As a parent, you strive to instill good habits in your children: looking both ways for traffic, doing chores or washing behind the ears. Be sure you also include sound habits for teeth and gum care.
Daily brushing and flossing should be at the top of that habit list. These hygiene tasks remove dental plaque, a bacterial film that builds up on teeth and is most responsible for diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.
Although you'll have to perform these tasks for them early on, your aim should be to teach them to do it for themselves. The best approach is to teach by example: If your child sees you're serious about your own oral hygiene, they're more likely to do so as well.
You should also help them form habits around the foods they eat. Like other aspects of our health, some foods are good for our teeth and gums, and some are not. The primary food in the latter category is sugar: This popular carbohydrate is also a favorite food source for disease-causing oral bacteria.
It's important, then, to minimize sugar and other processed foods in your child's diet, and maximize their consumption of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other foods rich in calcium and phosphorous. Instilling good eating habits at an early age can boost both their dental and general health throughout their lives.
Finally, help the budding star athlete in your family develop the habit of wearing a protective mouthguard during contact sports. Your best choice is a custom-made mouthguard by a dentist: Although they cost more than the more common “boil and bite” mouthguard, they tend to offer more protection and are more comfortable to wear. A mouthguard could help your child avoid a costly dental injury that could affect them the rest of their life.
Adopting good dental hygienic, dietary, and safety habits at an early age can have a huge impact on your child's teeth and gum development. And if those early habits “stick,” it could mean a lifetime of disease-free dental health.
If you would like more information on helping your child develop sound dental 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 “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Other than tooth decay, children don't encounter dental disease to the extent adults do. But injuries are another story: More than 5 million teeth are knocked loose each year, and a high percentage involve children. Roughly a third of these and similar children's injuries are sports-related.
April is National Facial Protection Month: Several oral and facial health organizations, including the American Association of Orthodontists, have joined together to raise awareness about the risks of injury to the face and mouth, especially among children. Many of these injuries have long-term consequences with lifetime treatment costs in the thousands of dollars.
But as the name implies, this awareness month is also about protection—what you can do to help your child avoid a costly and devastating dental injury. Top of the list: Have your child wear an athletic mouthguard during all contact sports activities (including practices).
The National Federation of State High School Associations mandates mouthguard wear for football, lacrosse, and ice and field hockey. But those aren't the only sporting activities where a mouthguard should be standard equipment: In fact, basketball has more orofacial injuries each year than any other sport. Generally, mouthguards should be worn for any sports activity that involves potential contact with other players or objects.
There is a variety of mouthguard choices, but most fall into two basic categories, “boil and bite” and custom-made. The former, readily available in retail sports stores, get their name from the procedure employed when first purchased to adjust their fit to an individual player. Out of the package, they should be soaked in hot or boiling water until softened, and then placed in the wearer's mouth to bite down on. After they cool, they'll retain that bite pattern.
Boil and bite guards are relatively inexpensive, but the fit isn't as precise as a mouthguard that is custom-made by a dentist. This can lead to comfort issues—and players are less likely to wear an uncomfortable mouthguard.
Custom mouthguards, on the other hand, have a more accurate fit, allowing them to be thinner and more comfortable. They also provide the highest level of protection against blows to the face and mouth. These are more costly than boil and bite guards, and younger athletes may need a replacement every few years to accommodate jaw growth development. But compared to the physical, emotional and financial cost of a dental injury, custom mouthguards are worth the investment.
A mouth or face injury can happen in an instant and result in damage that can have lingering effects for years. For the best protection, see that your star athlete has and wears a custom mouthguard.
Are you considering some smile changes? Whether you want simple changes or a complete makeover, Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, and Dr. Breding at Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, are the cosmetic dentists to see. A great smile is so valuable, and improving yours may be easier than you think.
Cosmetic dentistry is very popular
And, it gets more popular every year, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). American adults see the value of oral health, but also they understand that a smile reflects one's personality and affects others' perceptions.
If you have healthy teeth and gums but feel dissatisfied with how they look, come to Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. Tell your dentist how you wish to change your smile, and he'll show you what's possible, realistic, and preferable. After a complete exam and X-rays, your treatment plan will be customized to you and your unique smile. Think about:
- Small defects, such as chips and cracks
- Improving deep stains
- Gaps and crowding
- Missing teeth
- Failing restorations, such as crowns and fillings
- Any missing teeth
- Tooth size, shape, and alignment
Available cosmetic services
Every cosmetic dentistry service is well-executed, employing only quality materials for natural-looking results that last. Some treatments include:
- Professional in-office or at-home teeth whitening which improves stains and brightens tooth color by several shades at a time.
- Porcelain veneers, which are thin laminates of tooth-colored ceramic that disguise defects such as cracks, pits, and deep stains.
- Porcelain crowns, which are tooth-shaped caps of high-grade ceramic to support and protect teeth damaged by decay, infection, accident, congenital problems or multiple restorations
If you can dream it...
We can help you achieve it. Come see the cosmetic dentists at Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, for a consultation: (701) 232-1368.
Root canal treatments are the go-to procedures dentists use to treat a tooth with advanced internal decay that has resulted in the pulp (nerve) dying. And for good reason: root canals are responsible for saving millions of teeth that would otherwise be lost.
In the basic root canal procedure, dentists make access into a tooth's interior with a small hole drilled into the crown. They then remove all diseased tissue within the pulp chamber and root canals. These now empty spaces are then filled, and the tooth is sealed and crowned to prevent further infection.
This is usually a straightforward affair, although it can be complicated by an intricate root canal network. In those cases, the skills and microscopic equipment of an endodontist, a specialist in root canals, may be needed to successfully perform the procedure.
But there are also occasional cases where it may be inadvisable to use a conventional root canal procedure to treat an endodontic infection. For example, it may be difficult to retreat a root canal on a restored tooth with a crown and supporting post in place. To do conventional root canal therapy, it would be necessary to take the restoration apart for clear access, which could further weaken or damage the remaining tooth's structure.
In this and similar situations, a dentist might use a different type of procedure called an apicoectomy. Rather than access the source of infection through the tooth's crown, an endodontist approaches the infection through the gums. This is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia.
Making an incision through the gums at the level of the affected root, the endodontist can then remove any infected tissue around the root, along with a small portion of the root tip. They then place a small filling and, if necessary, grafting material to encourage bone growth around the area. The gums are then sutured in place and the area allowed to heal.
An apicoectomy is another way to attempt saving a tooth that's well on its way to demise. Without it or an attempt at a conventional root canal treatment, you might lose your tooth.
If you would like more information on treating advanced 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 “Apicoectomy: A Surgical Option When Root Canal Treatment Fails.”
If you've ever had a bad toothache, you know how it can take over your life. For long-lasting relief, call Anderson dental in Fargo, ND. Our three dentists respond to dental emergencies quickly and kindly. Dr. Brad Anderson, Dr. Jon Anderson, and Dr. Breding want you to feel good and have your best smile.
What causes toothaches?
Toothaches have several distinct causes, including:
- Deep dental decay which extends into the interior pulp and beyond
- Dental sensitivity which hangs on when your tooth is exposed to heat or cold
- Deteriorating restorations, such as crowns and fillings, and the infiltration of harmful oral bacteria
- Impacted wisdom teeth (third molars encased in gum tissue and bone)
- Bone and gum deterioration due to gum disease
- Dental abscess or infection
- Fracture of tooth structure from oral trauma
- Arthritis in the jaw (or other sources of jaw joint dysfunction)
- Sinus infection
- Bruxism, or habitual teeth grinding or clenching related to stress
- Poor dental bite and other smile alignment issues
Solving the problem
If you have a dental emergency—such as intense dental pain and/or injury—contact Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, right away. You'll receive first aid advice to stabilize your condition and relieve your pain. Also, you'll receive a same-day appointment if needed.
Intervention includes a complete oral exam and digital X-ray imaging. This information helps your dentist diagnose your problem and to address it with the right restorative service.
For instance, if you have an abscessed tooth, you may require root canal therapy in which your dentist removes the diseased interior pulp, disinfects and seals each narrow root canal, and crowns the tooth. Root canal therapy relieves toothache symptoms right away and allows you to keep the tooth instead of extracting it, says the American Association of Endodontists.
Prevention is key
To avoid toothaches or other dental emergencies, see your dentist at Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, every six months for a cleaning and check-up. Eat a low-carbohydrate diet, and brush and floss daily. Good home habits significantly reduce the incidence of decay and gum disease.
At Anderson Dental, our professional team offers a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services to help you achieve your best oral health. Call us if you have a dental emergency: (701) 232-1368.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.