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Kids and Flossing

June 10th, 2017

It’s important that flossing become a part of your child’s daily oral care routine. However, you might wonder when—at what age—the best time is to make it routine? There are many right answers to this, and the best answer may be to plan to teach it when you think your own child is ready to learn. Usually, a child can begin the practice of flossing, on his or her own, around the age of ten, while in the years leading up to then, you should be assisting your child to floss his or her teeth. Remember, if your child makes flossing routine, when he or she is young, they will be more likely to develop into adults who also know the importance of a daily oral care routine.

Encouragement
When your child is at an age where they have the dexterity to handle flossing on his or her own, it’s time to step back and encourage them to do so. One idea is to make a calendar, broken down into the two times of day at which he or she will brush and floss. Stickers work well to indicate a proper brushing and flossing session. Make sure to throw in awards for any length of time during which your child has kept up streak of brushing (for at least two minutes) and flossing.

Also remember that a child may become frustrated by flossing, even if he or she has the dexterity, and there are other tools, like floss holders, that could make flossing simpler.

Lead by Example
If you are practicing good daily oral care habits, your child is more likely to do the same. Let them watch you brush and floss your teeth. Make sure you chow them that you, too, are careful to clean all the sides of your teeth. Make sure you stress just how important quality oral care is in everyone’s life. And in addition to at-home care, make sure your child gets to the dentist once or twice yearly for a routine checkup. A child who spends time in the dentist chair grows into an adult who doesn’t harbor fears of the dentist. Call Brewer Dental Center today for all of your Pediatric Dental needs.

Benefits of using an Intraoral Camera

May 10th, 2017

There are many benefits to using an intraoral camera. The camera allows the patient to interact in their own dental checkup. In real time, the patient and the dentist view a live-feed from the camera on a screen. The camera is non-invasive, small, a similar size to a traditional dental mirror. And because of its small size, it can be placed at convenient angles to view the teeth and gums.

Your dentist at Brewer Dental Center is experienced in using his or her eye, or dental mirror, to diagnose both current and potential problems within your mouth. However, an intraoral camera can enlarge the view of the tooth many times the tooth’s actual size.

Obviously, this allows the dentist to see problems that are not so easily seen, even with the most experienced eye. Oral disease, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, often go undiagnosed, without symptom, especially in the earliest stages. But with the intraoral camera, your dentist may be better able to determine early signs of the disease well-before it’s apparent.

Patient Interaction

The intraoral camera also provides a visual education as to the inherent problems within a patient’s mouth. The camera’s live-feed provides an up-close view of oral disease, plaque, etc. But the camera also shows the potential trouble areas within a person’s mouth, areas that could benefit from better at-home, routine oral care.

Your family dentist can also pause the camera, take stills that concentrate on problem areas, and your dentist can show you the possible treatment options. Being able to take photos and video also keeps your dental record up-to-date, and your dentist can easily document any progressions. For years, your dentist can track your dental health, seeing potential problems long before they become chronic issues.

Chances are if you have made your twice-yearly visits to Brewer Dental, you have seen the intraoral camera in action. If you have never experienced this level of interaction at a dentist’s office and would like to, then make an appointment with Brewer Dental today. And remember to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once!

Tobacco And Oral Health

April 14th, 2017

Tobacco is bad for our bodies, and we know this. But sometimes, even though we know that something is bad for us, it can be difficult to quit the habit. Unfortunately, a nicotine addiction is very difficult to overcome. Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” Health issues involving tobacco are numerous, and there is the obviously prevalent link with certain cancers, but it’s also responsible for the hardening of blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack, and certain lung disorders and diseases. Oral health impacts are oral cancer, stained and yellowed teeth, a dull sense of taste and smell, and even gum disease (tobacco use can create pockets near teeth where bacteria can seep down below the gum line, possibly causing gingivitis).

If you are trying to quit using tobacco, here are a few tips. First, substitute your tobacco use with something different, give yourself something new to focus on. Oftentimes tobacco is used frequently as a way of coping with stress, which feels like a double-edged sword in trying to quit it, when quitting tobacco is so very stressful on the body and the mind. Try activities like exercise to take your mind from the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. Exercise is obviously a broad term, and very commonly used, but it’s commonly used for a reason: exercise is good for the body, and it’s a well-known stress reliever.

Also, make sure that you tell your friends or family about your plans to quit. Quitting can make you irritable, especially the first week when the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are working on your body. Also, having a support group of people who care about you and your health can be a huge advantage. If you don’t have a support group, or would just like some extra assistance, the Montana Tobacco Quit line offers free support, and can be found at the following web address: https://montana.quitlogix.org .

If you are concerned about the impact of tobacco on your dental health, schedule an appointment at Brewer Dental for a checkup or an oral cancer screening.

Dental Care and Sleep Apnea

February 8th, 2017

Did you know that your dentist can help you with sleep apnea? It’s true, if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from the, what can be, debilitating condition, it may be time to pay a visit to your dentist.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (which is the most common type) is when air is blocked somehow while a person sleeps. Soft tissues in the back of the throat can collapse while you are breathing and obstruct the airway. Central sleep apnea involves the brain and its ability to send signals to the body to breath. Oftentimes central sleep apnea will coincide with other conditions such as heart failure or stroke, or even systemic disease and cancer.

Sleep apnea can be caused by numerous factors—the two most prevalent being weight and age (people who are obese oftentimes suffer from the condition). But also, people who have not yet had their tonsils removed, or people who have a deviated septum. Sleep apnea can also be a temporary condition for people with allergies or other sinus problems.

What can your dentist do about sleep apnea?

You and your dentist may first want to discuss your lifestyle habits: sleep apnea may also be a byproduct of smoking, diet, etc. Also, people with sleep apnea are encouraged not to sleep on their backs. In most cases, your dentist can develop a mouth appliance that positions itself in the mouth in such a way that it keeps the airway open. There are more severe cases of sleep apnea, and these more severe cases of the condition may only be resolved by surgery.

Remember, sleep apnea is not something you have to suffer through. Sleep apnea could develop other conditions, such as high blood pressure and other ailments with the heart and cardiovascular systems. Also, getting a good night’s rest is important to your overall well-being.

If you have any questions about sleep apnea or if you think you would benefit from a dental visit or teeth cleaning, contact Brewer Dental Center today.

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