How to Model Good Dental Hygiene for Your Children

As a parent, you know that it's important to set a good example for your child when it comes to good health. You can't expect your child to eat all of their vegetables if you don't, for example. The same thing applies to dental health. If you want your children to have strong, healthy teeth, you not only have to tell them how to protect their teeth, you have to show them. Here are some tips that will help you model good dental hygiene for your kids.

Make Tooth Brushing Fun

Be a good role model
Good oral hygiene is fun for the whole family.

When they're young, children learn best through play. Therefore, you can establish good tooth brushing habits by brushing your teeth at the same time that your children do, so that they can see you participating and having fun as well.

There are a number of ways to make brushing more fun. Let your child pick out a toothbrush that they like; children's toothbrushes tend to come in bright colors and decorated with fun characters, so it shouldn't be hard to find one that appeals to your child. You can also look for child-friendly toothpaste flavors, like bubblegum, and brightly-colored hand-held flossers.

Try incorporating music into your tooth brushing time. Ideally, you and your child should brush for about two minutes. Two minutes can feel like a long time when you're doing something boring, but using a fun song as a timer can liven things up and help get your child into the habit of brushing for the appropriate amount of time. It can also help to set up a reward system. For example, you may want to start a motivational chart, awarding stickers for each time your child brushes their teeth without complaining or stalling. Once they reach a certain number of stickers, they get a reward.

Use Educational Tools

Use educational tools
Help your children learn about kids' dental care.

Learning about good oral hygiene shouldn't only happen at tooth brushing time. It's something that you can talk about any time of the day. Use educational materials that can help make an impression on your child. For example, go to the library and check out children's books about tooth brushing, losing a tooth, or learning about cavities.

You may also be able to find educational material online. Look for videos or mobile apps geared toward children that encourage good dental hygiene. Your dentist may be able to suggest some online materials that your children will enjoy.

Prepare For Visits to the Dentist

A visit to the dentist can be scary for a young child, but regular dental visits are vital to good oral health. You can help your child get ready for a visit to the dentist by reading and talking about what happens at a dental checkup, visiting the office ahead of time so that your child can meet the dentist, and allowing them to bring a comfort object like a teddy bear to the dentist's office. We also offer warm blankets or headphones to our patients, just ask when you arrive if you or your child would like one. 

Your attitude toward the dentist will make a big difference as well. If you're nervous about the dentist, your child likely will be too. Remember to be positive and confident when you have conversations about the dentist. That will help your child feel safe and relaxed.

Now is a great time to schedule your family's checkups! Give us a call or click below to request a appointment that is convenient for you.

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Valentine's Day Prep

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Have you thought about whether your mouth is ready to pucker up? There’s arguably more kissing on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year. Here are a few tips to make sure you have a kissable mouth!

  • Brush your tongue. This can be the single, most beneficial treatment for bad breath. The back portion of the tongue is found to harbor the bad-breath bacteria, due to its inability to self-cleanse. Toothpaste may be used to give you the added minty taste. A tongue scraper may also be used if the toothbrush isn’t doing the job.
  • Evaluate your diet. Avoid foods with a noticeable odor, such as garlic and onions. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled. Also, try to avoid skipping meals. Eating aids in stimulating the washing action of saliva and helps to remove bacteria from the tongue.
  • Floss. Particles of food can remain between the teeth, collecting bacteria and causing a foul odor. Flossing will eliminate this, but don’t just pop the floss through. You want to floss each tooth by forming a “C” around the tooth you’re flossing (like drying off your back after a shower – same idea).
  • Use a Mouthwash. Although most mouthwashes only provide temporary relief, combining a rinse and a brush in the middle of the day can be very beneficial. This can easily be incorporated into your everyday routine. Be cautious when using mouthwashes with alcohol, as this may cause dry mouth, thus worsening the condition.

Did You Know...? 🙀

Did you know that lions can get cavities too?

The Columbian's 10th annual Best of Clark County

The Columbian's 10th annual Best of Clark County has begun! Nominate Gentech Dentist!The Columbian is holding their 10th annual Best of Clark County contest, and nominations have begun! You can help us stand out as the best (again) by nominating Gentech Dentist for the Best Dentist. 

FIRST nominate, THEN vote. Nominations are now open, and end at 11:59pm on Sunday, February 12th! Only the top 5 dentists go through to the final voting stage. We appreciate your help to us get there!

Nominating is easy!

  1. Go to The Columbian's Best of Nomination page
  2. Enter your email
  3. Select the 'Health and Beauty' section, and navigate to the 'Dentist' category
  4. Type "Gentech Dentist"
  5. Scroll down and click 'Submit'
  6. FINAL STEP: you will receive a confirmation email, in which you have to confirm your nomination (this is to prevent false, spam voting) -Note: nominations that are not confirmed will not count.

Thank you for supporting your dentist!

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

Schedule your family's checkup at Gentech today!Sometimes when our teeth feel okay, we forget the importance of a professional exam. The exam that we perform is a very important part of your overall health, and can help stop decay or disease before it progresses to a point where you don't feel that great anymore. Call or click to schedule your family's checkups today.

 

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Are E-Cigarettes Bad for Your Oral Health?

If you're a smoker looking for a way to kick the habit, you've probably at least considered using an e-cigarette. But are e-cigarettes bad for your oral health?

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat up flavored liquid that contains nicotine and allow you to release clouds of vapor - while the vapor looks like smoke, it generally has a mild smell or no smell at all. This is often called "vaping". While it can seem like the perfect alternative to smoking -- you get the feel of hitting a cigarette without the tar or chemicals that are normally found in cigarettes -- questions remain about whether vaping is really better for your health, or whether it comes with its own risks.

What is in E-Juice?

Are e-cigs harmful?
Do you know what's in that vapor?

The truth is that it can be hard to tell exactly what is in the flavored liquid -- called e-juice -- that is found in an e-cigarette. Different manufacturers may put different chemicals in the e-liquid, and because e-cigarettes are still fairly new on the scene, there haven't been all that many in-depth studies about the effects of e-cigarette ingredients on health.

What definitely is found in most types of e-juice is nicotine. And with or without the other chemicals found in either e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes, nicotine has a harmful effect on your oral health. No matter how the nicotine is delivered, it can cause gum disease because it's a vasoconstrictor. That means that it reduces blood flow. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your gums that they need to stay healthy. Without enough blood, gum disease begins to spread. Even more insidious, though, is that nicotine also masks some of the symptoms of gum disease, like bleeding from the gums when brushing. Without those symptoms, neither you nor your dentist may recognize your gum disease in time to catch it early.

Some Flavors May Cause More Damage Than Others

Are E-Cigarettes Bad for Your Oral Health?
Damage to your oral tissues may depend partly on the e-juice flavor that you pick.

Although not enough studies have been done yet to understand exactly what effect e-cigarettes have on health, the studies that have been done do show that e-cigarette vapors release inflammatory proteins that cause cell damage in the mouth, which can lead to oral diseases.

The same studies show that some flavorings cause more damage than others. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, which basically come only in plain or menthol flavorings, e-juice comes in all kinds of flavors -- it can taste like fruit, chocolate, coffee, your favorite alcoholic cocktail, or almost anything else. It takes different chemicals to make each different flavor, and some of those chemicals are more harmful to the mouth than others.

Quitting is Best for Your Oral Health

Is vaping is less harmful to your oral health than smoking? The jury is still out on that question. It's possible that vaping could be a form of harm reduction. But more studies need to be done to verify whether or not vaping is truly a less harmful option.

Either way, your best bet is to kick the nicotine habit entirely. Giving up nicotine, whether it comes in a cigarette, vapor, chewing tobacco, or even gum, is the only sure way to protect your oral health from its negative effects. Talk to your dentist about smoking cessation strategies and assistance. They may be able to help you find a healthier way to quit.

If you're a smoker or vaper that's worried about your dental health, regular checkups and cleanings are important. Make an appointment today to check on the state of your oral health and learn strategies for preventing health problems. 

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Happy Friday! Did You Know...?

Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay.

What is Dry Mouth, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Everyone has experienced the feeling that their mouth is too dry. It happens when you're outside too long without a drink on a hot day, or when you have a cold that leaves you breathing out of your mouth instead of your nose. Usually, the sensation is temporary, easily alleviated when you get a drink or when the cold goes away. But for some people, the problem is longer-lasting and more difficult to resolve. The following is some information about dry mouth causes, complications, and how you can prevent this condition.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth can be a bigger problem than you think.
Feeling parched? Dry mouth can be a bigger problem than you think.

Dry mouth can be caused by any number of things, including certain medications. This is especially true of inhaled medications, such as asthma inhalers However, painkillers, decongestants, and depression medications can also cause dry mouth.

Dry mouth can also be a sign of a medical condition. Diabetes, depression, Parkinson's disease, and certain autoimmune disorders are often accompanied by dry mouth. If you're a smoker, you may also experience dry mouth frequently. Simple dehydration can also be a common cause for dry mouth.

What Problems Can Dry Mouth Cause?

No matter what is causing your dry mouth, it's important to find a way to address the issue. Occasional dry mouth may be just an aggravation, but if it's become a common occurrence for you, it can be a lot more than a simple annoyance.

Frequent dry mouth puts you at risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The saliva in your mouth serves a purpose -- it's constantly washing away bacteria and food particles that can lead to disease and decay. If you don't have enough saliva in your mouth, then you're more likely to develop cavities or infections. If you suffer from dry mouth, you're also more likely to experience sore throats and a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing or chewing, and even fungal mouth infections, like thrush.

How to Prevent Dry Mouth

Staying hydrated is an important part of preventing dry mouth.
Staying hydrated is an important part of preventing dry mouth.

Dry mouth may be more serious than you first thought, but it's also often preventable. One of the most important things that you can do is increase your water intake. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate all kinds of medical conditions, so swapping your soda or coffee for water can improve your health in all kinds of ways, while ensuring that you have the necessary hydration to create enough saliva.

You can also try chewing sugarless gum or mints that are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol stimulates saliva production and won't increase your risk of cavities. It's also a good idea to talk to your doctor if you're experiencing frequent dry mouth. Your doctor may be able to change your medications, if one of them is causing your dry mouth. They may also recommend a product that will help increase saliva production in your mouth.

Your dentist is a great source of information about preventing and alleviating dry mouth. To make an appointment, contact us today.

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Hypertension and Oral Health

Hypertension and oral healthDid you know that one in four people suffer from hypertension (also referred to as high blood pressure)? Many don't realize it, and dentists who check a patient's blood pressure in their practices are often the first screening some people have for hypertension. 

What Is Hypertension? 
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood flow puts increased pressure on blood vessel walls, and as a result can damage healthy arteries. This artery damage can lead to strokes, heart disease, or hemorrhage. Healthy blood pressure averages around 120/80 and any reading consistently above this should be checked by your physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment if needed. 

High blood pressure is most common in those with a family history of hypertension, heart disease or diabetes, those who smoke, those who are overweight, and those who are not physically active. African Americans, people over the age of 55, and those who drink excessively or whose dietary needs are not being met are also at risk for hypertension.

Medication at your Dental Appointment 
If you have already been diagnosed with hypertension, it's important to let your dentist know about it along with any medication you may be taking to treat the condition. The best time of day to schedule your dental appointments is generally in the afternoon. Because stress can cause a rise in blood pressure, try the tips below to ensure a successful dental appointment.

  • Be sure to get a good night’s rest the night before as well as taking any pre-medication needed for your appointment.
  • Avoid caffeine before your appointment and eat a regular well-balanced meal.
  • Don’t rush to arrive, allow the time you need to get to your appointment.
  • Remind your dentist about your hypertension, and if stress is an issue for you, ask your dentist about the use of a sedative or nitrous oxide to keep your blood pressure down while you visit.

2017 Dental Insurance Benefits

Gentech Dentist offers tea in all six of our offices.Have you been waiting to get your dental work done because you reached the max on your dental insurance benefits in 2016? Now is the time to make an appointment to get this work completed in 2017! Call or click to schedule today at one of our six convenient locations:

Clackamas | Beaverton | Macadam | Hillsboro  East Vancouver | Salmon Creek

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