August 26th, 2015
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, or HFMD, is a type of contagious viral illness that causes a rash in the mouth and on the hands and feet of infants and young children, and, while rare, adults. Characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus, a bacterium that lives in the human digestive tract. HFMD can spread from person to person, typically via unwashed hands.
What are the symptoms of HFMD?
Symptoms of HFMD usually begin with a fever, sore throat, poor appetite, or general malaise. A couple of days after the fever starts, kids may develop painful sores in the mouth. A skin rash characterized by red spots may also develop, usually on the palms of your child’s hands and soles of their feet. It’s important to note some children may only experience a rash while others may only have mouth sores.
Is HFMD serious? Should we be concerned?
Usually not. Nearly all children infected recover anywhere between seven to ten days without medical treatment. Rarely, however, a child can develop viral meningitis and may need to be hospitalized. Other rare complications of HFMD can include encephalitis (brain inflammation), which can be fatal.
How can my child prevent HFMD?
There is no known vaccine to defend your child against HFMD. However, the risk of your child contracting the disease can be reduced by:
- Making sure your child washes his or her hands often
- Thoroughly cleaning objects and surfaces (these include doorknobs and toys)
- Making sure your child avoids close contact with those who are infected
To learn more about hand-foot-and-mouth disease or to schedule an appointment for your child, please give us a call at our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office!
August 21st, 2015
Children are born with a set of primary teeth – 20 to be exact – that help them learn to chew and speak, and develop enough space in the jaw for the permanent teeth that will appear several years later. Kids are especially susceptible to decay, which can cause pain and tooth loss – a problem that could interfere with oral development. As a parent, it is important that you take proactive steps to keep your child’s teeth as healthy as possible.
Bottles and “Sippie Cups”
One of the biggest culprits of childhood tooth decay is poor diet. This begins as early as a few months old, when children are often allowed to go to bed with bottles and “sippie cups” of milk or juice. The sugars in these beverages – even natural sugars – can steadily decay the teeth.
Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our staff suggest serving children milk and juice only at meal times, and limiting juice intake to just a few ounces per day. If your child becomes thirsty between meals or likes to go to bed with a bottle, serve water during these times.
As a parent, you can establish healthy dental habits long before your child’s first tooth erupts. Start by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean wash cloth during the first months of life. By age one, graduate to an appropriately sized toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste, and brush at least twice a day.
Dental visits should start young and continue on a regular basis throughout your child’s life. Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our staff recommend parents bring their children to The Snohomish Dental Care Family for the first time no later than the child’s first birthday. Initial visits concentrate on parental education, while later visits may include thorough cleanings and fluoride treatments as your child grows.
For more information about keeping your child’s teeth cavity-free, contact our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office to schedule a dental consultation and checkup.
August 19th, 2015
Sometime around the late teens or early twenties, people’s wisdom teeth start to erupt. These are the third and final set of molars. When wisdom teeth come in properly — meaning they are correctly aligned — they offer more chewing power. Unfortunately, more often than not, wisdom teeth are misaligned, crowd other teeth, and need to be removed.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
It is thought that we have wisdom teeth because — back in the day — we ate a diet that consisted of more rough foods, like roots, leaves, and meat, all of which required more heavy-duty chewing power.
Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed
While there is no clear-cut rule that says every single person needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, there are certain situations where one or more wisdom teeth are causing a problem or have a strong likelihood that problems will eventually arise in the future that warrant their removal.
1. Fully Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When a wisdom tooth is “impacted”, it means that the tooth is covered by gum tissue, thereby preventing it from erupting through the gum. This often occurs when the mouth is too small to allow enough room for the tooth to emerge. Because bacteria, food, or other mouth substances can be lodged under the gum that covers the wisdom tooth, it can lead to an acute abscess, known as pericoronitis.
2. Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, meaning the tooth is partially emerged from the gums, it almost always is advised to be removed. Because of its location in the very back of the mouth, a partially erupted wisdom tooth is more susceptible to not only decay and cavities, but also gum disease.
3. Other Reasons to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed
If you experience any of the below dental issues or changes in your dental health, removal of your wisdom tooth (teeth) may be necessary:
- Pain at or surrounding the wisdom tooth site, including the jaw or cheek area
- Repetitive infections
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay (extensive)
- Damage to surrounding teeth
It is important to know that the decision to have a wisdom tooth removed isn’t always cut and dry. It is essential to talk to Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut about the alignment of your wisdom teeth if they have already erupted, health of your wisdom teeth if impacted or partially impacted, and your overall dental health to determine what is best for your situation. Contact our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office to schedule an appointment today!
August 5th, 2015
Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth. Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our team are here to help!
The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; it makes them stronger and more resistant to cavities. Even if you live in an area that adds fluoride to your drinking water, the fluoride protection in toothpaste is necessary.
Some individuals can have an allergic reaction to fluoride. Fluorosis can occur in children or adults that swallow too much toothpaste while brushing. If swallowing cannot be prevented, fluoride use should be reduced. The American Dental Association has updated guidelines that recommend fluoride be used as soon as the first teeth erupt in children. However, the amount should be minimal and swallowing should be prevented.
If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold. Do not give up on this type of toothpaste after a few days; the full results may take a few weeks.
Plaque, Tartar, and Gingivitis Protection
Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus. Tartar is an almost cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone. When bacteria and tartar are left behind, the deposits will form under the gum line. This leads to gingivitis and gum disease.
Since there is a wide variety of toothpastes and ingredients for preventing tartar and gingivitis, ask Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our staff what the best choice is for your teeth. We can help you select the right combination of ingredients.
White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA team can recommend a number of safe and effective options.
Feel free to ask Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our staff at The Snohomish Dental Care Family about the best choice in toothpaste to meet your individual needs. Remember to look for the ADA approval seal on any toothpaste you are considering.