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Halloween is a good time to teach your kids good oral health habits without depriving them of their Halloween goodies. Here are some tips to ensure that your child has healthy teeth this Halloween and all year long.

Treats in Moderation

When kids come home after going trick-or-treating go through the candy with them. Have your child choose a few pieces they would like to eat right away. Put the rest of the candy away and out of sight. Some parents choose to donate excessive candy to local charities and others freeze it so consider these two ideas if you don’t want to simply throw it away.

Talk to Kids About Candy and Their Teeth

Halloween is a great time to talk to your kids about candy and their teeth. Consider sitting down with your child to remind them that eating too many sweets can lead to cavities. Instead of saying that candy is “bad”, it’s better to teach children that eating excessive amount of candy is simply not good for their teeth. This will help children learn that what they eat can affect their oral health.

Treat Time

Instead of allowing kids to eat their Halloween candy whenever they wish, parents should set a “treat time” to teach children that candy should be eaten in moderation. When kids know they have a scheduled time they can enjoy their treats, they’re less likely to think about eating candy though out the day.

It is also important to remind children to brush and floss their teeth after eating candy. If your child is eight years old or younger, you may need to help them brush their teeth. After age nine, parents should still supervise their kids when brushing to be sure they’re doing a good job. If you make brushing teeth a fun time for your kids, they will be more likely to do a good job. Letting your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste is a good way to help ensure they will brush and floss thoroughly.



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BACK-TO-SCHOOL… Dental check-up

Send your child to school with a healthy mouth. According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as important as immunizations and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that tooth decay affects 19% of U.S. children and is more prevalent than any other chronic infectious disease. Dental disease or pain can lead to difficulty eating, speaking, playing and learning, as well missed school.

Dr. Mead feels prevention of dental issues lies with early, regular visits to the dentist, which should typically be every six months. Regular dental checkups and preventative dental care, such as cleanings, fluoride and sealants help prevent painful toothaches and can save money. In addition to treating and preventing tooth decay, both children and parents gain valuable information about maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Woman with a tooth pain

Why do I have tooth sensitivity?

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Many people suffer from tooth sensitivity affecting one or more teeth. Sensitivity can
occur when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour. The pain can be sharp
and sudden and can shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

  • Gum recession -brushing too hard or grinding your teeth can
    wear down enamel and expose the tooth root.
  • Tooth decay or Broken/Chipped teeth.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis). Inflamed and sore gums can pull back
    and expose the roots of your teeth.

Dr. Mead offers several treatment options for minimizing and resolving tooth sensitivity.
Don’t suffer any longer call today and schedule an appointment for Dr. Mead to evaluate
and treat your tooth sensitivity.

TMJ Jaw Pain

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The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to your upper jaw. Jaw injury, arthritis, bite issues and clenching or grinding teeth are just some of the causes of Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD). TMJD is a disorder that affects the muscles, nerves and joints around the jawbone. Some of the symptoms include:

-Headaches and jaw pain.
-Clicking or popping when opening or chewing.
-Jaw locking or getting stuck open.
-Difficulty opening your mouth wide.
-Swelling around your face.
-Tooth grinding

All of these symptoms can indicate a possible diagnosis for TMJD. Anyone who is experiencing what they believe to be TMJD issues should make an appointment with Dr. Mead in order to investigate the issue. Dr. Mead can diagnose and treat a patient’s problems, so they can go on to live healthy, happy and pain-free lives.

Four ways combat dry mouth

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Do you have a sticky dry feeling in your mouth? Do you have trouble swallowing, chewing and tasting food?

Dry mouth is a common problem affecting about twenty five percent of the adult population. Common causes of dry mouth include: medications, disease, radiation and chemotherapy. Dry mouth can lead to serious dental problems, including cavities and gum disease.

Four ways to combat dry mouth:

1. Drink lots of water.  This will help keep gum tissues and teeth hydrated.
2. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol because they can be drying.
3. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.  Fluoride helps protect teeth against bacteria.
4. Try over the counter remedies that increase saliva flow such as Biotene, Caphasol or Optimoist. Foundin the toothpaste isle at your drug store.

Do I have gingivitis?

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We have all heard the term “gingivitis,” but what does it really mean? Gingivitis literally means “inflamed” or swollen gums. Bacteria living in your mouth can cause gingivitis, gum disease, and decay, which can lead to the loss of teeth. Over time, gingivitis spreads from gums to bone causing a severe form of the infection called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that eats away at the gum and bone surrounding your teeth. If
periodontal disease is not professionally treated, it will cause loss of teeth.

Warning signs for gingivitis and gum disease:

– Red, tender, and swollen gums.
– Gums that bleed with you brush or floss.
– Gums that have pulled away or receded from the tooth.
– Pus around teeth and gums.
– Sensitive teeth.
– Pain when chewing.
– Bad breathe.

Smoking and your Oral Health

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We all know that smoking is bad for our overall health and can cause lung cancer and emphysema… but did you know that smoking could harm your mouth which include:

– Darkening or staining of teeth.
– Increase plaque and tartar build-up.
– Increased risk of gum disease.
– Chronic bad breath.
– Loss of teeth.
– Oral cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the most serious dental illness caused by smoking is oral cancer. Studies show that 90% of people who have oral cancer are smokers. While it can be difficult to quit smoking, Dr. Mead and his caring team can help you come up with a plan to quit smoking, save your smile and maybe even your life.

How can I get a whiter smile?

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Your smile is an immediate visual impact on people you meet. A white smile gives the impression of health, vitality and youth. According to the America Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.

As we age, our teeth become darker and stained. The color of your teeth can be darkened by coffee, tea, red wine, smoking and medications.

Bleaching, or “whitening,” is a quick and affordable way to give your smile a lift. There are several different options ranging from inexpensive strips to professional take home trays that you fill with a whitening gel.

Scientific Method

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“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

~ Bertrand Russell

“The trouble with most folks isn’t so much their ignorance, as knowing so many things that ain’t so.”

~ Josh Billings

When evaluating the world around us we must come up with a system that allows us to come as close as possible to determining what is true and real.  In science we call this critical thinking and apply a rigid set of rules and proofs to determine what we know today.  The difference between beliefs and science is that beliefs based on faith deny observation so that the belief can be preserved. Where science adjusts its views based on what is observed through diligent use of the scientific method.  The truth is that no amount of belief makes something a fact.

“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.”

~ H. L. Mencken

So how does this apply to Dentistry?

When your dental professional tells you some fact concerning your dental care and treatment you must be willing to ask questions and seek second opinions.  Search for reputable sites on the Internet that combine good information and remember that everything posted on the Internet may not be true!  Use sites like the American Dental Association, the the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) or a Dental School website.

Here are some basic rules for detecting things that are not true by Michael Shermer and Pat Linse in their Pamphlet titled “The Baloney Detection Kit” Critical thinking skills:

  1. Whenever possible their must be independent confirmation of the facts.
  2. Encourage debate on the evidence from knowledgeable people of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authorities carry little weight. They have made mistakes and will again at best they are experts on subjects.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis, if something is to be explained think of all the different ways it could be explained and then think of tests by which you can systematically try to disprove the alternative hypothesis. In this way the one that withstands disproof has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you run with the first idea that catches your fantasy.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to one hypothesis because it’s yours. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives.  See if you can find reasons for rejecting it cause if you don’t others will.
  6. Quantify if you can measure what you are trying to explain, by giving it some numerical quantity you can attach to it will be much easier to discriminate between competing hypotheses.  What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. There are many truths to be sought after in qualitative things but finding them is more challenging.
  7. If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work (including the Premise) not just some of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor this is a convenient rule of thumb that tells us when two hypothesis explain the data equally choose the simpler explanation.
  9. Always ask that at least in principal can the hypothesis be falsified. Positions that are not testable are not worth much.  You must be able to check assertions out and to duplicate experiments and see if the same results are achieved.
  10. The reliance on carefully designed and controlled experiments is the key.  We will not learn much from contemplation it is tempting to rest content with the first candidate explanation we can think of.  One is much better than none.  But what happens if we can invent several?  How do we decide among them? We don’t. We let experiment do it.

“Whatever can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

~ Christopher Hitchens

I hope this helps you in your quest to find good dentistry and a life with meaning!!!

~ Dr. C. Reese Mead