Posts for: April, 2018
The benefits of establishing good oral hygiene habits in your child at a young age are far-reaching. They will help your child year after year to maintain a healthy, strong, and complete set of teeth. Learn more about how to teach your child good oral hygiene habits, including regular visits to Corley Family Dentistry, a children’s dentistry in Decatur, IL.
Why Good Oral Hygiene Matters
Oral hygiene is the ongoing process of keeping your mouth as clean as possible throughout the day. The cleaner your mouth is, the lower the chance of dental diseases and tooth loss. Good dental hygiene is also important for aesthetic reasons. It keeps your teeth looking polished and white. It also reduces the chance of experiencing the embarrassment of bad breath.
Important Habits to Teach
Most children already know that they should brush their teeth, but sometimes it is important to teach them more details about proper dental hygiene. Also, take the time to explain exactly why children's dentistry is important. Here are a few things to teach them:
- When you brush, you should do so for at least two minutes at a time. Consider buying your child a timed toothbrush.
- In addition to brushing, you must also floss to protect your gum health. Kids aren’t very keen on flossing, so you have to show them how to do it to make it a new regular habit. Tell them about gingivitis, and how it can even affect young people.
- Good dental hygiene is also about changing the types of foods you eat. Replace some of that candy with apple slices and string cheese, which is high in calcium.
- Take your child to your Decatur, IL, children's dentistry office regularly so that she or he can get familiar with a pediatric dentist.
Dental Treatments for Your Child
In addition to teaching your child better hygiene habits, there are dental treatments that can help prevent dental problems like tooth decay and cavity formation. Talk to your dentist about these options:
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments
- Orthodontics for a better bite and tooth spacing
Schedule Regular Appointments for Your Child
Now is the right time to start teaching your child good oral hygiene habits, including the importance of regular dental visits. Call (217) 330-6217 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chad Corley or Dr. Natalie Corley at their Decatur, IL, children’s dentistry office.
Is a chipped tooth big news? It is if you’re Justin Bieber. When the pop singer recently posted a picture from the dental office to his instagram account, it got over 2.6 million “likes.” The snapshot shows him reclining in the chair, making peace signs with his hands as he opens wide; meanwhile, his dentist is busy working on his smile. The caption reads: “I chipped my tooth.”
Bieber may have a few more social media followers than the average person, but his dental problem is not unique. Sports injuries, mishaps at home, playground accidents and auto collisions are among the more common causes of dental trauma.
Some dental problems need to be treated as soon as possible, while others can wait a few days. Do you know which is which? Here are some basic guidelines:
A tooth that’s knocked out needs attention right away. First, try and locate the missing tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid holding the tooth’s roots. Next, grasp the crown of the tooth and place it back in the socket facing the correct way. If that isn’t possible, place it between the cheek and gum, in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva or a special tooth preservative, or in a glass of cold milk. Then rush to the dental office or emergency room right away. For the best chance of saving the tooth, it should be treated within five minutes.
If a tooth is loosened or displaced (pushed sideways, deeper into or out of its socket), it’s best to seek dental treatment within 6 hours. A complete examination will be needed to find out exactly what’s wrong and how best to treat it. Loosened or displaced teeth may be splinted to give them stability while they heal. In some situations, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.
Broken or fractured (cracked) teeth should receive treatment within 12 hours. If the injury extends into the tooth’s inner pulp tissue, root canal treatment will be needed. Depending on the severity of the injury, the tooth may need a crown (cap) to restore its function and appearance. If pieces of the tooth have been recovered, bring them with you to the office.
Chipped teeth are among the most common dental injuries, and can generally be restored successfully. Minor chips or rough edges can be polished off with a dental instrument. Teeth with slightly larger chips can often be restored via cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. When more of the tooth structure is missing, the best solution may be porcelain veneers or crowns. These procedures can generally be accomplished at a scheduled office visit. However, if the tooth is painful, sensitive to heat or cold or producing other symptoms, don’t wait for an appointment — seek help right away.
Justin Bieber earned lots of “likes” by sharing a picture from the dental office. But maybe the take-home from his post is this: If you have a dental injury, be sure to get treatment when it’s needed. The ability to restore a damaged smile is one of the best things about modern dentistry.
If you have questions about dental injury, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
The primary goal of dental care is to preserve teeth. But there are circumstances in which removing a tooth, even a relatively healthy one, could prove best in the long run.
A malocclusion (poor bite) related to crowding might fit such a circumstance. Crowding occurs when the size of the jaw is too small for the teeth coming in. With not enough space, some teeth could erupt out of their proper positions. Removing certain teeth frees up space to eventually allow braces or other orthodontic devices to re-align the teeth.
The teeth most frequently removed are the first bicuspids, located between the cuspid (the "eyeteeth" directly under the eyes) and the back teeth, and the second premolar. Removing these won't normally affect appearance or functionality once orthodontic or cosmetic treatments are complete.
Because of the mechanics of jaw development it might be necessary to perform these extractions several years before orthodontic treatment. This could create another potential problem: the time lag could adversely affect bone health.
This is because bone, as living tissue, has a life cycle with cells forming, functioning and then dissolving, and new cells taking their place. When teeth are chewing or in contact with each other they generate force that travels through the tooth roots to the bone and stimulates cell growth at a healthy replacement rate.
But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This slows the replacement rate and eventually leads to decreased bone volume. Too much bone loss could create obstacles for orthodontic treatment or a future dental implant.
To avoid this, the dentist will often place a bone graft with processed bone mineral within the empty tooth socket right after extraction. The graft serves as a scaffold for bone cells to grow upon. The graft (plus any other added growth boosters) can help maintain a healthy level of bone volume to facilitate future orthodontic or restorative treatments.
Since targeted extraction for orthodontics is time-sensitive, you should have your child's bite evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 to see if any action is necessary. The earlier a malocclusion is detected, the more likely a more attractive and healthy smile will be the ultimate outcome.
If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, 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 “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”