Blog

BLOG

Getting Back into the Back-to-School Routine

Back-to-school season is nearly upon us and you know what that means: it’s time to get back into a routine with your kids! Summers are great for vacations, lazy days and tons of fun, but when it comes to the health of your smile, routine is very important. So this back-to-school season, take extra care in reestablishing your kids’ healthy dental hygiene routine. Here are a few tips to get you started!

According to Mouth Healthy, the best way to prevent cavities is to have your kids brush their teeth for two minutes twice per day, and floss once per day – at night is usually best! It’s understandable if your brushing and flossing routine has slipped a bit during the summer months, but make sure to have your kids start getting used to their routine as soon as possible. Getting started early helps you avoid arguments about not wanting to floss on a school night, and your kids will pass their fall dental checkup with flying colors.

Back-to-School Dental RoutineKeep in mind that the routine may vary depending on your kids’ age. According to Colgate, for very young kids – ages 6 and younger – you may need to help them brush their teeth properly. Let them get going, but take over and make sure to get the job done right. Kids ages 7­­ to 12 should have a better idea of what they’re supposed to do when it comes to caring for their teeth, but they may not want to spend the necessary time doing so. Make sure you keep an eye on them while they brush to ensure they’re taking the care and attention needed to keep their smiles white and bright.

If you have a kid who just can’t be bothered to brush, roll the back-to-school tooth care routine into school shopping: once your child picks out his or her new notebooks and pencils, let them pick out a fancy new toothbrush and a cool flavor of toothpaste.

Once you’re ready to get started on the new routine, start practicing immediately. Bath, PJs, brush and floss, and bedtime should happen around the same time every day – and don’t wait until school starts to move bedtime up to the right time. If you get started now, you won’t have to fight with your kids to get them in bed, and they won’t be exhausted on the first day of school!

These are just a couple of tips for revamping your kids’ brushing habits in the back to school season. Keep in mind that keeping teeth healthy also requires regular checkups with your dentist, too! To book your next appointment, call All Smiles Dentistry Albion today at 585-589-0000 or use our online form to request an appointment now!

What Are the Five Worst Fair Foods?

It’s just about time for the Orleans County 4-H Fair, and we sure enjoy seeing the livestock entries from our neighbors and community members from throughout the county.
But, let’s be honest: It’s really the fair food that brings in many people, drawn one way by the aroma of fried dough and then another way on a wafting whiff of cotton candy.

We’re not going to be a wet blanket now and talk about all the things you shouldn’t eat at the fair. Well, sort of. The saying “everything in moderation” has hung around for a reason – it makes sense. So indulge yourself if you desire at the fair – we’ve heard the pickles on a stick are amazing – but we do encourage you to give your teeth a little extra flossing, rinsing and brushing when you get home.

With dental health in mind, let’s take a look at five of the fair foods that are the most troublesome for your dental health.

Kettle CornKettle Corn

It’s salty, it’s sweet, and it’s only popcorn, right? Guess again. Husks can lodge painfully between teeth, and the sugary residue can remain in your mouth long after you’ve stopped enjoying the popcorn. It’s particularly rough on mouths full of braces. If you must indulge, stop in a restroom and floss thoroughly.

Cotton Candy

We shouldn’t have to tell you about this one – it’s mainly just straight sugar. We know it’s delicious, though, and everybody’s got to have this melt-in-your-mouth confection once in a while. It’s essential that when you’re finished, though, you rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water to get as much sugar off your teeth as possible until you get home to brush.

Funnel Cakes and Fried Dough

Everyone loves these fair classics, whether doused in powdered sugar, cinnamon powder or both! Of course, with those toppings, you know they could be trouble. The sugars and fats from this sweet treat can easily cause cavities and feed the bacteria that cause plaque. As with anything, enjoy in moderation, and don’t forget to brush – or at least rinse with water – after you’re done.

Chocolate-Covered Anything

At the fair, you can’t forget to have a deep-fried peanut butter cup. Sweet and gooey and fried – it’s a truly summertime taste of Americana. But, of course, there’s a dark side – and it’s not dark chocolate. The chocolate itself, though, is insidious because its sugars can linger on your teeth, working harder than you’d think to destroy your enamel.

Candy Apples

The candy apple is a ubiquitous fair treat, and quite frankly, it’s popular for a reason. Whether you’re in the caramel camp or want your apple in a quarter-inch of hard red glossy candy, you’re putting your teeth in some danger. The candy version offers a good chance to crack a tooth with every bite, and the caramel version isn’t much friendlier. Plus, the sticky sugars of caramel can wreak more damage after the fact, as the sugars can feed the bacteria that destroy your teeth.

We all love our fair treats, but the key is to enjoy them in moderation – and, of course, to brush and floss as soon as you can afterwards! For more dental health tips, talk with your dentist at All Smiles Dental at your next appointment. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or make an appointment online now.

Getting Down to the Bottom of What Causes Bad Breath

No one wants to have bad breath, but few people actually know the underlying causes that lead to this embarrassing problem. Foul-smelling breath cannot just be hidden by a mint or chewing gum; you need to delve much deeper to get to the root of the issue.

Getting Down to the Bottom of What Causes Bad BreathMost of the time, bad breath starts in your mouth – usually caused by the breakdown of food. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles can get stuck in your mouth, collecting bacteria and creating bad breath. Specific foods like garlic and onions are absorbed into the bloodstream then expelled through the lungs, contributing to your bad breath. To help decide which foods are causing your bad breath, keep a log of what you eat and the medications you take. Bringing your list of bad breath “suspects” to the dentist is one of the steps to help you resolve the problem.

It is important to take note if you start to have bad breath when you never have before as this could be a sign of a more serious medical disorder. According to Colgate, bad breath can signal local infections in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance or a liver or kidney ailment. It can also be a sign of gum disease, which is caused by the buildup of plaque on your teeth, or dry mouth, which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases.

Other causes of bad breath include smoking tobacco, poorly fitting dental appliances, severe dieting and – the big one – poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing twice a day is the easiest way to keep your mouth healthy and to avoid bad breath. You should also rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash and keep all dental appliances, like dentures, thoroughly cleaned. Plus, of course, you should see a dentist at least twice a year.

If you feel you have great oral hygiene, but are still concerned about bad breath, discuss this with your dentist. The professionals at All Smiles Dentistry Albion are ready to help you feel confident with your smile – and your breath. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or make your next appointment online now.

Did You Floss Today? 1 in 3 People Didn’t

When’s the last time you flossed your teeth? Chances are, you haven’t done so in a while.

According to CNN, a recent study performed by Center for Disease Control (via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) collected startling data about Americans and their flossing habits.

How to Use Dental FlossResearchers surveyed more than 9,000 adults older than age 30 and as it turns out that only about 1 in 3 reported flossing daily. The study found that 32.4 percent of the people surveyed said that they don’t floss at all during a typical week; 37.3 percent said they flossed occasionally, but not daily; and 30.3 percent said that they flossed every day in the past week.

Even if you take good care of your teeth otherwise by brushing regularly and avoiding acidic foods, if you don’t floss, you could still end up with a number of serious gum and tooth issues down the line. Flossing removes food particles that get stuck between your teeth that brushing can’t clean out, and once the food sits there long enough it turns into tartar. Tartar and plaque are very damaging to your teeth. Tartar breaks down your teeth and gums, causing problems such as gingivitis or gum disease, halitosis or bad breath, and can even cause teeth to fall out. Once your teeth and gums are riddled with gingivitis – which will cause a long list of issues for you – it can be a long road back to having a healthy mouth.

The simple solution to preventing these problems with your pearly whites and protecting your smile down the line is to floss daily. Once you get into the habit of doing it, it won’t seem like such a big deal. Losing a tooth and dealing with painful gum disease is certainly a bigger deal!

For more information on the benefits of flossing, talk with your dentist at your next appointment – another vital part of keeping and happy and healthy smile. To schedule your next visit to have your teeth cleaned and checked, make an appointment online now or call All Smiles Dentistry Albion today at 585-589-0000.

Filling in the Gaps About Fillings

One of the most common dental procedures that patients have done is checking for cavities and having any that are discovered treated with fillings. As most of us know, fillings, which are also called amalgams, are the most common method for treating cavities, but where did this popular treatment method come from?

Cavity FillingSome say that fillings may have been around for more than 6,500 years, with some of the earliest fillings believed to have been made from beeswax and installed after the patient was already deceased, according to 123Dentist.com. Since the concept of fillings is thousands of years old, it’s no surprise that they have gone through many different incarnations to become what we know today.

Moving forward into the 19th century, metal fillings became more popular. These were a variety of metals, most commonly gold, tin and silver, that were softened and fitted into the cavity in the tooth. As the century marched on, amalgams became more commonly used. This mix of metals blended tin, silver, mercury and copper to create a filling material that was more efficient and affordable to create.

Before long, the predominant use of mercury was discontinued as people began to realize that the metal could seep into a patient’s body and cause damage. Upon the realization that fillings were causing mercury poisoning, the method was denounced, but many fringe dentists continued the practice of using mercury due to how inexpensive and easy these fillings were to use.

The use of mercury in fillings has been dramatically diminished, and these days, amalgams are mostly made of gold, porcelain, silver and composite resin, with trace amounts of mercury used to bind the amalgam materials together. Dentists and chemists alike have concluded that using these other metals in the fillings is much safer while still providing excellent results for teeth in the process.

At All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we provide both traditional amalgam fillings as well as new composite fillings that more closely match the look of teeth – perfect for fillings in front teeth or more visible teeth. To learn more about fillings or to schedule your next dentist’s appointment, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request a visit online now.

Children and Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottles Starting infants and toddlers off with good oral health habits will protect their teeth in the years to come. Though temporary, baby teeth are still susceptible to cavities, and one of the most common problems with children’s teeth is baby bottle tooth decay, or tooth decay in infants and toddlers. Strong, healthy teeth are important for children in chewing their food, speaking and having a strong smile, so taking steps to prevent tooth decay is vital to your child’s dental development.

Most often occurring in the upper front teeth, baby bottle tooth decay is caused by many factors. A common cause is prolonged exposure to drinks that contain sugar. When a baby is put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is used as a pacifier, baby bottle tooth decay can occur. An increased risk for tooth decay also occurs when your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, whether through supplements or your tap water.

Mothers or primary caregivers can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their infant through saliva. So, if you put your baby’s feeding spoon in your mouth or clean a pacifier in your mouth, this can cause bacteria to transfer to your baby from you.

Numerous ways to prevent baby bottle tooth decay exist. For starters, try not to share saliva with your baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. You could also wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding, suggests the American Dental Association. One of the most important ways to prevent tooth decay is to brush your child’s teeth with a child-sized toothbrush and a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3. Increase the amount of toothpaste used to a pea-sized amount between the ages of 3 and 6.

When bottle feeding, use only milk, formula or breast milk in bottles, and avoid filling the bottle with sugar water, juice or soft drinks. Ensure your infant finishes their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed. Similarly, avoid sugar exposure by not dipping your child’s pacifier in sugar or honey. Lastly, encouraging your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday can also help encourage healthy oral habits.

One of the best ways to prevent, control and treat baby bottle tooth decay is with a visit to your dentist. All Smiles Dentistry Albion has a passion for helping kids enjoy their dental visits, taking great care to make your child’s visit as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Our flexible scheduling options also help accommodate your busy lifestyle. Make an appointment online now or call us at 585-589-0000 to schedule a visit to take care of your child’s dental health today!

 

Don’t Forget Mouth Guards for Spring Sports

With spring here, children are taking to the fields and playing spring sports again – if they haven’t already. Before your little athlete takes the field, parents need to think about equipping them with a mouth guard.

Mouth GuardsMouth guards help protection your children’s teeth from flying objects, namely baseballs, softballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, basketballs and anything else you can think of. While these sports are fun to play, one bad catch can crack or chip your child’s teeth, requiring sometimes-expensive dental procedures.

April was National Facial Protection Month, an awareness campaign from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. “Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards,” the organization wrote on its information page.

Mouth guards are particularly easy to use. Costing only a few dollars, they can be purchased at any sporting goods store, along with large national retailers like Target and Walmart. All parents need to do is boil them in water, softening them to be put in a child’s mouth where they can mold to your child’s teeth and create a perfect fit.

From then on, the mouth guard will protect your child’s teeth while on the field. Mouth guards prevent many injuries that could otherwise be prevented. They may also make your child feel a little bit more tough, giving them an added piece of equipment that lets them know it’s time to play.

Of course, mouth guards are also for more than just teeth, and studies have shown that wearing mouth guards can cut an athlete’s risk of concussion by more than half. For even more on the concussion protection offered by mouth guards, check out this blog from DearDoctor.com.

At All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we want to treat children with healthy teeth, and we never like to see a child come in with a broken tooth that may need a root canal or other invasive procedures. We’d rather see a child who has worn a mouth guard, taken the time to brush and has a beautiful smile. If you have any questions about mouth guards, call us or ask your child’s dentist at their next appointment. Schedule your next visit online now, or call us today at 585-589-0000.

Get the Facts About Fluoride

From an early age, children are taught to brush their teeth multiple times a day, including just before heading to bed, as a way to establish good dental hygiene for the rest of life. While brushing teeth helps remove plaque and other harmful bacteria from the mouth, the toothpaste also includes fluoride that helps rebuild and maintain tooth enamel. Fluoride helps make the tooth more resistant to acid attacks and reverses early signs of tooth decay.

Plaque and other sugars break down tooth enamel through a process called demineralization, but by adding such minerals as fluoride, calcium and phosphate to the diet, the process can be reversed. This is especially important for young children, as fluoride can be incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it more difficult for acids to harm the teeth they will have the rest of their life.

Fluoride is included today in many toothpastes and mouth rinses, and is added to the water in many areas. This passive addition of fluoride is not always enough, though, which is why All Smiles Dentistry Albion offers two fluoride-based treatments that, combined with brushing and other healthy habits, can help maintain strong teeth.

Topical fluoride treatments strengthen teeth once they have erupted, seeping into the outer tooth enamel and resisting decay. This is the type that is included in over-the-counter products, but children should have a professional application twice a year during their dental checkups to protect teeth going forward.

Systemic fluoride treatments strengthen teeth that have erupted, along with those developing under the gums. This fluoride comes mostly through foods and the water supply, but it can also be prescribed as a gel by your dentist or physician and is generally recommended for young children through teenagers.

Your dentist may offer other alternatives if they notices signs of deep pits or fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth, frequent sugar or carbohydrate intake or a history of dental decay. To learn more about fluoride treatments or to schedule your next appointment, call the team All Smiles Dentistry Albion at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment conveniently online now.

Celebrating the First Woman Dentist

According to the University of Michigan Dentistry School, Lucy Hobbs was the first woman to ever earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866. She was an extraordinary woman, committed to the practice of dentistry and being a good doctor to her patients, but it took her many years and a lot of determination to become the first female dentist. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at this pioneering dentist.

Hobbs was born in Constable, New York in March 1833, the seventh child in a family that would eventually have 10 children. She went to school at the Franklin Academy, and after she graduated she became a teacher in Michigan.

Schoolteacher was one of the few jobs that women held during Hobbs’ time, but while she was living in Michigan she rented a room from a doctor, who sparked her interest in medicine.

Thus inspired, she moved to Cincinnati in 1859, says People’s World, where she applied to the Eclectic College of Medicine, the only college that was accepting women at the time. She was denied, however, because the college had reversed its decision to accept female students.

Study of DentistryAfter she was rejected, Hobbs didn’t give up. She found a professor who was willing to tutor her privately. Once the professor saw how talented Hobbs was, he suggested that she pursue dentistry. Hobbs was again denied admission from a school, however, this time the Ohio School of Dentistry.

Rather than give up and move on, Hobbs opened her own dental practice in Ohio, then moved to Iowa where she was recognized among her male peers despite not having a degree. She was elected to the Iowa State Dental Society and attended the American Dental Association’s annual convention in Chicago as a delegate from the state society. After successfully treating patients for four years, Hobbs was finally granted admission to the senior class at the Ohio School of Dentistry, where she graduated in 1866.

Hobbs is known for saying that she wanted “to enter a profession where she could earn her bread not alone by the sweat of her brow, but by the use of her brains also.” She continued her dentistry practice until her death, though largely retired from active practice following the death of her husband in 1886.

During March, Women’s History Month, we should remember to honor the women who were brave enough to keep trying until they succeeded at accomplishing their dreams while also pushing boundaries and changing the conversation for their children.

This month – and every month – it’s also important to remember your dental health. Don’t forget to schedule your next dentist’s visit! Request an appointment online now or call All Smiles Dentistry Albion at 585-589-0000 today to schedule your next visit.

Hallmarks of Healthy Gums

If you went to a mirror right now could you tell if your gums are healthy or not? What if you touched them and saw if they changed color with pressure? Many of us have to rely on our dentists to tell us if our gums are healthy, but there are a few easy ways you can tell at home between your routine appointments if there is anything to worry about.

Healthy GumsAn easy way to tell if your gums are healthy is by brushing and flossing your teeth.  When you brush or floss do you bleed at all? If the answer is no, you are in good shape.

Another way to tell if your gums are unhealthy is if they are red, swollen or tender. Healthy gums should generally be pink in color and not swollen.

When you come in for your regular exam at All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we perform a few checks to see if you do in fact have healthy gums. These include using a periodontal probe to check the depths of the pockets surrounding each tooth. A healthy gum line will have pockets that are 3 millimeters or less in depth, if you have gum disease, your pockets will be deeper than this amount.

Another visual check that a dentist performs is when they are probing during the cleaning. If you do not bleed, your gums are generally considered healthy. Your gums should hold tight to your teeth, and be able to resist movement when pressed upon by the probes.

If you do have healthy gums, your dentist will recommend that you keep you your routine care and home and maintain your regular checkup schedule of twice per year. However, if your gums are unhealthy, your dentist may recommend you start a treatment plan to monitor and try to improve your gum health.

The best way to find out your dental health is, of course, seeing the dentist. At All Smiles Dentistry Albion, we offer early morning and late evening hours to help provide a more accommodating schedule so that even the most busy among us can schedule a visit at a time that’s convenient for them. To schedule your next appointment, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

HAVE A QUESTION?

Please fill out the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Need to schedule an appointment?