My Dentistry Blog
Posts for: March, 2018
Want to give your kids the best start possible for a lifetime of good dental health? The most important thing you can do is train them in effective brushing and flossing. It's more than having a nice smile and fresh breath: these hygiene tasks remove the daily buildup of bacterial plaque, the primary cause for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which are most responsible for poor oral health.
But those aren't the only habits they should be cultivating. Here are 3 tips for helping your child develop great dental health habits.
Encourage healthy eating. Teeth and gums are like other parts of the body: they need the "building blocks" found in nutritious foods to help grow strong, healthy tissues. By focusing on a diet leaner on processed items and richer in whole, less-processed vegetables, meats and dairy products, you'll be helping your child build strong defenses against dental disease.
Keep sugary snacks under control. Of all the items in your child's diet, sugar could have the greatest impact on their teeth. Disease-causing bacteria thrive on this particular carbohydrate, multiplying and producing mouth acid—the main enemy of tooth enamel—as a byproduct. So, limit sugary snacks as much as possible, opting instead for more nutritional between-meal treats. In fact, try to make sure they only consume sugary treats at mealtime, not in between.
Encourage an end to thumb-sucking or pacifiers by age 3. Most infants and very young children suck their thumbs or, alternatively, a pacifier. There's no harm in this habit unless it extends into later childhood where it could affect their bite. You can avoid this outcome by encouraging your child with mainly positive reinforcement to stop sucking their thumbs or other objects before their third birthday. Your dentist can also help with tips and support in those efforts.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Help your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Your Glenview dentists, Dr. Alexander Quezada and Dr. David Lewis Jr., urge you to be diligent and consistent with your oral hygiene habits. These ordinary practices protect your mouth against decay, abscess, gum disease, bad breath and more. Here's what these highly skilled dentists and their dedicated team at Colonial Dental Group advise for keeping your smile bright and healthy for life.
Brush and floss
You need to do both, say your Glenview dentists. Brushing twice a day cleans your teeth and gums well, but it can't reach all the food residues that collect after meals. That's where flossing comes in to eliminate that extra plaque before it forms into super-hard tartar. Both plaque and tartar collect between teeth and at the gum line, and the American Academy of Periodontology says that more than 500 different kinds of potentially harmful bacteria live in those spaces.
Unfortunately, bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease because the microbes secrete corrosive acids that eat away at enamel and tender gum tissue. These two oral health problems are responsible for most of the tooth loss among American adults.
The best way to brush
Use a soft-bristled brush twice a day. Apply a ribbon of fluoride toothpaste, and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Using a back and forth sweeping motion, clean all tooth surfaces--front, back and top (the part that chews and bites together). The American Dental Association says thorough brushing should last a full two minutes.
The best way to floss
Most people floss at bedtime using simple strand floss--either plain or waxed. Some individuals prefer interproximal brushes. These brushes look like tiny baby bottle brushes and are especially useful for cleaning around crowns, dental implants and bridgework.
Key to good flossing is a gentle touch. Never snap the floss against your gums or floss too vigorously. Be sure to take your time.
The best way to eat
Yes, eating is part of oral hygiene. Add plenty of water to your daily diet because well-hydrated oral tissues are less prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Also, water rinses away food residues and increases saliva production. The anti-bacterial qualities of saliva reduces bad breath and the incidence of decay and periodontal disease.
Regarding food, decrease your intake of sugars and starches because they provide the perfect breeding ground for toxic bacteria. On the positive side, up your intake of fruits and vegetables as they clean tooth surfaces, and calcium and protein help maintain strong tooth enamel and supporting bone and gum tissue.
All for your best smile
Both at-home and in-office hygiene (exams and cleanings every six months) support your oral health. Your Glenview dentists, Dr. Quezada and Dr. Lewis, and their team will help you optimize both so your smile looks, feels and functions well. Call Colonial Dental Group today at (947) 729-2233 for your semi-annual appointment.
During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.
Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.
For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.
When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.
But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.
Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.
So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…
If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”