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    Stem Cells—How They Can Protect Your Family's Future Health

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Today we hear a lot of talk on new information about stem cells, and how they can be crucial in helping fight a potentially dangerous disease that may strike a family member. While many people find this news comforting, few really understand the advancements in science behind it and the ease and availability to take part in this program.

    What are Stem Cells?

    Stem cells are unique because they have restorative properties and they drive the natural healing process, which occurs all throughout our lives. They are different from other cells in the body because they actually regenerate and produce other specialized cell types. They can heal and restore skin, bones, cartilage, muscles, nerves and other tissues when they are in need of repair. There are two main types of stem cells— those found in bone marrow and teeth and embryonic stem cells found in the unborn fetus.

    Obviously the stem cells found in teeth are the most easily accessible, and can be obtained in a minimally invasive way. They have also been observed to be the most powerful in the human body. Therefore, the discovery of stem cells in teeth has had the country’s top medical research facilities enthusiastically testing how they can be beneficial and actually save lives, for over 30 years. As a result, hundreds of medical research studies at universities and research labs have revealed new and effective treatments with these stem cells.

    Among the diseases that were once very difficult to treat, but now have more promising curable results, due to this dental stem cell research are:

                                  • Parkinson's Disease

                                  • Brain Injuries

                                  • Heart Disease

                                  • Diabetes

                                  • Arthritis

                                  • Muscular dystrophy

                                  • Leukemia

                                  • Crohn's disease

                                  • Multiple Sclerosis

                                  • Neimann-Pick Type C

                                  • Periodontal Disease

                                  • Sports Injuries

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry we cannot stress enough the importance of saving your family’s stem cells from baby teeth. The healthier you are and the earlier you collect and preserve these stem cells, the better. Younger stem cells grow faster and for longer periods of time. We recommend doing this right around the time a child’s tooth starts to get slightly loose. At this point, come in to see us, so that we may extract the tooth and get you started with this vital process. However, do not wait until the tooth is extremely loose and about to fall out. We do not want the dental pulp, rich in these stem cells to be exposed and weakened. Sometimes healthy baby teeth need to be pulled by an orthodontist as part of their correction plan. This would also be an excellent opportunity to save the stem cells.

    Then we work with a wonderful company called StemSave, which is a collaboration of dentists and stem cell researchers. We can help you enroll in their program and ensure proper delivery of the tooth. StemSave is committed to help families preserve their dental stem cells in a simple and affordable way, and offer what they call, “biological insurance” in the event of a disease or injury.

    Though none of us like to think about the possibility of future illness in our family, we want our patients to be informed, prepared and armed with the latest medical advances. We often to say that this program gives new meaning to the saying, “from your mouth to God’s ears!”

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518

    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

     

    Halloween Candy—Keeping it Under Control!

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Yes, It’s that time of the year again—Halloween. And, rumor has it that it will be even more festive in the New York Metropolitan area this year, after it was cancelled last year due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. While Halloween is celebrated throughout the United States with creative costumes, parties and parades, a big part of the tradition centers around “Trick or Treating” and large bags full of super sugary candy, specially packaged for this annual event. Even though many parents do their part throughout the year limiting soda and sweets intake, and promoting more nutritious eating, all seems to fly out the window like a bat out of healthy habits during Halloween! While we want our children to enjoy the festivities and not feel left out, there are some things we can do to control the Halloween candy-mania.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry we always promote fun and enjoyment, but we are also big on oral health education and creating awareness on how nutrition affects the teeth at all times of the year. Many of our parents ask us for a few pointers during Halloween time on what to do with the abundance of candy coming into the home.
    Here are a few ways to help control the Halloween Candy Craziness:

    1. Set limits. Determining the length of time your children can go trick or treating limits the amount of candy that they will receive. Halloween is a one day holiday and we recommend that the candy received be eaten on Halloween day only. Having a plan and sticking to it will ensure success!

    2. Eat a meal before Trick or Treating. The worst scenario is for a child to be hungry while Trick or Treating and want to endlessly snack on candy during their journey. Filling their bellies with a healthy meal will not make them want to overindulge as much.

    3. All sweets are not created equal. Make wiser choices when it comes to choosing your own sweets for the home. Since prolonged sugar in the mouth can turn to tooth-decaying acids, sweets that take a longer time to eat (like a lollipop) are worse for your child’s teeth than those eaten quickly. Today there are also a variety of more health-oriented candies available, like sugar free lollipops, spray candies and ice pops.

    4. Be creative. Switch the focus at home from Halloween candy to creative costume making or Halloween story time. Make it also a time for country apple picking and healthy squash meals. Having your own Halloween party or small get together will also give you more control over what is eaten. Throw a Halloween party with the main course being both a black bean soup and an orange butternut squash soup!

    5. Drink water. We know that water helps keep your children stay hydrated, but it can also rinse sugar away from the teeth and help make children feel more full.

    6. Visit your dentist. If you have not seen you dentist in over six months, this would be a great time to get back on track. At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we even have a Halloween Candy Buy Back Program. We give children a dollar for every large zip lock bag they bring to us. We then match every dollar and give to our favorite charity, America’s Tooth Fairy, helping children with painful gum disease.

    Happy Halloween. Stay safe and healthy!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    The History of the Toothbrush—From Twigs to Turbo!

    Last updated 4 years ago

    The toothbrush plays a major role in one of the most common daily practices. Hopefully most parents are introducing their babies to the toothbrush, right from the eruption of the first baby tooth, and continuing to teach correct brushing techniques and habits through each phase of oral development. (See our past blog story on teaching tooth brushing.) We depend on our toothbrush and tooth brushing to not only prevent cavities, but serious gum disease, which can result in tooth loss. Lack of tooth brushing and proper oral care has also been associated with heart disease and shorter life expectancy.

    Did you know that people actually started brushing their teeth in ancient times? Brushing teeth has been considered to be an important part of oral care as far back as ancient times. Even before 3000 BC, there is historical evidence that the ancient Egyptians constructed crude toothbrushes from twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. Other ancient cultures, such as the Greeks, Romans, and Indians also cleaned their teeth with twigs. Some would even fray one end of the twig (referred to as a “chew stick”) so that it could be used like thin bristles to get in between the teeth more effectively.

    The bristle toothbrush, similar to the type used today, was not invented until 1498 in China. The bristles were made from stiff, coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog's neck and attached to handles made of bone or bamboo. Modern day tooth brushing, as a regular habit, became widespread in Europe from the end of the 17th century. The first mass-produced toothbrush was developed in 1780, by William Addis, of Clerkenwlad, England.

    Though toothbrushes were available at the end of the 19th century in the United States, the practice did not become popular until World War II, when US soldiers were issued toothbrushes and required to brush during their military service. Toothbrushes were made of boar bristles until 1938, until nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont. The first electric toothbrush to come on the scene in America was in 1960, and was marketed by the Squibb company.

    Park View's Point of View

    Like all that we do at Park View Pediatric Dentistry we want our young patients to develop a positive attitude toward the toothbrush and brushing their teeth.  
     

    Here are a few ways that we promote fun toothbrush usage:

    1. At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we think big with giant, colorful toothbrushes at our office, used to teach proper bushing techniques. We have stuffed animals in each of our exam rooms with a full set of chompers. Children enjoy brushing those animal’s teeth with our instructions and oversized toothbrushes. We believe that this is a fun introduction to early toothbrush usage and oral education.

    2. We always include a new colorful toothbrush in the “goodie bag” that each child receives at the end of their visit to Park View Pediatric Dentistry. Each toothbrush is carefully selected according to the young patient’s age group.

    3. Throughout the year we offer several promotions or introductory specials where we give away a new battery powered “electric” toothbrush. (Appropriate for age eight or older). Parents appreciate this special gift and how it supercharges brushing enthusiasm.

    4. We stress that although we want your toothbrush to be our patient’s best friend, it should never become an old friend. We encourage changing the toothbrush every three months.

    Happy brushing!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518

    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    Dental Visits —Why Twice a Year?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    During the month of October, we are celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month with discussing and reviewing many aspects of setting the foundation for excellent oral health. As parents, juggling busy school schedules, after school activities, sports, lessons and family time, it is often hard to schedule those all-important dental visits even just once a year, let alone twice. Many parents often question the need for that second visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry not only recommends, but continually stresses the importance of visiting your dentist twice a year, as an essential factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we are in complete agreement with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and encourage our parents to schedule their next six-month exam right in our office, upon completion of their visit. We also are very conscientious when it comes to reviewing our patient’s last visit and following up with reminders if it has been over six months since we have seen them. Special cases may even require more than a six-month follow up.

    Here are some important reasons why you should bring your child to the dentist every six months:

    Diagnosing Tooth Decay at An Early Stage— A new cavity can actually form within a six month time period. Like any other problem, the longer it goes unattended, the worse it can get. Early cavities can even be reversed (healed) with certain types of treatments, such as a special fluoride application or sealant. The goal is to always make sure your child has excellent oral health and a cavity-free visit. However, should tooth decay occur, minor problems are a lot quicker and less stressful to fix.

    Early Diagnosis of Gum Disease or Oral Infections—Gum disease does not just happen to elderly folks. Poor oral habits or improper nourishment can also affect children’s gums. Children who suffer from other illnesses may also be prone to gum disease and we need to monitor that on a regular basis. As with early detection of tooth decay, the same applies to the gums. Why not nip a problem in the bud at the earliest possible stage, before it become a much worse condition?

    Maintaining Clean Teeth—Though many parents are diligent in maintaining a morning/evening brushing schedule with their children, many admit that having their children floss daily is a bit more difficult, especially if the child is too young to floss on their own. (See last week’s story on flossing.) Therefore, having a professional cleaning twice a year is all-important. It makes children feel good about themselves and they love showing off their precious, pearly white smiles!

    Monitoring Growing Teeth—With children’s teeth and jaws growing at a rapid pace, we find that monitoring progress twice a year is the best for dealing with protruding teeth, crowding and determining the need for Orthodontics.

    Reinforcing Oral Education—As adults, we often need reminders on the proper ways to brush and floss. Coming in twice a year is a great way to keep up your child’s oral health skills, as well as your own.

    We enjoy seeing you—At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, our patients are like family and we pride ourselves in offering “dental care with a little extra care.” We enjoy keeping up with your children’s yearly activities and have watched our patients grow from infancy through young adulthood. A year is just too long to wait to see you!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518

    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

     

    Children Flossing—Start Good Habits Early

    Last updated 4 years ago

    October is National Dental Hygiene Month and each week we will be focusing on a different aspect of children’s oral health. We are starting off this important series with flossing. Much has been written about the importance and teaching of brushing, however flossing is equally important. Flossing helps to remove food and plaque from in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Many parents are under the misconception that flossing is not necessary for the primary (baby) teeth. However, experts concur that flossing is necessary once your child has two teeth that touch. This usually happens initially with the last two molars (around age 2- 2 1/2). At this point it is good to get in the habit of flossing every night at bedtime before brushing. Until your child has the dexterity to floss on their own, you will need to do it for them. This is usually up until age six, but will vary with all children—some even until age ten.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we approach all that has to do with oral health in a fun and positive way, and flossing is no exception. Our primary focus is always to set the foundation for a lifetime of excellent oral health and provide at-home education. Nothing makes us happier than telling our young patients that they have a cavity-free visit!

    Here are some tips to help you with flossing your child’s teeth and making it a positive experience:

    • Take approximately 18 inches of floss and loosely wrap most of it around each middle or index finger, leaving an inch of floss between.

    • Gently curve the floss around each tooth making a “C” shape and move it up and down the sides of each of your child’s tooth, as you would do your own. Make sure you unroll a new section of floss as your move from tooth to tooth, and be careful not to snap down on the gums.

    • When your child is a little older and you want to encourage them to learn to floss on their own, you may want to get them those kid-friendly, colorful flossing sticks. They are designed to be easy to hold and usually come in packs of 50-100. Naturally they should be thrown away immediately after use.

    • Make flossing time fun time with the use of stories or songs. Some parents even make up games where the dental floss has a super hero name, like “Fearless Flosser” and pretend they are going after all of the bad plaque and bacteria.

    • It is also fun to hang up a flossing progress chart with the days of the week. Children love to track their progress with stamps and stickers. If you don’t want to make your own, you can find printable charts online.

    Most importantly, children love praise and encouragement. Just as you acknowledge their good efforts for eating their vegetables, flossing should always be followed by positive reinforcement.

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518

    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

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All content and information are of an unofficial nature and are not intended to be interpreted as dental advice.
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