Archive for March, 2011

Pregnancy & Your Dental Health

It’s no secret that pregnancy is an important time in a woman’s life. However, misunderstandings about the safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause women to avoid seeing their dentist. The fact is, your dentist can create a treatment plan that is safe, effective, and essential for combating the adverse effects of oral disease during pregnancy.
The most common oral disease for pregnant women is gingivitis. This buildup of plaque that causes inflammation of the gums should be treated with a professional cleaning in addition to proper tooth-brushing and flossing. If left untreated, bacteria from excessive gingivitis can travel to the uterus and possibly trigger the production of certain chemicals suspected to induce premature labor.
If you’re planning on becoming pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should see your dentist. He or she will assess your oral condition and map out a proper, safe dental plan for the rest of your pregnancy.
I’m Dr. John Kenney and this is Your Dental Health.


Keeping That Smile Clean

It has been documented that oral health care habits established as a child will have an impact on that persons health as an adult. Preventative dental care makes it possible for children to reach adulthood without ever experiencing tooth decay. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Specific hygiene recommendations vary by the child’s age. Here are some general guidelines to help your child enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles:
***For children under the age of two, brush their teeth with water.
***For children over the age of two, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on the brush is all a child needs. Be sure that your child spits out and does not swallow the toothpaste.
***By age seven, children may be able to brush their own teeth, but may require supervision until age 10 or 11. Also, at that age, your child should be able to clean between his or her teeth with floss.
Choose a child-size toothbrush for ease of use and replace it every three or four months. Ask your child’s dentist or hygienist about proper flossing and mouth care techniques.

Diabetes & Your Teeth

It is estimated that up to 20 million people have diabetes, but only two-thirds of these individuals are diagnosed. Studies have shown that diabetics are more susceptible to the development of oral infections and periodontal disease than those who do not have diabetes.
Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque.
If you are a diabetic, be sure to take extra care of your mouth and have dental infections treated immediately. If your blood sugar is not under control, talk with your dentist and physician about receiving elective dental care. Also make morning appointments because blood glucose levels tend to be under better control at this time of day.
Diabetics who receive good dental care and have good insulin control typically have a better change of avoiding gum disease.

Technology & Your Teeth

Technological advances in the last twenty years have transformed the field of dentistry. Whether you are a fearful patient, a dental procrastinator, or a dental enthusiast, you’ll be wowed by the new techniques that are making procedures easier, faster, and practically pain-free.
One of the most exciting innovations is in the creation of crowns. With Cerec’s new technology, your crown is created by a
3-D computer out of pure ceramic while you wait, eliminating that second appointment as well as the temporary crown.
Another innovation is the Single Tooth Anesthesia system or STA. This technology allows injections to be more precise, with improved drug delivery and a higher level of client comfort.
Other new advances, like Intra Oral Photography, Digital Radiology, Diode Laser treatments, and others are providing patients more comfort and ease.

Preventing Decay of Primary Teeth

It is very important to try to prevent decay of your child’s primary teeth. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk factors for this “baby bottle tooth decay” is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids containing sugar. These liquids could include milk, breast milk, formula, and fruit juice.

Tooth decay can also occur when parents or caregivers put a baby to bed with a bottle – or use milk, formula, or juice as a pacifier for a fussy baby. If you use a pacifier, use a clean one. Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to a baby. Prolonged use of pacifiers can harm the teeth just like prolonged thumb sucking, but it is often easier to wean a child from a pacifier than a thumb.

Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday, and discourage frequent use of a training or Sippy cup. Never allow a baby to take a bottle to bed at night or naptime.

Dentures-Mini Dental Implants

Sometimes our teeth and their roots become irreparably damaged and have to be removed. Because teeth are such an important part of the body, their loss can have an emotional as well a functional impact on some people. Lost teeth can be replaced by natural looking replacements that can be fixed or removable. When multiple teeth are to be replaced a complete or partial denture may be recommended. Replacement teeth that are natural looking need to be considered by the patient to help alleviate any fears, anxiety, or other emotions.
Dental implants are a possible alternative to dentures or partial dentures. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge in place or to stabilize a denture.
Procedural advancements also include the development of narrower “mini” implants. Talk with your dentist to see whether dentures and/or mini-dental implants are right for you.

Tips & FAQs

Sooner or later your child may need urgent dental care. Here are a few tips to follow, should an emergency ever occur:
***If Your child’s baby tooth is knocked out. – Call your dentist as soon as possible. The baby tooth should not be replanted as this may cause potential damage to the developing permanent tooth.
***If Your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out. – Find the tooth and rinse it in cool water. If possible, immediately replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze. If you can’t place the tooth in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk, saliva, or water. Call ahead and get to your dentist’s office immediately.
***If Your child’s tooth is chipped or fractured. – Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the fragment, place it in cold milk or water, and bring it with you to your dentist’s office.
Learn more preventative strategies for reducing dental injuries from your dentist during your child’s regular check-ups.