The ABC’s of Family Dentistry

The ABC’s of Family Dentistry

Your family dentist is your greatest ally when it comes to making sure your and your family maintain excellent dental health. Regular visits ensure that any problems will be diagnosed before they become serious, and following your dentist’s recommendations for everyday care and hygiene will help prevent those problems from developing in the first place.

What Does a Family Dentist Do?

A family dentist specializes in just that—complete dental services for your whole family. If you’re a young couple starting out, you might want to establish yourself with a dentist who’ll be able to treat your children if and when they come along. If you’re older, you might prefer a dentist who’s treated other members of your family as they were growing up, or simply someone who provides a well-rounded, family atmosphere.

One of the advantages to seeing a family dentist is that they can follow your dental health throughout your life. Rather than switching from a pediatric dentist to an adult dentist when you or your children reach the age of eighteen, you can continue with the same dentist, ensuring continuity with your dental records and your long-term care. Your dentist might also be aware of health trends in your family, staying alert to the development of similar trends in your teeth or in those of your children.

Finding a Good Family Dentist

As with most doctors and dentists, the best way to find a good family dentist is through a referral. If you’ve just moved to a new area, find someone in a similar life situation to yours—someone with young children, if you have young children, for example. If they have a dentist they’ve been happy with, you can ask them for a referral.

You can also research dentists online. Look for a dentist whose online presence feels welcoming. Check to see if they make special accommodations for children, or if they mention how they handle younger patients. You can also look at their educational history—have they stayed up to date with the latest techniques and technologies? If a dentist appeals to you on all these levels, then they might be just what you’re looking for.

Call our team at Serenity Dental today!

Orthodontics: Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment

Orthodontics: Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on ensuring the teeth are properly aligned, thus preventing long-term issues with excessive wear, TMD, or other problems. In the past, it’s been traditional to have orthodontic treatment during adolescence, but more recently, new techniques have been developed that allow for earlier intervention and better results than traditional adolescent braces.

Does My Child Need Braces?

It’s important to take your child for regular dental visits from an early age not only to keep their teeth healthy and prevent cavities, but also to evaluate the positioning of the teeth and determine if there is a need for orthodontic treatment. Your dentist can tell from the positioning of the permanent teeth as they begin to arrive whether orthodontics is likely to be necessary. He can also suggest early intervention methods that can reduce the need for braces as your child grows older.

With early intervention, your child’s teeth can be prepared for later orthodontic work, or corrections can be made that will reduce or even eliminate the need for braces as your child grows older. These methods can include:

  • Widening the palate
  • Using innovative new techniques like Myobrace to encourage proper growth
  • Facial growth guidance like Orthotropics

Guiding growth of the teeth, palate, and facial bones can make a big difference in the way your child’s teeth emerge and how much intervention will be necessary as they get older.

When is the Best Time For Braces?

In the past, most orthodontists would reserve braces or other treatment until all the permanent teeth had arrived. Now, however, orthodontists look closely at your child’s individual situation and prognosis to determine the best time to start orthodontic treatment. Recommendations are based on X-rays that show where the baby teeth are positioned in the jaw as well as projections regarding jawbone growth and other factors.

Based on these evaluations, your child’s dentist or orthodontist can determine the best time to begin treatment as well as the best treatment to use to ensure your child will have strong, healthy teeth and a straight, beautiful smile.

Call us to ask any questions you may have!

This year’s event will include popcorn, apple cider, a coloring contest and more fun with prizes. We will also be collecting gum, protein bars, trail mix, chapstick and more for our troops.

Can’t make the event? That is ok, we will be offering the candy for cash buy back from November 1st – 15th during regular office hours.

We can’t wait. Hope to see you all soon!

Common Oral Health Problems

Common Oral Health Problems

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is preventable. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth and eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage, and common indicators are consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Gums in the early stage of disease, known as gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided through daily brushing and flossing.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. They have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types of improper bites may be acquired. Common causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, misaligned jaws, injuries/trauma or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking.

Brushing & Flossing

Brushing & Flossing

The cornerstone to a good at-home oral hygiene regimen is proper brushing and flossing. Practicing excellent dental hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly dental treatments.

Brushing

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:

 In the morning after breakfast
 After lunch or right after school
 After dinner
 At bedtime

Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one.

flossing-teeth-schaumburg-ILFlossing

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.

Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.

Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

Will my child’s teeth straighten out as they grow?

Will my child’s teeth straighten out as they grow?

Most of us don’t want to think about the necessity of braces, but the fact is that most people will require some form of orthodontics at some point in their lives. Teeth move and shift by nature, especially in younger children, and chances are good that some element of the bite would benefit from improvement.

Early Orthodontic Evaluation

Most dentists recommend that children make their first visits as soon as their first teeth appear. Monitoring how the teeth come in and what problems might be on the horizon is an important part of this stage of your child’s life. Regular visits to the dentist to evaluate the position of the baby teeth and the way the permanent teeth are situated in the jawbone can help ensure straight teeth in adulthood.

This might require early intervention to make room for teeth to come in properly. This could include widening the palate or using orthotics to guide the permanent teeth into their proper position. In most cases, if a tooth comes in crooked, it won’t straighten out as time passes, though some teeth might shift into a better position as the jawbone grows larger. If there simply isn’t enough room, though, permanent teeth could become even more out of place as more and more arrive, shifting other teeth to make room. Early evaluation makes this less likely to happen.

Orthodontic Treatment in Adolescence

Most orthodontists recommend waiting until most or all of the permanent teeth have arrived before beginning extensive treatment such as braces. Early intervention, however, helps ensure that braces will be effective, and could even reduce the amount of time braces must be worn. If you and your dentist have kept an eye on how your child’s teeth are emerging, you’ll be prepared for this next step.

If your dentist recommends a consultation with an orthodontist, this will also help you get a better idea of what might need to be done to ensure teeth are properly aligned. A careful balance of “wait and see” and taking necessary proactive measures when necessary will combine to provide the best possible results.

Contact our team today at Serenity Dental to schedule a consultation!