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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 addition to spotting cavities early, X-rays are used to examine erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate injury, or plan orthodontic treatment.

In general, children need X-rays more often than adults because their mouths grow and change rapidly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently.

X-rays provide an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, roots, jaw, and overall facial bone composition. X-rays can reveal the exact location of impacted and unerupted teeth, the presence or degree of periodontal disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also help the dentist pinpoint the exact location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination.

In most cases, new patients require a full set of mouth X-rays. Follow-up visits may require X-rays to monitor the conditions of your gums.

X-rays are critical diagnostic tools our office uses to pinpoint cavities and spot other kinds of problems or conditions not visible to the naked eye.

There are three types of radiographs (or X-rays) that are routinely taken:
  • Bitewings - used to help diagnose cavities between the teeth.
  • Periapical X-rays - show the entire tooth, including the root and surrounding bone. These are useful in diagnosing an abscess, impacted tooth, or bone loss from periodontal disease.
  • Panoramic X-ray - a panoramic photograph that allows the dentist to see a broad view of the entire structure of the mouth, including the jaw, in a single image. Within one large film, panoramic X-rays reveal all of the upper and lower teeth and parts of the jaw. Panoramic X-rays are a very useful screening tool assessing wisdom teeth, and can reveal abnormal growths or cysts in the jaw bone.
Radiation concerns

Dentists are sensitive to your concerns about exposure to radiation from X-rays, and are trained to prescribe them when they are appropriate. State-of-the-art technology and staying abreast of the latest diagnostic advances allow us to know which procedures and X-ray films can minimize exposure to radiation.

All of the necessary precautions are taken to minimize your child's exposure to X-rays during a typical dental diagnostic procedure. Patients always wear a lead apron and thyroid collar to avoid unnecessary radiation to other parts of the body. Not everyone needs X-rays taken on a regular basis. However, some patients may need to have X-rays taken in order to address suspected problems in their teeth or tooth structures, gums, or jaw bones.

The ionizing radiation that you receive from one dental X-ray is substantially less that the radiation you receive every day in the sun. Advances in technology, such as higher-speed X-ray film and measurement devices, have made dental X-rays even safer today. This is not to say that any unnecessary radiation, even a small amount, can harm the tissues in your body. Because X-rays can diagnose certain conditions and help a condition from becoming worse; the benefit outweighs the risk.

X-ray films detect much more than cavities. For example, they often are needed to reveal erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, treat an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment.