Preventative Dental Care for Children and Why It Matters

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According to the Center for Disease Control, about 40 percent of children will suffer from tooth decay by the time they hit Kindergarten. Along with being one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the U.S., it’s also one of the most preventable. As soon as a child’s first tooth appears, they’re able to have a check up at the dentist. Simple preventative care will help stop cavities, offer knowledge to parents, and give the child an introduction to oral health and all that it entails. In addition to early check-ups for children, it’s important to implement good oral health habits while they’re young. The best way to get your little one to brush nightly is to make it fun! A few simple ideas can change the way your children look at brushing, and make the whole process easy and enjoyable. Here are a few clever ideas to get you started.
Make Up a Song
Sometimes all it takes to make toothbrush time interesting is a song. Come up with a song that your child can sing along to and get them in the mood for something fun. They may enjoy singing along with you so much that they’ll want to hear it even when it’s not time to brush their teeth. This gives them a bit of control over their oral health. Whenever they want to sing the song, it’s their idea to brush. You can make up a song yourself, or look online for some catchy tunes that you and your child can sing together like this one below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA0yON5bdAU
Give Them Fun Toothbrush Options
These days, there are so many options for cool toothbrushes you can treat them like toys for your kids. Find toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters or cartoons, and have a variety of them that they can choose from. Giving them options, much like singing, gives them a bit of control over the situation, making them more likely to enjoy the process. Ask them which toothbrush they want to use, let them pick it out and make it a fun little activity for them. Kids will usually get attached to one particular brush for a while which makes buying new ones for them a nice treat.
Brush Teeth Together
The best part about brushing is that it’s a routine that can be shared in a positive way. Toddlers and small children love mimicking the grown up things you do; so sometimes simply brushing with them is enough to get them in the mood. Explaining that it’s what “big kids” and adults do gives them some incentive. You can even make it a game, instructing them to pretend like they’re a mirror while you brush your own teeth. A little challenge and a lot of patience can make brushing together a fun and exciting part of the day.
It’s important to always be gentle and patient with your little ones when dealing with brushing. The way you handle the situation can affect their attitude towards oral health for years to come, so taking it seriously and implementing fun methods is your best bet. As with anything, some children may be frightened or uncomfortable with brushing, in which case a trip to the dentist for some advice and inspiration may be a good idea. Once you have a good, solid routine in place, brushing with your child can be memorable, enjoyable and will give them the gift of a confident smile for years to come!

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Fast Food During The Holidays

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During the hectic holiday season, fast food is an easy go-to. We already know that sweets and sugary desserts are not good for our teeth or our waistlines. However, even the savory fast foods can wreak havoc on our teeth!
Some problems that may arise are:
– Acid erosion
– Staining
– Decay
Refined carbohydrates such as in white based pizza sauces and pastas, contain simple sugars that are able to quickly dissolve, causing acid that attacks tooth enamel.
Heavily pigmented foods such as certain spices and sauces within Chinese and Indian foods, as well as tomato based sauces, contain properties that can easily stain your teeth. It has been suggested that if you are going to be eating any of these foods, that you begin your meal with a green vegetable such as spinach or broccoli. Green veggies form a protective film on the surface of your teeth that creates a less porous surface for staining foods to be able to adhere to. Therefore, your teeth have a slight barrier to stop those yummy sauces and spices from staining your teeth!
Starchy and fried foods (probably the worst items to consume health-wise) also stick to your teeth very easily. These foods are highly processed with lots of preservatives, none of which are good for your teeth.
Even when you think you are reaching for a healthy pre-made sandwich; take a look at the ingredients contained within it. Some contain hidden sugars and calories, as well as an overload of salt. High amounts of salt, sugar and calories not only cause harm to your tooth surfaces and enamel, they can also contribute to high blood pressure or even a stroke! So the next time you reach for what you think may be the “smart option” take a little peak at the ingredients, especially those contained in the spreads or sauces. If there are high amounts of sugar or salt, you may want to consider a different option.
Large amounts of meat or tough-to-chew foods also need to be consumed in moderation. Even though the protein is good for you, when you over-indulge in chewy and tough meats, you can negatively impact your jaw joints or even cause misalignment of your jaw as well as headaches, and tooth aches. While you eat these types of foods, try to distribute them equally on the chewing surfaces within your mouth, alternating which side you are chewing on.
The convenience of fast foods is great! It’s always nice to be able to quickly grab something to satisfy your appetite. Perhaps after reading this, we can all be a little bit more mindful when we go to grab a quick bite. Take a couple extra minutes to choose what you are going to eat. A well balanced diet is a healthy diet. If you are going to consume fatty and sugar-filled foods, do so in moderation. Consider more healthful choices like fresh veggies and lean meats with a side of water! Then when you get to your sweet treat, it won’t be so detrimental to your teeth! So remember; always, always brush your teeth twice a day, be sure to regularly floss and schedule regular dental check-ups! Bon appétit!

The Importance of Dental Hygiene and Back to School

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importanceAh, the hustle and bustle of going back to school!

As we head back into school mode, there are lots of things on the “to-do” list to get done before the first day rolls around.  Every student should be equipped with these essentials:

  • Backpack
  • Notebooks
  • Markers, pens, pencils
  • Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning?!?  Yes!  Healthy teeth, gums and proper dental hygiene are as crucial as everything else on the list in preparation for the coming school year.

Studies have shown dental related issues are a main reason that children miss school. If you maintain and stay on top of your oral health care you are setting yourself up for future success! There is no age limit when it comes to having a healthy mouth and smile.*

As your first day of school swiftly approaches, no matter what grade you are going into, first impressions are always looming in the back of your mind.  And first impressions are huge!  No one needs to have a big chunk of cereal in their teeth or stinky breath on their first day back. Your buddies will never let you live it down. When your teeth are well taken care of, brushed, flossed, with clean fresh breath, you are well on your way to a GREAT first impression!

A friendly smile says a lot about a person.  When you have a clean, attractive smile you’ll exude confidence. When you are feeling confident, you promote a positive sense of self which can help spark a conversation or attract another person’s attention.  You’ll have a lunch buddy in no time!

Not to mention, those school pictures that wind up being permanent fixtures in the yearbook (and on your fridge at home). With a dashing smile, you will have no regrets when you look back years later and think, “Man!  That is one good looking smile!”

If you are due for a dental cleaning and polish, now is the perfect time to go in for an appointment!  This goes above and beyond your daily standard brushing and flossing.  A good dental cleaning will remove all of the plaque or tartar buildup that may have accumulated over the past few months.  Any sort of gingivitis will be examined and taken care of. A nice polishing of your teeth will finish up your look.  Afterwards, your teeth will feel AMAZING!  Your teeth will literally be squeaky clean!  There is no better feeling than a smooth fresh tooth surface.

We all get those first-day jitters when going back to school.  It’s completely natural.  But when your alarm clock goes off the morning of your first day back, you eat your breakfast, gather your belongings, and you brush and floss your teeth, you will have one less thing to worry about before you get to class!

So just remember, before you walk out the door for your first day of school, make sure that you have spent at least two minutes brushing those pearly whites, flossed each and every tooth, and maybe even given a quick once over with some mouth rinse.  You are bound to have a great first day back with smiles all around!

*Source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330579

Dr. Doug Takeuchi

189 North Bascom Avenue, Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95128
USA

Phone: 408-295-5651

7 Serious Health Concerns That Also Affect Your Teeth

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Poor Oral health

Periodontal Health Affects

Mouth and Body Go Hand-in-Hand

Did you know that poor oral health care can be the cause of many different health issues within your body itself?  There are many connections between taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums and the rest of your body.

People with gum disease have a 40% increased risk of developing a chronic health condition. Bacterial build up on your teeth and gums give you a greater probability of infection which may then spread throughout other areas of your body.

Common Health Issues That Affect Oral Health

  • Diabetes: causes oral inflammation and affects the body’s ability to process sugar.
  • Heart Disease: about 91% of those with heart disease are also found to have periodontitis. Inflammation in the mouth corresponds with the inflammation of
    blood vessels which then leads to less blood flow causing an increase in blood pressure.  There is also a chance of plaque that is attached to the blood vessel itself, breaking off and traveling to the heart and/or brain resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
  • Issues during Pregnancy: pregnant women with gum disease run the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and susceptible to developmental issues such as learning disorders, lung and heart conditions.
  • Osteoporosis: osteoporosis, like periodontitis, causes bone loss. It’s common for those with osteoporosis to also have some degree of gum disease.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: those with rheumatoid arthritis battling gum disease have found gum disease treatment may also reduce overall body pain in regards to their arthritic symptoms.
  • Smoking: bad for your health, both overall and oral.  Nicotine interferes with your gums’ ability to fight infection.  This also extends the recovery period for those gum infection treatments.
  • Obesity: those with 20% or higher body fat percentage have been linked to rapid progression of gum disease.

Taking excellent care of your oral health has a positive domino effect for the rest of your body.  Same can be said with your body – taking care of your health and body can positively affect your mouth, teeth and gums.

If you care about your health and yourself, you in-turn need to care about your mouth.  Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you!

Dr. Doug Takeuchi

189 North Bascom Avenue, Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95128
USA

Phone: 408-295-5651