The best type of chewing gum is any gum where the first or second ingredient listed on the packaging is xylitol (pronounced with a “z” sound). Xylitol is a sugar that is eaten by harmful bacteria in your mouth in the same way that normal sugars are eaten. But, then the bacteria can’t digest it and they die. For someone who loves to chew gum, anything with a substantial amount of xylitol is going to be a good choice if you want to protect your teeth while you chew.
In summary, if a child’s tooth breaks, gather the biggest pieces and get to a dentist within 60 minutes.
If a child’s tooth is completely knocked out, put the tooth in a cup of milk without touching the root, and get to a dentist within 60 minutes. The same is true for baby teeth and adult teeth.
If the tooth breaks into pieces, there isn’t anything that can be done to put the tooth back together. However, if there is a large fragment of the tooth that is easily and quickly found, it can be helpful to bring that piece with you to your dentist. It can help the dentist rebuild the tooth to make it look more like the original.
If the tooth is completely knocked out, pick it up without touching the root. Disturbing the tissue that connects the root of the tooth to the jaw bone will potentially cause problems for the tooth re-integrating into the child’s mouth. If the tooth is dirty, let the dentist clean it. After picking it up, place the tooth in a cup of milk. Water or saliva are acceptable alternatives, but research shows that they are much less effective than milk at keeping the tooth viable long term.
Check back later for a concise summary of all the information listed in the last two posts…
You’d be surprised how often children fall and break, or completely knock out, one of their teeth. Usually, it’s the front teeth. If this happens to your child or a child you know, the most important thing to remember is to see a dentist as fast as possible. Research shows that intervention within 60 minutes of a traumatic tooth injury gives the best likelihood of long-term health of the tooth. More on this topic to come soon…
Our raffle winner for April won a gift certificate to Bee’s Florist, here in Covington. $75 of flowers will go a long way toward brightening up a home or office, or making a special someone happy on Mothers’ Day. The prize for May is two tickets to a Mariners game against the Chicago Cubs! Make sure to fill out an entry the next time you’re in the office!
In the wake of the tragedy in Boston on Monday, I want to express my condolences to all those affected by what happened yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Let’s be honest: most people are not going to COMPLETELY cut candy out of their diet, although that would be ideal. A good rule of thumb to follow in the event that you do eat some candy is that it isn’t HOW MUCH candy you eat, but HOW LONG the sugar is in your mouth that really determines how likely you are to form cavities. The longer the bacteria in your mouth has access to sugar, the more time they have to digest it and turn it into acid that causes cavities. If you make sure to not suck on candies for long periods of time, rinse your mouth out with water when finished, and make sure the candy isn’t stuck to your teeth, you will minimize your risk of getting cavities. However, it’s best to just avoid candy altogether if you don’t want cavities:)
In general, the sucrose (sugar) in the candy is what the bacteria in your mouth digest and turn into acid which causes the cavities in your teeth. Candies that are sticky are more likely to be retained on the teeth throughout the day, which provides the bacteria with more time to make the acid and make cavities more easily. Candies that are sour are more acidic, which speeds along the process that the bacteria are already doing to make cavities. Sour, sticky candy, like Sour Patch Kids, are the most likely to cause cavities if you don’t clean your teeth properly.
The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist for the first time at or around their 1st birthday. At this visit, the dentist will check to see if there are any abnormalities with the development with the teeth or oral soft tissue (gums, cheeks, tongue, etc.) The dentist can also answer any questions that you might have about taking care of your child’s mouth. The visit will likely be very short, and can usually be done right before or after you get your own teeth cleaned. For the first few years, one visit per year is enough for the child. Once they reach the age of 4 or 5 it is usually best to switch to schedule of having their teeth cleaned every 6 months.
An additional benefit to bringing the child in on a regular basis starting at the age of 1 is that the dental office becomes part of their routine. After sitting on mommy or daddy’s lap, and/or getting to go for “a ride in the dental chair,” they become more comfortable with the environment and it usually leads to better experiences with dental visits as they grow older.
The answer to that question is a resounding YES. You should use a toothbrush to clean the top of your tongue as far back as you can reach without gagging. You should do this every day. Due to the small crevices on the tongue’s surface, it can be a trap for bacteria and food particles. Among other issues, this can lead to bad breath, which nobody wants.