Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to School Dental Tips


Your child may have the latest wardrobe, school supplies and sports equipment for the new school year, but do they have a healthy mouth and the tools they'll need to maintain it?
According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as important as immunizations and booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. With over 51 million school hours missed per year because of dental problems, we think it’s pretty safe to say that taking steps to prevent dental problems and dental emergencies in school age children is a good idea.  Here are some back to school dental tips that will help ensure that your child or teen’s healthy teeth check-ups are the only dental appointments they will need this year.

Supervise Dental Hygiene

In younger children, this is especially important.  Instruct them on proper brushing and flossing.  Check their work to make sure they have cleaned all the way in back and behind their front teeth.  Talk about healthy teeth, and the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene by brushing teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and once your permanent teeth come in, make sure that they floss.

Don't Skip Regular Dental Check-Ups

The best way to avoid the need for extensive dental work is to detect problems early.  Seeing the dentist every six months for and exam and dental cleaning makes this possible, and prevents small problems from turning into bigger, more expensive and more time consuming problems.

Wear Sports Mouthguards

Some of the most common sports injuries are dental injuries.  Youth athletics are an important part of life for many kids, and dental injuries can happen in any sport.  Make sure your child or teen wears a dental mouth guard to protect his/her teeth during practice and games.  Ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth guards for added protection.

Pack a Good Lunch
1. Stay away from packing your child’s lunch with drinks that are high in sugar.  Many sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas, and juices have anywhere between 5-12 teaspoons of sugar in one serving.  The longer this sugar stays on your child’s teeth, the more likely they will develop tooth decay.  Many children do not have a chance to brush their teeth throughout the day, so minimizing the amount of sugar in their lunch can help decrease their chances of cavities.
2.  Pack snacks that are high in protein in your child’s lunch.  High protein foods will minimize hunger, and as a result your child will be less likely to snack all day on sugary unhealthy foods that are found in many cafeterias and on-campus vending machines.
3. If you want to occasionally add a sweet treat to your child’s lunch, try chocolate instead of other candies that are highly acidic and/or are more likely to stick to their teeth for long periods of time.
Check out our New Child Patient Special! If you have any questions about dental care for your kids, give us a call at 800-223-0801. We would love to see you, at our convenient Cedarhurst, NY office! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Alternative Uses for Mouthwash

Do you have a bottle of mouthwash that sits on your bathroom counter only to be used once and a while? We often don’t think about using mouthwash as a part of our daily routine – but mouthwash has proven to come in handy for more than controlling just bad breath. Take a look at these refreshing and money-saving alternative uses for mouthwash.

Other than the obvious use of cleansing your mouth, mouthwash can aid many hygiene-related emergencies, as listed below:
  • Face Cleanser. If you have an alcohol-based and sugar-free mouthwash, it can act exactly the same as a facial astringent. Simply apply to a clean face with a cotton ball and rinse afterward.
  • Garlic Odor. As good as garlic tastes, it’s probably not the chosen perfume for date night. After eating garlic, you can get garlic breath, garlic hands…and just a garlic scent that is simply unappealing. Along with using mouthwash for its intended purpose, try rubbing a little on your hands and neck to defuse the smell.
  • Dandruff Remover. Mouthwash is designed to kill bacteria and fungus in the mouth, but it does the exact same thing if you use it outside of the mouth. Dandruff is actually caused by a fungus, which causes the scalp to be irritated and itchy. To let mouthwash work its magic, simply soak your hair in mouthwash and wrap it in a towel for 15 minutes. After that, wash your hair normally. Repeat if needed. You can also dip a cotton swab into the mouthwash and run it over the scalp line and any areas that you see flakes.
Most of the uses of mouthwash from a health standpoint have to do with its anti-fungal properties and ingredients.
·         Cut Disinfectant. Because most mouthwashes contain alcohol of some kind, they can act as a great disinfectant. Simply apply some to a cotton swab and gently wipe the cut – if it stings slightly, that is normal.
  • Hand Sanitizer. As longs as you use alcohol-based and sugar-free mouthwash, you are good to go for clean and fresh hands!
  • Bruise Treatment. Rubbing mouthwash over a bruise or soon-to-be bruised area will help cover up any injury that may have occurred.
  • Poison Ivy Treatment. While it is not an instant healing treatment, applying mouthwash to poison ivy relieves itchiness and speeds up the overall healing time.
  • Athlete’s Foot Treatment. If you have spray for athlete’s foot, that is the best thing to use first. But if you find yourself in a tough spot, mouthwash will help, but it may sting slightly. If you are at the gym and forgot your shower shoes you can use mouthwash on your feet to help prevent athlete’s foot.
  • After-Piercing Care. After you get a piercing, professionals will tell you to buy a special treatment for keeping the area clean and safe from infection. A secret: mouthwash does the same thing. Just apply it a couple of times a day and you’re set!
  • Flea Repellant. For dogs or cats, a vet will suggest buying flea shampoo or spray to keep the pests off them, but mouthwash actually works well at keeping fleas away, too. You can either combine some mouthwash with your pet’s shampoo or create a spray by deluding it with water.
Around the home, mouthwash can be used in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to cleaning!
  • Fresh Laundry. Sometimes, you just have that load of laundry that will not come out smelling fresh no matter what. In cases like this, adding a cup of mouthwash to the load helps eliminate odor and kills germs.
  • Clean Bathrooms. Mouthwash is a great agent for killing mold or mildew in bathroom sinks, counters, toilets, showers and bathtubs! After cleaning, your bathroom will look and smell minty fresh!
  • Garbage Disposal Cleaner. Ever sniff around the kitchen and notice something smells funky? More often than not, it is the garbage disposal stinking up the whole room. An easy fix for this is pouring about ½ a cup of mouthwash down the disposal and – voila!
  • Computer Monitor Cleaner. This only works on glass monitors, but applying mouthwash with a damp rag to the screen helps clear off any smudges. This will not work well on LCD displays, so make sure you know which kind you have before you try it.
Isn’t it cool to hear all that mouthwash can do? So remember to practice good dental hygiene with brushing and flossing. Then use mouthwash to cleanse your breath and in other creative ways.

If you have any questions about mouthwash, give us a call at 800-223-0801. We would love to see you, at our convenient Cedarhurst, NY office! You can book online or call us today.