Apex NC Family Dentist
Some people may think that they only need to see an Apex, North Carolina family dentist when they are experiencing a toothache or other symptoms. In reality, it is as important to see a dentist once or twice a year as it is to get a yearly medical check-up, and for the same reason: continuity of care.
Here are some more specific reasons why it is important to make the effort to see your family dentist in Apex, North Carolina even in the absence of symptoms.
Treatment of Dental Conditions
Being asymptomatic doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have any dental problems. Oral conditions like tooth decay and gum disease can develop over a long time before you start showing symptoms. Regular dental check-ups can identify the need for early treatment, which can help prevent a minor problem from becoming major.
Diagnosis of Other Conditions
The first signs of other diseases, such as certain types of cancer, may first show up in the mouth. Regular dental check-ups help to ensure that these signs are caught early. The earlier that cancer is diagnosed, the more successful treatment is likely to be.
Furthermore, it is not only your mouth that your Apex, NC family dentist will check. He or she will also perform an examination of your jaw and neck, including your lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are often an indicator of potential disease.
Many people do not receive regular dental checkups because they do not have easy access to dental insurance and therefore cannot afford the cost. While this concern is certainly understandable, regular dental check-ups can prevent you from needing more extensive, and therefore more costly, treatment further down the line. Catching signs of decay and other oral problems early means that they require less extensive treatment. If these conditions are allowed to progress, however, the necessary treatment may be more involved and therefore much more expensive. Therefore, it may help to think of dental check-ups as an investment rather than an expense.
Prevention of Pain
Dental problems can be extremely painful. If you see your Apex, NC family dentist for regular check-ups, you may be able to avoid that pain altogether. It’s likely worth the minor inconvenience to make time in your schedule for a dental visit to avoid the major inconvenience of debilitating oral pain that can interfere with work and other activities.
Bad Habits That Affect Your Child’s Teeth
An Apex, North Carolina family dentist knows that there are many bad habits that can affect your child’s teeth in the long run. Baby teeth can seem inconsequential because they’re just going to fall out in a few years. Actually, those baby teeth are very important to your child’s development. Without baby teeth, it would be difficult to learn to talk or eat. The cavities that affect baby teeth can transfer to permanent teeth. It’s recommended that children see a dentist within their first year to give them a healthy start with dental care. Create healthy habits in children to keep their teeth healthy. Avoid these negative bad habits to prevent future issues.
Don’t Put the Baby to Bed with a Bottle
When the sugars from formula and juice stay on the teeth overnight, the decay process can start. It eats away at the enamel of teeth. It’s a good idea to wipe your child’s mouth out with water after eating to protect the teeth.
Don’t Let Your Child Carry a Cup of Juice or Milk Around
This bad habit is similar to letting your child drink milk or juice at night. The sugars in the drink stay on the teeth. Give your child these drinks at mealtime, when he or she can produce more saliva to wash the sugar off the teeth. Brush after meals. If you must let your child have a drink throughout the day, give them water.
Don’t Allow Thumb-sucking or Extended Pacifier Use
Thumb-sucking and pacifier use should be stopped before permanent teeth come in. Ideally, children shouldn’t rely on pacifiers, bottles, or thumbs for a long period of time once the baby teeth come in, because extended sucking can cause teeth to become misaligned.
Don’t Overdo Fluoride
There’s an old saying, “if some is good, more must be better.” That’s not always true, especially with fluoride. Don’t let your child use too much toothpaste. Follow your dentist’s recommendation for fluoride use, because your dentist will know the local use of fluoride in the water and what your child needs for their age.
Don’t Let Your Child Chew on Anything Other Than Food
Nail-biting is not good for the teeth, because it can introduce bacteria into the mouth. Chewing on a pencil might chip a tooth. Limit sugary, sticky foods that can leave residue on the teeth.
Ask Us About Braces
When you are considering getting braces for your child, you know a family dentist will be able to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Braces are not always an easy decision and you may want to learn more about the different types of braces you can get for your child, what they will look like, and how long they will need to wear them. We know that there is usually concern when it comes to making the decisions to get your child braces. However, this may be the best course of action to ensure your child has healthy, straight adult teeth. To learn more about braces and speak with us about setting up a consultation for your child to see our family dentist, give us a call now.
Once my child has braces will they still need to come in for their dental checkups?
We cannot stress how important regular dental checkups are for your whole family, including any children who have braces. Even if your child frequently comes in for orthodontic visits these visits will not be the same as a dental cleaning. Especially with braces, bacteria have even more opportunity to get trapped in the crevices of your child’s mouth. Keeping your regular six-month checkups can ensure your child gets the cleaning they need.
My child plays an instrument or plays sports. How will braces impact this?
While it is true that your child may need to adjust to having braces and playing sports or an instrument, that does not mean they have to stop doing something they enjoy. When your child plays in sports, always encourage them to wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and braces.
My child still has his baby teeth. Are braces right for him?
Not every child should get braces if they have crooked baby teeth. In fact, many children start out with crooked baby teeth and their adult teeth come in significantly straighter. That said, if your child has severely crooked teeth, corrections may need to be made sooner rather than later with braces. Call our office if you believe this is the case for your child.
I’m worried braces will hurt. How can I encourage my child?
Braces, in general, do not hurt to wear. Typically, a person experiences slight discomfort after we tighten their braces because this helps to move teeth into the correct direction. So, while they may experience a little soreness, your child should not be in pain. We may recommend a mild pain medication if your child is experiencing this discomfort.
Don’t Forget Regular Dental Checkups
It’s easy to forget to take your child to the dentist every six months. Life gets busy, but this bad habit sets your child up for a lifetime of dental issues. Keep up with your child’s regular cleaning to stress the importance of dental care.
As you can see, there are many excellent reasons to see an Apex, NC family dentist on a regular basis. It also makes a lot of sense to keep seeing the same dentist every time. If you do not already have a dentist whom you see regularly, you can contact Alliance Dentistry for more information about our practice and to schedule an appointment with a family dentist in Apex, NC.
What Can You Expect at a Dental Checkup?
A routine checkup is incredibly important for your dental health. You should visit the dentist at least twice a year, sometimes even more if you have special dental needs like gingivitis or other dental health issues. Routine dental checkups are not difficult. Here are a few things that are very typical at a routine visit:
- The beginning of your appointment typically starts with a meeting with the dental hygienist. He or she will go over your dental routine to make sure you are taking good care of your dental health and doing the right things at home. After all, the majority of your dental health will be in your hands once you leave the dentist’s office.
- Next, the hygienist will clean your teeth. Your hygienist will use several different tools during this process but don’t worry, they should not cause discomfort. You should always feel comfortable speaking up if you have any questions or concerns with what is being done, but the tools that dentists use are all for the benefit of the health of your teeth and gums.
- You may get x-rays taken if you are due for this. Your hygienist will put a lead cloth over you if necessary and will take several x-rays to get different views of your teeth. This will allow your dentist to be able to look at the health of your teeth and if there are any cavities. It also helps them be alert of any potential areas of concern, and see whether these change over time.
- You may get fluoride treatment while at the dentist. This could be in several different forms, and we often offer a flavored fluoride, sometimes of your choice. This will keep your teeth strong and healthy and lessen the potential for cavities to form.
- Finally, your dentist will come to check your teeth and any areas of concern. He or she will do a final exam and speak with the hygienist to see how your x-rays turned out. They will also take note of any teeth to keep an eye on so that you can get the most out of your future appointments as well.
Don’t ever skip your routine appointments, even if you feel like you do a good job taking care of your teeth when you are at home. Much of dental health is taking care of your teeth while you are at home, but you cannot possibly get as deep of a clean as a dentist will be able to. There are also issues underneath your teeth that can arise, and it is important to catch this before it becomes more difficult to manage. The more you take care of your dental health now, the less of an issue it will be in the future. Contact our North Carolina family dentist today to set up an appointment.