More than a smile: Importance of your kid’s long-term oral health

By: CNN Philippines

🦷 Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Children, in particular, are prone to problems brought by poor dental health. Sadly, its consequences may escalate up until adulthood; thus, affecting their social and psychological welfare.

Thankfully, this article via CNN Philippines highlights some effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Dental health is an essential — yet often overlooked — aspect of one’s general well-being.

Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Kids, on the other hand, would rather munch on their favorite snacks and sweets than grab a toothbrush after meals.

But the risks that come with not brushing our teeth go beyond gum disease and bad breath — it may affect our social and psychological welfare.

Children, in particular, are the most vulnerable to problems brought by poor dental health as its consequences can escalate up until adulthood.

How poor dental habits affect kids

Global health research shows that having dental conditions during childhood will effectively limit a student’s performance in school and education — an effect of all the absences due to sickness.

Filipino children are mostly affected by this, as toothache has been listed as the top reason for absenteeism among students.

Impaired physical appearance due to oral diseases can likewise affect a child’s confidence. Tooth loss and even halitosis (chronic bad breath) can prohibit a kid from coming out of his or her shell, making it difficult for him or her to develop social relationships with peers.

In the Philippines, local data shows that dental caries, or tooth decay, have the greatest impact on the quality of life of children.

This condition has been directly linked to poor diet and nutrition which— if not managed properly— can lead to other illnesses in the long run.

What to do when your kids resist brushing

In line with this, medical experts have long urged parents and caregivers to help children practice good oral health habits.

However, it’s common for your kids to clamp down whenever they see a toothbrush nearby.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities:

– Get the child involved: Letting your kid pick a colorful child-sized toothbrush and flavored toothpaste will make the process fun for your kid.

– Pay a quick visit to the dentist: Having an expert explain the benefits of good dental hygiene to your child can still do wonders. Who knows, maybe your child is in for a sweet treat at the clinic?

– Look for a win-win solution: When their children won’t cooperate, some parents resort to giving a reward system. This could mean an additional episode of the kid’s favorite cartoon— or perhaps a spontaneous afternoon walk in the park.

– Don’t take the fun out: Parents can still make brushing fun and playful for kids by humming a tune or even “accidentally” spraying their kids with water.

An early start to proper dental hygiene will contribute to good overall physical health and emotional well-being. A brush or two will lead not only to a smile — sometimes it will also last you a lifetime.

Source: https://cnnphilippines.com/lifestyle/2019/9/28/more-than-a-smile-importance-of-your-kids-long-term-oral-health.html

Dentist or Detective? Major Health Clues Your Mouth Provides

Chew on this for a minute: just by glancing inside your mouth, your dentist can tell you a number of things that may be news to you and your doctor! Surprising as it may sound, your oral health can speak volumes about the rest of your body, and something as simple as a routine dental checkup can benefit your health and wallet big time.

🔎 From harmful habits to life-threatening diseases, find out what clues your mouth can provide about your wellbeing. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

The Presence of Disease

Many connections between your mouth and larger health issues have to do with bacteria. Studies have shown that heart disease and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of your heart), in particular, are linked to gum disease – a bacterial infection of the mouth. Inflamed gums can also signal a vulnerable immune system, which can be due to diabetes or disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome. Furthermore, patients who are pregnant and are diagnosed with periodontitis may be at a heightened risk for birth-related issues, as studies have shown a connection between gum disease and both premature birth and low birth weight.

In addition to gum problems, other oral matters are also telling. Tooth loss, for instance, has commonly been linked with both osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. And lesions of the throat occur often in individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS. Last but not least, a dental exam can detect both oral and throat cancer, which typically present themselves via sores or patches that don’t go away. Suffice it to say, dental checkups can prove themselves invaluable when it comes to early detection of life-threatening health conditions.

Incompatibility With Certain Medications

While you may already be aware of and treating a health condition, a dentist can help identify whether or not the medicine you are taking is causing other complications. Dry mouth, a condition that causes oral issues such as halitosis, fungal infection, and tooth decay, is a known side effect of hundreds of commonly prescribed medications including:

PainkillersAntibioticsAntidepressants
AntihistaminesAsthma InhalersDiuretics
SedativesCorticosteroidsStatins

If you’re currently undergoing medical treatment and/or using prescription drugs, be sure to have your dentist examine your mouth for any harmful side effects.

Harmful Habits

It may not necessarily mean life or death, but some habits can cause a world of trouble–and costly mouth problems are proof of that. How you sleep, for example, has a direct impact on the health of your mouth. Constantly breathing with your mouth open can cause dry mouth, and grinding your teeth overnight is a leading cause of enamel damage.

Smoking, chewing and other forms of tobacco use pose serious threats, not just to your lungs, but also to the look and health of your teeth and gums. Red flags that alert your dentist that smoking is starting to do dental damage (and possibly much worse) are the telltale yellowing of teeth, white patches along the inside lining of the mouth, persistent bad breath, and lumps that can signal oral cancer.

Finally, your mouth can offer clues about the safety and healthfulness of your diet. Severe tooth erosion and swelling of the throat and salivary glands are typical problems seen in patients with eating disorders, due to constant vomiting. Tooth decay and sensitivity can also come with excessive acid in your diet, and many times, signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD” or simply, “acid reflux”) become apparent to your dentist even before your doctor. Even your breath can be telling of certain food choices, such as garlic or onions, which have long been known to cause halitosis.

Get Peace of Mind

Given everything a brief dental exam can uncover, there’s no denying the benefits of a routine checkup. More often than not, tooth, gum and other oral problems may simply be due to poor hygiene, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remain diligent about seeing your dentist regularly, and don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup in between your typical visits if you notice anything amiss.

Sources:

Your Mouth, Your Health. (2015, July 23). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-teeth-gums

What conditions may be linked to oral health? (2013, May 11). Retrieved July 14, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2