VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 58 POSTED ON: 1/21/2011
Smiles At Every Age Interactive Guide . . . >0-6 By 6 months baby’s front teeth prepare to emerge. Teeth often appear in pairs. Lower teeth usually arrive sooner than upper. >>7-12 Baby’s front teeth, or incisors, start peeking through gums. Beneath the gum, permanent teeth begin to develop. >>>13-24 Baby’s molars- the rear teeth used for chewing-now emerge. >>>>2-5 Your child’s first dental visit. The roots of your child’s baby teeth begin to dissolve, creating room for his permanent teeth. How Do I Care For My Infants Teeth?! How Do I Care For My Baby’s Teeth? >Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. Even before his or her first teeth emerge, certain factors can affect their future appearance and health. For instance, tetracycline, a common antibiotic, can cause tooth discoloration. For this reason, they should not be used by nursing mothers or by expecting mothers in the last half of PREGNANCY. Since baby teeth usually emerge around six months of age, standard oral health procedures like brushing and flossing aren’t required for infants. However, infants have special oral health needs that every new parent should know about. These include guarding against baby bottle decay and making sure your child is receiving enough fluoride. What Is Baby Bottle Decay And How Can I Prevent It? Baby bottle decay is caused by frequent exposure, over time, to liquids containing sugars. These include milk, formula, and fruit juices. The sugar liquids pool around the teeth for long periods of time as your baby sleeps, leading to CAVITIES that first develop in the upper and lower front teeth. For this reason, you shouldn’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in his/her mouth. Instead, at naptime, give your child a bottle filled with water or a pacifier recommended by your dentist. If you breast-feed, avoid letting the baby nurse continuously. And after each feeding, wipe your baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a gauze pad. What Is Fluoride And How Do I Know If My Baby Is Getting The Right Amount? Fluoride is beneficial even before your child’s teeth begin to erupt. It strengthens the tooth enamel as the teeth are forming. In many municipal water supplies, the right amount of fluoride, and how much, call your local water district. If your water supply does not contain any(or enough) fluoride, talk to your pediatrician or dentist about fluoride drops that can be given to your baby daily. If you use bottled water for drinking and cooking, be sure to tell your doctor or dentist. They may prescribe fluoride supplements for the baby. How Do I Care For My Toddler’s Teeth? Passing on good oral habits to your child is one of the most important health lessons you can teach them. This means helping him or her BRUSH twice a day, showing the proper way to FLOSS, limiting between- meal snacks and seeing your dentist regularly. Most dentists recommend that children start their DENTAL VISITS by the age of two. In addition to giving your dentist a chance to monitor your child’s dental growth and development, this is your chance to learn about TOOTH DEVELOPMENT, the need for fluoride, how to help your child maintain PROPER ORAL HYGIENE, how to deal with your child’s oral habits (such as pacifier use), diet and NUTRITION, and how to prevent ORAL INJURIES. Always emphasize that a dental visit is a positive experience. Explain to your child that visiting the dentist helps maintain good oral health. By fostering a positive attitude, you’ll increase the chance that your child will see a dentist regularly throughout life. What Should I Do When My Toddler’s Teeth Begin To Erupt? Teeth start to erupt at about 6 months and continue until age 3. This causes many children to have tender gums, which can make them irritable. It helps to rub the gum with your finger, a small cool spoon or a frozen teething ring that’s been placed in the freezer. There are also pain relief gels and medications. If your child has a fever when teething, it’s best to contact physician to rule out the possibility of some other kind of condition. What’s The Proper Way To Brush My Toddler’s Teeth? It’s a good idea to supervise your child’s brushing until the age of 6, following the guidelines below: >Use a pea-sized amount of an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Take care that your child doesn’t swallow the paste. >>Use a toothbrush with soft bristle, brush inside surface of all teeth first, where plaque accumulates most. Angle bristle toward the gumline. Brush gently back and forth. >>> Clean all outside surface of teeth. Angle bristle toward the gumline. Brush gently back and forth. >>>>Place brush so bristle are on the chewing surface of the teeth. Brush gently back and forth Is Thumb Or Finger Sucking A Problem And How Can I Treat It? The sucking reflex is normal and healthy in babies. However, a thumb or finger sucking habit can cause problems with the growth of the mouth and jaw, and position of teeth, if it continues after permanent teeth have erupted, between four and seven years of age. Front teeth that point outward (sometimes called buck teeth) and an open bite may result from habitual thumb or finger sucking. This can cause problems in adulthood that include premature tooth wear, increased dental decay and discomfort on biting. Sucking on pacifiers after permanent teeth have erupted may cause similar problems. The best way to deal with thumb or finger sucking is through positive reinforcement, not negative words or behavior. Your child is only doing what feels natural to him or her. Praise your child when he/she is not sucking his thumb/finger. You may also want to focus on correcting the anxiety that’s causing your child to suck her/his thumb/finger. You can remind your child of the habit by bandaging the thumb/finger, or putting on a sock over his hand at night. Bitter-tasting medication to coat the thumb can also be prescribed by your dentist or pediatrician. Pregnancy/ Prenatal Care And Oral Health? Can Oral Health Have An Effect On Pregnancy? Growing evidence suggests a link between gum disease and premature, underweight births. Pregnant women who have gum disease may be likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. More research is needed to confirm how gum disease affects pregnancy outcomes. But it appears that disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Data also suggests that when gum disease worsens during pregnancy, there’s a higher risk of having a premature baby. What Can I Do To Ensure I Have A Healthy Pregnancy? The best advice to women considering pregnancy is to visit their dentist for a checkup and to treat any oral problems before becoming pregnant. During your pregnancy, your teeth and gums need special attention. Regular brushing and flossing, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly will help dental problems that accompany pregnancy. What Oral Problems Might Develop During My Pregnancy? Studies show that many pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis- When dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gum. Symptoms include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. Pregnancy gingivitis occurs more frequently during pregnancy because the increased level of hormones exaggerate the way gums react to the irritants in plaque. However, it’s still plaque- not hormones- that is the major cause of gingivitis. Keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gumline, will help dramatically reduce or even prevent gingivitis during your pregnancy. And substituting sweet with more wholesome foods such as cheese, fresh fruits or vegetables is better for your teeth. What Can I Expect When I Visit My Dentist During My Pregnancy? First, be sure to let your dentist know you’re pregnant when you schedule your appointment. It’s best to schedule your dental visit during the fourth to sixth month of your pregnancy. This is because the first three months of pregnancy are thought to be of greatest importance in your child’s development. During the last trimester, stresses associated with dental visits can increase the incidence of prenatal complication. Typically, X-rays, dental anesthetics, pain medications and antibiotics (especially tetracycline) are not prescribed during the first trimester, unless it’s absolutely necessary. During the last three months of pregnancy, sitting for long periods of time in the dental chair can become uncomfortable. And there is evidence that pregnant women can be more prone to gagging. Your dentist, however, is prepared for this situation. If you need to schedule an emergency visit, let the office know about your pregnancy before you arrive. Discuss any stresses, past miscarriages and drugs you are taking as these can all have an influence on how your dentist attends your needs. Your dentist may also want to consult with your physician before any treatment is started. If you have any doubts or concern, insist that your dentist and physician discuss your particular needs. If your dentist prescribes medication, do not exceed the prescribed dosage. This includes aspirin. Finding A Dentist How Do I Look For A Dentist? A good place to start is by asking for a referral from people you trust-your friends, family, acquaintances, work associates, pharmacist or family doctor. Ask them how long they’ve gone to their dentist, they how comfortable they feel asking questions, what type of dentist they go to (general or specialist). It is important that you find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable. Other Ways To Find A Dentist Include: >Calling your local dental society for a list of recommended dentists in your area. Your local dental society can be found in the Yellow Pages under “dentist.” >>Searching online for dentists in area. More and more dentists have websites explaining their approach and treatment methods. What Kind Of Dentist Should I Look For? General dentists are trained to all types of treatment. If you have difficult or unusual problems, your dentist may refer you to one of the following specialists: >Pediatric Dentists/Pedodontists- specialize in pediatric(children’s) dentistry. >>Endodontists- diagnose and treat diseased tooth pulp and perform root canal work (many general dentists also perform root canals.) >>>Prosthodontists- specialize in crowns, bridges, and dentures. >>>>Oral Pathologists- use laboratory procedures to diagnose diseases of the mouth. They also specialize in forensic dentistry. >>>>>Oral/ Maxillofacial- surgeons perform surgical treatments, such as removing cysts, tumors, and teeth. They can correct fractures or jaw problems that require surgery, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ). They also use methods similar to those of plastic surgery to treat cosmetic problems of the jaw and face. >>>>>>Orthodontists- correct improperly positioned teeth, using braces and other appliances to move teeth into a better position. >>>>>>>Periodontists- specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. How Do You Become A Practicing Dentist? A general practitioner or specialist can be degreed as either a D. D. D (Doctor Of Dental Surgery) or a D. M. D (Doctor Of Dental Medicine), depending on the school from which he/she graduated. The requirements for each degree are identical: four years of post-graduate study for general practice plus one to two years of advanced study for a particular specialty. A graduate must then pass a state licensing examination in order to begin practice. Dental Visit- The Dentist Visit And What To Expect What Happens During A Dental Visit? First, it is important find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable. Once you’ve found a dentist you like, your next step is to schedule a check- up- before any problems arise. On your first visit to a dentist, they will take a full health history. On subsequent visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell them. Most dental visits are checkups. Regular checkups (ideally every six months) will help your teeth stay cleaner, last longer and can prevent painful problems from developing. A Full Examination Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems. His or her goal is to help maintain your good oral health and to prevent problems from becoming serious, by identifying and treating them as soon as possible. X-Rays Depending on your, risks of disease and symptoms, your dentist may recommend X- rays. X-ray can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth. A modern dental office uses machines that emit virtually no radiation- no more than you would receive from a day in the sun or a weekend watching TV. As a precaution, you should always wear a lead apron when having an X-ray. And, if you pregnant, inform your dentist, as X-rays should only be taken in emergency situations. Your dentist may ask for a Panoramic X-ray, or Panorex. This type of film provides a complete view of your upper and lower jaw in a single picture, and helps the dentist understand your bite and the relationship between the different teeth and your arch. How Long Should I Go Between Visits? If your teeth and gums are in good shape, you probably won’t need to return for three to six months. If further treatment is required- say to fill a cavity, remove a wisdom tooth, or repair a broken crown- you should make an appointment before leaving the office. And don’t forget to ask your dentist any questions you may have- this is your chance to get the answers you need. Tooth Anatomy What Are The Different Parts Of A Tooth? Crown: The top part of the tooth, and the only part you can normally see. The shape of the crown determines the tooth’s function. For example, front teeth are shape and chisel-shapes for cutting, while molars have flat surfaces for grinding. Gumline: Where the tooth and the gums meet. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up at the gumline, leading to gingivitis and gum disease. Root: The part of the tooth hat is embedded in bone. The root makes up about two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place. Enamel: The outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body- yet it can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly. Dentin:The layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay is able to progress its way through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin- where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp. Pulp: The soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain. What Are The Different Types Of Teeth? Every tooth has a specific job or function (use the dental arch in this section to locate and identify each type of tooth): Incisors: The sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four upper, four lower) used for cutting food. Canines: Sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points (cups) and are used for tearing food. Premolars: These teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing. Molars: Used for grinding, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface. What Is Good Oral Hygiene Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means: > Your teeth are clean and free of debris >>Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss >>>Bad breath is not a constant problem If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem. Your dentist of hygienists can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing. How Well Is Oral Hygiene Practiced Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome then treating conditions that have been allowed to progress. In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth disease and other dental problems. That Includes: >Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily. >>Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals. >>>Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste. >>>>Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to. >>>>> Making sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area. How To Brush-Teeth Brushing Techniques What Is The Right Way To Brush? Proper brushing takes at least two minutes- that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows: >Clean the outer surface of your upper teeth, then lower teeth. >>Clean the inner surface of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth. >>>Clean the chewing surface. >>>>For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue too! What Type Of Toothbrush Should I Use? Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristle brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your-teeth. Small- headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity. How Important Is The Toothpaste I Use? It is important that you use a toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you. How Often Should I Replace My Toothpaste? You should replace your toothpaste when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to re- infection.
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