Junk food and between-meal sweets are a habit for many of us, even though we know it is bad for our bodies and our teeth. As adults, we are responsible for our own choices. As parents, we are also responsible for our children's choices, and for teaching them to choose wisely.
Celebrity Chef Cat Cora offers the following six suggestions for leading children to a healthy lifestyle. Cora is a star of Iron Chef America and author of Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes, in which she reveals healthier versions of classic recipes. In her remakes she shows how to cook with a lot of flavor while reducing fat and sugar. Cora has four young sons, so her methods are not just theories — they have been practiced in real life.
“My kids have never had fast food,” Cora said in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine. “The parents have a choice to do that or not,” she said. “The kids are not going to the grocery store to shop; the kids are not driving themselves through fast food chains.”
“Right now my 7-year-old tries to be picky, but it's really about us being consistent as parents,” Cat said. For example, in her household pizza is served only at the weekly pizza and movie night. The kids get a healthier version of what they want, so they don't feel deprived. The evening includes air-popped popcorn without butter — and no soda, which is bad for teeth because of its sugar and other chemical ingredients.
Cora made sure her children tried different foods and spices from infancy, so they are open to trying new things. It's easier to get all the nutrition you need if you eat a wide variety of foods.
When her children were babies, Cora stopped relying on bottles and sippy cups as soon as possible, reducing her children's likelihood of developing tooth decay due to sugary residues remaining in their mouths. Now that they are older, she uses tasty substitutes for sugar such as fruit purees and the natural sugar substitute Stevia.
Kids are more likely to eat a meal they are involved in planning and cooking. For example, ask them which vegetable they would like to have (not whether they want to have a vegetable).
Parents are the best role models. This is true not only for food choices, but also for exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Dental decay is an infectious and very common disease, but it's also very preventable. Today's dentistry has many tools at its disposal to accurately determine your risk for tooth decay, lower it, turn it around, and completely prevent it. What's more, we can even reverse early decay. You might never have to see or hear the drill again.
Striking the right balance between factors that promote oral health and those that cause disease is of the utmost importance. And knowing whether or not you have indicators of disease or risk for tooth decay is a great place to start.
We will scientifically calculate your risk for tooth decay by:
This is a new and exciting era in the fight against tooth decay and we have all the tools to determine your decay risk and reverse it.
If you would like us to determine your risk for tooth decay, please call the office to schedule an appointment. To read more about disease indicators and risk factors for dental caries, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Decay: How To Assess Your Risk.”
Your dentist has recommended that you consider dental realignment for you or your child. You likely have some questions, particularly what kind of treatment is needed. There are several orthodontic options that your Macon dentist provides. Here is a brief overview:
Used to straighten teeth since the time of Ancient Greece, braces are the quintessential orthodontic treatment. Brackets are affixed to the surface of the teeth using a bonding material, then wires are threaded through the brackets and attached to bands on the back molars. The pressure works to slightly loosen the teeth and gradually move them in the desired direction. As the teeth move, the wires must be adjusted by Dr. Watson. Traditional metal braces are made from stainless steel or titanium, while "clear" braces are typically ceramic or plastic.
These appliances are the preferred method for those who have mild crowding or spacing problems. Removable plastic trays designed to fit directly over the teeth are worn for up to 20 hours a day and refitted at various intervals. They are less noticeable than braces, but their success relies largely on the patient's cooperation and maintenance.
If overcrowding is a major concern, removing teeth may help to create the extra space needed in the mouth. This practice was much more common for children in years past, but because extracting teeth while the facial bones are still developing can create further problems, it is now primarily used on adults. Visit our extractions page to learn more!
These devices are typically utilized for children and younger teens, as they are designed to help modify the continuing growth of facial bones that support teeth. In cases of overbites, metal twin block appliances are used to bring the lower jaw forward to meet the protruding upper jaw. These are also used to widen both the upper and lower jaws in order to accommodate incoming adult teeth.
For more severe bite problems, headgear attachments for braces is sometimes recommended. It works by applying pressure to the upper jaw to slow or completely stop its growth. Retainers are also used to maintain alignment after the teeth have been straightened. Although these appliances are removable, it is important to wear them exactly as prescribed by Dr. Watson to ensure the best outcome.
Although most orthodontic procedures are done to improve the aesthetic appearance of a person's teeth, some problems may be so severe that eating and talking are afflicted. Thorough consultation at Northside Family Dentistry will help you determine which orthodontic procedure is best for your unique situation.
Lots of people collect Beatles memorabilia, but one Canadian dentist took this hobby to new heights recently when he paid $31,200 for John Lennon's molar at auction. According to published reports, Lennon had given the extracted tooth to his housekeeper as a souvenir in the 1960s after coming home from the dentist's office. The molar was discolored and had a cavity, according to the dentist who purchased it after the housekeeper's family put it up for bids. “For the cavity to be this large he probably wasn't seeing a dentist that regularly,” the dentist said. His brushing and flossing routine may not have been that conscientious either!
For healthy teeth, it's important to have a good daily oral hygiene routine at home and regular professional cleanings here at the office. Our hygienist will scale your teeth to remove hard deposits (tartar), and polish them to remove stains for a wonderful, extra-clean feeling.
Dental hygienists are trained to do lots of other things to promote your oral health besides cleaning your teeth. They can check the skin in and around your mouth looking for any suspicious bumps, sores, etc., that may need further evaluation. They will also evaluate your periodontal health (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), checking for signs of gum inflammation and bleeding (gingivitis). And they monitor teeth for signs of decay, which is actually the world's most widespread disease.
Cavities, or dental caries as it is also known, are the most notable consequences of tooth decay. Left untreated, caries can lead to pain and tooth loss. John Lennon's dentist must have believed there was nothing more to be done for the badly decayed molar that later went on to fetch such a high price.
Unless you're a rock star, your teeth are worth a lot more in a healthy and functioning state — inside your mouth! So if it's been a while since your last appointment, please come in and see us. Remember: Good dental health is priceless.
If you would like more information on tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article, “Tooth Decay.” Dear Doctor also has more on the “Dental Hygiene Visit.”
If you've recently had a dental implant placed, congratulations! You have made a good investment in your smile that should last for a lifetime — if you take proper care of it. This is easy to do with a good oral hygiene routine and regular professional cleanings. Here are some important things to keep in mind about implant care:
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