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toothbrushing

Preventive dentistry begins with the first tooth. We offer FREE DENTAL EXAMS to new patients 18 months and younger. We know that the establishment of good oral hygiene practices will prevent unnecessary decay throughout childhood. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping your child belong to the cavity-free generation.

 

Did you Know?

If you have cavity-causing germs in your mouth, you can easily pass those to your baby. Sharing utensils, cleaning a pacifier with your mouth or other activities that share saliva can pass germs that could cause problems for you baby's earliest teeth. It is important for parents to see the dentist regularly to keep their mouth clean and avoid passing cavity-causing germs to their babies.

 

Brushing

Brushing is the most effective method for removing harmful plaque from your child's teeth and gums. Getting the debris off their teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents bacteria in the mouth from turning into harmful, cavity-causing acids.

Start cleaning your baby's mouth after birth, using a a small piece of wetted gauze or a washcloth to wipe away plaque on your infant's teeth as they erupt. As your baby's teeth erupt, begin brushing them with a small, soft bristled toothbrush. Avoid using fluoridated toothpaste on your child until he or she reaches the age of 2. Use only a small, pea size amount of toothpaste being careful not to let them swallow it.

By the age of 4 or 5, your child should be able to begin brushing his or her teeth with the parent brushing them a second time. Once there is contact between the baby teeth, begin flossing your child's teeth once a day.

Most dentists agree that brushing two times a day is the minimum. If your child eats sticky foods during the day, a simple brushing with plain water or rinsing the mouth with water for 30 seconds will help keep the teeth free of plaque. Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Cavities
The best defense against cavities is good oral hygiene, including brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing. Your body's own saliva is also an excellent cavity fighter, because it contains special chemicals that rinse away many harmful materials. Chewing a good sugarless gum will stimulate saliva production between brushing. Read More...



Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically begin to develop in early adolescence, and may attempt to erupt into the mouth around the ages of 17 to 20.

Wisdom teeth are sometimes removed after the roots are somewhat developed, or at least three-fourths developed. This is usually in the adolescent years. In many cases, wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, or have healthy gum tissue around them. Often, wisdom teeth improperly erupt and become impacted, requiring them to be extracted, or pulled. Although they are like any other teeth, most people continue to have normal bites and well functioning sets of teeth in their absence.

 

Proper dental care begins at birth. There are many things you can do to help ensure that your child's teeth and gums start and remain healthy. From proper oral hygiene habits (it's never too early) to eating healthy foods, you can play an important part in laying the groundwork for your child's oral health and overall appearance later in life.

Eating a balanced diet and limiting the number of snacks between meals can help prevent the long-term effects of gum disease and tooth decay in your child. Good foods to eat include fruits, uncooked vegetables, yogurt, and cheese.

Your child's saliva protects the teeth somewhat by neutralizing the "demineralization," or damage, caused by plaque formation. (Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums after eating foods that produce acids.) Chewing sugarless gum is known to encourage saliva production and can help prevent plaque from forming.

Brushing and flossing are the best known methods for eliminating or reducing plaque, and tooth decay. Fluoride in toothpaste and rinses, as well as in the water we drink, is a substance, which like saliva, "re-mineralizes" (keeps healthy and solidifies) the surfaces of our teeth.

Highly concentrated fluoride gels, mouth rinses, or dietary supplements are other sources of this important substance. In addition, anti-cavity varnish, or sealants (which are thin, plastic coatings) also provide an additional barrier against harmful bacteria and other foreign matter.

We recommend that you bring your baby to see me by the first birthday, or within six months of the first tooth growing in, this is generally when the first tooth comes in. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future. In addition, children with healthy teeth chew food more easily and learn to speak more clearly. Dental problems can begin early - even in infancy. Semi-annual check-ups allow our office to spot early conditions, such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb sucking. Yes, decay can set in from using a bottle during naps or at night, or when your baby nurses continuously from the breast.

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by exposing your child's teeth to liquids containing sugars. Culprits include milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas, and other sweet drinks. The sugars in these liquids pool around your baby's teeth and gums, feeding the bacteria that lead to plaque. Pacifiers dipped in honey, sugar, or syrup are invitations to decay in your baby's teeth.

Encouraging your child to drink from a cup as he or she approaches the first birthday can stave off baby bottle tooth decay. You should avoid allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle; nighttime breast feeding should be avoided after the first baby tooth begins to erupt. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should be in a cup.

It is recommended that children be weaned from a bottle as soon as they can drink from a cup, but the bottle should not be taken away too soon since the sucking motion aids in the development of facial muscles and the tongue.