September 15th, 2021
The third molars have long been known as your “wisdom teeth,” because they are the last teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime during the late teens to early twenties. This is a time in life that many consider an “age of wisdom”; hence the term, “wisdom teeth.”
Extracting the third molars does not have any effect on your actual wisdom … and Drs. Don and Mindy and our staff are sorry to say that holding on to them can’t make you smarter, either. So if you somehow feel that you became wiser and smarter when your wisdom teeth appeared, chalk it up to age rather than teeth.
In fact, you may just be showing how smart you are by having your wisdom teeth removed. Mankind once relied on the wisdom teeth to replace teeth that were damaged or missing, thanks to a poor diet. But dietary changes and advances in modern dentistry make it possible for many people to hold on to their teeth for many decades, which eliminated the need for third molars.
For many people, wisdom teeth cause nothing but problems: becoming impacted, irritating surrounding gum tissue, or even causing other teeth to become crooked or overlap. By removing them, patients often enjoy a lower risk of decay, infection, and aesthetic complications.
So rest assured that extracting your wisdom teeth will have no effect on your immediate or long-term intelligence.
September 8th, 2021
Kids are constantly active and constantly growing. No wonder they’re constantly hungry! When it’s time for a snack, here are some tips to make between meal treats timely, tasty, and tooth-friendly.
Keep snacks to a minimum
Every time we eat, we’re also providing food for the bacteria in our mouths. Bacteria use sugars to produce acids. These acids weaken our enamel and can lead to cavities. Luckily, we have a natural way of protecting our teeth. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria, and even provides substances that strengthen our teeth in the hours between meals.
When we eat throughout the day, there is no chance for this recovery period to take place. Small children aren’t usually able to get through the day without a few snack periods, which is perfectly normal. Just try to make sure that snacking doesn’t become all-day grazing!
Avoid foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates at snack time
We know that sugar leads to an increased chance of cavities because bacteria convert this sugar into acids that damage our enamel. But carbohydrates should also be in the no-snack zone. Why? Because carbohydrates break down into sugar very quickly. So while you wouldn’t offer your child a daily mid-afternoon snack of sodas and chocolate bars, those muffins, doughnuts, chips, and bagels should be on the “special treat” list as well.
Luckily, we are left with many healthy and convenient choices when your child needs a nibble.
- Crunchy, crisp fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamins as well as a gentle scrubbing action to help clean teeth. They are also rich in water, which helps us produce the saliva that naturally washes away food particles and bacteria.
- Low-fat yogurts and cheeses provide essential calcium for strong teeth and the vitamin D that helps us absorb calcium.
- Whole grain breads, cereals, and crackers are healthier than products made only with white flour because they retain valuable vitamins and minerals that have been removed from refined grains.
- Lean meats, peas, legumes, and eggs provide protein that helps build connective tissue and maintain tooth structure.
- Water helps stimulate saliva production and provides cavity-fighting fluoride. Win/win!
You are constantly looking for ways to make your children’s lives better. Mix and match any of these foods for a snack that’s not only good for their teeth, but rich in the proteins, vitamins, and minerals needed to keep them active and growing throughout their school years. If you have questions about your child’s dietary needs, feel free to ask Drs. Don and Mindy at our Charleston office.
September 1st, 2021
Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful Charleston community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.
About Labor Day
Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.
Interesting Facts About Labor Day
- Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
- Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
- President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
- Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
- Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.
Thanks for being a valued patient of our dental office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!
August 25th, 2021
The short answer to this question? Yes. Because your child’s breath is a reflection of his or her oral health, you should talk to Drs. Don and Mindy if you notice any unpleasant changes. While better dental hygiene is usually the answer for young children, bad breath can also be a symptom of more serious problems.
Most often, bad breath is simply a sign that your child needs a little help developing proper brushing and flossing habits.
- Show your child how to use a soft-bristled brush that fits in the mouth comfortably, be sure to brush all the surfaces of each tooth, and don’t forget to angle toward the gum line. And brush long enough. Once all the baby teeth have arrived, two minutes of brushing is usually recommended for children.
- It’s not too early to floss! Adults need to handle the flossing duties for children until they can manage on their own, so it’s a perfect time to teach technique. And, just like toothbrushes, floss should be flexible and soft.
- Don’t forget the tongue. Our tongues harbor the bacteria that cause bad breath, so finish off your child’s routine with a gentle brush of the tongue.
Better oral habits mean not only fresh breath, but give those baby teeth the best chance of staying healthy until they are naturally replaced by adult teeth. After all, baby teeth not only help your child learn to eat and speak properly, but they act as necessary placeholders so the permanent teeth are able to erupt in exactly the right spot.
Talk to a member of our Charleston office team at your child’s next appointment if you are concerned about oral hygiene–they have many great suggestions for making brushing and flossing more efficient, comfortable, and even fun for your child.