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Is your child a mouth breather?

July 27th, 2017

Have you ever watched to see if your child is breathing through his or her mouth? Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose may lead to trouble for youngsters. Kids who typically breathe through their mouth—most often children who suffer from allergies—experience problems getting enough oxygen into their blood, a condition that affects their weight, size, sleep, and even their performance in the classroom and daily life.

Mouth breathing as a child can also lead to sleep apnea, behavior and learning problems, delayed speech, dental and facial abnormalities, and even breathing problems as your child grows. There are a multitude of reasons for an individual to mouth breathe, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and deviated nasal septum, but the cause is usually allergies.

As bad as the condition sounds, we want you to know mouth breathing is a treatable condition. Doing so, though, requires early diagnosis and treatment. Since our team at Premier Dentistry sees our patients every six months, we may be in a position to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing.

If you suspect your child is a chronic mouth breather, please give us a call at our convenient Gresham, OR office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin K. Shim.

Are baby teeth really that important?

July 20th, 2017

Your infant’s first teeth will begin to appear around six to 12 months of age. You might wonder how important these primary teeth really are. After all, baby teeth are destined to fall out within a few years and be replaced by a full set of permanent teeth. However, baby teeth have important functions, and proper care can set the stage for excellent oral and overall health.

Promote Better Nutrition

The appearance of your baby’s primary teeth around six to 12 months of age coincides with changes in your infant’s nutritional needs. Beginning at six months, exclusive breastfeeding is no longer nutritionally sufficient; this is the age at which you should introduce solid foods.

At six to eight months, when your baby can start to chew, strained or pureed fruits and vegetables are appropriate. As your little one’s teeth grow in and chewing abilities progress through 12 months of age, you can gradually add cereal, bread, cooked meats, and other adult foods to his or her nutritious diet.

Increase the Life Expectancy of Baby Teeth

Although baby teeth are inevitably going to fall out and be replaced by permanent ones, making baby teeth last serves an important role that can have benefits into the future. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If they decay and fall out too soon, permanent teeth are more likely to grow in crooked.

How to Take Care of Baby Teeth

Your baby’s primary teeth are already in his or her mouth at birth; they are just invisible because they have not broken through the gums. Since they are already present, your baby can get cavities if you do not practice proper oral hygiene from the beginning.

  • Do not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth.
  • Brush your child’s baby teeth twice a day as soon as they come in.
  • Floss your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch.
  • Visit Premier Dentistry for your baby’s first checkup when the first tooth arrives.

To Floss or Not to Floss?

July 13th, 2017

teeth flossing

In 2016, information was published questioning the benefits of flossing your teeth. This has made many people ask themselves – should I floss my teeth or not?

There is no doubt about it, it’s important to care for good dental health. Keeping your teeth clean and your mouth free from bacteria is the best way to look after your smile and avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist.

What Are the benefits of flossing?

Most dentists still recommend flossing your teeth regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Many studies still point to the benefits of regular flossing.

For example, a review of over 10 studies has found that regular brushing and flossing helps to prevent bleeding gums and gum inflammation. This is because flossing is still the only way to remove decaying food from between our teeth.

The Link Between Flossing and Your Health

There is a strong connection between gum disease and various other diseases in the body. For example, gum disease is linked to rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Doctors aren’t entirely sure why this is the case; however, most doctors agree that people who have healthy teeth and gums suffer less from those serious diseases.

Flossing is Still Recommended

In the end, dentists always recommend flossing to help keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy.

Surprising Ways to Prevent Cavities

July 13th, 2017

There are numerous ways to prevent cavities. Some, like brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our Gresham, OR office, are more obvious than others. Beyond the standard methods of preventing cavities there are a number of different ways to keep your mouth healthy that you might also find surprising.

1. Reduce your consumption of carbs and sugar.

The consumption of sugar is ultimately the biggest catalyst for cavities. By limiting the sugar you consume both at meals and while snacking you will in turn be preventing cavities. But this goes for all carbs, not just sugar. See, even more complex, lower glycemic, carbs can lead to cavities in your mouth, so the best way to prevent them is to limit your carbohydrate intake. This is not to say that you have to cut out carbs all together, but by reducing your intake, you will prevent cavities and it can also lead to a healthier body overall.

2. Rinse your mouth with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

For some people this may seem a little odd, but washing your mouth out with a food-grade hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to prevent cavities. Doing so will kill harmful bacteria that accumulates in your mouth much in the same way applying the anti-septic to a cut does. That said, when you rinse your mouth out similar to how you would use a mouth wash, you want to make sure you don't swallow the hydrogen peroxide, spit it out instead.

3. Use a straw.

If you are someone that drinks a lot of sugary beverages a great way to prevent cavities is to use a straw. This way the sugar in the beverage does not come into contact with your teeth as much as it would if you were to drink straight from a glass, can, cup, or bottle.

4. Chew gum.

Chewing gum is another viable way of preventing cavities. You, of course, will need to chew a sugarless gum flavored with a substitute like Xylitol, and preferably with a cavity fighting ingredient in it.

5. Eat cheese.

Plain and simple cheese has a protein called casein which helps build calcium in your teeth which is vital to the integrity of your mouth and preventing cavities.

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