Posts for: May, 2017
Think those six-month dental cleanings aren’t necessary? Think again!
Why wait until you need dental fillings or gum disease treatment when prevention is even better than finding a cure. Here at Cosmic Kids Dentistry, our Lake Havasu City, AZ, family dentist believes that it’s so much more important to give your child’s smile the easy, simple and painless care it needs every so often to prevent decay and gum disease from affecting your little one in the future.
What does preventive dentistry entail?
Besides visiting our Lake Havasu dentist every six month for cleanings and care, there are other ways to keep your child’s smile healthy including:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Replacing your child’s toothbrush head every 3-4 months
- Eating a healthy diet (avoiding sugar, sports drinks and refined carbs)
These are pretty simple habits to adopt, but to ensure that your child is actually keeping up with their oral routine as they get older, it’s important that you start them early. They lead by example, so make sure you are taking enough time out of your daily routine to maintain your own oral hygiene. These are also great times to bond with your little one while also protecting against decay and gum disease together. Making brushing and flossing a family affair!
In the beginning, you’ll be brushing and flossing your child’s smile for them until they are old enough to do it themselves (usually around 7 or 8 years old). Even once they take the reins, you will still want to monitor them closely to make sure they are doing a good job. If you have questions about how to care for your child’s smile or how to teach them proper techniques, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Lake Havasu, AZ, general dentist anytime.
Also, the next time your child is in the office, talk to us about whether fluoride treatment or dental sealants might also be preventive options to prevent decay in your child’s growing smile and improve their oral health.
Do you need to schedule your child’s next dental cleaning with us? If so, don’t hesitate to call Cosmic Kids Dentistry in Lake Havasu City, AZ. We have a variety of times to suit you and your little one’s busy schedules.
Biting the inside of your cheek is high on the list of minor but painfully irritating occurrences like paper cuts or tongue scalding from hot coffee. A mouth bite, though, has an additional tormenting feature — there's a good chance you'll bite the same spot again.
This kind of repeated mouth injury results in an enlargement of the soft tissue that has been traumatized. They're often diagnosed and referred to as a traumatic fibroma. When you bite your cheek, lips or tongue, you create a small wound that usually heals quickly. This healing process, though, can be interrupted if you bite the area again, which can then cause excess scar tissue to form.
The fibrous scar tissue, made up of a protein called collagen, is similar to a callous. You can often feel it with your tongue — a knot of tough skin that protrudes from the otherwise flat cheek wall. Because of this prominence, it tends to get in the “line of fire” during eating or biting, so you'll bite it again — and again. If this cycle continues, then even a more prominent scar tissue forms that you're more likely to bite again.
The wound will heal most of the time, unless you continually bite it. If it becomes a nagging problem, we can surgically remove the lump. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, we'll either use a laser or scalpel to remove it. The area is easy to fix and will flatten out the cheek surface. The entire procedure takes fifteen minutes or less and in a few days to a week you won't even notice it had been there.
While the vast majority of these lesions are harmless, it's still standard protocol to biopsy the removed tissue: a pathologist examines it under a microscope for cancer cells. This is a routine part of any medical practice and not a cause for alarm.
If you've had a lump for awhile that you always seem to be biting, see us for an examination. With a simple procedure, we may be able to remove that irritation once and for all.
If you would like more information on treating mouth lumps and other sores, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth.”
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!