For years, people have tried to make sure their families got enough fluoride, a mineral that protects teeth from decay. However, recent news has suggested that people may actually be getting too much fluoride. In fact, the incidences of over fluoridation have risen and more children are developing fluorosis – streaks or white spots on the teeth. Additionally, some research has suggested that fluoride may contribute to certain health issues. This information has caused a debate about the use of fluoride.
With the right amount of fluoride, teeth are protected against cavities. Flouride is integral in the re-mineralization of tooth enamel, which essentially reverses early decay. Having fluoride in drinking water has been considered the most effect public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health, particularly in rural areas. Problems only arise because people now get fluoride from other sources, including toothpaste, mouth rinses, and in the dentist’s office. For the first time in nearly 50 years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is recommending lower levels of fluoride in drinking water to protect against too much fluoride intake.
You can reduce the risk of over exposure to fluoride by:
- Avoiding fruity flavored toothpastes that encourage kids to swallow toothpaste
- Checking the fluoride levels in your area’s water supply
- Explaining to your children the importance of not ingesting toothpaste when they brush
- Keeping fluoride supplements away from kids to avoid accidental overdose
- Mixing infant formula with fluoride-free water
- Selecting a non-fluoridated toothpaste for children under age six
- Using only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing
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Dental treatment that concentrates on improving the appearance of your smile is called cosmetic dentistry. Not every dentist specializes in this area, so if you’re interested specifically in making changes to obtain a better smile, then finding a cosmetic dentist is the way to go.
Although some dentists may claim to specialize in cosmetic dentistry, it requires training and qualifications to be identified as such. Completing a formal education program in cosmetic dentistry after graduating from dental school allows a dentist to receive board certification approved by the American Dental Association in cosmetic dentistry. So the first thing to ask a dental practice is whether or not the dentist is actually a trained cosmetic dentist in this area of expertise.
Cosmetic dental work focuses on a wide range of aesthetic conditions. This includes things like gaps between your teeth, discoloration, missing teeth, chips, cracks, misalignment, and other problems. If you have any of these types of issues, a cosmetic dentist may be able to change your look so that you are no longer dissatisfied with your smile. Common treatments performed by cosmetic dentists are veneers, implants, teeth whitening, bonding, contouring, braces, and more.
When it’s time to choose a cosmetic dentist, here are some good questions to ask to help you determine the best provider for you:
- What are your accreditations?
- Are you experienced in a variety of types of cosmetic dentistry procedures?
- Do you perform all of the procedures yourself, or will I be referred for additional treatment from any other providers?
- Can you provide before and after photographs of the dental work done on other patients?
- What technologies are employed in your office?
- Do you provide any kinds of computer imaging, models, or other methods to show the predicted outcomes of cosmetic dental work?
- What comfort methods are offered in your practice, such as sedation dentistry techniques?
- How are emergency situations handled?
These types of questions will help you decide if a cosmetic dentist in Weston, FL is right for you. Scheduling an initial consultation is a great way to learn more about the dentist, the practice, and the treatments available.Read More »
Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.
Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.
Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:
- Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
- Unsightly gaps between teeth
- Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
- Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile
Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.
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As a parent, you protect your child’s wellbeing. Part of your job is to teach them about taking care of themselves, including their oral health. By starting out young, you can instill in your kids the importance of caring for their teeth and gums. These simple tips will help ensure that your children enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.
- Begin immediately
Even before your baby is born, you can help provide a solid foundation for oral health. Take a good prenatal vitamin and eat calcium-rich foods so that your child will develop healthy teeth.
- Choose the right provider
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents take their children to see the dentist by age one. Finding a dentist you can trust and who works well with kids will help your children develop a positive view of dental visits.
- Protect baby teeth
Because primary teeth aren’t permanent, many people mistakenly believe that these teeth don’t matter. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth. As well, primary teeth help children chew effectively and learn to speech properly, so it’s important to brush and care for these teeth until permanent teeth arrive.
- Model the desired behavior
If you make brushing and flossing a priority, it will send a strong message to your kids about the significance of oral hygiene.
- Don’t forget the fluoride
After age two, make sure your kids use fluoride toothpaste when they brush. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.
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