Posts for tag: oral health
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
In honor of National Children's Dental Health Month this February, we're sharing some of the important facts that earned this health issue its own month.
Did you know that cavities or tooth decay is one of the most common health issues affecting children in the U.S.? In some places, it has an even greater impact on children and their families than asthma.
Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. Studies show that school-age children and youth in the U.S. miss 51 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems. These absences can mean losing critical learning time, especially in the early grades when foundational skills are being developed. What's more, students that experience oral health pain are 4x more likely to have lower GPAs than their peers that don't.
The good news is there are safe and effective preventive measures that can protect teeth. Good oral hygiene practices such as thorough brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can help keep children from getting cavities. In addition, dental sealants and community water fluoridation are two other strategies that can help prevent tooth decay. When oral health problems are treated and students are not experiencing pain, their learning and school attendance improve!
Prevention is key
Parents can help prevent cavities and promote good oral health by ensuring their children:
- Brush teeth at least 2x a day with a fluoride toothpaste. In addition, try to brush after meals.
- Clean between the teeth with dental floss-your hygienist or dentist will be happy to show you how.
- Avoid sugary foods including soda and juices.
- Get dental sealants as soon as permanent teeth grow in. 80% of the cavities children get are on the chewing surface of their teeth. Dental sealants help to protect against these cavities, but very few children have at least one sealed permanent tooth. Talk to your child's dentist to see if dental sealants are a good option for them.
- Fluoride has been proven to be the most effective way to prevent cavities. Unfortunately, many Americans do not get enough fluoride from their water especially in recent years where most people choose bottled water. Talk to your dentist about other ways to make sure your children are getting enough fluoride to protect their teeth.
- A child's 1st dentist visit should happen by the 1st birthday.
- Replace toothbrushes every 3 months. Allow the toothbrush to dry between uses.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months
The staff at Gargano Family Dentistry are happy to answer any questions concerning your child’s oral health. Give our office a call at 203-239-2356, or visit our website, www.garganofamilydentistry.com
Chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a baseball?
If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your hand, follow these steps!
1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 203-239-2356. Let us know about youremergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away.
2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold milk, water, saliva), and bring them in to your appointment.
3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.
4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad until bleeding stops
It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it. If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.
In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to contact your dentist and correct a cracked tooth immediately.
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month
Have you checked your blood pressure recently?
In the spirit of raising awareness for what is considered one of the leading causes of death in our society, we're here to explain what blood pressure is, what causes high blood pressure, and how to combat the severe health risks associated with high blood pressure. Checking blood pressure regularly is an important part of keeping high blood pressure controlled. Also, many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. That’s why we want to persuade as many people as possible to get a blood pressure check this May.
What is Blood Pressure?
The easiest way to define blood pressure is by noting that it's the force that pushes blood throughout our bodies via our circulatory system. The force is created by our hearts expelling blood when it contracts during each heartbeat, and then gradually traveling through the smaller branches of arteries before returning.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Anyone who has ever been to a doctor's appointment before is more than likely familiar with having their blood pressure checked via the blood pressure "cuff" that is fastened around the upper arm of the patient and then tightened. Doing so allows a medical professional to accurately identify whether your levels are within a normal range or not. Your blood pressure reading will consist of both a systolic number and a diastolic number. Systolic pressure is the first number and the highest, and measures the contractions of the heart, while the diastolic pressure measures the pressure inside of the arteries during the pause between heartbeats.
Combating High Blood Pressure
While the risks associated with high blood pressure are certainly a cause for concern, there are many ways to keep your levels under control and your health in a positive state. Keeping your body weight at a suitable and healthy range for your height and age is a large factor, as is ensuring that you practice a diet that is rich in produce and low-fat protein. Regularly monitor your sodium intake levels to keep them as low as possible and be aware of how much alcohol you consume on a regular basis. Be sure to also engage in regular exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, as even a simple walk around the block every evening is enough to drastically reduce your overall risk levels.
High Blood Pressure Medications and Oral Health
Some high blood pressure medications interrupt normal saliva flow and cause a chronic dry mouth. Dry mouth is responsible for halitosis an increase in mouth lesions (canker sores) and oral fungal infections. Dry mouth also encourages growth of anaerobic bacteria, the primary cause of cavities and gum disease. We know the medication is imperative to your health and if you take medications for high blood pressure, the dentist or hygienist may recommend more preventive and frequent maintenance appointments to ensure that you are in good oral and physical health.
High blood pressure is often symptomless and can be a “silent killer” at any age — and the only way to know your risk is to have your blood pressure checked. This May, during National High Blood Pressure Education Month, do yourself and your family a favor:
1. Have your blood pressure checked and review the categories at www.heart.org/bplevels to understand what your numbers mean.
2. Be counted as someone who knows their numbers at www.heart.org/bplevels . Click on the “I’ve Checked My Blood Pressure” button!
3. Encourage the people you care about to know their numbers, too.
4. Visit www.heart.org/ccc to sign up for the CCC Tracker. All you’ll need is an email address and a campaign code: CHKCT.
For more information on high blood pressure go to www.heart.org/hbp or contact our office.