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Dentist Blog

Posts for: February, 2017

By Sweet Tooth Dental
February 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouth sores  

Mouth sores are a painful and irritating condition that affects many people. Dealing with different kinds of mouth sores can be difficult, mouth soresbut, luckily your dentist can help you pinpoint the best treatment to help you decrease your discomfort and go back to feeling great in no time. Find out more about mouth sores with Dr. Garrett Oka at Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI.

Types of Mouth Sores

  • Fever Blisters: Fever blisters, also called cold sores, are a form of the herpes simplex virus type 1, called HSV-1. The virus moves from person to person by saliva transfer, such as from direct contact or sharing utensils or drinks. While many kinds of treatments are available over-the-counter from drug stores, your dentist can help you tackle recurring or painful fever blisters.
  • Thrush: Common in older individuals, young children and babies, oral thrush comes from a fungus and occurs inside the mouth. Thrush looks like white, raised areas on the oral tissues. You may have a severe case of thrush if you have difficulty swallowing or a full feeling in the throat, especially when accompanied by fever.
  • Canker Sores: Canker sores are painful blisters inside the mouth normally smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. These painful sores can appear anywhere around the mouth, including the cheeks, gums and tongue.
  • Oral Cancer: Oral cancer often presents itself as a mouth sore which does not heal. It may occur alongside other symptoms like loose teeth, white or red patches in the mouth, or thickening of the skin in the mouth.

Mouth Sore Treatment in Kailua Kona, HI 
Treating mouth sores depends on the underlying diagnosis. Some mouth sores like canker sores simply need time to allow the body to heal itself. Others may require some kind of over-the-counter ointment or gel. However, if your mouth sore becomes very painful, large or begins affecting your daily life, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.

For more information on mouth sores or how to treat them, please contact Dr. Oka at Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI. Call (808) 329-0889 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Oka today!

By Sweet Tooth Dental
February 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health

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.”