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5/16/2016 7:29:28 PM | yourperfectsmiledentistry

“DO I NEED TO FIX my child’s baby tooth since it’s going to fall out anyway?” This is a question we get asked a lot as dental professionals. The answer is a resounding YES! Primary, or “baby,” teeth serve an important purpose in your child’s present and future oral health.

Baby Teeth Have Three Main Functions

Besides providing an aesthetic appeal to your child’s smile and boosting their self-esteem, primary teeth have three main functions:

  1. They aid in proper chewing, fostering good nutrition
  2. They promote proper speech development
  3. They reserve a space for permanent teeth to grow in

If a primary tooth falls out or must be removed before its time due to decay, the surrounding teeth may shift into the gap, causing dental crowding and future orthodontic problems. In some cases, untreated infections in baby teeth can even affect the developing permanent teeth.

Taking care of those primary teeth not only prevents decay, but also helps your child get into the habit of good oral hygiene and sets the stage for their future oral health. Baby teeth may fall out but they’re still very important!

Regular Dental Visits Make For A Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Your child’s first dental visit is an important milestone! Children should visit the dentist when their first tooth appears or around their first birthday.

A February 2005 Children’s Dental Health Project report found that children who visited the dentist by age one were less likely to visit the emergency room for oral health problems. They also found that children age five who had their first dental visit by the age of one incurred less oral health-related costs than their peers who didn’t see a dentist until age five.

On your child’s first visit, we will check their mouth for decay and other problems as well as show parents proper cleaning techniques. Another benefit of early, regular dental visits is that we can determine if a child is at a higher risk for cavities and implement appropriate intervention.

Baby Teeth Matter

Even though they’re temporary, your child’s baby teeth are essential to their growth and development. Teach children to take care of their baby teeth and set them on a lifelong path of good oral hygiene. If you have any questions, call us or comment below!

We love our patients and their beautiful smiles!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

Image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.



4/6/2016 4:42:48 PM | yourperfectsmiledentistry

WE DENTISTS MAKE a pretty big deal about fluoride and how good it is for your teeth. Truly, fluoride is the best cavity fighter out there, helping our teeth stay healthy and strong! But how exactly does fluoride do such an awesome job at keeping our mouths cavity-free?

Fluoride Prevents And Repairs Tooth Decay

Bacteria that are in plaque produce acids that seep into tooth enamel and break it down. This process of breaking down enamel is what causes cavities over time.Where plaque breaks down the tooth, fluoride builds it up!

Fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria by making tooth enamel more resistant to bacteria’s acid attacks.

Fluoride also helps repair tooth decay in its early stages by building up the tooth in a process called remineralization. This cavity-fighting mineral even reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce acid in the first place!

Fluoride Is Available In A Variety Of Forms

Fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. In fact, toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960.

Dental offices also offer fluoride application to teeth as a gel, foam or varnish. Getting a fluoride treatment periodically is important because it contains a higher concentration of fluoride.

Fluoride Intake Is Important At All Ages

Exposure to fluoride can be especially beneficial for infants and children. Between the ages of six months and 16 years, fluoride becomes incorporated into the developing permanent teeth, protecting them from cavity-causing bacteria.

However, adults and children alike need to get enough fluoride to protect their teeth. Just as important as strengthening developing teeth is fighting tooth decay, which fluoride will help you do even after your permanent teeth have come in.

Increased exposure to fluoride can be beneficial for people with certain health conditions. For example, if you have dry mouth, gum disease or a history of frequent cavities, your dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatments or supplements. Ask us if you could benefit from additional fluoride.

Tooth Decay Is Preventable

The take home message is this: fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. If you have any questions about fluoride, call us or come in! We would love to hear from you!

We love our patients and their smiles!

 

Image by Flickr user bradfordst219 used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



3/15/2016 5:17:34 PM | yourperfectsmiledentistry

BRUSHING OUR TEETH is something we do everyday. And yet it’s easy to fall into a routine of bad habits if we’re not careful! Developing correct brushing techniques and sticking to them is crucial to the health and appearance of your smile.

Toothbrushing DO’s
Use the right technique. Tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and brush using small circles. This method is the most gentle and effective way to remove plaque!
Brush for the correct amount of time. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes! To make sure you brush for the right amount of time, use a stopwatch or listen to your favorite song while brushing. When deciding how much time to spend brushing your teeth, the important thing to remember is that it’s not about a prescribed amount of time, it’s about cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth.
Brush morning and night. Brushing your teeth should be an absolutely essential part of your daily and nightly routine. It’s also important to avoid midnight snacking! Sleeping directly after eating significantly raises your risk for cavities.
Replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Over time, the bristles of the toothbrush wear down and become less effective at removing plaque and bacteria. It’s also important to swap out your toothbrush after being sick, otherwise the germs from your illness may reinfect you.

Toothbrushing DON’Ts
Don’t put yourself at risk for gum recession. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and refrain from aggressive brushing. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or using excessive force while brushing can slowly cause gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth and leading to sensitivity. Not fun!
Don’t brush immediately after eating. Wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten to brush your teeth. When you eat, bacteria produce acid that temporarily weakens the enamel. Brushing too soon after eating, especially acidic foods, can damage the enamel in its weakened state. After eating, it’s best to rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. These measures will help to wash away bacteria without damaging your teeth!
Don’t ignore the rest of your mouth. Especially your tongue! Did you know that 90 percent of bad breath is due to a dirty tongue? That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper.
Don’t underestimate the importance of visiting your dentist. No matter how well you brush, biannual visits to your dentist are imperative to keeping your smile radiant and healthy! Professional cleanings and checkups are the easiest way to avoid dental problems in the future.

Little Things Can Make A Big Difference!

What you do everyday has an effect on the health and beauty of your smile. We hope these little tips will make a big difference in your oral hygiene routine!

Our patients mean the world to us!

Image by Flickr user Arek Olek used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




3/10/2016 5:08:27 PM | yourperfectsmiledentistry

MANY OF US HAVE HAD at least one cavity in our lives, and if we don’t keep up on our oral hygiene, it’s likely that we’ll get a couple more as time goes by.

While cavities may be inconvenient, it’s imperative that we get them treated immediately. Early treatment of cavities prevents long-term damage to our teeth and is essential to maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile!

Cavities Are A Sign Of Tooth Decay

A cavity is a small hole that develops on your tooth when it begins to decay. Harmful bacteria is contained in the plaque that sticks to our teeth. This bacteria produces acid that eats away at our teeth and causes cavities if the plaque is not removed. If left untreated, the cavity can grow larger and cause permanent damage to the tooth.

Letting cavities fester is more common than you think. Approximately 28 percent of adults are living with untreated cavities. Because cavities are so commonplace, some may think they can leave them untreated, either to save money or spare themselves a filling. It is important to remember, however, that a cavity is considered an infection that requires prompt treatment.

Cavities Will Continue To Grow If Left Untreated

Cavities can only get worse with time. Once that harmful bacteria creates a cavity, it will continue to grow if not repaired with a filling. To further understand the damage a cavity can do to your tooth, let’s go over some tooth anatomy.

A tooth consists of three parts:
The hard and protective outer layer called the enamel
The middle layer called dentin
The inner layer called the pulp, which contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves
The enamel is the tooth’s first line of defense against cavity-causing bacteria. If treatment is postponed, the bacteria will eventually get through the enamel and enter into the layer of dentin, and eventually, the pulp.

If cavity-causing bacteria is allowed to reach the dental pulp, it can lead to a condition known as pulpitis, or inflammation of the pulp. If treated quickly, pulpitis can be treated with a simple filling. If left to progress, more serious measures may need to be taken such as a root canal or tooth extraction.

Your Health And Comfort Are Our Priority

In the end, the ideal option is to prevent cavities before they even occur! At our practice, your health and comfort are our priority. We are your partners in helping you maintain a cavity-free, beautiful smile!

Thank you for continuing to be part of our practice family!

Image by Flickr user Bob G used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




3/10/2016 4:53:47 PM | yourperfectsmiledentistry

IF THERE’S ONE THING we can all agree on, it’s that nobody likes sensitive teeth! Tooth sensitivity can cause discomfort during daily tasks such as brushing, flossing, eating, drinking, and even breathing in a cold gush of air!

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are measures you can take to relieve pain and treat discomfort.

Start By Visiting Your Dentist

If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, seek a dental professional’s help first. Tooth sensitivity, while common, can also be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist can help identify what the underlying cause of your sensitivity is and prescribe the best treatment option for you and your smile! After an evaluation, your dentist might recommend:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain.
  • Bonding agent: This is the material used to stick tooth colored restorations to teeth. It can also be used to seal the dentin surface and protect sensitive areas from outside stimuli.
  • Fluoride: Your dentist may apply fluoride to sensitive areas. This strengthens tooth enamel and treats pain.
  • Limiting acidic foods and drinks: Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, wine, yogurt, etc. are acidic and, when consumed frequently, can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Drink acidic liquids with straws to avoid contact with teeth.

A Good Oral Hygiene Routine Can Help You Avoid Sensitivity

Proper brushing and flossing can prevent conditions such as gum disease which is known to cause gum recession. When gums recede, part of the tooth root is exposed, leading to sensitivity. Over-brushing or brushing too aggressively can also lead to receding gums and even enamel erosion—both of which cause sensitivity.

When Whitening Your Teeth, Consult With Your Dentist

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. To avoid or diminish sensitivity after whitening, consider using a lower concentration of whitening product and reduce the amount of time the bleach is in contact with the teeth.

Always consult with your dentist before whitening as he or she can help determine the best treatment options for you. If you or someone you know has particularly sensitive teeth, there are additional steps we can take to help avoid and relieve the sensitivity caused by whitening.

We Can Help With Tooth Sensitivity

Although sensitivity is common, there are things we can do to help relieve and reduce the discomfort that it causes. No one should have to live with tooth pain. Call us or come in today so we can help you achieve a pain-free smile!

To our wonderful patients, we appreciate you!

Image by Flickr user Dave Herholz used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




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