Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Minimizing Tooth Decay for Your Child

Minimizing Tooth Decay for Your Child
Minimizing tooth decay for your child is important to our dentist and entire team at Bertagnolli Dental. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17.5% of children in the US aged 5-19 have untreated dental cavities. Tooth decay can begin within a few weeks of the first baby teeth appearing, so you can't start too early when it comes to your child. In fact, you can actually give them an advantage by instilling good dental hygiene habits, providing a healthy diet from the very start and making sure they receive regular care from your local experts in pediatric dentistry.

Once your baby's first teeth appear, it is time to start a healthy oral hygiene routine with them. You can effectively clean their mouth in the beginning by wiping a damp cloth over their teeth and gums. Do this at least twice per day. The principle behind cleaning teeth is the same for adults, children, and babies. You don't want to allow food particles to sit on the surface of teeth for too long, or bacteria will start to feed on these particles and produce corrosive acid that decays teeth.

By your child's first birthday, you should start brushing baby teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also schedule their first dental check-up before their first birthday. Your dentist will check the development of their baby teeth and identify any potential issues before they cause problems. 

They will also demonstrate the best way to brush your child's teeth at this stage and recommend the correct amounts of toothpaste and fluoride to use.

Continue bringing your child for a check-up every six months after this point. Children's teeth grow and change surprisingly quickly, so it is important for your dentist to have a regular opportunity to catch any signs of decay and take preventative measures if needed.

The other critical factor affecting your child's oral health is their diet. Acidic juices and sugary drinks are the biggest culprits in causing early childhood tooth decay. Bottles and sippy cups allow your child to drink very slowly and create maximum contact of the liquid to your child's mouth. Try to limit the time your child has access to juice or milk in a bottle and clean their teeth after each mealtime. Avoid putting your baby down to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. Switching to warm water can give them the same comfort factor without being a threat to their teeth.

As your child grows, keep encouraging a healthy diet with limited access to sugary snack foods and acidic or sugary drinks. Give your child a good example to follow by not snacking on sweets throughout the day. As they become more independent, continue to monitor their oral hygiene routine. As soon as their teeth touch each other, you can introduce floss. Remember to ensure they visit a dentist every six months, hence minimizing tooth decay for your child. Be sure to call us at Bertagnolli Dental to schedule an appointment or simply talk about your child's dental health.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Understanding Tooth Wearing as We Age

Understanding Tooth Wearing as We Age
Bertagnolli Dental provides our clients with high-quality dental care at every stage of life, along with vital information such as understanding tooth wearing as we age. Everyone experiences gradual tooth wear. Usually, it is only addressed during the later years when problems associated with tooth wearing begin to appear. Fortunately, early intervention by your dentist can often prevent the most common issues. Keep reading to get a better understanding of how to keep your teeth healthy.

One common misconception is that tooth wearing is only a problem in older people. Tooth wear is more commonly seen in older people because they simply have had more time to wear down their teeth from general, everyday use. Many younger people also experience issues related to tooth wearing as opposed to tooth decay. Depending on your diet, oral hygiene and tooth grinding habits, wear and tear on your teeth can occur at different rates.

At least three times a day we use our teeth to tear apart and break up food in our mouth. The biting surfaces of all your teeth and the molars especially are put under a lot of pressure when grinding down tough meat, crunchy vegetables, and chewy bread. As your teeth grind against each other, they gradually wear down the hard enamel surface. Once this enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced by the body, making tooth wear a continuous and inevitable phenomenon. 

The best approach to avoiding problems related to tooth wear is to slow down the rate of attrition experienced by your teeth. Bad dental hygiene habits can weaken the enamel on your teeth and make the surfaces more susceptible to wear from regular use. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and avoiding a highly sugary or acidic diet will set you up for strong teeth in the long run. A diet rich in calcium and exposure to fluoride through your drinking water or toothpaste will ensure your teeth are rich in the minerals needed to maintain resistant enamel.

Tooth wearing is often accelerated in certain people who have the habit of nail biting, pencil chewing, or teeth grinding. These can be unconscious mechanisms to relieve stress or tension. Often teeth grinding or clenching happens while the person is sleeping, without them even realizing it. Dentists can create a special dental mouth guard for night time use to prevent grinding damage during sleep. Always avoid biting non-food items like fingernails, pens, and pencils. Never use your teeth as tools to open bottles, cut string or tear packaging.

Keeping your teeth healthy and functional for your entire lifetime is possible. Understanding tooth wearing as we age will help you to avoid bad habits and care for your teeth today. Remember to consult regularly with your dentist and to continue getting annual dental check-ups. At Bertagnolli Dental, we can offer more information and advice on preventing tooth wearing throughout life. Do not hesitate to contact us if you think you may be grinding your teeth at night or are due for a general check-up.