3 Ways to Make Brushing Fun For Your Child

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

Little teeth will grow into a big smile. To ensure your child is on track for a lifetime of optimal oral health, it is important to instill good oral hygiene habits early in life. We understand that this can sometimes be a challenge. It’s hard to keep the interest of young children, which can make brushing twice a day for two minutes each time difficult to do. We’ve gathered a few pointers to help you and your child make brushing time a fun experience.

Choose a Cool Toothbrush and Great Tasting Toothpaste

Make your child part of the process by allowing them to select a cool toothbrush. By choosing one with a favorite color or neat character on it, selecting a toothbrush can be fun. When it comes time to choose a toothpaste, pick one that is palatable to your child. Not all children find the mint flavors often used in adult toothpaste to be appealing. Instead, go for one with a taste your child loves.

Timing is Everything

It is essential that your child brushes for a full two minutes, twice each day. Two minutes can feel like a long time. Allow your child to control a timer to better engage them in their brushing. Use a sand timer, egg timer, or even a timing app on your phone. Many children also find it helpful to visually see how long they have been brushing.

Brush Together

Children learn by example. You can set a great example for your child by being a brushing role model. Brush together with your child. This also gives you the opportunity to correct any improper brushing habits they may otherwise do on their own. By brushing together, you are also emphasizing the importance of regular brushing each day. Show your child that proper oral hygiene is important.

For most adults, brushing your teeth is second nature. For young children still learning, it can be challenging or boring. You can help your child prepare for a lifetime of optimal oral health by helping them feel comfortable brushing their teeth properly. Stick to cool toothbrush designs and fun flavors. Also try using a timer, and brushing together to further build good habits. Don’t forget that your child should visit us for regular examinations and professional cleanings.

Contact our office to schedule your child’s next visit.

Sugar Addiction: Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

Sweet taste perception is an innate capacity that depends on two G-protein-coupled subunit receptors, T1R2 and T1R3, located on the tongue [1], [2]. The stimulation of these receptors by diets rich in sweet tastants, such as, for instance, sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, colas, fruit beverages), generates a sensation that most humans and other mammals, including rodents, find intensely rewarding [3]–[6]. Once reserved to a small elite, the consumption of highly sweetened diets is now highly prevalent in developed countries and is escalating elsewhere [7], [8]. Though difficult to estimate, sweet sensations evoked by sugar-sweetened foods and drinks are probably one of the most precocious, frequent and intense sensory pleasures of modern humans [7], [9]. However, the current pursuit of sweet sensations far exceeds metabolic needs and is thought to contribute, together with several other factors [10]–[13], to drive the current obesity epidemic [7], [14].

The passive overconsumption of sugar-sweetened diets has often been compared to drug addiction, though this parallel was based until very recently more on anecdotal evidence than on solid scientific grounds. More recently, mounting evidence from experimental research on animals, especially rats, have unearthed deep commonalities between overconsumption of sugars and drug addiction [15]–[17]. First, both sweet tastants [18], [19] and drugs of abuse [20], [21] stimulate dopamine signaling in the ventral striatum, a brain signaling pathway critically involved in reward processing and learning [22], [23]. Second, both cross-tolerance [24], [25] and cross-dependence [26]–[28] have been observed between sugars and drugs of abuse. For instance, animals with a long history of sucrose consumption become tolerant to the analgesic effects of morphine [25]. In addition, naloxone–an opiate antagonist–precipitates in rats with sugar overconsumption some of the behavioral and neurochemical signs of opiate withdrawal [28]. This latter observation is important because it shows that overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may induce a dependence-like state. Finally, recent neuroimaging studies in humans have recently discovered neuroadaptations in the brain of obese individuals that mimic those previously observed in individuals addicted to cocaine and other drugs of abuse [29], [30].

Overall, there are many behavioral and biological commonalities between sugar-sweetened beverages and drugs of abuse. However, the addictive potential of the former relative to the latter is much less clear. Previous research showed that concurrent access to highly sweetened water (saccharin plus glucose) can reduce self-administration of low doses of cocaine in non-dependent rats [31], [32], suggesting that sweetened water may surpass cocaine reward–one of the most addictive and harmful substance currently known [33]. Whether this effect results from a genuine preference for intense sweetness or other factors (e.g., use of a suboptimal dose of cocaine and/or lack of cocaine dependence) has not been established yet, however. The present series of experiments was designed to directly address this question. We developed a discrete-trials choice procedure to measure the reward value of an intense sweet taste relative to intravenous cocaine. This procedure was first tested in non-restricted, naïve rats to determine how, without any prior experience with cocaine or intense sweetness, animals learn to differentially value both types of reward. Then, the same procedure was applied to rats following an extended access to cocaine self-administration. Previous research showed that with prolonged access to cocaine, most rats develop the major signs of addiction, including drug intake escalation [34], compromised brain reward processing [35]and difficulty to stop drug seeking despite negative consequences [36].

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Original article was published from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
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Meet our new associate dentist, Dr. Susan DeWood!

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Dr. Susan DeWood to the Dugas Dental Team! Dr. DeWood comes with the highest recommendations, great enthusiasm, and extreme compassion for patients. She has a wonderful chair-side manner and will bring a vibrant new energy to our team.  We are positive our patients will receive excellent dental care from her. 

Dr. DeWood will be providing clinical care in our office on Tuesdays 8-5pm, Wednesdays 10-7pm and Fridays 8-2pm as well as one Saturday per month 8-1pm. 

She is originally from Seoul, South Korea, and spent some of her childhood in Tianjin, China. She attended high school in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated from the Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. From there, she went on to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, where she earned her doctorate of dental surgery. 

In her free time, Dr. DeWood loves spending time with her husband, Mark, a fellow Ohio State alumnus. She and Mark are the proud dog parents of a Cavapoo named Komi. She is a huge foodie and enjoys trying new restaurants and coffee shops, reading, as well as traveling. 

She is very excited to be back in Columbus, and looks forward to helping her patients feel great about themselves through their beautiful smiles!

Depression and stress associated with severe gum disease

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

A new study suggests that psycho-social factors, such as depression, stress, emotional vulnerability and Type A personality are associated with more severe periodontal injuries.

This, its authors suggest, indicates the need for psychological evaluation and support for patients presenting with aggressive or chronic periodontitis (gum disease).

Previous studies suggesting a link between periodontitis and psychosocial factors presented very mixed results, making it difficult to identify the interaction between specific psychological characteristics and severe gum disease.

Lead author Dr Sébastien Jungo, DDS, Department of Periodontology at Paris Descartes University, said: ‘Our aim was to explore the association between clinical variables in patients suffering from aggressive (AP) or chronic periodontitis (CP) and some psychological traits, especially depression, stress, Type A Behaviour Pattern (TABP) and Locus of Control (LOC). We hoped to identify patients at risk for more severe periodontal disease.’

The study included 79 patients with periodontitis who attended the Periodontology Clinic of the Descartes University Hospital in Paris, France. ‘Our patients completed some short questionnaires to help us determine certain psychological traits. They also underwent periodontal examinations where we measured probing pocket depth (PPD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL),’ explained Dr Jungo.

Commenting on the results, Dr Jungo said: ‘After controlling for age, tobacco consumption and the form of periodontitis, we found that a clinical attachment loss of over 5mm was associated with “emotional vulnerability” for all patients, and with stress and Type A personality in patients presenting aggressive periodontitis.’

Regarding the possible causes for the association between severe periodontal injuries and psychological traits, Dr Jungo said that more research was needed: ‘This is a small study but it is representative of what periodontists see in their clinics. In the future there is a need for wider interventional studies, as well as research into inflammatory markers in addition to psychological assessment.

‘At this stage we can say that the psychological evaluation of patients presenting with particularly aggressive periodontal disease is important. For patients presenting Type A personality, depression, perceived stress or emotional vulnerability, the oral healthcare team should recommend psychosocial support,’ concluded Dr Jungo.

The original article can be found here.

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Adult braces: Why are more grown-ups getting their teeth straightened?

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

Once seen as a treatment for teenagers, more and more adults are now wearing braces. Orthodontists say grown-ups are flocking through their doors for teeth-straightening despite it often costing thousands and taking months or years to complete. So what’s motivating people to chase the perfect smile?

Braces are big business.

According to the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), three quarters of their members say they’re seeing more grown-ups coming through their doors.

Amid the rush to keep pace with demand, many have been expanding and buying new equipment – a trend that saw Barclays bank almost double its loans to dentists in two years.

Some say the gleaming smiles seen on Instagram feeds and reality TV shows are behind the rise, while others say it’s just become more socially acceptable for adults to wear them.

But what do the people wearing them say?

Lucy Setter was 27 when she had her braces fitted.

She had just given birth for the second time, and wanted to focus on herself after “being a mum all the time”.

“It was just something for me,” she said.

She said she first visited an orthodontist aged 14, but was scared off when told she would need a head brace.

“I used to watch [the Nickelodeon cartoon] Hey Arnold! as a child and there was a kid on there with a head brace. I was thinking: ‘Oh my god, I’m never going to have any friends again’.”

Aged 19, she returned, having grown in self-confidence, but discovered that, in most cases, treatment is not covered by the NHS for over-18s .

Lucy, from Torquay, Devon, said watching a wave of flawless selfies scroll across her Instagram feed helped to persuade her to take the plunge.

“Perfect pictures of people are being put up all the time and I thought: ‘I can’t smile because of my teeth’.”

She found an orthodontist who offered an interest-free payment plan and, in November 2016, put down an £800 deposit, followed by £135 monthly payments.

Now 29 and a mum-of-four (she gave birth to twins shortly before the braces were removed in October 2018) Lucy said she was “a lot more confident now”.

“I used to smile with my mouth shut. I’m a lot more confident now. It’s in all aspects of my life. In an interview, or something like that, it makes me confident.”

It helped that celebrities such as presenter Fearne Cotton, who posted about her own braces in 2016 , had “made it more cool” she said.

“Back in my day, it wasn’t cool at all.”

‘It’s not a vanity thing’

Hannah Bailey, 31, has wanted to straighten her teeth since she was a child, but said she could only now afford the £3,400 fees.

“I wasn’t bullied, but people would say things like horse teeth.

“That always stayed with me,” she said.

“I avoid smiling, I hold my hand up to my mouth when I laugh, so it will be quite life-changing.”

The self-employed childminder, from Maidstone in Kent, is part-way through a six-month treatment.

Despite being self-conscious about her teeth as a teenager, the fear of braces drawing unwanted attention turned her off, she said.

Since having them fitted, the response from friends and family had been overwhelmingly positive, she said.

However, she fears some people will view her decision as vain and similar to having plastic surgery.

“It’s strange. As children you are encouraged by dentists [to have your teeth straightened], but when you are an adult people think it’s a vanity thing.”

While she understands how “textbook perfect” celebrity smiles can inspire self-consciousness, Hannah says they did not influence her.

“What I’m going for is straight teeth, not the Hollywood smile.”

‘Rare to see a man with braces’

Neil Hillyard, 52, was in his mid-forties when he had braces fitted.

After getting fed up with crowded teeth that had been “bugging him for a while”, in 2013 he decided: “If I don’t do it now, I’m never going to do it”.

Neil, from Inverness, Scotland, had considered getting braces in his early twenties, but found treatment inaccessible “unless you were a particularly bad case”.

“Now you can walk into an orthodontic practice and it’s very accessible and very socially acceptable. There’s a lot more opportunities than there was twenty years ago.”

According to the BOS survey, he is not alone in having treatment in his forties.

It said 80% per cent of adults with braces are aged between 26 and 55, although women make up the vast majority – 80% – of cases

Mr Hillyard said he had been “well aware that it was very unusual” for men to have braces and felt “terrified” beforehand.

“But once I got over that, it wasn’t a barrier at all,” he said.

“Living in the Highlands of Scotland, it was a rarity to see another man [with braces], I can’t recall ever seeing anyone else.”

Mr Hillyard, who went on to start the UK Adult Braces blog, said having orthodontic treatment was “one of the best decisions he had ever made”.

“The thing that really surprised me is: no one cared less. I thought everyone would notice. No one really mentioned it, but when you brought it up they chatted quite happily and said they wish they had the confidence.”

Is teeth straightening safe?

While orthodontic treatment “usually works very well”, patients will need to wear a retainer for years afterwards to stop teeth moving back to their original position, according to the NHS.

It also says that braces are only suitable for people with healthy teeth and gums, and warns that they can trap food and cause more plaque to build up.

They can also be expensive. The BOS says prices can “vary widely”, while the NHS says private fees are usually about £2,500 but can be much higher.

There are concerns that the high cost and increased demand is causing people to seek out less reputable providers.

So far this year, the General Dental Council has successfully prosecuted five people for illegally offering teeth whitening without the necessary qualifications.

Meanwhile, the BOS said it was “extremely concerned” about the advent of DIY braces, where patients are sent devices in the post based upon scans of their teeth.

Peter McCallum, an orthodontist of 30 years, said: “There is a very good reason why you go to see your doctor if you have a problem.

“Equally there’s a good reason you go to see your dentist if you want a problem fixed with your teeth.”

Last year, the Advertising Standards Agency said businesses offering teeth straightening must not claim their techniques were “less painful” or had a “faster effect” than traditional braces.

It took action against three websites offering procedures.

Many orthodontists offer fixed-term payment plans, but patients are advised to check the small print.

Any practice charging interest or offering payment plans of more than 12 months must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Original article can be found here.

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What’s in your mouth can infect your brain

Lewis Center, OH Dentist

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – Growing scientific evidence has found our mouths, or what’s in our mouths, can infect our brains. Dentist and partner of Oak Grove Family Dentistry in Lamar County, Dr. Alan Lucas, said a particular bacteria is being investigated in the dental world and neurology.

“They have found this bacteria to be found in causing other health issues,” Lucas said.

Lucas is talking about the bacteria P. Gingivalis. In the dental world Lucas said this bacteria is responsible for periodontal disease. He said if the bacteria grows in the gums it causes chronic inflammation.

“…Cause bone loss and it will degenerate the periodontal ligament,” Lucas said. “These are the supporting structures that hold the tooth in the mouth. So, if you have loose teeth you need to see your dentist to have this professionally cleaned.”

Lucas said 46% of the U.S. population has some form of periodontitis, and 9% has a severe case of this damaging P. Gingivalis under the gums.

“It’s very prevalent in our everyday environment,” Lucas said.

While the bacteria and its effects have been widely known in the dental world, its findings in the realm of neurology is brand new, according to Hattiesburg Clinic neurologist Dr. Ronald Schwartz.

“This has only really come to light within the last few months,” Lucas said.

Schwartz said researchers in different places found the bacteria P. Gingivalis DNA embedded in spinal fluid and the amyloid plaque that’s found on the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

“So, the story started to build that this maybe one of these risk factors that we have not been paying enough attention to,” Schwartz said.

He said this bacteria is more toxic in some people than others.

Schwartz said researchers believe over time the bacteria puts out toxic proteins which affect the brain’s neurons, triggering the amyloid plaque, a signature sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, Schwartz said the clinic is offering the Gain Alzheimer’s Trial to see if a drug is safe and can stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the damage caused by this bacteria in the brain.

“We are just looking for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, stable on their medications,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said finding this association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s broadens this idea that everyone is affected, and maybe this could be the start of identifying who is at risk earlier and slowing down or stopping Alzheimer’s disease.

Schwartz said people may also be eligible for this trial if they are 55 to 80 years old. If you want to be a part of the Gain Alzheimer’s Trial or want to know more Schwartz said contact the Memory Center at 601-579-5016.

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The Dugas Dental team is the best! I appreciate all the smiles when we come to the office. The care that we receive is exceptional! I always recommend Dugas Dental to anyone looking for a dentist. I know this great team will take great care of them!


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Lewis Center Dentist | The Benefits of Adult Dental Sealants

February 20th 2020

Although dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, they can be a beneficial option for adults as well. A dental sealant is a protective, plastic film that helps prevent tooth decay.   Even with at home oral health care,...