- from Jordan M. (Dental Hygienist)
February is known as National Children's Dental Health Month. This makes it the perfect time to talk with your kids about the importance in caring for their teeth. Tooth decay is one of the top chronic infectious diseases among children in the U.S. About 60% of children will have tooth decay at some point by the age of 5. It is important for parents to help their children develop healthy oral hygiene habits early. Parents should assist their children in brushing their teeth twice daily as soon as their teeth begin to erupt. Flossing once daily also becomes key when the teeth begin to touch one another. Another way to help prevent decay is by being aware of the kinds of snacks and drinks you give your children. Keeping snacking to a minimum and choosing healthy options is a good start. Crunchy foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts are snacks that can maintain good oral health. When choosing a beverage, try to avoid pops, juices and sports drinks. Instead, opt for milk or water. Lastly, it is important to establish a dental home for your child by the age of 1. This will allow the dental team time to build trust with your child, which will make future visits more enjoyable for them.
- from Jordan M. (Dental Hygienist)
This is a common question asked by parents, since these teeth are going to fall out anyway. However, if a cavity is left untreated, it will continue to decay deeper into the tooth. This can cause the tooth to break or the nerve to become infected, causing a painful toothache. At that point, the tooth would need either a pulpotomy (kiddie root canal) or to be extracted.
One function of primary dentition (or baby teeth) is to hold the space for permanent teeth. Children do not lose their last primary teeth until around age 12. If a primary tooth is lost too soon, the adjacent teeth can shift into the space before the permanent tooth is able to erupt. For example, the first and second permanent molars erupt behind the primary molars around ages 6 and 12. If the primary molars are lost too soon, these permanent molars may shift forward into the space where the permanent pre-molars need to erupt. To prevent this, a “space maintainer” can be fabricated and cemented in place until the teeth begin to erupt.
In conclusion, the answer is yes! Removing decay and placing a simple filling can prevent your child from needing more invasive and expensive treatment later on. Keeping the primary teeth in place until the permanent teeth are ready to erupt is important to help the permanent teeth erupt into the correct position.
- from Caitlin Z. (Dental Assistant)
One of the easiest ways to get more fluoride is simply by drinking more water. Since 1945, we have been adding fluoride to community drinking water supplies and the ADA states that 70 years of scientific research shows that this safe method prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. This fluoride is added to the water at about 1 ppm (parts per million).
The next option is OTC (over-the-counter) fluoride rinses; an example would be ACT. These rinses are recommended to be used daily and contain approximately 230 ppm of fluoride, which is the highest concentration of fluoride allowed in OTC products.
Then we have the daunting toothpaste aisle! The amount of fluoride in OTC toothpaste is approximately 1,000-1,500 ppm. And it is recommended to be used twice a day.
For people that don’t want to add an extra step to their routine, a prescription toothpaste such as Prevident 5000 is available. Just like the name, it has 5000 ppm of fluoride in it.
And finally, the highest concentration of fluoride you can get, 22,600 ppm, is called fluoride varnish. It is painted on your teeth by a dental professional and is recommended two times a year.
- from Pam B. (Dental Hygienist)
Dental erosion occurs when tooth enamel is dissolved by acid, causing sensitivity, yellowing, and pitted or worn teeth. Many everyday foods and beverages are to blame. So what can you do?
- Avoid sugary or acidic beverages or use a straw to reduce contact with teeth.
- Finish meals with acid-neutralizing milk or cheese.
- After consuming anything acidic, wait an hour before brushing your teeth.
Contact us at Commerce Drive Dental right away if you have a concern about acid erosion. Our phone number is 507-345-7786.
- from Rachel B. (Business Staff)
Commerce Drive Dental team members all contribute to this blog, including our dentists, assistants, hygienists, and business team personnel.