Dental Arts of Wyomissing Blog
Posts for: July, 2013
Habits — both good and bad — often begin at an early age. They can be defined as recurring, mostly unconscious patterns of behavior, which are acquired by frequent repetition. Wouldn't it be nice if you could start your children off with good, healthy ones? When it comes to oral health, you can!
Practicing good oral hygiene is actually one of the easier habits to instill. The time to start is when your baby's teeth first begin to appear. To clean them, wipe gently with a clean, damp washcloth. Starting at age 2, when more teeth have appeared, you should establish a brushing routine using just a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
In the toddler years, a child-size soft toothbrush with a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste will do the trick. By this time, they should have also put away their pacifiers and stopped sucking thumbs. Continual thumb-sucking past this age can lead to later problems with tooth and jaw development.
Kids soon get used to the feel of gentle brushing, and gradually begin taking over the job. However, they may need help until they're 6 or older, and have gained more manual dexterity. Don't forget to show them how to wiggle the brush back and forth along the gum line, as well as across the biting surfaces of the teeth.
You'll have to periodically confirm whether they did a good tooth-brushing job — but you can also teach them to check their own work. There are over-the-counter products that identify bacterial plaque by turning it a bright color, making it easy for you and your children to see how efficiently they have removed plaque. Another less precise way is to just have them run their tongue over their teeth: If the teeth feel nice and smooth, they're probably clean too. If not, it's back to the sink...
Eating healthy foods, getting moderate exercise, and avoiding sugary snacks between meals are a few more beneficial habits you can foster in your children. As parents, you can set a positive example by doing these things yourselves. The professionals in our office are ready to help you learn, practice and promote these healthy habits.
If you would like more information about instilling good oral health habits in your children, 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.”
Root planing is a procedure that allows us to achieve your — and our — basic goal in dentistry: healthy, clean gums and teeth.
At a level in between scaling by your hygienist and periodontal (from peri, around and odont, tooth) surgery, root planing is a conservative treatment that attempts to eliminate the need for gum surgery.
Plaque is a film of bacteria (a biofilm) that adheres to your teeth at the gumline. This is what you try to remove with daily brushing and flossing. Plaque that is not removed can form a hard coating called calculus or tartar. These substances irritate your gums and cause inflammation, which in turn causes your gum tissues to lose their attachment to your teeth. The resulting gaps between the teeth and gums are called pockets, and they act just like pockets in your clothing.
Your teeth are fastened in your jaws by a combination of bone and soft tissue including the gums and the periodontal ligament, tissues that holds each tooth in place. When pockets form and bacteria move into them, the bacteria and the toxins they emit can become ingrained into the surface of the roots of your teeth (the bottom parts that are below the gumline) and cause further inflammation and infection. This can lead to loss of attachment of the gum tissues and bone that anchor your teeth. In the worst cases you can lose the teeth.
1. The first level of defense is your own daily brushing and flossing. Ask us to check your technique to make sure you are effectively removing plaque.
2. Second, your dental hygienist can remove superficial collections of calculus by scaling, using hand tools or a sonic scaler.
3. Third, root planing actually planes the surface of the roots of your teeth, in the same way as a carpenter planes a piece of wood. It removes calculus, bacteria and toxins ingrained into the root surfaces so that the infected gum tissues can heal.
Root planing is usually done using local anesthesia to numb the teeth and surrounding soft tissues. The planing may be done first with an ultrasonic device that cleans by vibrating particles off the root surfaces and simultaneously flushes the pockets with water. The root planing is finished with delicate hand instruments called curettes. The area may then be flushed with antibacterial medication to fight infection.
The response to root planing is usually evaluated three to four weeks later. The gum tissues are checked for healing, and probing measurements of the pockets are retaken. Depending on the results, additional root planing may be needed.
4. Finally, in cases of the worst periodontal infections, you may need periodontal surgery. Each person's situation is unique and should be based on an examination and evaluation.
Cosmetic Dentistry Offers Improvements for the Appearance of Your Smile
People choose cosmetic dentistry to repair a defect in their smile such as a malformed bite, or crooked teeth. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore your smile and bring it back to life. Your dentist in Wyomissing is available to offer cosmetic procedures to help you put your best smile forward.
Brighten Your Smile with Teeth Whitening
It’s not uncommon for years of drinking tea and coffee or bad habits like, smoking to gradually result in a discolored smile. With teeth whitening, eliminating stains and enhancing your natural white can produce dramatic results in as little as an hour. In-office teeth bleaching performed by your professional Wyomissing dentist involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and activating the whitening solution with special lighting for approximately 30 minutes.
Your dentist in Wyomissing at Berkshire Blvd Wyomissing, PA can also provide you with trays, custom designed to perfectly fit your teeth so that you can continue the bleaching process at home with a less powerful gel. By using the gel and the trays on a regular basis, you can touch up and continue the bleaching process.
Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can replace them and restore function to your mouth. Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used in order to compensate for tooth loss. The result is an enhanced smile, in addition to a more youthful appearance. The use of implants can successfully restore function to your mouth and successfully bring your smile back to life.
A Hollywood Smile with Veneers
If your teeth are cracked, stained, uneven or chipped, veneers may be the perfect option for transforming the most damaged smile. These thin, porcelain shells are custom-designed by your Wyomissing dentist to perfectly cover and match your natural smile to mask most any dental blemish, including stains and cracks. Compared to many treatment options, veneers will last a long time, up to 20 years, and correct the alignment of your smile by covering damaged or misshapen teeth.
Talk to your Wyomissing dentist at Berkshire Blvd Wyomissing, PA about cosmetic dentistry, your goals for treatment, and which options may be best for your teeth. In as little as one appointment, you’ll be smiling bigger and brighter.