Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

A canker sore is a mouth ulcer or sore that is open. They are commonly found on the inside of lips or cheeks. They are also found on the gums and under the tongue. Canker sores are usually white or yellowish oval shaped sores and surrounded by red, irritated tissue. Canker sores are most common during adolescence and young adulthood and become less common as we age. About 1 in 5 children develop a canker sore. Though often confused for cold sores, they are not related. In addition, canker sores are not contagious.

Canker Sore Causes

Researchers are not sure what is the exact cause of a canker sore, however they believe a combination of factors may contribute.

Potential contributing factors include:

  • accidental cheek bite
  • anxiety
  • food sensitivities
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • allergic response to bacteria in your mouth
  • stress
  • hormone changes
  • toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate

Cankers sores may occur because of diseases such as:

    • celiac disease
    • Chrohn’s disease
    • ulcerative colitis
    • Behcet’s disease
    • HIV/AIDS
    • immune system issues
    • Treatment

Canker sores usually heal on their own within a few weeks, with pain diminishing in about a week. If your canker sore has not healed in three weeks, you may need to seek medical care. Several over the counter remedies exist, including pastes, gels, or mouth rinses with ingredients to minimize canker sore pain. A doctor may prescribe oral medication for severe canker sores.

To help healing at home you can use a salt-water rinse. In addition, it is advisable to avoid spicy or acidic foods, which can exacerbate the sore. You may also find relief in allowing ice chips to dissolve over the sore. Lastly, it’s important to brush your teeth gently (including with a gentle toothpaste) to avoid irritating the sore further.

If you can identify what triggers canker sores in your mouth, it is best to avoid it. Pay attention to potential food allergies.  Eat healthfully to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Always practice good oral health and brush daily and floss and use mouthwash regularly.

Dental tips and treats for fall

Dental tips and treats for fall

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.”

In order to help, we’re going to share some holiday dental tips for kids provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Read the tips below to keep your kids healthy.

  • 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

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp Recipe

Sweet Potato Snicker Doodle Recipe

Chai Cupcakes Recipe


COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

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.

Children dentistry…fun facts about animal teeth

Children dentistry…fun facts about animal teeth

Children dentistry is part of our specialty and one thing we know about children dentistry is…animal tooth facts are always fun for dental pediatric time! We pulled some of our favorites to share with you this time around. Get ready to learn!

A is for…alligator! Did you know… alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at a time, but as their teeth wear down, new ones constantly replace them.

children dentistry

B is for Blue Whales. Even though they’re the largest mammals in the world, blue whales only eat tiny shrimp called krill, so they don’t need teeth to chew their food. Instead, they have bristle-like filters called baleen that comb through the water.

What’s next? Giraffe! Giraffes have 32 teeth just like humans, but no upper front teeth. Most of them are positioned in the back of their mouths. They use their lips and 20-foot long tongues to grab leaves and twigs and grind them up with their back teeth.

children dentistry

Hippopotamus. Hippos have the longest canine teeth of any animal. At three-feet long, the incisors of a hippo can bite right through a small boat.

Mosquitoes……. have teeth that help them saw into your skin. Yikes!

children dentistry

Rabbits, squirrels, and rodents have teeth that never stop growing. They have to chew on tough foods like nuts, leaves, and bark to wear down their teeth and keep them from growing too long.

Zebras…are the same! They must constantly gnaw on bark, leaves, and grass to shave down their teeth.


10 Fun Facts about Animal Teeth

10 Fun Facts About Animal Teeth We Bet You Didn’t Know

Groundhogs & Other Animals with Interesting Teeth


What to Do for a Child’s Dental Emergency

In this post, we discuss the basics of what to do when your child has a dental emergency, including a cracked or broken tooth and other situations.

If you are having a dental emergency now, please call your dentist immediately.

For a dentist in Plano, TX call the office of David Wilhite DDS at (972) 964-3774


Kids Dental Accidents

Kids can be crazy sometimes. They run, they play, they roughhouse, they fall, and accidents happen. It’s a part of childhood.

But what do you do when you are confronted with a crying child with an injury to their mouth or teeth?

We will try to give you some quick tips to help you out.


What to do first

First of all, remain calm.

As you know already with kids, you have to “keep your cool” so that your child won’t become to upset or panic.

Console your child and reassure them that everything will be okay. It will be!

Assess the best you can if there is a more serious issue, such as a head injury, concussion or broken jaw.

If you have serious concerns or uncertain how serious it is, you can call 911 for help. We hope this is not the case but you want to make sure.


Overcoming dental fearBroken Tooth

If your child has broken a permanent adult tooth, you want to save the tooth and keep it moist.

Placing the piece of the tooth into a small container of milk will actually work best. A saltwater solution is your next best option.

Be careful handling the tooth and try to handle it from the crown, not the root or exposed area.

A primary (baby) tooth does not need to be kept moist but recover it and handle carefully and bring it to the dentist.

Contact your dentist immediately.


Chipped Tooth

If your child has chipped a permanent adult tooth, you want to try and recover the chipped piece of the tooth and keep it moist.

Placing the piece of the tooth into a small container of milk to keep it moist. A saltwater solution is your next best option.

Be careful handling the tooth and try to handle it from the crown, not the root or exposed area.

Contact your child’s dentist right away.


Pediatric Dentistry Plano, TXCracked Tooth

Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area.

Get an icepack or cold compress and press it to the face to keep swelling down.

Contact your dentist as soon as possible.


Cuts or Bites to Lip, Tongue, or Cheek

Assess how serious the injury is. Could it potentially require stitches?

Gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress or ice pack.

Head to the emergency room if the issue may require stitches.

Give your child a kid-appropriate dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease pain or discomfort.



Rinse out the mouth with a warm salt water rinse.

Apply an icepack or cold compress to the affected area.

Give your child a children’s dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.

Contact your dentist if the issue persists and schedule an appointment.


We hope these tips help you and your child get through this difficult time!


Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in children’s pediatric dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with children’s dental carethumb sucking and pacifier usedental fears in children and baby dental care.

Keep your child smiling now and in the future!

Call us today at (972) 964-3774

FDA Warning – Teething Jewelry Not Safe

Teething Jewelry Safety Warning FDA

The FDA has issued a warning against using teething jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry marketed as relieving infant teething pain.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued a warning on December 20, 2018, against the use of “teething jewelry” that is marketed to parents as relieving an infant’s teething pain.

The new FDA warning was issued to alert parents about the risks of teething jewelry after an 18-month old toddler died after strangling on his amber teething necklace during a nap.

The FDA said it had also received a report about a 7-month-old baby who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet and was taken to the hospital.

“We know that teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs. We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.


Dangerous Teething Jewelry

amber teething necklace safetyThis FDA warning includes teething jewelry such as teething necklaces, teething bracelets, and other teething jewelry that is worn by either an adult or child.

It includes items marketed as teething jewelry for dads and teething necklaces for moms.

The warning covers teething jewelry beads made from various materials including amber, wood, marble, or silicone.

These teething jewelry products are not the same as traditional teething rings or teethers. These are still considered safe. Traditional teething rings are made of hard plastic or rubber and are not designed to be worn by adults or children.


Is Teething Jewelry Safe?

According to the FDA, teething jewelry, including necklaces and bracelets, are not safe and may cause serious injuries to infants and children. The risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection.

The FDA also advises against using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, and lozenges for mouth and gum pain. These anesthetics can cause a life-threatening condition in small children called methemoglobinemia, in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is reduced.


Are Teething Rings Still Safe?

rubber teething ring fda approvedTraditional teething rings or teethers not meant to be worn as jewelry are still considered safe.

This FDA warning is about newer teething jewelry products that are intended to be worn by infants or adults and may be made with amber, wood, silicone or other materials.

Teething rings made from firm rubber are still recommended to help soothe teething pain.


Teething Recommendations

Talk to your doctor about alternative ways you can reduce teething pain such as:

  • Gently rubbing or massaging the gums with a clean finger
  • Giving the teething child a teething ring made of firm rubber
  • Make sure the teething ring is not frozen. If the object is too hard, it can hurt the child’s gums.
  • Parents and caregivers should supervise the child during use.
  • Read these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics


We hope that you will be aware of the risks of using teething jewelry and warn others about this new warning issued by the FDA. There are teething rings that are safe for infants. Please do not use these newly popular teething necklaces and amber teething beads.

Plano Dentist David Wilhite David Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in children’s pediatric dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with children’s dental carethumb sucking and pacifier usedental fears in children and baby dental care.

Keep your child smiling now and in the future!

Call us today at (972) 964-3774

FDA: Don’t use teething jewelry to relieve pain – American Dental Association
FDA warns about teething jewelry after 18-month-old dies – CBS News
FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain or Providing Sensory Stimulation: FDA Safety Communication – Food & Drug Administration 
Baby Teething Pain – American Pediatric Association