Dental-Healthy Snacks for Your School-Aged Child
March 29th, 2023
Kids are constantly active and constantly growing. No wonder they’re constantly hungry! When it’s time for a snack, here are some tips to make between meal treats timely, tasty, and tooth-friendly.
Keep snacks to a minimum
Every time we eat, we’re also providing food for the bacteria in our mouths. Bacteria use sugars to produce acids. These acids weaken our enamel and can lead to cavities. Luckily, we have a natural way of protecting our teeth. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria, and even provides substances that strengthen our teeth in the hours between meals.
When we eat throughout the day, there is no chance for this recovery period to take place. Small children aren’t usually able to get through the day without a few snack periods, which is perfectly normal. Just try to make sure that snacking doesn’t become all-day grazing!
Avoid foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates at snack time
We know that sugar leads to an increased chance of cavities because bacteria convert this sugar into acids that damage our enamel. But carbohydrates should also be in the no-snack zone. Why? Because carbohydrates break down into sugar very quickly. So while you wouldn’t offer your child a daily mid-afternoon snack of sodas and chocolate bars, those muffins, doughnuts, chips, and bagels should be on the “special treat” list as well.
Luckily, we are left with many healthy and convenient choices when your child needs a nibble.
- Crunchy, crisp fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamins as well as a gentle scrubbing action to help clean teeth. They are also rich in water, which helps us produce the saliva that naturally washes away food particles and bacteria.
- Low-fat yogurts and cheeses provide essential calcium for strong teeth and the vitamin D that helps us absorb calcium.
- Whole grain breads, cereals, and crackers are healthier than products made only with white flour because they retain valuable vitamins and minerals that have been removed from refined grains.
- Lean meats, peas, legumes, and eggs provide protein that helps build connective tissue and maintain tooth structure.
- Water helps stimulate saliva production and provides cavity-fighting fluoride. Win/win!
You are constantly looking for ways to make your children’s lives better. Mix and match any of these foods for a snack that’s not only good for their teeth, but rich in the proteins, vitamins, and minerals needed to keep them active and growing throughout their school years. If you have questions about your child’s dietary needs, feel free to ask Dr. Naghmeh Izadi at our Lynnwood, WA office.
March 29th, 2023
When you think of Dr. Naghmeh Izadi, you naturally think of your teeth. But your dental professional is concerned with more than the teeth, as important as they are. All aspects of your oral health—gums, bite, tongue, mouth—contribute to your well-being. So many elements go into creating your beautiful smile, and your lips? They’re front and center.
You already know that sunscreen is your best friend when it comes to protecting your skin. But don’t forget your lips when you’re slathering on the sunscreen! Delicate lip tissue is also susceptible to the sun’s damaging UV rays. Use a lip balm or lipstick with an appropriate SPF (Sun Protection Factor) for your skin type, and apply it liberally. Don’t forget to reapply every hour or two, after eating and drinking, and after going in the water. And if you’re protecting your children from the sun’s rays, check with your doctor about using sunscreen on young lips.
- Healthy Hydrating
Dry, chapped lips are no one’s go-to look. And while moisturizers and balms can help dry lips recover, there’s a simple preventative measure you can take to avoid or reduce dryness. You know how important water is for our bodies, and it’s essential for hydrating our lips as well. Make sure you drink the recommended amount of water each day for lips (and skin!) that are healthy and hydrated.
Not so healthy liquids? Alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating, which undoes the benefits of that water you’ve been drinking. More than that, excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to oral cancer, especially when coupled with tobacco use.
- Toss the Tobacco
All tobacco users have an increased risk for oral cancer. Pipe and cigar smokers are particularly at risk for lip cancers, and smokeless tobacco users have a greater risk of cancers on the inner lip surface. Need another reason to quit? Smoking leads to an increase in lip lines (wrinkles) and a decrease in lip volume.
- Oral Exams
When you come to our Lynnwood, WA office for regular checkups, you can also get regular screenings for oral cancer and other oral conditions. While irregularities are often benign, lip cancer is one of the most common forms of oral cancer, and detecting cancerous or precancerous lesions as early as possible is important for treatment. If you have a sore or lump that doesn’t go away, a red or white patch of skin, bleeding or pain, or any other symptom that concerns you, talk to Dr. Naghmeh Izadi.
Protect yourself from the sun, hydrate, use alcohol in moderation, give up tobacco if you are using it, and see your dentist regularly for examinations. These simple practices are beneficial not only for your expressive lips, but for your overall health and well-being. And feel free to spread the word—healthy habits and preventative care should be on everyone’s lips!
What to Do for Your Loose Tooth
March 22nd, 2023
One of the first exciting childhood experiences we outgrow is the excitement of discovering a loose tooth. Sadly, there’s no adult Tooth Fairy waiting to exchange a gift for a lost tooth, and, even worse, there’s no backup tooth all set to replace it.
If one of your permanent teeth is feeling a little less than permanent, don’t ignore the problem! Here are four things to do right away when you discover a loose tooth:
Eat Soft Foods
While you’ll probably automatically take caramels off the menu and ditch your chewing gum, crunchy foods such as nuts, chips, even apples can be a problem for a compromised tooth. Stick with soft foods and try to eat on the opposite side of your loose tooth.
Keep the Area Clean
The typical bacteria and food particles in your mouth won’t thoughtfully leave the area around your wiggly tooth untouched. But your normal brushing and flossing might be a little too much for a loose tooth. Gently rinsing with warm water should do the trick until you can see us.
Leave It Alone
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing. But when it comes to a loose tooth, please choose this course of (in)action. You might recall having a loose tooth as a child, and how you’d automatically wiggle it with your tongue or your fingers. But you’ll also remember what happened at the end of all that wiggling—your baby tooth fell out.
Teeth are held in place by ligaments attached to the alveolar bone in the jaw. When those ligaments or bone are damaged because of injury or infection, your tooth feels loose. Wiggling your tooth back and forth can cause further detachment and expose you to more bacteria. So even though it might be tempting, leave your tooth alone until you can see us.
Call Your Dentist Immediately
The most important tip of all! Call Dr. Naghmeh Izadi at once if you notice a loose tooth. It’s important to discover not only the best treatment, but the reason for your loose tooth as well. A loose tooth can be caused by several different conditions, and none of them should be ignored.
- A blow to your mouth
If your tooth, ligaments, or bone have suffered trauma, your dentist might be able to stabilize your loose tooth with a splint so that ligament and tissue can heal.
- Gum disease
Periodontitis (severe gum disease) is a chronic condition. Pockets form between your gums and teeth that become home to bacteria and infection. Over time, periodontitis can destroy gum, ligament, and bone tissue. Left untreated, it leads to loose teeth and even tooth loss. Gum disease is reversable when caught early enough, and even in later stages can respond well to a variety of treatments.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the ligaments and bones around your teeth to loosen, and loose teeth are the result. While this situation is usually temporary, taking care of your teeth and gums is essential during pregnancy, and Dr. Naghmeh Izadi will have many important recommendations for your dental health.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Your jaw and teeth can exert hundreds of pounds of pressure. When you spend your sleep hours grinding them, that force is applied to your teeth and the ligaments holding them. Small wonder that bruxism can lead to loose teeth. Your dentist will have ideas to help you stop teeth grinding, from behavioral changes to custom night guards.
Osteoporosis, bite problems, oral cancer, and other conditions can also cause loose teeth. Any condition that causes loose teeth should always be evaluated immediately to prevent more serious medical or dental problems.
Sometimes a loose tooth can’t be saved, and a professional extraction is the best solution. But if there’s a chance to save your tooth, treating the tooth carefully and visiting our Lynnwood, WA office at once improve your odds considerably. Because there’s no adult Tooth Fairy, and really, no coins under a pillow will ever be as valuable as a beautiful, healthy smile.
When do children usually lose their baby teeth?
March 22nd, 2023
Many parents worry that their children’s teeth are not falling out on time. A lot of concerned parents want to know: When will my child lose his or her first baby tooth? At what age should the last tooth fall out? Is there a specific order in which the teeth are lost?
Dr. Naghmeh Izadi and our team explain that a child’s 20 baby teeth (primary teeth) typically come in by age three and begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth, which usually appear by the time your child is six. It is important to know that timing may vary, and girls typically lose their baby teeth earlier than boys. The last baby teeth will likely fall out by the time your child is 13.
So, which teeth do children lose first? Baby teeth tend to fall out in the order in which they came, which means the lower center incisors are usually the first to go when your child is between six and seven years old. The next teeth your child will lose are his or her top center pair, also called the upper central incisors.
It’s important to note that if a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of decay or an unforeseen accident, his or her permanent tooth may erupt early and potentially come in crooked due to limited space. If your child suffers an injury or has tooth decay, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Naghmeh Izadi.
While we know some children couldn’t be more excited to lose their baby teeth, we know others are anxious about this childhood milestone. When your child starts to lose teeth, our team at Naghmeh J Izadi DMD encourages you to stress the importance of proper dental care on a daily basis.
- Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and offer assistance as needed.
- Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
- Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime, especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
- Schedule regular dental visits for your child every six months.
- Ask about the use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.
To learn more about baby teeth, or to schedule your child’s next visit with Dr. Naghmeh Izadi at our Lynnwood, WA office, please give us a call today!