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Your Dental Office News, February 12, 2022: National Children’s Dental Health Month

During the month of February, the American Dental Association celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month we focus on the importance of oral health in children and we hope this newsletter will provide you with some education and tips to keep your child’s smile on track!

In This Issue: 

  • Give Kids A Smile
  • Obligatory Masking in our Office
  • Brush Up on Oral Health Tips
  • Sealants Make Sense
  • Honoring Our Team Members
  • Recipe of the Month
  • Review Us! 

GIVE KIDS A SMILE

Unfortunately for many families, a visit to the dentist is a luxury. The lack of access to affordable dental care is why the American Dental Association started the Give Kids a Smile program, which encourages dentists throughout the country to provide free dental health check-ups to children from low-income families. This event is held during the month of February in recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month.

We were honored to participate in the 20th anniversary of Give Kids a Smile which was held on Friday, February 4th and have participated every year since 2005! Our doctors and team members enjoy dedicating this day to providing free cleanings, exams, and x-rays to more than 50 children every year. Everyone who attends this event learns about the importance of taking care of their teeth and how to do a better job at home. They also go home with a goodie bag filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and prizes!

It is a privilege to participate in this event and offer this service to our community. We look forward to this day every year! 

OBLIGATORY MASKING IN OUR OFFICE

As of February 12, 2022, the Frederick County Health Department released an update (https://go.usa.gov/xt6qe) stating that the mask mandate in Frederick County is no longer in effect. It also stated that “CDC recommends that masks be worn indoors in public by everyone two years and older (including people up to date on vaccinations) in areas of substantial or high community transmission. Frederick County remains in high transmission at this time.”

Considering that many of our patients come from other counties (Washington, Alleghany) and states (PA, WV, VA) with higher transmission rates than Frederick, at this time we will continue to require that masks be worn, and will continue with all our current COVID-19 infection control protocols.

We appreciate your understanding.  

BRUSH UP ON ORAL HEALTH TIPS FOR CHILDREN’S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH

Source: https://childrensdentalhealth.com/february-national-childrens-dental-health-month/, with our edits

First Tooth, First Birthday, First Dental Visit.  

New parents often ask, “When should my child first see a dentist?” It’s never too early to start focusing on your child’s oral health! The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents/guardians schedule their child’s first visit to a dentist by their first tooth or first birthday. During this first visit, the hygienist or dentist will gently swab the child’s mouth to check their gums and any erupted teeth. You’ll be able to ask questions to professionals who know all about teething, implement preventative measures if necessary, and address any concerns you may have about monitoring your child’s teething process.

Protect Tiny Teeth  

Primary or “Baby” teeth are important because of their key role of saving space for a child’s permanent teeth. They stay in a child’s mouth for 8-10 years and also affect their speaking, chewing, and, of course, smiling. Baby teeth can also indicate a child’s overall quality of health. Untreated tooth decay can cause oral infections that enter the bloodstream and lead to other serious health problems, while also allowing bacteria to spread to new adult teeth.

While daily brushing is an important part of a child’s oral hygiene routine, bacteria that causes tooth decay can still linger between teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. That’s why it’s so important to help your kids incorporate flossing in their daily routine. The dental hygienist can make suggestions about how to teach your children to brush and floss and to make it into a habit.

One significant oral health risk for infants and young children under the age of 5 is from baby bottle tooth decay. This occurs when some of the sugary liquid isn’t rinsed from your child’s mouth and bacteria in their mouth consume the sugar and produce acid. This acid attacks the enamel on baby teeth and can trigger tooth decay after continued exposure. Liquids that contribute to this condition include milk, formula, fruit juice, soda, and any other sweetened drinks. If your child needs to sleep with a bottle, water is the safest option.

Parents, Did You Know? 

Early childhood tooth decay has become the most common chronic childhood disease, impacting more children than asthma. According to the ADA, more than 40% of children have tooth decay by the time they reach Kindergarten. Additionally, kids who suffer from poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain.

Without regular six-month check-ups and establishing healthy oral health habits at an early age, small cavities can lead to much larger problems in little mouths.

Tips for Maintaining Your Child’s Oral Health  

  • We recommend the following oral health tips to start your little ones on their journey to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
  • Schedule routine check-ups. If it’s been more than six months since your child has seen a dentist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Clean your baby’s gums daily. Until those teeth come in, gently wipe a damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria after each feeding.
  • Start brushing with the first tooth. Begin brushing your baby’s teeth with an infant toothbrush as soon as you see each new tooth coming in. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
  • As more teeth come in, brush twice each day for two minutes. Children ages 2-6 should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Always supervise kids younger than six years old while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.
  • Begin flossing. Once your child’s teeth touch each other, you can start flossing in between them.
  • Snack healthy! Fruit juice, sports drinks, fruit snacks, and sticky candies all pose serious threats to your child’s teeth. Give kids calcium-rich snacks like cheese or low-sugar yogurt. If you have to resort to candy, a chocolate bar is preferable to gummy or sticky sweets that can get lodged in between the teeth.
  • Keep your child hydrated! Avoid sugary drinks and stick to good old-fashioned water. Water helps to rinse away any sugar or particles that can lead to cavities. Many municipal water sources also contain fluoride, which is recommended by the American Dental Association and U.S. Surgeon General, among others, as an efficient way to prevent tooth decay.
  • Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months. 

Source: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants 

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.

In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/dental-sealants/index.html), stating that only 43% of children ages 6-11 had them. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”

You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you below. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.

How Do Sealants Work?

Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.

How Are Sealants Applied?

It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.

Are There Any Side Effects?

With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.

Is There BPA In Sealants?

Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.

HONORING OUR TEAM MEMBERS

To learn more about our team members, visit Our Team page on our website. 

MVP – Lise

In January we recognized Lise as our MVP. She brightens the office with a big smile that can even be seen behind her mask! She is very flexible when we need her to be and is always a helpful, hard-working, team player, never complaining when taking on extra tasks. These past few weeks due to illnesses and inclement weather, Lise has been dependable and helped with coverage when we were short staffed, even coming in on her day off. Thank you Lise!

Service Recognition

We are proud of our outstanding team of professionals, most of whom have been with Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates for several years. In January, we celebrated 25 years of teamwork with Dani, who is now dividing her time between assisting and front desk. Dani got into the dental field because she wanted to help people and she enjoys being able to educate patients on their treatment. She is a valued team member who helps us stay organized and well stocked by handling all of the inventory for the practice’s dental supplies. Dani has an infectious laugh that brings joy to our office, and a beautiful smile that is unfortunately hidden behind her mask these days.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

 Italian Party Bread 

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, or as needed for dusting
  • ⅓ cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 6 thin slices provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces sliced prosciutto, torn into ribbons
  • ⅓ cup diced banana peppers

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Place pizza dough on a floured surface and roll into a rectangular shape between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thick, letting dough relax occasionally if it keeps springing back. Spread pesto on top, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edge. Top evenly with provolone cheese, prosciutto, and peppers.
  3. Roll up tightly in the direction that gives you the most length, ending with the seam on the bottom. Press down to flatten slightly and dust the top lightly with flour. Use a pizza wheel to cut dough lengthwise into 3 long, even strips using a pizza wheel.
  4. Place strips next to each other but not touching, the middle strip cut-side up and the other two cut-sides facing in. Braid them together, then curl the ends in to form a round wreath shape, tucking any loose ends under the loaf. Transfer onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

PLEASE LEAVE US A REVIEW

We love reading your reviews of your experience in our office, and reply to each one of them!

Just like any business, we rely on your feedback to help us improve. Future patients also rely on your reviews to help them find the best dentist in Frederick! If you’re happy with our services, please consider writing us a review on Google or Facebook. If for any reason you’re not happy, however, please give us a call. We genuinely care about your health and experience in our office, and learning about your experience allows us to provide the best dental care possible.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share with your friends and family!

Be safe, stay well, be well.

Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates

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