Posts for: December, 2017
While you do all you can to provide your child healthy meals and snacks at home, they still face tempting choices for unhealthy fare when they’re away. Unfortunately, their school campus could be one of those places with food choices that raise their risk for dental disease.
Thankfully, that situation is beginning to change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued regulations a few years ago tightening minimum health standards for snacks available on school grounds. Called the Smart Snacks in Schools initiative, it promotes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, while discouraging snacks with empty calories, fat, sugar and excessive salt. This is good news in particular for preventing tooth decay in children and teenagers.
Unfortunately, the initiative may not go far enough. There are a few “loopholes”: it allows for chocolate milk with added sugar as long as it’s fat-free; high schools can also sell beverages like sports and energy drinks, which are low in sugar but high in enamel-harming acid. So, although the general nutrition of snacks in schools may be improving, you should still remain alert to poor choices that may fall through the cracks.
For one thing, you can advocate for better nutrition policies in your child’s school. The USDA initiative is a minimum standard — schools can exceed them and eliminate borderline snacks allowed under the federal regulations.
You can also provide your child snack alternatives to the school vending machine. A little creativity and fun can go a long way: a dash of cinnamon or parmesan cheese on popcorn instead of butter; finger sandwiches made of real cheese on whole-grain bread (with some whimsical shaping with a cookie-cutter); or bite-sized fruits and vegetables like grapes, baby carrots or nuts. The more healthy (and enjoyable) snacks you can send with them, the less chance they’ll turn to a less nutritious choice in the vending machine.
A healthier approach to snacking depends on setting good examples, providing ample selections and accentuating the positive about healthy foods. Choosing nutritious foods, at home and away, is a key building block for healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on nutrition and dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Snacking at School.”
If you’ve had a total joint replacement or similar procedure, you will want your surgeon to decide if you need to take an antibiotic before you undergo dental work. This is a precaution to prevent a serious infection known as bacteremia.
Bacteremia occurs when bacteria become too prevalent in the bloodstream and cause infection in other parts of the body, especially in joints and bone with prosthetic (replacement) substances. It’s believed that during invasive dental procedures bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through incisions and other soft tissue disruptions.
Joint infections are a serious matter and can require extensive therapy to bring it under control. Out of this concern, the use of antibiotics as a prophylactic (preventive measure) against bacteremia once included a wide range of patients for a variety of conditions and procedures. But after an in-depth study in 2007, the American Dental Association concluded that the risks for many of these patient groups for infection triggered by a dental procedure was extremely low and didn’t warrant the use of antibiotic premedication therapy.
As a result, recommendations for antibiotic therapy changed in 2009, eliminating many groups previously recommended for premedication. But because of the seriousness of joint infection, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons still recommends the therapy for joint replacement patients about to undergo any invasive procedure, including dental work. It’s especially needed for patients who also have some form of inflammatory arthritis, a weakened immune system, insulin-dependent diabetes, hemophilia, malnourishment or a previous infection in an artificial joint.
The guidelines for antibiotic premedication can be complex. It’s best, then, to speak with both your orthopedic surgeon and us about whether you should undergo antibiotic therapy before you undergo a dental procedure. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risks of any disease and to keep both your mouth and your body safe from infection.
If you would like more information on the use of antibiotics in dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Premedication for Dental Treatment.”
There are several indications you may need your wisdom teeth removed. Crowding, pain, infection, tooth decay, and gum disease are all signs your wisdom teeth may need to be removed. If you notice any of these signs, see an oral surgeon for evaluation. They can determine if extraction is necessary. At Inland Oral Surgery, Dr. David Gailey is your oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Spokane, WA for wisdom teeth removal.
Reasons for Removing Wisdom Teeth
There are many reasons why you may need your wisdom teeth removed. A major reason to extract wisdom teeth is pain. The pain associated with impacted, infected, or crowded wisdom teeth can be alleviated with extraction. Newly erupted wisdom teeth can also be a source of pain and discomfort. Removing them provides relief from the discomfort. In Spokane, wisdom teeth can be removed by the oral surgeons at Inland Oral Surgery. Signs your wisdom teeth need to be removed include:
- Crowding of the teeth occurs after eruption
- The wisdom teeth only partially erupt
- Infection develops in the wisdom teeth
- Pain and discomfort occurs after full or partial eruption
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Removal of wisdom teeth is an in-office procedure requiring a few days recovery before returning to normal activities. Prior to the procedure, a sedative or local anesthetic will be administered to prevent you from feeling any pain or discomfort during the procedure. To remove the wisdom teeth, a small incision is made in the gums and the teeth are gently removed. The gums are then stitched closed. For stitches that do not dissolve, a second visit will be needed at a later date to remove them.
Some bleeding from the extraction site can occur in the days following removal of the wisdom tooth. Some bleeding, bruising, or swelling is normal and is not cause for concern. Prescription or over-the counter pain medication can be taken for discomfort, while gauze pads can be used to control any bleeding that occurs. Additionally, an ice pack applied to the cheek periodically during the first day following extraction can minimize bruising and discomfort. Rinsing with warm salt water several times a day during recovery is also beneficial.
If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, crowding, or an infection following eruption of your wisdom teeth, these are signs they might need to be removed. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gailey, your oral and maxillofacial surgeons for wisdom teeth removal in Spokane, WA, call Inland Oral Surgery at (509) 321-1404.