Salem Pediatric Dental http://salempediatricdental.com Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:41:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 Dental checkups – don’t brush them off http://salempediatricdental.com/dental-checkups-dont-brush-off/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:41:38 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6239 Your teeth look and feel just fine, so what harm can there be in skipping one checkup? Plenty… and it’s not just a free toothbrush and dental samples you’ll miss! A lot can happen in just a short period of time, and the ramifications of canceling your semi-annual dental checkup can go beyond your oral health.
If you’ve ever doubted the necessity of regular visits, these reasons will have you running ...]]>
Dental Checkups: Why You Should Never Brush Them Off

Your teeth look and feel just fine, so what harm can there be in skipping one checkup? Plenty… and it’s not just a free toothbrush and dental samples you’ll miss! A lot can happen in just a short period of time, and the ramifications of canceling your semi-annual dental checkup can go beyond your oral health.

If you’ve ever doubted the necessity of regular visits, these reasons will have you running for the dentist’s chair at least every six months!

Developing Decay and Disease

Practicing perfect hygiene can be difficult, and occasional slip-ups can happen to the most diligent of dental patients. But forgetting to brush or floss here or there, or overindulging in sugary snacks one too many times is all it takes to put you on the path to tooth decay and gum disease.

Seeing your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and exam can help detect and remove hardened plaque buildup (otherwise known as “tartar”) before it results in new cavities and gum disease. While timely preventative care should be of universal importance, frequent checkups are even more crucial to the oral health of children still learning about proper dental care, as well as to pregnant women who are at higher risk of gum disease.

Serious Non-Dental Health Issues

The state of your teeth and gums can tell far more about your overall wellbeing than you might think. In fact, the mere presence of periodontitis (severe gum disease) and/or tooth loss has been associated with other non-dental conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature birth
  • Alzheimer’s

Because dental exams also include an assessment of the head, face and neck, a checkup can detect larger concerns directly resulting from poor oral health. Facial muscle strain due to protruding teeth, or jaw disorders caused by bruxism (excessive tooth grinding) are just two examples of serious side effects that can progressively worsen over time if left unchecked. Oral cancer is another serious health threat that you might overlook without the experienced eyes of your dentist.

Significant Cost Savings in the Long Run

Not only does preventative care make sense from a health perspective, it makes a lot of financial sense as well. No one can deny that replacing a lost or cracked filling is much more cost-effective than a root canal or tooth replacement. Moreover, early detection of certain conditions — such as gum disease or weakened tooth enamel — makes it possible to reverse the problem in some situations, and avoid costly alternatives altogether.

Where regular dental checkups prove themselves to be even more invaluable is in detecting and treating larger diseases and health concerns. Safeguarding your body from the ravages of cancer and other aforementioned illnesses is worth the effort of going to a dental checkup every few months.

Making the Most of Each Checkup

Regular checkups every 6 months provide you with the opportunity for professional care and treatment specific to your dental situation. If you suffer from gum disease, you should aim to see your dentist for a professional cleaning every 3-4 months. From nutritional advice to cosmetic improvements and necessary surgical procedures, your dentist can help you navigate the more complex aspects of dental care to safeguard your oral health.

Sources:

Healthy smile, healthy you: The importance of oral health. (2011, May). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/dentalhealth.html

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.oralb.com/topics/importance-of-regular-dental-visits.aspx

Why Are Regular Dental Visits Important? (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2-15 from http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/dental-education/patient-education/regular-english.aspx

 

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Dental 911 http://salempediatricdental.com/dental-911/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:33:44 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6235 Dental nightmares can come true, as much as you hope it doesn’t happen to you! If you’re lucky, a quick call to the dentist can get you seen immediately, but what happens if disaster strikes when the office is closed, you’re traveling, or some other less than ideal scenario? Find out how you can help manage the situation until you get the professional care you need.
What to Do If…
You ...]]>
Dental 911: How to Handle Common Teeth Crises

Dental nightmares can come true, as much as you hope it doesn’t happen to you! If you’re lucky, a quick call to the dentist can get you seen immediately, but what happens if disaster strikes when the office is closed, you’re traveling, or some other less than ideal scenario? Find out how you can help manage the situation until you get the professional care you need.

What to Do If…

You have a fractured or broken tooth:

First, check your tooth to assess the level of damage. Often, chipping or light cracking — which are typically minor and require minimal treatment, if any — can be confused with more serious tooth damage. But should you find that the crack looks deep, or your tooth has broken into pieces, you may be at risk for an infection and tooth loss. Using warm water, rinse the area clean, and apply a cold compress if you notice any facial swelling. See your dentist as soon as you can.

Your tooth gets knocked out:

No ifs, ands or buts about it — having a tooth dislodged qualifies as an emergency. Time is of the essence when it comes to your chances of saving the tooth, so contact your dentist immediately. To help protect the tooth until you get to the office, rinse it very gently in water, taking care to avoid touching the root. If possible, try to keep the tooth in its original place by gently biting on gauze or a tea bag or under your tongues. Otherwise, place the tooth in a little bit of milk to help preserve it. Never store the tooth in water.

You have a severe toothache:

Even the mildest and most fleeting of toothaches shouldn’t be overlooked, but extremely painful and persistent cases need immediate attention and could be a sign of an exposed nerve or tooth infection. To avoid aggravating the tooth any further, clear the problem area of food particles as best as you can by flossing gently and rinsing with warm water.

Your braces come loose:

It may not sound so dire, but braces that come undone can be more than just aggravating. The wires are sharp enough to get stuck in your sensitive cheeks, gum and mouth if they come free. Avoid getting poked by covering the pointed end with cotton, gauze or beeswax. Try not to pull on the wire to avoid further complications.

You get something stuck between your teeth:

Using your teeth to rip open packaging or chewing on a pen or pencil (all of which are dental no-no’s) can cause small objects to get wedged between your teeth. While it may cause discomfort, don’t reach for something sharp to dislodge it — doing so could damage your enamel and gums. Try flossing it out instead. In the event that does not work, play it safe and have your dentist remove it.

Preventative Care and Other Precautionary Measures

As dreadful as these dental emergencies sound, it’s simple to help safeguard your smile from such problems. To minimize the chance of oral trauma from occurring, follow these safety tips:

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing sports or engaging in extremely physical activities
  • Avoid eating overly hard foods, and cut food into bite-size pieces when possible
  • Use scissors to open bags or boxes, not your teeth
  • Keep objects out of your mouth, or try sugar-free gum if you have an urge to chew

Seeing your dentist regularly is also critical to detecting and treating minor problems before they become worse. Get a checkup at least every six months or as advised by your dentist.

Sources:

Dental Emergency Procedures Can Help Save a Tooth. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Dental-Emergencies/Dental-Emergencies/article/Dental-Emergency-Procedures-Can-Help-Save-a-Tooth.cvsp

Fractured and Broken Teeth. (2012, April 30). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Dental-Emergencies/Dental-Emergencies/article/Fractured-and-Broken-Teeth.cvsp?cid=ppc_gg_nb_stan_awareness+-+dental+emergencies_broad&kw=dental+emergencies&gclid=CPuk4I6A58UCFZY2aQod6l8AvA

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies. (2008). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.deltadentalco.com/uploadedFiles/Wellness/DentalEmergencies040513_web.pdf

 

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Thinking about tooth whitening? http://salempediatricdental.com/thinking-tooth-whitening/ Sat, 09 Sep 2017 18:28:00 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6231 When you want to whiten your smile, there are typically two options: drugstore kits or professional treatments. While some opt for the former as a quick and less expensive fix, the latter delivers more profound, lasting results.
Of course, not all professional whitening treatments are alike. There are two primary types to consider.
Option #1: Teeth Whitening Completed by Your Dentist
If you want powerful results, a professional teeth whitening treatment by your ...]]>
Choosing the Right Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

When you want to whiten your smile, there are typically two options: drugstore kits or professional treatments. While some opt for the former as a quick and less expensive fix, the latter delivers more profound, lasting results.

Of course, not all professional whitening treatments are alike. There are two primary types to consider.

Option #1: Teeth Whitening Completed by Your Dentist

If you want powerful results, a professional teeth whitening treatment by your dentist is the best way to go. Your dentist has access to bleaching materials that are stronger than those available over-the-counter. This results in superior outcomes for your smile. When whitening your teeth, keep in mind that the results will vary from patient-to-patient and are dependent on the natural dentin color of your teeth.

While in-office whitening is known by several names—including power bleaching, power whitening, and chair side whitening—each approach offers similar advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages – In-office whitening is the safest and quickest treatment, producing results in just 60 to 90 minutes. Today, there are thicker peroxide gels available, which reduces the risks of gum and tooth sensitivity commonly associated with in-office whitening.

 

  • Disadvantages – While peroxide gels have improved, some individuals may still experience sensitivity or irritation of the teeth or gums. These symptoms usually dissipate within 24 hours of the treatment, but, in some cases, could last longer.

 

  • Pricing – Pricing varies depending on the length of treatment. Basic treatments may take just 1 hour and average around $650, whereas more advanced treatments that require more time at the dentist office can cost upwards of $1,200.

Option #2: Home Teeth Whitening Supervised by Your Dentist

To take advantage of professional level treatment at a lower cost and in the comfort of your own home, an at home teeth whitening treatment is a great option.

This involves a customized mouthpiece, which your dentist will create. You’ll put the teeth whitening gel in the mouthpiece and wear it for a few hours each day to maximize contact between your teeth and the gel.

There are several advantages and disadvantages worth noting:

  • Advantages – An at-home solution is not only more convenient (because you can whiten on your own time), but it’s also more cost-effective.

 

  • Disadvantages – While effective, at-home solutions produce results more slowly than in-office treatments because the whitening gel is less powerful. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to achieve results. Additionally, patients have to visit the dentist approximately every week to ensure the mouthpiece fits properly and to check on the treatment progression.

 

  • Pricing – At-home treatments cost substantially less than in-office treatments, averaging between $300 and $500, including all materials and dental appointments.

Which Treatment Option is Right for You?

There are both advantages and disadvantages of each professional teeth-whitening approach. While the speed and cost of treatment will vary, both deliver great results. Choose which works best for your needs, schedule and budget and prepare to be impressed by your new and improved smile!

Sources:

Dyett, Linda. (2009, August 19). In-Office Teeth Whitening: Professional Advantages, Costs and Options. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/professional-whitening/

Sheehan, Jan. (2009, August 19). Professional Teeth Whitening Options. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/cosmetic-dentistry/dentist-supervised-bleaching.aspx

 

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What is an overbite? http://salempediatricdental.com/what-is-an-overbite/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:23:13 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6227 “Overbite”, “overjet” or simply “buck teeth”– protruding teeth can go by many names, but “pretty” isn’t one of them. And they aren’t comfortable either; upper teeth that extend well past the lower teeth can often make it difficult to close the mouth, chew or speak easily.
It’s a common condition, but not one that people have to live with. In fact, there are just as many corrective methods for this dental problem ...]]>
Bye-Bye, Buck Teeth! How to Overcome an Overbite

“Overbite”, “overjet” or simply “buck teeth”– protruding teeth can go by many names, but “pretty” isn’t one of them. And they aren’t comfortable either; upper teeth that extend well past the lower teeth can often make it difficult to close the mouth, chew or speak easily.

It’s a common condition, but not one that people have to live with. In fact, there are just as many corrective methods for this dental problem as the names it has been given! If you (or a loved one) has buck teeth, get an in-depth look at what may have caused it and what you can do to prevent it from becoming a lifelong burden on your looks, oral health and self-esteem.

Causes of Buck Teeth

Buck teeth can easily be identified at a very early age, and can be due to a variety of factors including:

  • Genes: a person can inherit the problem if born with naturally uneven jaws
  • Habits: teeth can jut out after constant pacifier/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
  • Crowded teeth: crookedness, facial injury and/or tooth abnormalities can play a role

The severity of the condition can vary from mild to extreme, and may gradually become worse over time if left untreated.

Treatment Options

Age and the depth of a patient’s overbite are two primary factors that can dictate the type of treatment an orthodontist chooses to correct the problem. New techniques are always being explored, but here are a few of the most common recommendations:

  1. Braces
    Whether metal, ceramic or clear, it’s a popular route many orthodontists take to fix protruding teeth. Teeth that are jutting out are straightened and forced closer in alignment with the lower jaw by tightening the braces over time.
  2. Aligners
    In mild cases of protruding teeth, clear, removable aligners may be a more comfortable and convenient option. Aligners use less force (and thus result in less pain) than braces and can be removed for added ease when brushing or flossing.
  3. Surgery
    Extreme cases in which the overbite is due to skeletal/jaw structure may require surgery. Patients who fall into this category are referred to an oral maxillofacial surgeon, and surgery usually involves pushing the maxilla bones (which form the upper jaw) behind, or moving the mandible (lower jaw) forward.

Surgery aside, the length of time it takes to achieve results is largely due to when the problem is treated. Younger patients whose jaws are still developing typically require less time to correct an overbite compared to adults whose jaws are not as malleable.

Benefits of Treatment

Even the mildest cases of overbite can reap significant benefits from professional treatment. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement is cosmetic in nature. Once treatment is complete, any bulging around the mouth disappears and patients may experience less strain in their facial muscles.

Being able to open and close the mouth more easily can also vastly improve speech, especially for those who adopted a slur or lisp due to an overbite. And last but not least, better alignment of the teeth can have a profound effect on oral health, making it easier to clean the teeth and minimize the risk of jaw-related disorders such as TMJ.

If you’ve been battling a case of buck teeth, get it fixed for good by finding an orthodontist near you.

Sources:

Beercroft, Matt. (2014, June 5). Overbite: Causes & Treatments. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.beecroftortho.com/2014/06/overbite-causes-treatments/

Orthodontic Disorders (2012). Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://dentaloptionspa.com/orthodontic-disorders-aventura-fl.html

 

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Brushing tips to impress your dentist http://salempediatricdental.com/brushing-tips-impress-dentist/ Sat, 15 Jul 2017 18:14:46 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6223 You’ve been brushing for as long as you can remember, but could it be you’ve been doing it incorrectly all along? From the type of bristles you choose to the level of pressure you should place on your teeth, this step-by-step guide to better brushing is chock full of tips to help you get the most out of your dental routine.
Step 1: Pick the right products.
Just as everyone’s dental ...]]>
Back to Basics: Brushing Tips to Impress Your Dentist

You’ve been brushing for as long as you can remember, but could it be you’ve been doing it incorrectly all along? From the type of bristles you choose to the level of pressure you should place on your teeth, this step-by-step guide to better brushing is chock full of tips to help you get the most out of your dental routine.

Step 1: Pick the right products.

Just as everyone’s dental situation is different, so are the tools necessary to meet your unique health needs. For example, those with tooth sensitivity should stay away from whitening toothpastes and opt for a gentler, enamel — fortifying brand instead. Choosing a brush with softer bristles can also help combat enamel erosion. If gingivitis is a problem, it may benefit you to try a paste or gel designed for tartar control, and pick a brush with varied bristles for help with hard-to-reach areas.

Step 2: Watch the clock.

Timing is everything when it comes to proper hygiene. Most people know that it is important to carve our time in the morning and night to care for teeth, but many don’t realize that the duration of brushing is critically important. Done right, brushing teeth should take approximately two minutes. Any shorter, and you’ve likely skipped a few areas that could develop into problems down the road. To keep you on track, set a timer and watch your pace to make sure every area of your mouth gets enough attention or you can opt for an electronic toothbrush with a timer.

Step 3: Start with hard to reach areas first.

Mapping out a brushing game plan can make a big difference, especially when you find yourself in a rush and/or multi-tasking. Your front teeth may be the easiest to access, but the back molars can be a haven for food particles and starting there can help ensure you clean out the tough spots in case something disrupts your efforts (or, let’s face it, you start to lose focus on the job at hand).

Step 4: Brush up on the proper technique.

You’ve got the time, the tools, and a plan of attack in place — but don’t forget about your technique! Going too hard and too fast not only runs the risk of missing key problem areas, but also it can do some serious damage to your gums and enamel. For a safe and thorough cleaning, hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, and gently brush back and forth. The front of your teeth are hard to miss, but to clear each tooth of plaque buildup, be sure to brush along the gumline and the inside and back surfaces as well.

Step 5: Clean your tongue.

Often overlooked, your tongue houses a ton of oral bacteria responsible for bad breath. Despite its name, your toothbrush works well on tongues too! After you’ve finished brushing your teeth, give your tongue a good cleaning with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Your breath will smell better and your palate will feel refreshed.

Step 6: Finish up with floss.

No dental care routine is complete without flossing. Even the best brushing technique can’t get between the tighter spaces of your teeth. To reach every nook and cranny in your mouth, grab some floss and string it gently between and around each tooth. If you find flossing difficult, try one of the many alternatives now available at your local grocery or drugstore: dental pics, interproximal brushes, or water flossers.

Step 7: Choose foods that act as natural scrubbers.

Believe it or not, you can help keep your teeth clean by chewing certain foods. It’s nowhere near a substitute for brushing and flossing, but chomping on crunchy fruits and vegetables can have a brushing effect that minimizes buildup. Another simple way to help prohibit the growth of oral bacteria is to chew sugar-free gum that contains xylitol.

Share the News with Your Dentist

Last, but not least, let your dentist in on your new brushing skills. Keeping him or her appraised on your efforts and products that work (or don’t work) for you may in turn affect your treatment plan, and/or result in prescribed dental products and additional guidance to help you achieve your oral health goals.

Sources:

Grant, L. (2014, July 22). The Truth About Healthy Teeth: At-Home Dental Care. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-14/brushing-teeth-mistakes

How to Brush. (2006, June 12). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/HomePage.cvsp

 

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Baby teeth and bad hygiene http://salempediatricdental.com/baby-teeth-bad-hygiene/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:08:54 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6219 What’s There to Lose?
Don’t fall for it, parents! Just because baby teeth are temporary doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Despite what naysayers and wishful thinkers might have you believe, forgetting to care for primary teeth comes at a steep price for your child.
If you’re questioning whether it’s worth wrangling your little one into a dental routine now, these facts prove that adopting good habits early on can pay off big time for your ...]]>
Baby Teeth and Bad Hygiene:
What’s There to Lose?

Don’t fall for it, parents! Just because baby teeth are temporary doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Despite what naysayers and wishful thinkers might have you believe, forgetting to care for primary teeth comes at a steep price for your child.

If you’re questioning whether it’s worth wrangling your little one into a dental routine now, these facts prove that adopting good habits early on can pay off big time for your child’s oral health down the road.

1: Baby teeth help shape your child’s speech.

Forming and pronouncing words correctly depends largely on the presence and alignment of baby teeth. Premature loss of any primary teeth can result in speech impediments such as a slur or lisp, and negatively impact both a child’s ability to communicate and his or her self-esteem. Depending on the severity of the case, a speech pathologist may be required to help correct the problem(s).

2: Baby teeth facilitate proper chewing and eating.

In addition to efficiently breaking down solid foods, chewing correctly is important for other reasons. Tooth loss and/or alignment issues can cause unnecessary stress to the jaw and result in serious complications over time, and chewing problems can also interfere with the development of key facial muscles. Improper chewing can even contribute to a nutritional imbalance if poor oral health starts impacting food choices.

3: Baby teeth act as a placeholder for permanent teeth.

Permanent teeth will emerge, but how and where has a lot to do with your child’s first set of pearly whites. Each primary tooth reserves a spot for a permanent tooth, but the loss of this initial placeholder can cause shifting and result in harmful misalignments. Cosmetic issues aside, misaligned teeth can make brushing and flossing more difficult, result in crowded and/or impacted teeth, and contribute to jaw disorders such as TMJ.

4: Maintaining healthy baby teeth helps to instill effective dental habits.

Teaching the ins and outs of good oral hygiene can have a lifelong impact on your child. Introducing healthy dental habits early on can solidify the importance of preventative dental care, making it easier for him or her to stick with these habits throughout adulthood. This can mean a lifetime of optimal oral health, and significantly reduced chances for costly dental problems.

Dental Tips for Baby Teeth

Brushing and flossing may not be your child’s favorite activity, but introducing healthy habits the moment that first tooth appears can make it easier for both parent and child to stick to a routine.

While there is no set timeline for baby teeth to erupt, here are some general guidelines the American Dental Association provides for cleaning and caring for baby teeth:

  • From birth (no teeth present): wipe gums clean with a moistened gauze or cloth
  • Ages 0-3 (teeth present): brush twice daily with a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste*
  • Ages 3-6: brush twice a day, but use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Any age when teeth touch each other: add flossing to your daily routine

Paying a visit to the pediatric dentist before your child’s first birthday, and getting regular checkups are also crucial to his or her oral health. Depending on your child’s individual situation, certain in-office treatments and/or instructions for at-home care may be recommended.

*Note: Fluoride toothpaste should be expectorated and not swallowed. If you feel your child will swallow the fluoride toothpaste it can be substituted with non-fluoride toothpaste.

 

Sources:

Baby Teeth Care: Brushing First Teeth, Teething, Gum Care, and More. (2014, November 6). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/caring-babies-teeth

The Importance of Baby Teeth. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from http://www.dentalassociates.com/pediatric-dentistry/importance-baby-teeth/

 

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7 dental sins http://salempediatricdental.com/7-dental-sins/ Fri, 12 May 2017 17:57:47 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6216 Brushing and flossing twice a day are two essential steps towards good oral health, but are other habits sabotaging your smile? From behavioral tendencies to choices you thought were smart or healthy…the tiniest slip-ups can be the most damaging. Double-check your daily routine to make sure it’s free of these common dental no-no’s.

Over-Whitening

It seems almost every type of dental product you can imagine is now available with ...]]>
Are You Guilty of Committing These 7 Dental Sins?

Brushing and flossing twice a day are two essential steps towards good oral health, but are other habits sabotaging your smile? From behavioral tendencies to choices you thought were smart or healthy…the tiniest slip-ups can be the most damaging. Double-check your daily routine to make sure it’s free of these common dental no-no’s.

  1. Over-Whitening

It seems almost every type of dental product you can imagine is now available with whitening ingredients, but too much exposure to these additives can actually do more harm than help to your smile. Daily use of whitening toothpaste, floss or rinse that contains peroxide can both weaken tooth enamel and aggravate the nerves of your teeth, resulting in chronic tooth sensitivity.

  1. Sucking on Breath Mints or Hard Candies

Individually wrapped or packaged in tins, their convenience may be appealing to those looking to give their breath a quick boost, but this is one shortcut you’d be wise to avoid. Almost all varieties are rich in sugar, and prolonged sucking on them is a quick and direct route to tooth decay if there ever was one.

  1. Drinking Bottled Water

Water is arguably the healthiest thing you could drink, but virtually all bottled products are fluoride-free. Those who drink bottled water exclusively may be at real risk of tooth decay due to a fluoride deficiency, especially if they are not getting this enamel-fortifying ingredient elsewhere.

  1. Using Your Teeth Like an Extra Pair of Hands

Despite their ability to chew through food day in and day out, teeth aren’t designed to do the job of scissors, other tools, or your bare hands. Ripping open packaging, cutting tape, or even carrying a foreign object around with your teeth is a recipe for chips, cracks, broken dental work, and, in the extreme case of an accident, tooth loss.

  1. Chewing on Ice

Cool and refreshing as it is, chewing on ice (and/or icy treats like popsicles) can cost you. It’s hardness and extremely cold temperature is a dangerous combination that can cause fractures all the way to the roots of your teeth, if you bite down hard enough.

  1. Nibbling on Pencils or Your Nails

Whether it’s due to nerves, concentration, or mindless daydreaming, chewing on non-food objects can do a number on your teeth. Similar to chewing on ice, biting down hard enough can cause fractures, but even without exerting a lot of force, constant grinding can shift the teeth and/or damage tooth enamel over time.

  1. Frequent Snacking

Certain diets or schedules may encourage “grazing”, in which snacks and smaller meals are eaten throughout the day. No matter how healthy your food choices are, frequent snacking is still bad for your teeth. Constant contact with food exposes your teeth to harmful bacteria and plaque without rest or chance for remineralization, contributing to both tooth decay and gum disease over time. And if you snack before bed, be sure to brush before going to sleep.

Making Better Choices

Habits are hard to change, but in many cases, there are simple, even effortless ways to correct behaviors that are hurting your teeth. If you find yourself committing any of these oral offenses, ask your dentist for help. He or she can offer a number of healthier alternatives or suggestions to solve the problem for good.

Sources:

10 Bad (Dental) Habits to Break. (2009, April 29). Retrieved July 9, 2015, from http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/10-bad-dental-habits-break

Bottled Water: Cause of Cavity Comeback? (n.d.) Retrieved July 28, 2015, from https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/bottledwater.html

Everyday Habits That Damage Your Teeth. (2012, October, 31). Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits?page=2

McCoy, Krisha. (2011, July 29). Common Dental Health Troublemakers. Retrieved June 6, 2015, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health-pictures/bad-habits-that-can-harm-your-teeth.aspx#06

 

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Are you and your toothpaste compatible? http://salempediatricdental.com/are-you-and-your-toothpaste-compatible/ Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:50:24 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6213 Brushing your teeth is a no-brainer, but did you know that the type of toothpaste you use could have a big impact on your smile? Whether your teeth are extra sensitive, need added protection, or could simply use a boost in the looks department, chances are there’s a toothpaste out there that fits the bill.
Use this detailed guide to help you pick the perfect paste (or gel) for your pearly whites.
Are You And Your Toothpaste Compatible? Find Out!

Brushing your teeth is a no-brainer, but did you know that the type of toothpaste you use could have a big impact on your smile? Whether your teeth are extra sensitive, need added protection, or could simply use a boost in the looks department, chances are there’s a toothpaste out there that fits the bill.

Use this detailed guide to help you pick the perfect paste (or gel) for your pearly whites.

Why Toothpaste Is Necessary

If you’ve ever wondered if toothpaste is truly important, let alone the type of toothpaste you choose, here is why it matters:

  1. Toothpaste improves abrasion to help remove plaque thoroughly and efficiently
    2. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, a proven cavity fighter that also reverses decay
    3. Toothpaste can prevent discoloration, especially those with stain-lifting ingredients
    4. Toothpaste can refresh the palate and discourage excess snacking

Even if you brush with the most basic of toothpastes, it is better than brushing with water alone.

Types of Toothpaste

New combinations and varieties of toothpaste are always hitting the shelves, but most tend to fall into these general categories:

  1. Anti-Cavity Toothpastes
    Technically, any type of toothpaste can be viewed as “anti-cavity”, but specific brands may wield more fluoride than others to help remineralize teeth and prevent decay. Depending on your dental situation, your dentist may prescribe a particular anti-cavity toothpaste, but there are countless options available over the counter. For added assurance, simply look for the ADA seal on the packaging. Anti-cavity toothpastes may be the best bet for those who are looking for general maintenance of their oral health or those who have had extensive dental work and need to prevent further decay.
  2. Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth
    If your teeth are sensitive to extreme temperatures and/or easily irritated by certain foods, this type of toothpaste may give you the relief you need. Toothpastes specifically designed for sensitive teeth can help protect and strengthen weakened tooth enamel using blocking compounds such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. For those who go this route, it’s important to note that it may take several weeks before you notice any results. To speed up results, dentist recommend spitting out toothpaste when you are done brushing, but don’t rinse with water.
  3. Tartar Control Toothpastes
    People who suffer from gum disease may require toothpaste with added tartar control properties to help combat excess plaque buildup. Instead of one bacteria-fighting agent, tartar control toothpastes may use multiple ingredients to combat the problem, from triclosan to pyrophosphates and zinc citrate. Taking advantage of this type of toothpaste can help slow buildup, but if a significant amount of tartar (hardened plaque) already exists, removal will require a professional cleaning.
  4. Whitening Toothpastes
    Yellow and/or stained teeth can become visibly brighter with the help of a whitening toothpaste. Compared to basic toothpastes, whitening toothpastes tend to have more abrasive particles and other special stain-fighting compounds that lift particles off the teeth and give them added polish. While it’s completely safe for everyday use, this may not be the best choice for those experiencing tooth sensitivity, as certain whitening ingredients may exacerbate the condition. Keep in mind, whitening toothpaste will not have the same results as whitening gel.

The Best Toothpaste for You

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, trial and error may be the most practical way to find the right toothpaste for you. Don’t be afraid to test out products, and check with your dentist for specific recommendations based on your dental health.

Sources:

Heid, Martha. (2013, February 1). What Kind Of Toothpaste Should You Use. Retrieved June 26, 2015, from http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/best-toothpaste-your-teeth?slide=1

Weighing Your Toothpaste Options (2015, June 9). Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/weighing-your-toothpaste-options?page=2

 

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About adult dental anxiety http://salempediatricdental.com/adult-dental-anxiety/ Sat, 18 Mar 2017 17:49:13 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6210 Wouldn’t it be great if the promise of a sticker or balloon could get everyone to see the dentist? Most adults know that the real reward–a healthy smile–is much greater, yet many still go with their dental needs unmet, due to “dentalphobia” or anxiety. Thankfully, increased awareness of the problem is transforming dental care for the better, and shedding light on effective ways to tackle your fears for good. ...]]> Adult Dental Anxiety: Tips and Techniques to Tackle It for Good

Wouldn’t it be great if the promise of a sticker or balloon could get everyone to see the dentist? Most adults know that the real reward–a healthy smile–is much greater, yet many still go with their dental needs unmet, due to “dentalphobia” or anxiety. Thankfully, increased awareness of the problem is transforming dental care for the better, and shedding light on effective ways to tackle your fears for good. Find out which coping techniques can help you feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair.

How To Combat Common Triggers

If you fear needles (or pain in general)…
Numbing alternatives may be the answer. While topical anesthesia usually takes the “pinch” out of a needle, new developments such as electronic anesthesia and other forms of electrotherapy can be as effective as drugs, and don’t require a needle at all. Electrodes are placed on the cheeks, and currents are transmitted to block out the pain. Many dentists have also switched to laser drills, which have a lower risk for pain than their mechanical predecessors. Should you still feel nervous about these options, however, you can always choose to be sedated, and “sleep” through the experience.

If you fear the loss of control…
Play a more active role from the very beginning. Have your dentist walk you through your treatment plan and lay out all your options. More involvement in the decision-making process may calm your nerves and help you feel prepared. Many dentists are also happy to over-communicate if that proves reassuring: simply ask him or her to talk through each step of the procedure as it is under way, and agree to a special signal that indicates pain or the need to stop.

If you fear being scolded or embarrassed…
Find a dentist whose personality and approach are most compatible with yours, and let him or her know about your dental health and history even before your first visit. Oral care makes up a big part of your personal hygiene, so it’s understandable to feel anxious about inviting someone into your “personal space” (your mouth). Getting things out in the open, however, can help ease fears about being judged or reprimanded, and make you more relaxed about getting the care you need. Believe it or not, no matter how bad you think your oral health is, chances are your dentist has seen worse.

Preparation Is Key

Keeping an open line of communication with your dentist can go a long way in dealing with your fears, but a little self-preparation can also be empowering. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to help you stay calm from start to finish:

  • Meditate or practice breathing exercises to gain composure before your visit
  • Don comfortable attire to help you feel more at ease in the dentist’s chair
  • Bring music, books and magazines to distract you before and during treatment
  • Ask a friend or loved one to come with you for extra support

The More You See Your Dentist, The Better

It may be hard at first, but over time, seeing your dentist will become easier – especially if you identify and treat the root cause(s) of your anxiety. Furthermore, frequent dentist visits can lower your chances for the more invasive procedures you may have feared in the first place. Regardless of what you may have experienced in the past, your oral health is worth every effort – and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that dentistry has come a long way from what you remember.

Sources:

10 Tips to Help You Overcome Dentist Phobia. (2015, March 29). Retrieved June 10, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/library/phobia_dentist.htm

Don’t Fear the Dentist. (2012, March 1). Retrieved June 11, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/dont-fear-the-dentist

Easing Dental Fear in Adults. (2014, May 22). Retrieved June 13, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults

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A Child’s First Visit http://salempediatricdental.com/childs-first-visit/ Sat, 04 Feb 2017 00:37:09 +0000 http://salempediatricdental.com/?p=6067 It can be shocking to many parents, if not perplexing: many dentists now recommend you schedule your child’s first visit before he or she turns one. Before you brush it off as a bit of overzealous advice, you should know it’s supported by the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry—and with good reason!
Besides setting your child on a lifelong path of smart dental habits, a lot about your child’s ...]]>
A Child’s First Visit to the DentistFirst Visit

It can be shocking to many parents, if not perplexing: many dentists now recommend you schedule your child’s first visit before he or she turns one. Before you brush it off as a bit of overzealous advice, you should know it’s supported by the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry—and with good reason!

Besides setting your child on a lifelong path of smart dental habits, a lot about your child’s oral health can be revealed and addressed even before he or she has a full set of teeth. Asking a fussy toddler to sit still and open wide may not sound like a walk in the park, but by knowing what to expect and how you can prepare, both you and your child can emerge with a smile.

The Benefits of Starting Early

Introducing your child to the dentist sooner rather than later has numerous advantages, the biggest of which is instilling the importance of regular dental visits into him or her at a very early age. Getting your child accustomed to seeing the dentist can help quell feelings of fear and anxiety that can lead to avoidance of professional dental care later on in life.

A close examination of new and emerging teeth can also help identify and treat tooth decay. Even if your child is subsisting only on milk and baby food—improper brushing as well as night-time breast/bottle-feeding can put your toddler’s teeth at risk for cavities. By working closely with a pediatric dentist, the specific causes behind any tooth problems can be determined, and corrected via a treatment plan tailored to your child’s dental situation.

Finally, a well-timed visit to the pediatric dentist can translate into cost savings. Staying on top of your child’s oral health and hygiene can keep expensive treatments like fillings, caps, space maintainers or even root canals at bay.

What to Expect

Your child’s first visit will certainly be thorough, but not overly invasive. The dentist will want to review the child’s oral history and understand his or her eating and teething behaviors, as well as daily dental routine.

Afterwards, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth with your assistance. For better access and viewing, you may be asked to help position your child’s head to rest on the dentist’s lap while his or her feet are resting on you. Depending on your child’s dental situation, sealant may be applied to the teeth for protection against cavities, followed by a demonstration of proper brushing techniques.

Once the checkup is complete, your dentist may share a treatment plan based on your child’s dental health and schedule you for a follow-up.

Getting Ready For Your Appointment

A little preparation goes a long way towards making your visit smooth and productive. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of your child’s first checkup:

  • Put your child to bed early the night before to ensure he or she is well-rested
  • Write down questions and observations to discuss with the dentist
  • Pack toys that can occupy and/or soothe your child
  • Bring your child’s dental care products in case your dentist has any questions
  • Gather your insurance information beforehand to avoid a last minute rush

Exposing your child to stories or videos that paint dentist visits in a fun, positive light can also make the experience seem less scary.

Long Term Oral Health

As good as it will feel to achieve your child’s first major “smilestone”, the truth is that every subsequent checkup is just as critical to preserving his or her dental health — as is practicing good dental habits at home.

Stay one step ahead of important dental developments by scheduling frequent checkups, and don’t hesitate to call your child’s dentist for help should questions arise in between visits.

Sources:

Your Child’s Age 1 Dental Visit. (2012, July 3). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Infants-and-Children/Toddler-Child-Transitional-Care/article/Your-Childs-First-Dental-Visit.cvsp

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist. (2014, May 25). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/childs-first-dental-visit

 

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