Sip All Day, Get Decay

DR. RUDI AS-SANIE, D.D.S.

Sip All Day, Get Decay

You may have already heard of this little saying, but it truly means a lot in dentistry. We preach it and we try to practice it daily. We’re not going to lie, the busier we are, the more we may find ourselves trying to sip on that morning coffee we didn’t get to finish because our day started out full speed. It’s all about planning ahead and setting yourself, well your teeth, up for success. In this article, we discuss the meaning behind, “Sip All Day, Get Decay” saying.

Choices

Each day when we wake up, we have so many choices to make. What outfit are we going to wear? How will we style our hair? What’s for breakfast? What will we drink with breakfast? Keywords: drink WITH breakfast. Drinking acidic or more sugary beverages isn’t as bad when you actually have them with meals. Food we consume actually helps to buffer the acids from the drinks we have. For example, if you are eating scrambled eggs with cheese but drinking coffee, the eggs and cheese will help neutralize the acidity in your mouth to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Now, if you are having a granola bar and coffee on the way to work, it is going to be best to drink lots of water when you are done and even brush or use a fluoride rinse if possible.

Frequency is Key

It’s not about the amount consumed but more about frequency. For example, you can drink a 16-ounce energy drink in 5 minutes and it is better for your teeth than sipping it over an hour-long period. After each sip of a sugary drink, it takes the mouth 20 minutes to buffer the acids which means if you take a drink every 5-10 minutes for an hour, there is no way for your mouth to catch up on buffering those acids which in turn, highly increases your risk of getting cavities. These are the type of cavities we see in between the teeth (flossing cavities where the sugars settle) or along the sides of the teeth. It is best to drink water between sips of these types of beverages to act as a cleansing agent to the teeth. Sugary, acidic drinks include basically anything except water, white milk and some hot teas which are more neutral. Even diet or flavored waters with zero sugar are very acidic to drink throughout the day. It is best to drink water between meals and limit sugary drinks to mealtimes.

Prevent Tooth Decay

We know everyone is not going to be perfect when it comes to sipping non-water drinks throughout the day. Again, it comes down to how often are you doing it? Every day or once or twice a week for a couple of hours a day vs. all day. At Dental Reflections Dublin, we just want to give our patients the proper tools and knowledge they need to keep the cavity bugs at bay and prevent tooth decay. For more tips on dentistry or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Tips and Tricks to Brush Your Little One’s Teeth

DR. RUDI AS-SANIE, D.D.S.

Brushing Your Little One’s Teeth

We all know you are supposed to start brushing your child’s teeth upon first tooth eruption. But how on earth do you brush their teeth and get them to open and cooperate? Especially once they get all 20 teeth in and you have to get wayyyy in the back??? We know, it’s a challenge. It can be stressful and frustrating. The last thing you want is to say forget it, I can’t do it, and then they have 10 cavities at their first check-up visit. I know, I know, 10 sounds extreme but we have seen it and it’s not uncommon when parents give up on brushing their child’s teeth. In this article, our team at Dental Reflections Dublin discusses a few tips and tricks to brushing your little one’s teeth.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Step one: use fluoride toothpaste. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends a rice size amount of fluoride toothpaste upon first tooth eruption. Yes, we know your 6-month-old can’t swish and spit out the toothpaste, which is why a rice size smeared into the toothbrush is recommended. Tom’s natural strawberry toothpaste with fluoride is a great option. Even if a child swallows a meniscal amount of fluoride, it will not harm them and is very safe.

Swaddle

Having trouble controlling your child’s hands, arms and legs? One of our favorite tips is to have the child’s toothbrush ready on the counter with toothpaste. After bath time, grab them out of the bath and wrap/swaddle them up in a towel while their arms are down. Sit down on the toilet seat lid and place the child on their back across your lap and grab the toothbrush. Tilt their head down a bit and boom – you have control and can get the toothbrush in the mouth to brush. It is a bonus if they are mad and scream and cries so that they open big and you can see what you are doing. Sing a fun song while you are brushing and tell them how good of a job they are doing even if they are screaming. After every night of the same routine, they will start to listen to the song and learn it, knowing you will brush their teeth whether they like it or not. It’s just like anything else they have to do that’s mandatory – it’s not an option. It’s truly all about what you make it. It gets really fun when the child hears your song every night and starts to sing it when they learn to talk. Would you rather take a minute to brush your child’s teeth while they are mad or spend hours with your child at the dentist getting their cavities filled?

Stand, Chin up and Head Back

Once a child is old enough to listen and follow directions, have them stand in front of you on a stool in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Have them tilt their chin up high and rest their head back on your chest. Cup their chin with one hand while brushing with the other while the child opens wide. This gives full sight of brushing all surfaces of the teeth including outsides by the cheeks, the grooves where they chew and the insides down by the tongue and near the roof of the mouth. This position also allows you to see to floss a child’s teeth which is important once the floss clicks in and the teeth start to touch. Once most children reach toddler age, they want to take a turn too. Great! Let them practice and take a turn but be sure to follow up after even if it looks like they are doing a good job. It’s a good idea to pull the cheeks up/down to see the toothbrush brushing the gumlines where the plaque tends to settle.  It is important to help a child brush until they can tie their own shoes. This is when they have better dexterity and can be trusted with good technique. Most importantly, don’t forget the song you started singing when your toddler was a little baby.

For family dentistry in Dublin, Ohio, contact Dental Reflections today. Questions? Just give us a call. Our team is happy to help!

National Dental Hygiene Month

DR. RUDI AS-SANIE, D.D.S.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month which means we are talking about all things preventative care. This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, floss picks, tongue scraper, mouthwash and more. Dental Hygienists pride themselves on oral hygiene instruction so we want to share with you what they share with their patients on a daily basis.

Oral Health Care Routine

Did you know spending just about 5 minutes a day can save you hundreds upon thousands of dollars over the years? That’s right – if you set aside 2 minutes, twice a day to brush and about a minute for some floss and mouthwash – you will be doing yourself a huge favor. This routine ensures the best preventive dental care you can give your teeth and gums, keeping them healthy and preventing the need for fillings, crowns and gum treatments. Did you know more people lose their teeth due to gum disease than cavities? Yes, it’s true, you can lose all of your teeth without ever having a cavity in your life.

Why You Need to Brush and Floss

Most people don’t realize the importance of flossing. It’s actually just as important if not MORE important than brushing. Foods we eat can help remove the plaque from our teeth as we chew and mash our food up. There is no physical way to clean out the plaque, bacteria and food particles that settle UNDER the gumline other than flossing. We aren’t talking about a Waterpik or toothpicks. We are talking about that good ol’ fashioned piece of string you wrap around your fingers and use in the mouth. Here are some tips on proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Brushing 101

You can brush for 10 minutes and miss the gumline. Keeping the teeth clean is all about technique, not the brand of toothbrush or flavor of toothpaste you are using. It is critical to use the proper technique to remove plaque most effectively. It’s like getting the most bang for your buck. Make those 2 minutes count and angle that toothbrush at a 45-degree angle near the gum line. Look in the mirror and see your bristles getting up by your gums where your teeth touch them. This is where the plaque settles. Go in a circular motion while using overlapping strokes. Go over the same areas more than once. Plaque forms on the teeth in layers so one swipe doesn’t do the trick. You need to go over the same areas multiple times to get all the layers.

Flossing

Flossing is a whole other challenge. We get it, it’s a pain. The key is – get a piece from about your fingertips to shoulder when your arm is straight out. Then wrap the floss around your middle fingers, evenly on each side until you have about 6 inches remaining in between the 2 fingers. Now use your thumbs and index fingers to actually slide the floss in between the teeth. You should only have about an inch when you place your thumbs together to insert the floss between the teeth. Once you are in between, angle side to side in a “C” shape motion hugging each side of the teeth to ensure plaque removal. Get down to the base of the gumline. This takes practice, but practice makes perfect!

No matter what other additional aids you are using from a daily mouthwash, tongue scraper, soft picks for in between meals or a Waterpik, you will make your hygienist proud and your teeth will thank you. Remember, just 5 minutes a day, to keep the cavity bugs away. For family dentistry in Dublin, Ohio, contact us today!