Baby Teeth Myths—Busted!

YOU MIGHT THINK that baby teeth don’t matter because “they’re just going to fall out anyway,” but think again!

There are a lot of myths about baby teeth out there, so we’re going to set the record straight: here’s a list of the top four baby teeth myths, BUSTED!

Myth #1: Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

Although baby teeth eventually fall out, they are extremely important to a child’s developing oral health. Not only do they hold the space for permanent teeth to grow in straight (preventing crowding and crooked teeth), they also help the face structure develop properly and ensure that young children can eat and receive plenty of nutrition.

Myth #2: Cavities In Baby Teeth Don’t Matter

You might have heard that babies can’t get cavities at all, or that if they do have them, it’s not a big deal. Both rumors are untrue; not only are cavities painful, they can cause swelling and even infection. In addition, children who have cavities in their baby teeth are three times more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth. If you think your child may be developing a cavity, marked by discoloration or a small crack, call us right away!

TIP: Don’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle! Juice and milk are full of bacteria-feeding sugars which cause cavities.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need To Brush or Floss Baby Teeth

You should begin “brushing” your children’s teeth even before their first tooth grows in! Just use a soft, wet cloth or bit of gauze to rub their gums to help reduce bacteria and prevent future cavities. Once teeth come in, help get your children in the habit of brushing twice daily with a smear of toothpaste and flossing regularly.

Myth #4: Young Children Don’t Need To See A Dentist

There is a common misconception that children shouldn’t visit the dentist before the age of three, or before they have their full set of 20 primary teeth. The ADA states that children should visit the dentist by the time they get their first tooth, or at least by the age of one.Early check-ups can identify cavities and help prevent and assess other problems.

Need Any More Myths Debunked? We Can Help!

If you have any questions regarding your child’s oral health, give us a call! We love any opportunity to help you, our wonderful patients!

Thank you for being a part of our practice family.

Top image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones 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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Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

WANT TO KNOW what our patients have been asking us? Here are the top five frequently asked questions we get at our practice!

#1: “How often do I actually need to visit the dentist?”

For most people, twice a year. Even if you do have perfect oral hygiene, plaque and tartar buildup are inevitable. With a professional cleaning every six months, your teeth will stay clean and healthy. We can also catch problems early at your biannual appointments, often saving you time, pain and money!

If your dentist wants you to come in more than twice a year, it may be because you have gum disease, are pregnant, or smoke, among other things. How often you need to make a dental visit is based on the health of your gums as well as how committed you are to a good oral hygiene program.

#2: “My tooth doesn’t hurt so I why do I need a filling?”

A cavity forms when bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at your tooth. It will usually not hurt at the beginning stages since it is only harming the protective outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. If a cavity is left untreated, the decay will reach the inner layers of the tooth, finally causing pain and sensitivity.

Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach a more advanced stage. That’s why it’s important for you to come in every six months–we can catch problems before you even begin feeling them!

#3: “What can I do about tooth sensitivity?”

Start by using desensitizing toothpaste, which are specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain. You can also help by limiting acidic foods and drinks which eat away at your tooth enamel over time, causing sensitivity. In addition, don’t brush too aggressively. This can cause gum recession, which is a frequent cause of sensitive teeth. If these steps do not help, come in to see us! There are other in-office treatments we can provide to reduce sensitivity.

#4: “Why are my teeth getting more yellow?”

A darkening or yellowing of the teeth is inevitable over time, as this occurs naturally with age. However, trauma and certain lifestyle behaviors can contribute to tooth discoloration. The most common culprits for surface stains are cigarettes, wine, coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, hard candy and tomato sauce. If your smile has lost its sparkle, talk to us about the whitening options we provide in our office!

#5: “Should I be using an electric or manual toothbrush?”

While an electric toothbrush can help patients with limited dexterity ensure a better cleaning, a manual toothbrush, if used for the appropriate amount of time and done with proper technique, can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush.Certain features may attract you to an electric toothbrush, however, such as the ability to gauge pressure or a built-in timer.

We’re also often asked about wisdom teeth! Check out the video below to learn more:

We Love It When Our Patients Ask Questions!

The more educated you are about your teeth and mouth, the better you will feel about going to the dentist and making decisions for your oral health. Have any more questions? Call us or come in today!

Seeing our patients smile is what we live for!

Top image by Flickr user zeevveez 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.

How Your Oral And Overall Health Are Linked

WE’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND WE’LL SAY IT AGAIN… taking care of your teeth and mouth is more than just about cosmetics, it’s about your health! When you think of being healthy, your mouth probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But your oral and overall health are more intertwined than you think.

Your Mouth Is The Gateway To The Rest Of Your Body

According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2000 report, “Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. … As the gateway to the body, the mouth senses and responds to the external world and at the same time reflects what is happening deep inside the body. … You cannot be healthy without oral health.”

Periodontal Disease And Its Connection To Chronic Diseases

Not only can many illnesses and medications have a direct effect on your mouth, your oral health can also affect your body. This is especially true of periodontal or “gum” disease.

Diabetes

Did you know that gum disease affects 22 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes? People with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria and are thus more susceptible to gum disease. In like manner, bacteria from the mouth can cause blood sugar to spike and fluctuate, making diabetes harder to manage.

Heart Disease

While health care professionals aren’t completely sure as to the reason why, heart and gum disease often go hand in hand. In fact, up to 91 percent of patients with heart disease have gum disease. It is believed that the link between these two conditions is inflammation.

Cancer

These statistics may surprise you, but researchers have found that men with gum disease were 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

What’s more, cancer treatments often have oral manifestations. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause sores in the mouth, sensitive gums, jaw and facial pain and dry mouth.

Other Complications

Gum disease has also been linked with stroke, kidney disease, osteoporosis, certain lung conditions and rheumatoid arthritis. Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to have preterm births and low birth-weight babies.

The Health Of Your Mouth Is In Your Hands

As you can see, there is a strong connection between oral and overall health. That’s why it’s important to make your dentist a part of your health care team by going to your regular dental appointments and updating them on your medical history. We care about your whole body health!

The good news is that, for the most part, dental disease is entirely preventable. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can keep gum disease at bay and protect you from cavities. Your oral health is in your hands, so choose to be mouth-healthy!

Thank you for supporting our practice!

Top image by Flickr user Björn Söderqvist 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.

February Is Children’s Dental Health Month

THE CDC REPORTS THAT 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes: Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  2. Set reminders to brush twice a day: Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  3. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful: Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  4. Be persistent: Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  5. Set their first dental appointment before age 1: Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

We love seeing children of all ages at our practice, they bring tons of joy and fun to our staff.  Nothing is more amazing than watching them grow from infant all the way to high school graduate and beyond, though at times it makes us feel a bit old it is amazing to watch them grow and know we helped them along the way by keeping them in tip top oral health.

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

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.