Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Are pacifiers okay for my kids to have?

Well, like most things, the answer is ............ it depends.

Sucking is a very natural and calming thing for a baby to do.

I have given each and every one of my 5 kids a pacifier.
None of them are delayed in their teeth coming in, have any speech problems, or had any thumb sucking problems due to using a pacifier.

There are some obvious things you should be concerned with.

If you use a clip and a cord to keep the pacifier attached to your child's clothes make sure the cord is short enough that can't choke the baby.

Once your child gets to kindergarten make sure that they only use the pacifier at home. Being known as the only kid that had a pacifier in kindergarten could seriously damage your child's chances at getting asked to junior prom.

Seriously though, allowing your child to have a pacifier for the first few years of life is, in my opinion, not a problem.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

No Dental Insurance : (

Just going to get up on a little dental soap box for a second.

I have people come into my office all the time with a really bad toothache.
I ask these folks why it is that they didn't come in sooner.
The answer that I get, a lot of the time, is that they didn't have dental insurance.

Now, this answer does have its merits.
Dental insurance does in deed help with the cost of dental care.

However, there is another side the story.

Say you have a small cavity.
This cavity would cost, lets say, $100 to fix.
If you let that small cavity go however, you may need a root canal.
A root canal would cost about $500.
If you needed a crown after the root canal then we need to add another $800.

So what would have cost you $100 will now cost you $1,300.
You still have no insurance but now you do not have a choice to
fix the problem because it is killing you.

The far better solution would be to come in and get the
problem fixed when it is small.

Financial arrangements can easily be made to accommodate anyone
who may be struggling to come up with the funds.

Save time, money, pain, and multiple trips to the dental office.
If there is a problem PLEASE do not put it off.

Your teeth and your wallet will thank you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Its called a frenulum.

A what?
Its called a frenulum.
It is the little piece of tissue that connects your lip to your gums.

Its also the little piece of tissue that connects your 
tongue to the floor of your mouth.

Why is it important to know what this little piece of tissue is?
Because in certain instances this tissue isn't formed just right and
you may need a procedure done on it called a frenectomy.
That is where the doctor will cut the little piece of tissue in half.
This frees the lip or tongue from being too tightly attached to 
whatever is on the other end of the frenulum.

If your dentist hasn't mentioned it in the past then you are probably
okay, but its always a good to check next time you are in.

And there is always the option of piercing your frenulum.
But.... I'm not a big fan of that.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The beef Jerky Tug-of-War?

Summer can be a fun time. 
There are so many activities to choose from.
Here is one of those activities.
Throwing the dog toy with your favorite pooch.
The dog goes and gets it and when he comes back there is
a little tug-of-war before he will release it and get ready to
chase it down again.

Now while this activity is loads of fun and usually completely harmless,
here is an activity that is similar but NOT at all harmless.

The Beef Jerky Tug-of-War.

Please please please do not do this. 
There are lots of people each year that have teeth problems
due to trying to rip into their favorite kind of dead cow.
Teeth are very strong when the chewing forces are straight up and down.
However, when the forces are applied laterally the teeth lose a lot of strength.

If you are going to chew on beef jerky that is fine.
Just make sure that you can simply bite through it
and do not have to rip at it like your dog does to his chew toy.
You do not have teeth like your dog.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moms. Do you have a boy who just started football?

First off, let me offer condolences to your family life for the next 2 months.

Secondly what happens when that little running back
knocks your boys tooth right out of his head and onto the turf?

Okay. First of all, as in most traumatic situations.
Do not panic.
Its likely that your child has never gone through this before.
Therefore, they are fairly unaware whether what just happened
to them is simply a minor thing or whether they will soon be in the hospital.
The way they will be able to tell how severe the situation
is is by looking at their parent.

If you are flipping out then they will too.

The first thing to do is to educate yourself BEFORE something like this happens.
It is very important to know when your child's baby teeth will come out naturally.
Here is a chart of, about, when that will happen.
This is important because if the tooth that was just knocked out was about to
come out anyway then there is much less to worry about.
If it's still a year or so away, or you know that its already the permanent tooth
that just got knocked out then there is much more to worry about.

So lets say your child is 8 or 9 years old and it is the adult tooth that just got knocked out.
First thing is to do is obviously check your child for signs of significant injury.
If they hit their face hard enough to knock a tooth out
you need to check for signs of a concussion.
If they seem to be alright except for the tooth then the next step is to find the tooth.
Once the tooth is found treat it very gently.
The tooth is attached to the bone by ligaments.
Parts of those ligaments will still be attached to the tooth and must not be damaged.
First carefully pick off any large pieces of debris.
Secondly the smaller pieces need to be rinsed off.
This is best accomplished by gently rubbing the tooth against the inside of your child's cheek.
This will get all the small particles off and still treat the tooth gently.

Then, are you ready for this..... you need to stick the tooth back in.
That's right, you need to gently place the tooth back into the socket from which it came.
Its pretty simple.
The Skinny part goes in first.
Just simply slide it back into place.
Don't force it. Simply get it as close as you can to the proper position.
If it wont go or you don't have the stomach for it then place the tooth
into your child's mouth in the bottom jaw in between the cheek and gums.
Holding the tooth there will give it the best chance for survival.
Another idea would be to place it in a glass of milk.
Saliva and milk are the best places for a knocked out tooth.
DON'T place the tooth in a glass of water.
The water will destroy any chance we would have had to
get the tooth to reattach to the body naturally.

Then finally, in all cases, get to a dentist ASAP.
The dentist will know what to do and will give you options depending on the
severity of the accident and the condition of the jaw and tooth.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A flap of skin over your tooth?

That's right. You may have a Pericoronits.
It simple terms it is a little flap of skin that is hanging over the top of your last tooth.
Or it may be that the tooth isn't all the way in yet and its half covered by tissue.

Whichever it is, this tissue will tend to get inflamed from time to time.
When it does get inflamed chewing can become very painful.
The problem can be helped by swishing with a mouthwash and ridding the area of debris.

But this is only a short term solution.

What is the long term solution?

# 1 You can get the tooth that is partially erupted taken out.
That works well if the tooth happens to be a wisdom tooth.
But not so well if it happens to be a normal molar.
#2 You can get the tissue trimmed off.
This works very well for normal molars but not so well if the problem is a wisdom tooth.

Whatever the problem happens to be just know that you are not alone
in having this problem and that there are several simple solutions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cosmetic Dentistry Bonding Case

 This patient had wonderfully straight teeth.
Except for the front 2. 
This is rare, but is also a perfect situation for some cosmetic bonding.

30 minutes later.
No anesthetic.
One very happy patient.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Are gums supposed to bleed when you floss them?

This is something that I hear a lot around the office.
I find cavities in folks and I ask them how their flossing is.
They say that they don't floss because every time they do their gums bleed.

The philosophy of not doing something to your self,
 because it makes you bleed, is normally a very good one to live by. 
For instance I don't stab myself with forks because
 if I did it would cause me to bleed.

However, when it comes to flossing the opposite may apply.

Lets take learning to play the guitar for a comparison.
When you are learning to play the guitar it is not uncommon for the ends
of your fingers to bleed a little bit.

This is because you fingers are not used to the stress you are putting them through.
But does this mean that you weren't meant to play the guitar and that you should quit.
No. It means that you are a newbie to guitar playing and that the more you play
the LESS your fingers will bleed as they become accustomed to your playing.\

The same can be said for flossing.
If your gums bleed does that mean that you
 just weren't meant to floss and that you should stop?
It means that you are a newbie (or recently returned after a long vacation) to flossing.
The more you floss the LESS your gums will bleed.
This will continue until they do not bleed at all anymore.

So for all you aspiring guitar players, and flossers, out there my advice is 
that you just keep going.
Things will get better and it will become more comfortable as you go.