Friday, January 29, 2010

Deep Freeze

Friday morning and finishing a nice bowl of hot oatmeal and blueberries (mandatory cup of coffee, but that goes without saying...:)They say the windchill all weekend long will keep things feeling like we're in the single digits. So this is global warming? Actually when you think about it these cold spells and bad storms more south are all part of the polar cap starting to melt...more water in the atmosphere, more moisture leading to shifts in precipitation and weather patterns. All very fascinating, but scary when you think that areas that at one time were fertile are drying up and produce less, well among other things, produce and food. Hope we all do our part for future generations. Speaking of future generations....

Did you know the number one disease of childhood is tooth decay?!?! When I was in dental school some 30 years ago, the talk and buzz was that "they" will soon develop a vaccine against dental caries. The main culprit in tooth decay is a bacteria called streptococcus mutans or s.mutans for short. Well the brains at Harvard (and other illustrious dental institutes of research) were real close...or so we all thought. 30 years later and still no such vaccine. No such cure in the fight against tooth decay. Believe it or not most of us are still using the same old prevention methods of 30+ years ago. You would think we would have come up with something better than brush your teeth after every meal, (we all do that , right?) watch your sugars and floss. Well there are some new methods that have been tested, are safe and effective!

Xylitol, a natural sugar, is an effective supplement that inhibits plaque and s.mutans from producing acids. Used several times throughout the day in children, as well as in adults, decay rates decrease and plaque formation has been shown to improve dramatically.Pediatric literature has also shown that xylitol supplementation in infants (as a nasal spray) markedly decreases ear infections. Xylitol can be found in some gums, lollipops and breath mints. It is even being produced to be used in regular baking! For more information check our web site at:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Go

So welcome to the first blog of the new Scott Amer, pediatric dentist entering the 21st century (a decade late but getting there.)

A beautiful Saturday afternoon towards the end of January. Day before the BIG Jets-Colts game for you football fans. Go Green!! (yes I know I'm a Giants fan, but its easy to root for the Jets as opposed to being a Red Sox/Mets fan and can't even think about rooting for the Yankees.) Why does it seem that baseball rivalries are so much more intense than football or the other sports?

So going on a tangent with sports...actually had a patient come in this week who had a broken (chipped) front tooth due to an accident while playing basketball at a CYO pick-up game. The discussion with the mom was centered on the "necessity" of wearing a sports mouth guard. In New York there are laws regulating the need for young bicyclists to wear helmets to prevent unfortunate accidents. Also well documented is the need for trauma protection during skateboarding or roller blading to prevent head, wrist or knee injuries. So why is there little regulation when it comes to contact sports. Football and lacrosse mandate the use of mouth-guards, but soccer, baseball, basketball and other contact sports do not. The use of mouth-guards protect against, not only tooth injuries, but also a properly made piece will also prevent and lessen concussions. The state of Texas has as a law that all junior and senior high school athletes need to wear a mouthpiece during sports play.
As an added reminder....once a young girl came into the office as an emergency. The bleeding had stopped but her two front teeth were broken and loose. The accident had occurred during a girls lacrosse game. I was taken by this because I know there is mandated mouth-guard wear. Turns out she and a teammate were tossing the ball on the side line and she did NOT have the mouth-guard in. Sure enough she missed the ball and before the game even started was rushed to my office. WEAR the mouth-guard if you have the mouth-guard.
Just because you should brush twice a day does not mean we will blog twice a day, so that's it for now....more to come soon!!