Plaque constantly forms on teeth. It is a clear film of bacteria that builds in hard to reach areas such as between your teeth and in the lines of your gums.
When allowed to accumulate, the plaque can irritate the gums and lead to certain gum diseases, such as gingivitis. Research has provided evidence that gum disease has been linked to many health problems including stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, and even pregnancy complications
Plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing along with professional cleanings from dental professional to help with tough tartar removal. Early stages of gum disease are often unnoticed. By the time you begin to feel pain or irritation, it may already be too late to focus on prevention. Regular checkups can assist in preventing plaque and tartar from building up,as well as prevent many other dental complications.
What is the cause of bad breath?
When breath has an unpleasant odor, it is known as “halitosis”. Depending on the cause, the odor can occur occasionally, but it has been known to become more of a long lasting problem with some people.
The mouth contains millions of bacteria. The back of the tongue can condense bacteria and cause of bad breath.
Although bad breath and the accumulation of odor forming bacteria can be considered a common problem, there are many causes of why frequent halitosis can be occurring. Such problems could be:
Poor dental hygiene – If brushing and flossing is not conducted on a regular basis, bacteria and plaque can begin to form in hard to reach places. If this is the situation, poor dental hygiene can eventually lead to much more serious problems.
External sources – Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking coffee, tea, or wine are just some of the causes of regularly occurring bad breath. These activities can also lead to the discoloration of teeth.
Why are dental X-rays needed?
In dentistry, no mouth is the exact same. In order for our professionals to assess your individual needs, X-ray imaging helps identify any underlying signs of bone loss or gum disease that can be undetectable with the naked eye. It is typical for new patients to undergo a full set of dental X-ray imaging for the dentist to get an idea of their oral health status. In order to help with future comparisons, we may request additional X-ray images be taken during follow-up visits in order to determine what treatment will be needed, as well as to identify any conditions that may require action.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Dental radiographs, or X-ray generated images, are necessary in receiving the highest standard of care. The diagnostic benefits far outweigh the minimal risks involved in the use of dental X-ray imaging. We are careful to limit the amount of radiation exposure for patients by using lead aprons and digital radiography, which reduces radiation substantially. Without the use of X-ray generated images, conditions like cavities, extra teeth, and diseases could go undetected. Digital X-rays have minimal radiation, detailed images, and remarkable speed. With digital X-rays, the patient’s images appear instantaneously on a nearby monitor, giving us a convenient chairside image to analyze and refer to throughout the dental visit. We are pleased to offer this dental technology.
How do I take care of my sensitive teeth?
There are types of toothpastes that cater to those with sensitive teeth. These types of toothpastes have been known to decrease the symptoms of sensitive teeth over the period of several weeks if used regularly. Tooth sensitivity symptoms can become worse with the regular consumption of high acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemon. If regular gentle brushing does not decrease symptoms, we can provide a consultation to determine a treatment that’s right for you. Products containing fluoride may also be recommended to assist in reducing tooth sensitivity.
What types of insurances do you accept?
We proudly accept all PPOs. Call our friendly staff if you have any questions about financial policies.
Questions For Child Treatment
When will my baby start getting teeth?
Babies typically begin teething at six months of age. Usually, the bottom lower front teeth erupt first, followed by the two upper front teeth. Children have twenty teeth compared to adults that typically have thirty-two. In general, a child will have erupted all of his or her teeth by 2-3 years of age.
How often do I need to bring my child to the dentist?
In general, checkups are recommended at a minimum of every six months in order to aid in the prevention of cavities and other dental problems. It is always better to diagnose a potential problem early on. Since every child has individual oral healthcare needs, the frequency of dental visits will vary as the situation necessitates. Regular visits keep children familiar with the dentist and dental professionals. These visits build confidence in children and are much more pleasant when the child is not forced to associate the dentist with emergency treatment due to tooth pain and dental neglect. Decay or breakdown of a tooth that is detected in the early stages is easier and less costly to treat.
How important are baby teeth since they are going to fall out anyway?
“Baby” teeth – also known as primary teeth – have three main functions. First, they allow children to chew. The importance of pain-free feeding directly relates to your child’s diet, nutrition, and overall health. Second, baby teeth are important for speech development. Third, baby teeth provide a pathway for permanent teeth to erupt in a timely way. Premature tooth loss from cavities or infections allows for remaining teeth to move into the empty space and ultimately cause crowding. Cavities on baby teeth can cause permanent teeth to have higher cavity susceptibility.
If my toddler has a cavity, should he or she get a filling?
The earlier a cavity is diagnosed and treated, the less invasive the overall treatment will be. Over time, cavities can spread if allowed and possibly lead to an infection. It is important to evaluate each situation on an individual basis to determine what is best for the child.
What are dental sealants and does my child need them?
Dental sealants are hard plastic-like materials that are placed into the grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to help prevent cavities. They work by blocking out the sticky, sugary foods and liquids that tend to get caught in the teeth. The application is fast and pain-free. Dental sealants are recommended based on the child’s diet, history of cavities, and overall anatomy of the teeth.
Oral Healthcare At Home For Children
What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
The use of a soft cloth, gauze or toothbrush for children 0-2 years will adequately remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Caregivers should clean the teeth at least once a day (most importantly before bedtime following the last feeding). Infant non-fluoridated toothpaste can be used. Until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste without swallowing it, we recommend not to use fluoridated toothpaste.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay and early childhood cavities?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water. If swelling is present, place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for the pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums as this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Is fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water good for my child?
Use of fluoride for the prevention of cavities can be safe and effective in decreasing cavities when given in the correct dosage. If your water supply contains less than 0.6ppm (private wells), a dietary supplement may be recommended for your child (6 months to 16 years old). If your child is unable to spit out toothpaste, then toothpaste with fluoride should be avoided. It is acceptable to begin using toothpaste (pea-size amount) with children 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to contact a pediatric dentist to make sure your child is not receiving excessive or inadequate amounts of daily fluoride.
If my child has tooth or mouth pain, what can I do to help?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and if swelling is present place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for any pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums, this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
What can I do to stop my child’s thumb sucking and pacifier habits? Is it harming my child's teeth?
Many oral habits, such as thumb and pacifier sucking, only become problems if they persist for long periods of time. This is very normal in infants and young children. Most children stop these habits on their own by age three. Habit-breaking appliances can be used for children who want to stop but need an active reminder. Long-term oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting can produce dental and skeletal changes. The amount of change is directly related to frequency, duration, intensity, and direction of the forces applied.
What should I do if my child has a tooth knocked out?
First, remain calm. Second, locate the tooth. Always hold the tooth by the crown (not the root). Third (if possible), determine whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. If it is a baby tooth, do not replace the tooth in the socket. For permanent teeth, reimplant by applying mild finger pressure. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
In need of immediate care?
We offer emergency phone consultations to our existing patients. Call us anytime at (301) 474-2505.