July 30th, 2015
Children are born with a natural sucking reflex. In fact, sonogram images from the womb often reveal an unborn baby practicing by sucking on his or her fingers or thumb. Not only does sucking aid in your baby’s ability to acquire food and nutrients, but it is also a security and possible analgesic outside of meal times.
Though it is both normal and beneficial for parents to soothe their children with pacifiers during infancy, long-term use could interfere with oral health and development. Most children will stop using a pacifier on their own. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends halting pacifier use after age three. Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use after this time can cause the upper front teeth to begin to lean outward. It can also cause new teeth to erupt crookedly, and it can negatively affect jaw alignment.
If your child is not showing signs of self-weaning by age two, you may begin the process by limiting pacifier usage to specific times, such as nap time or when getting vaccinations. Offer an alternative security item, such as a blanket, and be sure to praise your child when he or she chooses the blanket over the pacifier.
- Never under any circumstances should you dip your baby’s pacifier in something sweet. Though it is a tempting way of encouraging your child to take a pacifier when crying, it can also lead to early childhood tooth decay.
- If your child has not discontinued pacifier use by age three, talk with Dr. Erini Redmond about behavioral modifications or appliances that can help your child wean.
- Never use negative reinforcement to discourage pacifier use. Punishment for pacifier use is not effective for changing your child’s habits.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s pacifier usage or which types of pacifiers are best for your child’s oral health, please give our team at Erini Papandreas Redmond, DDS a call at our convenient San Clemente, CA office!
July 23rd, 2015
Mouthwash is important for more than just keeping your breath fresh and smelling great. Combined with other forms of dental hygiene, it can help prevent plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. But it may be difficult for you to choose the right mouthwash off the shelf. Dr. Erini Redmond and our team at Erini Papandreas Redmond, DDS wanted to share a few things to look for when choosing a mouthwash.
Fluoride has been the subject of many debates in the oral health community. If you live in the United States, the tap water already contains small amounts of fluoride to promote dental health. You may not need to use a fluoride mouthwash if this is the case. However, if you are cavity-prone, fluoride creates a protective film over the teeth that protects against these buildups. It also helps strengthen the enamel over the teeth, maintain good dental hygiene, and keep your teeth strong for the rest of your life.
Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic: it clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections. However, if you have issues relating to dry mouth, alcohol can exacerbate the problem. If this is the case, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. This will free your mouth from the drying effects of the alcohol base. Also, if you have children, you will want to get an alcohol-free children’s mouthwash, because kids are prone to swallowing the substance, and this can lead to toxic side effects. Even if you are an adult using the mouthwash, if it contains alcohol, you should avoid swallowing it.
Antibacterial mouthwashes have chemicals to help fight gum disease and other infections. Most mouthwash products contain at least trace amounts of these antibacterials; however, some mouthwashes are made specifically to fight bacterial infections. Remember that mouthwash is prevention, not a cure, so if you are presently suffering from a bacterial infection, you should visit our San Clemente, CA office right away. Dr. Erini Redmond may be able to recommend a more powerful antibacterial mouthwash that can help you reduce your pain and other symptoms.
July 16th, 2015
Recently, multiple studies have concluded that people with sleep apnea, a disorder that causes snoring, fatigue, and dangerous gaps in breathing at night due to throat muscles collapsing, are five times more likely to develop cancer. In fact, one of the studies found that people with the most severe forms of sleep apnea had a 65 percent greater risk of developing cancer of any kind.
Researchers believe this could be due to the body lacking enough oxygen, a condition known as hypoxemia. When people are deprived of oxygen, their bodies react by producing more blood vessels, which can feed cancer cells, and as a result cause tumors to grow and spread.
Approximately 28 million North Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with many cases going undiagnosed. This is due to most cancer patients not mentioning any sleep problems they experience unless their physician asks them.
Patients at Erini Papandreas Redmond, DDS who suffer from sleep apnea can be treated using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which produces a stream of air to keep the upper airways open while you sleep. An oral appliance may be another option if CPAP therapy isn’t an option. If you have sleep apnea, Dr. Erini Redmond and our team will help you understand all of your treatment options, finding one that suits your needs.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, please give us a call at our San Clemente, CA office to schedule an appointment.
July 9th, 2015
Thanks for the question. The “blisters” you are referring to are actually a normal part of losing baby teeth. Sometimes when teeth start to come through, children experience some bleeding under the skin, which typically causes small blisters or bruises on your child’s gums. The blisters, bluish in color, will disappear once the tooth comes through, and the tooth itself will still come through as it should.
Even though they can look a little frightening at first, there is no treatment required to treat blisters, nor are these blisters preventable. In fact, our bodies do a great job of cleaning up the loose ends of baby tooth loss and permanent tooth emergence, and not too long after, it’s as if no blisters ever happened. It’s important to note, however, that these blisters should not be pricked or cut as doing so may cause an infection in your child’s mouth.
If you are worried about blisters or bruises in your child’s mouth, please give us a call at our convenient San Clemente, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Erini Redmond. We especially encourage you to give us a call if your child has had one of these blisters for more than a month and the tooth has yet to come through.