You and your dentist need to be partners in the fight against early childhood cavities. No one wants their child to have a cavity, but there’s no denying that the number of cavities in preschool aged children is on the rise.
Did you know that cavities are considered a transmittable disease? The bacteria that cause cavities is in our saliva (spit). It is possible for these bacteria to be transferred from one person to another. So if you test your child’s food, then feed him or her with the same utensil, you’ve transferred some of your oral bacteria to your child. Another opportunity for bacteria transfer is if your child sucks on a pacifier or toy that’s been in another child’s mouth
What’s worse, your child’s newly erupted teeth have immature enamel that is more likely to develop a cavity. It takes up to seven years for tooth enamel to mature.
So what can you do?
• Start young--even when your child has no teeth, get him or her used to cleaning the mouth after eating. After a feeding, wipe his or her gums with a soft cloth. Once teeth come in, use an age appropriate toothbrush. Parents should put the toothpaste on the toothbrush--use a smear up to age 2 and a pea size dab for ages 2 and up. Children who have a high risk of cavities might need to use fluoride toothpaste even at a young age. Children don’t have the fine motor skills needed to brush correctly until age 8 or 9, so you should brush their teeth for them, even though they brush their teeth also.
• Reduce saliva transmission between family members--don’t share eating utensils or allow your children to share pacifiers.
• Reduce frequency of or avoid drinks and foods that contain sugar. This includes juices, soft drinks, sweetened teas, and milk sweetened with sugar. Don’t put your infant to bed with a bottle that contains milk or sugared liquids. Don’t let your child drink sugary drinks from a sippy cup at will throughout the day (try to limit the amount of time the sippy cup is carried around.) A surprising fact: recent study revealed that 41% of the average child’s daily calories come from soft drinks.
• Ask your dentist for a cavity risk assessment when your child is age one. His or her first tooth comes in at approximately six months of age, but many parents don’t take their child to the dentist until after age three. It’s beneficial if you can find a dentist who will be able to see your child as he or she grows. The more familiar with your child’s mouth a dentist is, the better she or he will be able to help you.
If you have questions about your child’s teeth, let Dr. Jennifer Robb help answer them. Give us a call at 440-960-1940 to schedule an appointment.
*Note: The Information in this article is not meant to replace the judgement of your healthcare professionals.
It seems with each new election cycle another U.S. state legalizes marijuana use. It remains a flashpoint issue that intersects politics, law and morality, but there's another aspect that should also be considered—the health ramifications of using marijuana.
From an oral health perspective, it doesn't look good. According to one study published in the Journal of Periodontology a few years ago, there may be a troubling connection between marijuana use and periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease is a common bacterial infection triggered by dental plaque, a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces. As the infection advances, the gum tissues become more inflamed and lose their attachment to teeth. This often results in widening gaps or "pockets" between the teeth and gums filled with infection. The deeper a periodontal pocket, the greater the concern for a tooth's health and survivability.
According to the study, researchers with Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine reviewed data collected from nearly 2,000 adults, a quarter of which used marijuana at least once a month. They found the marijuana users had about 30 individual pocket sites on average around their teeth with a depth of at least 4 millimeters. Non-users, by contrast, only averaged about 22 sites.
The users also had higher incidences of even deeper pockets in contrast to non-users. The former group averaged nearly 25 sites greater than 6 millimeters in depth; non-users, just over 19. Across the data, marijuana users appeared to fare worse with the effects of gum disease than those who didn't use.
As concerning as these findings appear, we can't say that marijuana use singlehandedly causes gum disease. The condition has several contributing risk factors: diet, genetics, and, most important of all, how well a person manages daily plaque removal, the main driver for gum disease, through brushing and flossing.
Still, the data so far seems to indicate using marijuana can make gum disease worse. Further studies will be needed to fully test this hypothesis. In the meantime, anyone using marijuana should consider the possible consequences to their oral health.
Keeping your family healthy is one of your top priorities. High on that list, however, should be your family's oral health. One of the best ways to ensure that oral health stays on track is by making regular dental visits. Dr. Jennifer Robb can help keep your family's smile healthy and beautiful with family dentist services in Lorain, OH. Keep reading to learn more.
The most important aspect of dental visits will be the preventative care you receive. Preventative care can help prevent expensive dental problems from developing. Issues such as tooth decay and gum disease can often be avoided through the cleanings you will receive at the dentist. During these cleanings, plaque build-up can be professionally removed. This cannot be done with regular daily brushing.
During your regular visits, you will also have dental x-rays done. These exams can help the dentist to identify any dental problems that are developing on a deep level.
Dental treatments are another important aspect of your family dentist visits in Lorain, OH. If problems are identified during your cleaning and exam, a treatment plan can be developed. Having these treatments done in a timely manner will ensure that your teeth remain healthy in the future. Putting off or ignoring needed dental treatments can often result in more severe dental problems later on and more expensive treatments as a result.
Healthy Habits for Life
Scheduling your regular dental visits helps you to establish healthy habits for you and your family. If you have children or teens, remember that they are watching your example of healthy habits. Establishing these healthy habits in childhood can help your kids continue with great oral health as they grow.
If you would like to learn more about our services, or if you are looking for a family dentist in Lorain, OH, please contact Dr. Robb by calling 440-960-1940.
For over three decades, Celine Dion has amazed audiences and fans with her powerful singing voice. Best known for her recording of "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song for the movie Titanic, Dion has amassed global record sales topping 200 million. In her early singing days, though, she struggled with one particular career obstacle: an unattractive smile.
The Canadian-born performer had a number of dental defects including crooked and discolored teeth, and—most prominent of all—abnormally large cuspid or "canine" teeth (located on either side of the four front incisors). They were so noticeable that one Quebec celebrity magazine gave her the unflattering nickname "Canine Dion."
This isn't an unusual problem. Since human canines are already the longest teeth in the mouth, it doesn't take much for them to stand out. Our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors needed these large, pointed teeth to survive. But with the evolution of agriculture and industry, canine teeth have become gradually smaller—so much so that when they're abnormally large, they don't look right in a smile.
So, what can be done if your canines embarrassingly stand out from the rest? Here are some of the options to consider.
Reduce their size. If your canines are just a tad too long, it may be possible to remove some of the enamel layer in a procedure called contouring. Using this technique, we can reduce a tooth's overall size, which we then re-shape by bonding composite resin to the tooth. It's only a good option, though, if your canines have an ample and healthy layer of enamel.
Repair other teeth. The problem of prominent canine teeth may actually be caused by neighboring teeth. When the teeth next to the canines are crooked, the canines can appear more prominent. Alternatively, other teeth around the canines may be abnormally small. Braces or clear aligners can correct crooked incisors, and applying porcelain veneers to smaller teeth could help normalize their length.
Apply dental crowns. In some instances, we can reduce the canines in size and then bond porcelain crowns to them. This is the option that Dion ultimately chose. The natural teeth are still intact, but the crowning process transforms them into properly proportioned, life-like teeth. There is, however, one caveat: The alteration to these teeth will be permanent, so they will need a crown from then on.
Besides crowning her canine teeth, Dion also underwent other dental work to straighten and whiten her other teeth. As a result, this superstar performer now has a superstar smile to match and so can you if your teeth are less than perfect. These or other cosmetic enhancements can give you the look you truly desire. All it takes is an initial visit with us to start you on the road to a transformed smile.
If you would like more information about various cosmetic solutions for your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”
No, there is no cure for periodontal disease, but the disease can be controlled. You might be wondering “why treat a condition if you can’t cure it? What’s the point?” Those are very good questions. Let’s look at some reasons.
Periodontal disease is an infection. Bacteria from your mouth irritate and inflame your gums (gingivitis). The bone around your teeth doesn’t like this environment and to try to escape it, the bone moves lower on the roots of your teeth, leaving less support for your tooth. The gums can either follow the bone--a condition we call recession--or they can remain at the level they were. If they remain at that level, a pocket is created between the bone and the tooth. This pocket traps more bacteria and often cannot be completely cleaned with a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash. This trapped bacteria intensifies the breakdown of your tooth-supporting bone. Sometimes bacteria will reach the end of the tooth root and mimic an abscessed tooth. When bone support is low enough, your tooth will feel loose. Unlike most infections, periodontal disease is often not painful until it reaches a very severe level.
Treating periodontal disease helps you to keep your own teeth and to retain as much bone as you can to help support dental implants or removable appliances like partial dentures.
Once you have periodontal disease, you’ll need to commit to regular professional dental care as well as vigilant home care. Your dentist or hygienist has instruments that reach between the teeth and gums to remove any plaque and calculus build-up and the bacteria that go along with those. Bacteria levels are reduced by professional cleanings, but the levels build back up. After about three (3) months, the levels are back to where the bacteria can once again begin breaking down your teeth’s supporting structures. This is why we recommend having your teeth cleaned every three (3) months when you have periodontal disease. (Some people can go four (4) months between professional cleanings, so follow the schedule that your dentist or hygienist recommends for you.)
Missing even one cleaning can allow the destructive process to begin again. There is nothing like your own teeth. Dental implants come close, but they’re expensive and despite what you see in the advertisements, they’re not an immediate fix. Though many think dentures will solve everything, complete dentures bring their own set of problems.
If you think you have periodontal disease and want to try to keep your teeth and you don’t have a dentist, I invite you to call my office at 440-960-1940 for an appointment. We're located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd. in Lorain, OH.
*Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.
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