Cahill Dental Care
Got a thumb sucker in your house? Don’t worry – you are far from alone. An average of 3 out of 4 children suck their thumbs or other fingers. This number is high, but not surprising – the act of sucking digits is, in fact, a natural reflex that your baby has been practicing since they were in the womb! There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the dental problems thumb sucking can cause – let’s put those to rest.
Like pacifiers, thumb sucking is a habit used by children to calm and sooth themselves. Children may “self-pacify” for a number of different reasons; anxiety, fear, hunger, and even fatigue. Most often, children are not even aware that they’re doing it. However, not all thumb sucking is created equal.
Should we worry about the effects of thumb sucking on our children’s teeth and oral development?
Of course, there is no simple answer, so of course we have to say yes and no. Thumb sucking can cause problems that range from chapped skin, calluses, nail infection, and speech problems to more serious issues such as problems with the growth and development of the mouth, roof of the mouth, and misalignment of teeth (malocclusion). In other words, there may be restorative dentistry or braces in your child’s future.
Age and intensity are the two biggest factors in determining whether or not to do something about your child’s habit. According to The American Dental Association (ADA), sucking is not generally an issue until after permanent teeth begin to come in, and most children will stop naturally between the ages of two and four.
The intensity of sucking can however overrule the age factor. If your child is aggressively sucking, problems may even occur with their baby teeth. Should you discover calluses on the fingers they suck, this may indicate that they are sucking too intensely. On the flipside, if your child is merely resting their thumb gently in their mouth, you probably don’t need to worry.
When & how to curb the habit:
If your child is not vigorously and intensely sucking and is at preschool age or younger, the best thing to do is ignore the habit. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb beyond the age of four, then it’s recommended that you begin working with your child to curb the habit. Most children often feel embarrassed and actually want to stop once they’ve begun interacting and socializing with peers.
When to start kicking the habit:
If your child…
• Shows embarrassment or asks for help
• Vigorously sucks – if this is the case, it’s recommended to curb the habit earlier
• Develops calluses, chapped/raw skin, or infections
• Begins to develop speech problems (such as lisping, having trouble pronouncing T’s and D’s, or thrusts their tongue when they talk)
• Begins to show developmental issues in the growth of their mouth
• Has teeth that are erupting and are clearly misaligned
It’s very important to keep in mind why children suck their thumbs; for comfort and security. Punishment, shaming, and constant pressure to break the habit can actually do more harmful than helpful. No one knows your child better than you do – have you noticed that they only suck their thumb in certain situations or when they’re feeling a certain way? Before you begin, try to identify and pinpoint a pattern in their thumb sucking behavior and come up with a plan to swap out one habit for another.
Some more tips:
• Do they most often suck their thumb when they’re fatigued? Try increasing the duration of their nap or putting them to bed earlier.
• When they’re hungry? Try carrying a bag of snacks with you and let them munch on something instead of sucking their thumb.
• Boredom or fidgety? Try giving them a squishy stress ball to play with to keep their hands busy.
• Anxious? Try creating a quiet space where they can feel safe and comfortable talking about their anxieties.
• Unless your child is developing skin irritations, infections, or calluses, gloves and band aids to deter sucking can be perceived as a punishment and is not recommended.
• Stick to positive reinforcement – draw attention to and praise them when they’re not sucking.
• Turn it into a game – create a fun atmosphere around kicking the habit. You and your child can craft a fun calendar together that keeps track of how many days they can go without sucking. For each day they don’t, put a gold star on the calendar. Set small attainable goals and celebrate when your child has reached them!
As with any health concern, if the habit becomes a persistent problem or is interfering with daily life, it is highly recommended that you speak with your trusted health care professional. Oral health is of the upmost importance. If you’re concerned about your child’s thumb sucking habit and its effects on their teeth, give Cahill Dental Care a call! You can reach us at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101.
Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.
As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).
Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?
The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.
That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today
When should your child visit the dentist?
It is recommended that your child’s first dental visit take place around the first birthday. You might ask why, or assume that your child is too young to visit us. But don’t worry, we are very experienced in treating children of all ages.
What happens at the first dental visit?
We will discuss how to properly care for your baby/toddler’s mouth and what oral habits to watch out for (thumb/finger sucking). We will go over teething milestones and the link between oral health and a proper diet.
What should I expect at the first dental visit?
The visit will be short but sweet. Your child may be nervous (and that is OK, we are ready for it). Our goal is to keep this visit a positive experience. We will complete an exam. We will go over basic oral care. We may or may not actually complete a cleaning. This is a “happy visit” and if you child expresses fear, that’s fine. We will try again next time. We want your child to enjoy the overall experience, laying a good foundation for future visits.
How are we going to accomplish this?
We might have your child in the dental chair if he or she is comfortable. If the child feels better on your lap, then we will do that instead. Our main goal is that your child has a positive experience and wants to come back to see us. Any questions, don’t hesitate to call us. We love children at Cahill Dental and we look forward to seeing you and your little one at their first dental appointment.
Oct 3rd, 2019 10:18 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Your child’s first dental visit
Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.
Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.
In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
How Do You Get Fluoride?
#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.
#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.
#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.
These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101 !
If you are looking for a way to freshen up your smile, veneers might the perfect choice for you.! Veneers are usually made from composite resin or porcelain and bonded to your natural. Below are some frequently asked questions veneers and how they can change the look of your smile.
Why do people get veneers?
There are many reasons as to why someone chooses to have veneers. Often people choose to have veneers due to being unhappy with their current smile. Worn, chipped, stained, or cracked teeth are all candidates for veneers.
How long do veneers last?
If you take good care of your veneers, they can last well over a decade. However, depending on the type of wear that you have on your veneers, they may need to be replaced sooner.
It’s important to practice excellent oral care in order to ensure veneers last longer. Also protect your teeth when you can by brushing, flossing, and avoiding excessive teeth grinding. All of these steps will allow your veneers to last longer.
If the veneers become worn or chipped, the veneer will need repaired or replaced.
Will you be able to tell that I have veneers?
Your dentist will take special care to ensure that your veneers match your existing teeth. They will be color matched to your surrounding teeth, making them look as natural as possible.
How much do veneers cost?
Depending on the type of veneer and how many veneers you would like, the price will differ. Contact our office to learn more about veneers pricing and payment plans.
If you are ready to take your smile to the next step or have any additional questions, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101
Going back to school means the kids are out of the house, but that doesn’t mean dental hygiene has to be put on hold! Here are some great tips to maintain dental hygiene going back to school:
Stay on a routine
No matter how eventful the end of summer is, supervise that children are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track for the coming school year. It is important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits!
Say no to sugary drinks / snacks
Be sure to watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda in the warmer months leading up to school. Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not very often. Don’t let the summertime relaxation damage your child’s smile. If you find yourself spending more time at home, use this time to snack wisely! Fruit snacks and other gummy foods are high in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Replace them with healthier options like fresh fruit and vegetables.
What to eat
Some great options to incorporate into your children’s diet that will kick start them for school are options like grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Whole grains like oatmeal, wheat bread, and brown rice are high in fiber and help keep your energy up all day! Lean proteins like poultry and fish have less calories and still pack in the needed vitamins and healthy fats for a balanced diet. You may even think about also incorporating eggs and beans as well! Fruits and veggies are always a great idea! Eating blueberries, broccoli, and even oranges help boost brain function. Eat these throughout the summer and into the school year to set your child up for success.
Water, water, water
You may not know this, but water cleans your mouth with every single sip! It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.
With these tips, we know you will shine in the coming school year. You can also set up an appointment with us for any questions you may have! Call us today at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101, we would love to hear from you!
Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.
• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.
• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.
• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!
• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.
• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.
• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.
• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.
• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.
When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101!
Is there something about your teeth that is holding you back from smiling? Cosmetic dentistry is the perfect opportunity to correct your teeth’s imperfections that have been causing these insecurities. Nothing should keep you from smiling; read below for simple solutions that can give you that million dollar smile you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Teeth Whitening
Are your discolored, stained, or dark teeth shaking your confidence? This simple procedure can help boost your self-esteem by granting you a bright white smile. Your dentist will provide professional treatment that will be more effective than just store bought whitening strips. A teeth whitening appointment can range anywhere from 30-90 minutes, giving you a brand new smile in as little as one trip to the dental chair.
2. Invisalign/Clear Braces
Are your teeth misaligned or crooked? If so, this can create insecurity and a possible alteration to your bite. Misaligned teeth are not only aesthetically displeasing, but they can also cause difficulty chewing. Because of this, you can cause unintentional strain on your mouth by putting unnecessary pressure on certain teeth, while neglecting others when biting and chewing. There are different solutions for correcting this problem, including things like Invisalign, also known as clear braces. Make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist to see if clear braces are an option that would work for you.
If you have an imperfection on a specific tooth, there is always the option to suitably cover it up with the use of veneers. Veneers are used to cover up cosmetic flaws on teeth such as gaps, cracks and chips. Veneers are made from thin sheets of porcelain, which mimic real teeth, giving you an authentic looking smile that can’t be beat.
Everyone deserves the smile of their dreams; make the call today to talk to us more about what cosmetic procedure will take your smile to the next level! Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101
Not all foods are created equal. Some can be good for you and some can cause detrimental damage to your teeth (EEK)! Below are a few snack ideas that are not only tasty and easy to whip up, but healthy for your mouth too.
1. Apple Cinnamon oatmeal:
Due to the high fiber and crunchy consistency, apples naturally clean your teeth. They can also help fight plaque buildup and remove surface stains from teeth. By removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue, apples also fight bad breath.
Cinnamon contains a natural plant oil, known as cinnamic aldehyde, that has shown abilities to destroy bacteria in your mouth. Coupled with the apples, cinnamon takes fighting bad oral bacteria to the next level.
Now for the oatmeal. Whole grains have been linked to a higher quality of periodontal health. This is why we recommend to load up on the oats! Whole grain foods, such as oats, barley, bran and brown rice, may indirectly improve oral health by improving the body’s ability to process blood sugar.
2. Carrots and celery snack pack:
Celery is nature’s toothbrush! It acts almost like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Dip in some ranch or spread on some low-sugar nut butter for a satisfying snack!
Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a raw carrot at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A.
Studies have shown that yogurt reduces hydrogen sulfide, the chemical associated with bad breath! It also helps reduce plaque and gingivitis. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some yogurt!
4.Green garden salad:
Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel, making them strong. They also contain folic acid, a type of Vitamin B that has numerous health benefits, such as helping the body produce and maintain new cells.
5. Trail mix with almonds, raisins, and dried fruit:
Crunchy almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar. They’ve been shown to lower blood sugar while simultaneously increasing the production of saliva. On the other hand, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that fight off the bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. Dried fruit, like Cranberries or dried plums, have a similar impact, as long as you brush your teeth after eating them as they still have quite a bit of sugar. Put all these together and mix them all up for a healthy power snack!
It’s easy to eat mouth healthy snacks when they taste good too! If you have any questions about foods that are good for your teeth, give our office a call today! Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101
Let’s face it; Essential oils are all the rage these days. Known for their unique healing and therapeutic benefits, essential oils have been used for centuries dating all the way back to 2000 BC. In recent years, the rise of essential oils has taken health care to an entirely new perspective, for uses like aromatherapy, ingestion and personal care. The following oils are the top essential oils for healthy, beautiful, gums and teeth!
#1: Clove is especially essential for oral health. Clinical research indicates that clove oil can relieve tooth pain and bad breath, as well as help reduce gum disease! Clove oil also has the natural ability to restrict the development of bacteria and can help fight mouth and throat infections.
#2: Thyme belongs to the mint family and therefore is often used in mouthwashes and elixirs to give flavor and freshness for oral health treatments. It contains natural chemicals that help defend from tooth decay, gingivitis and general oral infections.
#3: Oregano is a powerful antioxidant known to contain anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also known to help boost the immune system and may be used in combination with coconut oil for oil pulling treatments!
#4: Tea Tree is a natural remedy for bad breath and contains ingredients that diminish plaque. This oil is a perfect ingredient for a DIY toothpaste or mouthwash because of its ability to kill off bacteria, diminish tooth decay and relieve bleeding gums! *Please note that tea tree should NOT be used for internal use other than for a mouthwash or tooth paste – you must spit it out after use and rinse with water.
#5: Peppermint is known for its cooling and numbing elements which can effectively soothe tooth and muscle aches. Research has found that peppermint oil is exceptionally powerful for fighting oral pathogens and killing common bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease.
#6: Cinnamon is antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic – which makes it an effective cleanser for every oral health care need, such as relief for a sore throat! Cinnamon oil also contains one of the greatest antimicrobial properties that protect against bacteria accountable for tooth decay.
If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, give us a call at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101 today!
Apr 2nd, 2019 10:07 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on 6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth