When should I start taking my child to the dentist?
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends first dental visit once firth tooth erupts or prior to 1 st birthday, whichever is earlier.
Is fluoride harmful?
Extensive studies have shown that in small amounts applied topically to teeth such as what your child would receive brushing his or her teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste, or during an in-office fluoride treatment, the benefits in tooth strengthening and cavity prevention far outweigh the risks. Not every child will benefit in the same way from fluoride, so the need and frequency of fluoride treatments will be determined on an individual basis after careful consideration of your child’s risk of developing cavities, nutrition, oral hygiene and other sources of fluoride.
Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?
Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria the toothbrush can’t get to. That’s the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only the dentist can remove tartar.
Ask your dentist to show you the proper way to floss. You will both notice the difference at the next cleaning appointment.
Why does the dentist take X-rays?
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal:
- Small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
- Infections in the bone
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Abscesses or cysts
- Developmental abnormalities
- Some types of tumors
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, X-rays may even help save your life. Dentist will evaluate your need for X-rays based on the conditions present in development. There are many benefits to having X-rays taken. Any additional questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. An advanced stage of periodontal disease exhibits inflamed gums pulling away from your bone and teeth. Other signs of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
- Sensitive teeth
- Pus coming from around the teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
Treatment of early periodontal disease can be performed in-office. However, advanced stages may require surgery. Periodontal disease can be prevented and treated successfully by seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly and following recommended care plans.