Importance of Children’s Teeth from 6-12

Posted by | Posted on Mar 9, 2017

Children’s Teeth
Now that your child has all of their teeth and have a cute smile, take lots of pictures, because now comes the part where all their little teeth are going to start falling out!

At about age five or six, children begin to lose their top and bottom front teeth. Between the ages of six to 12, they will usually lose all of their baby teeth.

Besides helping children chew and pronounce words, the baby teeth hold a place in the jaws for the permanent teeth, which begin pushing the baby teeth out. The first permanent teeth come between six and seven years, which are the molars. During this time your child’s smile will be uneven, with some big and small teeth and even some gaps or baby teeth. By age 12 or 13 most kids have lost all of their baby teeth and have a full set of permanent teeth.

Keeping your child’s teeth clean is a very important step in preventing cavities. By the age six or seven children should be able to brush their own teeth, with child supervision of course. Child-sized toothbrushes are easiest for kids to use. The head of the toothbrush is a lot smaller so it’s easier to fit in their mouths and reach further back.

Around age 10 or 11, most children should be able to brush their teeth with no supervision.

Here are a few brushing tips:

  1. Place toothbrush against the gums.
  2. Move brush in a circular motion.
  3. Brush the outer, upper and lower surfaces of the teeth. Repeat same method on the inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  4. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

Flossing is another important part of keeping teeth clean and healthy. Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach. When your child is ready to floss and gently clean between the teeth, they should be flossing at least once a day.

You can protect your child’s teeth with sealants. A sealant is a material that is applied to teeth where decay occurs most often, which is usually the back molars on the chewing surfaces. These teeth have pits and grooves that are hard to clean, the sealant bonds to the tooth and protects teeth from plaque and acid attacks. Sealing a tooth is fast and painless. Sealants can last several years before they need to be reapplied.

Wisdom Teeth

Posted by | Posted on Nov 10, 2016

wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. They come out in the late teens to early twenties. When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew.

It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear, but if you have pain, see your dentist immediately. If there isn’t enough room for your wisdom teeth to come out they will be misaligned and require removal.

When the wisdom teeth are misaligned they can cause crowding of the teeth and can damage the teeth that are around them and can also cause damage to the nerves.

Wisdom teeth can also be impacted which can cause some pain, including jaw pain and tenderness, redness and swelling of the gums around the tooth, bad breath, or a bad taste when you bite down on food.

You can sometimes relieve minor irritation by rinsing with warm salt water. Over-the-counter pain relievers also may help. If the tooth continues to cause pain, is infected or interferes with nearby teeth, the usual treatment is to take it out. Extracting one tooth can take 5 to 30 minutes, depending on where it is. In some cases, an infection requires antibiotics.

Impacted wisdom teeth do not always show symptoms, meaning you could have impacted teeth and not even realize it. If symptoms do start, it is usually the result of the gum on top of the tooth becoming infected or swollen.

Symptoms may include pain, swollen and bleeding gums, swelling around the jaw, bad breath, headache or jaw ache, and an unpleasant taste when eating. Impacted wisdom teeth that are left untreated can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, not only to the wisdom tooth itself but to the teeth around it.

If you do not experience any of these symptoms then you are one of the lucky people that get to keep their wisdom teeth. But keep in mind they are all the way in the back of the mouth so they will be a little harder to clean. The toothbrush head doesn’t always reach back there, so make sure to visit your dentist regularly for your cleanings.

Dental Health During Pregnancy

Posted by | Posted on Oct 4, 2016

Dental Health during Pregnancy

Did you know that pregnancy can cause changes in the mouth gums and teeth, even in the healthiest women? That’s why it is important to go to the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

Dental x-rays and anesthesia are rarely dangerous to unborn baby, even during the first trimester. Dental X-rays are among the safest, and there is no reason to avoid them if your treatment cannot wait until after the baby is born.

The risk of an undetected dental problem could have a larger impact on an unborn baby than the x-ray itself. Dental X-rays are now digital so they give off less radiation than the traditional x-ray method. Lead aprons are provided when taking x-rays to protect your abdomen.

Morning sickness can affect your oral health. If you experience morning sickness frequently, the acid from your stomach can wear off your enamel. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or with a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level under control.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a bacterial infection, which can produce toxins in the body. Growing evidence suggests a link between gum disease and premature, underweight births. More research is needed to confirm how gum disease affects pregnancy outcomes. But it appears that gum disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Gum disease doesn’t always show symptoms, some women may not know they have it. The only way to know for sure is by going to your local dentist for your routine checkup during pregnancy.

Pregnancy gingivitis occurs more frequently during pregnancy because the increased level of hormones. When you get pregnant, your body begins producing maternal hormones, which can affect your gums and make them red, swollen and inflamed. It can also make your gums more likely to bleed. Keeping your teeth clean especially focusing a little more around the gum line will help reduce or even prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Also instead of eating sweets substitute them with fruits, vegetables, and cheese.

Dry Mouth Causes and Treatment

Posted by | Posted on Jul 22, 2016

dry mouth

Dry mouth, sometimes referred to as xerostomia, can happen to anyone.

This condition occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep it moist. Everyone experiences dry mouth from time to time, such as when thirsty, hot, stressed, or anxious. Chronic (recurrent) dry mouth, however, is a medical condition requiring attention.

Causes of Dry Mouth

Medications: Certain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause an array of symptoms including dry mouth.

Cancer treatments: including radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

Nerve damage: If an injury to your head or neck has caused damage to nerves, then your salivary glands may no longer produce saliva.

Salivary gland dysfunction

Diabetes, jogren’s syndrome, HIV, sleep apnea, tobacco use

How to relieve dry mouth

Follow these tips to get relief and protect your teeth:

  • Drink more water.
  • Brush and floss twice a day.
  • Eat regular meals.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and smoking.
  • Avoid overly salty foods.
  • Avoid overly salty foods.
  • Use artificial saliva, available at your local pharmacy.
  • Use nonprescription saliva substitutes that you can buy at a pharmacy.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Ask your dentist for advice specific to your situation.

The importance of oral health and your body

Posted by | Posted on Jun 17, 2016


oral healthNew research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy,chances are your overall health is good, too. Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring. In some cases, oral problems can be a symptom of other diseases, such as diabetes. Research has also linked gum disease to heart disease, premature birth and even knee arthritis.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease cause by bacterial species found in plaque below the gums. Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It can cause swollen gums, irritation and bleeding. Often people learn they have been living with diabetes because their dentist or periodontist told them. Then when they go and get tested they find out they have diabetes. There are distinct oral signs on the gums that dentist and periodontist can see that make it known that you may have diabetes. The diabetes and periodontal disease feed off each other.

The reason the negative impact of gum disease goes beyond the mouth is gum disease is an active bacterial infection that has access to the whole body via the bloodstream. The bacteria can destroy flesh and bone tissue in the mouth, leading to severe gum problems and tooth loss. The immune system recognizes the gum disease as the rampant bacterial infection it is. One way the body defeats an infection is to increase the inflammation in the local area of the infection in an effort to increase blood flow thus increase the number of white blood cells to fight the infections. Swollen, painful gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing are clear signs of an active bacterial infection in the mouth and an early warning sign of serious gum disease (this is also a sign that many people ignore).

More serious problems begin to occur when the bacteria present in the mouth from gum disease travel to other parts of the body.   At this point, it is now a system wide chronic inflammation that contributes to and sets the stage for other diseases like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Thus, gum disease really is one of the main pathways, like a gateway disease, that helps support the conditions that allow system wide diseases to establish and flourish.

Healthy smile, Healthy you.

How smoking affects your oral health

Posted by | Posted on May 18, 2016


Not only is smoking bad for your health, it is also very bad for your oral health as well.

Smoking can lead to the following dental problems:

  • Gum disease
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Bad breath
  • Oral cancer

Studies have found that tobacco use may be one of the biggest risk factors in the development of periodontal disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection. It destroys soft tissue and bone that keep your teeth in place.

In early stages of the disease, you may notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss. You may also feel some sensitivity on your teeth too which is caused by your gums receding and some root be exposed. As this gets worse you start to notice that the gums start to pull away from the tooth when the gums start to pull away from your teeth, your teeth start to become loose and that can be painful and also lead to some teeth to fall out.

Not only does smoking increase the chance that you will develop gum disease, it makes treatment much more difficult. And the treatment is less likely to succeed.

That’s because smoking slows down the healing process in your mouth.

Given all of the risks and complications of smoking on oral health it is very important that smokers do not skip regular checkups with their dentists. By staying on top of regular dentist visits, smokers can also benefit from professional cleanings.

Having a proper oral hygiene plan is extremely important for smokers. Smokers should not only be brushing their teeth twice daily but also flossing and using mouthwash. The smoke is full of bacteria that affect your oral hygiene.

Be sure to find a toothbrush that reaches all the way to the back of the molars. And the bristles have to be hard enough to get all that tar off of the crevasses of the teeth. Smokers should also buy toothpaste that is made specifically for smokers, as they are chemically stronger and better able to tackle harder to clean bacteria.

How snacking affects your dental health

Posted by | Posted on May 2, 2016

dental healthWhat you often eat can affect your teeth.

Eating habits and good choices can lead to tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks, including sports drinks can damage teeth. Snacking throughout the day can also lead to tooth decay. If you don’t brush, plaque will accumulate on the teeth.

Plaque thrives on the starches and sugars that are found in a great deal of foods. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria. When you do not remove plaque from your teeth daily, it builds up. Plaque bacteria use sugar to produce acids that attack enamel, the hard surface of the tooth. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started.

If you don’t eat much sugar, the bacteria can’t produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel. The acid attacks the tooth enamel for up to 20 min after you eat or drink. When you keep sipping on sugary drinks all day the the acid attacks the enamel again and again. Repeated acid attacks cause tooth decay.

Choosing a healthy diet

When choosing a snack think about what is in it, is it too sweet? Is it too chewy or gummy? The more chewy or the more gummy the snack the worse it is for your teeth. They stay in your teeth and in between your teeth longer than foods you just quickly chew and swallow. Think about how many times a day you snack. Do you snack all day or do you just leave the sugary treats for after dinner? The more times you snack a day, the more chance you have of getting cavities and plaque build-up. Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. So when you snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead, choose healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy.

Some ways to help avoid cavities and plaque build-up

Everybody needs to sample a lemon tart or indulge in a piece of chocolate every now and then. If you do munch on these foods, it helps to eat the entire serving at one time, rather than make a sugary snack last all afternoon. And try to brush and floss your teeth afterwards, or at least drink a glass of water to help rinse sugar off your teeth. That way you can enjoy treats even more. Always keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water. Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues. If you have a dry mouth, supplement your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by | Posted on Apr 7, 2016

End Oral Cancer!

Be mindful of symptoms

Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. In between dental visits, it is important for patients to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see a dental professional if they do not improve or disappear after two-three weeks:

  • a sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

When it comes to symptoms, keep this two-three week time period in mind, but always call your dentist right away if you have any immediate concerns.

Source: The American Academy of Oral Medicine

Facts about dental X-Rays

Posted by | Posted on Mar 4, 2016

X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventative, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem.

Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. Intraoral X-rays are taken inside the mouth. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth.

These X-rays allow dentists to:

  • Find cavities
  • Look at the tooth roots
  • Check the health of the bony area around the tooth
  • Determine if periodontal disease is an oral care issue
  • See the status of developing teeth

Are dental x-rays safe?

x-raysDental X-ray exams are safe; however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and may be used when it will not interfere with the acquirement of the x-ray. Also, a leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should also be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children.

You may have heard getting an x-ray during pregnancy can harm your baby. This can be true, but in some cases not getting an x-ray can harm you more than it can harm your baby. Remember, a healthy mom means a healthy baby. Not all x-rays are the same, but most pose little exposure to the uterus and developing fetus. With dental x-rays there is hardly any exposure to any part of the body except the teeth. X-ray examinations on the arms, legs, or chest do not expose your reproductive organs to the direct beam. **Always let your health care provider know you are pregnant.

Dental x-rays are safe. Any kind of x-ray requires radiation, but with dental x-rays, the amount of radiation is very small. And today’s modern digital x-rays require much less radiation for exposure than traditional film x-rays do. Four bitewing x-rays, which is what many people get in a routine exam, give about .005 millisieverts of radiation, that’s about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun and other sources.

Most of our daily activities expose us to some level of radiation. Your microwave and other home appliances, sunlight, and minerals in dirt also give off radiation. That is why the dental assistants take precautions and put those heavy aprons on. There’s lead inside, which blocks the radiation from your body, and the little collar part of it helps to protect your thyroid, all of which minimizes your exposure.

Facts about dental implant supported dentures

Posted by | Posted on Dec 16, 2015

What are implant supported dentures?

An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto the implants. The use of dental implants to stabilize dentures has proven to be successful for many people. The number continues to grow as word spreads about the effectiveness and long-term durability of the treatment.

Why implant supported dentures?

Many people struggle to keep their dentures secure, particularly in the lower jaw due to aging and bone loss. This causes dentures to become extremely loose and therefore hard to eat, drink, and even to speak. Although there are adhesives for loose dentures not everybody is too fond of it. It can get messy and frustrating having to put so much adhesive throughout the day. Fortunately, there is a way to make your denture work the way it was intended stabilize it with dental implants.

Benefits of denture stabilization:

  • Restores proper chewing, allowing a better diet and improved health
  • Improves speech and confidence
  • Increases comfort with less irritation of gum tissue
  • Ends the cost and inconvenience of denture adhesives

What can I expect?

During your first surgery, implants will be placed into your jawbone. You’ll be required to wait three to six months before you can have the second surgery; this period of time allows the implants to fuse to your jawbone. The second surgery exposes the tops of your implants. Then a “healing cap” is placed at the top of the implant for about 10-14 days. After that your dentist will then take impressions to start the fitting process of your dentures.

This process is fairly long but in the long run it will be absolutely worth it! If you would like to know more, please call our office at 909-839-1004

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