Posts for: August, 2016
When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.
“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.
Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”
Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.
Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.
“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”
It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!
If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
Would you like to change something about your smile, but aren't sure if you want to spend hours at the dentist's office to achieve a perfect smile? Dental veneers offer a simple way to improve your smile. Dr. James F. Outlaw, your Winter Park, FL, cosmetic dentist at Outlaw Dental, is here to share some information about veneers.
Veneers conceal imperfections
Dental veneers are porcelain shells that are about as thick as a fingernail. Although they're thin, they effectively hide the cosmetic issues that can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Veneers are constructed of porcelain, a durable material that looks like your natural tooth enamel. Since they're only attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, they don't require extensive dental work.
Veneers are a good choice if you're concerned about:
- Cracks or Chips: Veneers easily conceal small chips or cracks that can mar your smile.
- Slight Gaps Between Teeth: Would you like to get rid of a small gap between your front teeth? Veneers offer the perfect way to conceal slight gaps. If you have a large gap, orthodontic treatment may be a better option.
- Discolorations: Teeth can become discolored if you've had root canal treatment or a large filling, or used tetracycline to treat an infection. Veneers are resistant to staining from coffee, tea, wine and cola, making them a good choice if you want to whiten all of your teeth but don't want to give up your favorite beverages.
- Oddly Shaped Teeth: Sometimes, one tooth is too short, crooked or just looks a little funny. A veneer offers a simple way to change the appearance of that tooth and help it blend in with surrounding teeth.
The Veneer Process
After your initial consultation, you'll only need to visit your Winter Park, FL dentist twice to receive your veneers. During the first visit, the fronts of your teeth will be filed slightly to accommodate the veneers, then an impression will be taken of your teeth. A dental laboratory will use the impression to create your new veneers. When you arrive for your second visit, your dentist will check the fit of your veneers before applying them permanently with dental cement and a special curing light.
Improve your smile with veneers. Call Dr. James Outlaw, your Winter Park, FL, cosmetic dentist at Outlaw Dental, at (407) 671-6506 to learn how you can benefit from veneers. Make over your smile with dental veneers!
Sleep — you'll spend a third of your life in its blissful embrace. But it isn't a luxury: you need it as much as nutrition and exercise. An occasional bad night's sleep leaves you irritable and drowsy; a bad night's sleep every night could endanger your health.
One of the most common causes for chronic poor sleep is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the airway becomes blocked and you stop breathing temporarily. The blockage may be due to an oversized tongue, tonsils or uvula, an abnormal jaw or chin structure, or nasal polyps and congestion. When your brain notices you're not breathing, it rouses you just enough to relieve the blockage. These incidents can occur and end in seconds several times a night without you being aware of it.
This interrupts your normal sleep patterns, including the critical rapid eye movement (REM) of deep sleep that occurs at different times during the night. The results of not getting enough REM sleep are quite unhealthy: besides irritability and reduced concentration, poor REM sleep is linked to depression, headaches, decreased sex drive, acid reflux, high blood pressure or the onset of diabetes. Your night time experience — as well as your sleep partner's — won't be pleasant either as you may experience night time sweating and snoring.
Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated. Our first considered treatment is a custom-fitted night guard you wear while you sleep that holds the tongue back from the airway. If your apnea is more severe, you may need to consider continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which uses a machine to pump pressurized air through a mask you wear while sleeping to force the airway open. You might also benefit from surgery to remove excess soft tissue obstructing the airway.
If you or your family has noticed any of these symptoms mentioned, make an appointment to see us — we're trained to look for oral signs in the mouth that may indicate sleep apnea. The sooner we can implement a treatment strategy, the sooner you'll begin experiencing a good night's sleep and better health.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea and what to do about it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”