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Posts for: April, 2015


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 Sikka Dental
April 17, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sedation Dentistry  

Your San Jose dentist wants to make sure that every patient has a positive and comfortable dental experience.

Do you suffer from dental fear or anxiety? If so, you aren’t alone. Millions deal with some form of dental anxiety and it can be enoughSedation Dentistry to keep some people from ever seeing their dentist. However, you need to see your San Jose dentist every six months to maintain a healthy smile. Luckily we can make sure your trip a little easier with sedation dentistry. Find out more about sedation dentistry and how it could ease your dental fears for good.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry offers a way for those with dental phobias or severe dental-related anxiety to relax and feel calm during their dental procedure or appointment. It is available in different intensity levels and can be administered through different forms. Usually milder to moderate forms of sedation are all that’s required to keep a nervous patient comfortable during their dental procedure.

The sedation comes in two forms: oral or inhalation. Oral sedation is an anti-anxiety medication like Valium or Xanax, which offers mild to moderate forms of sedation. Inhalation sedation is also known as nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”. Your San Jose Dentist places a mask over your nose and transmits a steady stream of nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen to create a relaxing and euphoric experience.

Sedation dentistry should not be confused with sleep dentistry, as these forms of sedation will not actually put you to sleep. You may feel drowsy or tired during your procedure and some patients may not remember part of their visit; however, you will be conscious the entire time and able to respond to your San Jose dentist’s commands.

Is sedation dentistry right for me?

Sedation dentistry can help a variety of patients experience a better dental visit. It’s a great option for those who have dental fears, those with sensitive gag reflexes, those who have difficulty sitting in one position for long periods of time and those with special needs.

However, before your opt for oral sedation make sure your San Jose dentist knows what kinds of medications, vitamins or supplements you are currently taking, as well as any allergies to medications.

Also, figure out ahead of time whether you will be driving yourself to and from the dentist’s office or whether you will have someone with you. If you don’t have someone available to drive you then you will want to strongly consider inhalation sedation, as the effects wear off almost immediately.

If you find yourself anxiety during your dental visits, then sedation dentistry could be a wonderful way to relax you for your next cleaning or dental procedure. Talk to your San Jose dentist, Dr. Nidhi Sikka or Dr. Mona Chattha about getting sedation for your next visit. Don’t let dental fears affect the health of your smile. Visit Sikka Dental today!

By Sikka Dental
April 10, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

A focus on dental care in senior citizens is just as important as it is for children. Indeed, oral health in your later years can be a major factor in your quality of life.

For one, aging effects on other parts of the body can make dental care more challenging. Some hygiene tasks once performed easily become harder — arthritis, for example, or loss of muscle strength may make it difficult to hold a toothbrush or floss. In such cases, you may need to find new ways to make the task easier: a power toothbrush with a larger handle; pre-loaded floss holders or a water flosser; or adaptations to a manual brush to make it easier to hold, like attaching a tennis ball or bike handle.

Other age-related conditions — and their treatments — can negatively impact oral health. Less saliva production, which is a consequence of aging or certain drugs, increases the risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Older adults often develop gastric reflux problems that can introduce tooth enamel-eroding stomach acid into the mouth. And medications called bisphosphonates, often prescribed to treat osteoporosis, may interfere in rare cases with bone healing after tooth extraction or similar procedures.

Prior dental work can also prove challenging to treating dental disease. It becomes more difficult to preserve teeth threatened with decay if there are significant restorations or appliances to work around. Pain perception can also diminish with age, so that dental disease may not be noticed until later stages when significant damage has already occurred.

Oral care requires more attention as we grow older, or as we care for older family members. Your best defense against disease is to continue regular six-month visits with us. In addition to normal cleanings and checkups, we’ll also screen for oral cancer (a more prevalent occurrence in older adults), review your prescriptions or other supplements and medications for any possible side effects to oral health, check the fit of any dentures or other restorations and evaluate the effectiveness of your hygiene.

While other age-related conditions may capture the majority of your attention, you shouldn’t allow that to neglect your dental care. With your continued efforts, along with our support and your family’s, you can continue to enjoy good oral health throughout your lifetime.

If you would like more information on dental care for senior adults, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.