Friday, March 28, 2014

Toothbrush Care and Replacement

Have you ever stopped to think about what happens to the germs that reside in your mouth when you brush? Of course, proper dental care eliminates food particles and bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay. However, it is highly likely that some of those tiny bits and pieces are transferred to the very tool you use to get rid of them - your toothbrush! That is why taking extra steps to keep your toothbrush hygienic and replace it when it has passed its prime are extremely important steps on the path to a healthy smile.

Please consider the following tips for taking care of one of your most important tools in the fight against tooth decay:
  • Never, ever, share a toothbrush with another individual-that means between spouses, siblings, and children.
  • After use, take a good look at your toothbrush and rinse it under running water several times. Tiny food particles can become trapped between the bristles and result in a bacteria infested situation-right on your toothbrush!After rinsing, make sure to store toothbrushes, upright so they can air dry. Bacteria and other organisms will grow faster on bristles kept in a closed, damp environment.Never allow the bristles of other toothbrushes to touch one another. Even such light contact can spread germs.
  • Whenever a toilet is flushed and the lid is open, microscopic bacteria can become airborne. To prevent contact with your toothbrush, make sure it is kept at least 6 feet away from the toilet.
  • As an extra precaution, try disinfecting your toothbrush in a strong dental rinse or mouthwash, such as Listerine. You also can purchase an ADA-approved sanitizer machine, which uses ultraviolet lamps or steam and dry heat to destroy nearly all bacteria and viruses.
  • Periodically check the condition of your toothbrush. When the bristles are frayed and worn, they are just not up to the job of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
  • The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
We encourage you to pay attention to your toothbrush and follow these tips to make sure that you stay as healthy as possible.  Contact Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh NC to schedule an appointment with Dr. Simon Melcher today: (919) 782-0548.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Resources Aimed at Pediatric Dental Care

Establishing healthy habits such as proper dental care and wholesome snacking are vital for putting children on the path to a lifetime of well-being. As parents, we certainly need all of the help we can get towards imparting this information and making it appealing for our youngsters.

In addition to regular dental visits and having access to all of the tools needed to maintain a healthy smile, kids often need a little boost to ensure that they follow through. Here is a list of a few very helpful websites that improve your child's chances for making the right choices when it comes to dental health and hygiene:
Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh works with children and can help you and your family establish a great dental care routine.  Be sure to call our office to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dental Screenings are Crucial for Early Detection

How many times have you ignored bodily pain or discomfort and convinced yourself it was nothing to be concerned about? These types of symptoms are warning signs from our bodies that something is amiss. Back pain, vision problems, tummy trouble, colds, and flu, are issues we commonly choose to live with. After all, they typically resolve themselves and pose no real danger. However, there are signs that should not be overlooked.

When it comes to oral health matters, folks seem to really turn a blind eye. "Oh, that little bump is nothing, my glands are just swollen." "My gums are inflamed because I brushed too hard."

In fact, new screening techniques allow today's dental health care professionals to identify red flags and detect a variety of conditions at the onset. This process is vital in discovering a number of health problems early and can mean life or death in some situations.

The American Academy of Family Physicians, reports that careful examinations of the mouth may reveal symptoms related to an underlying systemic disease. Their information notes that "swollen gums, ulcers, bad breath and dry mouth are just a few symptoms that could signal more serious conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis and more."

Other conditions that may be detected during a routine dental screening are Parkinson's Disease, Sleep Apnea, and Autoimmune Disorders.

Remember that your dentist has access to places that are virtually impossible for you to see! A thorough dental exam involves more than just the teeth, tongue, and gums.

Dr. Melcher and his staff are committed to providing the highest level of dental care. Please do not ignore dental issues. Instead, schedule an appointment for a complete screening. Contact our office to make an appointment by calling: (919) 782-0548

Monday, March 3, 2014

News About Fluoride Toothpaste for Kids

Fluoride is something that many of us seldom think about. It was first added to toothpaste in Germany in the 1890s. In the U.S., fluoride toothpastes only received ADA-approval in the 1950s and were finally available to consumers by 1955. Numerous long-term studies revealed that including fluoride in toothpaste is an effective anticavity measure that can significantly improve dental health and hygiene.

For decades, it has been recommended that youngsters begin using a fluoridated toothpaste by the age of 2, Now the results of 17 systematic studies published in the The Journal of the American Dental Association reveals some interesting new scientific evidence.

Data analysis from the 17 separate studies showed that using fluoride toothpaste is effective in controlling tooth decay in all children, regardless of their age.

A New York Times article, published in early February 2014, discussed how this news changes the way we currently understand and deal with fluoride.  Presently toothpaste labels advise consulting with a dentist or family doctor before introducing fluoride toothpaste to kids 2 or under. Many parents interpret that as a warning that fluoride use before age 2 is either unnecessary, unsafe or both. The reason that the age of 2 was chosen as the right time to begin using a fluoridated toothpaste is because that is when most children are able to spit. This is important because "swallowing more than a pea-sized amount each day increases a kid's risk for dental fluorosis, a condition that leads to brown spots and staining of the teeth."

Pediatric dentists are applauding the news and agree that prevention against tooth decay should take place as soon as possible. This is especially true for children that sleep with a bottle and those with family histories of dental issues. The key to using this information successfully requires participation and guidance from parents and caregivers. Here are the suggestions:
  • For infants, gently wipe their gums with a warm, damp wash cloth after feeding.
  • For babies, "parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, instead of waiting until children are older." (American Dental Association)
  • For toddlers, use a rice grain-size amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush twice daily. Demonstrate swishing, rinsing, and spitting with water until they are able to do it on their own.
  • Please note that the updated guidelines change the previous advice from the A.D.A. that recommended using a pea-size amount of toothpaste when children reach 24 months. Now that amount should be used from the age of 3 through 6.
The most important information to take away from this news is that early prevention and establishing routine dental hygiene are the keys to establishing excellent dental health.

Want to see the difference between a "smear" of toothpaste vs. a "pea-sized" squirt? Use the following link for that image and more details regarding this story: Dental Group Advises Fluoride Before Age 2

Other Source:

Also See: Kids' Dental Care Tips for Parents