A Thank-You Gift for a Patient!

Katie MarinoBESTKatie Marino, a local mom, is the latest recipient in our “Share a Smile” program. We presented the gift in February, so in honor of Valentine’s Day, we chose a $100 gift card to Bellino’s Trattoria. It’s a great restaurant right here in Wakefield.

Katie and her husband are awesome parents and awesome patients, and we thought they deserved a night out! Katie is pictured here (center) receiving the gift from some of our staff.

Katie also received a Future of Dentistry bag with some goodies, including an on-the-go whitening pen. It’s an honor and a privilege to treat Katie and her family and friends. Thank you, Katie!

We’ll be announcing future recipients, so you can follow this blog or Like us on Facebook to keep up on the latest. If you missed our original “Share a Smile” posting, you can learn about the program here.

Advertisements

Working Together To Combat Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is observed this year from Feb. 21-27. It’s one of America’s lesser-known “health holidays,” which is why it’s so important to raise awareness. In the U.S., 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a serious eating disorder at some time in their life, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders can wreak havoc on an individual’s oral health. Lack of nutrition can lead to tooth damage, and can cause gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth to bleed easily. Swollen saliva glands may cause chronic dry mouth, which also damages teeth. Among bulimic patients, up to 89% show signs of tooth erosion because of the effects of stomach acid, according to NEDA. eating disorders awareness

Because we focus on the teeth and gums, dentists are on the “front lines” of identifying eating disorders that have gone undiagnosed. Future of Dentistry’s staff is trained to look out for symptoms of eating disorders. If we see any warning signs, the doctor will gently ask questions to determine if in fact there is a problem. If needed, the doctor will raise his or her concerns with the patient (or the patient’s parent) in a sensitive manner.

In addition to suggesting resources for the patient, we can recommend options for improving the patient’s oral health. These steps may range from avoiding excessive drinking of acidic diet soda to being fitted for a custom mouth guard.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, or have had one in the past, please tell your dentist. By addressing the problem head-on, we can help you protect your oral health and promote your overall wellbeing.

Our First ‘Share a Smile’ Recipient!

IMG_0877_cropped

At Future of Dentistry, we’re lucky enough to have fantastic patients. We wanted to establish a new way of showing our appreciation in the New Year, so we created the Share a Smile program.

Dr. Casazza recently presented our first Share a Smile gift to Ilaria Cella, who is our 2015 recipient. Ilaria is a loyal, considerate patient who spreads positivity the moment she walks into our office. She has referred many of her family and friends to our office. This is the highest compliment we can receive, because it demonstrates her trust in Future of Dentistry.

Ilaria received an American Express cash card valued at $250. She also received a Future of Dentistry bag filled with goodies, including an on-the-go whitening pen. It’s an honor and a privilege to treat Ilaria and her family and friends. Thank you, Ilaria!

This marks the beginning of a new tradition for 2016. Every month, we’ll present a gift to one of our many wonderful patients. It’s a way for Future of Dentistry to recognize those who “Share a Smile,” like Ilaria. We consider ourselves blessed to serve our amazing patients!

Check back soon to find out the Share a Smile recipient for January 2016.

2-Minute Tunes: Songs for Brushing

Studies show that many kids (and some adults!) don’t brush their teeth for long enough. Two minutes is the rule if you want your brushing to get the job done.

Adults can adjusSongs to brush tot pretty easily to the two-minute guideline. It can be tricky getting children to follow this rule effectively, but there are ways to make it fun for kids.

We provide a two-minute sand timer to new young patients. Kids get a kick out of the timer, and it’s a tangible way for them to monitor their brushing time.

We also recommend music to keep brushing time on track. If you have a low tolerance for cutesy kiddie tunes, here are some two-minute songs that may better suit your palate.

Our personal favorite is the Elvis classic, “All Shook Up.” Kids like it as much as adults and the “shook up” chorus goes well with the brushing theme.

1. The Beatles, And Your Bird Can Sing
2. The Clash, White Riot
3. Eddie Cochran, Summertime Blues
4. Gorillaz, Don’t Get Lost in Heaven
5. The Police, Miss Gradenko
6. Elvis Presley, All Shook Up
7. The Rock-A-Teens, Woo Hoo
8. Simon & Garfunkel, Song for the Asking
9. The White Stripes, Fell In Love With a Girl
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pin

Remember, there are often multiple versions of songs on iTunes, Youtube, etc. Be sure you’re using two-minute versions of these songs, like ones we the linked to.

Youtube has some kid- and tooth-themed videos, but many of them tend to grate on adults’ nerves. We pared the list down to a few of the more palatable options. See if you like option one, two, three or four.

Bonus track: It’s not 2 minutes long, but here’s a cute brushing-themed video from Sprout TV.

Smile Milestones for Kids (Part 2)

From age 6 to adolescence, dental care is extremely important. These are the teeth that children will have for the rest of their lives — as long as they’re cared for properly.

Here in Part 2 of SSmile Milestones1mile Milestones, we focus on what to expect as kids leave behind the “baby teeth” stage and progress slowly toward adulthood.

Permanent teeth: “Grownup teeth” start  emerging at around 6 or 7, but some don’t erupt until around 12. Check the Children’s Calendar of Care for details; you can get a free copy at our office.

Solo brushing & flossing: Children need help with brushing until age 6 or 7, when they have the dexterity and maturity to handle it themselves. Generally, children can floss their own teeth at around the same age.

Sealants: Sealants protect your child’s teeth and minimize the chances of serious dental problems in the future. Our dental hygienists paint a thin, plastic coating on the back teeth. It acts as a shield, preventing bacteria and food particles from entering the tiny grooves in the teeth. Sealants are an option once a child’s molars arrive, a process that starts around 6 and concludes around 12.

Athletic mouth guards: Mouth guards are essential for any child who plays sports. They protect against an array of health problems, even concussions. Studies show that custom-fit guards are far more effective than over-the-counter, “boil and bite” guards. For this reason, Future of Dentistry has programs to make customized mouth guards affordable for all children. Ask our staff for details.

Wisdom teeth: Expect wisdom teeth at 17 to 21 years. If left in place, they can lead to infection and inflammation. They can also cause other teeth to shift, causing decay when food debris lodges between teeth. Teens often neglect dental care when they go off to college or move out, so it’s helpful when parents remind them of important oral health issues like this.

(Click here for Part 1 of the “Smile Milestones” series.)

Smile Milestones for Kids (Part 1)

Here is a road map to the future of your child’s smile — some of the major milestones from infancy to adolescence.

Smile Milestones2Here in part one, we’ll focus on “the mouths of babes.” In other words, from infancy through the baby teeth period.

Many people mistakenly believe that problems with “baby teeth” end when the teeth fall out to make way for permanent teeth. This leads some parents to underestimate the importance of dental care in infancy and early childhood. The truth is that decay, if left unchecked, can spread to permanent teeth that are forming underneath or to the gums themselves.

Bottle rot: You may have heard of bottle rot — tooth decay that occurs when a baby’s teeth are overexposed to sugary liquids such as breast milk, formula or juice. Parents who repeatedly provide their baby sugary liquids (often at bedtime or as a pacifying measure) can unknowingly cause serious damage. It’s better to give the baby a bottle of water between regular feedings.

Teething: Incisors generally emerge at 6 to 16 months and molars at 13 to 31 months. For details, ask us for a free copy of our Children’s Calendar of Care, which includes a tooth eruption chart.

Beginner brushing & flossing: Once teething begins, establish a positive routine by wiping your baby’s teeth and gums with a soft cloth before bedtime. As more teeth emerge, use a soft baby toothbrush after meals. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, begin flossing his or her teeth. There are some fun floss picks on the market designed especially for kids.

First appointment: Bring your child for his or her first visit by age 2. Future of Dentistry will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and gums, and also evaluate any adverse habits.

National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which is why you’ll find several kid-themed items on our blog this month.

By establishing good habits now, kids are set onto a path of lifelong oral health. This is especially important because poor oral care is linked to health problems like stroke and diabetes.

Children’s Dental Health Month
Roman Casazza

Kids today are growing up in a time of medical advancements, and that includes oral health. Modern dentistry is incredibly proactive, gentle and sophisticated compared to even a decade or two ago.

At Future of Dentistry, we go out of our way to make visiting the dentist fun for kids. Our youngest patients can choose an item from the toy chest before every visit, and learn brushing on special stuffed animals that are both adorable and toothy. We’ve even established a Kids Club where kids meet our mascot Chip, take home fun goodie bags and learn some valuable lessons without even realizing it.

In addition to the general dentistry that children need, we specialize in pediatric services including sealants and custom-fit mouth guards for young athletes. We also offer a Membership Program that helps ensure families get the coverage they need, even if they’re uninsured.

Most importantly, our clinical staff is gentle and patient. They ensure the dental experience is a positive one for kids, and they make time to address parents’ questions and concerns.

With all the hustle and bustle of child rearing, it’s easy for oral health to take a backseat. Yet there are few things as wonderful in this world as a child’s smile, and we should do all we can to preserve it.