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17 Dental Terms Every Parent Needs to Know


17 Dental Terms Every Parent Needs to Know


For some people, going to the dentist is a scary experience, but it shouldn't be! Dentists are knowledgeable and friendly professionals whose goal is to help you have a healthy set of teeth for your entire lifetime. Your teeth are so important to your overall well-being, and seeing a dentist regularly ensures that you keep them clean and healthy.

Unfortunately, some people are scared of the dentist in part because they are intimidated by the dental terminology that is often used there. To be sure, these might not be terms that are a normal part of your vocabulary! But they are hardly ever as complicated as they may seem.

Seeing any doctor for improvements in your health is a step in the right direction, and it is encouraged for patients to take an active part in understanding what their doctors tell them. To help you out the next time you or your child visits the dentist, we have compiled a list of 17 dental terms that every parent should know.

1. Plaque
Plaque is the stuff we don’t want, and we brush and floss our teeth to get rid of it. Plaque is an area of bacteria and food debris. This is like a buffet restaurant for bacteria, and the aftermath is a cavity and pain. Usually whitish, but sometimes yellowish or orangeish. Grossish.

2. Enamel
All of us have enamel on our teeth, and it’s a good thing we do! Enamel is hard and makes up the outer layer of each tooth that protects it from decay. Unfortunately, enamel can break down if you don’t brush or eat the right foods.

3. Interproximal
Interproximal is just the fancy word for the area that is between two teeth that are right next to each other. This is the area you clean when you floss.

4. Dentin
Dentin is another important part of each tooth we have. Dentin sits directly below the enamel layer and makes up most of every tooth. Our tooth enamel acts as a barrier between foods and saliva and dentin.

5. Pulp
Pulp is in the middle of each of your teeth. This is where all of the blood vessels and nerves for your teeth are.

6. Malocclusion
Some individuals suffer from malocclusion. This is the medical way of saying that when those people bite down and close their jaws, the way their teeth are positioned is not ideal. Crooked teeth or bite.

7. Caries
In medical speak, caries is the term that doctors and specialists use for cavities. Caries is also another simple term for basic tooth decay.

8. Crown
Teeth are actually quite long, but we can only see part of each tooth in our mouths. The part that we see, which sits above the gum line, is called the crown. When people have to have an artificial replacement for a tooth, this is also called a crown.

9. Bruxism
Do you know someone who grinds their teeth when they sleep? This is known as bruxism by dental and oral specialists.

10. Amalgam
Amalgam is an alloy that is made up of different metals and is silver in appearance.

11. Composites
Composites are a plastic/resin material and are used more often today to fix cavities. Composites are not silver like amalgam. Instead, they match the color of your teeth.

12. Gingivitis
Gingivitis is inflammation or swelling of the gum tissue, but it does not affect the bone and is reversible. It is usually caused by not brushing and flossing enough.

13. TMJ
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This can refer to anything from a clicking jaw to headaches from jaw joints that are not working correctly together.

14. Calculus
No, this isn’t your high school math class! Calculus refers to dental plaque that has hardened on the teeth. Can't remove this stuff with your toothbrush, folks. Only metal instruments can remove calculus.

15. Halitosis
This is the medical term for bad breath. Some people just have bad breath after eating onions, but halitosis generally refers to something more permanent.

16. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease happens in the gum and bone around your teeth. It is usually caused by not removing plaque or calculus in a timely manner. Not reversible.

17. Lesion
Not leprosy. This is just a technical term for a sore or wound in your mouth. A lesion is something that is out of the norm and worth the dentist taking a close look at or doing something about.

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3 Apps to Help You Care for Your Teeth

3 Apps to Help You Care for Your Teeth

Making regular visits to the dentist can help keep your kids' teeth stay clean and free from cavities and their gums healthy. But we all know that's only part of the picture.

What your kids do at home on a regular basis to care for their teeth and gums is way more important than anything that the dentist can do for them twice a year. But how do your get kids interested in dental care when there are so many other things going on like school, the new action-adventure movie that just came out, and the game of pick-up basketball across the street? Well, as the old saying goes, "There's an app for that."

The three apps that I'll talk about here are free or cheap, fun to use, and encourage kids to play an active role in taking care of their teeth. Education, health and fun in the same app! What could be better?

1. KidsDental by Orca Health, Inc.
This app costs $1.99 and is available through iTunes. The current version, 1.2., claims to have fixed the bugs that haunted the original.

KidsDental has four parts: Explore, Conditions, Learn and My Teeth.

It allows you to become familiar with the anatomy of the teeth and gums. You'll learn, for instance, that the technical term for "gums" is "gingiva." You'll also learn the correct ways to brush and floss and have a chance to practice healthy brushing. A list of healthy foods and good mouth care habits helps you reinforce the messages you've been teaching them and avoid problems like cavities and swollen gums.

KidsDental is perfect for kids ages four and older.

2. Brush DJ
We all know we should brush our teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, right? But very few kids I know do that. Very few adults do, either, for that matter. Why? Because it's dull as mud. Who wants to stand in front of a mirror and scrape a brush over their teeth for 120 seconds?

Enter Brush DJ, a free toothbrush timer app available on the App Store and Google Play. Brush DJ plays two minutes of music from the user's device. When the music stops, you and your kids will know they've brushed long enough. You can also help your kids use the app to set reminders to brush and floss twice a day.

Brush DJ originated in England - you and your kids may get a kick out of the British accents - and has been approved by National Health Services.

This won't get you out of all your parental responsibilities. You'll probably still need to remind help your kids to brush for the correct length of time, but Brush DJ should make your life easier and theirs more enjoyable.

3. Tooth-Fairy by MagiClick Digital Solutions
Tooth-Fairy is a free app available on iTunes. It is prepared by Colgate and offers a Tooth Fairy feature, a way to keep track of lost teeth. It also offers two information sections, "Which Product Is Right for You?" and "Special for Moms."

Of most interest to kids, it also features a game called "Invading Bacteria." Players must brush the teeth on the screen properly in order to drive away ugly, cavity-causing germs.

Some users complain that this app crashes easily, but it remains a popular download with useful information delivered in a fun way. And did I mention it's free?

Keeping your kids' teeth healthy can be a full-time challenge. These applications provide information in a fun way - it's always more fun when it comes from a computer, right? - and games that will inspire your kids to care for their teeth and gums. Read more about 3 Apps to Help You Care for Your Teeth

Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?


Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?



The cosmetic health of your teeth seems to have little to nothing to do with the future of your children, right? That's why it's a great title, and that's why you clicked on it. You wanted to see if the connection was real. At the same time, you know in the back of your mind that there is a connection; otherwise you would have dismissed it as the ramblings of a homeless scam artist.

The difference between a homeless scam artist and us is that we can go straight to the science that will connect your smile to your children's well-being. Yes, we will justify spending money on yourself for the sake of your kids, LA.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

This is the reputable scientific agency that will show that making yourself more marketable improves the lives of your children. This is the truth, by the way: Making yourself more marketable in the workplace will positively influence your children. A better smile earns you more money, which you will then take back home to the benefit of your offspring. This is an order, by the way, if you had any thoughts of not seeing this scenario through to its endgame.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has plenty of studies all saying that a healthy smile increases your viability in the workplace and in social circles. If people view you as a healthy person, they will put you in line for advancement opportunities. There are many opinions on this, but the best way to view this is from a genetic perspective.

Clean teeth and a healthy mouth are indicative of strong genetic material. Everything from fresh breath all the way to the way that your molars line up dictates, at least in the mind of an observer, how your entire DNA lines up. People look at your face first. People want to be around other smart, healthy, beautiful people. If you fit the bill, you will be given the reins of leadership, trust, representation and bigger checks.

These bigger checks will obviously mean an easier time paying for the education of your children. This is definitely nothing to sneeze at. Tuition continues to rise year over year faster than inflation, faster than any blue chip stock dividends and much faster than any living wage. In order to pay for college for even one child these days, you have to be well ahead of the curve when it comes to finances. You are either at the head of your own business or you are a favored employee at your place of employment. Either way, you will do much better with a great smile.

Genetically, perfect teeth mean a balanced brain with approximately the same amount of connections from left to right as from right to left. If you do not have this naturally, you can at least fake it with a little help from your favorite orthodontist. There is no shame in that, especially because the types of intelligence that naturally straight teeth are indicative of are not necessarily the types of intelligence that will get you ahead in today's society.

Look your best and you will certainly have an opportunity at better paychecks. Put this extra money into your children, and they will have an easier time of college. This may seem a bit of a stretch, but let the results speak for themselves. If you do not believe the research, take a look at the people who are at the top of your firm or oganization. I would bet that all of them take a great deal of care in their appearance. Read more about Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?

5 Things Parents Must Know About the ACA and Pediatric Dentistry

5 Things Parents Must Know About the ACA and Pediatric Dentistry


The ACA or the Affordable Care Act has 10 categories of EHB (Essential Health Benefits). Pediatric dental care is one of these categories, combined together with vision care. According to the Act, certain services must be included in your health insurance plan and the insurance company cannot charge you more for these services. This is good news for you and your child, in terms of dental care and also for pediatric vision services. It’s not like you need any further motivation to focus on your child’s dental care but this is news that could make it a bit more affordable for you. 

1. Pediatric Dental Care is Not Going to be Free for Kids Because of the Words “No Additional Cost”

Don’t get confused by the terminology used in the Act because as far as pediatric dentistry and vision services go, the Act is not quite clear. While mental health services, maternity services and other services are quite clear in their defined scope, dental care is not clearly laid out. Additional cost sharing might not be present but that doesn’t mean that, as a parent, you would incur no cost at all. For instance, when you get your child’s teeth examined or pay for preventive services, the cost sharing aspect disappears. However, the cost is still a very real element in these instances. This is why, instead of guessing, you should consult your health insurance provider about a list of things that would be included.

2. Not Every Thing Is Covered and It Varies From State to State

The benefits are not uniform across all states and so, as a parent, your job is to find out what is included in your benefits and what is excluded. For example, when orthodontia is concerned, every little requirement of your child might not be covered. The necessary treatment is obviously included but cosmetic treatments would involve some amount of cost sharing. If your child’s needs require it, you should consider increasing your insurance coverage. Preventive treatment and check-ups such as x-rays, scans, etc. are included but beyond that, contact your insurance provider. 

3. The Benefit Can Be Obtained with a Health Plan or a Separate Standalone Plan

There are two ways in which you can get these benefits for your child – purchase it on a standalone basis or get it embedded in a health plan. When you go to get a health plan, pediatric dental care would not be included in it if the insurance provider has a reasonable expectation of you already having access to such a thing. For example, if you have a standalone plan for pediatric dental care, there is no need for the health plan provider to embed the same thing in your health plan. However, if the exchange of your state does not offer any such standalone plans, your health plan would pediatric dental care embedded in the plan. 

4. Age Cap of ACA’s Pediatric Dental Benefit is 19 Years 

One thing that distinguishes the Pediatric Dentistry section of the Affordable Care Act is that the age cap of 19 years is different and is not used in the industry or anywhere else in the Act itself. According to the American Dental Association, “pediatric dental care” usually ends around 12 years of age. Under Affordable Care Act, parent’s general coverage of health insurance continues till 26 years of age. If you notice the norms of state plans like CHIP and Medicaid, you will notice that the age cap for the same is 21 in majority of the states. 

5. Overall Benefits Due to ACA’s Focus on Pediatric Dentistry

Obviously, the benefits are for all to see. If your child’s teeth are healthy, overall health will react accordingly. On the other hand, problems with teeth and oral health can often cause illnesses and diseases in children. This is why, in a way, the ACA is rewarding you and your child for focusing on dental care. 

Getting a good dental plan is important for the whole family. Get a plan that not only ensures top facilities for your child’s dental health but also works out for you. Remember, great dental health starts at an early age with knowledge, proper awareness and a great pediatric dentist.

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12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths

12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths


The most teeth you will ever have is 32. This might be hard to believe when you look at a snail that can have as many as twenty-five thousand tiny teeth located on their tongue. The truth is there are a lot of differences between your mouth and the mouths of animals. The following are 12 facts about animal mouths that you may not have heard before and some will leave you feeling happy that you are not one of them: 

1. The ELEPHANT has molars that can weigh as much as 8 pounds. Can you imagine carrying around teeth that weigh that much? The elephant tusk is also considered a tooth. Elephants have twenty-four teeth in their mouths. That is over two hundred pounds of teeth.

2. The T-REX was a ferocious dinosaur that could eat whatever was in its path. It’s no wonder, considering that the T-Rex had teeth that were 9 inches long and they had more than 60 teeth. They could eat whatever they wanted. 

3. GIRAFFES have 32 teeth like you will when you’re an adult. What is so different about the giraffe’s mouth, though, is their tongue. The giraffe’s tongue is about 20 inches long and they use it just like an elephant uses its trunk. They can pick stuff up with it and even clean their own ears. Jealous?

4. Most kids are jealous of DOGS because it is very rare for a dog to get a cavity. This is because the dog has a lot of good bacteria in the mouth that helps to prevent them. Also, dogs don’t eat a lot of foods with sugar and acid. If you cut back on sugar and acid, you, too, won’t get a lot of cavities. 

5. DOLPHINS only get one set of teeth and they don’t even use them for chewing up their food. They actually swallow all of their food whole. This prevents fish bones from getting caught in their throats. What do they use their teeth for then? They use them only to defend themselves from predators like sharks. 

6. Some animals, like the RABBIT, have teeth that continuously grow. They keep them short by chewing on sticks and twigs. If you have a pet rabbit, you may need to get a metal cage instead of wood so it doesn’t chew through the sides and get out. If they don’t chew to keep the teeth short, they will not be able to eat. 

7. Look inside the mouth of a baby BIRD and you might be shocked by what you see. Baby birds have tooth-like spikes in the back of their throat. They look like teeth and they help them to swallow the food that their mothers bring them. 

8. There is actually a fish that has teeth that look like yours. A SHEEPSHEAD fish has three rows of teeth on the top and two rows on the bottom. The teeth look almost the same as yours and are used to eat a wide variety of foods, including those with hard shells. 

9. CHIMPANZEES, just like you, will have 32 when they reach adulthood. Why don’t they end up with braces like you? As humans evolved, our faces became flatter, while the chimps mouths are still extended. This gives them more room for their 32 teeth. Your mouth is smaller, which means less room and teeth can be pushed out of place easily. 

10. Both ALLIGATORS and CROCODILES have teeth that are hollow. This means they break very easily. However, unlike your adult teeth, alligators and crocodiles grow new ones. They can actually grow as much as three thousand teeth over their lifetime! 

11. Another animal that goes through a lot of teeth is the SHARK. They have teeth that can be replaced over and over again. Many sharks can grow as many as twenty thousand teeth before their death. 

12. Perhaps the weirdest fact about animal mouths, though, is that of the TURTLE in China that pees out of its mouth. That’s right. It actually pees out of its mouth. You just want to be happy that you are not this type of turtle! Read more about 12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths

20 Free Things To Do in Phoenix in the Spring With Kids


20 Free Things To Do in Phoenix in the Spring With Kids

Phoenix is a great place for enjoying low cost and even free family entertainment. Get out this spring and create some interesting memories with your loved ones. Read on for a great list of suggestions.

1. Visit A museum
Did you know that Phoenix is home to fascinating museums offering free admission? The Arizona Capitol Museum and the Arizona Military Museum are both free. Get ready to learn about how Arizona became a state and view artifacts and information about Arizona's military service history. 

2. See A Movie
The Phoenix Big Cinemas offer free family friendly movies several mornings per week all summer long! Stop by in the spring to pick up their schedule. 

3. Go On A Hike 
Why not enjoy some fresh air, bird watching, and exercise? I Heart AZ has a wonderful and descriptive listing of child and pet friendly hikes that have been personally undertaken and written about. View their website at: http://www.iheartaz.com/2014/09/kid-friendly-and-pet-friendly-hikes-in.html for a run down. 

4. Shop And Splash
Several area malls offer the chance to both shop and to splash and cool off. Desert Ridge Marketplace is open every day from seven in the morning until eleven at night. Pack the swimsuits and get ready to experience cool and refreshing free fun. Make it a one-stop shop and visit the children's play area near Barnes and Noble as well as the wide array of shops and restaurants. 

5. Attend an Outdoor Concert
You can attend free outdoor concerts and events at Desert Ridge Marketplace. There are also free concerts most Sundays at noon at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park. 

6. Enjoy a Garden
May 8, 2015 is National Public Gardens Day, and the Desert Botanical Garden is one of Arizona's gems. Come out and enjoy children's activities, while you learn about cactus blooms and butterflies. 

7. Have a Sunrise Breakfast
Arizona boasts beautiful sunrises. Wake up early and bring a packed lunch to any area park, such as Papago Park. Grab a coffee for Mom and Dad and share a special morning together. Afterward, go home and paint a sunrise picture, or stay and play at the playground.

8. Go to The Library
The Phoenix Public Library offers story times, math nights, Lego clubs, jewelry making classes, and movies. Head out to your favorite branch and bring home some great reading material as well. 

9. Meet another Family For Outdoor Games
Public parks such as Dust Devil Park offer a great location for enjoying a game of basketball, or inventing your own game to play on the multi-purpose field. There are convenient shaded areas and restrooms as well. 

10. Go Fishing
Some Phoenix lakes are stocked with fish from spring through fall. If you decide to go fishing, remember that children under the age of 14 do not need a license, but adults do. Adult licenses are available for a nominal fee. 

11. Take A Free Factory Tour
The Stuffington Bear Factory offers charming free drop in mini tours at one in the afternoon Monday through Friday. Experiencing an up close and personal look at how stuffed animals are made is sure to impress and delight the whole family.

12. Watch the Sunset
Head to Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Park, and enjoy a stellar sunset experience. Bring the camera and capture an amazing family photograph.

13. Create Your Own Nature Scavenger Hunt 
Make a scavenger hunt list and then head out to your favorite Phoenix park. Race the clock and find out who can find all of the items on the list first! 

14. Volunteer Together
Consider volunteering at the Easter Outreach event for the Phoenix Rescue Mission. When your shift is over, enjoy the event yourselves and take part in face painting end egg dying. 

15. Geocaching
Check out this website for a brief overview. https://www.geocaching.com/play# A free, fun, outdoor family adventure. All you need is a mobile device, legs, and determination.

16. Visit The Oldest Catholic Church In Phoenix 
Take a reverent visit to St. Mary's Basilica and the stained glass windows and educational displays. 

17. Stroll Through The Historic Districts
Take your own sightseeing tour of downtown Phoenix. Enjoy viewing the exterior of early urban Arizona architecture. 

18. Visit A Farmer's Market
The Ahwatukee Farmer's Market in Phoenix is free to attend every Sunday morning, and parking is also free. Enjoy the sights and smells offered by the stands of various local artisans and farmers.

19. Attend The Annual Peach Festival 
Schnepf's Farms holds an annual peach festival that is free to attend. The event usually takes place in May. Stay tuned for this year's exact dates. The whole family can enjoy tractor displays and peach picking. Get your peach recipes ready!

20. Attend First Friday Arts Festivals
Trolley transportation is free and runs on fifteen minute intervals. Enjoy viewing art and building art appreciation with your family. 

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10 Secrets You Didn't Know About Pacifier and Thumb Sucking Habits


10 Secrets You Didn't Know About Pacifier and Thumb Sucking Habits


Secret #1:

Do you know that sucking is a life skill your child began in the womb? When just a tiny infant, the child continued sucking. Sucking, whether the baby sucks on a thumb or pacifier, is natural. A baby can become a thumb or pacifier sucker during the first few months. Sucking becomes a way for the baby to calm down. It also becomes a way to help the baby to fall asleep. It can be a way for the baby to just feel good.

Secret #2:

Why does a baby need to suck? Sucking helps a baby meet new challenges. Sucking helps the baby to sleep through the night. Sucking helps a baby to eat with the family. Sucking helps a baby to feel comfortable on a long car ride. Sucking simply helps the baby to cope.

Secret #3:

Thumb sucking, finger sucking or pacifier sucking is common during those first few months. It is thought to be harmless by pediatric dentists. Sucking on a thumb or pacifier will not hold back your toddler’s development. It will not make it harder for a toddler between the ages of one to three to talk or play. A toddler in the age range of two to four will begin to develop other coping skills according to pediatric dentist, Mary Hayes. You should only be concerned after the age of four if your child is still dependent on sucking.

Secret #4:

Will sucking a pacifier or thumb hurt your child’s teeth? Sucking can alter the shape of the mouth, especially around the time that the permanent teeth start coming in (around age 6).  The stronger/longer/more often the child sucks; the more the shape of the child’s mouth can be altered.

Secret #5:

Sucking puts pressure on the sides and roof of the mouth. This keeps the teeth from meeting top to bottom. Later, the child will likely need braces to correct this. And in some cases, it can sadly cause speech problems such as a lisp. The lisp will then need to be corrected with speech therapy.

Secret #6:

Thumb or finger sucking can cause a “thumb hole” to develop in the roof of the child’s mouth. This makes the teeth in the back of the mouth do most of the chewing. This causes the teeth to be off balance. This affects the mouth and jaw as the child grows.

Secret #7:

What should you do about this? You certainly should lessen the child’s dependence on thumb or finger sucking. Try to do this before the child’s thumb or finger sucking coping skills become a conscious habit.

Secret #8:

What should you not do? You definitely should not pull the child’s thumb out of his mouth. Consider using a different strategy. Growing up causes a lot of anxiety for a child. The child finds thumb or pacifier sucking a soothing activity. It reduces the child’s anxiety. 

Secret #9:

There are other ways you can help your child to stop sucking his or her thumb or pacifier.
• Do try to limit the time your child sucks his or her thumb to nap or night bedtime.
• Don’t criticize your child for sucking his or her thumb. Do praise him or her when not sucking his or her thumb.
• Don’t forbid your child to suck his or her thumb when he or she is hurt. Your child needs to be comforted.
• Do make your child aware that he is sucking his thumb or pacifier. Help your child find another way to cope such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.

• Do use creative ways to make your child understand that he is growing up. Explain that growing up means you won’t suck your thumb anymore someday. You could always ask your child, “Do you think Bob the Builder sucks his thumb?”
• Do be patient.  Most children stop sucking their thumb or pacifier on their own by age 5.

Secret #10:

Although you can take away a pacifier whenever you choose, alas, there is no silver bullet to eliminate a thumb sucking habit. It just takes time. Read more about 10 Secrets You Didn't Know About Pacifier and Thumb Sucking Habits

How Many Teaspoons of Sugar are in Your Kid's Drink?

How Many Teaspoons of Sugar are in Your Kid's Drink?

What is your favorite kid's drink? Do you love soft drinks like Coca-Cola or Mountain Dew? Maybe your favorite drinks include juices like apple juice and orange juice. Chocolate milk is also popular, especially at school with lunch. Do you know what drinks are the healthiest for you? Many popular kid's drinks are loaded with sugar, which is not healthy for your body or your teeth. I am going to tell you how much sugar is in the most common kids drinks. If you know that a drink has too much sugar, then maybe you will choose another drink that will be good for your body and won't cause cavities.

Most kids will admit that they love the jolt of energy that sugary drinks give them. Maybe that is why Coca-cola is high on the list of the most sugary soft drinks that kids adore. Did you know that a 12-ounce can of Coke has almost 10 teaspoons of sugar? Many parents will give their kids the 20-ounce size due to the replaceable cap. That size has almost 20 teaspoons of sugar! Now, many kids aren't allowed to drink the "Big Gulp" size that stores like 7-Eleven sell. So, if you're a kid and you're reading this, and you see your parents drink the "Big Gulp" size, you can tell them that is has a whopping 32 teaspoons of sugar! 

Another favorite drink among children are the flavored teas. Some brands you may have had are Sobe, Arizona, or Snapple. These may be delicious, but your teeth won't be smiling at how much sugar is in them. These teas tend to have between six and eight teaspoons of sugar in them. Although that is a little less than a can of soda, that is still a lot of sugar. Plus, some teas also have caffeine, and children should not have much of that either. 

Let's move on to juices. Kids of all ages love juice. Many popular juices include apple juice, orange juice, and even lemonade is considered a juice. Parents and children are led to believe that juice is better for you since it comes straight from fruit. This is where reading the label comes in handy. You have to look for the percentage of actual fruit juice that is in your drink. Several types of so-called fruit juices only have a small percentage of juice in them. That's why they are loaded with sugar. Some of the most popular ones like Minute Maid have between 13 and 15 teaspoons of sugar. Imagine taking a spoon and shoveling that much sugar into a drink. That's a lot!

Capri Suns are a refreshing and easy drink that parents like to buy their children. Kids will drink these all day long, as they are convenient and make very little mess. However, did you know that these little 6.75-ounce drinks have almost five teaspoons of sugar? Another interesting fact about Capri Suns is that they have 70 total calories and all of those calories come from sugar. So, you may think the Capri Suns are a better choice than soda, but it is about the same amount of sugar as Coke. 

Last, let's talk about chocolate milk. Most kids love chocolate. Schools everywhere serve chocolate milk with their school lunches. An eight-ounce serving of chocolate milk has almost eight teaspoons of sugar. That is like having one teaspoon of sugar per ounce of drink. Chocolate milk is not healthier just because it contains milk. It is actually similar to the sugar content in the other drinks. 

Was your favorite drink mentioned in this article? If so, I hope that you will choose a drink next time that has less sugar. The best way to find out how much sugar a drink has is to read the label. When in doubt, water is always a good choice and it is something your body needs to stay hydrated. Sugar in any form will stick to your teeth and may cause cavities. Cavities will eat away your teeth. This causes many other problems. So, limit your sugar. Knowledge is power! Read more about How Many Teaspoons of Sugar are in Your Kid's Drink?

10 Common Activities That Expose You to More Radiation Than Dental X-Rays


10 Common Activities That Expose You to More Radiation Than Dental X-Rays

Radiation is one of the scariest things in the world. While it won't usually make you glow in the dark, it could cause a bunch of awful things to happen to your body.

Many patients try to wiggle their way out of their dentist appointments because they're worried about the radiation their dental x-rays might expose them to.

The good news is that very low levels of radiation aren't hazardous. Dental x-rays expose you to less radiation than some activities you perform each day. In nitty-gritty technical terms, standard set of 4 dental xrays for a routine check-up adds up to .005 mSev of radiation. An average day in the life of your average “Joe the Plumber” exposes you to almost .010 mSev of radiation from background sources, AKA the stuff around us.

So let's take a look at 10 harmless and ordinary common activities that expose you to more radiation than dental x-rays.

1. Drinking Water

Radiation exists naturally in the environment. It's a by-product of certain chemicals breaking down. It permeates the soil that water flows over.

Man-made sources are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The allowed levels of radiation are equal to the amount of radiation an entire city absorbs each year.

You drink this water and absorb tiny amounts of radiation. This can expose you to more radiation than some of the more advanced x-ray techniques your dentist uses.

2. Breathing

Uranium deposits occur naturally deep within the Earth. These heavier materials decay into other elements, which include radioactive radon gas.

This gas then escapes upwards through the soil to permeate the air we breathe and the water we drink. It's even in the soil we use to grow food.

Breathing radon gas is considerably more dangerous than anything else listed here, but it is an unavoidable part of living.

3. Cooking on the Stove

Natural gas is one of the leading sources of energy. It's especially convenient for cooking on an open stove range.

The problem is that gasses like radon and other radioactive components tend to exist in it. You'll breath in radioactive materials when you cook and consume food that was cooked on a natural gas stovetop.

4. Using Electronics

Cell phones, fluorescent lamps, microwaves and computers all emit small amounts of radiation. The radiation is a by-product of screens, the processes the allow products to cook, wireless signals and countless other things.

These levels are so low that they pose no known risk to you or your health.

You'll still receive more radiation from these sources than you will from x-rays at your dentist's office, which is true even if you see your dentist several times a year.

5. Enjoying the Outdoors

Simply walking outside exposes you to minute levels of radiation. This radiation is known as background radiation, and it's a naturally occurring effect.

The radiation can come from the soil, the air or the rain. It tends to come primarily from the sun, which is a small price to pay to enjoy the warmth that keeps our planet nice and toasty.

The unfortunate news is that you'll still get more radiation enjoying the outdoors than you will in the dentist's office. Neither source will cause you to glow in the dark.

6. Medical Scans

While not necessarily a common activity, medical scans are common sources of radiation. They're acceptable sources of radiation that expose you to more radiation than your dentist will.

For example, a CT scan of your chest will expose you to about 4 mSv of radiation each time you have one taken.

One bitewing x-ray will expose you to just 0.002 mSv of radiation.

7. Eating Food

As expressed earlier, radiation loves to reside within soil. This includes the nutrients that plants absorb while they grow, which is how radiation travels from the dirt to your food.

Even if you don't eat vegetables, your food involves them in some way. Even organic food has minute levels of radiation.

You'll acquire significantly more radiation when you eat food than when you have x-rays taken at the dentist's office.

8. Flying

Cosmic radiation comes from the rest of the universe. The stars (including our sun), planets, asteroids and even black holes emit varying levels of radiation.

While the Earth's ozone blocks a significant amount of this radiation, it does its best when you're near sea level. Flying in planes puts you in parts of the atmosphere that are less shielded, which means that you'll see more radiation while flying.

The good news is that you'll see less radiation at your dentist's office, unless your dentist's office is located in a high-altitude town, in a plane, or on Venus.

9. Talking to Someone

Because of the way radioactive particles travel, our bodies naturally absorb them. We then become carriers for this radiation.

When we talk to other people or interact with them, we expose others to this radiation.

Even hugging can be a source of radiation, but neither it nor your dentist's x-rays have enough radiation to harm anyone.

10. Reading a Book

Dirt is one carrier for radiation. Trees grow in soil. Wood is made from trees. Paper originates from wood. Words are printed on paper, then bound together to form books.

When you open that lovely novel to curl up with as a bedtime activity, you're exposing yourself to radiation.

You'll expose yourself to enough radiation while reading to make the radiation your dentist uses in x-rays look as insignificant as a few drops in a glass of water.

Radiation from Dental X-Rays Won't Give You Superpowers

The thing that all these activities, including dental x-rays, have in common is that they all expose you to very low levels of radiation. It's unlikely that they'll get you sick, make you grow a third arm, or give you superpowers.

What they can do is to make your life better. Dental x-rays are especially helpful, as they help your dentist diagnose your mouth for treatment. Detailed diagnosis of oral problems before restorative work leads to a happy, healthy mouth with a beautiful smile.


**At Tatum Pediatric Dentistry, we follow the radiographic guidelines for minimal exposure that the ADA established in collaboration with the FDA. Read more about 10 Common Activities That Expose You to More Radiation Than Dental X-Rays


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