Our Blog

How Stress Affects Oral Health

December 4th, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let's face it parents, the month of December is usually packed with travel, family, and vacations! This can be a stressful time of the year. So this month we are going to focus on how to deal with stress.

Most of people know a thing or two about stress. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, or a brief stressful life circumstance, we all encounter it from time to
time. Most people associate stress with major health issues, such as heart attacks or ulcers, but do you know how stress can affect your oral health?

Stress may negatively affect your oral health in indirect ways.

For starters, stress can cause folks to reach for coping strategies that aren’t so good for
your teeth (or the rest of your body).

Junk food, sweets, sugary drinks, sodas, and chewing gum are just a few examples. When these substances interact with your teeth, they can do a lot of damage in the way of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secondly, when we are stressed, we tend to stop making positive health behaviors a
priority. Let’s say you’re traveling to a far off destination; your brushing and
flossing routine will not be forefront on your mind.

Even a minor bout of stress from a tough day can have us reaching for our cozy bed
and some relieve instead of taking the time to brush first.

And of course, keeping up with routine dental visits may fall completely off our
priority list while under stress. This can prevent us from finding the early signs of
decay and can cause more pain and stress later on.

How does stress affect our mouths directly?

Well, lots of people grind their teeth as a physical way to deal with stress, this is evident in children's teeth, too. You may be doing it without even realizing it! Ask a partner or someone who knows you well to tell you if you have this habit.

What does tooth grinding sound like?

It has been said that it sounds like nails on a chalkboard or someone chewing on rocks! Either one sounds extremely bad.

What can help relieve tooth grinding?

A nightguard MAY be a good option to relieve tooth grinding and thereby decrease some stress. Nightguards are custom made so that they do not flop in your mouth, while sleeping. They are made to cover either the upper arch or the lower arch of teeth. In either case, talk to your pediatric dentist, if your child or teenager has excessive tooth grinding.

Also, when we are stressed we have higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol
and adrenaline, that put our body in a “flight or fight” state. This causes our blood
pressure and blood sugar to increase, and our digestive and immune function to
decrease. When our immune system isn’t functioning as it should, this can make
periodontal disease more likely. It can also slow down the healing of other oral issues
or injuries we may have.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent the stress of oral health issues is to maintain
good dental hygiene and visit us regularly for routine visits. We want what’s best for
you — and that includes a healthy mouth for a lifetime!

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about improving your child's oral health check out our preventive dentistry page. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Should I Brush Before Flossing?

November 7th, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an age-old question. Should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!

Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job when you floss! Let me explain.

The Case for Flossing Before Brushing

Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.

Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it.

Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss afterward.

The Case for Flossing After Brushing

Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.

Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.

Bottom Line

Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.

And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.”  Need a refresher? Check out our flossing illustration to help you keep those pearly white teeth clean.

Want us to show you how? Just ask!

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also has a handy infographic to maintaining healthy teeth for your children.

Last Note

Just remember, if you want your children to have healthy oral habits, such as flossing, you will have to start doing it yourself. Daily.  Research has shown that children mirror their parents.  Why not get them to start a habit that will be beneficial and one that they can use to save their teeth for the rest of their life!

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

 

 

Electrical or Manual Toothbrush: Which is Better?

September 13th, 2018

This is one of our most frequently asked questions!

Our answer? It’s not the brush that matters, it’s who’s doing the brushing.

Let’s break that down. The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent (daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay.

Manual Toothbrush

A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that. Make sure to brush at least for two minutes per day, twice a day. Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

If you need some help with visualizing the proper techniques, here are some helpful recommendations.

Electric Toothbrush

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush. Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.

The same tooth brushing rules apply – two times per day, two minutes at a time. One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in timer. If you’re one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

Round vs Rectangular

When picking an electric toothbrush, pick one that has a round brush head instead of a rectangular head.  A rounded brush head can more easily maneuver around teeth, especially those hard to get molars.

What about Battery operated toothbrushes?

You've all seen those cute battery operated electric toothbrushes with that are decked out in action figure brands or stylish colors.  Note, only some allow for battery replacement when they start to run low.  Moreover, very few allow the brush head to be changed.

An electric toothbrush would be recommended for long term use.  Just replace the brush head every 6 months.

Cost of Electric Toothbrushes

Some are deterred by the cost of electric toothbrushes.  They can range from $30 to over $130.  A solid $30 electric toothbrush can last over a decade with proper care use.

Take home message: When choosing an electric toothbrush, choose function over all the bells and whistles.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you would do better with a manual or electric brush! And, as always, don’t forget to floss!

Bonus: How do astronauts brush their teeth?

Here's a bonus video from astronaut Chad Hadfield, who is commander of the International Space Station.  He explains who he brushes his teeth while in space! Find out what type of toothbrush he uses in outer space!

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

 

Obey Your Thirst: Effects of Soda on Your Teeth and Your Body

August 2nd, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different. You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.  The beverage industry refutes the science, however if you search online for "Mountain Dew Mouth," you will see the ill effects of soda drinking that is ravishing Appalachia. In this community, the scale of economics has led to a catastrophic public health crisis of oral health.  Since the cost of soda is less than the cost of milk, many families give their children and infants soda to drink.

Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.  Soda may also rob you of your calcium deposits on your teeth and body (see below Bone Density Disease).

Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining.
If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

Effects of Soda on Your Body

Drinking carbonated drinks, like sodas, can adversely affect your health.  Sodas add additional "empty" calories that have no nutritional benefit to you while simply adding to your total caloric intake.  What does this mean? Soda drinking can lead to weight gain.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.¹ This means 1 in 5 school age children or young adult are considered obese.

Dehydration

There is nothing quite like a soda on a hot summer day, right? Well, that's what the cola companies try to portray on their television ads. However, consuming high quantities of sodas can actually make you feel worse on a hot day.  Sodas often contain caffeine.  Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which removes water from your system.  The more you drink sodas or caffeinated drinks, the more water leaves your system.

Diabetes

Since sodas are packed with sugars, your body gets a sugar rush.  Initially, your body will self regulate to take care of the excess sugars.  However, over time, the body loses its innate ability to regulate the flood of sugars and may lead to diabetes.² This most often leads to Type 2 Diabetes, where the body does not use insulin well to control the blood sugar levels.

Bone Density Disease

Drinking sodas may lead to decreasing your body's calcium levels.³ A Cleveland Clinic report stated that osteoporosis, especially in women, maybe due in part to drinking sodas.

Recommendations

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about plain water infused with fresh fruit? If you MUST (on a rare occasions) drink soda, make sure to use a straw and always rinse with water after 3o minutes. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

For more information about Nutrition and Oral Health, here are some helpful recommendations.

References

1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

2. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html

3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sodas-tea-coffee-can-make-bones-brittle/

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

So as as one cola company ad slogan puts it, "Obey your thirst!"  Reach for the water, instead of the soda!

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.