Like most problems in life, preventive dental care is better than corrective or curative dental care. Preventive measures tend to be more comfortable and affordable than curative measures. Below are seven forms of preventive dental care that may benefit your child.
1. Dental Exams and Cleanings
Everyone, including children, needs regular dental exams. The ideal schedule for these exams is every six months. During the consultations, the dentist will:
Give tips for home dental care
Clean the teeth
Examine the teeth for anomalies and emerging oral problems
Do your New Year’s resolutions include changes in your dental health habits? If you’re not sure what to put on your resolution list or how to change your oral care habits, take a look at what you need to know about a new year, a new you, and a new healthy mouth.
Your Brushing Routine
How can you change your brushing routine for the new year? If this oral health step tops your resolution list, make a positive impact on your mouth and:
Buy a new toothbrush. The old brush you’ve used for the last year needs to go. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a brush replacement every three to four months. If the bristles fray or mat sooner, replace your brush more often.
Set a timer. Do you brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day? Set a timer as part of your New Year’s resolution.
Change your methods. The ADA suggests using a 45-degree angle approach to brushing. If your current technique is subpar, change your methods in the new year. Along with a new angle, make sure to get the backs, fronts, tops, and all sides of your teeth.
If your child is complaining of tooth pain, and you also notice bad breath, tooth discoloration, or gum inflammation, he or she could have a root canal infection. Get your child in to see a dentist right away to see if they need endodontic treatment. Endodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the treatment of tooth pulp, or the living tissue and nerves inside of a tooth.
See why children need endodontic treatment, how they are diagnosed, and how the issue can be resolved.
Why Do Children Need Endodontic Treatment?
If your child has a pulp infection in a baby tooth, it may seem like a hassle to have it treated since the tooth will eventually fall out regardless. However, even though baby teeth will fall out, it’s still important for your child to have healthy teeth to eat with and to speak properly.
After a tooth extraction, dentists will give patients gauze to bite down on immediately. The extraction site may continue to bleed a bit and then ooze for a day or so afterward. This is normal, but it’s not something that people want to deal with. A solution that is often more efficient than stuffing gauze in your mouth is to use a tea bag.
Tannins and Bleeding
Green and black tea contain tannins. These are compounds that contribute to the bitter taste of tea that’s been left to steep for too long. They also promote your body’s ability to create clots, which is exactly what you need to have happen after an extraction.
When you take a wet tea bag that has cooled — never use a hot tea bag, of course — and bite down on it, the tea that seeps from the bag delivers those tannins to the extraction site. A 2014 study found that green tea extract placed on gauze may help as well, but for many people, simply steep a regular bag of tea leaves.
As you get older, you experience many changes to your body, and your teeth are no exception to the rule. Teeth have amazing longevity — when other parts of your body fail, they remain constant, especially if they are properly cared for. But seniors need to have proper dental care in order to maintain good oral health.
If you want to protect your teeth as you get older, consider the following guidelines for optimal senior dental care.
Talk to Your Dentist About Changes to Your Physical Health
Every part of your body affects the other parts. Your dentist needs to know about any medications and health concerns because they can affect your teeth.
Dental fillings are often the treatment of choice for patients who have teeth that are decayed from cavities or other damage. When you choose to manage your cavities with fillings, your dentist will ask you what type of filling you prefer for your tooth. This short guide explains the types of materials available for dental patients today.
Dental care can be a challenge for parents of kids with special needs. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome are also at a higher risk of having issues with tooth decay, dental pain, and dental misalignment.
If you’re the parent or caregiver of a child with special needs, make dental hygiene an everyday, familiar part of your child’s life. The following four tips will set you and your child on the path to good oral health.
Establish Positive Oral Hygiene Habits in Infancy
Children look to adults for validation of what’s normal and what’s not. When you establish oral care routines starting on the day your baby comes home from the hospital, your child becomes accustomed to the routine of having the mouth cleaned twice a day.
You don’t need a toothbrush to start a baby off on a lifetime of responsible dental hygiene. A clean, soft washcloth is all you need. Don’t use washcloths tumbled dry with dryer sheets or laundered with scented detergents, as the perfume-tainted cloth may make your baby gag.
If you brush and floss your teeth like you should, you might be wondering what else you can feasibly do at home to ward off the onset of periodontal disease. However, since the health of your mouth is tied to the health of your body, making a few changes can help you to avoid this serious oral disease. Here are three interesting ways to prevent periodontal disease.
Hit the Gym
When you exercise, you increase circulation throughout your entire body, rushing nutrients and protective white blood cells where they need to go. As a result, all kinds of health threats are reduced when you exercise, including gingivitis and periodontal disease.
In fact, one study showed that non-smokers had a 55% lower risk of developing periodontal disease if they exercised at least 3 times a week over the course of 10 years.
While the mechanisms of this reduced risk level are still being studied, researchers suspect that part of the benefit may stem from healthier lifestyle habits, since daily exercise is commonly considered a keystone habit that paves the way for other healthy life choices, such as visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding cigarettes.
Perhaps the most dreaded dental procedure is the removal of the wisdom teeth. Generally, teens and young adults hear horror stories about recoveries or watch funny videos of people who are recovering after surgery.
However, wisdom teeth can be misunderstood, and most of the time, the procedure itself does not have to be traumatic. If you are concerned about wisdom teeth growth and removal, learn more about common questions and concerns that patients might have about the teeth, the removal process, and the recovery.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth (so named because they grow in during adolescence or early adulthood) don’t always have to be removed. They can grow into your mouth straight and cause few, if any, long-term dental problems. However, the majority of people need some or all of these four large molars removed because:
They can crowd other teeth. Teens who have had braces can be dismayed to discover that their wisdom teeth are pushing their nicely-straightened smile out of alignment. Crowding also causes cleaning issues which increases the risk of dental decay.
They can grow crooked or even sideways. A common problem is that a person’s mouth can actually be too small for wisdom teeth to emerge properly. The teeth push into the roots of other teeth. This problem is known as impaction, and it causes pain and can damage other teeth that are otherwise healthy.
They can aggravate other conditions. Patients who have headaches, jaw problems, or migraines may find that wisdom teeth make these problems worse.
Wisdom teeth are slow growing, and problems might not appear right away. For example, cysts or open pockets can form around these teeth, causing pain in the jaw or creating places for bacteria to collect. You might have tender or swollen gums or even risk developing an abscess.
Every parent wants what’s best for their baby’s health, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook potential dental health issues. Because your baby doesn’t have teeth at first and will lose their baby teeth, you may assume that decisions you make now won’t affect your child’s overall dental health.
The truth is, you’re going to make some important decisions during this time in your child’s life that can affect their oral health, both immediately and in the future. Take a look at the answers to some important questions about baby and toddler dental health.