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Smoke Screen

November 18th, 2008

Everybody knows that smoking causes lung cancer, but did you also know that smokers and tobacco are susceptible to a variety of oral health problems at a faster rate than non-smokers?

It’s true! Smoking is responsible for almost 75% of gum disease in adults; and, similar to smokers, adults who smoke pipes and cigars, as well as those using smokeless tobacco, are just as susceptible to gum disease and other tobacco related health problems.

As soon as you use tobacco products, you become more likely to experience any of these oral-health problems:

• Oral cancer
• Gum disease
• Tooth loss
• Loss of bone in the jaw
• Gum recession
• Delayed/impaired healing process after oral surgery or any other treatment
• Decreased success rate of dental implant (tooth replacement) procedures
• Mouth sores
• Loss of your sense of taste and smell
• Bad breath
• Tooth and tongue stains

If you are interested in protecting your oral health we strongly recommend you quit using tobacco products! The following steps are recommended by the Surgeon General to help you quit smoking and using tobacco:

• Get ready – set a quitting date and remove all materials from your home, car and office
• Get support
• Learn new skills and behaviors
• Get medication and use it correctly
• Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations

For support, start with Southcenter Dental! We can help by recommending different options to help you quit, and above all we will support you throughout the quitting process. We are dedicated to helping you protect your oral health – and quitting smoking is significant step in the right direction.

Mooooove Over Gum Disease!

November 11th, 2008

Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A recent study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Results of the study show that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about keeping your teeth healthy, call us at 206.973.8211 or visit www.thecerecdentist.com.

The Tooth Fairy

November 3rd, 2008

Losing your first tooth, or any baby tooth for that matter, can be exciting! Your baby tooth may be gone, but in no time you will have a bigger, “grown-up” tooth in its place. So what do you do with the lost tooth? That’s simple…place it under your pillow at night and when you are fast asleep the tooth fairy will come and whisk your tooth away leaving behind a special gift just for you! Here’s a simple craft project I found a little while back that will help make the tooth fairy’s job a little easier and give your tooth a special place to stay until it is taken away. Please click on the link for instructions and pictures!

Tooth Fairy “Tooth” Box
(remember to ask your parents for help when using hot glue and scissors)

What you will need
• One large empty match box
• Enough felt to wrap the box and inside sliding tray
• Ribbon
• Glue (tacky glue or a hot glue gun)
• Markers
• White, pink and blue (or your favorite color) felt for decorating the matchbox
• Scissors

Step 1: Pull the inner tray out of the box and line the inside with glue and felt as shown. Wrap the outside of the box with felt and glue it in place.

Step 2: Glue ribbon to the outside of the box in a hanging loop shape. Fold another piece of ribbon in half and glue it to the bottom of the inner tray to create a handle for sliding it in and out.

Step 3: Draw a tooth shape on paper, cut it out, and trace it onto the white felt twice. Cut out the teeth and face details.

Step 4: Decorate the teeth with the eyes and cheeks and draw on a mouth. Glue one tooth to the outside of the box.

Step 5: Create a tooth pocket by applying glue to the sides and bottom of the remaining tooth as shown, leaving an opening at the top. Glue the pocket to the inside tray. Once the glue dries, the box is Tooth Fairy-ready. Have your child put the tooth inside the inner pocket and hang it outside their door before your child goes to bed!

Your Friend - Fluoride

October 27th, 2008

There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment? Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties, topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement. Dentists and orthodontists use in-office fluoride treatments to help protect the oral health of adults and children undergoing dental/orthodontic procedures.

Fluoride used in the dentist/orthodontists office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask your doctor how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.

When choosing your own fluoride product be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!

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