Wellness Blog

Posts for: January, 2018

WE’VE ALL HEARD OF the Tooth Fairy, even if the details are a little different from one family to the next. But did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only common in certain countries? Across the world, there are many different ways families celebrate a child losing a tooth!

El Ratoncito Perez And La Petite Souris

In many countries, instead of a tooth fairy, they have a tooth mouse!  Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico have their teeth swapped for coins by El Ratoncito Perez (also known as Raton Miguelito). La Petit Souris (Little Mouse) collects the baby teeth of children in France and Switzerland. Some countries like Argentina also have a tooth mouse, but instead of putting the tooth under a pillow, children place it in a glass of water and wait for a coin to take its place by morning! Children of other countries that celebrate this mythical mouse believe if they put their tooth under their pillow, it will guarantee that the new tooth grows in strong and healthy, as opposed to the mouse trading it for money or candy.

Tooth To The Roof

In countries like Greece, China, Singapore, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth on the roof. Some of these countries believe if the tooth lands straight, the new tooth will grow in straight, but if it lands crooked, the new tooth will grow in crooked! Do you have good enough aim for that tradition?

Native American Traditions

There are many different ways American Indian tribes celebrate losing a tooth. The Cherokee Indian children run around the house with the tooth and throw it on the roof while saying, “Beaver, put a new tooth in my jaw!” four times. The children of the Dene Yellowknives, on the other hand, give the lost tooth to their mother or grandmother, who in turn puts the tooth in a tree. Then, the family dances around the tree to encourage the tooth to grow in as straight as the trunk!

The Tooth Fairy And Money

The tradition we are most familiar with, of course, is the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, Denmark, England, and Australia, when a child loses their tooth, they put it under their pillow at night in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will come and replace it with money (or sometimes candy). If your or your children are bored with the Tooth Fairy and are looking for ways to spice up your family traditions, here are a few neat alternatives you could try instead of just replacing the tooth with money!

Have Fun With Loose Teeth Traditions!

Whether it is a Tooth Fairy, a mouse, or dancing around a tree, losing a tooth is a special occasion anywhere in the world, with many different ways to make it exciting and fun. Does your family have a cool tradition for loose teeth? We would love to hear about it when your child comes in for their next visit!

Good luck with those baby teeth, and remember: we are rooting for you!

EVEN THOUGH WE ALL know how important it is to go to the dentist, dental anxiety can make many people avoid crucial dental checkups. For some, dental anxiety starts in childhood and lasts a lifetime. How can we help our children start out with a positive mindset towards the dentist so that they will always seek the professional care and attention their teeth need as adults?

Be Honest But Avoid Negativity

The most important thing you can do for your child is to not make a trip to the dentist into an ordeal. Simply approach it as a perfectly normal part of staying healthy. Tell your child about an upcoming dental visit ahead of time so that it is not a surprise, and answer their questions about what dental appointments are like. Try to avoid scary words like “pain” and “shots,” and leave the detailed explanations of dental procedures to us.

One crucial thing to do even when there is not an appointment coming up is to never use the dentist as a threat. Saying things like, “If you do not brush your teeth, you will end up at the dentist!” will only make a child think dentist visits are punishments — something to be feared and avoided.  You can still encourage good oral hygiene habits without portraying the dentist as the bad guy.

Address Existing Sources Of Fear

If your child is already afraid of the dentist, you might have more of an uphill battle to fight, but it is still a battle you can win! Communication is key! Talk to your child about why they are afraid of the dentist and help them understand that it is not so scary. Lead by example and show them that you go to the dentist too. Patience is also crucial. Even for adults, the idea of having a stranger poking and prodding inside our mouths while we are lying in a vulnerable position can be unsettling, so imagine how that must be for a child who is not used to it. Make sure your child understands that dental cleanings will make their teeth feel great and that the dentist is on their team, helping them fight bad germs and tooth decay.

We Are Happy To Help

Sometimes, dental anxiety is too strong for these strategies to completely cure. That is where we can help! Our team knows how to work with children to make them feel more comfortable, so do not feel as if you have to make them love us without our help!

We are looking forward to helping your child’s smile stay healthy and bright!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

January 02, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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Soda Vs. Teeth

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of “Mountain Dew Mouth”?  It is what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda.  The term comes from rural Appalachia, where that particular drink has long been the carbonated beverage of choice and tooth decay is alarmingly common.  But this does not just happen in Appalachia, and Mountain Dew is not the only drink that contributes to tooth decay.

The Dangers Of Sugary Drinks

When we eat or drink something with sugar in it, the sugar sticks to our teeth afterward.  Sugar itself does not do any damage to our oral health, but it is unfortunately the favorite food of the bacteria that live in our mouths.  These bacteria eat the sugar and then excrete acids that erode our tooth enamel, causing to tooth decay.  They also cause inflammation that increase the risk of gum disease.  Any source of sugar can negatively impact oral health. Sugary drinks (including fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and especially soda) are particularly dangerous because they are not filling like solid food and are therefore easy to keep drinking.

Effects Of Carbonation

If sugar is the problem, can we keep our teeth healthy by switching to diet soda instead of giving up carbonated beverages altogether?  Diet soda is certainly an improvement, but sugar is not soda’s only threat to dental health.  Acid is also a contributing factor in tooth decay.  Sugar leads to tooth decay because oral bacteria eat sugar and excrete acid that erodes tooth enamel.  Soda cuts out the middle man and applies acid directly to the teeth.  Even diet sodas and carbonated water contain acid.  The three types of acid commonly found in soda are citric, phosphoric, and carbonic.  Any drink with citrus flavoring will have citric acid, many colas get their flavor from phosphoric acid, and carbonic acid is what makes these drinks fizzy.

Protecting Your Smile

It would be best for your teeth to avoid soda and other sugary drinks entirely.  If you cannot bring yourself to give up your favorite drink completely, there are a few ways to enjoy it while protecting your teeth.  One way would be to only drink soda with a meal instead of sipping from a can or bottle throughout the day so that the sugar and acid are not sitting in your mouth for long periods of time.  You can also help balance your mouth’s pH and rinse away remaining sugar by drinking water after the soda.  Finally, you can clean away the last traces of sugar and acid by brushing your teeth.  It is a good idea to wait until your oral pH is balanced before brushing, which takes about thirty minutes.  It is particularly important for children and people with braces to avoid overindulging in sugary drinks.  Children have the highest risk of enamel erosion because their enamel is not yet fully developed, and braces plus a soda habit is a great way to end up with stained teeth when the braces come off.

Do Not Forget That We Can Help Too!

Following these good habits will go a long way towards protecting your teeth against decay and erosion from the sugar and acid in soda.  Still, do not forget that your dentist is also an important part of the equation.  Keep scheduling those visits every six months!

Thank you for always being our valued patients!


Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.