Bruxism in Children

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is a condition that will affect up to a third of children in the United States at some point. It commonly occurs when a child’s new teeth come in, as the pain caused by tooth eruptions encourages grinding. Most kids will quickly lose the habit after this comfort passes, but others will continue to grind long after they have their full set of teeth. Since bruxism weakens your teeth and causes them to come in crooked, you will want to take the following measures with your children:

  • Your child may very well be grinding without even realizing it, perhaps while he or she sleeps. Listen for a grinding sound during the night, particularly if your child complains of a sore jaw in the morning.
  • Stress is a big trigger for grinding. Look for ways to manage your child’s stress, particularly right before he or she goes to bed. Have him or her massage the muscles around the jaw, or apply a warm compress.
  • Dehydration is another potential cause for bruxism.
  • Your dentist can be instrumental in managing bruxism. Talk to Overlake Dental in Bellevue to help pinpoint the underlying problem and come up with effective, lasting solutions.

Is There Fecal Matter on Your Toothbrush?

Every toothbrush is going to get a little dirty as time goes by. All the time it spends in your mouth exposes it to bacteria and grime. This is largely not a big deal, so long as you periodically rinse and disinfect your brush. However, if you leave your brush out in the open, you may be exposing yourself to some unnecessary contaminates.

Specifically, an unguarded brush may be gathering human fecal matter. This is according to a study recently presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting. The study looked at an assortment of toothbrushes taken from bathrooms that were shared among at least two people, finding that over 60% of them were contaminated with fecal particles. Among the contaminated brushes, fully 80% had particles that came from somebody other than the brush’s owner, making them even less healthy than those originating from the individual’s own system.

These particles get onto your brush when you flush your toilet. Every flush launches a tiny spray of toilet water into the air, which can gradually introduce a fecal residue to any surface it lands upon. You can avoid such contamination by protecting your brush; put it into a closable container where it can still be exposed to the air, allowing it to dry out between brushings.

Taking a Bite out of Jaw Disorders

The health of your teeth is strongly influenced by the health of your jaw bone. Tooth and gum problems, left unchecked, can disastrously affect your jaw, and vice versa. This is why our Bellevue dentistry wants you to be on the lookout for the warning signs of Temporomandibular Disorders also known as TMD. Such warning signs include the following:

  • Pain or a tender feeling in the jaw joint, face, neck, or shoulders, particularly when you are moving your jaw.
  • If you grind your teeth, this may represent either a cause or a symptom of a TMD.
  • Trouble opening your jaw to its limit.
  • Jaws that lock into position.
  • Clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw when you open and close your mouth.
  • Tired facial muscles.
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together.
  • Swelling on either side of the face.
  • Dizziness.
  • Toothaches.
  • Headaches.
  • Earaches, tinnitus, or other hearing problems.

If you think that you might have a problem with your TMJ, consult your dentist right away.

Trouble with Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening Toothpaste

Have you ever considered employing whitening toothpaste as an alternative to a professional cosmetic treatment from our Bellevue dentistry? If you have, we encourage you to reconsider. The truth is that the so-called “whitening” toothpastes are probably harming your teeth far more than they are brightening your smile.

If your toothpaste identifies itself as a whitener, take a good look at the fine print on the package. You’ll likely find that it only claims to “whiten teeth by removing surface stains”. This means that it’s only wiping away potential stains on your teeth that have not yet settled. This is decent as a preventative measure, but it does nothing for the stains that you already have. To remove real stains, you need whitening agents that are too strong to come in toothpaste form; any bleach in a toothpaste gets rinsed away too quickly to have any real effect, and only serves to make your paste more abrasive on your gum tissues.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Do the right thing for your teeth, and restore their whiteness with Bellevue Overlake Dental.

Change Where You Start Your Brushing!

When our Bellevue dentist examines your teeth, we commonly discover plaque in a lot of the same places. Sometimes this is because you’re just neglecting a certain area, but this can also happen to people who know enough to cover every surface of their teeth. If you feel like you’re doing a thorough job brushing, but you’re still seeing the same problem areas whenever you go in for your check-up, the answer may be simple: you need to rotate your starting point.

Start Brushing at Different Areas

It’s a fact that people tend to fall into a strict pattern. You likely start brushing your teeth in the exact same place every morning and night, and the rest of your brushing routine probably looks surprisingly similar as well. This means that only one area is getting the best of your attention every day, and you’re only reaching other areas after you’ve grown tired of brushing, diluted your toothpaste, and aren’t as focused on doing a good job.

To deal with this, take note of where you start every day and try to mix it up. Break your mouth into quadrants, and focus on starting in a different place every morning and night. You may be surprised by how much better your next dental visit goes!