On Thursday, we celebrate one of the favorite holidays for children: Halloween. Between trick-or-treating, classroom parties, and city-wide fall festivals, children are given access to an exorbitant amount of sugary sweets to eat over the course of the next few months. Parents know that eating assorted candies can be detrimental to oral health, as sugar damages teeth by causing cavities. Halloween is the perfect opportunity for parents to help their children learn healthy dental habits. Dr. Pate offers these practical tips for keeping your children’s mouths healthy on Halloween and year-round.
1. Teach Moderation
Deprivation makes candy seem more irresistible to children, which can encourage them to sneak candy later. On Halloween, allow your child to choose 5-10 small pieces of his favorite candy, and store the rest. Then, you can easily monitor the amount of candy your child eats in the weeks following. (more…)
Kids miss about 51 million hours of school and adults miss about 164 million hours of work each year due to unforeseen dental treatments. During the summer, children are out of school and adults spend a few days of vacation away from the office. Dr. Pate encourages you to take advantage of your time off to handle your dental needs.
Summertime Dental Emergencies
The Academy of General Dentistry reports that the majority of dental emergencies during the summer are caused by swimming pool accidents. Running on slippery ground, diving into shallow pools, and playing summer sports can break, loosen or knock out healthy teeth. Fortunately, Dr. Pate offers dental crowns and dental implants to restore your smile mishaps. Additionally, chlorinated water is shown to erode and stain your tooth enamel, but Dr. Pate can hide discolorations with veneers, bonding, or whitening. Visiting Dr. Pate during the summer will help protect your mouth from summertime damage.
When you smile, other people typically only see the front, outer surfaces of your teeth. Many cosmetic treatments, like whitening, veneers, and bonding, brighten these surfaces to improve your physical appearance. However, it’s just as important to take care of the parts of your mouth that other people can’t see. Proper dental care and regular visits to Dr. Pate can help keep front and back teeth healthy so you can function properly.
Why are Back Teeth Overlooked?
The Academy of General Dentistry reports that more people are concerned with achieving a beautiful smile than a healthy one. Many people don’t pay close attention to their back teeth because they aren’t visible and don’t impact overall appearance.
In addition, brushers often have difficulty reaching and cleaning their back molars. Your back teeth are responsible for grinding and crushing your food before you swallow. Your “chewing surfaces” also have deep ridges to help with chomping. Since your back molars are frequently exposed to food, and food can get stuck in the grooves, it’s important to thoroughly clean these teeth to remove debris. If you need help reaching the back of your mouth, try using a toothbrush with a long handle. You should also remember to start your brushing routine at the back of your mouth—while your toothbrush and paste are fresh, and before you tire of brushing. Additionally, at your regular dental cleaning with Dr. Pate, our hygienists will help clean those difficult-to-reach angles that you can’t scrub on your own.
You need to fully understand the condition of your mouth to make a well-informed decision about dental treatment. If you don’t feel confident with your diagnosis or the information you have received from a dental professional, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with Dr. Pate and seek a second opinion. There is no insult in seeking a second opinion — in fact, if you’re not comfortable with Dr. Pate’s treatment recommendation, he wants you to get a second opinion!
Benefits of a Second Opinion
A second opinion allows a new dentist to examine your mouth with a fresh perspective. Dentists have different training, backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, so a new set of expert eyes can provide additional information to help you understand your situation and options. Here are a few advantages that you may receive from your second opinion:
- Further oral health information and explanation
- Alternate treatment options
- A different diagnosis
- Different treatment costs
- Peace of mind
- Cosmetic recommendations
If the second opinion differs from the first opinion, consider seeking a third opinion to help balance your options and make the best decision for your health.
Though it sounds like a medieval torture tool, a tongue scraper is actually an effective oral hygiene aid. Even in ancient India and China, people cleaned their tongues to remove toxic debris. In the 1900s, people used tongue scrapers fashioned from ivory, silver, or tortoise shell.
Today, tongue scrapers are usually made of plastic, and most have a U-shaped head and a handle. However, some new toothbrushes feature a tongue scraper in the form of indentations on the back of the head, opposite the bristles. Floss or toothbrush bristles can also be used as a tongue scraper. (more…)