Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home By One

Oh my gosh, we can't believe it's been almost a whole year since our last post! We apologize, but life got busy and sadly we've neglected our blog.

There is a new program here in CT called "Home by One".

In short it is a program by the State of Connecticut to encourage parents to find a dental home for their children by the age of one.

The point of the program is to prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Today's dentists have the tools to help a parent to get their child off to a healthy beginning.

Parents need to be educated about caring for children's teeth. We know from experience...being a parent can be overwhelming. Pressing issues like bathing, feeding, changing diapers, not to mention all the other issues a young family faces and it is easy to see how oral hygiene can get lost in the shuffle. It is also easy to see why our youngest population has increasing numbers of cavities.

The first dental visit is a time for a parent to have oral hygiene lessons reinforced and a chance to correct small problems before they can become bigger.

Find your child a dental home can truly help your child get off to a healthy start.

As always remember...Healthy habits the begin from birth last a lifetime!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our First Trade Show!

We just returned from Boston after attending our first trade show - Natural Products Expo East. Wow! We were blown away by the shear size of the show and the amazing products that we saw.

The natural product world was very excited about Tooth Tissues and we were finalists in the new products showcase! We wanted to thank all the people who stopped by to visit us and were excited about our product. Our neighbors, chico bags, soap alchemy, and Avanti were seasoned exhibitors that gave us lots of support.

But let me get back to the show....

We've only ever gone to dental shows so this was unbelievable in its size and breadth. Half the massive exhibit hall was food! We loved sampling all he amazing food that was there! On my second afternoon at the show, I couldn't refind the booth that had the yogurt I liked the first day! That is how big the show was, one could get lost! But then I found lots of other fantastic things instead.

We learned a lot, lost our voices from talking all day, and met some great people. We also found out our GPS doesn't work well in Boston!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's a parent to do?

It's summer vacation and we've been spending lots of time at the pool. Hopefully you also have been able to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and the relaxation that summer brings.
It is easy to let our good habits fall by the wayside during the less structured summer months!

I've seen lots of kids at the office last week. When I asked a particular 14 year old boy about his home care, he said to me nonchalantly, "Yeah, I brush when I remember to." !?! Teenagers!

What can a parent do to maximize good oral health early in childhood? Make sure that taking care of their teeth is important from early childhood is much harder to teach good habits to a teenager!

Parents need to be good role models for their children. It starts with proper dietary habits. I know I'm being repetitive here but...don’t put your child to bed with a bottle or snack, whether it be night time or nap time. When children get older, parents need to monitor and limit starchy, sugary, or sticky snacks. It’s a good idea to brush and rinse after meals and snacks.

Parents need to take good care of their own teeth and encourage a daily dental care routine. They also need to supervise brushing and try to make it more fun. I still sing while brushing my girls and they seem to really enjoy having a few toothbrushes to choose from. We also have an assortment of colored flossers for my kids to select from.

As dentists, we want to ensure your child has a beautiful healthy smile. We recommend that babies be seen around their first birthday. Early visits can help prevent bottle tooth decay or recognize any development problems. Often children who have cavities early in life will have more dental problems as adults.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pregnancy and Dental Care

On Friday, I was interviewed by a writer for Pregnancy and Newborn magazine. It got me to thinking that there are women out there, who might not consider the dental health perspective when trying to get pregnant. Having an optimally healthy mouth while you are pregnant is a fantastic start. Ideally routine dentistry should be done prior to pregnancy.

My pregnant patients often come with concerns about their gums bleeding when they brush. The hormones, estrogen and progesterone surge during pregnancy resulting in an exaggerated response of gum tissue to plaque called "pregnancy gingivitis". Pregnancy may also bring about "pregnancy tumors" which , in spite the scary name, are non-cancerous inflammatory overgrowths of gum tissue. That's why, it's even more important to work at your home care with proper brushing and flossing to remove plaque. If you are pregnant, continue routine tooth cleaning and exams. At our offices, we only take x-rays on pregnant patients for emergencies and recommend waiting on elective dentistry until after the birth of the baby.

Again, the take home message is prevention. See your dentist before getting pregnant to avoid foreseeable dental emergencies. During pregnancy, be extra diligent about oral hygiene. Brush 2-3 times a days paying special attention to remove plaque right at the gum line, and remember to floss every night. Just remember, if you don't think you have time now... just wait until the baby comes!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby Bottle Caries

As a dentist, I've seen my share of "baby bottle caries". It has numerous other names - "nursing bottle caries, early childhood caries, baby bottle decay, etc." It is heartbreaking every time.

Caries or decay is an infectious disease. It is caused by frequent and long-term exposure of teeth to liquids containing sugars. Milk, formula, fruit juice, soda and other sweetened drinks are the usual offenders. The sugar in these liquids pools around the teeth and gums feeding the bacteria in the mouth. Acid is produced by the bacteria and attack the teeth, thus causing decay. Baby bottle tooth decay is also associated with breast-fed infants and children whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in honey sugar or syrup. Any sweet liquid left in the mouth while a baby is sleeping increases the risk of decay.

When decay is left untreated, because there is the misconception that baby teeth are not important, there can be pain and infection, and subsequent speech problems and possible damage to their adult teeth.

Prevention, prevention, prevention!!! Don't allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle. If they do - and I know first hand about this, use a moistened gauze or washcloth (or Tooth Tissue), wrapped around a finger, to wipe around their mouth and gently massage the gums. Ideally this should be done after every feeding but before bedtime and naps is really the most important.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tooth Tissues

We, Drs. Grace and Jon, are the dentists behind Tooth Tissues - disposable dental wipes for baby and toddler smiles. We created them when our daughter would fall asleep with her bottle of milk - much to our horror as two dentists! We found out first hand that complying with "the rules" we were giving to new parents was not always so easy. You can read more about our story and product at

We decided to create a blog to bring first bring some attention to infant oral health. Inspired by our own experience as parents, and the numerous recent articles on the rise of dental decay in children, we want to get out the message that baby oral health is important. After feedings, baby teeth and gums should be wiped to remove plaque that causes tooth decay. Often in parenting classes, oral health is overlooked or easily forgotten in the overwheming material given to expectant parents.

We do get that dentistry is not exactly interesting for everyone, but we'll try to keep you informed and somewhat entertained along the way.