treat it successfully.
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
Desensitizing or Bonding
Surgical Gum Graft
Once you have visited your dentist to identify why you have sensitive teeth issues, your dentist can recommend potential treatments.
Desensitizing toothpaste can be used with some success to help block the pain from sensitive teeth. There are several sensitive toothpaste products available over the counter. Ask your dentist what they recommend.
If your dentist decides you are a viable candidate for fluoride treatment, your dentist can apply fluoride to sensitive areas of your teeth in order to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce pain from sensitivity. They may also prescribe the use of prescription fluoride for home treatment.
Desensitizing or Bonding
In some patients, the exposed root surface can be treated with bonding resin applied to the sensitive root surfaces. This often requires the use of a local anesthetic during the procedure.
Surgical gum graft
If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, it may be possible for your dentist to move a small amount of gum tissue from a healthier part of your mouth and attach it to the affected area. This can reduce sensitivity by adding a protective layer to exposed roots.
A root canal, though it may seem like a serious measure, is often considered the most successful method to treat and eliminate tooth sensitivity.sensitivity.
We hope these potential treatments for sensitive teeth educate you on some of the options that may be available.
Remember that regular teeth brushing and good oral hygiene are the best preventative methods for stopping sensitive teeth before they become an issue.
Would you like to learn more about sensitive teeth treatments?
Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr David Wilhite in Plano, TX.
Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry and helping patients maintain and restore their smile.
It was once thought that the real gum disease risk factor a person needed to worry about was aging, and there was nothing that could be done about that.
We now know that aging is still a factor but it is by no means the only factor you should be concerned about.
By understanding the risk factors, you can take preventive action to help keep gum disease at bay and protect your dental health.
Gum disease risk factors
Smoking / Tobacco Use
Smoking / Tobacco Use
If you use tobacco, whether cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, you are at increased risk for periodontal gum disease. Recent studies indicate that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development of gum disease.
If your diet is low in nutrients, this can lower immunity and make it harder for your body to fight off infection. Because periodontal gum disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. Research has also shown that obesity may increase the risk of gum disease.
Certain drugs, such as anti-depressants, heart medicines, and oral contraceptives can affect oral health. JThe same way you would let your doctor know you are taking other medications, you should also let your dentist know about them.
Some people are more likely to be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Even with good dental habits, you may be more likely to develop gum disease. If you believe that you may be one of these people because of your family medical history, your dentist can take intervention treatment to help prevent periodontal gum disease.
Ready to for a check-up or gum disease treatment in Plano, Texas area?
Contact us today to schedule your appointment or set up your free gum disease consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience in treating gum disease and general and cosmetic dentistry. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.
With so many choices, how do you pick the right toothbrush?
You already know the importance of brushing and flossing daily. You may wonder if you’re using the right toothbrush though.
When you go to the store, it seems like there is an endless supply of choices. How do you know what is the best toothbrush for you?
Even with all the choices available to you, the truth is that any toothbrush that seems comfortable to you and that you use regularly is good for you. Brushing correctly at least twice a day is what matters most.
That said, the American Dental Association has recommendations for you in choosing a toothbrush:
Your toothbrush should have soft bristles. Hard bristles may cause gum tissue to pull back from teeth, which exposes the tooth root and leads to increased sensitivity temperature and certain foods.
Small-headed toothbrushes are usually better because they can reach all areas of the mouth. Select a toothbrush head size that can easily fit into the mouth and can brush one to two teeth at a time (the general size is 1″ long and ½” wide).
Powered toothbrushes don’t clean teeth any better than a standard toothbrush does. The habit of brushing is most important so if an electric toothbrush gets you to brush frequently, that it’s money well spent.
An electric toothbrush can be a good choice for anyone who needs assistance brushing teeth, including people with arthritis, conditions that limit mobility, people with braces or people with misaligned or uneven teeth surfaces that make a thorough cleaning more challenging.
Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head for a powered toothbrush) as soon as the bristles begin to look worn or frayed. The standard recommendation is every three months,
If you’re still undecided about which toothbrush to use, contact your dentist.
Other Toothbrush Tips:
Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris.
Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow it to air dry until using it again.
Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment, such as a closed container, is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than open air is.
How to Brush Your Teeth Properly
Common Toothbrushing Mistakes:
Keeping your toothbrush for too long – The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Not brushing for long enough – Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day.
Brushing too hard – Too much pressure may damage your gums.
Brushing teeth right after eating – Wait at least 60 minutes before brushing, especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda.
Improper storage -Keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a container where germs have a better opportunity to grow.
Using a brush with hard bristles – A soft bristled brush is gentler on your teeth and gums.
Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?
Contact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.
In this post, we review a list of 12 reasons to visit your dentist right away instead of waiting for your next annual appointment.
We hope that you are keeping up the habit of visiting your dentist at least once a year for an annual check-up.
There are so many dental problems that can be prevented by finding them early, especially serious issues like gum disease and oral cancer that can be treated if discovered as soon as possible.
In case you find your self wondering if it is necessary to see a dentist now or wait till your annual exam, here is a list of signs that we think should cause you to visit the dentist right away.
Reasons to visit a dentist right away
Pain or swelling
Gums are puffy or bleeding
You’re hiding your smile
You’ve recently had work done
Ongoing medical issues
You are pregnant
Spots or sores
Annual check-up time
Pain or swelling
If you are suffering from pain or swelling, there is no reason to put off that visit that may be scheduled for a month or longer away. Make that visit right away. Toothaches, swelling, and pain are all symptoms of issues that you should have treated right away. The sooner the better. You can end that pain and also improve your long-term health.
If your gums are puffy or bleeding when you brush, it’s time to visit the dentist. These are signs of gum disease and the sooner you can have it treated the sooner you can stop the damage. It can’t always be reversed but you can keep it from causing more serious damage.
If you are hiding your smile, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to get some work done to address the issue. Don’t hide your smile, get it fixed and start feeling great again.
You’ve recently had work done
If you have recently had fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, you need to follow up with your dentist as recommended for a follow up so they can make sure everything has worked out the way it should.
Ongoing medical issues
Your dental health can tie in with your overall health and each may influence each other. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or an eating disorder, or undergoing medical treatments, you should make sure your dentist is a partner in your treatment and health. Symptoms of other health issues can show in your mouth or your gums could point to other potential health issues.
You are pregnant
If you weren’t sure, it IS safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. It is recommended you do so because pregnancy can make some dental issues worse. Make sure you schedule an appointment so that you will have one less thing to worry about.
If you are having trouble eating or drinking, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your dentist. Stop living with discomfort and don’t take a chance that you’ll make your issues worse by waiting.
Sometimes dry mouth can be a symptom of another medical issue. It can also be a side effect of medications you are taking. Check with your dentist and get to the cause of this so you can find a solution.
Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can affect your dental and physical health. If you are a regular tobacco user, you should have an oral cancer screening in Plano to check for any early signs or oral cancer so it can be addressed as soon as possible.
It is time to visit the dentist if you are having jaw pain or popping when you are opening and closing your mouth, waking up in the morning or chewing. These could be symptoms of TMJ and your dentist can help you find a TMJ treatment in Plano that can work for you and ease your TMJ pain. Another reason to schedule an appointment could be an uneven bite.
If you notice a spot or a sore in your mouth that isn’t normally there and it lasts for a week or longer, you should see your dentist about it. Different types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis. These can all vary in their seriousness and have different causes. Mouth sores can be the symptom of a disease or disorder. They can also be an infection from bacteria, a virus or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.
Annual check-up time
Have you had your annual dental check-up in Plano, TX? We sure hope so! It’s simple to schedule and will help keep your mouth healthy and contributes to your overall physical health.