Taking Care of Your Teeth Even When You’re 70

Misconceptions about Oral Health for Seniors

You might think that losing your teeth and wearing dentures are a normal part of aging. When you’re pushing 70, you’d expect that you’ll not be keeping most of your teeth anymore. You will find it harder to brush and floss, your gums may hurt or find your ridges shrinking. Seniors should know that if they maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental care, they can still keep most of their teeth, have healthy gums, and smile with confidence.

Find here certain misconceptions that most seniors believe and which become barriers to their attaining the best of dental care for themselves. Recommendations are also offered for their benefit.

It’s wrong to think that losing teeth comes naturally with age. Today, you don’t find too many elderly Americans who have become edentulous, meaning those who have lost almost all their natural teeth. Awareness has enabled many to still keep their dentition because they are lowering their risk for cavities by taking care of their teeth. Prevention is also responsible for many to keep gum disease at bay.

Painful teeth, gums and arches are not a natural accompaniment to aging. A 75 year old perceives dental pain differently than a 45 year old. Pain perception changes with age and the elderly might put off needed care. The senior may not realize that pain is a sign of an underlying problem. They might wait until such time that it debilitates them and that could lead to tooth loss and costly reconstructive work.

Seniors may think that teeth softens with age. It’s not true. It might be that the patient’s jaw bone has become brittle with age, there is some degree of bone loss in the jaw supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease may be progressing and with diseased gum tissue, teeth can break up because of decay.

The elderly and their caregivers are reluctant to brush teeth when bleeding occurs. When gums bleed, it’s a sign of infection resulting from poor oral hygiene. It’s going to bleed at the start, but cleaning must not stop. Gentle brushing must continue and the bleeding will soon stop. Gums can be healthy again.

It’s not true that missing teeth and faulty dentures make seniors eat less. One can always choose softer and nutritious foods and have their dentures corrected, or opt for implants for more secure dentition.

Busting Senior Dental Myths in Downtown Seattle

If seniors get regular dental care, they would know what’s true and what’s not. That is what we offer our elderly patients who come to consult with us in Downtown Seattle.

How Long Have You Been Breastfeeding Your Baby?

Extended Breastfeeding And Your Baby

How does breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and sugar intake affect children’s risk for cavities?

There are not many studies. Published in Pediatrics, a study out of Brazil examined whether long-term breastfeeding alone, separate from sugar consumption, affects children’s risk for developing future cavities. The study involved 1,129 children who at age five were evaluated by dentists for filled, decayed and missing primary tooth surfaces, and for severe cavities.

It was found that nearly 25% had severe cavities, or six or more filled, decayed or missing primary tooth surfaces. Those who were breastfed for 2 years or more had double the risk of severe cavities than those breastfed for under one year.

The researchers explained the results. Children who were breast-feeding beyond 24 months are usually those breastfed on demand and at night. Also, the higher frequency of these habits makes it very difficult to clean teeth in this specific period. It was also discovered that if the babies were breastfed for just 6 months, 72% of the time, they are less likely to develop crooked teeth.

Does this mean that breastfeeding is bad for baby’s teeth?

It certainly is not. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one year of breast-feeding followed by reassessment. The World Health Organization suggests breast-feeding for two years or more. Experts say that mothers and babies can go on breastfeeding as long as preventive measures are employed to avoid cavities, such as early toothbrushing, wiping off excess milk and sugar from teeth and gums, use of fluoride and the like.

Because of the benefits of breast-feeding to children’s overall health, it is still very much encouraged that babies suckle their mother’s milk for as long as can be – for at least 12 months, if feasible, 24 months. However, the mechanisms underlying this practice (based on the results of the above study) still need further investigation.

Infant Oral Health by our Seattle Dentist

You must begin to talk to us about your baby’s oral health as soon as his first teeth grow in or at age one year, as recommended. We at Smile Art in Seattle are just as concerned about baby’s teeth as we are of adults’. See Dr. Jamie Lee soon for your baby’s first appointment.

Original Article

Overcoming The Overbite: by Downtown Seattle Dentist

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is a bad bite, not generally painful but can cause a lot of trouble for the person who has it. It is a malocclusion, characterized by excessive protrusion of the upper jaw. In other words, the upper front teeth overlaps the lower front teeth when they come together. This is called as a vertical overbite when the lower teeth are hardly seen. On the other hand, a horizontal overbite is when the top teeth protrudes beyond the lower. An overbite is usually noticeable, but some are not so obvious and only a dentist can tell the difference.

Did you know that overbites are common in as many as 70% of children. Regardless whether they are severe cases or mld ones, every overbite has to be examined by a dental practitioner to determine if treatment is needed.

What causes an overbite?

Firstly, what causes an overbite? Overbites are often hereditary, but they may also result from a malformed jaw during fetal development. The upper jaw might have developed too large or the lower one too small. Sometimes childhood habits can cause an overbite, as in prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier or bottle use. Tongue thrusting is another habit of the child pushing his tongue against the back of his teeth when swallowing. Constant nail-biting or chewing on hard objects can also result in an overbite.

Aside from the self-consciousness and low esteem that protruding teeth can cause you, there are other potential complications from an overbite, beyond just its aesthetic issue. There will be problems with eating, biting or chewing. Overbites can cause a lisp, a speech defect that mispronounces certain words. The condition can also strain jaw and muscles, increasing the risk of front teeth damage from trauma, or hurt the soft tissues from the bottom teeth. There’s also the possibility of cavities and gum disease.

An overbite can be treated at any age, but it is easier to treat in children as their jaws are still developing. Extraction can be a consideration, though overbites that are skeletal in nature may require surgery to reposition the jaw. Orthodontics, though, is the most common treatment for overbites. One approach is to use a functional appliance to help steer the developing jaws in the right direction. Braces are still the tools of choice to complete the treatment. While early intervention is recommended, it’s never too late to correct your overbite and improve quality of life.

Early Intervention is Key to Overbites

If you suspect your child has an overbite, act now and see us for a consultation at our office in downtown Seattle. Children are so resilient, they can easily overcome treatment challenges. Ask Dr. Jaime Lee about it.