Most people don’t worry if their children get a cavity or two. Unfortunately, tooth decay can have an impact on can impact, development, nutrition, and behavior. Identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a silent epidemic, tooth decay occurs five times more often in children than asthma. By kindergarten, 40 percent of kids will have developed cavities.
During difficult financial times, such as the ones our country has recently faced, families have to prioritize their spending and dental care is often seen as optional. For infants and children, dental checkups are an important component of overall health. Because tooth nerves are close to the blood supply, tooth infections can quickly and easily spread, which can lead to serious complications.
Other issues can also arise. When children have pain from cavities, they may eat less, increasing the risk for malnutrition. If kids are malnourished, they can have difficulty learning. Sometimes, parents mistakenly believe baby teeth don’t matter, but that’s not the case. If early teeth are lost too soon, permanent teeth can come in at the wrong time and in the wrong location, creating future orthodontic problems.
These tips will help you keep your child’s smile healthy and strong:
- Schedule a first exam between ages one and three. Make regular checkup appointments twice a year after that.
- Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first one erupts.
- Limit sticky, starchy, and sweet foods.
- Select healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and cheese.
- Talk with your dentist about applying a fluoride varnish to protect teeth.
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Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.
The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:
- Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
- Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
- Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.
When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.Read More »
You may have heard about people getting their dental fillings replaced, and might be wondering if it’s something you should consider for yourself. There are a number of reasons for replacing fillings, ranging from losing it to experiencing pain to disliking its appearance. How do you know whether or not you should replace yours?
The first thing to know about dental fillings is that there are several choices for materials. Many are made from amalgam, which is a combination of metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Although there is some controversy about the safety of mercury in your mouth, most experts say that it is safe. The main complaint about amalgam is its noticeable silver color. Another option is gold fillings, which can last a long time but are often the most expensive type. The most common type of filling is made from composite, a material composed of micro particles that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored and are similar in durability to amalgam fillings.
The most popular reasons that people get their fillings replace include:
- Decay – after a number of years of wear and tear, fillings begin to decay. When they begin breaking down, bacteria may enter your tooth and lead to infection. Your dentist will be able to warn you when a filling is deteriorating.
- Looseness – fillings can become loose if the cavity wasn’t administered correctly or if you bite on something that damages it. The age of the filling can also cause it to loosen. A checkup can help identify if the seal of your filling has broken.
- Pain – if you experience pain in your tooth that continues, your filling may need to be repaired by your dentist or replaced completely.
- Appearance – it is not uncommon for patients to replace fillings simply because they dislike the way it looks. Old fillings can become discolored, or you might not like the material that was used.
If you are thinking about having a filling replaced, see your dentist to ask about your options. It is often not a big deal and you’ll end up much happier with a filling that fits well and looks attractive.Read More »
It’s important to keep all your permanent teeth. Without a complete smile, you risk gum recession, dietary restrictions, and further tooth loss. By identifying common contributors to tooth loss, you can protect your teeth.
Certain factors can influence tooth loss, including:
Developing cavities can weaken your teeth and make you susceptible to tooth loss, especially if you allow the decay to grow. When deep decay compromises the tooth, you may need a root canal, or worse, an extraction. If you suspect that you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The number one cause of tooth loss in American adults, gum disease often begins with mild symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums. This early form of the disease is called gingivitis. Once gum disease progresses to periodontitis, gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss may occur.
Lack of Dental Care
Seeing the dentist for twice yearly checkups allows the doctor to monitor your whole mouth and look for signs of trouble. Catching small problems, like cavities, before they escalate can help prevent tooth loss.
Poor Oral Hygiene
One step you can take to keep your teeth healthy is to take good care of them. Make brushing twice a day and flossing often a priority.
Certain Chronic Conditions
Individuals with medical issues such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher than average chance of developing gum disease, which can increase your odds of losing teeth.