Posts for: April, 2017
Are you worried that your child will develop cavities? Amherst pediatric dentists Drs. James McAveeney and Andrew Cheifetz of the Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire share a few tips that will help your child avoid tooth decay.
It's not always easy to convince kids to brush their teeth. Unfortunately, skipping a brushing session can cause plaque to coat the teeth. Although you can't see plaque, its presence raises your child's tooth decay risk. Brushing twice a day is the simplest way to get rid of the sticky film.
If your child is a reluctant brusher, finding ways to make the process fun can often help. Whether you buy power toothbrushes that play music, award stickers for a job well done or motivate your children in other ways, upping the excitement level of brushing can help ensure that your child doesn't go to bed or start the day with unbrushed teeth.
Don't forget about flossing
Flossing is just as important as brushing. Floss removes plaque that forms between teeth. As soon as two teeth appear next to each other, you can begin flossing your child's teeth. It usually takes some time for kids to develop the manual dexterity needed to handle the job themselves. In fact, you may need to help your child floss until he or she is about nine or 10.
Choose healthy snacks
Snacking on fruits and vegetables will help your son or daughter avoid tooth decay. Some healthy snacks, such as apples, even act as natural tooth cleaners. Candy, chips or other foods or beverages that contain sugar, or contain carbohydrates that can be converted into sugar should be avoided as much as possible.
Visit the pediatric dentist every six months
When tooth decay first attacks your child's teeth, the decayed area is so small that it can't be felt or seen. Luckily, it's easy to detect decay with dental X-rays offered during regular dental visits at Drs. McAveeney and Cheifetz's Amherst office. In addition to looking for tooth decay, the pediatric dentists will also examine your child's mouth and jaw to ensure that he or she is developing normally.
Help your child maintain that beautiful smile with regular dental visits. Call your Amherst, NH pediatric dentists Drs. James McAveeney and Andrew Cheifetz of the Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire at (603) 673-1000 to schedule an appointment.
Good nutrition is essential for your child's developing teeth and gums as well as the rest of their body. You do what you can to provide them not just nutritious meals but also healthy snacks for other times of the day.
But once they begin school, you can't watch out for them all the time. They could be away several hours where they might be tempted to make unhealthy snack choices.
What can you do to lessen their chances of unhealthy snacking at school?
Engage with the school and their snack offerings. A set of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory guidelines called Smart Snacks in Schools sets minimum nutritional standards for snacks offered on school grounds. These guidelines promote whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and limit calories, fat, salt and, of particular importance to dental health, sugar. The guidelines, though, are only a minimum, so join with other parents to encourage your school to exceed those snack nutrition minimums whenever possible.
Educate your child about nutrition. Good nutrition starts at home: it's important not only to offer wholesome foods but to also teach your child why some foods are better for their body (and their teeth) than others. By encouraging a lifestyle of healthy eating both in practice and knowledge, you'll find it easier to set limits on their snack choices away from home.
Send snacks with them to school. If you're unsure your child will make the right choices, especially if they're young, than send snacks with them to school. Be sure, though, what you're sending is as appealing as the school choices. Try a little creativity: popcorn with a zing of cinnamon or cheese; decorative snacks; or easy to eat bite-sized fruit or vegetables. The more they like what you're sending, the less likely they'll choose something else.
In some ways snacking could be the Achilles' heel in providing your child the right foods for good dental health. By following the tips above, though, you can help raise the chances they'll eat the best snacks for strong teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on nutrition and dental health, 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 “Snacking at School.”
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”