Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sealants for Children

Even with proper brushing and flossing your child may be at risk for tooth decay. The good news is dental sealants can help prevent decay. Placing sealants is an easy procedure that takes little time and can be done in one dental visit.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fluoride Benefits

Flouride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Watch to learn more. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gingivitis, the Gum Killer

Most people will experience gingivitis at some point in their lives. About 75 percent of Americans suffer from different levels of gingivitis. Gingivitis can range from a mild infection that causes soreness and bleeding of the gums all the way to severe gingivitis which leads to periodontitis. While gingivitis is a common problem, it is also easily avoided.

Gingivitis Signs and Symptoms

Gingivitis is caused by plaque, a soft and sticky colorless film that builds up on teeth. If plaque build-up is ignored, it contributes to gingivitis and many other mouth diseases. One of the first signs of gingivitis is gum discomfort while brushing your teeth. Your gums may become slightly swollen or bleed as you brush or floss them. The gum tissue might also appear shiny as it becomes stretched over the swollen connective tissue. These symptoms are indicative of the early stages of gingivitis:

- Painful, sensitive gums
- Inflamed gums that are bright red or purple in color
- Bleeding gums
- Halitosis, or bad breath

Gingivitis Causes

Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis. When plague is not removed, it turns into tarter. Brushing before bed is particularly important because the plaque can wear away teeth enamel and cause gum disease by interacting with food particles to create a destructive acid. It only takes 72 hours for plaque to harden into tarter. Tarter can only be removed by your dentist. Other causes of gum disease include genetics, unmanaged diabetes, and smoking.

Gingivitis Treatments

The best way to avoid gingivitis is to brush and floss in the morning, after meals, and before bed. Thorough brushing and flossing can rid your mouth of bacteria as well as starches and sugars that contribute to gingivitis. Regular check-ups with your dentist are very important to remove any plaque or tarter from hard-to-reach places.

When gingivitis is ignored, it can eventually develop into periodontitis - an inflammatory disease that can be much more difficult to treat. Periodontitis affects the inner gums and bone that have pulled away from teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can become trapped. This leads to infections and abscesses. Eventually, toxins destroy the connective tissue and bone leading to tooth loss.

Making regular visits to your dentist and practicing good oral hygiene can keep your mouth healthy and eradicate disease. Your dental health can affect your overall physical and mental health by causing discomfort and pain as well as being unsightly.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Correctly Choose a Tooth Brush

When choosing a toothbrush, select a hard-bristle brush if cleaning dental work like crowns and bridges, but if not, use a soft-bristle brush because it is easier on the gums.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Preventing Tooth Decay With Sealants

Despite the many proactive measures that can be taken to prevent tooth decay, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows cavities in children between the ages of two and five increasing 15.2% from 1988-1994 to 1999-2002. It has also been reported that approximately 20% of U.S. children and teens have untreated cavities.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, not only is tooth decay in young children on the rise, more preschoolers are showing up at dental offices with cavities needing extensive dental procedures, including dental surgery requiring anesthesia. Some dental offices have reported children as young as 2 with six to ten cavities at a time.

Maintaining good oral health at every stage of life is vital. Taking care of your teeth not only prevents future tooth loss, it reduces the risk of many other diseases, such as periodontitis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even osteoporosis or to have to implant teeth.

Healthy eating is one way to minimize the possibility of cavities. Avoid foods that contain sugar as much as possible. Regular brushing and flossing is also important when it comes to oral health. Another effective way children and teens can protect their teeth from decay is with dental sealants.

Sealants have had American Dental Association (ADA) approval for over 35 years. Made of tooth-colored acrylic, they fill a tooth's pits and grooves with a protective covering. Dental sealants prevent tooth decay by shielding teeth from the mouth bacteria, acids and sugars that come from food particles.

Dental sealants are generally applied to permanent molars, which start growing when a child is around six years of age. Permanent molars continue to push through the gums until a child is 12 or 13 years of age. These back teeth are often the hardest to reach and keep clean, even with regular brushing. The sealant is applied to the chewing portion of the molar, where decay and cavities are most likely to occur.

Sealants have also been used on baby teeth when necessary, and for pits and grooves in adult teeth.

The procedure for applying dental sealants is simple and easy. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned using a rotating brush and paste. Depending on the type of sealant that is used, an acidic liquid may need to be applied to the teeth to prepare them for the sealant. Once the solution has dried, it is washed off. Next, the dental sealant is painted onto to the teeth, filling any crevices, pits and grooves. As the sealant dries, it hardens, forming a protective coating over the teeth.

Sometimes a light is used to speed up the drying process. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes and is completely painless.

Types of dental sealants include resin, Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC) and fluoride-containing sealants.
Sealants can last from five to ten years. They are also easily replaced if they become worn or chipped. If you have young children and are concerned about tooth decay and cavities, ask your dentist about dental sealants, one of the best ways of insuring your child's oral health.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Time to Brush Your Teeth - Avoiding Bedtime Battles

It's the end of the day and almost time to put your children to bed. You should be relieved as you will soon be able to catch up on things and head to bed yourself. But instead your stomach is in knots because you know what is coming next... The Teeth Brushing Battle!

You know how important it is that your children brush their teeth before going to sleep. If they go to bed without brushing then food particles and bacteria will go to work on their teeth, ending in tooth decay and cavities. Yet you are tired and don't feel like arguing.

How can you get them to brush their teeth without ending up stressed out?

Making Brushing Fun

There are a few things you can do to add a little fun to teeth brushing. Try some of these strategies:

· Google photos of what happens to teeth that are not taken care of. Explain what plaque does to teeth and how removing it by brushing is the solution. You can buy tablets that turn teeth red where plaque is present so they can improve accuracy.

· Buy your children new toothbrushes with their favorite cartoon characters. There are toothbrushes that spin, glow in the dark, and keep track of time. Let them choose.

· Teeth brushing should be part of your morning and evening routines. When children know what comes next they are quicker to respond.

· Children should spend a full 2 minutes brushing their teeth. Pick out a song the same length. Then use the song as a timer. Switch up the song every now and then as a surprise.

· Try an incentive sticker chart. Each time they brush their teeth they put stickers on the chart. After a certain number of stickers they can choose a prize or special time with Mom and Dad.

Teach Them the Right Way to Brush

Once you get them to brush you have to make sure they are doing it correctly. Go over the steps involved in proper brushing techniques:

1. Add a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush.

2. Start at the gum line, brushing away from the gums.

3. Use short strokes to brush top, front and back of each tooth.

4. Floss afterwards in order to get food that hides in between teeth.

Of course, you have an important role in getting your kids to brush their teeth. Children are influenced by their parents and learn by example. That means they should see you brushing and flossing too.

Your children may try to push you into skipping toothbrush time but you must remain firm. If you let it slide once then they will know it is possible to win the battle. And no one wins when teeth are not cleaned. Stick to the plan and let them see you are serious about the importance of their dental health.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dental Health : What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a type of crown that is used to span an empty space between two teeth, which usually occurs after a tooth has been extracted. Learn how dental bridges are used to help patients chew with help from a licensed dental assistant in this video series on the dental profession.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reasons To Choose Porcelain Veneers To Reclaim Your Smile

Smile increases the face value and enhances your looks, but if you have dental problems, they can rob your confidence to smile wholeheartedly. Dental problems can be of various types such as teeth stains, yellowing teeth, uneven teeth alignment and so on. Although there are several procedures such as dentures and braces to correct dental problems and enhance the look, porcelain veneers are perhaps the most advanced and effective of them all. If you have dental problems and you are looking for reasons to choose porcelain veneers then here are some reasons that tell you why you should choose them to reclaim your smile.

To start with it is important to understand what the porcelain veneers are. Also known as dental veneers, these are ceramic shells that are attached to the front portion of your teeth to correct the dental flaws and make your teeth look absolutely seamless. These veneers are the best and most effective treatment that can hide the imperfections and make your smile look absolutely perfect. You will be amazed to know that many celebrities actually have porcelain veneers which give them that flashing and bright smile however it looks so natural that you can hardly tell the difference.

The dental veneers look and work like your natural teeth, so you will hardly realize that you actually have something artificial inside your mouth. These work like the perfect aid to mask stains and tooth discoloration brought about by age or consumption of excessive alcohol or tobacco. Although there are teeth whitening treatment available, sometimes it is just not enough to get the desired results especially when the stains are very deep.

Besides brightening your smile, the dental veneers are also highly useful in making your teeth look straighter and more aligned. Even though braces are undeniably a great option available to align the teeth correctly, many people choose dental veneers over braces because of the discomfort associated with wearing braces at all times. Furthermore when you have braces inside your mouth, it can be highly difficult to perform your daily activities that involve the movement of teeth, such as brushing, eating and talking.

Porcelain veneers can also hide any crack or chip in your teeth and thus allow you to smile with confidence. The traditional dental procedures used for treating cracks and chips are dental crowns and dental bonding, however the porcelain veneers are such a versatile procedure that can greatly help you camouflage the stains, chips, cracks, and misalignment that damage the smile.

Another very important reason that makes this advanced dental procedure so popular among people is that it is very easy to take care of your veneers. Unlike other traditional treatments that involve a lot of precautions and handling tips, the veneers do not need any extra care or maintenance. You only need to brush your teeth twice daily and floss almost every night without fail, and visit a dentist at least twice every year to have the minor adjustments done with convenience. I hope these reasons are enough for you to understand why this dental procedure is so sought after.

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