June 16, 2016

Sleep Apnea: 18-Million Strong

More than 18 million Americans deal with sleep apnea – a condition that causes the back of the throat to collapse while they are sleeping, which blocks the airway, automatically reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to all of their organs. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly and stop breathing suddenly for short periods of time during the night. When the blood-oxygen level drops low enough, the body wakes itself up, sometimes even hundreds of times throughout the night.

This happens so quickly that your body doesn’t even realize it has woken up, but you may just wake up in the morning feeling restless and unrefreshed.

Did you find yourself relating to situations in the afore-written paragraph? You may have sleep apnea. If you experience unintentionally falling asleep during the day, or general daytime sleepiness, unrefreshed sleep, fatigue, or insomnia, you may be a perfect candidate for an oral sleep apnea treatment.

If you believe you may have sleep apnea, it is a good idea to talk to an AADSM Dentist near you – that is, a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea treatment. Before you go, your dentist may ask you to answer the following, so it may be a good idea to think about answers to these questions beforehand:

What time you went to bed each night
What time you got up in the morning
How many times you woke up during the night
Whether you felt rested when you woke up
If you took naps during the day
Whether you felt sleepy or rested throughout the day

Visit the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine’s website to find a sleep-apnea-specialized dentist near you.


June 5, 2016

Why Thumb-Sucking is bad for Children's Teeth and how to stop it

Thumb-sucking isn’t unusual in young children. They put everything—from thumbs to fingers to pacifiers to whatever they find—in their mouth to suck. They do this to learn about the world, comfort themselves, to feel happy, and to help them fall asleep. However, if your child is starting to get permanent teeth but they still suck their fingers and thumbs, they could damage the formation of their teeth.

Why Thumb Sucking is Bad for Teeth Children usually stop sucking their thumb between the ages of two and four. However, if your child is older than four and still has this habit, they can cause harm to their mouth such as:

Shifting the alignment of their permanent teeth.
Altering the formation of their permanent teeth.
Changing the shape of their growing mouth (especially the palate).

These issues can lead to further problems as they get older.

Even younger children who suck their thumb vigorously can have a

negative effect on the growth and development of their baby teeth.

How to Stop Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Habit

Consult your dentist about any concerns you have with your child’s thumb-sucking habit. However, some suggestions about how to stop your child from sucking their fingers and thumbs include:

Positive Reinforcements: Praise your child for not sucking their thumb, or give them prizes like a sticker.

Gentle Reminders: If your child is older, you can work with them to break the habit of sucking their thumb. Use gentle reminders; don’t use negative pressure like scolding or embarrassing your child. This not only isn’t as effective, but can actually instigate thumb-sucking since criticism can cause your child to feel insecure.

Visit the Dentist: Sometimes, simply having your dentist explain to your child what thumb-sucking can do to teeth is a great way to help your child stop their sucking habit.

Find out the Trigger: Kids suck their thumb when they feel insecure or anxious. Offer comfort to your child or figure out the reason for their anxiety. Giving your child something to hold onto, such as a pillow or stuffed animal, can also help.

Other Methods: Kids often suck their thumb to help them sleep. So before they go to bed, try covering their hand with a sock or a bitter medication prescribed by your dentist. In some cases, your dentist may recommend your child wear a mouth appliance while they sleep.