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Baby Teeth Are More Important That You Might Think

January 2nd, 2015

Childhood cavities seem inevitable – nearly every kid gets one at some point or another – and baby teeth aren’t permanent, so it’s no big deal if kids occasionally skip brushing and flossing, right? Pediatric dentists disagree. Despite the common belief that baby teeth aren’t important, taking care of children’s teeth will help them develop healthy adult smiles.

Baby teeth serve the same important functions as adult teeth: kids use them to chew and speak. On top of that, baby teeth preserve the structure of the gum line and “save space” for adult teeth to grow.

When a permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the baby tooth above it loses its root, becomes loose and falls out, leaving room for the adult tooth to emerge. If that empty space is too small or nonexistent, the adult tooth will push other teeth out of the way or come out in the wrong place. One out-of-place tooth can affect the placement of other teeth, resulting in maloccluded, or crooked or crowded teeth. Maloccluded teeth are more difficult to clean and more prone to disease. They may require expensive orthodontic treatment to correct, and can affect children’s self-esteem.

Childhood cavities can affect the health of adult teeth as well. Cavities are caused by bad bacteria that live in the mouth, and those bacteria don’t disappear when baby teeth fall out. Adult teeth will face the same conditions that a child’s baby teeth did.

Some oral care products can help young children keep their mouths healthy, even if they lack the dexterity to be expert brushers and flossers. For example, an oral care probiotic chew, such as EvoraKids, will provide good bacteria to the mouth. Good bacteria adhere to chewing surfaces, where they compete with harmful oral bacteria for nutrients and space. Because bad bacteria have less room to grow, they also have less room to attack teeth.

Parents can ensure that their children have healthy adult mouths by demonstrating good oral hygiene from the start. Parents should teach their children to brush and floss, provide healthy foods and schedule regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist.


Dental Care During Holiday Vacations

December 16th, 2014

Dental Care During Holidays

With fall décor officially over and every store moving full-steam ahead with Holiday deals and decorations, our dentists wanted to offer some dental care tips for holiday vacations. After all, staying as a guest in someone else’s home can wreck your regular routine, including your dental care regimen. Here are some things you can do to keep your teeth happy and healthy through the New Year:

Address Dental Issues for Pain before the Holidays

Our dentists know that you don’t want to be spending any time at our dental office during your holiday week. We’d rather be with our families, too! So don’t put off a cavity filling, root canal, or dental crown until after the New Year. If you get the work done before your trip, you can work with the dentists who know you and your specific needs. You can be comfortable in the office, and you know what you expect as far as payment goes. If you wait until the pain is unbearable during your guests’ stay or your vacation away, you have to visit a dentist you don’t know and who may or may not be covered under your insurance, and you have to either pay for a temporary fix or for an expensive procedure with a dentist you aren’t familiar with. Not to mention that you had to take precious time out of your relaxing holiday.

Have an Emergency Dentist Plan

Ask our dentists if and when they are heading out of for Christmas or New Year’s so that you know when you need to get your appointment in. For the days when our office dentists are gone, you should already have the name and number of the emergency dental office you’ll call. You don’t want to waste precious vacation days trying to find a dentist while in terrible amounts of pain!

Keep Up with the Portable Toothbrush

One of our previous articles suggested bringing a portable toothbrush to Thanksgiving dinner so you can brush whenever you remember to. The same idea applies to a vacation, when your routine is all mixed up. By keeping some disposable brushes in your car, purse, pocket, or bag, you can keep up with brushing whenever you remember – whether you are out shopping, on the road, or getting ready for an evening out. The pre-pasted brushes don’t even need water. Simply unwrap, use, and throw away.

Take Some Time to Relax

Family is great, but they can also cause plenty of stress. The amount of Christmas programs, dinners, guests, and food to attend, entertain, or prepare is enough to cause anxiety attacks. They are also why many people end up making last-minute dentist appointments during the holidays due to teeth grinding or clenching. This can cause headaches, jaw pain, or even chipped teeth. They can also irritate existing problems or dental work. So save yourself and your teeth from pain by finding moments to yourself to unwind. It’s good for your teeth!


With these tips, we hope you have a relaxing vacation that is full of only good surprises and experiences.


Tooth Decay Could Stunt Your Child's Growth

December 2nd, 2014

Children's Growth

A new study has suggested that tooth decay in children can contribute to delay in their growth.

The research, which is published in the online version of Pediatrics journal, was carried out by researchers at the University College London and the King Fahad Army Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Researchers decided to study the relationship between oral health and growth after finding that previous studies presented conflicting evidence. In this study, the research teams analyzed the relationship between dental decay and height and weight in a group of Saudi Arabian children aged between 6 and 8 years old who had significant signs of decay.

The children’s oral health status was evaluated according to the DMFT index, which represents decayed, missing and filled teeth and their height and weight were recorded according to scales used by the World Health Organization.

Researchers then performed statistical evaluation and analysis of the figures and found that there was a correlation between low weight and height and high incidence of cavities. Those who had severe decay were more likely to be underweight and shorter than average.

The authors of the study also confirmed that there was a significant link between decay and growth, even when additional factors, such as demographic and social values, were taken into account.

The research teams concluded that this study suggests that there is an inverse relationship between growth and decay, with those showing signs of cavities more likely to experience stunted or delayed growth.

Dentists Help Patients Say Goodnight to Sleep Issues:

November 14th, 2014

For those who have never consulted a dentist about treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, it may be time to make an appointment. Dental sleep medicine is a growing segment of dentistry that focuses on managing snoring and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy – an effective alternative to the standard treatment of the disease, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask. Oral appliance therapy uses a “mouth-guard-like” device, worn during sleep, to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.

“Oral appliances are very effective in treating sleep apnea because they maintain an open, unobstructed airway for patients,” said B. Gail Demko, DMD, president of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). “Depending on the patient’s needs, the device will either hold the tongue in place or support the jaw in a forward position to keep the patient’s airway open and provide a more refreshing sleep.”

According to the AADSM, at least 12-18 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea, which causes them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence if left untreated.

CPAP is the traditionally recommended treatment for sleep apnea. Sleeping with a CPAP machine, which includes a face mask, tubing and a running motor, can be difficult to adjust to. According to the AADSM, up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate CPAP.

Dentists pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. For many, oral devices are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The devices are also quiet, portable and easy to care for. Research suggests that oral appliance therapy can often equal CPAP in effectiveness and offers a higher patient compliance rate.

“Dentists trained in dental sleep medicine work in conjunction with a sleep physician and recommend a specific oral appliance based on a patient’s needs,” said Dr. Demko. “The important thing for patients to remember is that effective oral devices are always custom fit by a dentist and may need adjustments over time to ensure maximum effectiveness.”

Oral appliance therapy is recommended for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Once diagnosed by a board-certified physician, a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine can provide treatment.


All About Wisdom Teeth:

November 3rd, 2014

More often than not wisdom teeth, or the large molars at the very end of your jaw, become a problem and need to be removed. Typically, the reasons for wisdom teeth needing to be removed are because the wisdom teeth are too large to fit in your jaw or they grow in crooked (sometimes horizontally!).

            Everybody’s wisdom teeth are different; some erupt all the way out of the gums, some half way, and some not at all. Wisdom teeth that remove hidden become impacted within your gums. Wisdom teeth that erupt half way become highly susceptible to bacteria due to how difficult it is to clean that far back in your mouth. This breeding ground for bacteria can cause oral infections and even gum diseases.

            Typically, wisdom teeth are removed in young adulthood either once a problem arises or before the wisdom teeth roots have been fully developed. Some people experience jaw aches due to these teeth while some people don’t even feel a thing. It hard to determine if the teeth need to be removed until your doctor looks are you teeth through an x-ray. If you feel you may need your wisdom teeth removed consult with your doctor.

            Now you may be wondering what the process is like getting your wisdom teeth removed. Some doctors will remove all four teeth at once while some remove only one or a few at a time. Either local anesthetic, numbing the specific area, or general anesthetic, causing you to sleep, will be used for the procedure. Normally, you will be asked not to eat after the midnight before your surgery so your body can handle the anesthetic.

            Once the teeth are removed you will most likely be given stitches. Some stitches dissolve naturally over time while some are need to be removed a bit after the procedure.

            The recovery typically lasts a few days to a week and you will be subscribed painkillers from your doctor. Be sure to relax, high activity may cause increased bleeding. Eat soft food like gelatin, pudding, and soups. You will be asked not to use straws since the sucking motion may cause a blood clot to loosen and remove itself. Salt water rinses are also a good idea to promote healing.

            Unfortunately, in some cases people develop a “dry socket” or a loose opening where the tooth was removed and you may even see white bone. You will feel a noticeable amount of pain a few days after surgery that may radiate up your cranium. If you develop a dry socket you will need to see your dentist to have the hole cleaned and filled.

Toothbrush of the future:

   October 22nd, 2014

Is your dentist always scolding you for not brushing your teeth long enough or correctly? Beam Technologies has made a tooth brush to help with that! 

This toothbrush of the future monitors how long, and how often you brush your teeth. It can even report the information it collects to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

While the brush may have a chunky look and feel to it, it is only because it holds an AA battery and a Bluetooth chip. The toothbrush is otherwise very attractive and easy to handle.

When synced with the Beam App you will be able to earn rewards and if you have a competitive bone multiple Beam Brushes can be added to the same smartphone! Another motivation the Beam Brush offers is the music feature. If you find yourself needing a little extra motivation to reach that two minute mile marker the Beam Brush will time you with a song.

On top of it all, your brushing habits can be sent to your dentist.

The brush itself costs $50 dollars and the replacement heads at $4 apiece. As if this Brush and App combo wasn’t helping you enough already it will even alert you when it’s time to replace the head and allow you to order new ones directly from your phone! 



The Causes and Treatments of Sensitive Teeth:

 September 23rd, 2014

People with sensitive teeth often find it uncomfortable to eat ice-cream or drink hot chocolate all because of the pain. It may leave you thinking twice about enjoying that nice ice cold cup of lemonade on a hot summer’s day with your friends.

            There are many things that can cause sensitive teeth; Tooth decay or cavities, fractured teeth, old fillings, gum disease, weak tooth enamel, and exposed tooth roots. Normally, a layer of enamel protects your teeth and under the gums cementum protects your tooth’s root. Under both of these is something called dentin. If your enamel or cementum loses its protective ability and allows hot, cold, acidic or sticky food to reach the dentin, this is what causes your sensitive teeth.

            Luckily, there are many options to treat sensitive teeth. Choice of treatment can vary due to each person’s individual reason for sensitive teeth.


· Desensitizing Toothpaste: This kind of toothpaste contains a compound that forms a protective layer over the dentin, blocking

  transmissions from the food. This form of treatment usually requires a few applications before results.

· Fluoride Gel: This is a treatment done inside your dental office that strengthens the enamel and reduces hypersensitivity.

· A Crown, Inlay or Bonding: if there is a flaw on a specific tooth these treatments may be used to fix the issue.

· Surgical Gum Graft: If gum tissue has receded significantly this procedure will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.

· Root Canal: If sensitivity is so severe and long lasting and no other treatment is appropriate, your dentist may recommend this

  treatment to eliminate the problem.

Using proper cleaning techniques and going to regular check-ups for your teeth is the key to preventing any sensitivity issues.  Ask your dentist if you are looking for a solution to sensitive teeth.

 How to Detect and Prevent A Cavity:

September 21st, 2014

Most people will get a cavity at some point in their life. Regardless as a child, teen, or adult cavities are something commonly dealt with when it comes to oral health. Luckily, you can detect a cavity within the beginning stages to prevent more serious damages.

            Some of the major symptoms of a cavity are pain, sensitivity, and bad breath. There are many things that encourage the development of a cavity and knowing these 

things can help stop cavities from developing.

            We all naturally have bacteria in our mouth but things like sugar and starch causes the bacteria to strengthen and produce acids that can damage your enamel. Once the enamel is broken, it is too late to reverse the cavity. Once a cavity is developed the dentist must remove the decay and fill the whole.

            Reducing the amount of sugar you consume, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing are helpful ways to prevent cavities, but most importantly, visiting your dentist regularly is a great way to spot cavities early.


6 Signs you need orthodontic help

 August 21st 2014

As we get older, the question of “Will I need braces?” becomes prominent in our minds. How do we know if we will need orthodontic help or not? Well, here are six signs they might be in your future:

1.       Are you ashamed of your teeth visually? The most obvious sign braces will be needed is that you become embarrassed of your smile. You don’t feel like laughing or smiling any more. This is a big problem mentally. No one wants to hide their smile!

2.       If you notice you are grinding your teeth at night, you might need braces. When you start to grind, sometimes it’s a sign that your teeth are causing you problems. Clenching also usually follows alongside teeth grinding.

3.       Crooked teeth have a big effect on your chewing. If you notice you are having difficulty chewing or finding it hard to eat in general, you will possibly need braces.

4.       Bad breath is also another sign you might need braces. When teeth are not in line or don’t sit in their correct locations it makes brushing your teeth very difficult. When this happens it cause’s bad breath.  If you notice a bad taste in your mouth see an orthodontist you might need help.

5.       Bad bites are difficult to see so sometimes get overlooked by ourselves.  However, if you notice certain words are not easy to say, that is another sign braces will be needed. Bad bites can often cause many different speech impediments.

6.       Do you feel as if your teeth are misaligned? When your bite feels askew or it just doesn't sit right, orthodontics will most likely be your next step.  Misaligned teeth can cause many more problems in the mouth and jaw and should not be overlooked. 


Happy Mouth, Happy Body

July 25th 2014 

Did you know that dental health is linked to other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and even an increased risk of having a stroke. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is the most significant disease affecting adults today. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that has reached both the gums and bone that keep your teeth in place.

About 31 percent of Americans have some form of gum disease, with the severity increasing with age.  Believe it or not, when you have periodontal disease and are pregnant you have an increased risk of your baby having a low birth weight, and are seven times more likely to deliver early.

Gum disease affects your heart as well. 85 percent of heart attack patients have periodontal disease. Simple dental care, could help promote a good long life. It is also been said that the seventh leading cause of death for people with diabetes is gum disease. Periodontal disease worsens diabetes and vice versa.

A happy mouth truly does make a happy body. Take the time twice a day to take care of those pearly whites. You and your body won’t regret it!