Posts for: March, 2018
Your baby will grow into an adult so rapidly it will seem like they're changing right before your eyes. And some of the biggest changes will happen with their teeth, gums and jaw structure.
Unfortunately, disease or a traumatic accident could short-circuit this natural process and potentially create future dental problems. Here are 4 things you should be doing now to protect your baby's long-term dental health.
Start oral hygiene now. Even if your baby has no visible teeth, there may still be something else in their mouth—bacteria, which could trigger future tooth decay. To reduce bacteria clean their gums with a clean, wet cloth after each feeding. When teeth begin to appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the brush to minimize what they swallow.
Make your baby's first dental appointment. Beginning dental visits around your baby's first birthday will not only give us a head start on preventing or treating tooth decay, but could also give us a better chance of detecting other developing issues like a poor bite (malocclusion). Early dental visits also help get your child used to them as routine and increase the likelihood they'll continue the habit as adults.
Watch their sugar. Bacteria love sugar. So much so, they'll multiply—and more bacteria mean an increase in one of their by-products, mouth acid. Increased mouth acid can erode tooth enamel and open the way for decay. So, limit sugary snacks to only meal time and don't give them sugary drinks (including juices, breast milk or formula) in a bottle immediately before or while they sleep.
Childproof your home. A number of studies have shown that half of all accidents to teeth in children younger than 7 happen from falling on home furniture. So, take precautions by covering sharp edges or hard surfaces on chairs, tables or sofas, or situate your child's play areas away from furniture. And when they get older and wish to participate in sports activities purchase a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth from hard knocks—an investment well worth the cost.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
Philosopher Will Durant wrote, "…We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." While that observation could aptly apply to a great deal of life, it's certainly true of dental health. Strong, healthy teeth and gums are largely the result of good oral habits started in early childhood.
Here are some important dental care habits you'll want to instill in your child, as well as yourself.
Practice and teach daily oral hygiene. Keeping your child's mouth clean helps prevent future dental disease. It should begin before teeth appear by wiping your baby's gums with a clean, wet cloth after every feeding to keep decay-causing bacteria from growing. Once teeth appear, switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste until age 2, when you can increase to a pea-sized amount. As your child matures, be sure to teach them to brush and floss for themselves, especially by modeling the behavior for them.
Begin dental visits early. Besides daily hygiene, regular professional dental care is one of the best habits for keeping healthy teeth and gums. Plan to begin your child's dental visits by age 1 when some of their teeth may have already come in. And by beginning early, it's more likely your child will view dental visits as a routine part of life, a habit they'll more likely continue into adulthood.
Keep your oral bacteria to yourself. Many strains of bacteria, especially harmful ones, don't occur spontaneously in a child's mouth. They come from the outside environment, most often from their parents or caregivers. To avoid transmitting disease-causing bacteria from you to your baby don't share eating utensils, don't lick a pacifier to clean it, and avoid kissing infants (whose immune systems are immature) on the mouth.
Encourage your teenager to avoid bad habits. Hopefully when your children reach adolescence, they've already developed good oral habits. But there are some bad habits you should also help your teen avoid. While piercings are a popular expression among this age group, teens should avoid tongue and lip bolts and other piercings that could damage teeth. A tobacco habit can also have negative consequences for dental health including increased decay or gum disease risk and cancer.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
How cosmetic dentistry from your dentists in Centralia can rejuvenate your smile
If you want to show off your best possible smile, there is a cosmetic dental procedure designed just for you. Cosmetic dentistry has revolutionized what can be done to improve your smile. Fortunately, you can take advantage of a world of cosmetic dentistry options that can help you achieve a smile to be proud of. Dr. Steven Ash and Dr. Brian Roberts in Centralia, WA want to introduce you to just a few of the services available to enhance your smile.
A professional teeth whitening treatment can change a smile from dull to brilliant in about an hour. Professional teeth whitening can brighten your smile up to 8 shades whiter and provide results that can last up to an amazing 5 years! You can choose from a speedy in-office treatment that can be done during your lunch hour, or a convenient take-home kit that makes it possible to whiten whenever you want in the privacy of your home.
Small chips, cracks, and defects in your teeth aren't a problem. They can be hidden away with a dental bonding treatment. Dental bonding uses a liquid resin material called composite that can be matched to your teeth perfectly. Composite is also used for tooth-colored fillings, the natural-looking alternative to old, unsightly metal fillings. Whether you need a bonding treatment to repair cosmetic issues, or a filling to treat tooth decay, the composite can enhance your smile because it is virtually invisible.
Porcelain veneers are the choice to make if you want to change your smile dramatically. Veneers are thin coverings of sparkling porcelain that can hide small and large cracks, tooth wear, erosion, and other issues that bother you about your smile. If you have gaps in your smile, veneers can help close the gaps. If you have tooth overlap or poorly positioned teeth, porcelain veneers can cosmetically correct alignment problems.
Cosmetic dental services can improve your smile, increasing your self-esteem and confidence. Dr. Ash and Dr. Roberts in Centralia, WA want to share the world of cosmetic dentistry with you. Show off your best possible smile by calling today!