Even though babies aren’t born with a mouth full of teeth, that doesn’t mean parents have nothing to worry about when it comes to infant dental issues. Problems can arise at any age, and paying attention to children’s gums and teeth right from birth is a good prevention method. Parents should start taking children for dental visits around their first birthday, but here are some common issues to watch for with infants before even visiting the dentist.
When teeth begin erupting through the gums, most of the time babies let their parents know. This phase can cause sleepless nights and fussy days. Typical symptoms during infant teething include mouth sensitivity, gum swelling, drooling, and crankiness. Parents must be patient and caring while teeth are coming in, but there is usually no need for a dental visit. This natural part of growing up is temporary and the symptoms subside as the teeth come through the gums.
Baby bottle decay
Dentists warn against allowing babies to go to sleep with a bottle of formula or breast milk. Letting milk remain inside an infant’s mouth means that sugars have access to the gums and have the ability to change into an acidic substance that attacks teeth. This leads to tooth decay, often referred to as baby bottle decay. The best solution is to prevent it from occurring by taking away the bottle at naptime or bedtime.
Many children find comfort by sucking on things, many times either a pacifier or thumb. The habit of thumbsucking can be especially difficult to break because there’s no taking away the thumb from the child’s hand. Most of the time, thumbsucking is an acceptable way for children to find security, although dentists recommend trying to break the habit by age four. Continuing to suck the thumb after that growth stage can cause overbites, which may mean orthodontic work in the future.
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Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is one of the most common procedures that oral surgeons and dentists perform. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions afterwards for the best chances of quick and complete recovery. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after wisdom tooth extraction.
Watch your diet
Your dentist will give you a list of suggested foods you can it after surgery, and ones to avoid. Stick with soft or liquid foods for the first couple of days, and do not eat hard or sharp foods like chips. Avoid carbonated drinks, hot beverages, and spicy foods because they can irritate your surgery site. After the first few days, begin introducing your regular diet as is comfortable.
Take your medications
You will likely receive a prescription for painkillers to help relieve discomfort, as well as reduce swelling. This in turn can lower your risk for infection too. Take your medication as prescribed by your dentist for the optimum results. If your extraction is simple, prescription medication may not be required. You can take over-the-counter medications if your dentist agrees and you follow the directions on the label. Do not take aspirin, however, because it can thin your blood and increase bleeding at your extraction site.
Instead of brushing with your toothbrush, gently wipe the site with clean, wet gauze. Rigorous brushing can hurt the healing process, and you should even avoid rinsing your mouth for at least 24 hours after surgery. On the second day, you can rinse your mouth gently with salty water. Do not spit forcefully, which can dislodge the blood clot on your extraction site. Also, do not rinse with mouthwash that contains any alcohol.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Drinking alcohol may thin your blood, prevent clotting, and delay healing. Smoking can have similar effects, as well as dislodge the clot when you inhale on a cigarette. For the best chances of healing, avoid these products for at least 24 hours after wisdom tooth extraction.
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You’ve heard of a makeover to improve your appearance. It might be as simple as changing a hairstyle, or as dramatic as undergoing cosmetic surgery. It’s the same idea with a smile makeover: you can have things you dislike about your smile changed so that you are happier with your appearance.
There is a relatively new area of dentistry that focuses on smile makeovers called cosmetic dentistry. These dentists are trained and experienced in procedures that have a goal of changing aesthetics, as opposed to the health or function of your oral features. A cosmetic dentist focuses on things like teeth whitening, how much of your gums show, or how your lips frame your teeth.
Some cosmetic dentists use a term called smile design, which considers the position of your teeth and how they are framed by your lips. If more of your gums show than your teeth when you smile, your dentist may recommend a gum lift. It is a surgical procedure that pushes up your gums to show more of your teeth. Your dentist can also shape your teeth how you would like, such as lengthening and rounding the edges of your front teeth. Changes like these can both improve your smile and make you look younger.
Teeth whitening is a very common cosmetic dentistry procedure, whether you achieve a bright smile with whitening methods or porcelain veneers. If you not only have tooth discoloration but also imperfections like chips or gaps, veneers are a great way to enhance your look. Porcelain veneers also have an added benefit of resisting future stains.
To find out if a smile makeover is right for you, schedule an appointment with a reputable cosmetic dentist. You will get a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and bite and be able to discuss your smile goals.
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With the advancements of modern technology, cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of updated ways to repair your teeth and enhance your smile. A qualified cosmetic dentist can explain the latest procedures and help you decide which ones might be helpful to you. Here are some procedures that have improved over the years.
Cosmetic dentistry benefits from the new materials of composite resin and high density porcelain. These look, feel, and work like your natural teeth. They hold securely to your existing teeth, and help preserve more of your real teeth. Bonding is one procedure that utilizes these state-of-the-art materials. When you have a broken or chipped tooth, bonding can be performed to restore it. The materials can be perfectly matched to your existing teeth so it’s hard to tell that a procedure was done.
Also benefiting from composite resin and porcelain, fillings are often performed with these durable and strong materials. The result is comfortable and attractive fillings that protect your teeth and restores your natural tooth. It looks natural and can handle biting force that your teeth endure.
Another procedure common to cosmetic dentists is dental implants, which provide a secure and permanent replacement for missing teeth. Titanium rods are inserted directly into your jaw bone, and then a crown is placed on top to complete the restoration. This is the latest way to restore your smile, providing very natural and comfortable results.
Orthodontics have been around for a long time, giving patients a straight smile and correcting jaw alignment issues. The newest option is clear aligners, commonly called invisible braces. These straighten your teeth without using metal wires and brackets that traditional braces have, instead using a series of clear trays worn over your teeth. They are removed for eating and brushing, and do not require diet restrictions. Cosmetic dentists use clear braces for patients with mild to moderate teeth crowding or minor spacing problems, although they may not be the best choice for severe crowding or bite issues.
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