Kids Dental Health

A Word From Dr. Stewart: A Healthy Mouth

Posted on May 30, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Treatment, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandMany of you who have been with me for a while understand that prevention is the best way to keep your oral health from deteriorating. On your “new patient” visit we gather all the data and form a treatment plan that will get you into optimum health. I tell you that my goal is to get you healthy as fast as possible and then put you on a regimented maintenance program so you don’t have to worry about emergency treatment or losing teeth.

What I have found is that fifty percent of you actually do this but the other thirty percenters don’t do the maintenance part. This worries me. Why spend all of that time, money and nervous energy getting the dental work done and then don’t maintain it? Nothing in this world stays the same, just look at my hairline.

So starting this month I am making it our duty here at Smile Savers Dentistry to contact those of you who have fallen off the wagon. Don’t get mad at us if you are called a few times, just call us back and make the appointment or give us a really good excuse why you can’t. We have two great caring pro-active dental hygienists Beth and Natalie who are awesome and are here to help keep you healthy and on track.

Don’t be one of those patients who needs to call me on the weekend!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: Benefits of Fluoride

Posted on May 2, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Fluoride Treatment, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
Fluorine (from which fluoride is derived) is actually a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods, water and in the air.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also has the ability to reverse early decay areas.

Each day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes: demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are then redeposited to the enamel layer from the foods and water we consume. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer will eventually lead to tooth decay.

Children and adults who are at low risk of dental decay can stay cavity-free through frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. New research indicates that topical fluoride, from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and in-office fluoride treatments, are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth. Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids or tablets but must be prescribed by your dentist.

The following are certain conditions that may offer an increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment:

  • Dry mouth conditions
  • Gum disease – Also called gingivitis, gum disease can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay
  • History of frequent cavities
  • Presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces

If you have more questions about fluoride, feel free to ask me during your next visit to the office!

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: Sugars, Carbs and Oral Health

Posted on April 4, 2012. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Health, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , |

Since opening our diet center Figure Savers, I have really begun to take a harder look at what is being put in our bodies as a form of nutrition. We have always been told that to keep our teeth healthy and cavity free we should minimize our sugar intake and refrain from in between meal snacks. But what I have witnessed is that most people don’t have a real understanding what a sugar is so they can’t minimize it.

All carbohydrates are sugars. Pastas, flour, potatoes and breads are examples. The body takes in carbohydrates and turns it into sugar. It doesn’t differentiate. Four grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of table sugar. Fruit juices and fruits are sugar. Orange juice is pretty much all sugar. One 8 oz glass contains 26 grams which equals to 6 and a half teaspoons of sugar… pretty eye opening!

When I first opened the dental office 24 years ago, the average teenager had maybe one cavity, now I am seeing 3-5 as the average. Decay is rampant again and I believe it is from all of the sugars that we are consuming without knowing about it. I say count those carbohydrates and divide by four and put it in terms of teaspoons… and you will take control of your tooth decay as well as your belly.

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A Word From Dental Assistant C.J.: When to Take Your Child to the Dentist for the First Time

Posted on March 7, 2012. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Assistant, Dental Health, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , |

Many parents ask, “What age should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?” The answer is three years old. What we have found is, at the age of three, all 20 primary teeth are present and your child can be coached to cooperate enough to get through the appointment successfully. Since it is the first dental appointment, we like to keep it short and sweet. Three and four year olds only receive an exam and cleaning. Five year olds and up will receive an exam and cleaning as well, but will also have a Panoramic X-ray taken to give us the big picture. (Jaw joints, all teeth, sinuses, and chin.)

Here at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia, Maryland we like to make a child’s first (and every) visit as pleasant as possible. Kids wear cool sunglasses to keep the light out of their eyes and get to help us out by holding Mr. Thirsty (suction straw) so they have some sense of control. We have a playroom specifically for kids filled with toys and a TV, not to mention everyone in the office is extremely child friendly. All kids 10 years and under receive a special goodie bag including kids toothpaste, floss, toothbrush, stickers, and a SMILEY FACE BALLOON! During National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, we even treated our younger patients to a frog plushie.

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A Word from Dental Hygienist Natalie: Helpful Hygiene Tips for Kids

Posted on February 6, 2012. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , |

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it is a great time to provide parents with helpful tips! Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps your children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Helpful Hygiene Tips:

  • Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes help make brushing fun while providing a great cleaning!
  • Place a two minute timer near the sink and offer your child a challenge to brush until the timer rings.
  • Disclosing tablets offer a fun what to show kids where they missed.
  • Help your kids get in the routine of flossing at an early age. Kids usually do not have the dexterity until after age 12, so they need your help. (And they’ll love the extra mom/dad time and attention!)
  • Flavors are a great way to entice your children to brush longer … try Tom’s of Maine orange and strawberry or Crest Kids. This goes for flavored mouthwash as well. Bubblegum flavored ACT helps prevents cavities with fluoride – and tastes great.

Visit our About Teeth page on our website to view dental development beginning at 6 months to learn more about how your children’s teeth will grow. ANd if you are new to our dental practice, click here to see what to expect on your first visit at Smile Savers Dentistry.

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