Posts for: May, 2015

By Sean Stannard, DDS
May 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry
May 08, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Soda  

Discover just how bad this little treat could be for your beautiful smile.

A new survey found that about 1 in 5 Americans has at least one soda a day. That’s anywhere from 39 grams to 77grams of sugar Soda Teeth consumed in just one bottle! While you’ve probably heard doctors and other medical experts discuss the dangers of sugar and its negative impact on health, your Waterford dentist is here to talk about why soda can be bad for your smile and why you should avoid it.

What’s wrong with soda?

Poor soda; it’s get a pretty bad rep. However, it’s not without reasons. Soft drinks have become of the leading causes of tooth decay, affecting patients of all ages. What is it about soda that is so harmful to teeth? The main problem is the sugar and acids contained in the soda that soften tooth enamel and promote cavities. Every time you sip a soda acid is produced. This acid then feeds at and attacked healthy tooth enamel to wear it down. These acid attacks will reoccur every time you take a drink.

Couple soda consumption with other bad habits like teeth grinding or poor hygiene and you could eventually be dealing with permanent tooth loss.

Is sugar-free soda better?

If sugar is so evil for teeth than sugar-free should be better right? While it might be for gum and other candies, soda still contains acid. Even though sugar-free sodas may be less harmful than regular soda, they can still cause dental decay and other issues.

What are my other options?

One of the biggest things you can do to prevent soda consumption is to keep it out of your home. If it’s not there then it can’t be a temptation. Instead, stock the fridge with healthier options like water, low-fat milk and pure fruit juice (that doesn’t contained added sugars).

Use fluoridated toothpaste every day to help strengthen enamel and protect against cavities. If you aren’t getting enough fluoride, your Waterford dentist may recommend fluoride treatment to prevent decay.

Of course, we can’t be perfect all the time and we might just really crave that soda. If you can’t help yourself just remember to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking your soft drink. This will decrease the amount of time acid sits on your teeth, damaging healthy enamel.

If years of drinking soda have caused serious stains then it’s time to see your Waterford dentist right away. While we can remove some minor surface stains during your six-month cleaning, we may also recommend professional teeth whitening to spruce up your smile and remove tougher discolorations. Schedule an appointment with Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry today.


Periodontal (gum) disease is an aggressive bacterial infection caused by built-up plaque on tooth surfaces. Gum disease results in bone loss and causes loss of attachment from the teeth, leading to eventual tooth loss.

The goal of any gum disease treatment is to remove as much plaque and calculus (hardened deposits of plaque) from the gums and teeth as possible. Scaling with special hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment is the basic technique for plaque and calculus removal above and below the gum line. As the infection spreads below the gum line, it can widen the natural gap between teeth and gums to form voids known as periodontal pockets that fill with infection. Accessing and cleaning these pockets, which can occur as deep as the tooth roots, will require more invasive procedures.

Pockets that form at a depth greater than 5 mm below the gum line will most likely require surgical access through the gum tissue. But for pockets not quite that deep there’s an intermediary technique called root planing without surgical intervention. As the name suggests, the roots are physically “planed,” much like shaving a wooden board to remove minute layers of wood.

Using similar instruments as with scaling, root planing removes calculus, bacteria and other infected matter adhering to the root surfaces. It’s best to perform the procedure with local anesthesia to numb the gum tissues, which may be quite sensitive depending on the degree of infection. Working in a pain-free environment also helps us to be as thorough as possible in detecting and removing every bit of plaque and calculus we can find.

In advanced cases, it may be necessary to perform this procedure during multiple visits. As plaque and calculus are removed the inflammation in affected tissues will begin to subside, revealing more deposits of plaque and calculus. It’s also important to begin and maintain a daily habit of effective brushing and flossing to lessen the chances of a recurring infection.

Treating gum disease is an ongoing effort that requires constant monitoring and sustained efforts to remove plaque and calculus, including root planing. Saving your teeth, however, is well worth the effort.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Planing.”

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