Children’s Dental Health Month

 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Smith Dental Care in Tyler would like to take this important awareness month to help promote the benefits of good oral health and hygiene to children, their parents, caregivers, and teachers. In addition, this year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of water fluoridation. Decades worth of scientific studies show that having an optimal amount of fluoride in tap water can decrease cavities and tooth decay by 25%.

Tooth decay is the single most chronic disease among children, even more so than asthma, early childhood obesity, and diabetes. This is why it is so important to instill good dental habits at a young age. Smith Dental Care wants to make your child’s dental visit a positive and educational experience by teaching your child how to brush and floss their teeth properly and to talk about the importance of oral hygiene.

For babies, a good dental routine includes wiping the gums two times each day with a soft clean cloth in the morning and before bed. This helps to wipe away any bacteria or sugars that may potentially contribute to decay. Once the teeth come in, brush them twice a day with a small soft-bristles toothbrush with water only. It is recommended to visit the dentist by the time of your baby’s first birthday to spot any problem signs early on. Finally, for children under the age of six, watch them brush their teeth to ensure they only use a pea size amount of toothpaste and that they do not swallow it.

Often times children fear the dentist or have dental anxiety about their visit, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In addition to focusing on a positive and fun experience, Smith Dental Care offers nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to help create a calmer experience for your child. And for children 15 or older with severe dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry in both oral and intravenous forms.

If you have questions about your child’s teeth, or to learn more about children’s dentistry, please call Smith Dental Care at 903-730-6354 or click here.


How to Keep a Bright Smile This Holiday

How to Keep a Bright Smile This Holiday

We all know just how difficult it is to keep up with our healthy habits during the holiday season! This time of year is full of indulgent parties with tempting foods and spirits, and we are all busy planning and shopping and gift wrapping that we often forget to devote time to maintaining our families’ healthy routines.

Smith Dental Care in Tyler, TX  has come up with a few tooth-friendly tips to help you and your family take good care of your smile this season.

  • Sugary sweets are all around us this time of year. If you choose to indulge, it is best to have sweets with meals or shortly after mealtime, because saliva production is increased during this time and it helps rinse away some of the sugary food particles that are left behind on the teeth.
  • We all need a boost of energy during the holidays, but try to avoid sugary sodas and energy drinks. It is best to stick to good old fashioned water! You can add citrus, berries, and mint for a festive touch and to enhance the flavor. As for alcohol, try to limit your alcohol intake and drink water in conjunction- too much can cause dry mouth!
  • Stocking stuffers are a great opportunity to give dental hygiene products such as an electric or traditional toothbrush, floss, etc. If you plan to put candy in your stockings, try to stick to chocolate as it does not stick to the teeth as much as hard or chewy candies. Even healthier dried fruits can stick to the teeth just as much!
  • Avoid opening presents, bows, knots, etc with your teeth. You could crack a tooth, injure your jaw, or swallow a foreign object.
  • For a whiter smile in seconds, try a red lipstick that has a blue undertone. The combination of colors plays a trick on the eyes and makes the teeth appear brighter!

Finally, to make sure you have tip-top oral health throughout the whole year, stick to your routine! We recommend two visits per year complete with exams, x-rays, and cleanings.

If you have a dental benefit plan or a flexible spending account, don’t leave money on the table going into the new year! Call our office at 903-730-6354 or click here to schedule your next appointment!

 


Main Causes of Tooth Grinding

Current statistics show that 50-96% of adults grind their teeth at some point in their life, being most common in adults 25 to 44, yet there isn’t a clear reason as to why this occurs. Excessive tooth grinding, gnashing, and/or jaw clenching is known as “Bruxism” which is a condition when you unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or clench/grind them during sleep. Many different factors can cause someone to start grinding their teeth, and we have listed the some of the most common causes below:

  1. Sleep Disorders
    1. This is one of the leading causes of tooth grinding, which is another reason why we see most teeth grinding occurring during the night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most severe of sleep disorders and almost often causes bruxism.
  2. Lifestyle
    1. Your habits and a variety of lifestyle factors can contribute to tooth grinding, including excessive drinking, smoking, and chewing gum. Even caffeine from tea, coffee, soda, and chocolate can cause tensions that could ultimately lead you to grinding your teeth.
  3. Medications and Illnesses
    1. Some antidepressants and psychotropic medications can create conditions leading to bruxism because of their side affects.
    2. Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease are known to be associated with tooth grinding.
  1. Abnormal Bite
    1. Misaligned and/or missing teeth can greatly contribute to tooth grinding.

If you fall into one of these categories please speak to your dentist at Smith Dental Care to ask about purchasing a mouth guard. Wearing a mouth guard at night can provide relief if you find yourself grinding your teeth at night.

Are YOU grinding your teeth at night?

Headaches, physical discomfort of the jaw, or face muscle pain are a few common indicators of someone who grinds their teeth. Tooth grinders are three times more likely to experience headaches and stress is a common trigger that creates tension in the jaw.

Stop living in discomfort and call Smith Dental Care today!  


Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and Smith Dental wants to help you keep an eye out for the early signs of oral cancer. Oral Cancer has a high rate of death associated with it because this cancer is usually discovered late in its development. This is why scheduling annual dental exams are so important for both you and your family, because it could save your life. During your appointment, your Smith Dental dentist will screen for oral cancer along with your teeth cleaning, greatly reducing your risk.

Potential Symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

It is possible to suffer long-term problems, such as facial disfigurement or have difficulty eating or speaking, if oral cancer is left untreated.  Luckily, your mouth is a great indicator if something is wrong, but if you notice that these symptoms are not clearing up after two to three weeks, please call our office in Tyler, TX immediately. If you are a heavy drinker, a smoker older than 50, or a young adult with HPV16, you may be at more of a risk.

Oral cancer is preventable if caught early on, so it is important to maintain your yearly oral screenings. For those who have never received an oral cancer examination, there is no better time than during Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.