In addition to daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a tooth-friendly diet can boost your kid's dental health and development. You can help by setting high standards for eating only nutritious foods and snacks at home.
But what happens when they're not home—when they're at school? Although public schools follow the Smarts Snacks in Schools initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those guidelines only recommend minimum nutritional standards for foods and snacks offered on campus. Many dentists, though, don't believe they go far enough to support dental health.
Besides that, your kids may have access to another snack source: their peers. Indeed, some of their classmates' snacks may be high in sugar and not conducive to good dental health. Your kids may face a strong temptation to barter their healthy snacks for their classmates' less than ideal offerings.
So, what can you as a parent do to make sure your kids are eating snacks that benefit their dental health while at school? For one thing, get involved as an advocate for snacks and other food items offered by the school that exceed the USDA's minimum nutritional standards. The better those snacks available through vending machines or the cafeteria are in nutritional value, the better for healthy teeth and gums.
On the home front, work to instill eating habits that major on great, nutritional snacks and foods. Part of that is helping your kids understand the difference in foods: some are conducive to health (including for their teeth and gums) while others aren't. Teach them that healthier foods should make up the vast majority of what they eat, while less healthier choices should be limited or avoided altogether.
Doing that is easier if you take a creative, playful approach to the snacks you send with them to school. For example, if you send them to school with their own snacks, add a little excitement like cinnamon-flavored popcorn or cheese and whole wheat bread bites in different shapes. And make it easier for them with bite-sized snacks like grapes, baby carrots or nuts.
You can't always control what snacks your kids eat, especially at school. But following these tips, you may be able to influence them in the right direction.
If you would like more information on helping your child develop tooth-friendly snacking habits, 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.”
Dental bridges help restore your whole smile by replacing teeth that are missing. A dental bridge literally bridges the gap between natural teeth by filling in the empty space with artificial teeth called pontics. Once in place, a dental bridge looks and functions like natural teeth. In Fargo, ND, dental bridges are offered at Anderson Dental, where Dr. Jon Anderson and Dr. Brad Anderson can help you restore both function and beauty to your smile.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are often used in conjunction with dental bridges to securely anchor the bridgework in place. In the middle of the bridge are the replacement teeth or pontics. On either side of the pontics are dental crowns. The crowns fit over natural teeth, also referred to as abutment teeth. The function of the crowns is to hold the bridgework so no adhesives are needed. If there is not a natural tooth to place a crown over, then the crown could be attached to a dental implant.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges deliver many benefits beyond replacing missing teeth. They also restore function by providing a full set of teeth for easily biting and chewing food. Many patients also experience a boost in confidence after their smile is restored with bridgework. The experienced dentists at our office in Fargo, ND, can fit you with a dental bridge so you can enjoy a full smile again.
The teeth do more than just help you eat food. For instance, they support the muscles of the face and help guide tongue placement when speaking. By filling the gaps caused by tooth loss, bridges also reduce the side effects that occur when teeth are missing. Additional benefits of having a dental bridge include:
- Preventing the natural teeth from shifting into gaps
- Restoring the natural contours of the face
- Reducing facial sagging and drooping
- Improving speech affected by gaps from tooth loss
- Minimizing excess strain on teeth that were compensating for missing ones
A dental bridge can restore function and beauty to your smile, as well as boost confidence so you want to smile more! For dental bridges in Fargo, ND, schedule a consultation with Drs. Jon or Brad Anderson by calling Anderson Dental at (701) 232-1368.
For several decades, dentists have been saving teeth from tooth decay following a few basic guidelines: 1) Identify decay as soon as possible; 2) Thoroughly remove decayed tooth structure; and 3) Fill any cavities. With millions of diseased teeth rescued, observing these simple steps have proven a rousing success.
But as with most things, even this successful protocol isn't perfect. For one, some healthy tissue gets removed along with the diseased portions. The average percentage of "collateral damage" has dropped over the years, but it still happens—and a reduction in healthy tissue can make a tooth less structurally sound.
Another drawback, at least from the patient's perspective, is the dental drill used for removing decay and preparing cavities for filling. Many people find drilling unpleasant, whether from its vibrations in the mouth or its high-pitched whine. The drill's burr head design also contributes to greater healthy tissue loss.
But those weaknesses have lessened over the last few years, thanks to innovations on a number of fronts.
Better risk management. Tooth decay doesn't occur out of thin air—it arises out of risk factors unique to an individual patient like personal hygiene, bacterial load, saliva production or even genetics. Taking the time to identify a patient's "tooth decay risk score" can lead to customized treatments and practices that can minimize the occurrence of decay.
Earlier detection. Like other aspects of dental health, the sooner we detect decay, the less damage it causes and the more successful our treatment. X-rays remain the workhorse for detecting decay, but now with improvements like digital film and better equipment. We're also using newer technologies like laser fluorescence and infrared technology that can "see" decay that might otherwise go undetected.
Less invasive treatment. The dental drill is now being used less with the advent of air abrasion technology. Air abrasion utilizes a concentrated spray of particles to remove diseased tooth structure more precisely than drilling. That means less healthy tissue loss—and a more pleasant (and quieter!) experience for the patient.
In effect, "less is more" could describe these improvements to traditional decay treatment. They and other methods promise healthier teeth and happier patients.
If you would like more information on current treatments for tooth decay, 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 “Minimally Invasive Dentistry: When Less Care is More.”
Losing all your teeth can dramatically impact your life for the worst. Fortunately, we can give you your "teeth" back. The most common way, at least until a few decades ago, is with custom dentures, which reasonably restore life-like appearance and dental function. But it does have one major drawback—it can't stop bone loss.
Loss of bone in the jaws often occurs with missing teeth. Normally, the bone continuously generates newer cells to replace older ones that have died. Chewing stimulates this growth as the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone. But when teeth go missing, new bone growth slows, eventually causing the bone's volume and density to decrease.
Dentures can't reactivate this lost stimulation, and so bone loss may continue. Dentures even accelerate this loss as the compressive forces applied to the bony ridge are detrimental. This often leads to a "loosening" of a denture's fit that can make them uncomfortable and less secure to wear.
Today, however, patients with total tooth loss have another option that could alleviate the problem of bone loss—dental implants. Since their inception forty years ago, implants have become the preferred method of both dentists and patients for tooth replacement.
Implants consist of a titanium metal post that's surgically imbedded into the jawbone. Bone cells are attracted to this particular metal, readily multiplying and adhering to the implant's titanium surface. Because of this, an implant can slow or even stop bone loss.
Most people are familiar with the single tooth implant with an attached lifelike crown. Although this use of implants could be used to restore total tooth loss, it can be quite costly replacing over two dozen teeth individually.
But implants could still be part of the answer for someone with complete tooth loss, because they can also be used to support traditional restorations. A few implants strategically placed around the jaw can support either a removable denture or a fixed bridge.
Besides being a cost-effective way to add support to these traditional tooth replacements, the inclusion of implants will likely decrease continuing bone loss. Most importantly, it can give you back your dental function—and your smile to boot.
If you would like more information on dental implant options, 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 “New Teeth in One Day.”
Emergency dental situations often catch us by surprise. There are of course steps we can take to prevent some of these, but that's not always possible. In the event of an accident, the best advice you can put into action is to quickly contact your dentists. The second, is not to panic, as most dental emergencies in Fargo, ND, can be treated. Learn more about what you should do in dental emergencies by reaching out to Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, and Dr. Breding of Anderson Dental.
Pain, especially if it's severe, should be examined by your dentist as promptly as possible. The reasons for toothache vary widely and it could even stem from a sinus infection. Most commonly it's due to a deeply decayed or damaged tooth, where the soft tissue at the center of the tooth becomes infected. A typical treatment for these infections is a root canal to alleviate the pain and to save your tooth.
Your doctor can often repair minor injuries, such as chipped teeth with dental bonding. For these instances, if there is no pain that accompanies the chip it may not be a dental emergency. You should still contact your dentist and schedule a visit so they can guide you toward the best course of action. If you do feel pain, or if the edges of your tooth are sharp and can cut your cheeks, you may require emergency care.
Losing a tooth can be a shocking experience, but if you act quickly, and calmly, you may be able to have your same tooth restored. Find the tooth and handle it very gently so as to not damage the nerves at the root. Call your dentist right away and transport the tooth in a container with milk. The goal is to keep the tooth from drying out, so you can place it between your cheek and your gums if no other means are available.
A lost or loose crown, dental filling, or any other similar implement should be repaired by your dentist as they can leave your tooth exposed to infection.
Dental Emergency Treatment in Fargo, ND
For all those dental emergencies you can't prevent, your Fargo, ND, professionals are here to help. Dial (701) 232-1368 to reach the office of Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, and Dr. Breding of Anderson Dental.
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