How to Help Your Kids Create Good Oral Hygiene Habits Now

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness!

In America, 51 million hours of school is missed every year due to oral health issues. Although every month should be important when it comes to a child’s dental health, February is the one dedicated to it. Here are things to keep in mind when helping children become conscious of just how important dental hygiene is and exactly how to start creating good habits right away:

  1. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum
  2. Floss, floss, floss
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. When you brush, make sure you hit the 2 minute mark
  5. Visit your dentist regularly

Have you ever seen that amazing “magic trick” when you ask your child “Did you brush your teeth?”  And they respond with a “yes” only because their toothbrush is wet?  Then come to find out, there was no brushing going on, they merely stuck their toothbrush under the faucet and wiped their front teeth once, maybe twice. Now is the perfect time to kick this bad habit!  Dental health can be fun for kids (and adults)!

Here are 4 ways to incorporate some fun and giggles into children’s daily oral care:

Toothpaste – a plethora of choices

Let’s start off with toothpaste.  There are gels, pastes, and so many different flavors; such as cinnamon, vanilla, bubble gum, and variety of different mint flavors.  Let your child choose which one they would prefer.

Flossing – 40% of cleaning your teeth comes from flossing

Floss comes in different flavors as well and also had a variety of textures.  There are waxed, woven, and even the hand held pick form to name a few.

Toothbrush – the master tool

Choosing a toothbrush will probably be your child’s favorite thing to do.  Not only are there options as far as handheld or battery operated, there are TONS of different designs now!  Your child can pick their favorite cartoon character or stick to the basics-like their favorite color.

Brushing Timer – brush 2 min 2x a day

While the tiny sand timers you flip upside down are always fun for kids to watch, there are now toothbrushes with built in timers. The brush will alert timer markers with a beep or a vibration for 2 minute duration, some even play a popular song.

Giving Kids Something to Look Forward To

This is the perfect way to create a morning and nighttime routine to get your child excited about developing healthy habits.  Getting your child involved in the decision making of choosing some cool and fun dental products makes them more apt to look forward to brushing and flossing daily.

Starting off good oral hygiene practice at a young age will propel your kids into the future for a lifetime of healthy pink gums and bright shining smiles!  A healthy smile is a smile you can be proud of!

Download Dental Word Search

References

http://www.ncohf.org/resources/tooth-decay-facts

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should

Dr. Terry Hunt

River Dental Arts

1690 Wright Ave

Rocky River, OH 44116

Phone: (440) 331-7380

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Resolve to Improve Your Dental Health

Blog Imagae Possibly Jan 2015

Now that we are trying to adapt to writing “2015”, have you given any thought to a New Year’s Resolution?  If you haven’t, it isn’t too late.  And even if you have, you can never have too many!  Typically, dental hygiene and dental aesthetics aren’t usually considered when it comes to reflecting on self improvement.  More than daily flossing, consider your over all oral health.

Brightening up those pearly whites

Do you avoid smiling or find yourself talking while covering your mouth due to a missing tooth, an unsightly chip, large gap, or another imperfection affecting your teeth? Everyone is aware of teeth whitening; here are more options on how easy it is to improve your smile!

Dental Fillings

We see many patients with those old silver and gold fillings. Those unsightly things are no longer the standard of care. Tooth colored composite fillings ones are crafted to match your natural color and are near invisible to the naked eye.

Bonding

Chipped teeth are often healthy, and like gaps, they too cause uneasiness in social situations. Often making you feel like the center of unwanted attention. Dental bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures, and the color is matched to restore your natural looking smile.

Pain

There are a few different types of tooth pain, all of which should be reported during your dental visit: brief sensitivity to hot and cold foods, sharp pain when biting, dull aches, constant pressure, lingering pain. There is no reason to endure the pain, call so we can help!

Benefits of a Healthy Smile

Enhancing your smile offers huge gains. Not only does it boost a person’s confidence, it can improve a person’s overall health and well being.  It’s like getting a spectacularly wonderful haircut.  You feel better about yourself and notice a new glow surrounding you.  When you have a smile that you are proud of, you naturally show it off to the world! Smiling is known to lower heart rate and reduce stress. Who would say no to that?

This is your year to shine with a healthy smile

Start the year off with your best foot forward and set your mind toward some dental goals.  No matter how big or how small they may be, you will be happy with the results as well as yourself for making it happen!

Prioritize your health and take the first step by calling to schedule an appointment:

Dr. Terry Hunt

River Dental Arts

1690 Wright Ave

Rocky River, OH 44116

Phone: (440) 331-7380

http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/tooth-pain.aspx

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/11/1372.short

Your Holiday Guide to Santa’s Helpers!

Dental Do-Gooder to Alabaster Snowball

After decades of dreaming about becoming a dentist, Hermey the Elf was named DDG (Dental Do-Gooder) in November by the president of the American Dental Association ADA)!

http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2014/pr14_058.htm

“Hermey’s passion for dentistry coupled with his devotion to helping others feel good about themselves inside and out, deserves recognition,”said  ADA President Maxine Feinberg, DDS. ”I know Hermey the Elf, DDG, will continue to inspire young people and those who are young at heart to follow their dreams.”

Hermey, Rudolph and some of their friends have also been honored on a postage stamp.  These stamps celebrate the 50th anniversary of the much-loved holiday classic.  Here are Five Fun Facts:

  1. According to Ken Muller, brother of ‘Rudolph’ screenwriter Romeo Muller, the original name for Hermey the Elf was supposed to be “Herbie” in honor of a childhood friend. Clarice (Rudolph’s girlfriend) was named after the future bride of another friend.
  2. Yukon Cornelius has a diverse dog sled team. Instead of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, his mixed team of pooches includes a Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, a Dachshund and a Collie.
  3. The animators also created the character –narrator of Sam the Snowman to look like Burl Ives, who was the voice for that part.
  4. In the original script, while Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to visit the Island of Misfit Toys and bring them back, they never do so. After the show first aired, Rankin-Bass, the production company, were inundated with letters from concerned kids demanding that the Misfit Toys be rescued. To console the children, they produced a short scene where Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the reindeer arrive on the Island and deliver the Misfits to new homes. This scene has shown on TV since 1965. Kids rule!!
  5. The original puppets of Santa Claus and the younger Rudolph were eventually purchased by a new owner after going on tour in 2007. Since they were in absolutely horrible condition– Santa had half of his mustache missing while Rudolph was missing his famous nose — the new owner spent $4,000 for them to be restored to mint condition by stop-motion animation studio Screen Novelties International.

Even though we are celebrating Hermey, DDG’s achievements there are other notable elves that we should visit.  Who remembers the Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on a shelf is a special “spy” elf. This elf was sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists.  After the elf arrives and is named, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. You definitely want to stay on this elf’s good side!  The next day the scout elf returns to its family and sits in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning.  Some came offering candy, like a chocolate sampler box.

Finally, the serious elves.  Some believe that Santa employs six elves.  Some think that there are as many as 13 elves living with Santa to help him. Elves are the children of Gryla and Leppaludi and are very clever. They help Santa to design toys and process requests of children that are sent to them through snail mail or emails. The popular Western names of the Christmas elves helping Santa Claus are:

  • Alabaster Snowball (Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list)
  • Bushy Evergreen (Inventor of the magic toy-making machine).
  • Pepper Minstix (Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas’ village is located).
  • Shinny Upatree (The oldest friend of Santa and the cofounder of the secret village in Lapland).
  • Sugarplum Mary (Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs. Claus and helps her in the kitchen).
  • Wunorse Openslae (Designer of Father Christmas’s sleigh and responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeers and it is believed that his reindeers reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights.).

Now, you know more than any of your family members about those mysterious elves! The ambitious Hermey.  The “Traditional”, like Elf on the Shelf and the “Real” (?), like Santa’s Helpers.  Add them to your celebrations and may you remain forever young this holiday season.

Click here to color with Hermey!

Dr. Terry Hunt | River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

PERIODONTAL DISEASE OVERALL HEALTH

I am becoming more and more aware and concerned with the link between oral health and overall health.  Taking care of your oral health positively contributes to your overall health Featured imageand well-being.  Researchers have established links between gum disease and other health ailments.  While it is not perfectly clear whether there is a cause and effect relationship, we do know that there are links between gum disease and many other health conditions.  We know that gum disease can be prevented, treated and sometimes reversed, which indicates that patients may be able to influence their overall health by actively managing their oral health.

Prevention is the key.  Good oral home care routines combined with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent gum disease.  Brushing, flossing and rinsing at home helps reduce the build up of plaque.  By maintaining regular dental visits we can remove additional plaque and monitor gum disease warning signs.  We will discuss any evidence of gum disease with you so that you can also manage any changes in your overall health.  Here are some links that have been demonstrated between oral health and overall health.

  • Heart Disease & Stroke: People with gum disease are almost TWICE as likely to suffer coronary artery disease as those without gum disease.
  • Pulmonary Infection: Harmful bacteria from gum infections has been linked with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Osteoporosis: Women with osteoporosis may be at higher risk for gum disease and people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of underlying osteoporosis.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which in turn can make it more difficult to control blood sugar.
  • Oral Cancer: An association has been found between serious periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions and oral tumors.
  • Pregnancy: Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked with toxemia, pre-term delivery and babies with lower birth weights.

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  It really doesn’t matter what brand of toothbrush you use, as long as it has soft or medium strength bristles.  The best toothbrush to use is the one that you will use!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

CEREC 3D – CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY

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Did you know CEREC 3D restoration services are a cutting edge technology?  This is a superior method of creating precisely-designed, color-matched and highly durable ceramic restoration, made right in the dental office. I am so proud to be using cutting edge technology to manufacture lifelike porcelain crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays right in our office.

Though this technology can’t be used for every restoration, when CEREC 3D can be used, it allows us to create strong, customized, tooth-colored ceramic restorations right here in our office, usually within a single appointment

Here is how it works.  After examining the tooth and determining the course of treatment, I will prepare your tooth for restoration, similar to traditional treatment methods. CEREC then uses a state-of-the-art 3D camera to create an optical impression.  This digital image replaces the physical “goopy” impression required in traditional procedures.  You don’t have to wait while a tray of impression goop hardens in your mouth.

I then use state-of-the-art software to design every precise detail of your restoration with the accuracy you’ve come to expect from us.  The software allows me to customize the shape of the restoration to exactly fit your specific clinical needs.

While you wait, exact design specifications are sent to our on-site milling machine to create your restoration.  About 15 minutes later, your all-ceramic color-matched restoration is ready for placement.  Your new restoration is then fitted, polished and bonded for permanence.  Your tooth is restored back to its natural form, function and beauty.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Did you know that almost half of the U.S. population aged 30 years and older have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis (gum disease)?  According to new research from the Featured imageJournal of Dental Research in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) periodontitis is prominent.  Nearly two-thirds of adults over age 65 have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?  It is an inflammatory disease characterized by loss of connective tissue between the teeth and gums.  It is the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults as bacteria growth in the mouth can destroy the tissue that surrounds your teeth.  Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes gum disease.  Bacteria in the plaque build up and cause the gums to become inflamed and to bleed easily during tooth brushing.  In the early stages of gingivitis, the gums may be irritated, but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets.  If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontal disease.  When this happens the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets.  These small spaces between the teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected.  Your body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows beneath the gum line.  As the disease progresses, gum tissue and bone are destroyed.  When this happens the teeth become loose and tooth loss occurs.

Although plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, other contributors include: hormonal changes, illnesses, medications, tobacco use, poor oral hygiene habits and family history of dental disease. Pay attention to the warning signs of gum disease and ask us about any questions that you may have.  The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during or after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down or in the fit of partial dentures

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  Oral bacteria can be passed to others, which can spread bacteria and potentially lead to periodontal disease.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

Common Dental Myths Debunked

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Facts About Dental Myths

With the magnitude of information available to us these days, it’s harder than ever to separate facts from myths; especially when it comes to your health. There are a million dental related myths that might steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to a healthy smile. It’s important to be informed and know the facts. Here are a few common dental myths, followed by the facts.

Oral Hygiene Only Affects Your Teeth

Many people hear the phrase “oral hygiene” and they think of the simple act of brushing or flossing. While oral hygiene is important for keeping your teeth healthy, poor oral hygiene can be linked to several other health problems- including heart disease. Taking care of your mouth actually means taking care of a lot of things within your body. Untreated periodontal disease contributes to more low birth weight babies than both drinking and smoking combined.  Having poor oral hygiene can cause a multitude of problems- not all of them related to your teeth.

You Shouldn’t Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out Until They Start to Hurt

Typically, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and your dentist will generally advise you of the same. If you wait for your wisdom teeth to become painful, they might have already done other damage to your gums or teeth. Many people believe that as long as they have no pain, there’s no reason to have an unnecessary surgery. In rare cases, wisdom teeth can stay intact as long as they are not interfering or causing damage. One of the most common reasons to remove wisdom teeth is because they are so difficult to keep clean and rather than incurring costly repairs to those teeth many dentists will suggest having them removed.  Frequent exams are necessary in this case to monitor and maintain your health. It’s generally better to have your wisdom teeth removed before any pain, rather than take the gamble.

White Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

Teeth are actually not meant to be pure white. Tooth color can vary widely, for example, depending on your race, pigmentation varies greatly.  Also, as you get older, your teeth will naturally take on a more faded color as things do with time, however they can still be perfectly healthy. A color beyond a light yellow could be cause for concern, but generally the pinkness of your gums is a better indication of oral health as opposed to how white your teeth are.

If Teeth Look Healthy, and Are Not Hurting, There is No Reason to Visit a Dentist

The most common mistake people make regarding their dental health is skipping regular preventive visits because they do not see or feel any problems. Even in the absence of a visible problem or discomfort, regular visits for x-ray exams, cleaning and necessary restorative care are necessary to maintain your teeth and gums for life. Discovering diseases in the mouth earlier rather than later will typically reduce cost, recovery time and severity of dental treatment that may need to be performed.

It’s important to educate yourself on the facts surrounding whole body health and well-being. Muddled information and common misperceptions can leave people confused. The best way to combat myths and augment dental health is to see and speak with your dentist regularly. Have open dialogue and productive conversations about what is and is not true. Being informed, savvy and educated will keep you and your dentist smiling.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116