Sometimes, fear of the dentist prevents many people from booking an appointment and showing up for a cleaning and exam. Unfortunately, not seeing a dentist on a routine basis can lead to many health issues, particularly if the person doesn’t practice regular brushing and cleaning. Professional dental care must not be avoided for a prolonged period of time. A dentist strongly advises people to schedule an appointment if they have any of the following signs:
#1 Dry Mouth
When the mouth stops producing as much saliva, a person may be more vulnerable to tooth decay and infection. Saliva fights off bacteria, neutralizes acids, assists in food digestion, and impacts your sense of taste. If you are feeling constantly thirsty and as if your mouth is dry most of the day, then it is likely time to get professional dental assistance from a dentist.
A toothache has the ability to interfere with a person’s ability to go about their daily life. Eating may become difficult, and a constant throbbing throughout the day can become immensely bothersome. Toothaches can range from mild annoyance to outright excruciating pain. If you have pain in your teeth, then seeing a dentist as quickly as possible is in your best interest.
In most cases, a toothache will only get worse as time goes on and can develop into more serious problems. Inflammation of the tooth because of an infection or cavity is unlikely to heal on its own without dental intervention from a dentist.
#3 Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be a symptom as a result of a dental issue, such as grinding your teeth at night or the occurrence of a deep cavity. Bacteria in the cavity can travel into the root of a tooth, causing jaw pain. The tooth may eventually become abscessed if left untreated.
#4 Inflamed and Bleeding Gums
If you notice your gums bleed when brushing, you may be brushing too vigorously or there is an issue with your gum tissue. While bleeding of the gums every once in a while may not be something to be concerned about, consistent bleeding when cleaning could be a red flag that something more serious is going on. Studies suggest that almost half of adults over the age of 30 can be impacted by advanced gum disease, called periodontitis.
#5 Consistent Bad Breath
Bad breath can be caused by things like eating garlic, having a meal with strong flavors, or from a cup of coffee. But, bad breath could also stem from gum disease, a medical condition, or cavity. If you feel like you constantly have a bad taste in your mouth or get feedback from others often about breath, then a dentist recommends coming in for an appointment promptly so we can see what may be going on.
Your teeth and gums are an integral part of your overall health. Contact a dentist today if you have any of the signs listed here, or just need a routine cleaning.
Even if you’ve lived in a community for years, you may not be aware of how to find certain services until you have particular need of them. For example, you had no need for a pediatric dentist until you had children, so now that you do have kids, you may not know where to find these practitioners within a community that is otherwise well known to you.
If this describes your scenario, this article explains why you may need a pediatric dentist and how to locate one.
The Case for a Pediatric Dentist
Just because you have children, it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that you need to take them to a pediatric dentist. There are plenty of practitioners of general dentistry willing and capable of treating very young patients. As a matter of fact, pediatric dentistry is such a specialized field that some communities may not have any pediatric dental practices in the immediate area.
However, even if your child can receive adequate care from a general dentist, seeing a pediatric dentist may make the experience more enjoyable and less nerve-wracking for both of you. In addition to the degree they receive from dental school, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of specialized training in which they study topics related to growth and development, child psychology, and topics related specifically to treating young patients.
A child who exhibits one or more of the following qualities may benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist:
Low tolerance for pain or high sensitivity
A tendency to overreact
A developmental disability or other special needs
The Methods of Finding a Pediatric Dentist
Once you’ve decided to take your child to a pediatric dentist, the next step is finding one in your community. There are several ways to accomplish this.
Ask for Referrals
Ask your friends or the parents of your children’s friends if they know of any pediatric dentists in your area. You can also inquire of your child’s pediatrician or your own dentist if they can recommend someone in whom they have professional trust.
Inquire of Professional Organizations
Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have online search tools available on their websites that allow you to search for pediatric dentists within a certain radius of your location.
You can also just open your search engine of choice and enter terms like “pediatric dentist” and the name of your city.
A child’s early experiences can shape their attitudes and behaviors for years to come. Choosing a pediatric dentist may help your child’s influential first check-up be a pleasant one. Contact an office for more information about the services they offer.
What your child eats and drinks affects his or her teeth. You can teach your child to make healthy choices to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Brushing and flossing every day can certainly help maintain good oral health, but eating right for your teeth is good for the entire body.
What Foods Are Good For the Teeth?
Calcium is good for teeth. Broccoli, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium. Aged cheeses have a double advantage. Cheese triggers the flow of saliva, which helps to wash the food particles out of the mouth. Food particles in the mouth produce bacteria, which leads to tooth decay and cavities.
Broccoli and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery, are good snacks because they are lower in carbohydrates. Starchy and sugary foods tend to leave behind food particles that stick to the teeth, which again, causes tooth decay. Eating fruits and vegetables that have a high volume of water, pears, melons and berries, are better for teeth than bananas or raisins.
Plain water is better than juice or soda. Water washes away food particles that might stick to the teeth. Water doesn’t leave sugar or have acids that might harm the teeth. Flavor water with fresh fruit or vegetables, such as cucumbers or berries, to make it more interesting.
Brush after snacks and meals to reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Help your child floss every day to get in between the teeth. Remember to brush after taking cough syrup or a liquid medicine that could damage the teeth. If your child chews gum, encourage the use of sugar-free gum.
Other Things You Can Do
Instead of giving your child frequent snacks, give your child time between snacks and meals to let the food particles wash out of the mouth. When you serve sugary treats, give them as desserts instead of snacks, because there is more saliva to wash away the food particles. Avoid hard candies and cough drops that linger in the mouth.
Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle with milk, formula or juice. Limit the soda you offer to your child. Soda not only has sugar, it is acidic. Brush your child’s teeth before bed to make the teeth clean while the child sleeps.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Nutrition only goes so far in keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Follow your dentist’s instructions for brushing and flossing each day. Make an appointment for a cleaning and exam every six months with your dentist.
Many patients come to an orthodontist who are out of their teens and into their 20s, 30s, or 40s. They would like to realign their teeth, but don’t want to wear braces. What is explained is that social ideas or judgments should never impede your decision to want a better smile. However, we understand that there may be reservations in getting braces. In this case, we may recommend Invisalign or another form of clear retainer. These are similar to braces in that they can realign your teeth, but they are clear and not visible.
Invisalign is not suitable for everyone and has its limitations. If you would like to know more about Invisalign or whether or not you are a candidate for the treatment, please consult an orthodontist.
The Limitations of Invisalign
Invisalign is not the same as metal braces; nor does it have the same force. Therefore, if you require complex orthodontic treatment or a significant movement of teeth, metal braces will likely be recommended. If the following apply to you, Invisalign might not be a good idea.
The Shape of Your Tooth – Some people will have teeth that are in such a shape that they do not fit properly in the aligner. Short, rounded, pegged, or severely tipped teeth are generally not ideal because they won’t help the aligner to get a good grip on the teeth.
The Position of Your Tooth– An overcrowded mouth can lead to tooth rotation. If the rotation is more than 20 degrees in the molar area, the Invisalign aligner will be unable to move them into the right position. In incisors, canines, or premolars the degree amount can be more. Furthermore, if a tooth is tilted back or forward more than 45 degrees, metal braces will be better.
Gaps In the Teeth – If you have one or two gaps in the teeth, Invisalign may be able to close them; however, they cannot do so in teeth that are more than 2-6mm per arch.
Intrusion and Extrusion
Braces are able to move the teeth into a position so that all teeth are the same height. Invisalign can only do this in a limited way. Usually, this is around the front area of the teeth and not in the back.
If the line down the middle of your face does not match, it could mean that your jaw is misaligned. It is possible for Invisalign to correct this discrepancy, but only by 2 mm to the left or the right. If you would like anything larger, braces will be required.
Previous Dental Treatment
It is possible that previous dental work could exclude you from being able to use Invisalign. For instance, if you have a dental bridge, veneers, or crowns, you may not be a candidate.
Do You Wish to Straighten Your Teeth with Invisalign?
As technology changes, so too do orthodontic treatment options. The limitations of using Invisalign are constantly changing. If you were previously told you are not a candidate, you might be now. Please call an orthodontist to learn more about Invisalign or alternative options.
Dental Trauma hits home, because I am an orthodontist that suffered a serious accident as a child during my routine bus ride to school. It created a career passion and something that I am considered to be an expert in my profession, based on my specialized training to manage accidents.
Dental Injuries – Epidemiology
An average of 22,000 accidents occur annually among children, less than 18 years of age
Over 80% of all dental injuries involve the upper teeth
30% of Pre-school age children have a dental injury of some kind
The most common sports injuries are in baseball, basketball, fights, vehicular & women’s volleyball reporting high numbers
Children with primary teeth, less than 7 years of age, sustained over half of the injuries in activities associated with home furniture
Outdoor recreational products and activities with related dental injuries are among children ages 7-12 years of age (ie. trampolines)
A Quick 5 Step Guide to help you determine what to do:
If there are any concerns for medical attention- Always seek first by calling 911 or visiting your closest trauma center/emergency facility. Never dismiss a head injury, even if there is blood involved.
Partially Avulsed teeth/fractured teeth- call your orthodontist or dentist immediately. If the trauma involves the loss of tooth -determine if it is a baby tooth or permanent. Baby teeth should never be reimplanted, but consult immediately with your general dentist or call your orthodontist that specializes in trauma. If a tooth cannot be located, mandate a chest x-ray to rule out aspiration(inhaling tooth) at your local ER center.
The key factor to dental trauma success is minimizing the amount of time that the permanent tooth is outside of the mouth(avulsion). Success rate is directly related to re-implantation within 5-30 minutes. Rule of thumb- 1% of successful reimplantation lost for every 1 minute out of socket (dry). NEVER dry /clean tooth or clean(even if dirty). Immediately submerge tooth in any isotonic solution which could include: milk, contact solution, or breast milk, or room temperature water(poorer result) to name a few. Storage of tooth in a liquid medium will buy you time. Regular milk has been seen in cases to be almost as good as an immediate re- implantation. Do not handle root surface- only touch clinical crown if possible. If tooth is outside of mouth, call your oral surgeon or periodontist for reimplantation.
If tooth is partially avulsed(not out of mouth) -Call your dental specialist and inquire if they technology to take a 3D radiographs orCBCT(Cone Beam) to determine if tooth is fractured and if splinting is necessary. Splinting is stabilizing the tooth for 2-3 week period with a semi-rigid medium/wire. Orthodontic braces count as stabilization, if seen by a trained specialist in the recommended time above. There are a high number of false negatives reported with traditional dental x-rays
Root resorption(deterioration) is directly associated with the amount of time the tooth is outside of the mouth or untreated(storage medium dependent) For example: Shorter time = Better Prognosis. Root resorption should be monitored by your dental specialist. NO activities are suggested during splinting of teeth.
Tips for success:
A mouthguard must be worn immediately following injury
Root Canal Therapy is a high possibility and your dental specialist should guide you when to seek a consult. The endodontist will traditional follow guidelines/protocols associates with the AAE(American Association of Endodontists)
Remember that a hopeless tooth is not a Worthless tooth, because children typically cannot have dental implants placed until after the cessation of the individual’s craniofacial growth around the age of 19-22
Locate a Board Certified Specialist by researching online
Thanks to Dr. Joseph K. Vargo, a Board Certified Orthodontic Specialist from Vargo Orthodontics, for his insight into dental injuries.
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