Posts for: July, 2016
While they're resilient, your child's teeth aren't invincible. Daily hygiene and regular dental visits are important, but you should also be alert for problems and take action when they arise.
Here are 4 areas that could cause problems for your child's teeth, and what you should do — or not do — if you encounter them.
Teething. This is a normal experience as your child's first teeth erupt through the gums. The gums become tender and painful, causing constant gnawing, drooling, disturbed sleep and similar symptoms. You can help relieve discomfort by letting them bite on a chilled (not frozen) teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth. Pain relievers like ibuprofen in appropriate dosages can also help — but don't apply ice, alcohol or numbing agents containing Benzocaine directly to the gums.
Toothache. Tooth pain could be a sign of decay, so you should see us for an examination. In the meantime you can help relieve pain with a warm-water rinse, a cold compress to the outside of the face, or appropriately-dosed pain relievers. If the pain is intense or persists overnight, see us no later than the next day if possible.
Swollen or bleeding gums. If you notice your child's gums are red and swollen or easily bleed during brushing, they could have periodontal (gum) disease. This is an infection caused by bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles that build up on the teeth. You can stop plaque buildup by helping them practice effective, daily brushing and flossing. If they're showing symptoms, though, see us for an exam. In the meantime, be sure they continue to gently brush their teeth, even if their gums are irritated.
Chipped, cracked or knocked out tooth. If your child's teeth are injured, you should see us immediately. If part of the tooth has broken off, try to retrieve the broken pieces and bring them with you. If it's a permanent tooth that was knocked out, pick it up by the crown (not the root), rinse it with clean water and attempt to place it back in the socket. If you can't, bring the tooth with you in a container with clean water or milk. The sooner you see us, the better the chances for saving the tooth — minutes count.
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
Do you wish your smile was straighter or your bite issues were under control? Have you considered traditional metal braces, but the thought of walking around with bulky brackets and wires puts you off? If so, you could benefit from Invisalign. This virtually invisible orthodontic method allows you to straighten your smile without the world knowing. Learn more about Invisalign with help from your Sacramento, CA dentist, Dr. Jeff DiMariano, DDS.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses the same ideas behind traditional braces to straighten your teeth. However, Invisalign uses a much more discreet method. Instead of using metal brackets and wires to place pressure onto the teeth in order to move them, Invisalign uses a series of nearly invisible, removable aligner trays. The trays come in a series worn one after another until the end of treatment. A dental laboratory customizes each tray to your mouth, ensuring a comfortable fit and effective treatment.
What can Invisalign do for me?
Invisalign treats the same orthodontic issues as traditional braces, including:
- open bite
- misaligned or “crooked” teeth
- overcrowding (overlapped teeth)
- under crowding (gapped teeth)
The removable trays make it unique from other orthodontic methods. Traditional braces require patients to avoid certain foods, like whole apples and popcorn. Also, traditional braces require the patient to use special threading floss or water picks to floss through the wires connecting each tooth, resulting in a longer oral care routine. Invisalign’s design allows the wearer to simply remove the tray to eat and brush, eliminating the need for avoiding foods or extra steps in the oral care routine.
The Invisalign Process in Sacramento, CA
Invisalign treatment begins with an initial consultation with Dr. DiMariano. This is your time to pose any questions or address any concerns about the process. A 3D mold of the mouth allows Invisalign’s laboratory to begin the process of making your trays. Before they begin on the trays themselves, they create a video showing the exact route your teeth will move throughout treatment, including your end result. With the video approved, the laboratory creates the trays over the course of several weeks. With the trays completed, you will have a quick lesson on how to insert, remove, and clean the trays. You should wear your trays for at least 22 hours a day, removing them to eat and brush, floss, and clean your trays.
For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Jeff DiMariano, DDS in Sacramento, CA. Call (916) 929-3898 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!