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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.

 

In most cases, a tooth may need to be pulled when other less radical procedures, such as amalgams or restoration, make it impossible or imprudent to save your child's original tooth.

Advanced anesthetic techniques today greatly minimize discomfort associated with a tooth extraction.

First, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your child is given a regimen to follow to ensure that no infection occurs and gum tissues heal properly.

In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal.

Have your child avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. This includes vigorous rinsing of the mouth vigorously or drinking through a straw (the sucking action may promote swelling and opening of the extraction site). These activities could also dislodge the clot and delay healing.

For the first few days, if rinsing is a necessity, rinse your child's mouth gently. Afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask our office about pain medication. Your child can brush and floss her other teeth as usual; but she mustn't clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.

Wisdom teeth extraction

Wisdom teeth are your child's third and final set of molars.

Normally, people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at about the age of 6. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 18 to 20 years.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, and have healthy gum tissue around them. But in many people wisdom teeth do not grow in properly and force undue stress on other surrounding teeth.

Often, wisdom teeth that don't erupt into the mouth properly become impacted, or forced into an awkward, stressful position. Teeth that have not erupted are not necessarily impacted. It may be that it is still too early in someone's dental development, and if time passes they might grow in properly.

A dental exam, including X-rays, will reveal if your teeth are impacted or will not grow in properly. Impacted teeth can lead to infection, decay of your surrounding teeth, gum disease or cysts or tumors from the follicle, which is the tissue which formed the crown of the tooth.

Impacted wisdom teeth are normally pulled, or extracted, to prevent potential problems. Erupted wisdom teeth may also need to be removed, especially if the tooth is non-functional, interferes with your child's bite, is badly decayed, at risk for gum disease, or interferes with restoration of an adjacent tooth.

The following symptoms may indicate that your child's wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed:
  • pain
  • infection in the mouth
  • facial swelling
  • swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth
Extraction is usually performed when the roots are approximately formed, or three-fourths developed. This is typically during the adolescent years, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar.