The French Fry – A right of passage?

4 02 2013

baby with french fry

A right of passage:  That first time you take your child on a fast food adventure , isn’t it cute when they take that first nibble on a crispy McDonald’s french fry, often drenched in ketchup.  The child is so adorable, the french fry tastes so good.  Nobody thinks for a moment how we are starting that child down the road towards a possible addiction to unhealthy foods, towards diabetes, obesity and other health issues that will plague them for the rest of their lives.  That first trip to McDonald’s is commonplace in so many households here in the United States, and everywhere around the world, will start them on the path to dental disease  including cavities and gum disease.

The month of February is recognized as Children’s Dental Health Month.  I really think it is important to establish healthy nutritional and oral health routines from the time a baby is an infant.  Here are a few helpful tips that can help prevent dental disease from the start:

From infancy, the routine of cleaning your babies  mouth out after they have milk or formula is important. The sugar in the milk can cause decay from the time the first teeth erupt into the mouth.  It is especially important to refrain from allowing children sip on milk, or juice in a bottle throughout the day and especially at night.  Baby bottle, or nursing bottle caries are really a struggle for the parent and the child, when their baby teeth erupt into the mouth rotten from the sugar in these drinks.

Really pay attention to food labels.  Watch for the hidden sugars in a child’s diet that they might be consuming.  Try and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Brushing after meals, and especially at bedtimes is critical, as most of the bacteria builds up in ones mouth at night when they are sleeping and their mouth is closed.  Also, ensuring that they develop healthy routines when it comes to brushing and flossing, starts when they are very young.  In fact, one of the best things you can do is let them watch you as you brush and floss so they can emulate some great behaviors.

Sealants, which are a thin plastic coating, a protective layer that should be placed on all of the back teeth, once they have erupted into the child’s mouth, have shown to significantly decrease the amount of dental decay a child will get in the grooves of their teeth.

Finally, soon after the teeth start coming into your child’s mouth, is the right time to take them on their first visit to a dentist.  Let them get used to the environment.  It will help to prevent them from developing a fear of the dentist, that their parent’s might have had.  It will also allow the dentist to evaluate their teeth and make sure to prevent and detect any dental problems before it will arise.  Let your children develop a lifelong healthy relationship with one of the best preventive healthcare providers they will have for their entire lives.

Happy Children’s Dental Health Month!

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





2 02 2013

Before you watch all of the commercials during tomorrow’s Super Bowl, please read this post…..

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

Dental HealthStyles

Why Do Stars Think It’s OK To Sell Soda

I read this article last week about Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and their participation in ad campaigns  of sodas and other products that are harmful to our health, however, they create great profit to the celebrities who endorse these brands.  It makes me question what are our core beliefs as a nation?  Are we going to remain true to our core beliefs, or does that take a back seat when it comes to making money?  I understand that we live in the United States of America, in this great consumer driven economy, but, what if we stayed true to our core beliefs?  What if celebrities aligned their core beliefs with opportunities for making money?  I think our country would look a bit different now.  But to take that personally, what if we as consumers stuck to our own core beliefs…

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Can 1 yogurt = 1 soda?

29 01 2013

so why let them drink it

I have to say that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial soda ban, really hit home to so many due to the rising obesity epidemic that we have in this country.  First, I want to point out, that not only is there an increased incidence of obesity and diabetes, there also is an increased incidence in tooth decay and periodontal disease.  Research even shows that the high fructose corn syrup consumption in sodas may actually cause you to age more rapidly.    I think, as most people have reasoned, that though the mayor’s  intention is a good one, it really doesn’t address to any real measure, the totality of incidences that we find sugar in our diet, the hidden sugars.

When we ban large soft drinks, but kids still are able to enjoy a ketchup on their fries and hot dogs, do we pay attention to the fact that ketchup has 8% more sugar than ice cream?  What about the hot dog bun?  Most commercial baked goods, even those without a visible hint of sugar, are laden with hidden sugars.  Almost all processed foods are rich in hidden sugars.

When you go to your supermarket, thinking you are choosing the healthier option of a yogurt, think again.  The “fruit on the bottom” of a carton of yogurt contains up to nine teaspoons of sugar, almost the same as in a can of soda.  Peanut butter and most cereals are laden with sugars.  The best means of combating this obesity/dental disease epidemic is to read the labels before making a purchase.

Banning large sodas may seem like a good idea, but if manufactures are still able to inundate our food with hidden sugars, is it really going to make a difference?

read labels

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





HAPPY, THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL!

28 01 2013

2011.11.07_13-59-29SG020013-Happy Birthday Cake-1Kg

Ok, this is the mantra that I tell my teenage son all the time.  He should be happy, thankful, and grateful.  That’s our mantra.  We should be happy for all of the many blessings that we have in our lives.  Thankful that although we may not have some material possessions that others may have, it does not matter.  Grateful we have people in our lives that love us, that we have our health, and that we are able to do things that may in some way help to make someone else feel better, or improve their lives in some way are the things that should give us so much joy.  Well, today I was inundated with cakes, cupcakes, flowers, gifts, food, and so many, many wonderful wishes.  Today is my birthday.  Not a reason to blog, no real information today, however, I did want to make sure I told everyone, my wonderful family, my wonderful friends, and my Morningside Dental Care family, our patients and my exceptional staff (woot, woot!!!), that I am so happy, thankful and grateful to have them in my lives, and I cannot express the pure joy that I have of knowing them.  Thank you for making my birthday so very, very special!!!!!!!!  Tomorrow, I will have time to write a blog.

Dr. Donna

ps.  I truly overdosed on sugar today.  Well, here is a dental healthcare tip.  First, drink copious amounts of water as soon as you are finished eating the sugary food.  Make sure you brush and floss to raise the ph of your mouth to decrease the exposure of acids.  Finally, it is much better to eat all of the junk food in one sitting, and then throw the rest of it out, instead of nibbling on it over a few days.  If you eat it at one time, the ph of your mouth only drops one time.  If you eat a little bit over time, the ph of your mouth goes up and down like a yo-yo.  Every time you decrease the ph  you increase the frequency of the acid buildup in your mouth and you are more prone to decay and cavities.  So if you must binge, do it all at once and then get rid of the rest.
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Total Health and Wellness Begins with your mouth!

27 01 2013

Morningside Dental Care

When was your last dental visit?  Have you noticed the difference?  When you go to the dentist you are no longer seeing a tooth mechanic, with the drill and other scary tools.  Today’s dentist is one of your primary health care providers on the front line of caring for your total health.  The dentists of today are:  concerned with relieving your dental pain; enhancing your overall appearance by performing cosmetic procedures; providing spa type experiences during your visits; and, also evaluating your diet and nutrition and overall condition of your entire body.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul then the mouth is the portal to everything else.  The German physician Reinhardt Voll estimated that 80% of all illnesses stems from the mouth.  Digestive problems, nutrition imbalances, diabetes, some cancers, and other systemic illnesses can be detected during a thorough dental evaluation.

Technology in the dental office has improved significantly in an attempt to improve the experience during your visit. Digital x-rays reduce radiation exposure by up to 80 or 90% from traditional x-rays.  Lasers are used to perform certain dental procedures with more predictable results, more efficiently, and, with less discomfort, such as periodontal gum surgery which in the old way was extremely painful.  The evolution of CAD/CAM technology has reduced the time and number of visits needed to make crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays and onlays.  These restorations look beautiful.  Braces used to be an unattractive proposition especially for adults.  However, Invisalign allows you to straighten crooked teeth and improve your appearance and they are barely noticeable.

So at your next visit, enjoy your regular, thorough cleaning. Whiten your teeth and enhance your smile.  Always remember, your dentist is one of your primary care providers who is committed to improving your total health and well being, as well as your overall dental experience.

Invisalign pictures CERECLANAP
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





The Most Important Meal of the Day

24 01 2013

Healthy breakfast choices for dental care

Have you ever really thought about what you eat for breakfast? Most people choose a hot or cold cereal, or some type of microwaveable meal. And some choose to eat something that is definitely unhealthy, like a muffin, doughnut or some other sugary delight while buying that morning cup of coffee. The unhealthy choices are usually made while running late for work or school, and this is definitely not the way you want to start your day.

Yes, grabbing junk food for breakfast is the easy way and we do it without thinking. But that is the point- Stop and think about how you want to start your day. A healthy smoothie (fruit/veg combo…but leave out the sugar!) or a meal containing protein would be a better way to begin a day that is, probably at some point, going to include some stressful situations. If you start with a breakfast that is healthy and nutritious, then you are going to have the right tools to fight with when it is time to deal with stress during your day. And as we all know, stress is not good for your health or your teeth; stress may make you clench and grind your teeth, often subconsciously.

We need to make better food choices for all of our daily meals, for both for our health and our dental care. So, set the alarm to give you a few extra minutes in the am, and make a healthy choice for breakfast tomorrow.
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Letter from a Conscientious Physician

23 01 2013

Image

One of my patients who I hadn’t seen in a few years came in to see me for treatment.  She brought with her a letter from her physician of which I will share.  It goes as follows:

“RE: Pre-Transplant Dental Evaluation

Thank you for agreeing to evaluate patient______________ as you know, this individual is currently being evaluated as a potential kidney transplant recipient.  Because there are a number of well documented risk and potential complications associated with dental disease during post transplant period, this evaluation represents a critical component of our pre-transplant evaluation procedures……”

Finally it stated “Perhaps you could also reiterate our concerns regarding the importance of meticulous dental care after transplantation, and reinforce this with our recommendation for meticulous plaque control”.

I am upset that one of my patients has to become a candidate to receive a kidney transplant, however, I am always pleasantly surprised when physicians are aware and  understand the connection between the oral cavity and the rest of the body.  I know that this patient will be in good hands.

In this day and age, anyone who is going to be a recipient of any type of transplant or knee and hip replacement surgeries and the like, must ensure that part of the preparation for the surgery includes getting a thorough dental examination and treating for any infections in the mouth, lest they spread elsewhere and cause complications for the surgery.

Most of us forget that the area of the body laden with the most bacteria is the oral cavity, the mouth.  Often people who have bleeding gums, usually, they don’t bleed all of the time, but on occasion.  Also, when your gums bleed it doesn’t hurt, so we are inclined not to pay attention to it.  Unfortunately, the same areas that are bleeding are the entryway for the bacteria to enter the blood stream and cause problems and disease in other areas of the body.  Heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes,  lung disease, even premature low birth weight infants are linked to infections in the mouth.  Though we often fail to pay attention to the mouth, it really is one of the most important areas of the body to devote time to ensure it’s health.  The health of your entire body can stem from your mouth.

I feel comfortable that the patient made a very good choice choosing a conscientious physician who is up to date on the latest research and most importantly has her best interest at

heart
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 








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