Posts for category: Oral Health
Despite momentous strides in recent years in the fight against cancer, treatments can still disrupt normal life. Both radiation and chemotherapy have side effects that can cause problems in other areas of health—particularly the teeth and gums.
If you or a loved one are undergoing cancer treatment, it's important to get ahead of any potential side effects it may have on dental health. Here are 4 things that can help protect teeth and gums while undergoing cancer treatment.
Get a preliminary dental exam. Before beginning treatment, patients should have their dentist examine their teeth and gums to establish a baseline for current dental health and to treat any problems that may already exist. However, patients should only undergo dental procedures in which the recovery time can be completed before starting radiation or chemotherapy.
Be meticulous about oral hygiene. Undergoing cancer treatment can increase the risks for developing tooth decay or gum disease. That's why it's important that patients thoroughly brush and floss everyday to reduce bacterial plaque buildup that causes disease. Patients should also reduce sugar in their diets, a prime food source for bacteria, and eat “teeth-friendly” foods filled with minerals like calcium and phosphorous to keep teeth strong.
Keep up regular dental visits. The physical toll that results from cancer treatment often makes it difficult to carry on routine activities. Even so, patients should try to keep up regular dental visits during their treatment. Besides the extra disease prevention offered by dental cleanings, the dentist can also monitor for any changes in oral health and provide treatment if appropriate.
Minimize dry mouth. Undergoing cancer treatment can interfere with saliva production and flow. This can lead to chronic dry mouth and, without the full protection of saliva against dental disease, could increase the risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Patients can minimize dry mouth by drinking more water, using saliva boosters and discussing medication alternatives with their doctor.
It may not be possible to fully avoid harm to your oral health during cancer treatment, and some form of dental restoration may be necessary later. But following these guidelines could minimize the damage and make it easier to regain your dental health afterward.
If you would like more information on dental care during cancer treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Health During Cancer Treatment.”
How can you protect your teeth from cavities? Dr. Todd Yoshino, your dentist in Federal Way, WA, helps his patients avoid this destructive oral health disease. Here are some strategies which can improve your oral health and give you a vibrant, durable smile that lasts.
Cavities are all too common
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that most American adults have tooth decay to one extent or another. Cavities impact children and teens as well, causing pain and leading to tooth loss.
At Dr. Yoshino's office in Federal Way, your dentist and his team believe that your oral care routine at home, combined with their preventive services, can keep tooth enamel healthy. Yes, you can reduce your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and more.
Smile protection tips
1. Brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes. The American Dental Association (ADA), recommends fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles and a head appropriately sized to your mouth. Gently brush all tooth surfaces, as well as your tongue, roof of your mouth, and gums. Brushing removes a significant amount of plaque and its associated bacteria and acids.
2. Floss daily with strand floss, interproximal brushes, or a water-flossing device. Flossing removes plaque at the gum line and between teeth where your toothbrush is ineffective.
3. Eat a high-fiber, low-sugar diet, and drink water during the day to increase saliva and rinse teeth and gums.
4. See your dentist at his Federal Way office for a comprehensive dental exam and hygienic cleaning every six months. Dr. Yoshino checks for decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and problems with dental bite and restorations already present. He'll assess your risk for developing decay and recommend ways that will help you avoid it.
5. Take advantage of in-office fluoride treatments and plastic sealants (painted-on coatings) which strengthen and protect teeth from the ravages of decay. Both are cost-sparing, painless, and quick.
You can fight against tooth decay and win. Enlist the help of your friendly dental team in Federal Way, WA. Call Dr. Todd Yoshino for your routine cleaning and check-up today: ( 253) 815-0441.
Fluoride is an important part of your child's dental development. But if children take in too much of this important mineral, they could experience enamel fluorosis, a condition in which teeth become discolored with dark streaking or mottling.
That's why it's important to keep fluoride levels within safe bounds, especially for children under the age of 9. To do that, here's a look at the most common sources for fluoride your child may take in and how you can moderate them.
Toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste is an effective way for your child to receive the benefits of fluoride. But to make sure they're not getting too much, apply only a smear of toothpaste to the brush for infants. When they get a little older you can increase that to a pea-sized amount on the end of the brush. You should also train your child not to swallow toothpaste.
Drinking water. Most water systems add tiny amounts of fluoride to drinking water. To find out how much your water provider adds visit “My Water's Fluoride” (//nccd.cdc.gov/doh_mwf/Default/Default.aspx) online. If it's more than the government's recommendation of 0.70 parts of fluoride per million parts of water, you may want ask your dentist if you should limit your child's consumption of fluoridated drinking water.
Infant formula. Many parents choose bottle-feeding their baby with infant formula rather than breastfeed. If you use the powdered form and mix it with tap water that's fluoridated, your baby could be ingesting more of the mineral. If breastfeeding isn't an option, try using the premixed formula, which normally contains lower levels of fluoride. If you use powdered formula, mix it with bottled water labeled “de-ionized,” “purified,” “demineralized” or “distilled.”
It might seem like the better strategy for preventing fluorosis is to avoid fluoride altogether. But that can increase the risk of tooth decay, a far more destructive outcome for your child's teeth than the appearance problems caused by fluorosis. The better way is to consult with your dentist on keeping your child's intake within recognized limits to safely receive fluoride's benefits of stronger, healthier teeth.
If you would like more information on fluoride and your baby's dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”
Cosmetic dentistry services from your dentist in Federal Way, Washington can give you a great smile
Cosmetic dentistry is a special type of dentistry designed with one thing in mind: improving your smile! There are many cosmetic dentistry services and each one can take your smile from ordinary to great. Dr. Todd G. Yoshino in Federal Way, Washington offers a wide range of dental services including cosmetic dentistry procedures to help improve your smile.
There are so many things that can damage your smile; everyday wear-and-tear, chewing on hard objects, or habits like smoking and drinking coffee can all affect how your smile looks.
The good news is, cosmetic dentistry procedures can bring your smile back! You will be proud to show off your smile, thanks to cosmetic dentistry. Consider these excellent services to improve your smile:
Professional teeth whitening, which can whiten your smile up to 8 shades; the amazing results you achieve will last a long time too, even up to 5 years! Professional teeth whitening is safe and effective and has been rigorously tested and approved by the American Dental Association.
Cosmetic bonding, which can repair damaged teeth and make your smile whole again; small cracks, chips, and tooth wear seem to disappear! Bonding uses composite, a versatile material that can be matched to the color of your teeth and sculpted to match your natural tooth anatomy. After placement, the material is hardened with ultraviolet light.
Porcelain veneers, which can hide minor and major problems with your smile; veneers are thin laminates of dazzling porcelain that are cemented onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They can cover up large cracks, fracture lines, areas of lost tooth structure, and tooth wear. Porcelain is stain-resistant too, which means your veneers will look bright and beautiful for years to come, even if you drink coffee!
Cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile in amazing ways! Don’t get stuck with an uninteresting smile. To find out more about improving your smile with cosmetic dentistry, call Dr. Todd G. Yoshino in Federal Way, Washington at (253) 815-0441. Call now!
Kids get pretty inventive pulling a loose primary (baby) tooth. After all, there's a profit motive involved (aka the Tooth Fairy). But a young Kansas City Chiefs fan may have topped his peers with his method, revealed in a recent Twitter video that went viral.
Inspired by all-star KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes (and sporting his #15 jersey), 7-year-old Jensen Palmer tied his loose tooth to a football with a line of string. Then, announcing “This is how an MVP gets their tooth out,” the next-gen QB sent the ball flying, with the tooth tailing close behind.
It appears young Palmer was no worse for wear with his tooth removal technique. But if you're thinking there might be a less risky, and less dramatic, way to remove a loose tooth, you're right. The first thing you should know, though: Primary teeth come out when they're good and ready, and that's important. Primary teeth play an important role in a child's current dental and speech function and their future dental development. For the latter, they serve as placeholders for permanent teeth developing within the gums. If one is lost prematurely, the corresponding permanent tooth might erupt out of position and cause bite problems.
In normal development, though, a primary tooth coming out coincides closely with the linked permanent tooth coming in. When it's time, the primary tooth lets you know by becoming quite loose in the socket.
If you think one of your children's primary teeth is ready, clean your hands first with soap and water. Then using a clean tissue, you should be able to easily wiggle the tooth with little tension. Grasp the tooth with the tissue and give it a little horizontal twist to pop it out. If that doesn't work, wait a day or two before trying again. If it does come out, be sure you have some clean gauze handy in case of bleeding from the empty socket.
Normally, nature takes its course from this point. But be on the lookout for abnormal signs like fragments of the tooth left behind in the socket (not to be mistaken for the top of the permanent tooth coming in). You should also look for redness, swelling or complaints of pain the following day—signs of possible infection. If you see anything like this, make a prompt appointment so we can take a look. Losing a primary tooth is a signpost pointing the way from childhood to adulthood (not to mention a windfall for kids under their pillows). You can help make it a smooth transition—no forward pass required.
If you would like more information about caring for primary teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Importance of Baby Teeth” and “Losing a Baby Tooth.”