Monthly Archives: August 2014

AAP Recommends Fluoride to Prevent Cavities

Reprinted from American Academy of Pediatrics,

For Release:  Aug 25, 2014

boy-brushing-teethDental caries – or tooth decay — is the most common chronic disease in children in the U.S., a silent disease that disproportionally affects poor, young, and minority populations. In a new clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “Fluoride Use in Caries Prevention in the Primary Care Setting,” published online Aug. 25 in the September 2014 Pediatrics, the AAP states that fluoride is effective for cavity prevention in children. The AAP is issuing the following new recommendations:

Fluoridated toothpaste is recommended for all children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of caries risk. A smear (the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste should be used up to age 3. After age 3, a pea-sized amount may be used. Parents should dispense toothpaste for young children and supervise and assist with brushing.

Fluoride varnish is recommended in the primary care setting every 3–6 months starting at tooth emergence. Over-the counter fluoride rinse is not recommended for children younger than 6 years due to risk of swallowing higher-than-recommended levels of fluoride.

Because fluoride is available in many sources, including food and tap water, and may be administered at home and professionally applied, pediatricians should be aware of the risks and benefits of various fluoride modalities to appropriately advise families to achieve maximum protection against dental caries, and to help counsel patients about proper oral health.

If you have any questions, please ask Dr. Hawkins and our staff during your next visit to Hawkins Dentistry.


Do you or a family member frequently wake with a headache, face or jaw pain or something that feels like an earache? You may be grinding your teeth while you’re sleeping. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, effects children and adults, and has multiple signs and symptoms including:

  •     Teeth grinding or clenching
  •     Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  •     Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  •     Increased tooth sensitivity
  •     Jaw or face pain or soreness
  •     Tired or tight jaw muscles
  •     Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  •     Dull headache originating in the temples
  •     Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  •     Indentations on your tongue

Sometimes the grinding is loud and can be heard by a sleep partner. Sometimes it can be so disruptive it wakes whoever is grinding their teeth!

While we don’t completely understand what causes bruxism, some of the most typical causes are anxiety and stress, abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion) and other sleep problems, like sleep apnea. Additionally, certain personalities – aggressive, competitive or hyperactive – are more likely to experience bruxism.

Bruxism can also be a complication of other disorders, like Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s and may be a side effect of some antidepressant medications. If you are being treated for any of these disorders, please contact your physician about your bruxism.

During your regularly scheduled appointment, Dr. Hawkins will evaluate your teeth and gums, looking for signs of any issues that can cause long-term problems, including bruxism. If he notices signs of bruxism he will discuss possible causes and treatment plans with you.  Treatment could be remedying tooth alignment or a night-time retainer. Left untreated, bruxism will cause significant damage to teeth and gums.

If you or your children are experiencing any of the symptoms don’t wait, call and schedule an appointment with Hawkins Dentistry. There is no reason to suffer when help is available!

Can You Lick That?

imagesAt Hawkins Dentistry we take dentistry and oral health seriously, and talk a lot about quality care. But we do like to have some fun, too.

So …

How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?

Since 1970, Tootsie Roll Industries has received over 20,000 responses from kids around the world answering that question. Answers range from 100 to 5,000, but the average is about 700. Purdue University actually enlisted the aid of a “licking machine” to determine the answer. While the machines averaged at 364 licks, the human control group averaged 252 licks.

By the way, lick that Tootsie Roll all you want but please don’t crunch down on it or any hard candy – you can crack the enamel on a tooth, break a crown or cause other damage. (Sorry, had to get a piece of dental advice in!)