July 21st, 2009
At Southcenter Dental, we strive to offer our patients with the latest and greatest in dental care. One of our most innovative pieces of equipment is our periodontal therapy laser. Our hygienist, Kimberly, recently attended a course from the World Clinical Laser Institute. Take a look at what she had to say about the benefits of this technology!
The news has recently been discussing the relationship between periodontal gum disease and some systemic health conditions, and the fight against periodontal disease has become more important. Now at Southcenter Dental we have a high tech device to help our patients stay healthy; the Diode Soft Tissue Laser.
Using the Diode Soft Tissue Laser in periodontal therapy offers two distinct benefits to our patients:
1. The extreme precision of the laser allows removal of only the diseased tissue
2. The laser provides simultaneous clotting of the blood vessels providing an optimal environment for speedy healing.
The most important point to the laser cleaning procedure is that it is completely painless!
July 17th, 2009
We at Southcenter Dental know that while it can be unsettling, biting behavior in very young children is certainly not uncommon. Infants bite as a way to explore their surroundings, or to try to relieve the pain of teething. Toddlers bite primarily as a form of communication, since they lack the language skills to vocalize feelings such as frustration, anger or fear. 2- and 3-year-old children often experience biting phases, which can cause trouble in social situations like day care and preschool.
(When children over the age of 3 bite – especially if it’s a frequent occurrence – it can be an indicator of a behavioral or emotional problem. If this is the case, we recommend talking to your family doctor for advice.)
In most cases, children stop biting on their own, once they learn that biting is not appropriate and find other ways to express their feelings. A clear response from parents and caregivers immediately after a biting incident will help a child learn to avoid this behavior. Following is a guide for how to respond when a child bites:
Stay calm. Don’t react to aggressive behavior with aggressive behavior.
If you were the one bitten, overreact to the bite, to show the child that the bite has caused you pain.
If another child was bitten, first turn your attention to him. Comfort him and check to see if the bite needs medical attention. Calm him down if he is upset.
Then, address the child who did the biting. Firmly state that biting is not allowed. Explain that biting causes pain, and that the other child is upset because he is hurt.
After the child has had some time to calm down, talk to him about why he bit, and address his feelings. Explain that we can express our feelings by talking about them, and not by biting.
If biting behavior persists, try using time-outs or removing toys from the child’s play area as negative consequences.
Never hit a child and never bite back to try to show the child that biting hurts. This type of response will teach the child that violence is ok and encourage violent behavior.
Parents and caregivers can help children understand that feelings are ok, and that there are better ways to respond to them than biting. There are many ways to teach your child appropriate emotional responses. Here are a few:
Talk to your child about feelings and encourage him to use words to express feelings.
Share your feelings, both happy and sad, with your child verbally, to provide a model for appropriate behavior.
Reinforce positive behavior; praise your child when he exhibits good social skills, such as sharing, being polite and showing patience.
July 7th, 2009
We at Southcenter Dental want you to know that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!
As of 2005, bottled water is second only to soft drinks as the most popular drink in the United States, beating out milk, juice, and – more significantly – tap water. Between 2001 and 2006, the amount of bottled water sold in the U.S. rose an average of 10% per year. And many dental health specialists point to bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.
Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. The benefits of fluoride were noticed in the early part of the twentieth century, when researchers found communities with low levels of tooth decay. It turned out that these towns had measurable levels (around 1 part per million) of fluoride in their drinking water.
Beginning in the 1940s, communities have fluoridated their water supplies, and dentists have seen a significant decline in cavities ever since. The American Dental Association endorses both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay. Between tap water and toothpaste, most of us get sufficient amounts of fluoride.
But if your family avoids fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health.
If bottled water is your water of choice, check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride. As of a 2006 decision, the FDA allows bottled water containing .6 to 1.0 milligrams per liter of fluoride to carry a label stating that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay. The ADA has backed this decision.
Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your choppers in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting us at Southcenter Dental regularly.