March 15, 2022 by friendlydesign 2 Comments

Caregivers’ Guide to Dental Health

When you are a family healthcare provider at home or in a care facility with your loved one, you have a lot on your mind. Doctor appointments, medications, and your loved ones’ comfort can seem more urgent than the person’s oral health. It’s important to remind caregivers to make sure the patient’s oral health is not neglected.

Keeping the mouth and teeth clean can prevent sensitivity or pain in the patient’s mouth. Good oral hygiene is essential for a patient’s comfort, safety, and self-esteem, no matter the situation. Broken, missing, decayed teeth can cause a patient pain and can cause them to avoid eating or drinking. Broken or ill-fitting partials or dentures can make swallowing difficult or can cause pain.

Numerous health issues can play a part in how much care your loved one may need. Some have physical difficulties that make it challenging to hold a toothbrush. Some have memory problems and forget to brush and floss. Some have dementia and need someone to take care of their teeth and help them visit a dentist regularly. If your loved one is in a long-term health care facility, ask about the dental care available or who would be giving the daily dental hygiene care. It is important to inquire if they are adequately trained. Whatever the case may be, making sure your loved one has a daily oral health care routine and has regular visits to the dentist is essential.

Daily Oral Health Care Steps as a Family Healthcare Provider:
  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you are the one doing the brushing, this is the easiest way to spot a problem in the mouth early on and can result in the best outcome for treatment before more significant issues arise.
  • Clean in between the teeth with floss, a floss pick, or a water flosser. If your loved one has dentures or partials, rinse them after meals, clean them daily with denture cleaner and a soft denture brush, take them out before bed, and place them in water overnight. Doing this daily will keep food and debris from getting trapped under the denture, which may cause sores on the gum tissue, and keep the appliance clean.
  • Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods are good for the mouth and body while also helping keep your loved ones’ cavity risk down. Sugary drinks and frequent snacking will cause the bacteria in the mouth to increase, thus increasing the patient’s risk of getting a cavity.
  • Using a fluoride rinse or gel daily will provide additional protection for their teeth.
  • If your loved one complains about dry mouth, you can try several commercial mouth rinses made for dry mouth. Having your patient sipping on water or ice chips can also help.
  • Take your loved one to regular dental appointments to have their teeth examined and cleaned regularly–even if they have dentures or partials. It’s important to have the dentures and oral tissue examined to ensure no sore areas on the tissue or a crack in the denture.
  • Watch for symptoms that could be a result of a larger issue. Some medications may cause dry mouth, and some can cause a patient to develop a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans, better known as “Thrush.” Some patients will have a complaint they are having difficulty chewing or swallowing. If your loved one has a new symptom, do not hesitate to have that checked out with a dentist.

The support you can give your loved one as a family caregiver is important. The support and daily care you provide, along with the professional care of a dentist, will give your loved one the best chance for a healthy mouth. 

March 14, 2022 by friendlydesign 0 Comments

4 Tips for Healthy Summer Smiles

By: General Dentist Emily Skibinski

It’s hard to believe summer is nearly upon us! This new season welcomes great fun and also a change in our schedules. However, an increase in outdoor fun, traveling, and sports doesn’t mean we can get too relaxed with our oral health habits. In fact, summer can be a great time to help your kids brush up on habits for keeping their teeth healthy all year long! Read on for some quick tips for keeping your family’s smiles bright during the summer and beyond.

 

1. Stay in a routine

In the summer, it can be easy to let oral health fall by the wayside. But as summer routines change, make sure your kids’ oral health stays on track. To help maintain a routine, consider making a fun chart to keep track of morning and evening brushing as well as daily flossing. Figure out what schedule and/or rewards work best for your family and keep with it to help reduce the chance of dental issues further down the road.

2. Say no to sugary snacks and drinks

Whether you’re heading to the park or relaxing at the beach or pool, it can be tempting to grab easy on-the-go snacks such as chips, fruit snacks, animal crackers, and cookies. Though they’re easy and save time, these options have a lot of added sugars and can lead to tooth decay and cavities over time. Instead, we recommend packing apple slices, cheese cubes, grapes, and nuts to keep your kids energized all day long. 

As far as beverages go, water is always the best option. Though kids love the sweetness of juice and sports drinks, they also have a lot of unnecessary sugars that would love to adhere to your child’s teeth all day and begin to eat away at the enamel. Plus, if your kids are running around and being active, they need to stay hydrated, and water is always the best way to replenish fluids. Be sure to bring water on the go and save the sugary drinks for special occasions and keep them in moderation.

3. Say YES to mouth guards!

If your child plays a summer sport, make sure to purchase them a mouth guard. Sports injuries often result in broken or chipped front teeth, fractured tooth roots, and cut lips (and if your child has braces, these injuries can be even worse!). You can help prevent these injuries during contact sports like football or soccer by always encouraging the use of a mouth guard. 

4. Schedule your kids’ back-to-school appointments

Once school is out, the fall seems ages away. However, the sooner you schedule your child’s back-to-school appointment, the more appointment times will be available and you’ll be able to lock in a date that works best with your schedule. Before summer gets too busy, remember to call and schedule all upcoming dental appointments for your family!

If you have questions about your family’s oral health, our team at Dental Associates Franklin is always happy to help. Click the button below to request an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Daily Oral Health Care Steps as a Family Healthcare Provider:
  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you are the one doing the brushing, this is the easiest way to spot a problem in the mouth early on and can result in the best outcome for treatment before more significant issues arise.
  • Clean in between the teeth with floss, a floss pick, or a water flosser. If your loved one has dentures or partials, rinse them after meals, clean them daily with denture cleaner and a soft denture brush, take them out before bed, and place them in water overnight. Doing this daily will keep food and debris from getting trapped under the denture, which may cause sores on the gum tissue, and keep the appliance clean.
  • Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods are good for the mouth and body while also helping keep your loved ones’ cavity risk down. Sugary drinks and frequent snacking will cause the bacteria in the mouth to increase, thus increasing the patient’s risk of getting a cavity.
  • Using a fluoride rinse or gel daily will provide additional protection for their teeth.
  • If your loved one complains about dry mouth, you can try several commercial mouth rinses made for dry mouth. Having your patient sipping on water or ice chips can also help.
  • Take your loved one to regular dental appointments to have their teeth examined and cleaned regularly–even if they have dentures or partials. It’s important to have the dentures and oral tissue examined to ensure no sore areas on the tissue or a crack in the denture.
  • Watch for symptoms that could be a result of a larger issue. Some medications may cause dry mouth, and some can cause a patient to develop a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans, better known as “Thrush.” Some patients will have a complaint they are having difficulty chewing or swallowing. If your loved one has a new symptom, do not hesitate to have that checked out with a dentist.

The support you can give your loved one as a family caregiver is important. The support and daily care you provide, along with the professional care of a dentist, will give your loved one the best chance for a healthy mouth. 

March 13, 2022 by friendlydesign 0 Comments

Fruit Juice Can Harm Your Teeth

By: General Dentist, Dr. Donald Gundlach

We need to eat our fruit, not drink it. This is especially important for our children. While we like to think that fruit juice is a convenient way to get all the health benefits that fresh whole fruit provides, fruit juice delivers high levels of sugar and high levels of enamel-damaging acid. Whole fruit offers fiber and other nutrients that juice does not. Fruit juice can lead to cavities, weight gain, as well as unhealthy weight loss. Juice also can cause diarrhea when toddlers drink too much of it.

Fruit juice is popular among children of all ages. The convenience factor of single-serve juice boxes and small bottles combined with children’s eagerness to drink juice make it a popular choice for parents on the go. However, parents should consider skipping it and look at the benefits of whole fruit instead. Water is your best option to rehydrate active children. Children should avoid sports drinks as these usually contain high acid levels and are unnecessary for children in most cases.

We recommend the following:

  • When possible, mothers should breastfeed babies exclusively until six months of age and continue for a year or longer.
  • Do not offer juice in a bottle or sippy cup. Toddlers and children should not carry cups or boxes of juice throughout the day. Never allow children to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup unless it contains only water. Allowing children to have unrestricted access to juice through sippy cups and bottles creates a continuous supply of sugar and creates high acid levels in the mouth, which will lead to a much greater risk of decay. This risk increases in terms of both higher amounts of decay and the speed at which the decay spreads.
  • If you decide to include juice in your family’s diet, buy products labeled as containing “100% juice.” Drinks that are not 100% juice often include “drink,” “beverage,” or “cocktail” on the label. These drinks usually have added sugar and other ingredients.
  • Serve juice that has been pasteurized. Unpasteurized juice can contain germs that put infants and children at risk of getting sick.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Younger than 12 months: Do not routinely give fruit juice since it offers no nutritional benefit at this age

1-3 years: Limit fruit juice to a maximum of 4 oz/day (1/2 cup)

4-6 years: Limit fruit juice to a maximum of 4-6 oz/day (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup)

7-18 years: Limit juice to 8oz/day (1 cup)