Posts for: October, 2016
Oral appliances run the gamut from night guards and retainers to full or partial dentures. Millions of people depend on them for restoring or maintaining dental health.
Today's user-friendly appliances reflect the latest advances in technology. But that doesn't mean you can simply "place them and forget them." Their longevity depends on taking care of them.
The most important aspect of appliance care is keeping them clean. Although bacteria have no effect on an appliance's materials, they can accumulate on its surfaces and raise the risk your natural teeth and gums will be infected. To reduce that risk you should clean your appliance every day.
The best way is with a countertop ultrasonic cleaner. These units emit high frequency sound vibrations that loosen plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles) from even the appliance's tiniest crevices. Most units cost between $40 and $60, and pose less of a scratching risk to the appliance's surfaces than manual cleaning.
If you'd prefer to use a brush, there are some dos and don'ts to follow. You can use a cleaner especially designed for your appliance, but less expensive mild dish detergent or hand soap (with an antibacterial agent) will work too. Don't use toothpaste — most contain an abrasive ingredient for removing plaque from enamel that could leave microscopic scratches on your appliance. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush (but not the one you use for your natural teeth) or one designed for your appliance.
While boiling kills bacteria, the high heat can soften and warp the plastic material in an appliance. This could alter how the appliance fits in your mouth, making them loose and uncomfortable to wear. You should also avoid bleach: it can whiten acrylic or nylon designed to mimic the red color of real gum tissue.
Unless we've advised you otherwise, don't wear the appliance around the clock, a practice that raises the chances of bacterial accumulation. And be sure you also brush and floss your natural teeth every day.
Keeping both your mouth and your appliance clean helps ensure the best oral health possible — and that your appliance will last longer.
Has your child’s first tooth started to erupt? Then it might be time to call your Amherst children’s dentist.
There are so many milestones to look forward to in your child’s life: their first steps, their first words, their first birthday and even their first trip to visit their Amherst, NH dentist, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz. We know that the dental office may not be everyone’s favorite place to be, but start making these visits a bit easier by finding out when you should start taking your child to our office for care.
While many Americans wait until their children is around 2 years old to start bringing them in for regular dental visits, we highly recommend that you start doing this even sooner. Your child should either start coming in to see us every six months beginning at the age of one, or by the time their first tooth erupts (whichever milestone happens first).
How to Keep Your Child Calm
If your child has been seeing the dentist by the time they were one year old then they were probably too young to feel anxious. However, if you’ve waited until your child is a bit older then they may be a bit nervous. Here are some ways to make sure that your child’s first dental visit goes smoothly:
Prepare them for what might happen: Let them know that we will need to peek inside their mouths and check the health of their teeth and gums. Let them know that there may be new people, dental tools used and even different noises that are foreign to them but that they are completely safe in our hands.
Do a little research: There are some great sites that make learning about your teeth fun for the whole family. Make time to sit down with your little one and peruse the Internet for fun videos, at-home activities and other ways to get your child amped up about their oral health and about visiting the dentist.
Role-play the dental experience: One of the scariest parts of going to the dentist is a fear of the unknown and what will happen. So one of the best ways you can prepare your little one is to play dentist with them. Take turns playing dentist and patient with your child and make sure to examine their teeth so they will get an idea of what their first dental exam might be like.
Bring activities to keep busy: While we never like for our patients to have to wait too long in the waiting room, this is often the time children start to get a bit nervous. Bring coloring books or books you can read together, as well as toys or games that keep them engaged and having fun rather than stressing out over their impending visit.
Is it time to schedule your little one’s next dental visit in Amherst, NH? Then turn to the pediatric dental experts that you can trust at Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire.
Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.
“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.
Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.
Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.
Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.
If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.
When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.
Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.