New Recommendations for Infants and Expectant Mothers!

 

I want to share some INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION with you that was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Infants need to visit the dentist, and infants need fluoride to make their teeth stronger! Even though baby teeth do fall out to give way to permanent adult teeth, they need to remain healthy as they can affect the health of the adult teeth underneath. And, pregnant mothers need to have a healthy oral environment so that they reduce the amount of dangerous bacteria they pass onto baby.

 

The Chicago Tribune‘s Danielle Braf reported on new recommendations for expecting mothers and children, and several were regarding oral care for both mothers and infants.  According to the Tribune’s article, The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants are exposed to fluoride toothpaste once their teeth begin to come in, and that babies ingest  fluoridated tap water rather than bottled water, and that mothers receive routine oral health assessments during pregnancy.

 

  • How do you administer fluoride toothpaste to infants? Rub a grain-of-rice sized toothpaste on an infant’s teeth and let it stay there. Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth and prevents cavities.
  • Use fluoridated tap water in sippy cups, or in bottles. Bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride.

In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that routine oral health assessments should be done during pregnancy, and they published that dental X-rays also are safe throughout pregnancy.

Pregnancy can result in changes in gums and teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby. About 40 percent of pregnant women in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, including inflammation of the gums, cavities and periodontics, so it’s important that they continue to have dental work done throughout their pregnancies. Root canals and filling cavities is permitted and encouraged during pregnancy!

I hope this helps you take care of yourself and your little ones!

Best, Dr. Frankel

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Coffee Creamer and Prenatal Vitamins- what do they have in common?

What do coffee creamer and prenatal vitamins have in common? You’re probably thinking this is an odd question, but it’s not. SUGAR. SUGAR IS WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON. Many people don’t realize that gummy prenatal vitamins contain sugar, and so do most coffee creamers. And it’s not a little bit of sugar, it is a significant component of both of these products.

As a dentist I have been seeing patients come in with once healthy mouths free of cavities that become mouths full of cavities. Good oral hygiene (home brushing and flossing) is not enough to keep cavities away. Diet plays a big role in cavity formation. Chewy prenatal vitamins can be thought of like a sticky candy- they contain sugar, they melt slowly in your mouth, and they stick to your teeth. Not to mention that this is perfect food for bacteria in your mouth, yuck! Coffee creamer is also sugar laden, bathes your teeth in sugar, and can also cause cavities.

I’m not saying that these products should not be used, but as your dentist I think it is important for my patients to know that they contain sugar and can make your teeth susceptible to decay. If you use chewy prenantal vitamins, take them with a meal. After you finish your meal, rinse your mouth out with water. You can brush your teeth and floss after you eat as well, but wait a few minutes after you finish. Why? Well, let the pH of your mouth return to a neutral level- that takes some time. If you use coffee creamers, flavored or unflavored, take less than 30 minutes to consume all of your coffee. You are at higher risk of decay if you drink coffee with sugar throughout the day. Why? The same reason as with prenatal vitamins. Sugar lowers the pH of your mouth and feeds bacteria, dissolves tooth enamel and then causes cavities.

 

Good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits are key in fighting off cavities. I hope you gained some good information!

Happy snacking,

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Dr. Frankel

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A link Between Exercise and Poor Oral Health?

Running

According to research recently reported in The New York Times published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports that too much exercise could have a negative effect on our teeth. We all know that regular exercise is good, but new research suggests that too much exercise could, in fact, be bad for our oral health! 

 

Why might this be? Well during heavy exercise, salivary flow decreases, as this study showed. Saliva has a protective factor that helps prevent tooth decay, so if there is less of it, the teeth are more susceptible to cavities. Furthermore, the study also tested the pH of the athletes saliva, and it showed that prolonged exercise causes the saliva to become alkaline. Alkaline saliva promotes the development of tartar ( calculus) on the teeth.

So, if you, or your friends family members are professional athletes, distance runners, or work-out for long periods of time, regular dental visits are important! Furthermore, it is always best to drink water while exercising in order to stay hydrated, but also to help keep the pH of your mouth balanced and less dry. pH Neutral, non-flavored water is best during a workout. 

Regular exercise is great, but if you frequently train long hours, make sure you visit your dentist regularly so that any cavities can be diagnosed early!

 

Happy exercising,

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Dr. Frankel

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Its Mouthguard Season!

soccer

With fall sports season comes the need for custom-fitted mouthguards! Here at Richards Frankel Dentistry we can make you and your children custom fitting mouthguards that optimize facial protection when playing contact sports. Over-the-counter mouthguards provide significantly LESS protection than do custom-fitted mouthguards.

 

Why wear a mouthguard?

Mouthguards help you avoid injuries to the mouth when playing sports such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, hockey, field hockey, and skateboarding.

Common injuries that can be avoided include:

  • jaw fracture
  • broken teeth
  • split lips
  • concussion (mouthguards may reduce the likelihood of concussion)

 

Why wear a custom-fitted professional mouthguard?

A mouthguard made by your dentist is made to an exact model of your teeth, so it fits! It doesn’t require that the athlete hold it in place by biting on it.  Mouthguards sold at sporting goods stores, or drugstores are not able to create a tight fit to the teeth and are often loose and bulky, thus providing less protection and are less durable. While an over-the-counter mouthguard is less expensive, it is less durable, and is not backed by your dentist’s warranty.

Don’t let you or your children be more susceptible to injury! Have a custom mouthguard made by Richards Frankel Dentistry and let the games begin!

Happy sports season,

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Dr. Frankel

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In the dating world? Why your smile is so important!

Couple

I’d like to share some valuable information on one of the world’s most ubiquitous signs of happiness, warmth, love, and greetings: A SMILE!  If you are meeting someone for the first time, your smile is one of the most important aspects of a first impression. And, showing your teeth when you smile is even more effective at conveying those positive emotions.  Did you know that:

  • 63% – Percentage of people who say they look best in photos when they are showing their teeth.
  • 99.7% – Percentage of adults who say an attractive smile is an important personal asset.
  • 74% – Percentage of people who say that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for business or career success.
  • 23% – Percentage of people who say they look the best with their mouth closed.
  • Smiles are more attractive than makeup. A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  • If you are a woman, you will look more attractive to men when you are smiling.  Studies have shown that men think women who are not wearing make-up but are smiling are more attractive than those with perfect make-up who were stone-faced.

So, show off your “pearly whites”- you will seem and feel happier, you will look more attractive to the opposite sex, and it can bring you more success. If you are uncomfortable, or unhappy with your smile, you know you can always turn to your dental professional, Richards Frankel Dentistry, for improvement in your smile!

Happy smiling, Best, Dr. Frankel

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Oil Pulling is trending. Does it work?

Coconut

Oil pulling is an ancient practice that is traditionally done in Southeast Asian cultures, where oil is swished in a person’s mouth for 20 minutes daily.  People who practice oil pulling claim that swishing any type of oil in your mouth every day will whiten your teeth, reduce bacteria, strengthen your gums and jaw, improve skin, clear your sinuses, prevent ​bad breath and even protect against heart disease, as well as Alzheimer’s Disease. However, other than anecdotal claims, there is no research to back-up these benefits. Dental professionals cannot prove that oil pulling indeed does work. Researchers need to further investigate oil pulling and its benefits to oral and overall health.

However, there re also no negative effects known to be caused by oil pulling either. Thus, if you can tolerate swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes daily, and you are curious to see if it does, in fact, whiten your teeth, or reduce bad breath, then try it at home. Just don’t swallow the oil! Coconut oil, or olive oil are commonly used in this practice.

Nothing replaces the benefits of regular dental visits, and dental exams and professional hygiene maintenance. It is also important to brush and floss twice daily!

I hope I’ve satisfied your curiosity, or even peaked it!

Best, Dr. Frankel

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* Information for this article was gathered from US News and World Report.

“Coconut” by Hafiz Issadeen is licensed under CC BY

 

Oral Health while Being Treated for Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease.  Currently there are about 12 million people in the U.S. living with an invasive form of cancer.  It’s likely you know someone being treated for cancer today, and the treatment used is commonly chemotherapy.

Many chemotherapy drugs have oral side effects that can be damaging, and cause further discomfort to a patient being treated for cancer. The objective of this post is to teach  patients about the oral side effects of chemotherapy, and to give them tools in order to avoid , or lessen their chances of having such complications during treatment.

One of the most important steps to take when a patient is undergoing chemotherapy is to maintain excellent oral hygiene at home, as well as visit the dentist every 3-6 months. Chemotherapy medications can cause oral tissue hypersensitivity with pain, oral ulcers, taste alteration, erosion of tooth enamel due to vomiting, dry mouth, and mucositis ( inflammation and pain of the lining of the mouth and digestive tract).

Below are some tips to deal with the above complications:

Vomiting: If chemo treatment has made you nauseous, and you’ve been vomiting, DO NOT brush immediately afterwards.  Instead, rinse with lukewarm water mixed with a bit of baking soda, and then brush gently afterward. The acid from stomach contents can wear away enamel, and brushing right away will only make this worse.

Mucositis: If your gums, the inside of your cheeks, or your palate feel inflamed and are red and causing you severe pain, mucositis may likely be the diagnosis. This requires the care of your dentist, who may then recommend some palliative care options for you. Such care may include: saline mouth rinses, ice chips, alcohol-free mouth rinses, and more.

Dry mouth: Salivary flow may likely be lessened during chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Sipping water (non-flavored, and with a neutral pH) can help lubricate the mouth. Chewing tart, SUGARLESS gum may also help increase saliva. Your dentist can also prescribe and recommend other medications, or aids to help with producing saliva.

When a patient finds out they will be undergoing chemotherapy, they should look to their dentist for help in maintaining oral health, as well to treat chemotherapy’s oral side effects, thus easing the discomfort caused by chemotherapy.

Thanks for reading our post,

Dr. Margaret Frankel

Information from this article was gathered from The American Cancer Society, and Dental Economics: www.dentaleconomics.com