A Dental Christmas Poem For This Holiday Season

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and down in the mouthThe tongue was ‘a stirring, the teeth heading South.Their owner was indulging in holiday treats,At all times of the day, eating sugary eats. So the sugar bugs ate all the candies and cookies,All the chocolates and sodas in the crannies and nookies.They pooped gooey acid, and made rotten cavitiesOh how awful it was, such dental depravities! Now the moral is this, listen close and rememberThat during this most festive month of DecemberDo not feed the sugar bugs all day and all nightHappy Christmas to all, and to all a good bite! Dr. Steve Roseville Family Dentist Dr. Steve Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18...

Affordable Dental Care For Seniors

“Getting old is not for sissies.”  One of the many challenges facing our growing senior population is how do we keep our teeth and gums healthy through our golden years?  When we retire and lose our health insurance, Medicare is there to pick up the slack for medical issues.  But basic Medicare does not cover dental issues.  In addition, as we age, our salivary glands slow down making us more susceptible to tooth decay.  So how do we keep our teeth and gums dentally healthy on a limited retiree budget? The Huffington Post posted a good blog on the subject today.  In it, they discuss options including Medicare Advantage (Part C), Veterans benefits, and dental schools as options.  For those on low income, they recommend contacting your local dental society, or checking with the Dental Lifeline Network which provides free dental care for low-income elderly and disabled, or look for a privately funded free clinic. Of course, the best way to keep your teeth and gums dentally healthy as we age is to practice good dental health habits: avoid foods with sugar between mealtimes, floss and brush daily along the gum line, and keep up with routine checkups and cleanings at your dentist.  And if you do need some dental treatment, ask your dentist about the pros and cons of all treatment options.  A good dentist will take into consideration what dental treatment is appropriate for someone of your age and health status, as well as your values and financial means.  For example, if you have multiple teeth which need to be replaced, partial dentures can be much less expensive...

Topical Anesthetic Gel For Teething Babies? FDA says NO!

The FDA recently recommended not using topical anesthetics containing lidocaine to treat infants and children with teething pain .  In 2011, they recommended against using topical anesthetics containing benzocaine.  Since pretty much all topical anesthetics contain either lidocaine or benzocaine, they recommend parents and caregivers not to use topical medications for teething pain.  This includes Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and various store brands. Instead, parents and caregivers should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for treating teething pain: Use a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen). Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with your finger to relieve the symptoms. Adults who use topical anesthetics should be careful not to swallow any more than is absolutely unavoidable. Contact me if you have any questions. Dr. Steve Dr. Steve Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18...

Halloween Candy Anyone?

As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays- not quite as good as Christmas, but way better than Thanksgiving.  I still enjoy Halloween, but as a dentist I realize it can be hazardous to the health of our teeth.  Candy sales approach $2 billion every Halloween.  And as we’ve mentioned numerous times in this blog, sugar (NOT the lack of brushing and flossing) is the main culprit in causing tooth decay (aka- cavities). So what can YOU do this year (other than encouraging your kid to dress up as a dentist…lol) to make Halloween a bit safer for teeth? First, resist the urge to buy your Halloween candy supply early.  I firmly believe that any candy bought more than three days before Trick or Treat night often ends up rotting your family’s teeth before the big night.  (Do I lie?) Second, consider handing out non-decay causing goodies instead of candy.  About.com and NationalServiceResources.org have lists of some good alternatives.  These include: Glow-sticks Sugar free gum Halloween stickers Small cans of playdoh Pencils with Halloween erasers Halloween bouncy balls Temporary tattoos Small bottles of bubbles Temporary tattoos Crayons Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes) Superballs “Slime” Sugar-free candy Origami paper & instructions Bubbles Third, make sure your little ones only dip into their candy booty at meal times (when they’re likely feeding the sugar bugs anyway) and maybe one other time during the day (if they’ve been good, of course).  Remember, it’s not necessarily “how much” sugar we get, but rather “how often” that determines how many cavities we get. So have fun this Halloween!  But try not to make your...

Happy Halloween, Unhappy Teeth!

Halloween is coming, and teeth are afraid!  But, it’s not too hard to enjoy all the fun without too much harm to our fangs.  Remember that tooth decay is one of the two most common diseases in the world.  And remember, too, that sugar (NOT poor brushing/flossing habits) is the culprit.  (See this post for more details.) What’s most important to keep in mind is that every time you get sugar in your mouth, the sugar bugs produce acid for 30-60 minutes, which eats away the hard tooth material and causes decay.  So you want to minimize the number of times you “feed the sugar bugs”.  The best way to do this is by feeding them at meal times, when you’re likely feeding them anyway.  And avoid sugar between meals.  Take control of your kids trick-or-treat booty and let them have some at meals  times, but not between meals.  Maybe if they’ve been especially good, they can raid it one other time during the day.  Just don’t let them pick at it all day long.  Otherwise, they may end up looking like our friend Jack above! Dr. Steve Dr. Steve Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18...

Brush your teeth to curb your appetite…

Just got a newsletter in the mail talking about how to slim your waist.   In it, they give some tips on how to curb your appetite between meals.  First, they recommend biting into a pickle or a lemon.  “Neither has any calories to speak of, and the sour taste may curb your appetite.” Then they go on to suggest brushing your teeth.  I think this would work.  I know I don’t like to eat anything right after brushing.  Try it and let me know if it works! Dr. Steve Dr. Steve Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18...