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Early Dental Care

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Your Federal Way Dentist advises that it’s never too early to start proper dental care. Indeed, even before your child’s teeth begin to come in, there are measures you should be taking to help assure a strong and healthy mouth well into his or her adulthood.

One of the biggest risks to a baby’s mouth is something called “bottle mouth”. This is the pattern of gum disease that comes about when a child is allowed to fall asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth. Much of what your baby drinks, including milk and sugary juices, poses as much of a threat to his or her gums as a mouthful of candy. Meanwhile, since the mouth is less able to defend itself when you fall asleep, the sugary drink is able to pool and make quick work within the gums. This seriously affects how the child’s primary teeth will come in, which can have long-standing consequences for many years down the line.

In order to assure a healthy mouth for your baby, take the bottle away when it is time to go to sleep. You can also wipe his or her gums clean with a bit of gauze or a delicate washcloth after each feeding. Start brushing the teeth when they come in by using a baby’s toothbrush, without toothpaste, and schedule his or her first dental appointment by the time the child turns one year old.

Spare Your Teeth from Holiday Stress

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The holiday season is upon us once again, and this is a time that can be very tough on your teeth. It’s not just the heavy eating and the festive holiday sweets that can encourage decay and gum disease; even if you’re watching what you eat this year, the stress that frequently comes with our winter-time traditions is not conducive of a healthy mouth. Stress encourages bruxism, aggravates sores, and reduces your ability to fight infections.

When trying to relax this holiday season, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Be aware of your limitations, and don’t take on too much. Delegate tasks to capable people, and try not to take anything more seriously than you need to.

Whenever possible, try to stick to a set routine; stressful situations make it easier to neglect your regular brushing and flossing, inviting tooth decay all the more. The irony of this is that adhering to your usual, comfortable habits is actually a good way to bring your stress factor down.

A Tooth-Friendly Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a big time for eating, which obviously entails certain concerns for your oral hygiene. Indeed, a long period of eating, preceded and followed by snacks and sips with your friends and family, can be a bit hard on your mouth. Ideally, you should be giving your teeth a lengthy break between meals so that they can recover from the acid produced by your oral bacteria. However, there are also some benefits to be derived from a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

First and foremost is the turkey. This classic holiday bird is rich in phosphorus, which combines with vitamin D and calcium to build strong and healthy teeth. Pairing your turkey with fiber rich fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes, string beans and natural cranberries serves to stimulate your saliva production and clean out your mouth as you eat.

The food that is hardest on your teeth is likely to be your alcoholic beverages and desserts. Wine, pecan pie and pumpkin pie can all be fairly sugar-rich. Try to only drink your wine along with your meal, rather than sipping throughout the day, and consider rinsing out with water after eating your pie.

Defeating Dry Mouth with Cell Therapy

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Dry mouth has many possible causes, many of which involve the destruction of your salivary glands. The big problem with treating such conditions is that salivary glands are not very good at regenerating themselves. Fortunately, modern research into the potential of cell-based therapies are showing a lot of potential to give new hope to people suffering from this condition.

A team from the University of Texas at San Antonio described in Tissue Engineering Part A how they managed to make use of silk fibers to guide stem cells into producing fresh salivary glands. These fibers act as something of a scaffold for the cells, after which a nourishing medium is added to facilitate growth. After several weeks, the cells created a solid structure around the silk, which eventually biodegrades.

Though the process is not quite ready to treat patients yet, the team is optimistic that they will be able to produce fully functional salivary glands from stem cells in the near future. Until such a time, seek out our Federal Way family dentistry clinic for help overcoming your dry mouth problems.

Is There Fecal Matter on Your Toothbrush?

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How clean is your toothbrush? It’s common enough for your brush to gradually take on bacteria while you brush it, which is why it is important to rinse it out every so often. However, if you are not careful, you may end up brushing your teeth with something far more unsavory.

According to a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, a surprising number of toothbrushes are contaminated with human fecal matter. The study took a collection of brushes that are stored in shared bathrooms, finding fecal particles on more than 60%. Further, it was found that there was an 80% chance that these contaminants were coming from somebody other than the brush’s owner, which is less healthy than waste originating from your own system.

Contamination happens largely because of the light spray of water which results from flushing your toilet. Therefore, you should take measures to store your brush away from the line of fire. Putting your brush in a closable container, but preferably still exposed to the air so that it can dry out between brushings, is preferable. Contact our Federal Way dentistry for more information on proper toothbrush maintenance.

What is Pulp Therapy?

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When you look at your teeth, all you’re seeing is the sturdy, bone-like part. However, inside this thick white structure, there is a node of soft, fleshy tissue. This is what dentists call the pulp of the tooth. It is from this pulp that the tooth derives its nutrients and is kept healthy. When the pulp is threatened by disease, it’s up to your dentist to save it with pulp therapy.

You may need to have pulp therapy if you have a severe cavity or suffer trauma to the teeth. Whenever the outer structure of the tooth breaks enough so that bacteria can infect the delicate pulp inside, you need to address it before the tooth can die. Pulp therapy involves going into the damaged tooth, removing any diseased tissue, purging the infection, and then sealing up the break. For more information on pulp therapy, consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic.