Smile, It's Time for School

While the kids are back to studying their ABCs at school this month, we asked our friends at Golsen Family Dentistry for an education on something we ALL do, every day (hopefully three times a day).  Dr. Jill Golsen took a moment at her Alpharetta office to give us a lesson on caring for your family’s teeth.

AL: Over a 12 month period, what should a school-aged child be looking at for dental care – in office and at home?

JG: It is very important for all ages but especially school aged children to be seen at least 2 times per year for a dental cleaning and checkup. Children wearing braces need to be seen more frequently!  In between dental cleanings it is important to brush twice a day and floss daily. In our office we prefer our patients to use the sonic care tooth brush. Studies have shown that plaque removed is 90% better with any mechanical tooth brush vs a manual one. Flossing properly every day  reduces  the amount of  bacteria build up in the mouth.

AL: What advice can you give parents about their student’s dental health over the years?

JG: Be aware of what your children are consuming on a regular basis. Sports drinks are a better alternative than soft drinks and commonly used by active people to maintain energy during exercise. but the sugar found in these beverages as well as the citric acid can affect the teeth more and promote acid erosion. Dehydration is a common issue among athletes, having a dry mouth and a decreased salivary flow makes them more vulnerable to tooth decay. So on a day to day schedule, unless your child is on the field playing hard don’t use sports drinks. Stick to water!!

AL: Are there any new tools and products parents might want to know about?

JG: In our office we are using microscopes and DNA testing to detect and treat the bacteria inside the mouth. So if you are leaving plaque in your mouth we can scoop it up, put it on a slide and show you what is swimming in your mouth! Alive!!

If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease the DNA testing gives us the specific bacteria and what is the best mode to treat it with. No guessing. Just facts!

Our office is also equipped with a Spectra camera, this special camera reads areas of decay in the deep grooves of the teeth and can detect early signs of tooth decay allowing us to treat areas while they are still small versus waiting until there is a bigger problem. The more we can do to prevent bigger problems the better. The wait till it hurts attitude is never a good idea.

AL: And what’s the truth about toothbrushes and toothpastes for daily brushing success?

JG: When it comes to toothbrushes, always chose a soft! Hard tooth brushes are abrasive on the enamel and the gum tissues. You don’t want to wear away the enamel and gums you just want to clean them.  Any toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association is fine. My favorite is Colgate Total.

For this month’s homework assignment, make an appointment, call 770.667.0669 or go to and tell them Alpharetta Lifestyle sent you!