Synergy Dental’s Tips of the Day
Daily tidbits to help you along the path to oral health and overall wellness.
December 13, 2010: Canker Sores. Are you prone to canker sores? If so, consider a toothpaste without the foaming agent sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), which research has shown can contribute to canker sores. We recommend Dental Herb Company’s Herbal Tooth and Gums Paste – it’s the ONLY toothpaste Dr. Ulm and his family use. Available only at select dental providers – call us at 801-701-2211 for details or visit the Dental Herb Co.’s webpage at http://www.dentalherbcompany.com.
December 6, 2010: Insurance Reminder. Our December schedule is filling up in a hurry! If you have remaining benefits you’d like to take advantage of, call today to schedule an appointment. 801-701-2211
December 1, 2010: Making your child’s appointment a pleasant one. When bringing your child to a dental appointment, avoid using words like “hurt”, “shot”, “pain”, etc. If your child needs reassurance, focus on positive aspects of their visit – shiny clean teeth, balloons, coloring, prizes! Our philosophy is that dentistry shouldn’t hurt, period. Our team is very experienced in working with kids and have lots of tricks up their sleeves to make things go smoothly. When injections are necessary, Dr. Ulm is almost magical in his ability to give them without children even knowing they’ve had one. It’s not uncommon for well-meaning parents to say things like, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt!” which actually make their child more anxious and can plant ideas about pain and discomfort that might not have even been the root of their concern until mentioned. Dr. Ulm and Jessica will walk your child through each step of their visit and keep them as informed as they need to be about what’s going on without offering so much information that they become concerned or anxious. You can help make your child’s visit a great experience by keeping things positive and upbeat prior to their appointment and during their visit, and leaving the details to us.
November 29, 2010: Insurance Benefits. Take advantage of your remaining insurance benefits before they roll over at the end of the year! If your plan allows for two checkups per year and you’ve only had one, give us a call at 801-701-2211 and use the benefits you’re paying for. If you’ve already met your deductible for the year and still have work to be done, do it now and avoid having to pay your deductible again. If your needed treatment is in excess of your yearly maximum benefit, we’ll work with you to maximize your benefit for 2010 and help you make a plan for 2011.
November 22, 2010: Infant teeth care. As soon as teeth erupt, they need to be brushed. Be sure to brush baby’s teeth yourself at least once per day, using either a soft-bristled toothbrush or a damp rag, with the nighttime brushing being the most important. Plaque allowed to remain on the teeth throughout the night can lead to severe decay in a surprisingly short amount of time. Now is the time to build good habits!
Helpful hints to encourage cooperation in small children:
- If baby is old enough to sit up by him or herself unassisted, give him or her a small soft-bristled toothbrush to chew on as soon as the first two teeth appear.
- Make brushing an important part of your bedtime routine, and do your best to prevent the “just for tonight” pitfalls.
- Sing a song while brushing! Modify the words to a tune your child already knows, or make up an entirely new one!
- Try a reward system, giving your child “points”, stickers, etc. each time they brush.
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, or juice.
- Bring your child in for their first dental checkup by age three.
November 19, 2010: Soda. It’s not only the sugar, but the acid in soda that is detrimental to your teeth. For this reason, diet sodas aren’t entirely risk-free. If you must drink soda, avoid sipping on it throughout the day. This continually bathes your teeth in sugar and acid and gives bacteria more than enough opportunity to become established. Be sure to drink plenty of water in between sodas, and ideally, drink it only with meals and brush afterward.
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Kids-Only Hygiene Day: Santa’s Workshop!
We are thrilled to announce our next Kid’s-Only Hygiene Day on Wednesday December 22nd, with the fun holiday theme of Santa’s Workshop. Join us at the North Pole (our office) for a fun day of games, prizes, and cleaning little elves’ teeth! Our staff will be costumed as Santa’s helpers, and we invite our little elf patients to do the same (or come as a reindeer, gingerbread man, Santa himself – be creative!). We’ll be making cute keepsake ornaments, pinning the nose on Rudolph, and as always holding a Grand Prize Giveaway.
In the true spirit of giving, we’ll also be collecting children’s winter coats for The Christmas Box House, a residential home for abandoned, neglected, and abused children in Utah. For every new or gently used coat you bring, we’ll give you a $10 gift certificate for services in our office. Hats, gloves, and boots/shoes are also appreciated.
We’ll be decking the halls between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and space is limited, so call (801)701-2211 now to book your appointment! All are welcome, so feel free to forward this on to friends & family! Regular fees apply for cleanings/checkups, and dental insurance will be billed as usual.
Dr. Ulm Now IAOMT Accredited
In September 2010, Dr. Ulm became the first dentist in the State of Utah accredited with the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (www.iaomt.org), the world’s foremost authority on biocompatibility and toxicity in oral medicine. Accreditation is achieved only after a rigorous examination of mercury-safe practices and an in-depth written and oral exam covering a number of concerns in biological dentistry, including biocompatibility of materials, toxicity, fluoride, and nutrition, among other requirements. We are proud of this distinction and feel it accurately reflects our commitment to excellence in biological dentistry.
For more information about the IAOMT, visit www.iaomt.org.
For more about biological dentistry, visit our Biological Dentistry page, or call us at
Welcome to Synergy Dental’s blog and newsletter! We’ll be posting frequent articles relating to oral health and dentistry, and hope our patients will find them interesting, informative, and helpful. If there’s a topic you’d like to see discussed, please let us know! To ensure you won’t miss an article, subscribe to our email list by entering your email address in the box at the top of our website (we’ll never share your email address or personal information).
Patient Appreciation Month
This month we’re excited to be offering several specials for our loyal patients in honor of our Patient Appreciation Month. Those specials are discussed in detail on our Patient Specials page, and include 10% off all treatment scheduled before May 31st! Our schedule is filling up fast – call today at 801-701-2211 to take advantage of this discount.
We are excited to be included in Salt Lake City Weekly’s annual Green Guide! Our commitment to minimizing our impact on the environment includes recycling, keeping digital rather than paper files, conserving water, using digital xrays, and perhaps most importantly, being Mercury Safe. To learn more about Green Dentistry and our role, visit our Green Dentistry page.
Featured Article: Kid’s Oral Health
Dr. Ulm's daughter Ella Mae (photo credit Kelly Bennett, kellybennetphotography.com)
One of the most common topics of concern for our patients is their kids’ oral health. From when to begin brushing to dental injuries, we’ve covered the most frequently asked questions below:
Q: When should we begin brushing our child’s teeth?
A: As soon as they have teeth to brush. The earliest baby teeth can be cleaned easily and gently by rubbing with a soft, damp rag. Begin introducing a small, soft-bristled toothbrush around 9 months, or when they’ve got a few teeth on the top and bottom. Because small children cannot control their swallowing reflex, do not use toothpaste until the age of 2 or 3, and even then, use a very, very small amount. It’s not uncommon for kids to fight toothbrushing, but we’ve found success with singing songs, giving rewards like stickers, and using fun toothbrushes (some even have lights in the handles!).
Q: When should we bring our child in for his/her first dental visit?
A: Around the age of two-and-a-half or three, or sooner if you have issues of concern. The first dental visit should be little more than a brief introduction to the office, the dentist, and the experience of sitting in a dental chair and having someone looking in their mouth. Most children do not tolerate more than that, and we don’t expect them to. At our office, we make sure to make the visit as fun as possible, and appreciate the opportunity to start your child on the road to great oral health in the most positive way. A great way to introduce your child to the dental office is to bring them with you to your own cleaning. They’ll get to see you go through the process, and we’ll give them a “ride” in the dental chair while you’re there. You’ll get your cleaning, they’ll get a “chair ride” and a prize, and everyone’s happy!
Q: My child won’t go to sleep at night without nursing or taking a bottle. Will this harm his teeth?
A: In an ideal world, children would fall asleep happily after having their teeth brushed with no further liquids other than water (and sleep a sound 10-12 hours!). In reality most children, especially infants, require the comfort of nursing to fall asleep. Fear not! All is not lost. Keep a damp rag close by during that final feeding, and after your little one has drifted off, do your best to wipe off his teeth before putting him down for the night.
Q: How will I know if my child has a cavity?
A: Each day when you and your child brush, look closely at her teeth for small holes and discolorations. The most obvious cavities in small children happen on the chewing surfaces in the grooves of the teeth, but just because you don’t see anything suspicious doesn’t mean decay hasn’t begun between the teeth or deep in the grooves. Certainly if she complains of tooth pain or sensitivity when drinking cold liquids or eating warm foods (or sweets), it’s a good idea to bring her in for an exam. The very best way to find cavities before they become a problem is to bring your child in for regular exams and cleanings.
Q: Should I really be concerned about my child’s baby teeth? Won’t they just fall out?
A: You should absolutely be concerned about your child’s baby teeth, for a number of reasons. First of all, good habits are best when started early. If you neglect to brush your child’s baby teeth, it will be much more difficult to convince them as a six- or seven-year-old that it’s time to start. A child who is familiar with the dentist at an early age will be much happier to come in for regular visits, and tend to be much more cooperative. Secondly, “bad dentition = bad nutrition”. In other words, with unhealthy or painful teeth, kids don’t have the necessary tools to eat a well-balanced diet, which is such an important part of overall health. In addition, kids with visibly bad teeth acquire a social stigma that is hard to shake and can cause serious psychological and emotional damage. Perhaps most importantly, the health of your child’s baby teeth precludes the health of his or her permanent teeth. Neglected cavities can cause infection, which can in turn damage the permanent teeth waiting to come in. Also, poor oral health can contribute to poor overall health. Research shows that bacteria in the mouth is the same bacteria that causes heart disease. And finally, no one wants their child to experience pain, and unfortunately, neglected baby teeth are almost certain to result in painful decay. Childhood is the perfect time to set up good health habits that will continue for a lifetime.
Q: What should I do if my child’s tooth is injured or knocked out?
A: Even if a tooth isn’t knocked out or broken, an impact can cause damage and even result in infection. When a tooth is hit hard enough, the tooth “dies”. This can cause the tooth to turn a dull grey color. The tooth can die right away, or it can happen after weeks, months, or even years. If pain occurs in a previously injured tooth, chances are the tooth has died and requires treatment to avoid serious infection. When a tooth has been knocked out, the best course of action is to quickly rinse the tooth, grasping it by the bottom and avoiding the root, then replace the tooth in the socket and try to keep it there until you can get your child in to see us. Look at the tooth closely for any breaks or chips, and scan the area and your child’s mouth for any fragments. We may be able to re-bond those fragments to the tooth. If you aren’t comfortable putting the tooth back in the socket or if your child is hesitant to let you, place it in milk and call us immediately for an appointment. The longer the tooth is out of the socket, the less likely we’ll be able to get it back in. It’s also important to bring your child in for a broken tooth. Chances are Dr. Ulm can easily patch it with a filling.
Synergy Dental Kid’s Club
Speaking of kids, if you haven’t been in for checkups lately, you may not be aware of our Synergy Dental Kid’s Club! It’s a fun program we use to get kids age 2 through 12 excited about good dental hygiene. Below are just a few of the things kids love about us:
- Gaming console, toys, and books, and kid-friendly movies in our special kid’s area
- In-ceiling TV’s in each exam room
- Fun prizes at the end of each visit
- Monthly coloring contests
- Colorful Kid’s Club Wall where each child’s photo is proudly displayed
- One child is selected each month as our Synergy Star and receives a $10 Walmart gift certificate!
Our littlest patients make our days so much fun! We look forward to seeing your little ones soon!