National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

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Every February, we support National Children’s Dental Health Month. There is a strong emphasis on proper dental hygiene for kids during the month. As children grow, they rely primarily on their parents to learn what is right and wrong and what to do and avoid. So, as a parent, it’s your responsibility to show your children what healthy dental habits are. 

 

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children should go to the dentist when their first tooth grows in or before their first birthday. When starting healthy habits early, your children are more likely to have better dental hygiene throughout their lives. As with adults, children should visit the dentist twice yearly to ensure that their teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy. This is increasingly important as children lose their baby teeth and their permanent adult teeth come in, especially if they see cavities, tooth decay, or inflammation. If these issues persist, your dentist may recommend a quarterly dental checkup instead of a bi-yearly visit. 

 

When instilling proper dental hygiene into your children, you get a reminder, too! Make flossing a family activity and consider offering rewards for positive dental visits, such as movie nights or game nights. 

 

Practicing healthy oral habits will also transfer to healthy habits in other areas of their lives. When children are consistently working on ways to better their health and life, you will see more positive choices in their future. For example, daily flossing and brushing can lead to better study habits and help around the house – especially when healthy and positive habits are reinforced and rewarded! 

 

Silver Diamine Flouride (SDF)

A relatively new technique in America is silver diamine fluoride, and it prevents cavities from growing, forming, or spreading. SDF is applied directly to the surface of teeth, whether on a specific tooth in which a cavity has started to develop or on all teeth as a preventative measure.

 

This procedure is easier and less invasive than drilling for cavities and can help those with anxiety about the dentist, especially children. This technique is generally performed yearly, if at all. While there are many positive aspects to this procedure – it’s easy, painless, and a helpful cavity solution – there are also negatives. The main drawback to this procedure is that black staining around the areas where SDF was applied has been known to turn black. It’s unknown whether this is a temporary or permanent change. 

 

Before recommending SDF treatment, each dentist will consider your (or your child’s) specific scenario. However, due to the adverse aesthetic risks, although harmless, many dentists still prefer the traditional technique of getting cavities under control.  

If you’re looking for the best dentist in Knoxville, whether for children or adults, you’ve found it with Cakmes Dental Studio. We’re more than happy to start your children on their dental health journey and can answer any questions you or they have along the way. Give us a call today to schedule their first appointment!

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Cancer Prevention Month

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National Cancer Prevention Month happens every February, and it’s a time to acknowledge various types of cancer, work on prevention methods, and focus on living the healthiest life possible. As dentists, we have specialized knowledge on all things oral, including oral cancer, so that’s where our focus will lie. 

 

Oral cancer is not as widespread as many other types, including breast, lung, and skin cancer, but it still accounts for about three percent of cancer cases per year, over 50,000 new cases. 

 

Oral cancer is caused by squamous cells (flat, thin cells that line the mouth and throat) growing uncontrollably in the oral cavity and oropharynx. The leading causes of the expedited growth are tobacco and heavy alcohol use, HPV, sun exposure, and age. 

 

The symptoms of early-stage oral cancer are quite common. If they linger for more than two weeks, you should see your dentist or doctor. The most common symptoms include:

  • Sores or lumps in your mouth, throat, or lips
  • Red or white patch(es) in your mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
  • Numbness in any area of your mouth
  • Constant sore throat feeling

 

As mentioned, many of these symptoms are pretty standard. For example, a sore throat happens for various reasons, and TMJ can result in difficulty moving your jaw. Still, if these symptoms continue or worsen, it’s crucial to get them checked by a professional. 

 

The best ways to avoid oral cancer are to take care of your mouth the same way you take care of your body. Proper dental hygiene goes a long way and limits alcohol use and never uses tobacco products. Oral cancers are most common in men and women over 40, so it’s essential to take extra precautions once you’ve reached that age. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have at every checkup. 

The dentists at Cakmes Dental Studio are the best in the business and will work with you to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. If you have any questions or have experienced any symptoms mentioned above, reach out to us. We can help determine if oral cancer is in play or something else causing your issues and come up with a solution to keep you on the right path.

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