Welcome to the Watson Dental Blog.  Below are some articles on various dental topics by our staff.

February – National Children’s Dental Month

children's dental health

Orlando Dentist Marks National Children’s Dental Month

Did you know that February is national children’s dental month? It is important for children to develop good oral hygiene at an early age. As a parent, scheduling regular dental appointments when your child is young can help promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. It is also good to get your child to the dentist at a young age to lessen the fear and stigma of going to the dentist that plagues many adults. We are glad to offer comprehensive dental service in Orlando, FL. Click to see about getting a dental exam.

Dental Health Tips for Children

    • Make sure your child is brushing (preferably with fluoride toothpaste) 2 times per day, for 2 minutes each. Especially in the morning and before bed time!
    • Flossing every day is also essential, make it a bed time ritual along with teeth brushing!
    • Try to limit the intake of snacks with high sugar for your child, including sodas and sugary drinks.
    • Make sure you child visits the dentist twice a year, or every 6 months to ensure healthy teeth and gums and to get a good teeth cleaning!

If your child is ready for a visit with our dentist, contact Watson Dental today!

Women and Oral Health

Orlando Dentist Discusses Women’s Oral Health

Although all teeth are created equal, there are some very specific issues that affect women’s dental and oral health. WebMD has some great information that we share below. If you have any questions or need to schedule a dental exam in the Orlando area, we would love to hear from you. Watson Dental Care has been serving the Orlando area for more than 30 years and can assist with the specifics of women’s oral health.

Introduction to Women’s Oral Health

Did you know that women can be more at risk for oral health problems at different stages in their lives? Women’s oral health actually depends on their different stages of life. For many women, these changes are directly related to surges in sex-hormone levels, such as in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with TMJ, myofascial pain, eating disorders and Sjögren’s syndrome (which causes dry mouth).

Hormones affect not only the blood supply to the gum tissue but also the body’s response to the toxins (poisons) that result from plaque buildup. As a result of these changes, women are more prone to the development of periodontal disease at certain stages of their lives, as well as to other oral health problems.

When Are Women More at Risk for Dental Health Issues?

There are five situations in a women’s life during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems – during puberty, at certain points in the monthly menstrual cycle, when using birth control pills, during pregnancy, and at menopause.

Puberty and Dental Health

The surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque, causing the gum tissue to become red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.

The Monthly Menstrual cycle and Dental Health

Due to the hormonal changes (particularly the increase in progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle, some women experience oral changes that can include bright red swollen gums,swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores, or bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.

Use of Birth Control Pills and Dental Health

Women who take certain birth control pills that contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body, may experience inflamed gum tissues due to the body’s exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque. Tell your dentist if you are taking an oral contraceptive.

Pregnancy and Dental Health

Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone, in particular, can cause gum disease any time during the second to eighth month of pregnancy – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant.

Schedule an appointment with us here at Watson Dental if you are a woman experiencing any oral health issues, especially ones that may correlate to any of the above. Watson Dental is here to help and provide you the best options and care!

Original Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/hormones-oral-health

Heat Stroke and Dental Health

woman-faintedOrlando Dentist reviews heat stroke and dental health

Summer is coming very soon and the heat is greater than ever. With the effects of climate change, temperatures all over the world are increasing, and millions of people are suffering physically, mentally and even financially. One of the most serious complications that the heat can bring is heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. This medical emergency often leads to death if not addressed immediately.

How Does Heat Stroke Affect Dental Health?

While dental health is the least of your worries when you suffer heat stroke, once you have recovered from the illness, it may have repercussions on your teeth. Heat stroke may be caused by or lead to dehydration, which also affects the saliva production of the body. With the lack of saliva, the mouth becomes more exposed to bacterial infections and you may develop oral mucositis, gum disease and tooth decay.

If you did have a heat stroke and recovered successfully, make it a point to visit our dental clinic on Vineland Road in Orlando, FL. Our dentist Dr. Sangalang will observe whether dehydration has caused any major problems in your teeth and gums. You will be given treatment suggestions and home care instructions to ensure that these effects are reversed.

Heat Stroke and Its Symptoms

Heat stroke can strike at any moment, which makes it similar to a cerebrovascular accident, commonly known as stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • throbbing headache
  • muscle cramps
  • palpitation
  • difficulty breathing
  • poor sweating
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • loss of consciousness

The body temperature of an individual suffering from heat stroke is around 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius, similar to convulsion. However, the heat is not caused by fever but rather by the body’s inability to cool down.

Risk Factors of Heat Stroke

You are at higher risk of getting a heat stroke if:

  1. You have a history of heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, fainting or heat syncope, and heat exhaustion.
  2. You are aged 50 and above.
  3. You do not drink plenty of water or have a history of dehydration.
  4. You are exposed to direct sunlight.
  5. You have a history of body temperature problems (hypothermia or hyperthermia).

Preventing Heat Stroke

If you are at high risk of getting a heat stroke or you are exposed in a very hot environment, here are some things you should do:

  • Drink lots of water, preferably cold.
  • Stay in a shaded area away from the direct heat of the sun.
  • Fan yourself if you have no access to an air-conditioned environment.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher to repel UV heat.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing to repel heat.
  • Wear a cap or hat.
  • Don’t exercise in an unshaded area.
  • Minimize fieldwork with open exposure to the sun.
  • When exhausted, replace water with a sports drink that helps replenish electrolytes. Lack of sodium in the body can increase the risk of heat stroke.

Summer is a wonderful time to go out and have fun, but if the heat of the sun can bring danger to the family, it’s better to stay indoors and keep on your air conditioning. In the event that you or a loved one do suffer from heat stroke, make sure you call 911 and get proper first aid treatment. After recovery, you may call us at (407) 351-3213 to get a dental exam and minimize the complications of heat stroke on your dental health.

What Happens to Water Discharged Down Dental Drains?

Dental professionals utilize a somewhat large amount of water when working with patients as they often need to clean mouths and rid them of residue. Despite the large use of water used within dental practices, many dental professionals are unaware of what exactly happens to the water when it goes down the drain. It is said that dental practices use an average of 57,000 gallons water every year, which can be very wasteful especially because most water used within a dental practice is not recycled.

Once the dental professionals allow the water to go down the drain, it enters into the city’s sewers. The public works system uses downward, sloping angles so that the water is always flowing in the correct direction. It often goes as deep as 40 feet below the city before it elevated back up to the top and then continues the process of flowing in a downwards motion.

The water will finish its underground descending journey when it arrives at a water treatment plant. At the water treatment plant, the water will be filtered using screens to get rid of anything large in the water system that can cause backups in the pipes and water treatment system. The water is then placed into large holding chambers where microorganisms feed off of the non-water items within the water. These types of microorganism do not have to be added into the water but come to it naturally but are still observed to ensure that they are not causing any harm to the system.

Once the water leaves the large holding chambers, it goes into another tank called a clarifier. Clarifiers are used to let solid objects in the water sink so that is only on the bottom of the tank. The water at the top of these tanks continues its journey while the solids and sludge at the bottom of the tank is often used as a fertilizer after they are treated to become biosolids. The water that was at the top of the tank is then transported into secondary system that utilizes sand to get rid of any small debris that may not yet have been cleaned from the water.

Once the water has been filtered by the sand, it makes its final step in the treatment process by being placed inside of a chlorine cleaning tank. The chlorine gas used in the water rids the water of any bacteria that may be left as well as getting rid of many of the microorganisms who helped to clean the water in an earlier step. Once the water has been sufficiently disinfected, it will be released into a nearby river or lake.

This is the general process that occurs once water goes down a dental drain, but it varies per city. It is important for dentists to conserve water when working to be environmentally friendly and make the water treatment process easier.

How to Prepare for Spring Sports

As the coming of spring is prefaced by warmer weather and allergies, many are no doubt excited about the opportunity to play outdoor sports once more. There are, however, a few things to remember as you start getting ready to play spring sports. Taking care of your teeth even as you condition the rest of your body is important for your overall oral health.

Sports and Tooth Damage

Teeth might not be your first thought when you think about sports injuries, but they are nevertheless one of the most common types of injuries. In fact, the American Dental Association has estimated that as much as 39 percent of all knocked out teeth occur during some sports accident. Even if you don’t practice martial arts or contact sports, tooth injuries are always a lurking hazard because you never know when you might fall and hit your jaw wrong.

A few different types of tooth injuries of differing levels of severity can be caused by trauma. The most dangerous is avulsion, or when a tooth is completely knocked out. For avulsed teeth, seeing a dentist is absolutely vital to making sure your tooth can be replaced.

Your teeth can become chipped or displaced as a result of an accident. Though less serious than avulsion, professional attention is still vital. A dentist can help recreate chipped portions and perform surgeries to get your teeth back to their original state.

How to Prevent Tooth Injury

Tooth injuries of any type are always a potential risk when playing sports, so knowing how to protect your teeth is very important. The best way to protect your teeth from trauma of any type is to wear a mouthguard. Typical sports store carry inexpensive, “off the shelf” mouthguards that at least minimally protect your teeth. Stock mouthguards are the least protective type of mouthguards, however, because no generic piece can fit a person’s jaw properly.

Mouth-formed protectors is a more helpful type of mouthguard because, as the name implies, the mouthguard conforms to the shape of the user’s mouth, increasing its cushioning ability. The lining of the mouthguard molds to the shape of the athlete’s teeth, making adding to the protective power of the mouthguard.

The best mouthguard, however, is the custom-made, dentist-produced one. A custom-made mouth protector is created to fit the teeth of the user, making it a slightly more expensive but safest option.

If you would like to custom-make a mouthguard to protect your teeth while playing sports, be sure to contact a dentist to get recommendation for how best to proceed. Call Dr. Gabriel Sangalang at (407) 351-3213 to set up an appointment to discuss possible tooth protection today!

How Does Disney Portray Dentistry in Disney Films?

When you think of Disney films, what normally comes to mind is delightful children’s animations, probably not dentistry. There is, however, a notable dentist in recent Disney films–Dr. Philip Sherman, the so-called villain in Finding Nemo. Dr. Sherman, though a amiable man, tries to rescue Nemo from dying in the sea, but unknowingly separates Nemo and his father instead. He plays a pivotal role in the movie but might not project the image most dentists would want.

Seen from the perspective of the fish, Dr. Sherman is certainly a terrifying being. He wields powerful technology for seemingly sadistic purposes, especially since his patient’s reactions are definitely exaggerated. From Finding Nemo alone, it would appear Disney solely portrays dentists as frightening creatures who act erratically and unpredictably. This does not exactly foster amicable feelings between patients and dental care providers, especially young patients.

Fortunately, Finding Nemo is not the only film by the Disney franchise that mentions dentistry, Walt Disney himself actually created several short films about proper tooth care even before his debut with Mickey Mouse. In 1922, Dr. Thomas McCrum commissioned the then-impoverished Disney to film a short video elaborating on the need for good oral hygiene. Tommy Tucker’s Tooth features two boys, Tommy Tucker, who meticulously brushes his teeth, and Jimmie Jones, who is careless with his teeth and misses many life opportunities because of it. The film became widely circulated as an educational tool to encourage children to be more mindful of their teeth.

The popularity of the film led Walt Disney to create Clara Cleans Her Teeth in 1926 as a sort of sequel to Tommy Tucker’s Tooth. Clara, played by Disney’s niece, is an impetuous girl who refuses to see a dentist until an animated dream makes her change her mind. Here, Disney’s emphasis is on the importance of seeing dentists when there are teeth troubles. Clara’s life appears to change once she can painlessly eat with her friends once more.

Soon after, Disney’s Mickey Mouse caught the attention of the public. So it wasn’t until 1945, when Disney was making educational films for the military, that he touched the subject of dentistry once more. Disney created an eight-minute educational video called Dental Health to teach the basics of dentistry to the soldiers of the time. The video covered a wide range of topics, from how teeth function to different types of infections to the role of nutrition in proper oral care.

More educational dental videos followed. The Disney Company in 1971 animated Teeth Are For Chewing to expound on the virtues of good dental hygiene practices. Twenty years later, a live-action short film featuring Goofy called Goofy About Dental Health was made to teach children how to maintain healthy teeth.

Although the most recent example of dentistry in Disney films is through the villain of Finding Nemo, Dr. Sherman, through the years, the Disney Company has made many educational videos explaining why proper dental hygiene and dentist visits are important. You cannot let dental anxiety or the stigma of a bad experience keep you from the care you need. Contact your dentist in Orlando at (407) 351-3213 to make sure your teeth stay healthy as well!