Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Xylitol: What is it and how does it improve my oral health?

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in your mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth – which is how it protects teeth from tooth decay. 

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar, it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. The acid-attack causes tooth decay and cavities begin to form. 

34 gumWith Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug- crossing a boundary not allowed by the FDA. 

Think about it, because the bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacterium does not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases. 

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But, most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are no enough. 

Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again. 

Xylitol can have a significant influence on your health. Look for xylitol products including toothpaste, mouthwash, nasal spray, gum, mints and candy.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Baby's Baby Teeth!

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
A recent article published by CBS News pointed out the importance of taking care of your baby’s teeth! Senior Lifestyle Editor for American Baby, Jessica Hartshorn, tells you how to keep your baby’s teeth in good shape!

“Since your baby’s first set of teeth are not permanent, some parents don’t realize the importance of keeping them healthy,” said  Jessica. “It’s important to take care of primary teeth until they are naturally lose and put under the pillow for the tooth fairy,” (CBSNEws). Although you can’t see them at birth, an infant has 20 primary teeth under their gums. As your child gets older, these primary teeth make room for 32 permanent teeth. 

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s mouth, even before the first tooth breaks through the gums. “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that you gently brush your baby’s gums after each feeding. You can use water on a soft-bristled baby toothbrush or wipe them with a clean washcloth. This puts good dental habits in practice from the very start,” says Jessica (CBSNews).

At about 6 months, you should start to see your baby’s first tooth. When the first new teeth appear, it’s important to clean them at least once a day! “You can wipe the teeth with a piece of gauze, damp cloth or baby toothbrush. Use a small dab of fluoridated toothpaste until your baby is old enough to spit on her own, which is usually around age two or three. When your baby grows two teeth that touch, it’s time to get out the floss to prevent cavities,” (CBSNews). 

As we’ve blogged about before, the most common cause of tooth decay is putting your child to bed with a bottle. “It’s not the baby bottle that’s the problem. It’s the formula, milk or juice that’s in it. When these liquids are on baby’s gums and teeth during sleep, it can cause tooth decay. That bottle could also put your baby at risk for an ear infection and choking, so it’s a good idea to keep it out of the crib,” (CBSNews). 

Keep your baby’s teeth healthy from day one! For more information on children’s oral health, visit PediatricDentistryofGardenCity.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
Experts advise parents to take their children to pediatric dentists regularly! 

According to an article published in HealthNews, “the percentage of children suffering from various dental disorders is very high in the United States when compared to other countries around the world,” (HealthNews18.com). Sure, bad eating habits in the US is on reason for bad teeth in children, but the other is lack of interest in parents taking their kids to a pediatric dentist! 

For optimum oral health, it is VITAL you take your children to a pediatric dentist regularly. “Many of the dental and oral problems we see in children such as tooth decay, dental abscess, tooth loss, toothache, and bad breath could be easily prevented with periodic professional teeth cleanings,” (HealthNews18.com). 

Whether or not your children have dental problems, experts suggest you take them to a pediatric dentist nearby regularly for checkups. “The preventive care visits assure your children have strong teeth in the future. Periodic dental visits help dentists to prevent any abnormal dental conditions like tooth decay, gum diseases, etc... Even the crooked or irregular teeth in children can be avoided,” said Nirupama Rao, a pediatric dentist (HealthNews18.com). 

Because many parents wait to take their children to the dentist until something is wrong – the dentists are forced to use some equipment that causes “dental fear” in children, especially since they’re not familiar with the equipment, their surroundings or their dentist. 

 Dr. Reynolds at Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City, specializes in pediatric dentistry and works hard to help kids develop lasting dental health habits that give them smiles they can be proud of for a lifetime. She also specializes in treating children with special needs

Call to schedule an appointment today!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's National Skating Month! Don't forget the importance of mouth guards when participating in sports...

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

January is National Skating Month! Although skating can be a fun activity, like other sports it can be dangerous to your teeth and jaw. Wearing a mouth guard when skating or playing hockey can help prevent dangerous and painful injuries.

A mouth guard is a soft plastic or laminate device used in sports to prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. The American Dental Association projects that one third of all dental injuries are sports related. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year (ColgateProfessional.com).

The types of dental injuries that can occur without the use of a mouth guard are chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns or bridgework, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions (ColgateProfessional.com). All athletes are at risk for oral injury. Most dental and facial injuries can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, reports several interesting statistics provided by SportsDentistry.com: Dental injuries are the most common type of oral facial injuries sustained during participation in sports. Victims of tooth avulsions who do not have the teeth properly preserved or replanted will face lifetime dental costs estimated from $10-15,000 per tooth, the inconvenience of hours spent in the dental chair and possibly other dental problems. 

A study of high school athletes found that seventy-five percent of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and forty percent occurred during baseball and basketball- but this doesn’t mean hockey players and ice skaters are off the hook! Nine percent of all athletes suffered some type of oral injury while another three percent reported a loss of consciousness. Fifty-six percent of all concussions were suffered when mouth guards were not worn. Trauma related to sports is more prevalent than previously reported, (ColgateProfessional.com). 

Mouth guard design and fabrication is extremely important. There are four types of mouth guards according to the dental literature: Stock, Boil and Bite, Vacuum Custom made, and Pressure Laminated Custom made. 

It is essential to educate the public that “stock” and “boil and bite” mouth guards bought at sporting goods stores do not provide the optimum treatment expected by the athlete. These ill-fitting mouth guards cannot deal with idiosyncrasies athletes and children may have. If everyone had the same dentition; were of the same gender; played the same sport under the same conditions; had the same experience and played the same position at the same level of competition, and were the same age and same size mouth, with the same number and shape of teeth, prescribing a standard mouth guard would be simple. This is the precise reason why mouth guards bought at sporting goods stores, without the recommendation of a qualified dentist, should not be worn (SportsDentistry.com).

Erupting teeth, which usually occur between the ages of 6 and 12, should be noted so the mouth guard can be designed to allow for eruption during the season. Boil and bite mouth guards do not allow for this eruption space.

For patients with braces, special designs for the mouth guards are essential to allow for orthodontic movement without compromising on injury prevention and fit. This can only be achieved through consultations with your dentist.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Reynolds at Pediatric Dentistryof Garden City to ensure your child can enjoy participating in sports while still maintaining a healthy smile. For more information visit PediatricDentistryofGardenCity.com. And don’t forget to get out and celebrate National Skating Month!