Why are baby teeth important?

  • To enable normal development of the jaw and permanent teeth
  • To maintain space for permanent teeth
  • To assist in good speech development
  • To develop a positive self-image

When should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?

It is recommended that your child attend for their first dental visit six months after the first (primary) teeth have erupted, commonly around 3 years of age. The dentist will carefully examine the development of their mouth and detect any problems such as tooth decay, prolonged thumb-sucking etc. Early examination and preventative care will protect your child’s teeth and assist to establish good oral hygiene and correct brushing and flossing techniques.

Why do my gums bleed?

By brushing and flossing correctly every day you prevent plaque from developing around the teeth and gums. However, if there is a build-up of plaque or calculus (hardened plaque) in the fold or pocket where your tooth meets your gum, bacteria develop and if allowed to multiply, gingivitis develops. This can be recognised by red, swollen gums that will bleed easily. Bleeding gums should be taken seriously as if left untreated could lead to periodontal disease.

I brush my teeth constantly but still have bad breath. What can I do?

Good daily brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odorous sulphur compounds and the food they feed on. However, bacteria hide not only on and around the teeth but also on the tongue under a layer of mucous. Here odours are created.. It is best to brush your tongue daily or you may want to consider a tongue scraper.

Should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

Preventive Efforts

Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. The teeth could be stuck, or impacted. That means they can’t break through your jaw and into your mouth. Maybe your mouth is too small to make room for them, or the teeth could be growing at an angle to other teeth. They can damage the tooth next door if they push up against it.

Some dentists take out healthy molars to prevent problems later on. As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder. That makes your teeth tougher to remove.

If you wait, you could have problems after surgery that range from heavy bleeding and fractured teeth to severe numbness and minor loss of movement in your jaw. These troubles could last a few days or a lifetime.

Why do I have Pain after extraction?

If the pain becomes intense and doesn’t go away after a few days, it may be a symptom of a condition called dry socket, or alveolar osteitis.

Only a very small percentage — about 2% to 5% of people — develop dry socket after a tooth extraction.

The socket is the hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed. After a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth. This can lead to severe pain that can last for 5 or 6 days.

Some people may be more likely to get dry socket after having a tooth pulled. That includes people who:

  • smoke
  • have poor oral hygiene
  • have wisdom teeth pulled
  • have greater-than-usual trauma during the tooth extraction surgery
  • use birth control pills
  • have a history of dry socket after having teeth pulled

Rinsing and spitting a lot or drinking through a straw after having a tooth extracted also can raise your risk of getting dry socket.

Seek dental attention immediately if you think you have a Dry Socket.

Why is my Tooth Discoloured?

There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:

  • Foods/drinks. Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and some other things can stain your teeth.
  • Tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
  • Poor dental hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing to removeplaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can cause tooth discoloration.
  • Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead to tooth discoloration. Treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.
  • Medications. The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth.Antihistamines (like Benadryl), anti psychotic drugs, and drugs forhigh blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration.
  • Dental materials.Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a gray-black color to teeth.
  • Advancing age.As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away, revealing the natural yellow color of dentin.
  • Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.
  • Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements taken by mouth) can cause teeth discoloration.
  • For example, damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. Trauma can also cause discoloration to adult teeth.

How Can I Prevent Teeth Discoloration?

By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent teeth discoloration. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting all together. Also, improve your dental hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and getting your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every 6 months.

If your teeth appear to be an abnormal color without any explanation and, if other symptoms are also present, make an appointment to see your dentist.

What Treatment Options Are Available to Whiten Teeth?

Treatment options to whiten teeth can vary depending on the cause of the discoloration and may include

  • Bondings
  • Veneers
  • In-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist
  • In-office whitening procedures

How Can I prevent Decay in my children’s teeth?

Here, find out the biggest mistakes parents are making and learn what you can do to keep your children’s teeth healthy throughout their lifetime.

  1. Letting kids brush alone
    Since most children don’t have the motor skills to brush effectively until they’re 8 years old, parents need to supervise brushing and check to make sure every surface of each tooth is clean.

“It’s not that they don’t want to do a good job, they’re just not physically capable yet,” said Dr. Edward H. Moody, Jr., president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

  1. Putting baby to bed with a bottle
    It’s the easiest way to cause tooth decay, yet parents are still doing it, experts say. In fact, according to a survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 85 percent of parents said it wasn’t a good idea to put their babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, yet 20 percent did it anyway.

Whether it’s a bottle at bedtime or a sippy cup all day long, the habit keeps the sugar and bacteria levels in the mouth elevated all the time, Moody said. If your baby wakes up at night for a bottle or to nurse, wipe out her mouth with gauze or a soft cloth or brush if she has teeth.

“If you start early on it becomes part of the normal routine,” he said.

  1. Making the first dentist appointment too late
    Expert say it’s common to see children 2 or 3 years-old who need to go under general anesthesia to treat cavities and infections. One of the explanations for this is that parents aren’t bringing their babies to the dentist early enough.

The first trip should either be when the first tooth erupts or by your baby’s first birthday. Dental visits every six months from the get-go will also help your child feel comfortable—and even excited—to go every time.

  1. Offering “healthy” foods
    Bananas, raisins, and whole-grain crackers seem like healthy fare but foods that are sticky and have concentrated sugars like these will sit in the grooves of the teeth and create cavities. Instead of nixing them entirely, eat them with meals— when there’s more saliva— and always brush afterwards.
  2. Thinking cavities are no big deal
    You might think treating a cavity is an easy fix, but cavities can affect your child throughout his lifetime.  For starters, healthy baby teeth are necessary to maintain space for adult teeth. They help guide the jaw so it can grow.
  3. Not using fluoride
    Experts agree that the research is clear: it’s one of the best ways to prevent cavities.

The appropriate dose, however, is key. For children 18 months old to 3 years old, use the equivalent of a grain of rice, and for children 3 to 6 years old, a pea-sized amount is enough. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about your child’s exposure to fluoride in the water and toothpaste, talk to your dentist.

  1. Loading up on sports drinks
    A common cause of tooth decay in older kids is sipping on sports drinks and soda at lunch, at games and at home. By bathing their teeth in acid all day, there’s no opportunity for the PH to re-balance, Banker said. If you can’t persuade your child to completely nix it from his diet, encourage him to limit the amount, then drink it and be done with it.