Our Blog

Sugary Drinks and My Child's Health

April 22nd, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent report cited in the California Dental Association Journal - November 2020 issue  has linked consumption of sugar sweetened drinks (SSD) to increased dental caries,  obesity, and Type 2 diabetes in the pediatric population.   A sugar sweetened drinks (SSD) is defined as any beverage containing sugar added to it. This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, flavored water, and other beverages such as teas and coffees. This is an important topic to discuss since there is a direct the link between oral health and overall health.

From 2011 to 2014, 63% of youth (ages 2-19) consumed at least one SSD daily. This constitutes 7.3% of their daily caloric intake.  Moreover, almost 20% of all sugar consumption in youth come from SSDs.   Consumption increased with age, low income, and race minority groups.

Increased Dental Caries

In another study, consumption of SSDs such as Coca Cola, Sprite, and Minute Maid Orange Juice increased enamel roughness.  This led to increased attachment to plaque and bacteria to the surface of the tooth.  Acid release occurs when plaque attaches to the enamel surface, thereby weakening the enamel.  This leads to a cavitation.

Obesity

Healthcare providers are aware of the connections between oral health and overall health.  From an early age children pick up eating habits that stay with them for a lifetime.  Starting with healthy food options and sticking to sound oral hygiene habits will help make the paradigm shift to prevention.  As more children make food choices that included SSD consumption, there is a shift to unhealthy food sources that can lead to obesity. Consumption of SSDs only provide empty calories.  These empty calories coupled with the lack of physical activity can lead to obesity in children.

Most dental providers shy away from discussing obesity, especially childhood obesity since they feel they may offend the parent or the child.  However, most parents, when asked if they could be open to having a discussion on this topic responded favorably to having an oral health provider discuss this area of health.

Type 2 Diabetes

Just like in childhood obesity, consumption of SSDs can affect the body's ability to regulate glucose and insulin.  This is a balanced regulation.  Flooding the body with sugars, such as from the daily consumption of SSDs, can decrease the body's ability to use insulin to decrease blood sugar levels. This can lead to Type 2 diabetes in children.

Goals

Oral health care providers have started using a screening tool to help start the conversation with parents and patients.  One of these screening tools is a caries assessment test which evaluates factors that may increase a child's risk for dental decay.  Moreover, this screening tool can be expanded to address some these other areas of health, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

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. Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

COVID-19 Precautions

Find out how we are protecting our patients and our staff with our improved safety protocol.

Get to Know Us

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. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

 

Baby Steps: When to Start Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth

January 5th, 2021

[caption id="attachment_1084" align="alignleft" width="640"] Baby and mom[/caption]

Parenthood is a season of routines that constantly change.

Parents, did you just get used to the newborn stage? Now it’s over.

Parents, did you just get through one set of teething teeth? Rest up; the next cranky, sleepless teething stage is coming soon.

And just when you have your bedtime routine set for your 6-month-old, now you have to add a dental routine to the mix?

Let’s break it down…

The American Dental Association recommends you begin a brushing routine as soon as a baby’s first tooth (or set of teeth) has erupted.

There are two reasons to begin a dental routine this early:

Get baby used to brushing.

The earlier you start, the more your baby gets used to the whole brushing (and flossing) routine. Making it a familiar part of their day means less protesting as they get older and more independent (trust us on this).  You can find out more information here.

Prevent tooth decay.

Once those cute little teeth have arrived, they can begin to decay as they interact with bacteria naturally present in baby’s mouth. And even though they will fall out eventually, it’s very important to care well for baby teeth.

 

What should baby’s dental routine include?

Gently brush any teeth present with a baby tooth brush and a grain-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

A useful technique for getting the right amount of toothpaste is gently dipping the tip of the brush in the toothpaste tube.

Make sure that baby has her own designated tube of toothpaste; it’s best not to contaminate baby’s mouth with anyone else’s mouth bacteria as this can hasten tooth decay.

After brushing teeth, rinse the toothbrush in water before gently brushing baby’s gums. This helps baby get used to the brushing sensation and also helps ease the pain as more teeth begin poking through.

For babies, brushing just once before bedtime should be sufficient; for toddlers, start brushing twice a day – in the morning after breakfast and at bedtime.

As baby gets older, they can begin taking more responsibility handling the tooth brush themselves, though they will still need help from mom or dad to brush well enough. If at any point they need encouragement, we’ve got some useful ideas to make their dental routine a pleasant experience.

As soon as you’ve got two teeth next to each other, you can introduce flossing. Disposable flossers are a great tool for little hands before they are dexterous enough for regular flossing.

Just as hand-washing can become an automatic procedure following use of the potty, introducing baby’s dental routine early on will make the whole thing second-nature.

The more familiar your child becomes with a good dental routine, the more likely they’ll continue with these healthy habits for life. That’s the hope, at least!

COVID-19 Precautions

Find out how we are protecting our patients and our staff with our improved safety protocol.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

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. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

 

Dental Advice for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

October 8th, 2020

Trips to the dental office can be difficult for anyone.  And, children with special needs may require a greater level of care.

The good news is that a lot can be done to mitigate the chance of an unpleasant experience – all it takes is a little bit of planning and coaching to get there.

With that in mind, we put together a collection of useful approaches that will help you and your child navigate your first, or next, dental visit.

Visit Early

After the arrival of your child’s first tooth, you should already be on the docket for a visit to the dentist. Since autism spectrum disorders don’t commonly manifest until around the age of three, it is very important that you establish a dental home for your child with a dentist by age one.  This way if signs of autism spectrum are noted your child would already have an established relationship with a caring dental professional.

Avoiding the dentist until later in a child’s development, particularly until after problems arise (like cavities) can be problematic. Initiating the process of familiarization with the dentist at an early age reduces dental anxiety among all children, so go early.

Read Up!

You’re likely already familiar with the  Autism Speaks  website, and the wealth of supportive material regarding autism and your child.

You may not have noticed, though, their superb Dental Toolkit which features free iTunes downloadable books for kids, videos, and even materials you can share with your dentist about working with your child.

The standout item on the site, though, is a  highly visual 34-page booklet  created in partnership with the National Museum of Dentistry that covers everything from how to teach good oral hygiene to how to prepare for your routine dental visits.

Learn from the Doctor's Perspective

Your dentist may have more experience with special needs children than you realize. The best way to go about preparing for your visit is to speak with the doctor directly and ask what to expect.

The  Dental Professionals’ Tool Kit  will help you see inside that instruction and arm you with meaningful advice that isn’t always covered in offerings to parents. Anyone can download the material, dentist or not, so have a look-see!

Find a Doctor who Specializes

Finally, should you feel more comfortable doing so, seek out a dentist who   specializes  in dealing with children with autism.

Pediatric dentists pursue additional training that helps them cater to autistic patients. Such training is structured around reducing stress and making children feel comfortable both inside the dental office and at home.

Visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for you or your child. Hopefully the above information provides some direction for further exploration.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry we specialize in treating children with special needsDr. Allen Job and his team are specially trained to see your child and provide resources for parents.

First, all of our forms are found online, where you can complete them from the comfort of your home.  So there is no waiting when you arrive.  Second, the colors on the walls and the amenities that we offer were thoughtfully chosen to give your child a warm and comfortable ambiance.  Third, we offer private patient rooms for patient care.  Fourth, we have an amazing staff members who will guide you if you have any questions about the process of scheduling an appointment to providing individual patient care.

Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

COVID-19 Precautions

Find out how we are protecting our patients and our staff with our improved safety protocol.

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. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

 

 

Are Dried Fruits Bad for My Child’s Teeth?

July 22nd, 2020

[caption id="attachment_1064" align="alignleft" width="640"] Are Dried Fruits Bad for my Child's Teeth[/caption]

Dried fruits are a convenient snack for busy families. Unless you’re drying the fruit yourself (go you!), you don’t have to wash or slice anything; just hand those kiddos a box of raisins and be out the door. Plus – you can feel good about adding to your kiddo’s servings of fruits for the day.

But…what about all that sticky, sugary goodness? Isn’t that a no-no when it comes to dental health? The quick answer is: it’s complicated.

What is Dried Fruit?

Dried fruit is simply fruit that has had its water removed to some extent, leaving a shriveled, smaller version of its original form. Compared to fresh fruit, it's more shelf-stable.

Some forms of dried fruit have sugar added to improve taste or texture. And some dried fruit is encrusted with sugar crystals or chocolate. What we recommend offering to your kiddos is the plain stuff – no sugar added.

How Might Dried Fruits Affect Teeth?

Dried fruits contain sugar, and have a sticky texture. Anything that’s sweet and sticks to your teeth for a long time has the potential to contribute to tooth decay. The longer that sugar sits on teeth, the happier your mouth bacteria are as they chomp away and produce the acid that can attack your enamel.

When we eat dried fruits, it’s easy to go overboard on the sugar. Typically when we eat dried fruits, we eat a lot more than the equivalent amount of fresh fruit. A handful of dried apricots looks a lot like the same quantity in our eyes as a single fresh one.

But don’t cross dried fruit off your shopping list just yet…

There are Benefits, Though

Dried fruits are still fruit, after all. That means they contain fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients that are part of a healthy diet. Research tells us that some of these nutrients, such as polyphenols, actually help prevent the accumulation of plaque on teeth.

Other research theorizes that individual traits (such as the composition of bacteria in our mouths) have more to do with how a raisin will affect our teeth than the amount of sugar it contains.

You’d be surprised to learn how many other factors there are in relation to dried fruit’s effect on teeth. All in all, it appears there is insufficient evidence to conclude that dried fruit is, in fact, bad for our teeth.

So…hooray! Because there is some evidence to point toward dried fruit being beneficial for oral health in some ways, as well as containing important nutrients for our bodies, we say it’s a great option for hungry little tummies!

Again, you’re better off sticking with dried fruits that don’t have added sugars (though of course some yummy chocolate-covered fruits can be an occasional treat!). And offer some water to help wash anything sticky off teeth and down the hatch.

And, as always, maintain regular dental health visits with your child’s dentist to make sure their teeth are in good shape!

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. Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

COVID-19 Precautions

Find out how we are protecting our patients and our staff with our improved safety protocol.

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. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.