What’s in Store for National Children’s Dental Health Month


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
All month long, dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators will come together to promote the benefits of good oral health. Each year, the theme for NCDHM changes. For 2017, the theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” Here are just some of the reasons why tap water is best:

  • Soda contains caffeine, known to cause everything from jitters, upset stomach, and headaches to difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • A 12-ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Care for Your Teeth When Pregnant

It’s a new year, and for those who are pregnant, a time to prepare for new life. Taking good care of your baby begins with you during this important stage. When you’re expecting, even your teeth could use some TLC. Here are five ways to care for your teeth when pregnant:

  1. Switch to a softer toothbrush. This will help you to apply gentle pressure to your gums. According to BabyCenter, “about half of moms-to-be have swollen, red, tendergums that bleed when flossed or brushed.” This is due to pregnancy gingivitis, or mild inflammation of the gums during pregnancy. Rising hormone levels can be partly to blame for your gums’ sensitivity to bacteria in plaque. This leads us to the next point…
  2. Take good care of your gums. Did you know that periodontal disease during pregnancy is linked to premature birth and low birth weight? Along with periodontal disease, the March of Dimes cites gingivitis and tooth decay as conditions that pregnant women are more susceptible to. We’ve got a secret weapon for your gums—floss! [Read more…]

Charcoal Whitening Trend May Be Unsafe, Dentists Warn

Thought of using charcoal to whiten your teeth? The idea is trending. YouTube user Mama Natural posted a video on using a charcoal product to whiten her teeth, and more than a million viewers tuned in to watch: Activated Charcoal—Weird Way to Whiten Teeth.

Using Nature’s Way activated charcoal that costs about $5 from health food stores, Mama Natural states that the charcoal absorbs bacteria, toxins, and staining on the teeth, even though using the black powder may seem counterintuitive at first. Recently, however, FoxNews published an article warning consumers against using charcoal as a whitening agent. [Read more…]

Halloween Candy Survival Guide

halloween-fairyAll year long, kids look forward to the magic and fun of Halloween. Parents enjoy the costumes and trick-or-treating, too, but the thought of all that candy can be troublesome. Whether you raid the candy bags to the benefit of your coworkers, sell the candy at a buyback, or ration it in some other way, much of the sweets will end up with your kids. To help you sort through the Halloween bags with them, here’s a summary of MouthHealthy.org’s rundown of common candies:

Chocolate: Of all the Halloween candies your kids will receive, chocolate is best because it washes off teeth more easily. Choose dark chocolate when possible, as it has less sugar than milk chocolate. Chocolate can also be good for you. Read our article, A Delicious Secret, to find out more.

Sticky and Gummy Candies: “Be picky if it’s sticky,” MouthHealthy advises. We agree. Sticky and gummy candies are harder to remove and could result in cavity-causing bacteria staying on the kids’ teeth longer. [Read more…]

Toss Homeopathic Teething Gels and Tablets for These Safe Home Remedies

baby-teeth-6485868Recently, the FDA released a warning against homeopathic teething tablets and gels. According to their September 30 report, these products, sold by the likes of CVS and Hyland’s, may cause a risk to infants and children. Seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, constipation, and other issues are some of the problems the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research have discovered. The FDA will continue investigating the issue and reporting on the results, but in the meantime, please toss any homeopathic teething tablets or gels you may have at home.

If your child is teething, there are many ways to soothe their discomfort without such over-the-counter remedies. Here are some that we recommend: [Read more…]

Turning on Cartoons Can Help Turn Off the Anxiety at the Dentist’s Office

Child at DentistKids love watching cartoons, and it turns out there’s a place where turning on the monitor can be especially comforting for them—the dentist’s office! According to a recent study of 56 randomly assigned children aged 7 to 9 years, kids who received dental treatment while watching cartoons showed less anxiety and more cooperation than those who received no distraction. The dental treatments conducted during the study included oral exams, injections with a local anesthetic, and tooth restoration. The findings, originally published in the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, include the following: [Read more…]

Meet the Staff: 3 RDAs on What Makes Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry Special

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Jennel, Maria, and Mabel (left to right) of Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry

Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry, our sister office, is located in a thriving community with one of the highest ranking school systems in California. Surrounded by 1,200 acres of parks and open space, Pleasanton is conveniently close to Silicon Valley and San Francisco while being tucked away in its own picturesque scene, complete with a flourishing business sector that includes our pediatric dentistry practice.

Jennel, who has been a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) for Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry for almost three years now, describes Pleasanton as a diverse little town with plenty of activities, parks, and restaurants. Maria, now an RDA for over three decades, adds that Pleasanton is additionally very family-oriented.

“The city offers street fairs and concerts in the park on Friday nights in the summer,” Maria says.

[Read more…]

3 Reasons You’re Half as Likely as an Olympian to Have Cavities

The 2016 Olympic games in Rio are over, and you now know which U.S. champions brought home the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Here’s something you don’t know about the Olympians, whether they don from the U.S. or another part of the world: three-quarters have gingivitis.

Overall, Olympians have high levels of poor dental health, including cavities and dental erosion. In fact, as an American adult, you’re half as likely as an Olympian to have cavities, as Ars Technica reports. That deserves a gold medal, in our book!

The findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, come from a 2013 study conducted of 302 Olympic athletes who competed in 25 sports at the 2012 Olympics in London. Does the data seem puzzling to you? We thought it might, as high-level athletes seem to epitomize strong physiques and excellent health that enable them to compete. Here are some of the reasons why Olympians may be thriving in their sport but suffering in the oral health department: [Read more…]

4 Fun Articles to Get Back Into School Mode

PreschoolAugust is here, which means summer vacation is nearing its end and the school year its beginning. Are you and the kids ready? If not, we’ve got just the thing you need to get back into school mode: four fantastic articles on everything from maintaining a sleep schedule and overcoming the mad dash to school in the morning to keeping up the brushing routine. First day of school? Bring it on! [Read more…]

Brush Your Teeth for Longer Life Expectancy

According to the Stride Health article, “Men Are Closing the Longevity Gap-Here’s Why,” healthier lifestyle choices are helping men live as long as women, with life expectancy for U.S. males going up by 4.6 years between 1989 and 2009. Not smoking, controlling stress with strategies like meditation and exercise, and visiting the doctor regularly have been key to decreasing the gender longevity gap.

Another important tip to live longer: Take better care of your teeth! Our own Dr. Sharine Thenard was interviewed for the above article, and here’s what she said about the connection between healthy teeth and life expectancy: [Read more…]