Kids, You May Be Using Too Much Toothpaste, CDC Suggests

By: Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes


📌 How do you know if your kids are using too much toothpaste? And how much is the recommended amount that we should give them? Use this guideline from Forbes! The Oral Surgery DC Team


How do you know if you are using too much toothpaste? If your body is covered in toothpaste head-to-toe, you are probably using too much toothpaste. You also may have horrible aim. However, even if you are keeping the toothpaste confined to your mouth, you still may be using too much toothpaste.

Using too much toothpaste could be a problem, especially if you are less than 6 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone less 2 years old not use fluoride toothpaste. If you’re between 2 and 3 years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and American Dental Association (ADA) recommendation is brushing twice a day, using a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste each time. If you are between 3 and 6 years old, you should continue to brush your teeth twice daily with no more than a pea-sized (that’s “pea” with an “a”) amount of toothpaste, which is approximately 0.25 g, on each occasion.

Why the limitations? Although fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, swallowing too much while your teeth are still forming can mess up the enamel on your teeth. This condition, deemed dental fluorosis, can result in white spots or lines. In case you are wondering, such a permanent bedazzled look is not a great one for your teeth. In more severe cases, pits can develop on your teeth.

The pea-sized recommendation only goes to age 6 because by then presumably you have enough control to not regularly swallow your toothpaste while brushing. Presumably. By the time you reach 8 years old, your teeth have probably already developed to the point where dental fluorosis is no longer a real concern. This doesn’t necessarily mean that when you get beyond 8 years old that you should start stuffing your mouth with toothpaste. A pea-sized amount should suffice for teens and adults as well. If you are foaming at the mouth while brushing, you are most likely either a werewolf or using too much toothpaste.

A study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)showed that a significant percentage of kids may not be following these recommendations. For the study, a team from the CDC (Gina Thornton-Evans, DDS, Michele L. Junger, DDS, Mei Lin, MD, Liang Wei, MS, Lorena Espinoza, DDS) and the D.B. Consulting Group, Inc. (Eugenio Beltran-Aguilar, DMD, DrPH) analyzed data on 5,157 children and adolescents who were 3 to 15 years old and whose parents or caregivers completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2013 to 2016. The NHANES included questions on the children’s and adolescents’ toothbrushing habits. Or should it be teeth brushing habits?

The study found that when it came to following the CDC’s toothbrushing recommendations, many of the kids were not all right. Some kids jumped the gums, with 8.9% of white kids, 10.8% of black kids, and 7.7% of Mexican-American kids beginning to use toothpaste before reaching one year in age. Others started late, with 21.4% of white kids, 17.3% of black kids, and 31.2% of Mexican-American kids brushing off using toothpaste until after reaching 3 years of age. A sizeable percentage of those between 3 and 6 years old were using too much toothpaste with a reported 12.4% using a smear, 49.2% a pea-sized amount, 20.6% a half load, and 17.8% a full load on their brushes each time. That’s over 38% using too much, much, much toothpaste while going brush, brush, brush.

So add toothpaste to the growing list of things that many Americans are using in excess. Don’t follow those commercials that show a full load of toothpaste on a toothbrush. Instead, when you go to the bathroom, besides thinking pee, you may want to think pea. Just make sure you don’t mix up the two.



How long does it take to recover from a wisdom tooth extraction?



Are you planning to visit us for a wisdom tooth extraction soon?

📌 Before you come in, get yourself prepared with these tips from Medical News Today! The Oral Surgery DC Team


Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common dental surgeries. It can take up to 2 weeks to recover fully after wisdom teeth removal. Looking after the wound properly can help a person to heal as quickly as possible.

Wisdom teeth are large teeth that grow at the very back of the mouth. Most people’s wisdom teeth come through between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people may not have any wisdom teeth come through at all.

Sometimes, there is not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to move into the right position. They might break through the gums at an angle or only come through partially. When this occurs, they are called impacted wisdom teeth, and they can cause problems, such as pain or an infection.

The length of time it takes to remove a wisdom tooth depends on the tooth and the difficulty of the surgery.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?

Recovery from wisdom teeth removal usually takes a couple of weeks.

Some people might need stitches to help close the wound.

The dental surgeon will usually remove the stitches after about 1 week.

Sometimes, the surgery causes bruising, swelling, and pain, which will also require time to heal.

Recovery from wisdom tooth surgery will be gradual, but people should see some improvement every day.

The healing process can be broken down into the following stages:

  • First 24 hours: Blood clots will form.
  • 2 to 3 days: Swelling of the mouth and cheeks should improve.
  • 7 days: A dentist can remove any stitches that remain.
  • 7 to 10 days: Jaw stiffness and soreness should go away.
  • 2 weeks: Any mild bruising on the face should heal.

Recovery time will be different for everyone. If blood clots become dislodged from the wound, or the wound becomes infected, recovery may take longer.

How to speed up healing

Blood clots will form in the place where the tooth was removed. Blood clots are an essential part of the healing process because they:

  • help prevent too much bleeding
  • protect the wound from infection
  • allow new tissue to grow
  • protect the exposed bone

It is particularly important not to dislodge these blood clots in the first 24 hours. People should avoid:

  • brushing teeth next to the extraction site
  • rinsing the mouth
  • drinking hot drinks
  • eating food that requires chewing
  • avoiding sucking on straws, smoking, or drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours

It is a good idea to gently rinse the mouth with antiseptic mouth rinse after 24 hours.

What can you do immediately after surgery?

Pain relief medication may help to relieve discomfort after wisdom teeth removal.

People should take the advice of their dentist or surgeon on how to aid recovery.

They should give clear information on any medication to take and what to do to encourage healing.

Advice might include biting on a gauze pad in the extraction area for 30 minutes.

A dentist or surgeon may also suggest using an ice pack for the first few hours after surgery.

Holding an ice pack to the outside of the face over the area of the extraction site for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off will help reduce discomfort and swelling.

A range of cold packs is available for purchase online.

People will not be able to drive for 48 hours if they have been in the hospital for surgery and had a general anesthetic. If possible, it is a good idea to take 1 or 2 days off work or school after surgery.

People can take pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen, to help with pain and discomfort after wisdom tooth surgery. Ibuprofen is available for purchase over the counter or online.

Tips for home care

It is essential to keep the wound clean while it is healing. Because people still need to eat and drink, food can easily get stuck in the area where the tooth was removed. This can make keeping the wound area clean a bit challenging.

Try the following to help keep the wound clean:

  • using an antiseptic mouth rinse to prevent infection. A range of products is available for purchase online.
  • rinsing with warm water and salt to reduce swelling and soothe sore gums
  • raising the head when sleeping to feel more comfortable

As well as pain, some people will feel tired after having their wisdom teeth out and might choose to avoid exercise for a few days after the surgery.

What can you eat?

Eating soft or liquid foods can help to prevent damage to wounds. Some examples are:

  • soup
  • jello
  • soft noodles
  • eggs
  • mashed banana

For the first few days after surgery, avoid foods that need chewing, such as sticky candy or chewing gum as these may get stuck and can cause pain and damage to the healing wounds. Also avoid hard, crunchy food, such as chips, pretzels, nuts, and seeds, as well as hot or spicy foods.

If one or two wisdom teeth have been removed from the same side of the mouth, it may be possible to chew on the opposite side of the mouth after 24 hours.

Why are the wisdom teeth so problematic?

Regular checkups may help to prevent wisdom teeth from causing problems.

As wisdom teeth come through in adulthood, the other teeth in the mouth have already settled into place.

There often is not enough room in the mouth for the arrival of four large teeth.

If a tooth only comes part way through the gum, it is easy for food to get trapped between the tooth and gum. It can also be more difficult to keep these teeth clean, which can lead to infection or tooth decay.

However, wisdom teeth can also cause problems even if they come through the gum entirely. If they grow at an angle, they might rub against the inside of the mouth or the gums. They may cause pain by pushing against other teeth.

Visiting the dentist regularly as an adolescent and in early adulthood means that the dentist can keep an eye on how the wisdom teeth are developing and should be able to identify whether there will be any problems.


With proper aftercare, recovery usually takes around 2 weeks.

Sometimes, a person may develop an infection and will require antibiotics.

Symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling, yellow or white pus around the wound, and a high temperature.

There is a small risk of developing a condition called dry socket. This can happen if a blood clot does not form or gets knocked away from the wound. Dry socket causes intense, throbbing pain. A dentist will usually need to cover the wound with a dressing.

Complications are unlikely after wisdom tooth surgery with proper aftercare. If someone has severe pain, a lot of bleeding, a fever, or any other unexpected symptoms, they may wish to see a doctor or dentist.



Is Water Flossing the Perfect Tool for Better Oral Health?


By: Jacqueline Fallon, The Dental Geek

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s ( CDC ) Oral Health report, over 90% of Americans have had at least one cavity, and one in four has untreated tooth decay. Meanwhile, around half of all adults above the age of 30 have gum disease.

Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice daily, but for those with gum disease and frequent plaque build-up, one gadget that should be present on your bathroom is a water flosser!

 The Dental Geek shares its importance and some ways it can help you! The Oral Surgery DC Team


Good oral health involves more than having a beautiful smile; it is key if we are to enjoy food, feel confident about interacting with others and avoid oral pain. Statistics show, however, that many Americans could improve in this department. Over 90% of Americans have had at least one cavity, and one in four has untreated tooth decay. Meanwhile, around half of all adults above the age of 30 have gum disease – according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Oral Health report. Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice daily, but for those with gum disease and frequent plaque build-up, one gadget that should be present on your bathroom countertop is a water flosser.

How does a Water Flosser Work?

Water flossers clean teeth and gums through a combination of water pressure and pulsations, which remove food and plaque. They work similarly to dental floss, but the pressure means that tiny pieces of food you don’t even notice can be efficiently removed. Water flossers can reach areas that floss cannot get into; for instance, beneath the gumline at the front of teeth. Users can alter the pressure according to their needs. Therefore, those with sensitive gums may use a lower setting, while those after a power clean can set their flosser on high pressure.

Are Water Flossers Effective?

The effectiveness of water flossers was put to the test in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry. Participants to the study were assigned to one of two groups. Group One used a manual toothbrush plus a water flosser, while Group Two used a manual toothbrush and waxed dental floss to clean between teeth. The results showed that the water floss group had a 74.4% reduction in whole mouth plaque and an 81.6% reduction in plaque between teeth. The dental floss group meanwhile, had a 57.7% and 63.45% reduction in plaque in these respective areas. The scientists noted that the water flosser was, therefore, a superior way to keep plaque at bay.

When Might Your Dentist Recommend a Water Flosser?

Your dentist may recommend this method of daily cleaning if you have frequent plaque build-up or if your gums tend to become inflamed. If you have a condition like gingivitis, you may be recommended to wait until bleeding has stopped to use a water floss. For more serious periodontal disease, a water flosser will simply not be enough. You may be recommended a root scaling and planing treatment and perhaps later, a water flosser can play a role in the maintenance of your gum health. Water flosses also work well for teeth that are difficult to clean. For instance, if you have wisdom teeth that have not been removed, the teeth may be very tight and it may be very difficult to get dental floss in between them.

Because a water flosser cleans plaque and removes trapped food so effectively, it is ideal for teeth in odd positions, but it can also form part of a daily oral health routine for anyone wishing to obtain an optimal clean. Studies have shown that it is more effective than standard brushing and flossing, so if you are worried about decay and gum inflammation and disease, ask your dentist if a flosser is suitable for you. Flossers have removable tips, so one machine can be used by more than one family member.



Why do our kids have tooth decay?


By: Alvin Danenberg, DDS, 


DYK that the primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because of nutritional deficiencies? Some of the top causes related to this issue are acidic and sugary drinks, compromised gut bacteria, and a sedentary lifestyle.

👩🏾‍⚕️ Worried about your kids? DrBicuspid has some advice! The Oral Surgery DC Team


Our kids have tooth decay not because they’re deficient in fluoride.

Our kids have bleeding gums not because they don’t brush and floss twice a day.

The primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because their nutrition is deficient, their drinks are acidic and sugary, their healthy gut bacteria are compromised, and their lifestyles are sedentary.

These deficiencies also manifest in childhood as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, skin eruptions, allergies, and a host of other diseases. Improper nutrition and lifestyles early in life sow the seeds for many of the degenerative diseases that plague us later in life.

4 behaviors

When it comes to avoiding tooth decay and taking care of oral health, brushing and flossing are important, but four other behaviors are just as important.

I tell my patients that having healthy bacteria in the gut promotes healthy bacteria in their saliva, which allows for normal function in the mouth. This also assists in preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

“I also tell them that a healthy body improves gut health and metabolism.”

I remind my patients and their parents to avoid refined carbohydrates. Avoiding these can help prevent the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and help maintain a healthy acid level in the mouth.

One way to provide the necessary arsenal for saliva to remineralize teeth is to make sure essential nutrients and trace minerals are included in their diets.

I also tell them that a healthy body improves gut health and metabolism. I encourage an active lifestyle of playing outside, rather than sitting in front of a TV or playing video games.

Way of eating

I pull the parents of younger patients aside and remind them that their kids will eat the way Mom and Dad eat. Kids learn by example. Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts, almond butter spread on celery sticks, slices of raw cheeses, and cut up pieces of colorful sweet peppers. Healthy drinks could include filtered water, unsweetened seltzers, teas without sugar, and kombucha.

My thought is that if they are eating a healthy diet at home, and if they are given healthy meals and snacks for lunches at school, then whatever minimal cheating they do is not so bad.

Dental visits should be pleasant. Children shouldn’t have to be concerned about tooth decay or gum disease if they are getting the nutrients their bodies need to thrive. Kids should clean their mouths appropriately but they must eat nutritiously. Their mouths will thank them and their overall health will thank them.



Dentists say this common ingredient could be messing with your mouth

By: Zoe Weiner, MSN


The best part of brushing and swishing mouthwash (aside from the whole “no gum disease or cavities” thing) is that “ahh”-inducing feeling you get right after you’ve finished cleaning your teeth.

And now, thanks to flavoring with essential oils, natural toothpaste and mouthwash can give your mouth the same minty-freshness as the old-fashioned stuff most of us grew up on.

But no matter how much you love that cool and tingly breath after a particularly satisfying brush sesh, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to putting those sweet-yet-spicy smelling essential oils in your mouth.

 Read on and learn its effects to your oral health via MSN ! The Oral Surgery DC Team


The best part of brushing and swishing your teeth (aside from the whole “no gum disease or cavities” thing) is that “ahh”-inducing feeling you get right after you’ve finished. And, thanks to flavoring with essential oils, these days natural toothpaste and mouthwash can give your mouth the same minty-freshness as the old-fashioned stuff most of us grew up on. But no matter how much you love that cool and tingly breath after a particularly satisfying brush sesh, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to putting those sweet-yet-spicy smelling essential oils in your mouth.

“Using essential oils in the mouth sounds like a great, natural idea, but this should be done on occasion—not every day,” says Dr. Mark Burhenne, creator and author of “The powerfully antibacterial nature of essential oils means regular use can actually upset your oral microbiome over time by killing off the good bacteria your mouth needs to fight cavities and gum disease.” As in—yes, your mouth has a microbiome.

In some studies, essential oils have been proven to be just as effective as chlorhexidineAKA the main ingredient in prescription-strength mouthwash. But, while we’re all for going the natural route with your oral care, in this case, it may not be the best idea. “[It] might sound like a good thing, but [essential oils are] not beneficial for long-term oral health,” says Dr. Burhenne. “If you’re using mouthwash, chances are you’re trying to make it a daily habit. But killing all the bacteria in your mouth should be something you avoid on the whole.”

“Killing all the bacteria in your mouth should be something you avoid on the whole.” —Dr. Mark Burhenne

Think about using these heavy-duty oils the same way you’d use an antibiotic. “On occasion, you need a bacterial ‘clean slate’ to get an infection under control. But if you were to use antibiotics every day of your life, you’d limit your immune system’s ability to fight off any infection or disease,” he explains. “Since your oral microbiome is the mouth’s immune system, keeping it free of bacteria isn’t actually a good thing.”

In lieu of swishing with essential oils or alcohol for the sake of fresh breath, Dr. Burhenne suggests making a mouthwash of your own by mixing turmeric, L-arginine, calcium carbonate, whole cloves, baking soda, xylitol, blue-green algae, and anise. It’s essential oil, alcohol, and fluoride-free, but will still give your mouth the full cleanse it needs.

If you’re going to use essential oils in toothpaste, just know that a little bit goes a long way. “When I’m trying a toothpaste that uses essential oils, the best gauge I’ve found is to pay attention to how strong the scent of the oils is,” says Dr. Burhenne. “A light scent of peppermint is probably a sign your toothpaste has just a minuscule amount of oils in it, whereas a very strong scent might mean you’ve got too many bacteria-killing oils for daily use.” Noted—so, as within your skincare, just keep that EO use light.



DIY braces? Orthodontists say to think twice before straightening your teeth solo

By: Joanna Clay, University of Southern California; Medical Xpress


👩🏽‍⚕️ Are you considering straightening your teeth through DIY braces?

If so, you might want to check out this article via Medical Xpress – Medical and Health News before jumping into the decision! The Oral Surgery DC Team


A couple of years ago, the story of a college student 3-D printing his own braces went viral. Fast forward to now and you’ve likely seen billboards or social media ads for a whole new slate of DIY aligner companies, which cut out the orthodontist chair and send trays straight to your doorstep. They’re both attempting to democratize the quest for straight teeth, but experts and graduates from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC say it’s important to get a doctor’s OK when considering the DIY route.

The first thing to remember is that orthodontics isn’t just about looks, said  and USC alum Nehi Ogbevoen.

“We not only want to improve aesthetics but also the function of the bite,” he said. “We’re trying to plan your bite and smile and how they are going to age over the next 30, 40 years.”

Oftentimes, an orthodontist will want the patient up to date with their dentist visits. They’ll also do X-rays prior to treatment, making sure there are no signs of gum disease or large cavities.

If the DIY retailers don’t ask for X-rays, Ostrow experts and alumni say to think twice.

“There’s a lot of things we can catch on an X-ray—for example, impacted teeth,” Ogbevoen said. “There are other things we can catch that, if you aren’t seeing a dentist regularly, can be really scary.”

People are often lured by the DIY price, which can be around $2,000. For comparison, traditional metal braces or Invisalign typically run from $5,000 to $8,000, although the latter has options for mild alignment issues that are less costly. And in general, DIY aligners are for more mild issues.

But, experts say, if you have an undiagnosed disease or issue, DIY aligners could worsen the situation, costing more in the long run.

Consider consultations when getting DIY braces

Hany Youssef, Ostrow faculty who also has a private practice in Orange County, had a patient come in with negative side effects from a DIY kit.

He said although orthodontics can be cost prohibitive, there are a lot of options. He recently quoted $1,500 for a patient with mild alignment issues. The more severe the case, the more it’ll cost, he said.

If you’re considering DIY, Youssef suggests getting a consultation from a dentist or orthodontist, an initial visit is usually free, and bring up your interest in the treatment. It might be suitable for folks with milder issues but either way, a dentist or orthodontist’s OK is important. Some of the direct-to-consumer companies say orthodontists do consult on the treatment, others emphasize getting assigned to a specific orthodontist. But no matter what it says on the website, experts say to ask a lot of questions before signing up.

The American Association of Orthodontists has a tip sheet for people considering the direct-to-consumer route, offering suggested questions to ask yourself and the company. They include asking about comprehensive X-rays, licensed orthodontist consultations, how the best treatment is evaluated and how emergencies will be handled.

Glenn T. Sameshima, chairman and program director of USC’s Advanced Orthodontics Certificate Program, said the popularity of DIY aligners does bring up an important topic in orthodontics: accessibility. Insurance coverage is roughly the same as it’s been the last few decades, he said. And the same goes for treatment costs. Sameshima, who has a private practice, said coverage is commonly around $1,500 lifetime. Some dental insurance carriers are more generous and offer 50 percent coverage.

But in the end, this DIY aligner popularity—some of it spurred by expiring aligner patents—could be good for the industry overall, he said. For the first time in a while, there’s competition, which could start to bring costs down.

And although orthodontics can be costly, preventative care is often well-covered, which can help ward off the need for braces. And if braces or aligners are needed,  (such as USC) often offer discounted rates.

“I see a future, 20 to 30 years from now, when they’ll be able to do a combination of clear aligners and braces, with 3-D printing bringing these costs down,” Sameshima said.