News & Info
Fluoridated water helps fight decay
How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
Your teeth are coated with a film of bacteria called plaque. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, plaque produces acids that attack the surfaces of your teeth and causes cavities or tooth decay. Fluoride can help keep these acids from breaking down your tooth surface. Our teeth are coated with a film of bacteria called plaque. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, plaque produces acids that attack the surfaces of your teeth and causes cavities or tooth decay. Fluoride can help keep these acids from breaking down your tooth surface.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride mouth rinses also can help fight decay.
Young children should be supervised when brushing their teeth. Parents and caregivers should make sure their children use the right amount of toothpaste and spit the foamy paste out—it should not be swallowed. Children younger than 3 years should use fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of white rice. For children 3 to 6 years of age, parents and caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Dentists may apply topical fluoride during an office visit to reduce the risk of decay. Don't forget to visit your dentist every 6 months for your regular checkup and cleaning.
Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health
Don't forget to get your bi-annual dental checkup and cleaning! Every patient should get a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation, or CPE, to assess your periodontal health at least once a year to examine:
- Your teeth
- Your plaque
- Your gums
- Your bite
- Your bone structure
- Your risk factors
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused when bacteria in plaque (a sticky, colorless film that forms in the mouth) builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed.
If left untreated, this inflammation can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate leading to gum recession or even tooth loss. In addition, research has shown that gum disease may be associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Luckily, periodontal disease can be preventable. Adding these habits to your daily routine can help.
- Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue; bacteria loves to hide there.
- Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
- Swish with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
- Know your risk. Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
- Visit your Dentist/Periodontist regularly for regular checkups and cleaning.
When your dental professional, such as a periodontist, general dentist, or dental hygienist, performs this evaluation, they will look at these six areas to determine the state of your periodontal health. Identifying symptoms of gum disease early is key to protecting your teeth and gums.
Schedule your comprehensive periodontal evaluation exam today!
Early Milestones for Your Child’s Teeth
Your child's babyhood won't last forever — and neither will the baby teeth. Yet those primary teeth will be there for most of childhood, and they'll set the stage for the permanent teeth that follow. That's why it's important to care for them just as you care for your grown-up teeth.
You probably know that of your child's 20 baby teeth, the first set usually appears at around six to nine months. She may have four or even more by the time her first birthday rolls around. And that's just when the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you bring her in for her first dental examination. Your dentist can check for cavities and proper tooth development, teach you how to clean tiny teeth effectively, and help get her started on the lifelong practice of good oral hygiene. Until the baby knows how to spit out (usually not before 2yrs), it is safe to use Fluoride-free toothpaste to effectively clean all their teeth.
By the age of two, as more teeth are erupting in the mouth, it's time to establish a regular daily brushing routine. A small, soft-bristled toothbrush with just a tiny dab of fluoridated toothpaste is best. From that point until age six or so, your child may need help learning to brush properly. And this is just the time for you to lay down a foundation of beneficial oral health habits that will carry through her/his lifetime.
Cavities - Complications & Prevention!
Cavities are such a common dental issue that some people tend to simply ignore their presence. That is, until they get attacked by the severe pain that cavities can cause – among other serious complications and health risks.
Some of the problems as a result of having cavities include the following:
- Tooth structure may weaken or become damaged.
- Tooth and gums may become swollen due to abscess and the presence of pus around the infected tooth and gum area.
- Permanent teeth might move and shift, leaving gaps or causing overlapping of teeth.
- Difficulty chewing and eating, which will limit your food options and in the long term will affect your nutrition and overall health.
- Intense pain in the gums and teeth. Eventually, this pain can escalate and become so debilitating that you won’t be able to continue doing your daily routines and responsibilities.
- Tooth loss, difficulty in speaking properly and having a less-than-presentable smile can impact your social life, self-esteem as well as personal relationships and career development.
- There is a higher risk of contracting life-threatening diseases due to heart complications and diabetes that can be caused by blood infections that originate from bacteria from the mouth.
Given the serious, risky and long-term side effects of having cavities, it’s important to get help from your dentist at the first sign of it. As always, prevention is better than cure, so knowing and following the proven ways to cavity prevention is a must for everyone regardless of age, gender or occupation.
Simple steps to prevent cavities:
- Eat well: Eat your vegetables and fruits. Avoid snacking on sugary food and drinks.
- Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth.
- Instill dental care habits early.
- Get help from your dentist - go for your regular dental checkups and cleaning.
Cavity Free Club:
Are you a member of our cavity free club? If not, let us help you and your kids get there and maintain your happy smile this summer.
Our Cavity Free Club serves as a reward system to help our young and older patients develop and maintain good oral hygiene habits. We are very proud of our cavity-free kids. Every patient has the opportunity to become a member of our Cavity Free Club. Just take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily.
And the next time you visit us, if you have no cavities, you become a member and enter to win fun prizes!