April 15th, 2015
As a parent, it is your job to instill good dental habits in your kids, and this starts even earlier than you might realize. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry responds to the “when to start” question with a succinct “The sooner the better!”
From the time your baby is born, you should make sure that your child’s gums are regularly cleaned using water and a toothbrush made for infants. Once the first tooth erupts, you should visit the pediatric dentist for the first time. Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our staff often recommend that if your child is a year old, but has yet to get the first tooth, you should bring your son or daughter to our San Francisco, CA office for his or her initial dental care appointment.
Once your child’s teeth start to appear, you can begin brushing two times per day, using fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush made specifically for your child’s age group, and one with has soft bristles.
Only a small smear of toothpaste is needed if your child is under two years old. Once the child celebrates his or her second birthday, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Continue this practice until your child is five.
Of course, it is important that you monitor your child’s tooth brushing closely to help educate about proper techniques. Some young children might try to eat or swallow toothpaste, and this needs to be strongly discouraged. Be sure to teach proper rinsing and spitting behavior to round out your child’s early childhood tooth-care regimen.
For young kids, tooth brushing can be made into a fun event, and you can find a multitude of special toothbrushes that appeal to kids. There are even uniquely flavored and colored toothpastes that might encourage your child to get into the brushing game!
April 8th, 2015
With advances in modern dentistry, a trip to McFaul:Wong these days is pretty routine. But visiting Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our team still makes some patients anxious—so much so that they don’t go as often as they should and end up with costly complications down the road, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
When it comes to dental care, prevention is the best medicine. And that begins with regular checkups and dental cleanings at our convenient San Francisco, CA office. Today, we thought we would offer five tips for taking the pain out of a visit to see Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong:
1. Ask yourself: What are you most afraid of? Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Have you been traumatized by previous dental visits? Write down your fears, one by one and talk about them during your visit.
2. Don’t wait. The more frequently your visit our office, the less work will need to be done at any given visit. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong twice a year prevents many, if not most, problems down the road.
3. Bring a distraction such as music to your appointment. Just plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to tunes can also be a pain killer.
4. Unwind. Inhaling slowly and counting to five helps. Try holding your breath for ten seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight, and repeat as needed.
5. Ask us. Before any given procedure, we encourage you to ask Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we’re doing, what the tool is used for, and how it benefits you. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, a visit to McFaul:Wong might seem like a daunting prospect. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past, but whatever the reason, please know that at our San Francisco, CA office, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Remember, you’re not alone. We understand that going to the dentist isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that as many as 12 percent of adults suffer from dental anxiety so bad that they avoid the dentist altogether. Many more suffer from varying degrees of dental anxiety, which often results in poor oral health.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, your fears don’t have to keep you from seeing Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong. Our patients at McFaul:Wong are our most important asset, and we strive to create a comfortable experience, no matter how long it has been since your last visit at our San Francisco, CA office. We hope to see you soon!
April 1st, 2015
Snacks can taste good and give your child’s energy a boost, but they can also be bad for teeth. Sugary, sticky snacks, such as candy, cookies, and snack cakes can lead to tooth decay if eaten regularly between meals. Still, there are plenty of fun snacks for healthy teeth.
The trick when selecting snacks is to avoid too many added sugars and refined carbohydrates that stay on the teeth and give bacteria a chance to ferment and produce acid from them, which can lead to tooth decay. In addition, snacks should provide nutrients to support a healthy mouth. These are five fun snacks you can feel good about giving to your child.
1. Yogurt and cereal.
Yogurt contains calcium, which is an essential mineral for strong and healthy teeth. Select plain yogurt or yogurt flavored with real fruit, rather than flavored yogurt that is sweetened with added sugar. We recommend choosing a whole-grain cereal, which is less likely to lead to dental caries. Choose a low-sugar or unsweetened cereal to avoid accidentally making the snack as sugary as a candy bar.
2. Tuna and whole-wheat crackers.
Canned tuna contains vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin for helping your body absorb and use calcium. Whole-wheat crackers are natural sources of antioxidants for a strong immune system, and they’re lower in refined carbohydrates than white crackers.
3. Bell pepper strips and hummus.
Red, yellow, and green bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin C is also a good choice for supporting regeneration or maintenance of healthy gum tissue. Vitamin E is another antioxidant, and it also supports a healthy immune system. A strong immune system is protective against infections, such as bacterial infections associated with gum disease.
4. Turkey and cheese roll-ups.
Turkey is carbohydrate-free, so it doesn’t leave residues of sugars on teeth for bacteria to ferment. Lean ham is another good choice. Low-fat cheddar, mozzarella, or Swiss cheese is a good source of calcium as well as protein. For a more substantial snack that’s still low in carbohydrates and sugar, add a few celery sticks.
5. Peanut butter and carrots.
Peanut butter is another source of vitamin E. Carrots provide vitamin A, which is essential for a strong immune system. You can also substitute cauliflower or broccoli florets for the carrots, and ranch dressing for the peanut butter, and still have a snack that’s fun to eat and good for your child’s teeth.
For more great snack tips, ask a member of our San Francisco, CA team at your child’s next appointment!
March 25th, 2015
At McFaul:Wong, we know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know that the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to show signs of other bodily health issues.
Studies have shown possible links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, and researchers have found that people with gum disease have an elevated risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary artery disease. Believe it or not, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of North American adults currently have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease, which affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth, is an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. In its early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease can be treated by Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and often reversed.
To help keep your mouth and heart healthy, we’ve provided following tips to help prevent problems before they arise:
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure you brush gently beneath the gum line around each tooth.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Have a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, or as recommended.
- Eat a healthy diet. This includes avoiding foods with a high concentration of sugars or starches and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid tobacco and copious levels of alcohol. If you smoke, quit. And remember, heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.
Don’t put off your next visit to McFaul:Wong any longer! If it has been a while since your last visit to our San Francisco, CA office, please give us a call!