What is Geographic Tongue? How to Treat It?

For it being one of the most common maladies affecting the tongue, most people have never heard of Geographic tongue. After all, it sounds a bit like slang for a savvy speaker. This condition is common and relatively harmless. If you are unfamiliar with geographic tongue, seeing it appear out of nowhere can cause any parent to go into a frenzy.

The name “geographic tongue” refers to the map-like appearance of shapes. Some patches are completely smooth making your tongue look like it is covered in tiny, tongue-colored oceans. Most commonly this condition affects the sides of your tongue, but it can occur in other parts of your mouth as well (for answers to other common questions see https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/).

At any given time, geographic tongue affects between 1 to 5% of American’s in various age brackets. Like fibromyalgia, however, this disease is most commonly found in women. This condition looks super scary, but it will not harm you and it is mostly treatable. There is no indication that cancer, or other serious diseases, develop as a result.

Also known as erythema migrans or benign migratory glossitis, geographic tongue occurs when papillae (the bumps are your tongue) are missing from one are and crowded into the light area of the tongue. No one knows what causes papillae to move away from areas of your tongue and into others, but genetics is the most common theory.
Individual who already have psoriasis or a fissured tongue are more likely to experience geographic tongue. This leads many scientist to believe it is related to these other ailments. Geographic tongue comes without warning, sometimes leaving on its own within a few days. At other times, it can last for a year or more.

Most patients do not report sensitivity, but 1 out of every 10 people may have burning, tingling, or pain. These symptoms are made worse by ingesting foods which are acidic, spicy, salty or hot and by using certain toothpaste and smoking cigarettes (More ways cigarettes impact your mouth can be found at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/oral-surgery-wisdom-teeth/. While you have the condition, consider a sensitivity friendly toothpaste.

If you have geographic tongue do not be surprised to see some areas healing while others get worse. Even with treatment, your tongue may not heal all at once. Your first step, if you think you have geographic tongue is to visit a qualified dentist or doctor to rule out other conditions.

There are many conditions which cause similar patches on the tongue (AIDS, thrush, oral lichen planus, syphilis, and certain cancers). All of these have a different course of treatment from the treatments given for geographic tongue. Geographic tongue does usually heal by itself, but if you have pain or your condition is severe, there are treatments to help you along your way.

For pain, a mild over-the-counter pain reliever is usually prescribed along with anti-inflammatory medication. To treat the condition itself zinc supplements, corticosteroids, and antiseptic mouthwash are the usual methods used. Alternative therapies such as meditation, chakra cleansing, medical marijuana, and Reiki have not been conclusively proven, but many patients have a great deal of success with them.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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Foods You Avoid If You Have Braces

Wearing braces has become so common in the United States that they are almost iconic with childhood. In fact, recent surveys suggest that 50-80% of children will wear braces at some point between the ages of 6-18.

The process of putting braces on can be a bit uncomfortable. The soreness and stiffness go away in a couple days and with proper care the braces can do their job and be removed. Braces can be damaged by foods, causing them to be ripped out. In some cases, a tooth can even be ripped out.

By avoiding foods that are not “braces-friendly,” you can make sure that your kids mouths get the most benefit out of these orthodontic devices. If you are an adult looking for alternatives to braces, please visit our page: alternative-to-braces-2 for more information.

For the first few days after braces have been placed, all foods should be soft. This prevents your lips and cheeks from getting cut, and ultimately increasing the soreness. The best foods for the first few days are yogurts, mashed potatoes, soup, and other easy-to-swallow food.

As a general guideline, people with braces should avoid chewy, crunchy, or sticky foods. Gum is one of the worst foods for braces. Not only does the gum weave its way in and out of the wires, making it nearly impossible to get out, but it can rip out the brackets.

The sugars from these foods get caught behind brackets and hooks, making your child’s teeth more prone to decay. This means another dental visit to get them reinstalled. Caramel and taffy will have similar damaging effects to your braces and teeth.

Any foods which are hard… raw carrots, nuts, jawbreakers, some pizza crust, apples, hard rolls, etc… can chip your teeth even without braces. Once you are equipped with braces or other orthodontic equipment, these hard foods can loosen brackets, make wires break, and loosen the whole setup. When wires break they can stab and poke your kid’s mouth until they are repaired.

Many people love to chew ice. As a dentist, I try to discourage this behavior in all of my patients. For my patients with braces, I cannot emphasize enough how much damage this can do (read here more dental-bonding. Broken wires, coils, and hooks are common results. Not to mention all of the snapped bands which result.

Even though it is soft, soda should be avoided by anyone wearing braces. The sugar in soda provides a continuous food source for bacteria. Salivating and brushing usually wash away these sugars, but braces have spots where these sugars can hide. Using mouthwash helps to you avoid decay, but sugar intake needs to be limited.

If you are considering beef jerky or some other tough meat, know that these are infamous for loosening wires and brackets. Along these same lines, avoid chewing on anything that is not food. Chewing on pens, pencils, paper clips, etc… are fairly common habits, but extremely bad for your mouth. If you must chew on something, opt for fruit slices or a minty toothpick instead (do not chew it too long). For more information about different options for braces, go to our braces page.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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How to Find the Right Denture Adhesive

The only thing worse than an improperly fitting denture is when your denture adhesive fails to help. There are many claims, from many manufacturers about how long their adhesive lasts, which one has the strongest hold, tastes the best, the list goes on. Essentially, there is some degree of trial and error.

Everyone’s mouth is slightly different, but there are some key things to keep in mind when picking out a denture adhesive brand. The first thing to become familiar with is the main types of adhesives: cream/paste, powder, strips, pads, woven cloth strips, and wafers. The specific differences between these will be discussed in a later article.

Dentures are made out of a hard type of resin or porcelain. This material makes them stronger. Once dentures (partial or full) are molded they are no longer flexible with the naturally occurring changes to your bone structure. After several years, they will usually need to be re-molded to fit your mouth (for more information on dentures visit: https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/prosthodontics/dentures/).

The denture adhesives available are supposed to make your denture feel more comfortable and to strengthen the hold they have to your natural gum line. They also provide a cushion between your soft gums and the hard plastic. But, not everyone needs adhesive. If your dentures have a secure fit on their own, you may not need to use any. Just keep in mind that for certain occasions, an adhesive can prevent them from slipping out at inopportune times.

Any denture wearer will tell you there are some foods which cannot be eaten. Hard carrots, most nuts, corn on the cob, and even a tough steak can be painful and difficult to eat. How well an adhesive holds should be on the top of your list. When you apply the cream, powder, paste, etc… to your denture make sure it is dry. Water can prevent the glue from sticking, making it impossible for your dentures to be held in place.

Everyone knows what it feels like to get something caught in their teeth. This experience pales in comparison to having a small piece of food land in between your gum line and dental device. It can be awkward when this happens in public. Look for how firm the seal is. If bits of food get through, try a different brand or type.

The health of your whole body is very important so regardless of what method you choose make sure the product is zinc-free. In large enough quantities, zinc can have major negative effects on your health.

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You can’t do much about the bad taste that comes from using adhesives. All you can do is remove them as quickly as possible. Flavored and all-natural products help, but it’s not going to be fantastic… Ever. Just be prepared and remove your paste as soon as possible. If you want to maintain your hold all day, be sure to avoid super hot liquids. Make regular visits to your dentist for denture adjustments to ensure they have the longest lifespan possible.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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The Best Drinks For a Healthy Mouth

A big factor toward keeping teeth healthy is maintaining a proper diet. But, this diet should not stop at the food you eat, it should spread to your drinks as well. Changes to the pH balance of your mouth start the moment food or drinks pass your lips.

Sugary foods get turned into acids by bacteria and these acids eat away at your teeth. Your enamel goes first. Once it is gone, the dentin is exposed and the decay process will continue unless it is treated.

The liquids you drink do not need to be boring. It is common sense that sugary drinks, such as soda, artificially sweetened fruit drinks, and teas with large amounts of sugars are bad news for teeth. We now have more beverage choices than ever before, and that can make it easy to give in to the call of sugar. Fighting these urges provides its own reward by keeping your body running smoothly.

Water is by far the best liquid for your mouth health. It contains no sugar, no calories and every part of your body craves it. Water is easily accessible and on a hot day there is nothing more soothing than a nice glass of ice water. Unfortunately, people do not drink as much water as they really should.

Water encourages saliva production and saliva washes away bacteria, this keeps those bacteria at bay. Water also helps digestion which keeps stomach acid at bay. Most tap water contains fluoride, this means it is a good choice if your water isn’t filled with other chemicals. Look carefully at flavored waters, though they are water some have large amounts of sugar as an added ingredient.

Milk is another excellent choice to keep your teeth healthy. Milk contains calcium, vitamin D, and protein. For the lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk options are available which provide all of the nutrition of milk. If one of the substitutes doesn’t blend with your palette, try another one. With all the varieties now available there is sure to be an option that is appealing.

Despite what you have been led to believe, “fruit juice” may contain very little juice. The varieties which are actually 100% juice can be great for your teeth. Juices that have a lot of acid in them, orange juice, etc… are not as good for your teeth as the non-acidic types, like pear and apple. If you are in doubt, shop at an organic food seller to find the best all-natural juice choices.

As a general rule, clear teas are better for oral health than dark teas. The darker ones can stain teeth, but any tea with added sugar will wreak havoc. Always remember to read the labels or go with a brand you know when buying tea. Clear teas act in a similar manner as water. They give your mouth a much-needed rinse between meals.

Proper dental care starts with putting good quality foods into your body, drinks should be no different. If caffeine and sugar cannot be avoided, try replacing your sugar with an all-natural substitute, like agave or stevia and brush between drinks.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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Fun and Healthy Snacks for Kids (Easy for on the go)

If you are a family on-the-go, It can be hard to find snacks that will satisfy picky eaters without destroying their teeth. These five snacks are sure to make everyone happy and, they happy to be nice for the wallet too.

Dinosaur Chips- Every time dinosaurs are brought into pop culture they engage the imagination of children everywhere. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make the shape into whatever your child loves… horses, butterflies, kitties, and more. All you need is tortillas, cookie cutter is the fun shape you want, salt (optional), a cookie sheet, and vegetable oil.

First, pre-heat your oven to 400. Take out the tortillas and brush both sides with vegetable oil. Then, using the cookie cutters, cut the shapes out of the tortillas. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and let them cook for 10-12 minutes, until they reach a golden brown. Once they cool, bag the chips and you have a fun time snack for the road.

Trail Mix- The wonderful thing about trail mix is that you can put anything you want into it. The version below is low in sugar and high in vitamins that are teeth friendly. Some of the items can be substituted according to your child’s tastes.

Mix together ½ cup of each of the following: unshelled sunflower seeds, unsweetened dried-raisins, unsweetened dried cranberries, dried banana chips, peanuts, cashews, and Macadamia nuts. Divide among several bags and store the others for later use.

Veggies- Though celery sticks and carrot sticks are the default veggies used, do not be so limiting. A tub full of broccoli, celery, peppers, and carrots with a little container of ranch will keep little mouths busy, for a while at least.

You can use any vegetables you want for this, just keep in mind that some foods are messier than others. For each child, you will want to cut up two carrots, one head of broccoli, two sweet peppers,and two celery plants. It only keeps for a few days once cut so avoid making a weeks worth all at once. Still, if you keep one of these pre-made tubs in your fridge, you have a prepared snack for those last minute road trips.

String Cheese- So this is something most of us can’t make ourselves, but the cheese is loaded with calcium, which is great for teeth. Look for a brand that lists milk as the first ingredient. To use, all you do is open, hand it to your little one and watch the fun begin.

Buttery Onion Pretzels- The windy breaded snack is fun on its own, but when you add tasty flavoring pretzels get kicked up a notch. This snack is easy to make and can be made in advance. You will need: 1 ¼ cups margarine or butter, 1 package of dry onion soup mix, and about 16 oz of crunchy pretzels. Break the pretzels into pieces.

Start by melting the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once it is melted, stir in the soup mix. Add the pretzel pieces. Toss the pieces so they get coated with the butter-soup mixture. Bake in the oven for 90 minutes at 250 degrees. Be sure to stir every 15 minutes. Once they cool, put them in containers for easy travel.

These snacks will keep kids happy, mom and dad happy, and make your wallet happy. They will also keep your dentist happy when your child has less cavities at their check-up.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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How to Choose a Dentist

Unless you use the same dentist you used as a child, there will be a point in your life when you will need to pick a new dentist. It may be because of a move or one of 1000 other reasons, but when you change dentists you want to make sure you are getting one that is qualified and professional. Luckily, there are 5 things to look for that will help you narrow down the list, making the process much less complicated.

5. Volunteer work and hobbies: It can be hard to pinpoint this while first looking at a site. Usually an “About page,” like the one at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/about-dr-edderai/, will list some information about the dentists and what they like to do. A complete profile that lets you get to know the dentists outside the dental chair. Activities that include volunteer work show that the dentist cares about the community and the world. Which is a way better place to give your business to.

4. They have complete and maintained Website: A website that really answers all of your questions is invaluable (https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/). It is important to know what you are getting into with a dentist. They should have definitions and discuss some of the most common ailments and diseases which may impact the mouth. The website should be maintained, new information at least every 30 days. This lets you know that they put effort behind their reputation.

3. Pictures and videos: The more pictures, videos, and tutorials a dentist has on their website, the more confident they are in their work. A dentist who has nothing to hide will not be intimidated when it comes to showing off their work. This is also how you know the legitimacy of their work. Face it, anyone can put anything they want online, a quality and professional dentist will show their work.

2. They offer warranties: It is almost common sense that a dentist who believes in their work and stands behind it will offer a warranty on dental work. Some dentists offer lifetime warranties (obviously these are the best) while other offer less lengthy warranties. If the dentists doesn’t offer a warranty or it is less than five years, just click away.

1. Education: It is true that a dentist needs training. After the DDS, what has come next? A dentist who has gone on to get a specialized degree or has continued training speaks volumes about their goals and why they became a dentist (https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/about-dr-edderai/). A dentist who goes the extra mile to learn more must be passionate about the health of mouths, including yours. When some of this study takes place in other countries, you can be sure that they have the best range of techniques and methods in their repertoire.

When it comes down to the final choice, always use your better judgment. Look for a clean office and a happy staff. All the little things that show that a dentist cares about what they do will set them apart. Then you can feel confident that your visits will go smooth.

Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai – 2015

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Experimental Dental Procedures

We live in a world where new breakthroughs in technology, medicine, and dentistry are being made everyday. One hundred years ago, the world of dentistry was very limited. Teeth were either pulled or filled with toxic substances. A formula has not yet been devised which will regrow teeth, but there are advancements which can fix almost any smile. Some of these procedures have not been perfected yet, but the possibilities are definitely exciting.

The process of installing zygomatic implant may prove an option for those who want implants, but have insufficient jawbone structure to support them. These implants would be installed into the cheek bone. This procedure was first done by Dr. Maria Papageorge and was made possible through a grant from Tufts University.

The studies need to be continued to determine the longevity of the implants, but the university is offering it to a select few patients for roughly $11,000. This is less than 25% of the tradition $45,000 price tag which comes with implants. It is too early to say if this will become a less expensive solution for tooth loss. But, since it requires fewer connection, this may become the case.

Dentistry is usually associated with the painful and loud sound of dental drill. A new technique called Air Abrasion may change that. Instead of using a metal drill, a stream of particles is aimed at the decaying area of a tooth. In this particle mixture is aluminum oxide, baking soda, and silica, these are run through a blast of air which exits out of the hand piece.

The Air Abrasion technique is a lot quieter than a drill and does not produce pressure or vibration. It can still cause pain though, especially in patients who are sensitive to pressure. This technique reduces the amount of anesthesia needed for shallow cavities. The metal drill will still have its place because fittings for crowns can not be prepared using air abrasion. It also cannot be used for root canals. Some dentists ultimately believe that the use of air abrasion will reduce the risk of chipping and dental fractures as well.

Think about the countless times that the use of anesthesia has left you numb for hours afterwards. It is awkward to eat and drink until that numbness goes away. In fact, in some cases it can take up to five hours for the effects to be completely gone. A new medication called OraVerse reverses the effects of the anesthesia and can take the time for the numbness to wear off down to about an hour.

This is great news for those who scheduled dental visits before picking kids up from school, between errands, or any other time when full oral function will be necessary. The phentolamine which is in OraVerse works by opening up blood vessels to restore blood flow to the mouth. The medication is injected immediately after the procedure is over. Since the numbness in effect, there is no need to be concerned over pain.

All of these techniques have the potential to change how we think about modern dentistry. Making it more convenient and less painful should encourage more people to tend to their teeth properly and no longer fear those dental check ups.

Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai – 2015

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Ways to Keep Kids Brushing

Kids want to have fun. From the time they wake up until nap time, they are playing, learning, and growing. Scientists say that the vast majority of learning which will take place in our lifetime happens before puberty. This makes it a perfect time in the life of your child to institute great oral hygiene habits.

Using a kids imagination can help make brushing teeth into an exciting adventure. Having your kids open their mouth like a hippopotamus or a roaring lion encourages them to brush those back teeth. Kids tend to focus on their front teeth, the teeth that they can see. This means improper bushing of the molars. Tell them to get all of their “lion teeth” when they brush.

Picking a fun toothbrush makes kids more excited to brush their teeth. Whether it is Nemo, Elsa, dinosaurs, or My Little Ponies, picking a toothbrush your kids will enjoy makes the brushing process more like a game. More fun = more likely to do. Kids toothbrushes need to have a smaller head for their little mouths and will have soft bristles.

There are many apps and websites which are specially geared to help kids want to brush their teeth. Two of the largest toothpaste companies have “sing-a-long” videos which play for two minutes. When the song is over the child is done brushing. The videos have animated characters making them fun for kids of many ages. Similar apps are available through app stores. They will play a song or keep a musical timer to keep your kid on track.
Adults and kids have different taste buds. Your toothpaste may taste refreshing to you, but to a seven year old it is “icky.” Kids toothpaste comes in many different flavors, often with beloved characters on the tube. By letting your kids pick their own toothpaste, they get to be grown up and make a decision. They relive the excitement when they use the toothpaste they picked out by themselves. Keep in mind, the toothpaste they pick should still be approved by the American Dental Association.

Having oral hygiene occur at the same time everyday creates consistency. Set it at a time that will be convenient throughout the week. If bedtime is 8pm, teeth brushing could be at 7:30. Or, it could be right before story time and it could be right after potty time in the morning.

Kids love to imitate their parents. Whatever mommy and daddy do, kids will want to do too. If you take good care of your teeth, they are more likely to take care of their own. Teach your kids how to make sure they got all of their teeth and help them out until they are able to brush on their own.
Just like potty training, oral hygiene skills need to be taught. It takes patience, but is infinitely valuable in life. Remember that kids teeth, especially baby teeth, do not need to be brushed hard, just thoroughly. Do not skip days, bad patterns are more easily picked up than positive ones.

Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai 2015

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