Hubbard Dental Care
We are expecting a new bundle of joy here at Hubbard Dental Care. One of our assistants is having a sweet baby girl in September. We felt like this would be the perfect time to make everyone aware of the changes your mouth goes through during this magical time.
Pregnancy affects every aspect of your life, your diet, health, lifestyle, even the way you care for your teeth, and so much more. During this time you will need to pay special attention to your oral health for not only your sake, but also the sake of your growing baby’s health.
Due to raised hormone levels in your body you may become more sensitive to plaque than before your pregnancy. This can cause your gums to swell, bleed and be extra sensitive. Almost 40% of pregnant women have some form of gum disease, of which the first stage is gingivitis. Studies have linked lower birth weight and premature delivery to mothers with gum disease.
Morning sickness also causes many problems for expectant mothers. Nausea can make even brushing and flossing difficult. This simple act can induce vomiting due to an extra sensitive gag reflex. Exposure to acid, specifically strong stomach acid, causes harm to the enamel on your teeth leading to decay or sensitivity. If you do get sick to your stomach frequently with your pregnancy, your dentist may recommend rinsing your mouth out with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the acid and prevent any damage. Expectant moms are also very tired (your body is working hard!!) Therefore, they might not feel like putting in the extra effort into brushing and flossing, or even take care of themselves like they normally would.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant contact your dentist and have check up x-rays and a cleaning beforehand, this way you can correct any dental issues you may have before you conceive. Though the risk may be minimal, there is still a risk associated with dental restorations or x-rays while pregnant. Routine cleanings are safe while you are pregnant, just make sure your dental hygienist is aware that you are expecting so x-rays are not taken. Since you will be more susceptible to certain dental issues during this time, regular dental check ups and cleanings are a must!
Your diet also matters at this time! Your baby’s teeth start developing between 3 months and 6 months of your pregnancy. During those critical months you need plenty of vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous to make sure your baby’s teeth, gums, and bones develop properly. Remember whatever you eat and drink your baby does too!
We care about you and your baby’s dental health here at Hubbard Dental Care. If you are trying to conceive or are pregnant give us a call today!
This month at Hubbard Dental Care is always a busy one. We travel to several schools and preschool parent programs to teach the students and parents the importance of brushing, flossing, and regular check ups. Here we are teaching the digestive system to a group of
The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 1) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental visits, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100% preventable with effective person care and regular dental cleanings.
You can help little ones have a healthier smile!
• Encourage them to brush for two full minutes: Pick a two minute song, or YouTube video and sing or play it for them during brushing times.
• Set reminders to brush twice a day: brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the ideal times to brush to prevent bacterial growth.
• Show them flossing is fun, not harmful: be gentle when doing it for them, a bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
• Be persistent: don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or a star on a chore chart, if you make it an activity.
• Set their first dental visits before age 1: Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.
Did you know that an estimated 9-15% of Americans avoid the dentist because of anxiety?
This opens up the danger of increasingly serious dental problems. The hygienist and dentist have the knowledge and ability to find problems before they actually begin. For example, if we take radiographs at each checkup, otherwise known as bitewings, the dentist can see the start of a cavity while it is forming. In turn, you will know to brush better and floss in that area, you can be more aware of what is happening inside your mouth. If you put this preventive treatment off, your non-existent cavity could become a literal pain, which will require a more invasive treatment. All of this combined tends to make the patient more anxious about the office visit. It is a vicious cycle. Let’s learn to break this cycle!
The cause of dental anxiety is different for everyone.
- We hear that people have had a negative past experience that has led to a fear.
- Another is a severe gag reflex or sensitive teeth.
- Fear of needles would be the most common. We see people that come in who say they can handle a needle anywhere, except in their mouth.
- People also have a fear of the unknown, they are not sure if the procedure will hurt or what exactly the procedure entails.
- Another common fear is simple embarrassment over the state of their oral health.
New research is showing that the brain reacts to sights and sounds of the dental office, like the whine of the hand piece, in especially negative ways. For fearful patients, office stimuli impact areas of the brain associated with learning and memory, which is exactly why dental anxiety can run so deep. Present experiences are linked to bad memories from the past , making it difficult to overcome.
There are several ways to leave the fear in the past.
• The first step is seeing your dentist on a regular basis. One checkup every 6 months or 2 times yearly is a good rule of thumb to follow. If your dentist thinks you need to be seen more frequently he or she will advise you at your checkup.
• Communication is a necessity. Talk to your dental assistant and tell them your concerns so they can tailor a treatment plan that will best reduce your anxiety.
• The more you learn about the upcoming procedure, the less frightening it will seem. Reality is usually less frightening than your imagination.
• There are several dentists that offer a type of sedation dentistry. From nitrous to anesthesia you can find a dentist that will cater to your needs. Sedation calms the nervous system and prevents panic and improve your dental experience.
• The most important step is great brushing and flossing, this will prevent cavities and gingivitis to reduce your need for fillings or any other restorative dental procedures.
By realizing what causes the fear you are having, learning ways to cope, and finding a dentist that suits your personality, you will be on the road to leaving your fear of the dentist behind
Did you know that your New Year’s resolution to lose weight might be a step towards a healthier mouth? Losing weight is the most common resolution made every year. Making smart food choices, working out, and paying attention to portion size are a few small steps that you can take to get rid of those pounds. But did you know that these choices might not only help your waistline, but also be the first steps in having a healthier mouth?
Now you grab a cute sports bottle and fill it full of water.
1 in 4 Americans are ingesting at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks, such as soda. A 20oz regular soda has around 230 calories, skipping the soda is an easy way to cut calories. Did you know that most sodas have 12.5 teaspoons of sugar? This is more than the recommended DAILY amount for someone over the age of 3.
The swap is simple: Water. (Even better if it’s fluoridated!) Water contains no calories, no sugars and helps keep cavities away by washing away leftover food and keeping dry mouth at bay.
Before when that sweet tooth kicked in, you might grab a cookie or a piece of cake to satisfy it.
Now you reach for a piece of sugar-free gum.
It’s a win-win: You can prevent dessert remorse and clean your teeth at the same time. Waiting about 20 minutes after a meal helps your body determine if it’s really still hungry. Studies also show that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can reduce your risk of cavities. (Look for a sugarless gum with the ADA seal of approval.)
Before you thought the best option to rehydrate was a sports drink.
Now you know the best option is water
Adults should aim for two and a half hours of moderate-intense physical activity every week. Staying hydrated is key when you’re exercising, but sports drinks also often add extra calories because they are full of sugar and can be acidic. That’s why, hands down, water is the best option for your body and your teeth. And while you’re strengthening your body with a workout, you can strengthen your teeth by drinking tap water. Community water with fluoride can actually help rebuild weak spots on the outer shell of your teeth.
Before when hunger would strike you would grab the first thing in sight.
Picking up chips, crackers or whatever is around is an easy way for calories to sneak up on you. Limiting your snacking and making better choices can help control your calorie intake and give cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth less leftover food to snack on as well. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables or nuts—to feel fuller, longer and help your overall and dental health at the same time.
If you tend to snack at night, try moving your evening brushing time up a bit. A clean mouth just might motivate you to say no to that midnight snack.
Two times a day, every day, it’s hard trust me I know. You are exhausted from a long day’s work running every which way after work then when it finally comes time to lay down you don’t want to have to worry with taking the time to brush your teeth. You think “Can’t I skip just this once?”
Why is it so important for us to brush our teeth twice a day?
There’s constantly good and bad bacteria developing in your mouth. Oral hygiene aims to fight back against that bad bacteria and remove it from your mouth. That bacteria, on the other hand, is doing its best to mature and reproduce. This growing process takes about 24 hours, which is when your teeth start feeling fuzzy. Gross as it may be, that fuzziness is a layer of living bacteria. (just because it has started getting chilly outside doesn’t mean our teeth need to wear a sweater)
This bacteria produces acid, which erode (or eat away) at the enamel and cause cavities. When you eat the bacteria becomes even more active. The higher the sugar content in the food you are eating the more active, and the more acid they produce. Brushing your teeth at least twice in a 24 hour period disrupts the “sweater” from becoming a plaque film which is stickier and turn in to tarter or calculus. Those last two are very hard on your teeth and need to be removed by a professional. They also cause your gums to become irritated and you could develop gingivitis. This is the first step to periodontal disease.
Dental professionals recommend brushing when you first wake up and when you go to bed for several reasons.
• The first being, it is an easy habit to follow. Brush when you wake up and right before your head hits the pillow.
• Fresh breath- Nobody wants to cause someone to pass out with their morning breath!
• Brushing before bed allows you to remove the food debris from the day and doesn’t allow the bad bacteria to produce more acid while you are sleeping overnight.
Dentist. Just saying that word or even reading that word brings up a lot of anxiety for people. Even for grown adults who have been visiting dentists their whole lives, or avoiding them their whole lives. We tend to pass our fears and dislikes onto our children, so naturally fear of dentists have been a long standing “tradition”. I don’t know what it is about the profession that makes many people afraid, but I do know it’s quite common. It is one of the top 5 fears, that is up there with death, heights, snakes, and spiders.
Dentists have been the main plot for scary movies, or fears of almost every popular kid’s show on the air, from Leave it to Beaver to Hannah Montana. This is what our children watch in their spare time, so they learn to fear us at an early age. When it comes to our kids, being afraid of the dentist can be a difficult thing. We want to teach them the importance of oral care and want their experiences with the dentist to be easier than ours, but sometimes their anxiety and fear gets in the way. I know my kids are always anxious before their appointment, and it’s hard as a parent to watch.
Your baby’s first dental visit should be around their first birthday or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. After the first appointment your dental office will probably set up the next cleaning in 6 months. It is important to stay on this schedule, whether you think your child is having dental issues or not. Your child’s dentist will check for decay at every visit, most of the time a child will not have pain with a cavity, (see our blog “My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt How Can I Have a Cavity) so it is important to keep regular visits.
At the first appointment the dentist or their staff will record dental and medical history, discuss oral health habits, and answer any questions you might have. This visit will expose your child to the dental environment and help the child get to know our dental staff and dentist. This also builds trust, he/she can see how fun going to the dentist really is and they get a TOY at the end. Who doesn’t love getting a prize?!?!
Ways to prepare your child for their first appointment (or any appointment they are apprehensive about):
• Always stay positive and encouraging
• Avoid negative words such as “shot, pain, or hurt” Today’s dental visits, whether for an adult or child should be a pain-free experience, therefore these are outdated words and shouldn’t be used, even if you are telling yourself or your child “it won’t hurt”, “They won’t give you a shot” or “Don’t worry there isn’t any pain involved” You are placing words of fear in their head that might not of been there previously.
• Use positive words such as “clean, strong, or healthy” Let the child know that we are here for them, and for their health. “The dentist will make your teeth super clean, healthy and strong, like Superman or Wonder Woman!” It also never hurts to mention they will be getting a new toothbrush and a toy!
• Read books about the dentist. There are numerous books about going to the dentist for the first time, check those out at your local library!
• Watch videos about the dentist. YouTube has a ton of great videos about visiting the dentist, staring Elmo, Super Y, and many of your child’s favorite characters!
• Allow your child to bring their favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket. Items that they are familiar with at home makes their comfort level higher. We encourage this and most of our assistants will offer to brush the baby doll, stuffed animal or super heroes teeth as well.
Sticking with this schedule, your child can grow up with a lifetime of healthy habits
If you are anything like me, it is almost impossible to get your children to brush their teeth. Bedtime is always a struggle. I get “I’m tooooooo tiiiirrreeeddd” (in the whiniest voice possible) “but I am already in bed” and numerous other excuses. Just the other night I asked “Did you guys brush your teeth?” they responded with a strong “yes” I said “then why is everyone’s tooth brush dry?” You know , one of my children said “ummmmm…… we used the blow dryer to dry them to create a more sterile environment so bacteria didn’t grow on our toothbrushes?” Needless to say, they all got up and brushed their teeth.
I realize it is a struggle to get your children to brush their teeth, just as much as the next parent. I have learned several tricks in my years as a parent and dental assistant to get little ones to brush. There are so many options in toothbrushes: favorite characters, ones that play music, ones that light up, and the list goes on and on. Let your child go with you to the store and pick out their own toothbrush. This will get them excited, and more than likely they will want to use it as soon as you get home.
With today’s technology it is easier to make brushing fun. There are downloadable apps for your phone or tablet, and tons of videos on YouTube to pass the time, so they get the full 2 minutes in. Here is a link to a few of my favorites:https://youtu.be/Jy8JurvYlH4 https://youtu.be/wxMrtK-kYnE https://youtu.be/-aY18vhaiNo If your child owns an Oral-B Disney toothbrush you can download the “Disney Magic Timer” app. This app allows your child to earn badges and awards, and they can brush along with the Disney characters.
The American Dental Association recommends that you assist your child in brushing until they are 8 years old, or a good rule of thumb is if your child can get dressed and tie their own shoes, they should have the dexterity to brush their own teeth.
With a healthy, low sugar diet, brushing twice daily, and checkups from your child’s dentist twice a year, your child will build strong hygiene habits and a lifetime love for their teeth.
Smiles are a universal greeting. They make you look more approachable, trustworthy, and pleasant. When you genuinely smile, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel better too. Smiling is very important for our well being, people who smile live longer, are less stressed and more successful in life. Let’s take a look at the benefits hidden in the corners of your mouth.
When we smile we use 10 muscles in our face. A genuine smile uses all the superficial muscles for a full face workout!
Smiling shows you are a positive person, and it releases endorphins. The more you smile the better you will feel. The next time you are down, try putting on a smile. There is a good chance your mood will pick up quite quickly. Smiling tends to trick the body into feeling better. The physical act of smiling actually activates neural messaging in your brain, boosting neuropeptides as well as mood- boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. These can also help lower your blood pressure. Smiling is actually our bodies natural anti-depressant!
When you encounter a pleasant situation, smiling is a reflex your body has, it is an expression of joy that our body shows others! This is actually contagious. Have you ever been described as a person who has the power to lighten a room? Your smile can actually change the mood of others, and make things happier. The part of your brain that controls your facial expressions is completely unconscious, this means that when you smile, people will mimic your expression without thinking about it.
Smiling also makes us more attractive. People are naturally drawn to others who smile. Not surprising, negative expressions like frowns, scowls, and grimaces actually push people away. Smiling not only helps prevent us from looking worn down, stressed, and tired, but can actually help reduce stress in your life and others you encounter. Studies have shown that smiling can add 7 years to your life. So next time you are feeling stress put on a smile and help not only yourself, but those around you.
Let us help you keep your smile beautiful, call to schedule an appointment today!
You might be surprised to know that your diet not only affects your whole body health, but also the health of your mouth. Everything you eat plays an important part in your oral health. Some of the everyday foods that you eat affects the condition of your mouth, including your gums and teeth. Foods high in sugar can cause decay, foods that have a high acid content can cause enamel erosion, certain vegetables and drinks can cause surface staining, and hard foods can cause a tooth to break.
Let’s look at oral health issues as an epidemic, here are some interesting factoids about American’s mouths:
• 1 in 4 Americans have untreated tooth decay
• 80% of Americans have at least 1 cavity by age 17
• 66% of adults over 45 have lost a tooth from decay
• Approximately 164 million work hours are lost each year due to dental issues
• 75% of adults have gum disease
These are staggering, one of the most common causes of tooth decay is sugar, the biggest culprit being soda. A single can of orange soda has 11.9 teaspoons, or 48 grams, of sugar. To put that in perspective, the daily maximum sugar consumption for a child is 12 grams. One can of orange soda is almost 4 days’ worth of sugar intake for a child. Let’s say you “only” drink 1 can of soda a day, that equals 50 extra pounds of sugar in a year’s time. The recommended daily maximum for a woman is 20 grams of sugar per day, the average woman consumes 89 grams daily.
The second largest culprit would be chewy, sticky candies. These tend to stick in the deep grooves of molars and are difficult to remove, even with regular brushing. A single serving bag of skittles contains the same amount of sugar as a can of Mt Dew. YIKES!!
Soda and Candy are the obvious causes of tooth decay, but there are other foods that are not as obvious. These sneaky foods include fruit juices, milk, fruit, and constant snacking. I know what you are thinking “these foods are healthy for me and my children and you are crazy” While these foods are healthy, they need to be consumed in moderation. Fruit juice should be limited to once a day, breakfast is a good time to get these in. Milk is a great option for a drink, but should be drank with meals, that glass of milk before bedtime needs to be followed with a thorough brushing and flossing. While being healthy drink options, these still contain natural sugars, that can cause tooth decay.
Saliva’s job in our oral health is to keep the PH balance in our mouth neutral. If you are constantly snacking throughout the day, saliva is unable to do its job. A good rule is 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day. With regular trips to the dentist, brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet you can keep those pearly whites gorgeous!
Why does the dentist always need to take an x-ray before extracting a tooth, or diagnosing decay? There are several reasons that a dentist will take a radiograph, or x-ray, whether it is during a check-up or an emergency exam.
At our office we take checkup x-rays, or bitewings, every 6 months to 1 year on children under 18. This is mainly due to the fact that children are at a higher risk for cavities. They tend to have a higher intake of sugary foods and are not as thorough when brushing and flossing. Bitewings are taken on adults every 18 months to 2 years, unless they are at a higher risk for decay. A bitewing will show decay that lies between the teeth that cannot be detected in a clinical exam.
During a limited exam, or emergency exam, we will take a periapical film, otherwise known as a PA. This is an x-ray that will show Dr. Hubbard the crown and root of the tooth that is causing you the pain. The PA will allow us to analyze the level of the bone surrounding the tooth, detect cavities under existing fillings, and see any infection that may be at the tip, or apex, of the tooth.
Radiation is a large concern we hear from our patients. At our office we utilize digital imaging technology. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Radiation is measured in millirems, otherwise known as mrem. A dental radiograph exposes you to 0.1mrem, to put that into perspective, the average person is exposed to 228mrem from breathing normally for 1 year and 40 mrem per year from the food we eat and water we drink in just a year’s time. One set of checkup x-rays will expose you to less radiation than spending 30 mins outdoors in the sunshine.