Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
What is plaque and how is it bad?
Plaque constantly forms on teeth. It is a clear film of bacteria that builds in hard to reach areas such as between your teeth and in the lines of your gums.
When allowed to accumulate, the plaque can irritate the gums and lead to certain gum diseases, such as gingivitis. Research has provided evidence that gum disease has been linked to many health problems including stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, and even pregnancy complications
Plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing twice daily along with your dentist help with tartar removal. Early stages of gum disease are often unnoticed and by the time you begin to feel pain or irritation, it may already be too late to focus on prevention. Regular checkups can assist to prevent plaque and tartar buildup and many other dental complications that may become costly when treatment becomes necessary.
What is the cause of bad breath?
When breath has an unpleasant odor, it is known as “halitosis”. Depending on the cause, the odor can occur occasionally, but it has been known to become more of a long lasting problem with some people.
The mouth contains millions of bacteria, and the back of the tongue is where condensation of bacteria can occur. The bacteria that accumulates on the back of the tongue has been identified as a primary cause of bad breath.
Although bad breath and the accumulation of odor forming bacteria can be considered a common problem, there are many causes of why frequent halitosis can be occurring. Such problems could be:
Poor dental hygiene – If brushing and flossing is not conducted on a regular basis, bacteria and plaque can begin to form in hard to reach places. If this is the situation, poor dental hygiene can eventually lead to much more serious problems.
External sources – Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking coffee, tea, or wine are just some of the causes of regularly occurring bad breath. These activities can also lead to the discoloration of teeth.
Why are dental X-rays needed?
In dentistry, no mouth is the exact same. In order for our professionals to assess your individual needs, an X-ray helps identify any underlying signs of bone loss or gum disease that can’t be undetectable with the naked eye. It is typical for new patients to undergo a full set of dental X-rays to assist with an image of their oral health status. In order to help with future comparisons, we may request additional X-rays during follow-up visits in order to determine what treatment will be needed as well as to identify any conditions that may require prevention.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Dental radiographs or X-rays are necessary in receiving the highest standard of care. The diagnostic benefits far outweigh the minimal risks involved in the use of dental X-rays. We are careful to limit the amount of radiation exposure for patients by using lead aprons and digital radiography, which reduces radiation substantially. Without the use of X-rays, conditions which include cavities, missing or extra teeth and pathology/diseases could go undetected. Digital X-rays have minimal radiation, crystal-clear images, and unbelievable speed. With digital X-rays, the patient’s images appear instantaneously on a nearby monitor, giving us a convenient chairside image to analyze and refer to throughout the dental visit. We are pleased to offer this dental technology.
How do I take care of my sensitive teeth?
There are options of toothpaste that cater to those with sensitive teeth, which contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These types of toothpaste have been known to decrease the symptoms of sensitive teeth over the period of several weeks if used regularly. Tooth sensitivity symptoms can become worse with the regular consumption of high acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons and can be counter productive to methods taken to reduce sensitivity. If regular gentle brushing does not decrease symptoms, we can provide a consultation to determine a treatment that’s right for you. Products containing fluoride may also be recommended to assist in reducing tooth sensitivity.
What types of insurances do you accept?
We proudly accept most insurances. Call our friendly staff if you have any questions about financial policies.
Questions For Child Treatment
When will my baby start getting teeth?
Babies typically begin teething at six months of age. Usually, the bottom lower front teeth erupt first, followed by the two upper front teeth. Children have twenty teeth compared to adults that typically have 32. In general, a child will have erupted all of their teeth by 2-3 years of age.
How often do I need to bring my child to the dentist?
In general, check-ups/recall visits are recommended at a minimum of every six months in order to aid in the prevention of cavities or other dental problems. It is always better to diagnose a potential problem early on. Since every child has individual oral healthcare needs, the frequency of dental visits will vary as the situation necessitates. Regular visits keep children familiar with the dentist and his or her staff. These visits build confidence in children and are much more pleasant when the child is not forced to associate the dentist with emergency treatment due to tooth pain and dental neglect. Decay or breakdown of a tooth that is detected in the early stages is easier and less costly to treat.
How important are baby teeth since they are going to fall out anyway?
“Baby” teeth or primary teeth have three main functions. Firstly, they allow children to chew. The importance of pain-free feeding directly relates your child’s diet, nutrition, and overall health. Secondly, baby teeth are important for speech development. Thirdly, baby teeth provide a pathway for permanent teeth to erupt in a timely way. Premature tooth loss from cavities/infections allows for remaining teeth to move into the empty space and ultimately cause crowding. Cavities on baby teeth can cause permanent teeth to have higher cavity susceptibility.
If my toddler has a cavity, should he or she get a filling?
The earlier a cavity is diagnosed and treated, the less invasive the overall treatment will be. Over time, cavities can spread if allowed and possibly lead to an infection. It is important to evaluate each situation on an individual basis to determine what is best for the child at any given time in terms of the child’s ability to cope with a procedure.
What are sealants and does my child need them?
Sealants are hard plastic-like materials that are placed into the grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to help prevent cavities. They work by blocking out the sticky, sugary foods and liquids that tend to get caught in the teeth. The application is fast and pain-free. Sealants are recommended based on the child’s diet, history of cavities (family’s history), and overall anatomy of the teeth deep (deep grooves).
Oral Healthcare At Home For Children:
What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
The use of a soft cloth, gauze or toothbrush for children 0-2 years will adequately remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Caregivers should clean the teeth at least once a day (most importantly before bedtime following the last feeding). Infant non-fluoridated toothpaste can be used. Until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste without swallowing it, we recommend not to use fluoridated toothpaste.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay and early childhood cavities?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and if swelling is present place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for any pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums as this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Is fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water good for my child?
Use of fluoride for the prevention of cavities is documented to be safe and effective in decreasing cavities by making teeth stronger when given in the correct dosage. If your water supply contains less than 0.6ppm (private wells), a dietary supplement may be recommended for your child (6 months to 16 years old). If your child is unable to spit out the toothpaste, then it should be avoided. It is acceptable to begin using toothpaste (pea-size amount) with children 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to contact a pediatric dentist to make sure your child is not receiving excessive or inadequate amounts of daily fluoride.
If my child has tooth or mouth pain, what can I do to help?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and if swelling is present place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for any pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums, this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
What can I do to stop my child’s thumb sucking and pacifier habits? Is it harming my child's teeth?
Many oral habits, such as thumb and pacifier sucking, only become problems if they persist for long periods of time. This is very normal in infants and young children. Most children stop these habits on their own by age three. Generally, habit-breaking appliances are recommended and used for children who want to stop but need an active reminder. Long-term oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting can produce dental and skeletal changes. The amount of change is directly related to frequency, duration, intensity, and direction of the forces applied.
What should I do if my child has a tooth knocked out?
First, remain calm. Second, locate the tooth. Always hold the tooth by the crown (not the root). Third (if possible), determine whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. If it is a baby tooth, do not replace the tooth in the socket. For permanent teeth, reimplant by applying mild finger pressure. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
We offer emergency phone consultations to our existing patients. Please call us anytime at (813) 264-7006.