Posts Tagged ‘oral health for kids’

CDC: 1 in 25 US Hospital Patients Acquire Infections

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

US Hospital Patients Infections Halitosis

According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals came down with an infection while in care units in 2011.

In the last decade, these antibiotic-resistant infections have become increasingly prevalent. Patients acquired around 721,800 infections at hospitals that year. Of those, about 75,000 died, according to the CDC.

The report comes after a swarm of news stories have detailed the rise in what experts have called “superbugs.” This type of bacteria carries genes that enable them to survive against widely used antibiotics. Basically, these superbugs no longer respond to oral antibiotics.

“Even though we’ve had great success nationally, there still are pockets of hospitals that have rates of infection that are several times the national average,” Dr. Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told CNN.

The recent statistic is particularly scary, as hospitals are generally considered a place where patients go to improve their conditions, not the opposite.

As you know, a healthy body is inextricably linked to a healthy mouth. So, what happens to your immune system – including these infections – can impact the health of your mouth, leading to halitosis, among other things.


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Keeping Your Baby’s Smile Healthy Throughout the Year

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


The beginning of 2014 didn’t just mark a fresh start for you, it was one for your youngster as well. As a number of studies have indicated, taking care of teeth and gums starts at a young age. The health of primary (baby) teeth often dictates the future health of adult teeth. That means for your little bundle of joy, it’s best to know what to do to keep them nothing but smiles.

Cleanings at home
Many parents don’t realize that oral hygiene for babies starts as soon as they’re born. Even if they don’t have teeth yet, parents should use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe their gums clean after each feeding. Once their teeth appear, toddlers should be taught to hold a toothbrush, but brush for them twice a day with water – no toothpaste is needed. Keep an eye out for long-lasting bad breath, as it could signal an underlying condition.

Visit the dentist by age 1
Similar to the daily cleanings, a staggering 97 percent of parents were unaware that infants should visit a dentist during their first year of life, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPA). Bring your child to the dental office when he or she is between 3 and 9 months, which is typically when the first tooth erupts. If you want to set a date, AAPA recommends that a child should have their first appointment within six months of developing their first tooth.

This is important for several reasons. First, it helps familiarize your child with the dentist and dental office environment. It can also be helpful for a parent to learn new tips. Although you’ve been brushing and flossing your entire life, keeping your infant’s mouth clean demands a different set of skills. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to give you a demonstration. Practicing good oral health for kids starts with parents. Lastly, it kickstarts the habit of visiting the dentist every six months.

What you feed your baby can be just as crucial as dental visits. It’s important not to send children to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. Both beverages contain sugar that can wear away teeth when left for long periods of time, such as during nap times or overnight. Plus, you don’t want to add to their morning breath!


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National Tooth Fairy Day

Friday, February 21st, 2014


Get out the wands and dollar bills, because Friday, Feb. 28 is National Tooth Fairy Day.

This holiday celebrates one of children’s favorite visitors. Since losing baby teeth is sometimes a traumatic experience for young children, entering the magical world of the smiling, gift-giving Tooth Fairy helps wash fears away. Whether your child is scared about the pain or what his or her mouth will look like afterward, this is the day to help.

National Tooth Fairy Day marks a great opportunity to share with your kids the importance of keeping your teeth bright and healthy from a young age. Say so long to cavities and bad breath. Studies have shown that how well children take care of their baby teeth often translates into how well they will take care of their teeth as adults.

However, there is one simple, yet frequently overlooked fact: Children’s smiles depend on their parents. Encourage your kids to brush, floss and eat smart every day. Don’t forget about visits to the dentist, either! Working on habits surrounding oral health for kids will give them a head start on a lifetime of picture-perfect teeth.

Four magical tips
So, before parents tuck money under their child’s pillow at night, here are three things they should put to use to keep their kids smiling through the gaps in their teeth – these tips could even save you money on dental treatments down the line.

  • Brush      following the “two-and-two” rule: twice a day for two      minutes each. Most people spend only 46 seconds brushing, according to      Delta Dental. It’s time to step up your child’s game! For youngsters, one      good way to do this is to bring your smartphone or mp3 player into the      bathroom and play their favorite song. Have them brush until the two-minute      mark. For pre-teens, you and your spouse could decide to lengthen      TV-watching privileges or cut down one of their chores for good      oral care habits.
  • Floss      once a day. Though often considered the forgotten middle child of hygiene      routines, flossing is extremely important, since it can dislodge food      particles from nooks that a toothbrush cannot reach. Some dentists find      that flossing before brushing proves to be more effective in      developing the practice into a habit, since after we      brush we sometimes get the false notion that our mouths feel clean      enough, and we will forego flossing.
  • Fun      tip: Demonstrate what flossing does. Please note that it’s a bit messy! In      the kitchen, put on a pair of plastic (kitchen) gloves, then smear peanut      butter, preferably chunky, over one side of your fingers and between them      all the way down to your knuckles. Then, squeezing your fingers together,      have your child try to brush your fingers, which are serving as the      substitute for teeth. Does the toothbrush clean the food stuck between the      fingers? Now, instruct your child to floss between your fingers. A lot      better, right? This exercise will help visualize the power of      flossing.
  • Visit      the dentist once every six months. There doesn’t have be an      issue with your child’s teeth for them to go in. In fact, their      dentist – and tooth fairy – will be more than pleased to see them when      they don’t have problems! If you notice long-lasting halitosis, or bad breath, it may be      a sign of an underlying issue for your child, such as a rotting      tooth. If the tooth finally comes loose, yank it and leave it for the      tooth fairy. Otherwise, consult your dental professional.

On National Tooth Fairy Day, oral health for kids is the shining star. However, putting these habits to use after Friday and throughout the year will ensure your kid will wear a bright, healthy smile for years to come.

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Racing Toward Better Dental Health with Danica Patrick

Monday, January 20th, 2014

1397111_44698680NASCAR speedster Danica Patrick has launched a new campaign to give thousands of in-need Americans better oral health. Teaming up with Aspen Dental and Oral Health, the program is called the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of low-income communities across the country, spreading oral health education to millions more.

“Last year 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care,” Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, told Digital Journal. “This is an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. It’s time to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with Aspen Dental and Oral Health America.”

Too many people live with gum disease – a problem that’s 100 percent preventable – and toothaches caused by cavities. These issues are a roadblock to staying focused at school and work, and can affect the body as a whole. After all, periodontal disease, or advanced stage gum disease, has linked diabetes and oral health together. Patrick reminds us that a healthy mouth paves the way for a healthy body.


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