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You can help your kids look forward to dental visits

October 17th, 2016

When parents have sustained a traumatic dental experience as a child, they may inadvertently pass on their own fears to their children. It doesn't have to be that way.

General dentists are now trained to deliver compassionate care for all ages of patients because positive early dental experiences serve as a critical foundation for healthy smiles from childhood to the teenage years and beyond.

Follow these few simple tips to put your child at ease:

Practice for the dental visit. Your child can lie back on the couch or in a reclining chair. You can hold a mirror up so they can see too while you look in their mouth and count their teeth. You can also have them brush the teeth of their doll or stuffed animal to get more accustomed to the dental routine, pretending to be the dental hygienist.

Tell your child what to expect. Most importantly, emphasize that seeing the dentist keeps their teeth strong, healthy and beautiful. This will help motivate them to want to go to the dentist.

Early visits are critical. A child’s initial visit is recommended no later than the first birthday. Early experiences create a positive association with the dental office visit that leads to a lifetime of healthy smiles while also providing opportunities to educate parents about how they can help their child avoid cavities and other oral health problems.

In the end, it’s all about your child and a healthy smile that can last a lifetime.

Dry Mouth? Drink This In

August 20th, 2016

A dental epidemic called Xerostomia, or "Dry Mouth," affects millions of people and is a major cause of oral problems including tooth decay.

Causes of this condition are many and include certain health problems, salivary gland damage, dehydration, smoking, mouth breathing and side effects from commonly prescribed medications.

Symptoms can vary widely by individual. Is there a noticeable lack of saliva pooling under your tongue? Do you feel like you have bad breath? Do you continually get cavities or experience gingivitis despite frequent brushing and flossing? Perhaps you feel parched even though your water intake is adequate, or you notice an abnormal surface on your tongue. These are just some of the presentations of dry mouth.

General suggestions for improving your experience with dry mouth:

1) Make a concerted effort to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth

2) Stimulate saliva production with Xylitol containing sugar-free gum or lozenges

3) Drink more water

4) Consider using a humidifier in your room while sleeping

Professional recommendations tailored to your situation can be made after a thorough examination and review of your health and medical history. Due to the complexities of this condition, enlisting the help of your dentist is your best bet for long lasting relief.

Daily Tips for a Clean and Healthy Mouth

July 18th, 2016

Choose wisely

For sensitive teeth, try toothpaste with potassium nitrate. Tend to get cavities? Prescription strength fluoride pastes will help. A soft-bristle brush head cleans without damaging teeth and gums. I personally use and recommend CariFree products and Sonicare toothbrushes for the best results.

It's about time
Brush two minutes twice a day.

Have a game plan
A random approach leaves areas neglected. Pick a starting point like the upper right back tooth and slowly work your way around from tooth to tooth spending about 3 seconds on each surface as you go.

Technique matters
Direct bristles toward gum line at an angle and use circular motion with a light touch rotating your brush to fit into the spaces between teeth.

Clean your tongue
Bacteria and food particles hide on the tongue surface. Tongue scrapers remove them and improve breath. I personally use and recommend the BreathRx tongue scraper.

Oh my floss
Failure to clean between teeth leaves harmful bacteria and food particles behind, leading to a higher incidence of tooth loss. Your dental hygienist can help you perfect your technique making this critical daily task easier for you.

Let’s talk about it
We want to know what is working and what isn't. Ask for additional guidance and achieve your oral health goals.

$1,000 Gifford Family Dentistry Community Scholarship Awarded June 3, 2016

June 23rd, 2016

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of awarding the first ever "Gifford Family Dentistry Community Scholarship" for $1,000 to a very deserving young woman in the Wilson High School graduating Class of 2016. Her name is Atiya Rauf. Ask me about her when you see me. She has an amazing story and bright future.