Volume 2 Issue 4 Winter 2018
A Season of Growth, Change and ImprovementThe last several months have been filled with new directions and opportunities for Couzens Dental. Sedation certification was achieved by Dr. Couzens, opening new opportunities for patients with anxiety about dental visits. The practice now offers a variety of options including oral sedation, inhaled sedation such as nitrous oxide, and sedation administered in the form of a tablet taken the night before and the day of the procedure.
ClearCorrect® alignment systems are now available offering our practice an alternative to traditional braces. ClearCorrect straightens teeth using a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners that gradually move teeth a little bit at a time, eventually correcting the teeth and smile to elicit a new, revitalized look.
In addition, KöR® teeth whitening is now offered by Couzens Dental. The KöR Whitening System is a unique product designed to whiten teeth more effectively than ever before. This is possible thanks to its multiple tiers of whitening strength using carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and KöR’s own Hydremide Peroxide gel.
Whether you’re the best man at the wedding, or just want to look your best, your job and life rely heavily on your appearance. The KöR Whitening System is designed to produce successful and long-lasting results.
Sugar ConsumptionWith the holidays quickly approaching, ushering in treats we enjoy, it is important to remember to focus on our oral hygiene and the impact sugar consumption has on our oral health.
Everyone knows eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but few are aware of exactly how that happens. It’s not the sugar itself that does the damage, but the chain of events that occurs after eating that piece of cake. Your children may be more inclined to heed your warnings about the effects of sugar on teeth if they know what is really going on inside their mouths. Here’s how you can take action to prevent tooth decay from hijacking your family’s oral health.
How Cavities Develop
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR), the mouth contains hundreds of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the oral ecosystem. However, some of the bacteria are not so beneficial. These bacteria feed on the sugars you eat to synthesize harmful acids that destroy the protective enamel lining your teeth. This acid can create cavities (bacterial infections) in the holes of the enamel. If it is not treated, these cavities can progress past the enamel and into deeper layers of the tooth, resulting in tooth pain and even tooth loss. If you are experiencing toothache; sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods or if you are feeling pain while chewing, you may have a cavity.
Your teeth are frequently under attack by acids; however, they are also fighting back. The natural process of remineralization replaces the minerals that acids leech away, and your saliva is a major factor in this process. Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphates to help remineralization occur. Fluoride also helps to repair weakened enamel. However, this alone is not enough. Limiting your sugar intake is vital in order to correct the damage.
Experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center offer several tips for preventing cavities. Reducing sugar intake and stimulating saliva flow can help to bathe the teeth in rejuvenating minerals. Chewing sugarless gums and incorporating fibrous vegetables and fruits into your diet are goods ways to increase salivation. Additionally, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products also contain calcium and phosphates to help strengthen the teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that fluoride not only prevents tooth decay, but also reverses it in its early stages. Thus, it is important to drink plenty of fluoridated water and brush regularly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste such as Colgate Total®, which cleans out sugar-dependent germs for up to 12 hours.
Vigilance is the key to prevention. Encourage your kids to limit their sugar intake, brush away plaque regularly and consume healthy foods. With additional fluoride treatments and dentist visits, you and your loved ones will be well equipped to take on tooth decay.
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Botox®There are many factors that cause facial lines aside from cellular changes, reduction of collage or damage caused by free radicals from the sun. Repeated muscle contraction, squinting or raising eyebrows also cause skin to furrow and fold, gradually creating facial lines. BOTOX works to combat these issues by temporarily reducing the underlying muscle activity that causes aging lines.
BOTOX Cosmetic is the first and only FDA-approved treatment to temporarily make moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines look better in adults. You still look like you, only with less noticeable facial lines. The BOTOX procedure takes about 10 minutes, and results appear within 24 to 48 hours lasting up to 4 months.
Smooth the lines. Keep the experiences that made them.
Your doctor may be able to make an evaluation of sleep apnea based on apparent signs, symptoms and sleep history which you can provide with help from someone who shares your bed or your household. If there are signs of sleep apnea, you are likely to be referred to a sleep disorder center where a specialist can help you determine your need for further evaluation. Evaluations often involve overnight monitoring at sleep centers. These evaluations monitor your breathing and other body functions during your sleep. Home sleep tests also may be an option.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat doctor to rule out blockage in your nose or throat. An evaluation by a heart doctor or neurologist may be necessary to look for causes of central sleep apnea.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking may be enough. If your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, or these changes aren’t helping, there are a number of other treatment options available.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common and reliable form of therapy for treating sleep apnea. CPAP creates air pressure in a mask that is greater than that of the surrounding air. This keeps your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring. If the mask is uncomfortable, experiment with different sizes and styles to find a comfortable and secure fit. If you’re still snoring or begin snoring again, be sure to contact you doctor.
If the standard CPAP mask doesn’t work for your specific needs, another airway pressure device may suit your needs more appropriately. The Auto-CPAP automatically adjusts its pressure while you sleep and the BPAP supplies bilevel positive airway pressure. These masks provide more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.
It may be more comfortable to use an oral appliance. These are designed to open your throat by bringing your jaw forward, relieving snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. Once you find the right oral fit, follow up with your dentist repeatedly during the first year and then regularly to ensure that the fit is proper and to reassess your signs and symptoms.
If other options are not working for you, you may want to consider surgery. It is suggested that you try other options for at least three months before considering surgery. However, for some people, surgery may be a good first option.
Surgical options include tissue removal, tissue shrinkage, jaw repositioning (maxillomandibular advancement), implants and nerve stimulation. If you have severe, life-threatening sleep apnea, you may want to have a tracheostomy. In this procedure, a surgeon creates a new air passageway that is covered during the day and uncovered at night to allow air to pass in and out of your lungs, bypassing the blocked air passage in your throat.
Bright Smiles for the HolidaysMany parents want to know: At what age should I brush and floss my child’s teeth? A good rule is to start flossing as soon as the child has teeth that are in contact with each other, usually around age two to three years. Once teeth reach this point, food particles can get caught between them and foster the growth of bacteria and the development of plaque. Not all children need to have their teeth flossed at this age, so ask your dentist for advice.
How to Brush Baby’s Teeth
Good oral care starts before teeth appear. The AAP recommends that, after a feeding, parents wipe a baby’s gums with a soft washcloth or a baby toothbrush using water only (no toothpaste). You could also use a dentist-recommended cleanser. When a child’s first tooth appears, parents should brush their child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day and switch to a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush with a cushioned head, and a pea-sized dab of non-fluoridated toothpaste.
STAGES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Oral Care Tips Stage 1
To prevent the buildup of plaque, a soft, sticky bacteria containing deposits that accumulate on teeth and cause tooth decay, parents should begin by regularly cleaning their newborn baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after all feedings (breast or bottle).
• When a child’s first tooth appears, parents should brush their child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day and switch to a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush with a cushioned head, and a pea-sized dab of non-fluoridated toothpaste.
• Parents should ask their pediatrician about when their child should visit the dentist, but a good rule of thumb is: “First visit by first birthday.” Additional visits should be scheduled every six months to ensure proper tooth development.
Oral Care Tips Stage 2
Children two and older should use fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent decay as their teeth continue to develop. Once children reach two years of age, encourage them to brush their own teeth. Parents, however, should still follow up and brush them again to make sure they’re clean. If a child resists having his or her teeth brushed, parents need to get creative and make the process fun, like “looking for treasure behind the teeth.” And of course, using a themed brush with your child’s favorite cartoon characters can make brushing more enjoyable.
• Supervise your child’s brushing until good habits are established. It is recommended that you spend two minutes brushing teeth, focusing on the teeth that conduct most of the chewing, and back teeth, where cavities often first develop. I know that cleaning teeth may seem like a drag to some kids, so here are a few ideas to help make brushing fun for them: Use a toothbrush that is designed to appeal to a toddler who is learning to brush and whose baby teeth are growing in. This brush is designed to effectively reach all teeth, with its narrow head, simple bristle pattern and a Power Tip.
• Brush your teeth with your child to set a good example. This will help your child learn by watching and imitating you.
• For children two and older, parents need to be aware of the impact that nutrition and eating/drinking habits have on oral health as well as overall health. Parents can promote healthy habits by limiting sugary drinks, getting rid of the bottle and/or sippy cup and offering healthier meal and snack options.
Oral Care Tips Stage 3
Although young children may think they can brush their teeth themselves, most children don’t have the manual dexterity for thorough teeth cleaning until they are about 7 years old. Until then, help your child brush and floss. Let them “do it themselves” first, and then follow up by helping them brush and floss again. Most young children thrive on regular schedules, so try making morning and evening tooth brushing and flossing a family event and do your own brushing and flossing at the same time. Children five and older are starting to get their permanent molars, so it’s important to use a fluoridated toothpaste and toothbrush.
Oral Care Tips Stage 4
Once children start school, parents have less influence over their meals and snacks during the day. Set an example for your children by eating a variety of healthy foods yourself, and by following a consistent oral health care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. You may think that children don’t notice, but they do. Pack plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods as healthy snacks, and keep the sugary drinks to a minimum—they are among the factors that can promote tooth decay. Children eight and older should use a fluoridated toothpaste and a toothbrush that is designed for a complex mixture of different-sized permanent and baby teeth.
Child Dental Care Tips
One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children is to get them enthusiastic about daily dental hygiene. After all, tooth brushing is probably not at the top of your child’s list of favorite things to do. But you can make it more acceptable—and even fun—by choosing a toothpaste and toothbrush that your child will like and will want to use.
Look for toothpaste with fluoride that’s child-friendly, with flavors and colors that appeal to kids. There are toothpaste choices more appropriate to adult needs as well, so many families find themselves using more than one type of toothpaste.
Knowing how to brush your teeth is just as important as the type of toothpaste you choose. Teach children the proper technique early to help encourage them to develop good oral health habits. Explaining how to brush your teeth doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these simple steps to get kids off to a good start.
• Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
• Move the brush back and forth gently, in short strokes, over the fronts, backs and tops of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum line; you can irritate your gums.
• Don’t forget to brush (and floss) behind your top front teeth and behind the bottom front teeth. (The area behind the bottom front teeth is prone to tartar buildup and needs attention.) Use the top bristles of the brush to reach this area—some toothbrushes have a slightly longer tip to make it easier to reach these spots.
Combat the Effects of Sugar on your Kids’ Oral Care Routine
• Save treats like candy, cookies and pies for after mealtime, since this is when the amount of saliva produced in the mouth is greater and will therefore better help protect your child’s teeth.
• Dairy acts as a buffer to the acids produced by oral bacteria, decreasing the possibility of tooth decay. So consider serving your children milk or cheese with holiday candies and treats.
• Hard candy can get stuck between kids’ teeth, which can cause cavities. Flossing can help remove the candy particles. Try flossers adorned with your child’s favorite character to help make flossing fun.
• To help pace the amount of candy your child is consuming around holidays like Halloween and Easter, store excess candy in a sealed container and establish set times when your child can have a treat.
• Encourage children to drink more water to help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, check the label for fluoride content. According to the American Dental Association, fluoridated water can reduce the number of cavities children get in their baby teeth.