Tips for Tranquil Teething

Patients often ask for advice when their children are teething. This is a notorbaby teeth smile_used for teething blog 2016ious stage in a child’s development, and some babies are more sensitive to it than others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Teething toys and rings are traditional remedies, but avoid extreme cold. Frozen
    items can hurt a baby’s mouth and cause additional discomfort. Store the teething toys in the fridge instead of the freezer. A cool washcloth is a soothing alternative.
  • Say no to numbing: Avoid benzocaine treatments like Anbesol and Baby Orajel. They can lead to methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder in which body tissues don’t get enough oxygen. Though rare, the condition is serious and potentially life-threatening.
  • Drooling is normal during teething, but it can cause skin irritation and add to a baby’s discomfort. Keep cloths handy to wipe up the excess, and offset dryness with an alcohol-free moisturizer.
  • Babies will chew on anything when they’re teething, so be extra vigilant about keeping objects out of their hands. Stock up on tooth-friendly items for the car, stroller and diaper bag.
  • Parents sometimes believe that baby teeth don’t need as much care because they fall out during childhood. This can be a serious mistake. Poor habits can cause decay that harms the gums themselves — not to mention the repercussions from not having a good oral health routine.
  • Bring your child for his or her first visit by age 2. We will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and gums, and also evaluate any adverse habits.

Easy Ways to Help the Earth

There are many ways to support a healthier, safer Planet Earth. One of the simplest steps you can take is to turn off the tap. It takes no skill or money — it’s all in the wrist!

We often remind patients they should be brushing their teeth for a full two minutes. But can you imagine how much water is lost if you let the tap run during that time Back page_1period?

According to the EPA, you can save 200 gallons a month just by shutting off the faucet, which makes it easier on your utility bill as well as the planet.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, please consider turning off the tap! It’s a great lesson for kids too.

While you’re thinking about Earth Day, please consider two other green options with Future of Dentistry. Take advantage of our online payment option, which reduces the amount of paper communications needed. It’s easy and fast to sign up, and can be done right on our website at

You can also sign up to receive our newsletter in email form, which also saves paper. Just send an email to, and we’ll add you to our paper-free mailing list.

Oral Cancer: Early Detection Saves Lives

Oral cancer is responsible for 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. It’s also one of the most misunderstood forms of cancer.

More and more, this disease is striking young people who wouldn’t have been considered high-risk in the past. The HPV virus is a new pathway to oral cancer — new, at least, compared to tobacco use like smoking, chew and dip. The strain that causes oral cancer, HPV16, is the same one responsible for most cervical cancer cases.

Oral cancer often goes undetected until it’s too late. Too often, warning signs aren’t observed until the disease has advanced. After all, how often do you conduct an in-depth examination of your tongue, throat and the inner recesses of your mouth?

Dental professionals are in an ideal position to identify problems that could be oral cancer. At Future of Dentistry, we proactively check for warning signs. Every hygiene appointment at Oral cancer_WatchYourMouth_MySocialPracticeour office includes an oral cancer screening. During VELscope exams, our hygienists work with a handheld scope, using black-light technology to illuminate potential problem areas.

We often point out that hygiene visits are “more than just a cleaning,” and oral cancer screening is a perfect example. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which is a good time to talk about why these exams are so important.

HPV is an easily transmitted virus. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, you can have HPV without ever knowing it because the virus may not produce noticeable signs or symptoms. This is why we conduct an oral cancer screening on all our patients.

For many years, the main cause of oral cancer was the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products. They remain a significant contributor to the disease. Smoking has declined over the years, but it’s unfortunately still too common. Nearly 17 percent of American adults were smokers as of 2014, according to a CDC study.

Additionally, our society faces new risks, such as electronic cigarettes. Science and regulatory agencies are scrambling to understand e-cigarettes and the threat that “vaping” poses to health and safety. We know these products contain addictive nicotine, but there is still much we need to learn about how the vapors affect the human body. Until then, it’s best to avoid these products and the potential risk to your health.