Keep Teeth Healthy This School Year

​ It's August and back-to-school season is in full swing across the nation. Everyone is filling their shopping carts with markers, pencils and new backpacks. Parents are taking children to get haircuts and physicals and eye exams in preparation for the new school year. But, one thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to back-to-school time i...
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Is Childhood Snoring a Sign of Something Serious?

The snoring habits of middle-aged men have been the subject of sitcoms and comedy skits for decades. In fact it may seem like adult males are the only ones who snore. Unfortunately, women and children often suffer from chronic snoring too, and since the topic is much less talked about, it can leave them with more questions than answers.

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Could a Focus on Dental Health Help with Childhood Obesity?

Concern surrounding the weight of America’s children is nothing new. However, a thesis by a graduate student in Sweden could provide a new insight into how to overcome the ever-rising statistics.

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Sedation Dentistry Eases Fears for All Ages

Research shows that approximately 15 percent of Americans avoid the dentist because of dental anxiety or phobia, and some experts believe the number is actually much higher. For those who still go despite their anxiety, it can be a challenging experience that is dreaded for days and even weeks beforehand.

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Children Who Snore Could Have Sleep Apnea

Thanks to television sitcoms, when you picture someone who snores until the house shakes, you likely picture an overweight middle-aged man. For years this was the typical sleep apnea patient and the most likely to get diagnosed and treated for the condition. Over time, research has shown that women and children also suffer from sleep apnea and that they often go undiagnosed, according to Dr. Amy Norman of Dream Smile in Everett, Washington.

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Guidelines Issued for New Cavity Treatment for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently released evidence-based guidelines for the first time regarding a relatively new cavity treatment that uses silver diamine fluoride. The AAPD now recommends using the silver diamine fluoride as a treatment for cavities in children and special-needs patients. Experts believe this will lead to more dentists adopting this treatment method, said Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a leading Everett, Washington dentist.

"The use of silver diamine fluoride provides a less invasive and more affordable treatment. It’s been used for a few years to treat tooth sensitivity and some have used it for cavity treatment," she said. "But now that guidance from the AAPD has been established, it’s very likely to become a much more commonly offered treatment."

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AAP Cracks Down on Kids' Fruit Juice Consumption

It’s one of the most popular drinks for children of all ages. From lunchboxes to sippy cups, juice is the drink of choice for many toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children. But now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is taking a new stance on the beverage as research continues to show the health issues associated with fruit juice and other sweet drinks.

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Does Your Child Show Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea afflicts 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Patients with the disorder experience brief, but repeated, interruptions of their sleep, which occur as a result of the patient’s airway becoming blocked. While the majority of sufferers are adults, the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 4 percent of children suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and the majority of these young patients goes undiagnosed. That is, at least until they visit a dentist. 

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Save Your Teeth with Dental Sealants

Practicing good brushing techniques, flossing regularly and receiving fluoride treatments are great ways to reduce cavities and tooth decay. But there is another way for patients to reduce their risk of developing cavities by having dental sealants applied to their teeth. Dental sealants are a great way for patients to protect their teeth and are an option provided by many dentists across the United States.

Dental sealants are a valuable option for all patients but are even more valuable for some groups. One of the groups includes patients who do not have regular access to dental care because of lack of transportation or cost. Another group is those individuals with genetic predispositions to cavities and tooth decay, and those who have medical conditions that contribute to tooth decay, like diabetes. Children can also benefit greatly from dental sealants as they may have not yet developed proper brushing and flossing habits. Children are also especially prone because of the shape of their teeth, as brushes and floss may not clean around them properly.

Dental sealants are applied to the pits and grooves of the teeth. These pits and grooves are a natural part of the tooth’s design and can collect food debris as a normal part of chewing. If food debris is not removed through normal brushing and flossing and is allowed to sit in those pits and grooves, plaque and bacteria can grow and flourish. It is this bacterium that leads to cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

"Dental sealants are an excellent way to protect the teeth," says Dr. Amy Norman, D.D.S. Norman is an Everett, Washington dentist who provides her patients sealants and other preventative treatments. "They are a physical barrier against tooth decay." Furthermore, they have been proven to be effective; according to the American Dental Association, they reduce decay and cavities by nearly 80 percent. "An 80 percent reduction in cavities is a significant benefit to patients, especially those who are high risk for decay," says Norman.

Dental sealants are typically placed in the molars. Sealants are usually made of resin or ceramic. These materials bond easily with the tooth's enamel, guaranteeing a good seal on the tooth.

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What you Need to Know About Orthodontics and your Kids

For years, braces have been a rite of passage for many teens. New trends, however, suggest that kids younger than ten should be undergoing or investigating orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. Dr. Norman is an advocate for early orthodontic intervention and urges parents to set up evaluations in order to develop orthodontic treatment plans for her youngest patients.

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What a Fish Can Tell Us About Baby Teeth

Most people in their lifetime have experienced the excitement and trepidation of losing their first tooth as a child. Many children are excited because the new, permanent tooth means growing up, but also feel a little trepidation over the pain of the tooth actually coming out. All was usually made better with the promise of a visit and a few dollars from the tooth fairy. While the process of losing teeth goes on19 more times, it leaves many people questioning if baby teeth really serve a purpose at all. Researchers at a Swedish University examined the function and importance of baby teeth by examining, of all things, a fish.

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