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Your Kids Teeth and Summer

beach.summer.It’s summer in Connecticut and you know what that means! The kids are out of school and summer activities have begun! Dr. Edmonstone’s office in Old Saybrook, Connecticut have some helpful tips and advice to help keep your child’s teeth healthy this summer and all year long. Accidents are bound to happen and taking precaution and fast action can make or break your summer if a dental emergency arises.

  • Athletic kids may suffer from unusual tooth wear and should see their dentist on a regular basis.
  • Custom fitted mouth guards are great for kids who take part in contact and non-contact sports such as little league baseball, soccer, football, basketball and even tennis.
  • Seek emergency dental treatment immediately if a tooth is knocked loose or falls out.
  • Make sure your kids are not skipping their brushing and flossing routines. They may forget since they no longer have a regular “school routine” in place.
  • Try to skip out on as many sugary snacks as possible this summer. Studies show that frequent snacking on sugary sweets can cause an increase in cavities. Check out our snacking guide below to help you and your children make the best choices when it comes to snacking.

SNACK CHART watermelon

Great Snacks

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Raw Veggies
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Unsweetened fruit juice
  • Wheat crackers
  • popcorn

Okay On Occasion Snacks

  • Chocolate
  • Oatmeal or Butter Cookies
  • Ice Cream
  • Raisins

Unhealthy Snacks

  • Soda, cola
  • Dried Fruits
  • Granola Bars
  • Sticky Candy
  • Potato Chips
  • Fruit Rollups
  • Sandwich cookies
  • Presweetened cereals

Dr. Edmonstone and his staff are committed to providing the best dental care for your Children. We have a wonderful team of qualified dental professionals who will create a positive experience for you and your children. Please call us today  at (860) 388-0142 to schedule your cleaning appointment before the new school year starts! Enjoy your Summer!

summer kids pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website accessed 6/12/17 11:20am http://www.abcdentalmissouri.com/your-kids-teeth-and-summer/

 

Dental Care and Pregnancy

It’s important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy pregnant-woman-3causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.

Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and after pregnancy.pregnant-image

Before You Get Pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be treated in advance of your pregnancy.

Dental Care While Pregnant

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. Routine dental care can be done any time during pregnancy.  Any urgent procedure can be done, as well. All elective dental procedures, however, should be postponed until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information.
  •  Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid.  Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
  • Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important, because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems.

Coping With Morning Sickness

  • If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.

Sources: 11/22/16 http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy#1

Photo #1 www.health.com

Photo #2 www.Medindia.net

 

 

Halloween Oral Hygiene: Keeping your Child’s Smile Healthy

Halloween night is the perfect time to talk with your kids about why taking care of their teeth is pumpkin candyimportant. Your friends at Dr. Edmonstone’s  Pediatric Dental Office want to help you protect your kids from something even scarier than zombies, ghosts and goblins this Halloween. There’s something even more bone-chilling and it’s called tooth decay!

The best way to avoid any truly tricky consequences in the aftermath of Halloween is not to consume any candy at all.  However, we know that’s highly unlikely, so below you will find  a Halloween candy guide to help protect your kids from tooth decay and thereby ensure their optimal oral health for life:

Below is a listing from most harmful to the safest treats your kids should be choosing from their best worst candytrick-or-treat bag:

Sour Power – Sour candies are the absolute worst in that studies have revealed that the acids in sour candies are so destructive because they dissolve enamel on contact!

Hardly Harmless – Hard candy needs to be sucked on for an extended period of time and very chewy candies are harmful in that they get stuck between the teeth. Both hard and chewy candy allow bacteria to wreak havoc on your child’s teeth for a much longer period of time.

Resist Raisins – Don’t be fooled by their natural derivative. Raisins easily damage dental work because they are very sticky and do not mix well with fillings, braces or retainers.

Candy Bars Get Four Stars – While we can’t say candy bars are good for your oral health, they are less harmful because they are eaten quickly allowing less time for the sugar to damage with acid.

Dissolve Your Worry – Powder candy is fairly safe as the sugar dissolves quickly and makes little contact with the teeth.

Eat Two or Three if They’re Sugar Free – As obvious as it seems, sugar-free candy is the most highly recommended Halloween treat for your children’s teeth. You can even prevent cavities by chewing sugar free gum! Sugar free gum promotes increased saliva which neutralizes harmful bacteria.

If your little monsters will be in need a routine dental cleaning after Halloween give us a call and book an appointment today!

Halloween Candy Donations- Did your child receive more than enough candy this year while trick or treating? At Dr. Edmonstones Office we are accepting any wrapped Halloween candy that you would like to donate to the local food bank. Any candy donations are appreciated and we will deliver the candy to the food bank for you!

halloween Poster

 

Sources:

http://www.knowyourotcs.org/tool/halloween-and-your-childs-teeth/

http://www.risedental.com/blog/halloween-oral-hygiene/

 

 

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

little boy in chair

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

Make dental visits part of your oral hygiene routine. Dental visits for children and adults should be every six months. Visit your dentist twice a year (or as recommended by your dental professional) to help keep tooth stains under control and identify oral hygiene issues before any serious problems arise. Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. It might help to think of coming to the Dentist twice a year like going to your Medical Doctor for your routine physicals. It is important to have regular dental exams and cleanings to be able to keep your mouth and gums healthy year after year.

What Goes On During a Regular Visit

Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, we will look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination: Don’t be surprised if the dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits. We will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.

The Best Oral Hygiene Routinelittle girl toothbrush

An effective oral hygiene routine starts with a few simple steps:

  • Brushing: To get the best oral hygiene results from toothbrushing, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, according to the American Dental Association. Use short strokes to move the brush over each tooth. For complete oral hygiene, be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, including the front and back sides of all your upper and lower teeth. Also, gently brush your tongue. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Flossing: Flossing helps maintain oral hygiene by removing bacteria from areas between flosserthe teeth that are hard to reach by brushing alone. To floss your teeth, start with an arms-length piece of floss, and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Move the floss carefully up and down between each tooth, and make a C-shape with the floss as you reach the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, maximize oral hygiene by unwinding new floss from one hand and wind the used floss onto the other hand. *Flossers are also a good alternative to flossing and may be easier for children and anyone with dexterity flossissues to use.

 

  • Rinsing: You can also include a dental rinse (mouthwash) as part of your oral hygiene routine. A dental rinse is often recommended for additional oral hygiene if you wear braces.

Choose toothbrushes and types of dental floss that you find easy and comfortable to use and you’ll be more inclined to stick with your oral hygiene routine.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/basic-dental-care-overview
  2. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tips-keep-teeth-white
  3. http://www.ada.org/en/
  4. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/basic-dental-care-home-treatment?page=2
  5. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/care-of-braces-retainers

 

 

Oral Health Tips For Summer

summer

During the summer months, your family’s schedule is topsy-turvy. That means getting your kids to eat right and maintain good oral hygiene can be a struggle. And with all this extra activity, there may even be a dental emergency or two. Here are a few oral health tips for summer that will help you protect the kids and their developing teeth from long-term damage and avoidable mishaps.

Keep Up That Oral Hygiene

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. But with vacations, camp and lots of days spent at the pool, don’t be surprised if you frequently need to remind your kids to brush and floss.

Now is a great time to buy new toothbrushes to replace the old, worn out or “germy” ones. In fact, you should stock up on extra brushes, as well as travel-sized toothpaste and floss for those summer trips and days out. Tossing a few disposable tooth brushes into your hand bag is a convenient way to always be hygienically prepared. These disposable products are perfect for staying clean anywhere at any time.

Now’s the Time for Checkups

Parents tend to schedule dental checkups in August, right before class starts. But to prevent dental problems over summer, book the kids in right after school ends. This way, the kids will have a clean bill of dental health for summer. The last thing you want is a child suffering from a toothache while away on summer vacation.

Stock a Healthy Kitchen

Keep the summer from being an “acid attack” on your family’s teeth by investing in healthy snacks. It’s hard to limit snacking when the kids are home all day, but with the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, you can stock the fridge with healthy options. Be sure to keep the fruits and veggies clean and ready to grab. You’ll feel better about snacking when the kids are reaching for blueberries and strawberries instead of candy and cookies. And swap out the sugary, acidic soft drinks with bottled water.

Prevent Dental Emergencies

It wouldn’t be summer without lots of swimming, bike riding, volleyball and other playground activities. And while these are great fun, they can unfortunately result in a dental injury. Parents can be prepared for the worst by following these tips:

  • Make sure your kids follow the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.
  • Know what to do yourself. Getting to the dentist right away is important, there are things you can do to help. Use warm water and cold packs first, to clean the area and reduce swelling, respectively. Use gauze to stop any bleeding. Place a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth, if possible. If not, use salt water or even better, milk to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.
  • Pack an emergency dental care kit to take along for vacation. Essentials for this kit, according to the AGD, are a handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information.

Summer can really throw your routine for a loop. But by following these oral health tips for summer, your kids can start the school year with great oral hygiene.

 

 

[Work Cited: Text: Pleis, Donna (n.d.). “Oral Health Tips for Summer”. Retrieved March 18, 2016 1:15pm from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/sw-281474979312057

Photo: Retrieved and used from the above cited website article, date retrieved: March 18, 2016.]

What is oral health? Teaching preschoolers about Dental Hygiene

Generic photo

At some point, preschoolers learn to do many things without any help. A certain degree of independence is a big step in your child’s development, and it can include getting dressed in the morning and tying shoe laces. It can also include learning to brush teeth by himself, as well as taking responsibility for other oral health care duties.

What is Oral Health Care for Kids?

Getting kids through that transition from when you take care of their teeth to when they do can be tricky. You recognize the importance of dental care, but your little one is just learning what it means to follow a daily routine. Making the learning process enjoyable can help your preschooler stick to the routine, so try some of these crafts and songs to create a lifelong love of oral health.

White Crafts

Preschoolers love getting messy, so why not use arts and crafts to teach your preschooler why consistent oral health is important? Using a poster board, draw or print off a large, smiling face with exposed teeth. Use a marker to color those teeth yellow, then hand it over to the kids to paint the teeth white. Talk about the importance of cleaning teeth so they stay white and healthy. You can hang the finished product in your bathroom as a healthy reminder of what clean teeth should look like. You can also list the answers to the question, “what is oral health” on the poster so your kids are always reminded.

Brushing Songs

One of the most common mistakes kids make when brushing their teeth is not doing it for long enough. According to the American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website, kids and adults should be brushing for two minutes, twice per day. Songs that last at least as long are a great way to keep them on track. Load up Sesame Street’s “Brushy Brush” on your phone, and let your preschooler watch it while he brushes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that tooth decay affects more than 25% of U.S. children ages two and five years and 50% of U.S. children ages 12 to 15 years old. By making dental care enjoyable, you can help instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

 Work Cited

Text: Curtis, Jae (n.d.). What Is Oral Health? Teaching Preschoolers About Dental Hygiene.Retrieved March 16, 2016, from www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/sw-281474979305996

Photo: Retrieved and used from the above cited website article, date retrieved: March 16, 2016.

 

Oral Health and Safety for Children in the Winter

 Thank you to all who participated in the Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive! We wish you and your family a safe and beautiful holiday season!

Dr. Edmonstone and Staff

group picture

Dr. E and Staff with Santa

picture 1Protecting your kids’ teeth and gums is a year-round job. But in the winter, oral health and safety for children means finding the right balance between the fun of a snow day and the requirements of mouth care. Drier air, hot treats, snowball fights and more can put teeth at risk for damage. Here are a few ways you can keep your children healthy and happy throughout the cold season.

 

Keep Them Hydrated

Water isn’t just something you should have on hand in the summer. If your kids enjoy spending time sledding or playing a winter sport, they run the risk of becoming dehydrated. According to Mayo Clinic, kids are more likely to become dehydrated than adults because they weigh less to begin with and they aren’t as able to recognize thirst. Your child might also become dehydrated if he has the flu or a nasty cold.

Health and safety for children means getting them to drink plenty of water in the winter, even if they don’t want to. If yours play winter sports, remind them to take a sip or two of water every 10 or 15 minutes, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Letting your kids drink tap water can provide another benefit: It may contain added fluoride, which can help protect their teeth from decay and cavities. In addition to staying hydrated, it’s important that your children dress for the weather as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing in thin layers when playing outdoors to keep your children from losing water through excessive perspiration.

picture 2Guard Their Teeth

For young winter athletes, or those who simply enjoy the ski slope when snow is on the ground, you’ll need to provide protection from physical damage. Injuries during sports make up between 10 and 39 percent of dental injuries in kids, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Having your child wear protection, in the form of a mouthguard or face mask, when playing any type of winter sport will reduce his risk for dental injury. You can pick up a mouthguard from the drugstore or bring your child to the dentist for a custom fitting.

Encourage Good Dental Habits

Keeping with good dental habits in the winter is a staple of protecting your kids’ oral health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day are especially important when a child has the cold or flu. The immune system is busy fighting the cold or flu virus and needs all the help it can get. Your child might be less inclined to brush and floss when he is feeling under the weather, though. To encourage good oral care when your son or daughter is sick, consider using a flavored toothpaste satisfying flavors such as strawberry and watermelon.

Watch the Hot Cocoapicture 3

When your child has a cough or sore throat, it’s natural to give him a cough drop. Plenty of kids drink a lot of juice when battling a cold, or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa after a day out sledding. But cough drops, juice and hot cocoa can be bad news for your kids’ teeth because they tend to contain a lot of sugar, which leads to cavities and decay. One solution is to give your kids sugar-free cough drops when they have a sore throat. Water is a good substitute for juice when your kids are sick, helping to rehydrate them at the same time. As for hot chocolate, try a version using real milk and dark chocolate, which contains less sugar than other options.

Protecting your kids’ health this winter means more than just making sure they stay warm and away from the flu. It also means keeping an eye on their oral health and taking steps to protect their teeth.

 

Work Cited

Text: Amy, F. (n.d.). Oral Health and Safety for Children in the Winter. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/sw-281474979359676

Photo 1: http://www.deltadentalidblog.com/2014/01/

Photo 2: http://www.wintergardensmiles.com/patient-information/articles-resources/dental-tips-for-kids/

Photo 3: http://doblelol.com/sipping-funny.htm

 

Halloween Fun and Dental Health

All candy can cause tooth decay because of the sugar content. Sticky candies are the worst – caramels, gummies, jelly beans, and taffy. Not only do they contain sugar which can stick to the tooth surface causing tooth decay, they can also pull out fillings leading to the need for more restoration, and the more one tooth has to be restored the weaker that tooth becomes. Chocolate is the best of the candies, it doesn’t stick and is easily brushed away.

A little lesson in tooth decay; Our bodies produce plaque bacteria naturally every 20 minutes or so. When plaque remaining in the mouth mixes with sugar it forms an acid and that’s how decay begins, acid eats through the enamel and a cavity is formed.

How do you avoid the increased risk of decay around Halloween when kids are exposed to so much candy? If your kids are anything like mine, weeks before Halloween even starts they are already calculating the loot they will get.

One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay at Halloween is to allow the kids a time period to eat what they want, say maybe Halloween night and some time during the next day and then get rid of the rest. Grazing, as we call it, little bits of candy each day for short periods of times is actually more harmful than a one time big exposure. Back to the tooth decay lesson: plaque acts like a sponge and has a certain absorbency capacity, so once it’s saturated with sugar adding more and more sugar at the same particular time  won’t do any more harm. But if you are exposed to a little bit of sugar at regular intervals you increase your chances of tooth decay because that plaque “sponge” never gets fully saturated and becomes a continual source of decay potential.

So, what can you do?

  • have children brush and floss extra thoroughly
  • limit exposure to a once and done
  • donate extra candy to a good cause, a charity organization, a food bank or send a candy care package with a nice note to some military serving overseas.
  • or bring your candy to my office from November 2nd – November 13th and I will donate it to the Shoreline Soup kitchen in my patient’s name.

photo courtesy of: www.freeimages.co.uk/index.htm

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

 

This is a question I receive in my practice quite often when parents learn their child has a cavity in a baby tooth that needs to be repaired:

“Why do you have to fix a cavity on a baby tooth that he/she will just lose anyway? Is it really necessary?”

 

It’s a great question!

 

Here’s the answer:

Baby teeth are very important. They play a critical role in chewing, and speaking – especially as language is developing, and in appearance. Baby teeth also help shape the form of the face.  As important as all that is however, probably the most critical role baby teeth play in a child’s mouth is that of holding space in the jaw for the developing adult teeth.

 

Most parents don’t realize some baby teeth will remain in a child’s mouth until he/she is approximately 12 years old, so if a cavity is found in a baby molar at around 3 years of age, on a tooth that he/she will have until he is about 12, that’s potentially a span of 9 years for the decay to grow and worsen and create all sorts of problems, for instance difficulty eating, and the potential for abscess and infection.

 

What do I tell parents in my practice? When I find decay on a baby tooth, my general rule of thumb is to assess the size and location of the cavity and factor in the approximate duration of time the tooth will remain in the child’s mouth. For instance, if the cavity is very small, and the tooth will only remain in the child’s mouth for less than 6 months and doesn’t have the potential to spread to other teeth, I will most often watch it and allow nature to take it’s course. Instructing parents on good oral hygiene as a preventative measure.. If however, the decay is not minor and the child will have the tooth for more than 6 months and the decay has the potential to easily spread to other healthy teeth, the solution is to repair.

 

As always, it’s important to remember to take your child for regular dental check-ups, twice per year, to help maintain strong and healthy baby and adult teeth.

photo credit to: freedigitalphotos.net

 

How to Prevent Dental Decay

              • Eat healthy foods: avoid sugar and starchy foods between meals. Sugars and Starches especially those that stick to the teeth contribute to tooth decay. Starches like, bread, cereal and crackers and Sugars like juices, candy, and cakes when mixed with plaque bacteria and saliva form an acid that will cause tooth decay.
            • Drink plenty of water each day.
        • Brush your teeth twice a day. Brush after breakfast and before bed.
    • Floss between teeth at least once per day. For children the preloaded hand held flossers work great!
  • Have dental sealants placed on adult molars and premolars at ages 6 and 12.
  • Visit your dentist twice per year to help maintain healthy smiles.

cheeseandfruits

With healthy foods coming into season and warm weather just around the corner, choosing healthy foods and snacks like fresh fruit and veggies will be easier than ever.