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Things That AffectEven if you brush and floss everyday, there are still many things that cause damage to your smile. At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’re all about keeping teeth healthy and being dedicated to educating our patients on all the ways to keep their mouths in tip-top shape, as well as things that can be harmful.

  1. Ice, Ice, Baby

Ice is a great way to cool a drink or nurse an injury back to health, but it’s not so helpful to your smile. They’re hard, really hard, and if crunched can cause chips. Once there are chips, bacteria can settle into these little nooks and cause decay. If not fixed, chips can turn into severe cracks and even cause pieces of teeth to fall off.

  1. Side to Side

While we always encourage our patients to brush twice a day and floss once a day, we want to make sure they all know the proper way to brush. It’s best to use small, gentle circles to ensure you’re treating your enamel with the best of care. If a back and forth, side to side technique is used, it can be harsh on enamel and cause scratches.

  1. Run!

Running and other forms of cardiovascular exercise are great for a healthy heart and healthy body. But recent research also shows a link between endurance cardio workouts and tooth decay. One explanation to this is during intense cardio, saliva production is greatly decreased. Saliva naturally washes away dangerous acid and bacteria that can lead to decay. Try chewing sugar-free gum during workouts.

  1. Feel the Burn

Heartburn that is. Acid reflux is never enjoyable, but it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Acid from the stomach can creep up into the mouth and act just like acid from soda or sugar-loaded sports drinks. However, stomach acid tends to be more potent and can more easily dissolve enamel.

  1. Lemonade

Lemonade is packed full of acid as well as sugar, a lethal combination for tooth health. Bacteria found in the mouth feeds on the sugar while the acid eats away at tooth enamel, making your teeth a prime spot for decay to flourish. Choose water instead.

Avoiding these damaging foods and activities, or at least counteracting those that are good for you with something good for your smile, can do wonders for the health of your mouth. And as always, keeping up with regular appointments at our Erdenheim dental office is the best prevention.

Serving patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, and Chestnut Hill.

 

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JunePed2The jiggle, the wiggle, the waggle, the first loose tooth. It’s an important milestone in every kid’s life, and most of them are really excited to experience it. It’s fun to move it back and forth with the tongue, but sooner or later, it will fall out. But the fun doesn’t need to stop there. At our Erdenheim dental office, we’ve heard of a few fun ways to pull a loose tooth, and we’d like to share.

The Tried and True: See Your Dentist

We know it may not be YouTube worthy, but we promise it’s fun and safe. A quick visit to your pediatric dentist in Erdenheim can make pulling a loose tooth easy and is perfect for kids who may be a bit nervous. We’re gentle, we’re experienced, we know kids, and we’ve pulled a few teeth in our day. Just let us know if you’d like our help.

The Classic: Floss to a Doorknob

This method goes back farther than we can remember and has successfully pulled many teeth. With a simple piece of floss, a doorknob, and quick slam of the door, a really loose tooth is quickly popped free.

The Out of This World: Remote Control Rocket

When we first saw this, we were amazed. The strategy is like that of the floss and doorknob method, just instead of the knob, there’s a remote control rocket. One end of the floss goes around the tooth, the other to the rocket, then comes the countdown. 3-2-1 blastoff! As the rocket shoots into the sky, the tooth plucks out. You will need to do some hunting to find where the rocket lands and hope the tooth stays on.

The Aim and Fire: Nerf Gun

The Nerf gun is a childhood favorite toy used to play cops and robbers or simply to see how many suction-cup darts can get stuck to the window. And now, it’s a tooth-pulling favorite. Again, tighten one end of the floss around the tooth and the other around the dart, aim, and fire. Out pops the tooth!

While we encourage creativity, be careful that no matter which method you choose, you’re not risking damage to the incoming permanent tooth or any other areas of the mouth. If you have an idea you’d like to try but aren’t sure if it’s safe, give our Erdenheim dental office a call. We’re happy to help!

Serving pediatric patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, and Chestnut Hill.

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MayPed2- brushYou already know that teaching proper brushing and flossing at an early age is a great way to start your child on a path to a lifetime of healthy smiles. But you may also know that it’s hard to make this process enjoyable, and may be hard to teach. At our dental office in Erdenheim, we hear this a lot. So what do you do when brushing is more like pulling teeth than saving teeth? You try to make it as fun as possible. And we’ve got an idea to help.

Things You’ll Need

 

  • An Egg Carton (empty of course, styrofoam if you can)
  • A Few Pieces of a Different Colored Paper
  • An Old Bristled Hair Brush

 

A great way to start the lesson or game, is to turn the egg carton upside down and encourage your child to imagine the carton as a mouth. The protrusions will serve as our “teeth” and the spaces in between are the “gums.” If you’d like to turn it into a game of make believe, allow your child to dress up like a dentist with some rubber gloves, a mask, and white coat.

Next, take the pieces of colored paper and explain that these are like pieces of food — blue paper can be blueberries, red can be apples, green, broccoli. Take the slips of paper and place them on the “teeth” and in the “gums” and tell a story about how this person just ate a healthy meal but there are pieces sticking around, and if they’re left there, dangerous things can happen to the teeth.

Encourage your child to take the hair brush and make it his goal to remove all pieces of lingering food without doing it too roughly as to damage the “teeth.” This is why a styrofoam carton works well as it’s more easily damaged than a cardboard carton. Not only can this be a fun game for your child, it helps him learn and appreciate the importance of brushing to remove all food particles and to do it in a gentle way so as not to damage gums or teeth.

If your child is having a hard time learning to brush or the importance of brushing, try the tips above. If you need more ideas, give our Erdenheim dental office a call. We’re all about prevention and can help parents find ways to make sure their children enjoy proper at-home care.

Always welcoming kids from Erdenheim, Flourtown, and Chestnut Hill.

 

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oral cancer awarenessAt my Erdenheim dental office, we’d like to educate our patients on this dangerous disease during this Oral Cancer Awareness Month. When it’s caught early, Oral Cancer is highly treatable, that’s why we want to share some facts about it with you..

Oral Cancer Facts

  • Oral cancer kills 8,000 Americans every year.
  • If caught early, the survival rate for mouth and oral cancers is between 85-90%.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use are risk factors, but so are increased exposure to the sun, poor nutrition, HPV, and age.

Who’s At Risk?

Oral cancer itself is more common in men than woman. In fact, oral cancer is two times more likely in men than women. That doesn’t mean women can’t get it, it’s just fewer women do.

Folks above the age of 45 comprise 90% of new oral cancer cases each year.

Those who work outside between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. may be at higher risk. That’s why you should use lip balm with SPF of at least 15 each day and remember to apply and reapply sunscreen.

People who don’t or can’t get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day may also be at increased risk for oral cancer.

If you have HPV, it’s especially important to get checked for oral cancer regularly.

We know thinking about cancer is scary. But if it’s caught early, treatment can be very successful. This makes keeping regularly scheduled appointments at my dental office in Edernheim extremely important. Routine visits are not only meant to deep clean and check for cavities, we also look for any signs of anything a bit more serious like oral cancer.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, give us a call. We’re here to get you healthy in a comfortable and understanding environment.


Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas.

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cavity myths

Cavities. They’re one of the most common dental problems, yet there’s still so much confusion about what exactly causes these pesky pockets of decay. At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’d like to debunk some cavity myths and talk about the truth behind the tooth.

 

Cavity Myth: Sensitivity means you have a cavity.

Tooth Truth: Sensitivity doesn’t automatically equate to a cavity and could actually mean a variety of different things. If you have pain in your teeth when you drink something hot or cold, chances are your roots have become exposed, probably due to gum recession. Sensitivity could simply mean you have extremely sensitive teeth. You could also have a cracked or broken tooth.

 

Cavity Myth: If you have a cavity, you’ll know it.

Tooth Truth: A lot of times, a cavity has no symptoms if the decay is moderate. However, if left untreated, a cavity will continue to grow. This is when we start to experience pain. Once the decay becomes much more severe and causes damage to the nerves, you may need more than a filling to fix the cavity. In short, if you wait to have symptoms of a cavity, you’ve waited too long.

 

Cavity Myth: Kids are more likely to get cavities than adults.

Tooth Truth: In the past 20 years, the prevalence of cavities in children has been cut in half. However, there continues to be a rise in the amount of cavities in the senior citizen population. Many times senior citizens require daily medications, and these medicines can result in dry mouth and lack of saliva. Without saliva, decay causing bacteria isn’t rinsed away and is left to eat away at enamel, resulting in cavities.

 

Now that you know the truth behind cavities, there’s one other really important thing you should know. Regular appointments at our Erdenheim dental office is the most effective way to keep your mouth healthy and cavity free. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help!

 

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding communities.

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what is that smell

If someone were to blindfold you and lead you into a dental office, we bet you’d be able to guess where you are simply by the smell. You know what we mean. The crisp, clean, sanitized aroma of dental offices is incredibly distinguishable, but what makes it smell that way? At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’d like to reveal the mystery of the dental office scent.

 

The Odor-Causing Suspects

 

Dental Materials

Many of the standard materials used in modern dentistry have a funky smell. Acrylic, for example, is used in a wide variety of dental procedures like the construction of temporary crowns and dentures. Acrylic has a very distinct smell which, when merged with the other aspects of a dental office, contributes to the overall scent.

 

Sanitation Products

Your Erdenheim dentist takes sanitation very seriously, and the products we use to make sure everything in the office is germ free have strong aromas. Everything from the antibacterial soaps, disinfecting wipes, and gloves, to the high-pressure/high-heat sanitation ovens and the Glutaraldehyde (which is used to sanitize tools that can’t be heat-sterilized), all of the products used in infection control have fairly strong odors. However, we much prefer the fragrance of these crucial components of a dental office than the alternative of an unclean office.

 

Dental Procedures

Certain dental procedures carry smells of their own. Tooth dust, which is a common term used to describe the smell during a filling, crown, or other procedure, is a very unique odor that can permeate the air and linger around. Many dentists reduce this smell by using a lot of water and having the dental assistant use a vacuum during the procedure.

 

We always follow strict sanitation standards at our Erdenheim dental office and welcome you to come experience it for yourself. Just call for your appointment today. We’d love to see you!

 

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and nearby neighborhoods.

 

 

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easy on the sippy

As your child gets too big for the bottle, you may replace it with a fun sippy cup. Sippy cups are all right for a little while, but at our pediatric dental office in Erdenheim, we strongly recommend transitioning to straws or “big kid cups” sooner rather than later.

 

Sippy cups are great for those kids who are ready to hold their own cup and, once they stop throwing it on the floor repeatedly, actually drink from it. However, constant, prolonged use of the sippy cup may lead to some developmental concerns and oral health problems.

 

Decay

It’s quite common for a sippy cup to become a replacement for a bottle or pacifier. When this happens, little ones tend to sip on them throughout the day as a comforting habit. If that sippy cup is full of anything but water, their tiny teeth are constantly exposed to damaging sugar. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cavities have increased by 15 percent in children two to five. By choosing an alternative to the sippy cup, you can help keep your child’s teeth cavity free.

 

Speech Difficulties

Sippy cups are a great transitional tool from bottles to real cups. However, prolonged use can actually influence the development of teeth and gums. Since sippy cups require the same sucking action as bottles, if used for too long, they may cause the tongue and teeth to change position, resulting in a possible speech difficulties like a lisp or trouble with articulation.

 

When to Skip the Sippy

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends phasing out the bottle between 12 and 24 months. However, by nine months, your child should be open to the idea of drinking from a sippy cup. It can help to introduce them to the idea of the sippy cup periodically prior to this milestone so they’re familiar with it and the way it feels. The sippy cup is acceptable for a little while, but it should be replaced with a cup or a straw by two or three years of age.

 

While using the sippy cup is ok, try to keep the days of the sippy cup short and transition to drinking with a straw or a “big kid cup” as soon as you can. Having trouble tossing the cup? give our Erdenheim pediatric dental office a call. We’re always here to help!

 

Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas.

 

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Dental CleaningYou brush your teeth at home twice everyday, you floss at least once a day, so why is visiting my dental office in Erdenheim regularly so important? Professional cleanings and consistent checkups are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and body.

  1. Money. Regular appointments and cleanings can help you save money. At each appointment, we focus on prevention and catching little problems before they turn into big problems. When small issues are left untreated, costly, time-intensive treatment is usually required.
  1. Whole Health. The health of your mouth is directly linked to the health of your whole body. This makes regular cleanings extremely important. Oftentimes, your dental team will recognize signs of a whole body issue first, which means treatment can start soon. The earlier we start treatment, the more successful it can be.
  1. Oral Cancer. Cancer is a scary word, but oral cancer doesn’t have to be. When caught early, oral cancer is very treatable, but it has to be caught in the early stages. At every appointment, we check your mouth for an abnormal cells and work together to keep you healthy.
  1. Cavities. Professional cleanings work to remove dangerous plaque from teeth. If left alone, plaque can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque can be removed with at-home care of brushing twice a day and flossing, but only a deep professional cleaning is successful at removing the really stuck-on stuff.
  1. Bright Smile. If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or other staining agent, your teeth can become tinted and less than your ideal shade of white. Professional cleanings can work away surface stains and get your teeth looking whiter. End with a polish and your teeth will be shiny, too.

Don’t put off your professional teeth cleaning any longer. Call our Erdenheim dental office as soon as possible. We’ll check your mouth for signs of problems and thoroughly clean your teeth for a smooth, healthy smile.

Serving patients from Erdenheim, Chestnut Hill, Flourtown, and surrounding areas.

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Heart health monthEvery February, we place a lof of focus on hearts. There’s heart candy, heart shaped boxes full of chocolate, and we’re all about making our significant others feel loved. At our dental office in Erdenheim, we like all the things that go along with spreading the love, especially the heart. This February, take a second to put your heart first and learn about the risks associated with heart disease and the heart-mouth connection.

February marks American Heart Month and is a time to learn the ways to keep your heart, mouth, and body healthy. While many know the typical risks involved with heart disease, like smoking, a poor diet, and lack of exercise, a little known correlation between heart health is oral health.

The Mouth-Heart Connection

One of the biggest mouth-heart connections is related to gum disease. In fact, research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) states that those with gum disease are at increased risk for a heart attack. Additionally, many systemic or whole body diseases first show signs in the mouth. Heart disease is one of them.

If you have known heart problems, it’s crucial to let us know about it as well as any medications you’re taking. As an important part of your complete health care team, we can work with you to improve your oral health and your overall health.

Signs of Gum Disease

Regular dental appointments with your dentist in Erdenheim are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and are the first line of defense when it comes to gum disease and, in turn, keeping your heart healthy, too. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Consistently bad breath
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth

If you’re concerned about your risk for heart disease, or if any of the symptoms above relate to you, call our Erdenheim dental office as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to determine your risks, diagnose any current issues, and put together an appropriate treatment plan to keep your mouth and your heart healthy.

Serving patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas.

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Cough syrup and your teethCoughs, stuffiness, colds, and the flu are at their peak this time of year. While we all try our best to keep germs away by washing our hands, avoiding other sick people, and exercising, there are times when catching the bug is basically unavoidable. At our dental office in Erdenheim, our goal is to help keep our patients’ oral and overall health in tip-top shape, and we’d like to share some surprising information about some of the medicine that’s meant to make you feel better.

Cough remedies like suppressing syrups or soothing drops help to ease your discomfort, however they not only have the traditional side effects like dizziness and queasiness that go hand in hand with any medication, they can also contribute to tooth decay.

The ingredients in many popular over-the-counter medications have been proven to lead to tooth decay and cavities.

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Sucrose

This duo of sugars is particularly dangerous to teeth. When these ingredients enter the mouth, bacteria begin to feed on them. This causes the sugars to break down into acids which are dangerous to the tooth enamel.

Alcohol

Alcohol reduces saliva production and may cause a mouth to become dry. In a normal mouth, quite a bit of saliva is produced every day – about 10,000 gallons in a lifetime! This saliva is great for the health of teeth since it helps wash away the dangerous sugars and acids that can lead to cavities.

So should you just suffer through the annoying symptoms of a cold? Not necessarily. There are a few ways to decrease your risk of cough syrup induced tooth damage.

  • Trying taking the medication as a pill instead of a liquid. This will greatly decrease or eliminate the duration of dangerous ingredients lingering on teeth.
  • Don’t take cough syrup right before bed. Saliva production naturally decreases at night, and since cough medicine also decreases saliva production, there is much greater risk for decay.
  • Take liquid medicine with a meal when saliva production is greater.
  • Brush your teeth after a dose of cough suppressant.

From all of us at our Erdenheim dental office, we hope you’re having a healthy winter. However, if this cold and flu season isn’t so kind and you find yourself under the weather, be careful  of how and when you take cough medicine, and keep your teeth healthy in the process.

Serving patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas.