Radiation Worries For Children At The Dentist

radiation worries for childrenChildren and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to radiation.  About 3 years ago a national campaign came about to address radiation worries for children. It has resonated in many clinics and hospitals, to protect them by reducing diagnostic radiation to only those levels seen as  absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the dental office is not one of the places that seems to have gotten the message.

Many dentists and orthodontists have began using a special 3D imaging CT scanner, called a cone beam, to get great images of teeth, roots, jaw and even skull. Promoters say it is a safe way for dentists and oral surgeons to work with more precision and to identify problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. But not everyone is convinced. To find out why, read this article from the NY Times and see opinions about radiation in children: Radiation Worries for Children in Dentists’ Chairs – NYTimes.com.

What To Do If You Bite Your Lip, Cheek or Tongue

It’s happened to all of us. At some point in time and probably more than once, you may bite your lip, cheek or tongue. It can also be very painful. It is possible that you might bight your cheek, lip or tongue if you have been to the dentist and received anesthesia for a dental procedure.  This is because your mouth is still numb and you may not feel it. If you do happen to bite your lip because it is numb or for some other reason such 23339126-face-of-a-beautiful-young-woman-with-red-hairas an accident, here is what you should do.

If you bite all the way through your lip, cheek or tongue you first should check the area for any contamination.  Apply pressure with a clean towel or gauze to help control the bleeding.  Bad bites may need stitches, but most will heal on their own.

Once the bleeding stops, apply ice or a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and ease pain. You can take over the counter pain medication to help.  As your wound heals, try to watch for signs of infection.  Keep the area clean and drink lots of water.  If it continues to be red, swollen or sensitive, schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist right away.

Ouch! I Bit My Lip! | Grateful Dental

Could An Ingredient In Your Toothpaste Be Harmful?

6242812-close-up-of-a-toothbrush-with-paste-isolated-on-white-backgroundTriclosan, a chemical linked to cancer cell growth, may be in your favorite toothpaste. Regulators are reviewing whether it’s safe to put in soap and other things like toys. But Colgate, who’s top selling toothpaste uses the chemical, says it’s toothpaste is safe.  Read more about this chemical and what is being done about it here: Colgate Total Ingredient Linked to Hormones, Cancer Spotlights FDA Process – Bloomberg.

Sun Blisters on Lips

It’s summer time and the nice weather beckons us outside.  We all know how important it is to use sunscreen to protect our skin when we play outdoors, 22991212-dune-landscape-in-summertime-with-scots-pine-or-pinus-sylvestris-trees-in-the-background-and-hot-yelbut what about our lips?  Sun blisters on lips can be painful and irritating. Lip balm with sun protection factor (SPF) is just as important as sunscreen for the rest of our body.

Sun blisters on lips can be small and hardly noticeable or they may be large and more painful.  If not treated, these blisters can cause pain and lead to infection.  If you do end up with sun blisters there are some ways you can relieve the pain and treat them from home.

Relieving pain from sun blisters on lips can be done first and foremost by taking a pain medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  Cooling gels that contain aloe vera or antihistamines can also be applied to sun blisters to ease pain.  Keep the area dry and cool and free from irritants.

Once you have eased some of the pain, take some steps to help the sun blisters on lips heal more quickly. Firstly, don’t try to pop the blisters, this won’t help and can lead to infection. Clean the blister regularly and apply antibiotic ointment.  Avoid petr21303829-green-getaway-relaxation-in-peaceoleum based products or lotions that contain benzocaine or lidocaine.

For more information on sun blisters on lips click here.

Dental Emergency 9-1-1!

safety first signYou’re spending the afternoon with your family at the park. The kids are playing Frisbee in an open area when all of a sudden you hear a crash and a scream from your youngest. He’s holding something in his hand and between sobs you can see blood gathering in his mouth and that there’s an open spot where his canine is supposed to be. He’s lost a tooth. The fact is, dental emergencies happen; and that time until you can get in to see a dentist can be a crucial one. Here are some tips to follow if you happen to run into some tooth turmoil:

Knocked-Out Tooth:

Do:

  • Pick up tooth by the crown (top part), NOT the root.
  • Rinse blood or debris off the tooth with milk (milk is the best way to keep the tooth from drying) or cold running water if milk isn’t available.
  • If possible, reinsert tooth back into socket and gently push it in with your finger or bite a clean cloth to hold it in.
  • If you can’t reinsert it, place the tooth in a container of milk, or a damp cloth if milk isn’t available.
  • Get to the dentist immediately – teeth that are replanted within 30 minutes have the best chances of surviving.

Don’t:

  • Don’t touch or scrub the root.

Bleeding in the Mouth:

Do:

  • Use clean gauze to apply pressure to the area bleeding for 5 minutes to try and stop bleeding.
  • If bleeding continues, press a moistened tea bag against the cut for 5 minutes.
  • If you can’t stop bleeding call your dentist.
  • If bleeding won’t stop, is significant and you are unable to reach your dentist, go to the hospital.

Don’t:

  • Don’t rinse your mouth (especially if the bleeding is caused by an extracted tooth, rinsing can affect the socket).

Broken Tooth:

Do:

  • Gather any broken pieces and rinse mouth with warm water.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Place gum or dental wax over any sharp edges of remaining tooth to avoid further cuts and damage to your mouth.
  • If the break involved the dentin or pulp of the tooth, call your dentist immediately.
  • If the break only involved crown or enamel of the tooth, call your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t eat hard foods.

Broken or Lost Filling/Crown:

Do:

  • Save the filling/crown to bring with you to the dentist.
  • Place dental wax over any sharp edges to prevent damage or cuts to your mouth.
  • Use denture adhesive to reattach a crown until you can get in to see your dentist.
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to replace a filling yourself.
  • Don’t eat very hot or cold foods/drinks.

Toothache:

Do:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply ice to the area.
  • Remove any food particles or debris between teeth with dental floss.
  • Call your dentist for advice and have the tooth examined if needed.

Don’t:

  • Don’t place any pain reliever directly on the tooth/gum.
  • Don’t use or apply any heat.
  • Don’t eat extreme foods (very hot, cold, sweet or spicy).

Mouth Sores:

Do:

  • Use an over-the-counter anesthetic (like Orajel) for temporary relief.
  • Rinse mouth with warm salt water.
  • Apply ice or a paste (by mixing baking soda and water) to the sore for a few minutes.
  • See your dentist if the sore doesn’t heal in about a week, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Don’t:

  • Don’t put aspirin or pain relievers directly on the sore.
  • Don’t take antibiotics unless they are actually prescribed for the sore.
  • Don’t use any steroid creams.
  • Don’t use a hot pack.

Broken Dental Appliances:

Do:

  • Save all pieces to bring them to your dentist.
  • Cover any sharp spots or protrusions with dental wax to prevent further damage or injury/irritation.
  • If a denture, remove until you can get to the dentist.
  • See your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to bend, fix or glue pieces back together yourself.
  • Don’t wrap pieces in a tissue, because it could easily be thrown away by mistake.

Dental emergencies aren’t the end of the world, but they can be painful and scary! Remember that in the event of a dental emergency, your number one resource is a dentist. These are just some things to keep in mind and do until you can call or get to them! girl with broken tooth