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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
June 19, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Keeping your gums healthy doesn’t have to be difficult.

When was the last time you considered the health of your gums? Most people really don’t think twice about whether their gums are healthy or not. After all, if they aren’t causing you problems then they must be fine, right? Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t typically show symptoms until the more advanced stages, which means it’s even more important that you are practicing good oral hygiene to protect your smile against gum disease. Along with visiting our Lorain, OH, family dentist Dr. Jennifer Robb for routine cleanings twice a year, here are some other ways to reduce your risk for periodontitis,

Brush After Eating

While everyone should be brushing at least twice a day, if you really want to protect your gums from gum disease then you may want to brush your teeth after eating. This can prevent plaque from building up on teeth and along the gum line, which can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. Make sure that when you brush that you are brushing all surfaces of your teeth (front, back and chewing surfaces).

Floss Daily

While brushing is a crucial component to any good oral care routine it isn’t the only habit that you should be practicing without fail. You should also be flossing every day. While brushing can remove plaque and food particles from many surfaces of your teeth and gums it won’t be able to get between teeth.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

Check your toothbrush and see if the bristles are starting to fray. If they are then this is a telltale sign that it’s time to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you have an electric toothbrush). An old toothbrush head won’t be able to properly clean your teeth, plus the frayed bristles can actually scratch and wear down tooth enamel.

Use Mouthwash

While mouthwash should never be used in place of brushing or flossing, adding mouthwash to your daily oral care routine can provide some benefits. Our Lorain, OH, dentist can recommend different types of mouthwashes depending on your specific oral needs; however, look for an antimicrobial mouthwash that is low in alcohol and has the ADA seal of approval. An antimicrobial mouthwash will help to reduce plaque buildup and also rinse away bacteria responsible for decay and gum disease.

Are you looking for a dentist in Lorain, OH, that can provide you with routine checkups, gum disease therapy and other dental care? If so, call our office today at (440) 960-1940 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the full-spectrum dental care we offer.

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
June 14, 2020
Category: Oral Health
HowtoHelpYourChildBeattheOddsforGettingaToothInjury

Half of all children will injure at least one tooth before adulthood. That's why we're joining with other health professionals this June to promote National Safety Month. As dentists, we want to call particular attention to potential dental injuries and what parents and caregivers can do to help their child avoid them.

The source for a dental injury usually depends on a child's age and development level. Younger children learning to walk and run are more apt to fall, and may hit their mouth on hard or sharp surfaces. Later on, most dental injuries tend to come from contact during sports play or other physical activities.

Your prevention strategy should therefore adjust to your child's age and activity level. If you have an infant starting to walk, for example, don't allow them to move around carrying a bottle, cup or other hard object that could be a source of injury if they fall. Also, keep an eye out for hard furniture or sharp-edged surfaces as they toddle around.

If you have a highly mobile toddler, discourage them from climbing and jumping on furniture, tables or other hard surfaces. If feasible, pad these surfaces and sharp edges to minimize the force of impact from a collision.

To prevent sports-related mouth injuries in older children and teens, your primary defense is an athletic mouthguard. Mouthguards cushion and absorb much of the force generated during hard sports contact. They should be worn for any physical activity with a potential risk for mouth injury, including practice sessions and informal play like a pick-up basketball game.

A type of athletic mouthguard known as “boil and bite” is readily available in retail sporting goods stores. After purchase, it is softened in very hot water; the wearer then places it in their mouth and bites down to form a permanent impression. Boil and bite mouthguards offer protection, but they can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear.

For a higher level of protection along with a more accurate and comfortable fit, a custom mouthguard created by a dentist is a more desirable option. These are based on a detailed impression of the wearer's bite, so the fit can't be beat. Both types of mouthguard need upgrading periodically in young wearers to accommodate dental development as they age.

Accidents can happen, but there's much you can do to reduce the likelihood of injury to your child's teeth. Protective measures and equipment—as well as a watchful eye—can go far to help them emerge from these active, early years dentally unscathed.

If you would like more information about dental safety, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”

InstillTheseHabitsinYourChildforaLifetimeofGreatDentalHealth

As a parent, you strive to instill good habits in your children: looking both ways for traffic, doing chores or washing behind the ears. Be sure you also include sound habits for teeth and gum care.

Daily brushing and flossing should be at the top of that habit list. These hygiene tasks remove dental plaque, a bacterial film that builds up on teeth and is most responsible for diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

Although you'll have to perform these tasks for them early on, your aim should be to teach them to do it for themselves. The best approach is to teach by example: If your child sees you're serious about your own oral hygiene, they're more likely to do so as well.

You should also help them form habits around the foods they eat. Like other aspects of our health, some foods are good for our teeth and gums, and some are not. The primary food in the latter category is sugar: This popular carbohydrate is also a favorite food source for disease-causing oral bacteria.

It's important, then, to minimize sugar and other processed foods in your child's diet, and maximize their consumption of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other foods rich in calcium and phosphorous. Instilling good eating habits at an early age can boost both their dental and general health throughout their lives.

Finally, help the budding star athlete in your family develop the habit of wearing a protective mouthguard during contact sports. Your best choice is a custom-made mouthguard by a dentist: Although they cost more than the more common “boil and bite” mouthguard, they tend to offer more protection and are more comfortable to wear. A mouthguard could help your child avoid a costly dental injury that could affect them the rest of their life.

Adopting good dental hygienic, dietary, and safety habits at an early age can have a huge impact on your child's teeth and gum development. And if those early habits “stick,” it could mean a lifetime of disease-free dental health.

If you would like more information on helping your child develop sound dental habits, 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 “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

How your family dentist in Lorain, OH, can help your child enjoy a healthy smile

You teach your children lots of things, and now it’s time to teach them about proper dental habits. After all, proper at-home care is the most important way to keep a smile healthy. Dr. Jennifer Robb, your family dentist in Lorain, OH, wants to help you and your children enjoy healthy smiles for life—read on to learn more.

Prioritize your child's smile

So, how do you teach your children to keep a healthy smile? The first step is to set a good example by brushing and flossing your own smile. Make sure that your children see these actions, for kids love to copy their parents. Your children should see you brushing after meals and before you go to bed, and have them see you floss at least once each day.

When you teach your child how to brush, stand behind them, with both of you facing a mirror. Have your child watch as you gently brush the teeth in a circular motion, cleaning all of the teeth, and along the gumline. Then, have your child repeat the technique back to you. It may be helpful to buy a sonic or electric toothbrush to make brushing more fun. Make sure to always use a toothpaste containing fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.

Flossing can be taught when your child is about 4 years old. Have your child hold a hand mirror and watch as you floss down in between each tooth. Then, have your child repeat the technique back to you. Your child should be flossing independently at about 8 years old. Floss picks are often a handy alternative to a piece of floss. They are easier for kids to handle, and they come in kid-friendly shapes.

Proper dental habits wouldn’t be complete without regular visits to your family dentist. A professional dental examination should be performed at least every twelve months, while professional dental cleaning should be performed every six to twelve months. At these appointments, your family dentist can prescribe preventive treatments to keep your children’s smiles healthy.

Proper dental habits can keep your children’s smiles healthy. To learn more about proper dental habits and family dental care services, call Dr. Jennifer Robb, your family dentist in Lorain, OH, at (440) 960-1940.

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
March 26, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: pregnancy   oral health  
DentalCareDuringPregnancyisSafeandEssential

When a woman learns she's pregnant, her first thought is often to do everything possible to protect the new life inside her. That may mean making lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol or quitting smoking.

Some women may also become concerned that their regular dental visits could pose a risk to their baby. But both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association say it's safe for pregnant women to undergo dental exams and cleanings—in fact, they're particularly important during pregnancy.

That's because pregnant women are more susceptible to dental infections, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, because of hormonal changes during pregnancy. The most common, occurring in about 40% of expectant mothers, is a form of gum disease known as pregnancy gingivitis. Women usually encounter this infection that leaves the gums tender, swollen and easy to bleed between the second and eighth month of pregnancy.

Untreated, pregnancy gingivitis could potentially advance below the gum line and infect the roots. It could also have an unhealthy effect on the baby: some studies show women with severe gum disease are more prone to give birth to premature or underweight babies than women with healthy gums.

But it can be stopped effectively, especially if it's treated early. Regular dental checkups and cleanings (at least every six months or more frequently if your dentist recommends) can help an expectant mother stay ahead of a developing gum infection.

With that said, though, your dentist's approach to your care may change somewhat during pregnancy. While there's little concern over essential procedures like gum disease treatment or root canal therapy, elective restorations that are cosmetic in nature might best be postponed until after the baby's birth.

So, if you've just found out you're pregnant, let your dentist know so they can adjust your care depending on your condition and history. And don't be concerned about keeping up your regular dental visits—it's a great thing to do for both you and your baby.

If you would like more information on dental care during pregnancy, 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 “Dental Care During Pregnancy: Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene Is More Important Than Ever.”