You know to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly. Learn what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums looking their best.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Let’s be real. Taking your child to their first dental visit? Probably not top on your list of fun ways to spend the afternoon. You know it is important to schedule regular dental exams for babies and children, but do you really know why?
In fact, you probably have a whole host of questions going through your head, like: When exactly should I schedule my child’s first dental visit? Or: Why do I take my child to the dentist when her baby teeth just fall out anyway? Or even: How in the world do babies sit still enough for a dental exam?
The thought of scheduling a dental exam for a baby makes many parents break out in hives, but there is a bright spot to all this worry. Your child’s first dental visit is actually pretty quick and easy, and over the long term, establishing a dental home early helps reduce stress for both you and your child.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit Before Age One
If you aren’t sure when to schedule your child’s first dental visit, you’re not alone. University of Michigan Health surveyed 2,000 parents with kids under age five and found that over half (55%) didn’t get any instruction from their baby’s pediatrician about when to start dental exams. Many parents just don’t know enough about that first dental visit or what to expect when they get to the dental office.
The majority of children get their first baby tooth by six months old, but some kids stay toothless until fourteen or fifteen months. So, if your child is a late bloomer in the tooth department, don’t wait. If you haven’t seen any teeth yet, schedule your child’s first dental visit for around the same time as their one-year checkup.
The Long Road to a Set of Healthy Teeth
As with most things in the crazy world of parenting, we play the long game here. When it comes to dental exams for babies, starting early builds a solid foundation for lifelong oral health. A child’s first dental exam is important, even though their mouth is still pretty empty of pearly whites.
During your child’s first visit, the dentist checks for early signs of decay. Early tooth decay is tough to spot in adults, let alone in young children with itty bitty teeth. Don’t wait until you notice problems - start those trips to the dentist at an early age.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
A dental exam for a baby typically lasts about 30-45 minutes. Sometimes, this includes a gentle cleaning, but don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen during the first visit.
Expect to answer questions about his or her medical history. Bring a list of any medications, the name and contact number of your pediatrician, and information about your dental insurance.
The dentist will also check for healthy growth and development by examining bite, gums, and overall structure of the mouth and jaw. And as a bonus, you might score some quality tips for soothing a teething baby and saving your sleep-deprived sanity.
If you’re nervous, it helps to write down questions beforehand so you don’t forget them in the hustle and bustle.
Tips for a Positive Trip to Your Child’s Dentist
If your child turns into a banshee during new experiences, don’t worry. Experts at Mouth Healthy for the ADA remind parents that dental professionals expect a child’s first dental visit to be a little rough.
“If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry,” say the experts at Mouth Healthy. “It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child.”
It’s also okay to sit your baby or young child on your lap. Even if a child is capable of sitting alone in the dental chair, a lot of parents opt for the lap the first time around.
Many dentists recommend scheduling dental exams for babies and young children in the morning, when most kids are rested and more cooperative.
Also remember: a calm parent is one of the best recipes for a successful trip to the dentist. If you personally panic within a two-mile radius of the dentist’s office, take steps to reduce your own stress before and during the appointment.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Exams for Babies?
And finally, the pocketbook. Raising a child is expensive, but at least going to the dentist doesn’t have to be.
Most dental insurance plans have low or no out-of-pocket costs for routine checkups and cleanings. Dental exams for infants usually fall under the category of “routine care.” This means that unless the dentist finds cavities or other unexpected problems, you’ll likely pay little to nothing for your child’s first visit.
That being said, every insurance plan is different, so check with your insurance provider about the specifics of your coverage. After that? Go forth, schedule a first dental exam for your baby, and check one item off your new-parent to-do list.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Monday, September 13, 2021
If you want to clean or sanitize your toothbrush, don't put it in the dishwasher or the microwave. Instead, soak your toothbrush in bacteria-killing mouthwash or us a toothbrush sanitizer. Learn more about how to disinfect your toothbrush after daily use or after an illness.
Friday, September 10, 2021
Your teeth are strong —- really strong. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. But strong as they are, your teeth aren’t superhuman. In fact, teeth can die just like any other living thing. And if you end up with a dead tooth, it is no laughing matter.
Not only can a dead tooth be unsightly and painful, but it puts you at risk for serious infection, abscess, and tooth loss. Because of this, it is important to know the symptoms of a dead tooth and understand when to seek treatment.
What is a Dead Tooth?
It’s strange to think of a tooth as dead. After all, isn’t it just a lump of enamel attached to your jaw? Actually, no. The outer layers of your tooth — the enamel, dentin and cementum — are hard and bone-like. But beneath this armor lies a chamber of soft, sensitive pulp that is very much alive with nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels.
Like any other part of the body, when your tooth pulp loses its blood supply, it eventually dies. (I’ll get to how this happens in a minute). When the pulp in your tooth dies, your tooth becomes what dentists refer to as a non-vital, or necrotic, tooth. This non-vital tooth is what we commonly call a dead tooth.
Dead Teeth and Infection
Dead pulp isn’t actually the worst part about a dead tooth. According to the American Association of Endodontists, your teeth need their pulp as they grow and develop. However, once a tooth fully matures, it can be retained and function without the pulp because the surrounding tissues continue to nourish the tooth.
But this doesn’t mean you can just leave a dead tooth alone. The inside of your tooth stays healthy in part because living tissues transport white blood cells and other immune cells to the tooth pulp. When a tooth dies, this access is cut off. Without these immune cells, the pulp chamber can become a breeding ground for infection.
It goes without saying that an infection in your mouth is bad. But an infection caused by a dead tooth is particularly troublesome. Because the infection is deep within your tooth, it can spread to the bone and space around a tooth’s root(s). If left untreated, this infection can create a pocket of pus known as an abscess, and may cause significant pain and swelling.
As I said, a dead tooth is no joke. But what exactly causes a tooth to die in the first place?
Causes of a Dead Tooth
The two primary causes of a dead tooth are decay and trauma.
If decay reaches the center of your tooth either through a crack in the tooth or through an untreated cavity it will inflame the pulp. To protect itself, the blood vessels inside the pulp constrict. But eventually, without enough blood supply, the pulp dies.
A tooth can also die if it sustains a trauma such as a sports injury. If your tooth pushes upward into the bone or gets knocked out, the nerves can get pinched, cut off or damaged. If the blood supply at the tip of the tooth’s root is severed, the pulp dies from lack of blood flow in much the same way as it does from untreated decay.
Smell, Color and Other Symptoms of a Dead Tooth
Now that you know the seriousness of a dead tooth, you should understand the signs and symptoms.
Common symptoms of a dead tooth:
- Discoloration: A dead tooth often looks yellow, grey, or slightly black.
- Smell: A dead tooth sometimes smells bad or causes a bad taste in your mouth. This is from tooth decay or other infection.
- Pain: This pain comes from inflammation and infection in the pulp cavity or surrounding bone.
- Pimple at the gum line: This is a sign of a chronic tooth abscess that has made its way through the bone to the surface of your gums.
Treating a Dead Tooth
A dead tooth is commonly treated with endodontic therapy, commonly termed a root canal. During a root canal, your dentist or endodontist drills a hole in the top of your tooth and cleans the dead material out of the pulp chamber and root(s). The canal(s) in your tooth root(s) are then filled with a rubber-like material to seal against bacteria and future infection.
Depending on the level of damage, the dentist sometimes places a metal or plastic post inside your tooth to keep a filling in place. In many cases a crown may be placed to further protect and restore your tooth.
If your dead tooth can’t be saved, or if for other reasons you and your dentist choose not to do a root canal, your dentist will likely recommend extracting your dead tooth. This empty space can then be replaced with an implant, partial denture, or bridge.
Contact your dentist right away if you sustain an injury to your teeth, or if you suspect your tooth is decayed. Your dentist will assess your teeth and all the structure and tissues in your mouth, and recommend the best course of action to keep your smile healthy and strong.
Article Source: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2020/05/Dead-Tooth-Signs-and-Symptoms