Posts for: September, 2018
Tooth decay is an ever present danger for your baby’s developing teeth. It begins with disease-causing bacteria feasting on leftover sugar, producing high levels of oral acid that slowly dissolves the teeth’s protective enamel. The softened enamel then becomes an open door for decay to infect the tooth.
Meanwhile, those bacteria continue to eat and produce acid….
So how can you stop this devastating cycle? Besides daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, the most important thing you can do is deprive bacteria in your baby’s mouth of sugar through limiting their consumption of it. This means you’ll first need to identify the different sources of sugar available to your baby—and some of them might surprise you.
Here, then, are 3 not-so-obvious sugar sources your baby might be consuming.
During feeding. If you’re breast-feeding, you may not think this is causing a sugar problem for your baby. True, breast milk by itself doesn’t promote decay: it’s the combination of it with other sugar-rich foods and liquids the baby might be consuming as they get older. Together this could significantly increase their risk of pediatric tooth decay (also known as early childhood caries or ECC). So, be careful to limit sugar in other things they’re eating or drinking in addition to nursing.
24/7 Baby bottles and pacifiers. To calm infants at nap or sleep time, parents or caregivers often use bottles filled with sweet liquids or pacifiers dipped in jam, syrup or sugar. This practice increases decay risk from both the added sugar and its constant availability to bacteria in the mouth around the clock. Instead, avoid this practice and limit any sugary foods or liquids to mealtimes.
Medications. Some medications an infant may be taking for a chronic illness may contain small amounts of sugar. Additionally, medications like antihistamines can reduce the production of saliva that’s needed to neutralize acid after meals. If your child is on medication, ask your healthcare provider about its dental effects and if there are any sugar-free alternatives. Be sure to keep up daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits too.
Limiting your baby’s sugar intake is critical in preventing tooth decay. It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect their dental health.
If you would like more information on helping your child avoid tooth decay, 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 “Age One Dental Visit: Why It’s Important for Your Baby.”
If you’re about to undergo orthodontic treatment, you’re going to face a challenge keeping your teeth and gums clean wearing braces. That in turn could increase your chances for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, which could diminish your future dental health and disrupt your current orthodontic treatment.
The main hygiene tasks of brushing and flossing are more difficult with braces because of the fixed hardware on the teeth. Your toothbrush or floss can’t always easily maneuver around the wires and brackets, increasing the chances you’ll miss some areas. These neglected areas can then accumulate dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that’s most responsible for disease.
But although difficult, effective oral hygiene isn’t impossible. First and foremost, you’ll need to take more time to be thorough with brushing and flossing than you might normally without braces.
Second, there are some specialized hygiene tools to make the job easier. Instead of a regular toothbrush try an interproximal brush. This special brush has a long and thin bristled head (resembling a pipe cleaner) that can maneuver in and around orthodontic hardware much easier than a regular brush.
For flossing, use a floss threader, a device through which you thread floss on one end and then pass the other sharper end between your teeth. Once through, you release the floss from it and floss as usual, repeating the process with the threader for each tooth. Another option is an oral irrigator, a device that emits a pressurized spray of water between teeth to loosen plaque and flush it away. Many orthodontic patients have found this latter option to be quite effective.
Finally, continue seeing your regular dentist for regular appointments in addition to your orthodontist. Besides cleaning those hard to reach areas, your dentist can also provide other preventive measures like topical fluoride for strengthening enamel and prescription mouth rinses that inhibit bacterial growth. You should also see your dentist immediately if you notice signs of disease like spots on the teeth or swollen or bleeding gums.
Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces is a top priority. Doing so will help ensure your new smile after braces is both an attractive and healthy one.
If you would like more information on dental care during orthodontics, 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 “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”
Though treatments are available to help you save your teeth when they are in a state of decay, there are cases where the only treatment is to extract a tooth and replace it with a new one. Understand the reasons why a dentist at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL may advise you to have a tooth extracted.
What Is Tooth Extraction?
The process of manually removing a loose, damaged, injured, or infected tooth from the jawbone is called extraction. It is done under sedation by your dentist. Extraction is a measure that's only suggested when other treatments have failed and the tooth is causing more harm than good. It's best to let your Bolingbrook, IL dentist perform the extraction so that bone tissue can be preserved and there will be a good chance you'll be a candidate for a dental implant. A bone grafting procedure (promotes the growth of healthy bone tissue) may also be suggested directly after extraction.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
If you have been struggling with intense tooth pain for an extended period of time without treatment and notice that a tooth is starting to loosen from its socket, this is a sign that you may need to have it extracted. This means the infection is worsening, the bone tissue is breaking down, and the problem could spread to other teeth if it isn't promptly treated by your Bolingbrook, IL dentist. A patient who has advanced periodontitis that doesn't respond to periodontal therapy may also need to have one or more teeth extracted to preserve the health of the whole mouth. Another sign that you may need to have a tooth extracted is if you're experiencing pain in the back of your mouth due to impacted wisdom teeth.
Next Steps After Extraction
Having a tooth extracted does not mean that you have to live with a large gap in your smile. Your dentist will examine your X-rays to explore the possibility of adding a permanent dental implant. If lack of sufficient bone tissue is an issue, specialty dentures are an option. It is a good idea to discuss these measures with your dentist at your next appointment.
Consult with Your Dentist
Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary to preserve the health of your entire smile. After consulting with a dentist at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL you may learn that other treatments may be available to save your tooth. Call (630) 759-0077 today for an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Bachinski or Dr. Christine Petrilla.