If you’re like most people, you don’t think about your teeth much until they hurt or there’s something wrong. Unfortunately, that can create ongoing problems like cavities, dental decay, and gum disease! Don’t worry, though – there are lots of simple things you can do to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
Here are a few easy points to begin with:
Let us help you keep your mouth in great shape, call us today!
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a very long time, you might feel some shame surrounding the idea of your first return appointment.
Will people judge you when you go? What’s it going to feel like to have somebody working in your mouth? What will the dentist find when he or she gets in there? If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, now is a great time to take charge of your oral health and ensure it stays on the up-and-up going forward.
In addition to preventing tooth loss and other issues, going to the dentist is an essential part of maintaining healthy habits and setting yourself up for success as far as your oral hygiene is concerned.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have questions, though. With that in mind, if you find yourself going to the dentist for the first time in years.
Your Gums may Bleed
When the dental hygienists begin to floss your teeth, your gums are likely to bleed. Although this may be a bit startling, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something terribly wrong with your teeth or mouth.
In many cases, gums will bleed because they’re simply not used to the pressure of floss. If you want to reduce the risk that your gums will bleed, practice flossing them at home.
The Cleaning May Take Awhile
If it’s been some time since you’ve gone in for a dental cleaning, your teeth will likely have a significant amount of plaque buildup on them. This is normal. It may, however, mean that you will spend more time in the dental chair having your teeth cleaned than you would otherwise.
As the hygienist works to clean each tooth, remind yourself that this process is essential to your dental health and that your teeth will be stronger and whiter once you leave the appointment. If you’re very nervous about spending time in the dentist’s chair, ask about relaxation techniques. Your dentist will likely have several suggestions to help make your next appointment a more pleasant experience.
Today, x-rays are standard in many areas of healthcare. If you have not been to the dentist in a long time, it’s likely that the professionals in the office will want to know what’s going on in your mouth. Dental X-rays are some of the best ways to do this.
With this in mind, prepare yourself to undergo some dental X-rays during your first return appointment. If you have old x-rays on file, the dentist may be able to use those. If not, however, Your dentist can create new x-rays to help create a comprehensive picture of your oral health and guide future appointments.
If you’ve ever had dental X-rays before, you know that they can be a bit uncomfortable. Relax and understand that they will be over quickly, and that they are a necessary part of this appointment.
A Comprehensive Oral Exam
Once a dental hygienist has completely cleaned your teeth, your dentist will give you a comprehensive oral examination. The purpose of this examination is to inspect your mouth for cavities, and signs of dental disease.
Your doctor may also look for signs of oral cancer and other conditions. If you haven’t been to the dentist in many years, it’s very likely that there will be a cavity or two in your mouth that will require some attention.
A Breakdown of Facts
Once your examination is complete, your dentist will sit down with you and discuss the facts. If you have questions, now is a great time to ask them. This is also the time at which your dentist will help you understand your future care needs, and come up with a plan to deliver them.
If you need fillings, crowns, or additional work, you may take the time now to schedule an additional appointment for the coming months or weeks. If your dentist has any concern about your dental hygiene routine or anything like that, now is also a great time too. Treat this time as the information gathering opportunity that it is.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy Going Forward
There are many reasons that people don’t go to the dentist for several years. In some cases, the issue is financial. Dental care is expensive, and those without dental insurance may have a difficult time accessing the professional attention they need. In other cases, people don’t go to the dentist because they’re afraid or nervous about the procedures therein.
Regardless of what kept you away from the dentist for so many years, taking yourself back into the dental office represents the start of a new phase of wellness. From here on out, you have the opportunity to go a different way when it comes to your dental health.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy and strong as you move forward:
Brush at least twice daily.Brushing your teeth regularly is your best defense against dental issues. Each time you eat a meal, brush your teeth immediately afterward. For best results, select a toothbrush with a narrow head and soft bristles, which are gentler on gums and provide better access to back teeth.
Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is designed to harden tooth enamel and cut down on your risk of dental decay. With this in mind, opt for a dentist-approved fluoride toothpaste, which will help you help your teeth stay healthy and strong.
Brush thoroughly. Brush your teeth like you wash your hands. Thoroughly. The best tooth brushing sessions take between two and three minutes. Don’t sell yourself short here.
Limit foods that are hard on your dental well-being. Certain foods, like those containing high amounts of sugar, acidic drinks, fruit juices, and sticky candies, are all difficult for your teeth to handle. With this in mind, limit your consumptions of these things and choose healthier alternatives, such as cheese, fruits and nuts, and leafy greens.
A New Life of Dental Wellness Starts Here!
So you didn’t go to the dentist for years, but those days are over now. As you move forward, these tips will help you keep your mouth healthy and happy, and ensure that your teeth are as strong as they need to be.
For now, focus on getting through your first dental appointment. Remember that the dentist is there to help you and that even though seeing a dentist can be frightening, it’s always a wise decision.
Take this opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have, and to come up with an ongoing dental care plan. You’re not the only one who goes years without going to the dentist, but it’s never too late to start again. Treat this like a new beginning rather than something to be ashamed of. Regardless of what your dental history may look like, your teeth are too important to neglect from this point forward.
Do you need to schedule a dental appointment? Contact our team today to speak with one of our skilled staff members.
According to the CDC, 31.6% of adults between the ages of 20-44 have untreated dental cavities. If you’ve ever had a cavity or dental infection, you know they’re both uncomfortable and difficult to resolve. Luckily, they’re not unavoidable. Here are eight smart tips to keep your teeth in great shape in the coming year and beyond:
If you’ve ever watched a baby drool, fuss, and cry, you know that they think about their teeth just as much as adults do, if not more.
What you might not know is how, exactly, to care for those emerging teeth. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
The fact is that many parents, although they mean well, aren’t exactly sure how to address baby teeth. Once the first tooth pops into the mouth, most parents start wondering how to care for their baby’s mouths. Is now the time to begin brushing teeth? When do babies begin to lose their teeth? Should kids ever use mouthwash? The questions go on and on.
Although baby teeth are small, they’re critically important. In addition to preparing the mouth for the presence of adult teeth, baby teeth are what allow your child to chew his or her food, and get a taste of the world, literally.
Without healthy baby teeth, your baby may find chewing difficult, and may have trouble learning to speak. Because of this, learning how to care for and clean baby teeth is essential.
Here’s your complete guide to doing just that.
What you Need to Know About Baby Teeth
According to theAmerican Dental Association, baby teeth are some of the most essential elements of a child’s development. At the time of birth, a baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jawbone, and they emerge through the gums as the child gets older.
Typically, teeth begin to appear when a baby is between 6 months and one year old. For most children, the primary set of 20 teeth is fully in place by the age of 3. Although every child is different, the first teeth to come in are usually the ones located at the front and bottom of the mouth.
During teething, it’s common for babies to have sore, tender gums that may bleed slightly. This can be very painful for babies and cause much of the teething-related fussiness parents are familiar with. After the period of teething comes a period when children start to lose their baby teeth in favor of the adult teeth that will eventually fill their mouths. While this is normal, it’s essential to ensure the process isn’t happening too fast.
The reason is this: If babies lose their baby teeth too early, their permanent teeth can drift into that space, creating spacing issues and misalignment down the road. This leads to a crooked and crowded mouth and may put the child at risk for braces or intensive dental work later in life.
Because of this, most dentists recommend that children start getting dental check-ups during their “well baby” visits. In addition to checking for cavities and other dental problems, a pediatric dentist can show you how to clean a child’s teeth and handle potentially damaging habits like thumb-sucking or extended pacifier use.
3 Common-Sense Tips for Caring for Your Child’s Teeth
Wondering how to care for those sweet little teeth in your baby’s mouth? Here are three tips to get you started.
Start cleaning your baby’s mouth in the immediate postpartum period. Using a clean, moist washcloth, wipe the baby’s gums after it nurses or eats. While many parents think that the immediate postpartum period is too early to start dental care, it’s critical to remember that decay can occur as soon as teeth begin to appear. For most babies, teeth begin to push through the gums around six months of age, although it can take from 12 to 14 months for some children. Getting a jump-start on dental hygiene will help reduce the risk, and give your child a leg-up on dental health.
Start brushing teeth as soon as they enter the mouth. If your child is three years of age or younger, start brushing the child’s teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and remote that is appropriate for the size of the child, brush the teeth thoroughly twice daily, or as directed by your pediatric dentist or doctor. Once your child is old enough to brush his or her teeth on their own, supervise the brushing process to ensure your child is using the right amount of toothpaste and that they are not swallowing the paste.
Encourage swishing with mouthwash. Swishing with mouthwash is a good habit for children to develop early. In addition to banishing bacteria from the mouth, swishing with mouthwash also keeps the gums and tongue clean. While mouthwash is not appropriate for babies, it can be fun for older children. Just make sure that you are supervising the child, so they don’t swallow the mouthwash.
Earlier in this post, we discussed some of the side effects of teething, including fussiness and irritability. But what, exactly, happens during the teething process? Here’s a simple breakdown:
The Timeline of Teething
In most cases, it takes about two years for a baby’sinfant teeth to come through the child’s gums and into the mouth. The process by which each tooth emerges is known as “teething,” and can be a difficult time for both parents and babies.
The reason for this is simple: teething hurts. Imagine the feeling of several teeth erupting into your mouth all at once. It doesn’t sound comfortable, does it? When you understand this, it’s easier to understand why your baby fusses and cries during and before teething. Additional symptoms of teething may include the following:
Want to help your baby cope with the pain of teething? Here are a few smart ways to do that:
Teething rings. Head to the store and pick up some baby-specific teething rings. Stick them in the freezer and give them to your baby to chew on. As a general rule, you should avoid giving your child anything that’s small enough for them to chew on, or any teething rings with liquid inside, as these can break and drain into your baby’s mouth.
Gum rubbing. Using a clean finger, applying gentle pressure to your baby’s gums, rubbing if it seems like that feels good for the child. This can help relieve some of the pain associated with teething and provide some temporary numbing for your baby’s gums.
Pain relief. Topical pain relievers meant for babies can be purchased over-the-counter at any drugstore and applied at home. The only thing to be sure of is that you’re avoiding products that containbenzocaine, as the FDA has stated that these products can cause dangerous, potentially life-threatening side effects. Instead, talk to your pediatrician about how to give your babyTylenol (acetaminophen) to reduce pain.
Preventing Cavities During Infancy
As soon as children have teeth, they can also have cavities. With this in mind, take active steps to prevent them.
The best line of defense against cavities is to be sure that you’re filling your child’s bottle with things they’re supposed to be drinking. This is generally limited to formula, breast milk, or water. Never fill a child’s bottle with fruit juices, soda, or other sugary substances, as it can settle on the child’s teeth during drinking, or if the child falls asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth.
Good Dental Care Starts Here
Caring for your child’s new teeth is easier when you have a trusted partner. If you’re interested in learning more about our pediatric dental services or making an appointment for your child, contact our team today.
If you’re expecting, you already know that pregnancy creates dozens of changes in the body. But do you know how it affects your oral health? Here’s what you need to know:
See your dentist frequently. As soon as you confirm that you’re pregnant, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will help you navigate any dental complications you might face, and make a plan to keep your oral health intact throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Understand the risks. Being pregnant changes the chemical makeup of your saliva and puts you at higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and so-called “pregnancy tumors.” Don’t worry, though – these conditions are all treatable. Meet with your dentist early on to learn more about them and understand what you can do to avoid them.
Keep your mouth healthy. Some things don’t change during pregnancy. You should still brush and floss at least twice a day. Don’t forget to swish with mouthwash to keep your breath fresh and kill oral bacteria between meals.
Learn about gum disease. Did you know that having moderate to severe gum disease can increase the risk of preterm delivery or babies with low birth weight? Talk to both your OB and your dentist about these risks.
Get your regular cleanings. Having a dental cleaning during pregnancy won’t pose any risk, and can help promote good overall dental health. If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover an additional cleaning during your pregnancy, so be sure to look at your policy for details.
It’s natural to have lots of questions about pregnancy and oral care, so don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist to learn more!