May 16th, 2013
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s oral health, more frequent visits may be recommended. Generally fluoride treatments are also recommended twice a year to keep teeth at their strongest.
Even though your child’s primary teeth don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s first teeth play an important role in development. While they’re in place, these primary teeth help your little one speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If your child loses a tooth too early (due to damage or decay) nearby teeth may intrude on that space, which can result in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth.
Children with healthy mouths have a better chance of general health. Oral conditions can interfere with eating and adequate nutritional intake, speaking, self-esteem, and daily activities. Severe tooth decay can even affect growth and development. A healthy mouth is more attractive, giving children confidence in their appearance. Finally, preventive dentistry can result in less extensive, and less expensive, treatment for your child.
May 2nd, 2013
So, you just got your braces on, and you’re wondering why you should continue visiting your general dentist since you’re seeing us every other month. Patients always ask us if they should continue to see their dentist while in orthodontic treatment. In short, the answer is yes.
Today, we thought we would share a few reasons why it’s crucial to keep up with your regular visits with your dentist in addition to coming in for your regular adjustments.
One of the best reasons to visit your dentist while you undergo orthodontic treatment is to remove plaque and tartar. Having braces provides additional nooks and crannies in which food particles and bacteria can hide. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can help ensure most, if not all, plaque and tartar is removed. Even if you are undergoing clear aligner treatment, dental checkups and cleanings are equally as important.
The next reason to visit a dentist is to help protect your teeth from decalcification, or the loss of calcium in your teeth. A potentially serious condition in which white spots on your tooth surfaces, decalcification is irreversible and if left untreated, can lead to cavities. Decalcification is preventable; patients who cut down on sugary sweets and acidic foods, practice good oral hygiene, and visit their dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.
The final reason we recommend visiting your dentist while you have braces is this: cavities can prolong your treatment. If you are interested in completing your orthodontic treatment on time and without any delays, visiting your dentist every six months or as recommended can go a long way toward making that a realistic goal. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.
Making sure to visit your dentist will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces come off. If you do not have a general dentist and would like a recommendation on finding one in our area, please give us a call or let us know at your next adjustment appointment!
April 18th, 2013
Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized around the world to bring attention and education to global environmental issues. Conserving our natural resources, reducing water and air pollution, and developing green technologies are all ways in which we can improve the environment around us.
Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse
One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic, and metal refuse. By keeping recyclable items out of landfills, we reduce the need for new disposal space and the amount of energy needed for burning refuse. Recycling products also helps conserve the resources that are used in making new products.
You can save money by reducing your consumption of many everyday products. Single disposable water bottles can be recycled but they are costly. By using filtered faucet water, you can conserve your financial resources. Disposable paper towels can also be wasteful. Consider reusable cleaning rags for the majority of your chores.
Reusing items saves both the environment and your finances. A large number of products can be re-purposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you are not able to find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity. Remember to continue your positive environmental steps on a daily basis.
Other things you can do to improve the environment
April 22, 2012 marked the 42nd Earth Day celebration. The event was recognized in 192 countries around the world. Everyone, young or old, can find ways to participate in improving the environment. Some ideas include:
- Planting trees
- Picking up litter
- Reducing energy consumption
- Walking, bicycling, or carpooling to work or school
- Disposing of hazardous waste properly
- Using rain barrels to conserve water for plants
Earth Day is designed to appreciate and celebrate the health of the earth. Keeping the earth healthy is important, but keeping your mouth healthy is important too. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to your overall health and well-being, so remember to call our team today for a checkup. Have a happy and healthy Earth Day, from Dr. Tillman and our whole team!
April 5th, 2013
What is Oral Cancer?
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been putting off a visit to our office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to our practice can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.
Oral Cancer Rates in America
Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: most people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.
What Causes Oral Cancer
While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.
- Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
- Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
- Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
In addition, oral cancer tends to occur at a rate six times greater in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.
Oral Cancer Treatments
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.
Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk.
The Oral Cancer Foundation. (2012). Oral Cancer Facts. Retrieved from http://oralcancerfoundation.org/.