A child’s primary teeth, sometime’s called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age 6 month and 1 year. Primary teeth help children chew and speak. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on. If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your dentist or physician. Most children have a full set of 20 teeth by the time they ared 3. We recommend seeing your child soon after teeth start growing in. Parents who have appointments may bring their children in with them for their complimentary “well-baby check up.” This helps familiarize your child with our office and also helps them feel comfortable with us looking at their teeth. When your child is ready, we may offer a fluoride treatment.
The brand of toothbrush is less important than the type of brush. We recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush. This type of brush will effectively remove plaque and not damage your gum tissue. We also see excellent results with sonic toothbrushes: Sonicare by Philips and Sonic Complete by Oral B.
When purchasing toothpaste, select one that contains fluoride. Fluoride toothpastes and fluoride rinses if used in conjuction with brushing and flossing can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40%. Check manufacturer’s label. Some toothpaste’s are not recommended for children under age 6. It is also wise to select a product approved by the American Dental Association. The ADA’s Seal of Acceptance means that the product has met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
Regular dental checkup are essential to maintaining good oral health. We encourage regular checkups at least every six months. Seeing the dentist twice a year is recommended because your dentist can: Check for problems that you might not see or feel. Find early signs of decay and gum disease. Treat oral health problems early, while they are still manageable.
Store shelves are overflowing with mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to help people with bad breath. Yet these products help control bad breath (halitosis) only temporarily. And, they actually may be less effective than simply rinsing your mouth out with water after brushing and flossing your teeth. Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with proper dental hygiene. But, if simple self care techniques don’t solve the problem you may want to see your dentist to rule out a more serious condition. The causes of bad breath are numerous. They include; Foods: Onions, garlic, some vegetables and certain spices. Dental problems: Poor dental hygiene and periodontal disease. Dry mouth: Saliva helps cleanse and moisten your mouth. A dry mouth enables dead cell to accumulate on your tongue, gums and cheeks. Disease: Chronic lung infections and lung abscesses. Mouth, nose and throat conditions: Sinus infections, strep throat, tonsillitis and mononucleosis. Tobacco products: Smoking dries out your mouth and causes its own unpleasant mouth odor. Most people can prevent or improve bad breath by practicing proper dental hygiene. If bad breath persists despite self-care, see your dentist.
No. A comprehensive oral exam and cleaning, combined with good home care instruction will help you achieve healthy gums. In general, bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease. However, there are other conditions that may make your gum bleed, like tobacco or certain medications.
X-rays help us see problems in the early stages of development. This helps us treat problems long before they become serious. X-rays reveal cavities between teeth, under the gums and around old fillings. X-rays show more than cavities; Bone loss due to periodontal disease, the position of erupting teeth, infections in the bone, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities and some types of tumors. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. It can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, radiographs may even save your life.
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating, that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. This way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants. Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing, at regular dental check-ups.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, we recommend doing a full exam. This typically includes, taking an x-ray that allows the doctor to view the structure of the jaw, the position of any teeth that have not yet eruped, malformed roots and tooth decay. This visit also involves getting an update on your medical history. When you share your medical history with the doctor, be sure to provide complete, up-to-date information on your health. Inform your dentist if you have experienced recent hospitalization or surgery, or if you have recently been ill. Inform the doctor of any changes in your health medications. It is also important to bring up any fears you may have about dental treatment. The information collected in this visit will help the doctor select the safest and most effective method of treatment for you.
There are other products that work well in conjunction with brushing and flossing your teeth. Oral irrigators (water spray devices) will rinse your mouth out real well. A rubber tip may be used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor. Anti-plaque rinses (Listerine, Scope) approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control.