This fall, Dr Joseph has enjoyed visiting many local preschools and elementary schools in support of October’s National Dental Hygiene Month.
During her visits Dr. Joseph reviews the importance of good oral hygiene with our community’s youngest residents. Her interactive discussion familiarizes children with what to expect in a typical check up appointment at the dentist and the importance of good oral health. The students are able to see many of the instruments that their dentist or hygienist will be using at their appointment as the presentation demonstrates these activities utilizing our loyal puppet, Mr. Chops. In office teeth cleaning, as well as how to have a proper tooth brushing at home, are reviewed along with the benefit of a healthy diet. The dangerous potential of “Sugar Bugs” to harm healthy teeth is discussed along with how damage can be avoided with careful brushing and flossing.
At the end of the visit, students are given a special goody bag with a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. Our goal is to educate children of all ages about optimal oral health, and demystify what happens at a typical dental appointment. Hopefully, this fun presentation is just the start of a greater conversation in each child’s home about the importance of good oral health. Ferguson Dental Associates is committed to community dental education and promoting healthy dental habits. If you would like Dr. Joseph or another staff member of Ferguson Dental Associates to visit your child’s school, please contact our office at 973-744-3181.
Got too much leftover Halloween Candy? Please consider donating your extra Halloween Candy for a Cause!
As partners in your child’s dental health, the staff at Ferguson Dental Associates would like to help get the extra Halloween candy out of your house and away from your child’s teeth! This year, instead of throwing it away, consider putting the treats to good use by participating in Ferguson Dental’s first Halloween Candy for a Cause.
For every child that drops off their leftover candy, Ferguson Dental will donate $10 to the Human Needs Food Pantry. Money donated to the Food Pantry is used to provide healthy food to many individuals and families in need in our community. Ferguson Dental will donate up to $2000, so please encourage your children and friends to stop by.
The collected candy will be donated to Operation Gratitude, which will ship it to our troops overseas.
Bags can be dropped off at Ferguson Dental Associates at 177 Gordonhurst Avenue during regular office hours through November 9th. All donations are welcome, you do not need to be a patient to participate.
Dr. Ferguson was named a Top Dentist in Montclair Magazine for the 2nd year in a row. Click the link below to read the full article.
Common Dental Dangers for Teens
Guest Blog Post by
Mira Linaugh, Student Intern
Oral care is not just for young children and adults. Dental dangers that are most often targeted at teens can cause big problems in the future, but can be avoided through proper care!
- Coffee, sugary candy, and junk food- For teens in particular, poor nutrition can cause permanent oral health issues. High sugar consumption over an extended period of time causes plaque bacteria to produce acids that decay the enamel of your teeth. To avoid damage and decay, avoid high-sugar and sticky foods and always floss and brush thoroughly.
- Braces- Many teens get braces for a few years to correct the alignment of their teeth or an improper bite. Braces can make it more difficult to clean your teeth and allow for food to get stuck in hard-to-reach places. It’s recommended that you try to floss or brush every time after eating to avoid decay and white spots on the teeth, and see your dentist for cleanings more frequently.
- Wisdom teeth- These usually come into the mouth around the ages of 17 to 21. They can cause problems such as crowding, pain, decay, infection, and pericoronitis. Regular visits to the dentist are important in order to identify any problems with wisdom teeth through x-rays before they become severe. Removing wisdom teeth is a common dental procedure for teens.
- Contact sports- For anyone who plays contact sports, the use of mouthguards is necessary during all practices and games. Studies have shown that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. Discuss with your dentist the right mouthguard for you. If a mouth injury does occur during physical activity, contact your dentist for specific advice or emergency care.
- Eating disorders- Improper nutrition negatively affects all areas of the body, especially the mouth. For people with bulimia, stomach acid erodes the enamel of the teeth and can cause yellowing and shortening. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it is important to seek counseling and talk to your health care provider. A dentist can often identify early signs of a negative impact of poor diet on your dental health. It is important to be honest and communicate with your dentist to avoid permanent dental problems.
- Smoking, e-cigarettes, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco- Beyond the well-known risks of smoking, these behaviors can be specifically detrimental to a teen’s dental health. Cigarettes, along with the new “healthier” alternatives to cigarettes, expose people to dangers like nicotine addiction, tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and various oral cancers. Studies at the NYU College of Dentistry have shown that the newly popular e-cigarettes can cause periodontal bacteria to become more pathogenic, which causes periodontal disease. Alternatives to conventional cigarettes have not been researched for extended time periods because they are so new, but initial findings have suggested similar risks and should be avoided in the same manner as cigarettes.
by Mira Linaugh, Student Intern
The ADA recommends that parents bring their children to the dentist soon after their first tooth comes in and no later than the child's first birthday. These early visits are informal and often occur as a child accompanies and older sibling or parent. We recommend that parents schedule their children’s first independent appointment before his or her third birthday. Even as a toddler, care and upkeep of primary teeth is integral to future oral health.
What to expect from a first visit to the dentist:
The Ferguson Dental Associates office is a very relaxed, family-oriented environment which accommodates the anxieties and needs of young patients. Aside from the kid-friendly office that features a fish tank, colorful toys and magazines, and fun prizes, the staff is committed to making the experience fun and stress-free for each child.
A child’s first visit is focused on meeting the office staff, getting comfortable in the office environment, and having a positive experience. As our hygienist Geri Caughey explains, “It is a great feeling to be a part of a child’s first dental visit. Many children arrive fearful, but by the end of their visit they are so proud of their smile! They can’t wait to tell family members and teachers about what a great experience they had at the dentist.” Our youngest patients can expect to have a “ride in the chair”, have their “teeth counted” while Dr. Ferguson or Dr. Joseph complete a quick exam, and receive a short talk on brushing and taking care of their teeth. Following the first visit, it is suggested that parents schedule follow-up appointments for every six months.
Parents can expect our staff to check their child for early signs of decay or developmental problems, as well as answer any questions they might have. Hygienists will also explain exactly how to care for young teeth through brushing and flossing. It is important to know that our hygienists and dentists are experienced with hesitant and fearful patients. Our staff is prepared and committed to patiently work with the child and family towards a positive experience. This process of trust-building often occurs over several consecutive office visits.
Our dentists and hygienists frequently visit elementary schools to teach young students about oral health. They aid children in learning the importance of a healthy smile and the correct techniques of brushing and flossing. This dental education promotes good habits that will last a lifetime!