You've probably been told since you were a kid to do everything you can to avoid cavities. But if you're like most of us, you may still be a bit hazy on the facts about tooth decay. Learn how to separate truth from fiction and you'll be on your way to a trouble-free smile.
1. Myth: Sugar Is the Only Thing That Causes Cavities
"The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities," says Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association spokeswoman.
Any carb you eat can start that process. That includes sugar as well as rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, and vegetables.
2. Fact: Acid Causes Tooth Decay
Acidic foods can break down your teeth's outer shell (called the enamel), weaken the tooth, and make teeth more likely to decay.
"The bacteria responsible for tooth decay produces acids," says Misty Horn-Blake, DDS, a dentist in John...
Even though the primary dentition (commonly known as baby teeth) are temporary, it's important to realize how essential they are to the eventual eruption of your child's permanent teeth. Baby teeth play a crucial role in helping kids learn to speak and chew food for nourishment, but they also save space for their adult teeth. This is why, if your child has a badly decayed primary tooth, a stainless steel crown may be the best solution.
LONGEVITY OF BABY TEETH
Many parents believe baby teeth aren't in the mouth for long. But the truth is these little chompers need to be functional for quite a few years. The first tooth appears around six months, per the American Dental Association (ADA), and by ages two to three all 20 teeth will have erupted. Although children begin to lose a few baby teeth by about six, they won't lose thei...
It's called "pop" in the Midwest and most of Canada. It's "soda" in the Northeast. And it goes by a well-known brand name in much of the South.
People across North America use different words to identify a sugary, carbonated soft drink. But however they say it, they're talking about something that can cause serious oral health problems.
Soft drinks have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities.
In extreme cases, softer enamel combined with improper brushing, grinding of the teeth or other conditions can lead to tooth loss.
Sugar-free drinks, which account for only 14 percent of all soft drink consumption, are less harmful1. However, they are acidic and potentially can still cause problems.
Summer is upon us! It's prime time for picnics, playing outdoors and barbecues galore. It's an ideal time for healthy living and exercise, as well as a great time to think of healthy little teeth. Here are some of our favorite options in any Summer scenario that will guide healthy choices for your child's smile.
On The Go - Fruit pouches are convenient to pack for an on-the-go lunch, but opt for a piece of whole fruit instead - it provides a sweet treat without added sugars and preservatives.
Thirst-Quenchers - The sugar in sports drinks can cause decay and cavities between little teeth, so to quench your child's thirst after a day of playing outside in the sun, reach for tap water instead.
Salty Snacks - Potato chips are a picnic classic, but the starch in potatoes can get stuck between teeth. Crackers and pretzels made with whole-grains provid...
It’s happened to all of us. You’re unpacking your travel bag after a long trip, and you’re dyin’ to get to bed. Eager to brush up and hit the rack, you grab your toothbrush, and aim for the toothpaste. Nothing. Groggy-eyed, you fumble around some more, searching. Still nothing. Looks like you forgot the toothpaste – again. After the front desk informs you they’re out, you wonder what you’re going to do. Should you even bother to brush? Well, as it turns out, according to the American Dental Association, brushing without toothpaste might be just what you needed.
In a six-month trial published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, patients who first brushed their teeth with a toothbrush that didn’t contain toothpaste (and then with toothpaste afterwards) saw a 63% reduction in plaque build-up, and a 55% drop in bleeding. Now that’s something worth co...
Sippy cups. The cup for toddlers. Or, is it? After all, there’s the “transition cup,” the “toddler cup” and the “kid bottle.” Which is correct? Then there are a multitude of styles and materials to choose from ... not to mention the fact that certain types of sippy cups tend to land kids in the E.R.! What? We’re going to help you get through all of this muck with the help of some very well educated and experienced Mommy bloggers. Off we go!
If you laugh in the face of your child each time they toss their sippy cup across the room, and not a spill is to be found, you have mechanical engineer (and parent), Richard Belanger to thank for your entitled mockery. In 1988, tired of cleaning up after his son Bryan, Belanger designed what would become, the first sippy cup. So, parents (!) ... a big round of applause for Mr. Bellanger!
"Mom, do you know what's going on with my tongue? … It's got some weird patches on it … yuck!"
How's that for a question not commonly found in the parental handbook? What your child is most likely concerned about is what is referred to as a "geographic tongue." The condition is nothing serious, and it really doesn't have much to do with Geography. It is something you might want to know about, though, particularly if your child is wondering why their tongue suddenly looks like it’s sporting the map of Europe.
So, What IS that Funny Shape?
Geographic tongue is a harmless condition of the tongue caused by the loss of some of the tiny little pinkish-white "bumps" that cover the surface of the tongue. Those bumps, called papillae, serve two main functions, the first is to help create friction and grip the food that enters your mouth, and the second is to provide...
If your child is afraid of the dentist, they’re not alone. In fact, a majority of adults have a fear of the dentist –- as many as 75% -- according to the Dental Fears Research clinic at the University of Washington. This anxiety is primarily caused by a bad experience of his or her own during childhood. But such fears are unfounded, and helping to make your child comfortable during their visit is the best way to ensure a positive experience for everyone. What are some of the ways you can help?
Don’t Teach them to be Scared: One thing you have to realize is that fear of the dentist isn’t passed with mother’s milk. It’s an acquired fear. Ironically enough, parents are often the ones most responsible for teaching this fear to their unsuspecting offspring. Remember, kids don’t know they’re supposed to be scared. The first visit to a dentist is the same to...
Do you have little one who like to help in the kitchen but you are stressed out trying to find ways to include their help? Check out this fun article from our friends over at Hands On As We Grow. They share some insight in creative ways that you can include your children in your culinary opportunities.
Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected. Knowing how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. “Your top teeth take the brunt of trauma because they stick out more,” says Dr. Thomas Long, a private practice dentist and team dentist for the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team. “Your bottom teeth are a little more protected because they are furth...