The basics of tooth bottle decay

by MikeMeehan 2/6/2019 1:42 PM

When parents put their little ones to sleep, sometimes they leave them with a bottle. While that might be soothing as they drift off to dreamland, leaving a bottle in the crib can be problematic for tiny teeth. In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month this February, take a moment to brush up on the basics of baby bottle tooth decay. What is baby bottle tooth decay?Put simply, baby bottle tooth decay means cavities in baby teeth and can begin soon after teeth appear. It occurs when a baby’s teeth are exposed to sugar for extended periods like at naptime or overnight. During this time, sugar pools around teeth and attacks enamel. With enough exposure, it can lead to high amounts of tooth decay. This sugar can be introduced from baby bottles with liquids such as milk, formula or juice.  Why is it a problem if baby teeth are going to fall out anyway?Even though baby bottle tooth decay relates to teeth that eventually fall out, it can still create lasting consequences. Healthy baby teeth are essential for chewing, speaking and smiling. When kids’ oral health is compromised, they may experience difficulty with these important aspects of growing up. Unhealthy baby teeth can also set the stage for tooth crowding or crooked teeth when adult teeth come in. If the problem isn’t addressed, it could lead to pain or infection, so it’s always a good decision to stay vigilant about oral health from the very start.  How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?You have several options to keep your baby’s teeth free from decay. The best way is to avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle. Or, make sure to only fill the bottle with water. No matter what time of day it is, be especially careful about juice because it has high amounts of sugar. Make sure to limit juice intake to no more than six ounces per day for preschoolers and 12 ounces for older children. If you do allow juice, it’s better to serve it in a cup rather than a bottle. Most children should be able to drink out of a cup after their first birthday. Preventive care like brushing and regular checkups is key, as well. Experts recommend scheduling your baby’s first visit within six months of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday. Clean their teeth according to infant dental care recommendations. As soon as baby teeth appear, you should begin brushing them with a baby toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3 you can begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Begin flossing when your child has two teeth that touch. By keeping your baby’s teeth safe now, you can help them develop a happy and healthy smile when their adult teeth appear!

The benefits of laughing are no joke

by MikeMeehan 12/12/2018 9:07 AM

Holidays are a great time to spend with family, and laughing with relatives is one of the best parts of the season. Whether you’re barely giggling or totally cracking up, laughter can have positive effects on your oral and overall health. Read on to learn what a good laugh can do for you. Reduce your stress levels.  You might be stressed from the holiday bustle, and that can be bad news for your gums and teeth. Stress is a common cause of teeth grinding, which can damage your tooth enamel, make your jaw ache and more. Furthermore, it results in higher cortisol levels, increasing your risk for gum disease.  By lowering cortisol levels, laughter can help improve immune system functioning. It also activates and then releases your stress response, leaving you with a relaxed feeling and reduced tension. Act as a mild workout.  Surprisingly, laughing can mimic exercise by burning calories and increasing your heart rate. In a study conducted by Vanderbilt University, participants burned 50 calories after just 10 to 15 minutes of laughter. Plus, laughter releases endorphins and stimulates multiple parts of the body, including the heart, lungs and muscles. Sharing a snicker at the family table just might help you burn off some of those extra calories from dessert.  Boost pain tolerance.  By releasing endorphins, laughter can increase pain tolerance. Some research even suggests that patients who laugh a significant amount need less pain medication following surgery. If you’re experiencing a toothache, try watching a comedy to pass the time and ease your pain before your dental appointment. Get your giggle on this holiday season and you just might see some healthy rewards.  

Sugar and Gum: A Sticky Situation

by Jason 6/19/2014 8:00 AM

Are you a gum-chewing champion, always with a piece in your mouth and a pack in your pocket? Well, did you know that the sugar in some types of gum causes the natural bacteria in your mouth to eat away at the enamel on your teeth? However, all chewing gum is not created equal – so it’s possible to make smart choices that satisfy and help protect your teeth at the same time.
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