Dental Injuries

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While most traumatic dental injuries occur in children and teenagers, people of all ages can be affected, however, frequently in children traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of a sports accident,  If you’ve experienced a traumatic dental injury  (whether during sports or any other mishap) it is important to visit your dentist in order to determine any necessary treatment. Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires examination by a dentist immediately. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam. Please remember, not to panic, in most cases, tooth and mouth injuries are not life threatening. Rarely, a child may develop serious complications. Injuries to the teeth and mouth can also have long-lasting effects on the child’s appearance and self-confidence.

Just a few statistics for you:

  • Sporting activities cause the greatest percentage of dental traumatic injuries in teens. Pre-teens and teens have the highest number of sports related dental injuries, with the top 3 sports being; Basketball, Biking and Hockey.
  • 50% of all children and teens will suffer at least one traumatic injury to a tooth by the time they graduate high school.
  • About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.
  • Young men suffer traumatic tooth injuries 2-3 times more often than young women.
  • About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.

With good oral hygiene and routine dental checkups; a nutritious diet low in sugar we can usually take good care of our teeth. When children (and adults) take part in sports however, it is perhaps a good measure to wear appropriate protective gear such as a custom-made mouthguard and helmet when playing sports. If your child does complain of toothache or suffers a dental injury, make sure he or she sees your family dentist or pediatric dentist (a specialist in children’s teeth) as soon as possible. This is usually preferable to seeking care at an emergency room, as hospitals often do not have trained personnel or equipment to handle dental emergencies — unless there is a dentist or oral surgeon on call. Of course, there are times when you have no choice but to rush your child to the nearest ER.

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Easter and Passover

Easter celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and is Christianity’s most important holiday. Each year the dates moves, depending on the date of the first Sunday following the full moon after the Spring equinox.
Although Easter is a Christian holiday, many say that it’s roots are in the ancient festival of Eostre, honoring the Teutonic Goddess of Spring and Fertility. In the Germanic languages, the word Easter has evolved from Eostre. In Latin based languages, words to celebrate this holiday have evolved from the Hebrew word Pesach, meaning Passover. In Spain, Easter is known as Pascua and in France, Pacques. The Jewish Festival of Pesach is held at the same time as Easter. It celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt which occurred after Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Whilst Easter and Passover are very important religious observances, as with other such important holidays, over the years pagan, folk and other customs have become associated with the celebrations. Easter Eggs for instance are symbols of fertility. As are the Easter Bunny and Easter Chicks, both also synonymous with fertility and the rites of Spring. Commercialism has resulted in the prolific amount of eggs and candy we see today.
So, as your dentist, please remember, that in all things sweet – moderation is the key! Pace yours (and your kids) consumption.
Remember to brush and floss! And, don’t forget, if you need us, call 734-485-2200.

We wish everyone a Blessed, Peaceful and Happy Easter and Passover.

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Baby’s First Visit to the Dentist

OK!!!!! So you’ve done the hard work and now you have a baby………..

New Born Baby

New Born Baby

Well!!! You THOUGHT you’d done the hard work……

Now you have all the ongoing questions of When, What, Where, Why and How???

You will feel as if you know NOTHING from the simple things like which shampoo to use to big things like whether or not to practice the “No Cry Sleep Solution” or indeed if you even know  ANYTHING!! However, at least for dental questions, we are here and happy to be of help!!

Baby's first visit to the dentist.

Baby’s first visit to the dentist.

So, when do you take your precious little one for his or her first trip to the dentist? In the past, general thinking was that you wait until your child was three, by which time pretty much most of the first (deciduous) teeth had appeared.  However, now, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that the first visit be no more than 6 months after the arrival of the first tooth.

The Baby and The Dentist

The Baby and The Dentist

When you take your baby to the dentist for the first time you will get the chance to visit with the Dentist and have him answer any questions you may have. The first visit is really more about getting Baby comfortable with the dentist and his staff, and of course, to familiarize him with the actual dental office. The dentist will look at Baby’s history and look at his mouth. Depending on how many teeth (and of course how willing Baby is), the hygienist might also have a look and possibly clean Baby’s teeth. Some babies/toddlers will be happy sitting in the big dentist chair, while others will prefer to stay on Mommy’s (or Daddy’s) lap for the exam. Either way is OK, as I said earlier – the main purpose of the first visit is just to get Baby familiar with the dental office.

During your visit, the dentist will take time to answer any questions you have, go over things such as how to take care of Baby’s oral hygiene and give you advice about avoiding cavities, possible trauma to the mouth, teething and normal expected development of Baby’s mouth and teeth. Before you leave, you should feel that you have all the information you need, as well as a plan in place for future visits to the dentist.

Here are some pointers in the right direction:

Cleaning: As soon as the first tooth appears, you should start cleaning. At first, you can wipe the tooth with a clean, damp cloth every day. Once other teeth start to appear, you could start to use a soft baby sized toothbrush. Only use fluoride from 2 years, unless your dentist recommends it.

How much toothpaste?: A small smear of toothpaste, is all you need. Again, remember, no fluoride unless your dentist advises it. Too much fluoride, even though it is great for fighting cavities, can cause white spots on teeth. You will also have to teach your child to spit out the toothpaste and rinse the mouth well after brushing. When they get older (around 6 years old) they can use a small blob of toothpaste, the size of a small pea.

A SMEAR of toothpaste

A SMEAR of toothpaste

How often?: Children need to start off right by brushing at least twice a day. Initially, you will have to do it for them, and you will have to continue to supervise them and watch them closely once they are old enough to hold the toothbrush themselves. Making sure that they only use a smear of toothpaste…….kids LOVE to squeeze the tube, well….it DOES look kind of cool when it comes out of the tube!!!!!

Too much toothpaste!!!!

Too much toothpaste!!!!

By starting early with your baby, you can help them to have a healthy relationship with their dentist AND their teeth!!!!

Clean, healthy, smiley-faced Baby

Clean, healthy, smiley-faced Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

appeared.

 

 

OK – Got my braces – Now What??

In our last blog we discussed some of the reasons why people need braces. Today, we’ll discuss the ages they can be used,  what to expect and how to look after them.

When?? How old do I have to be? I don’t now about you, but usually when I think about braces I tend to immediately think about teenagers in high school. However, this is completely wrong!! Our teeth can be straightened at almost any age, because even as adults, as long as our teeth are healthy and we have the necessary supporting teeth, our teeth can be re-trained to ‘sit’ properly so that we have wonderful smiles. Of course, the majority of people still do have braces as children, particularly during the teenage years as this is when a lot of the growth in our faces occurs, so it makes sense to do any necessary orthodontic work then, as in the long term it saves time and expense at a later stage of our lives.

Adults wear braces too!!!

Adults wear braces too!!!

What to expect from your braces?

As well as the medical benefits of having braces such as; straightening teeth, correcting your bite, closing gaps, stopping your jaw hurting, relieving headaches and muscle aches you may also benefit from many other factors. As appearance has a lot to do with confidence you may find that you are more outgoing and confident as a result of your teeth and your smile being ‘fixed’. Many children and even adults can be bullied or picked on because of perceived problems with their appearance and braces can in some cases help with this. Just by having the braces in, they can help you feel more confident, even while wearing them because you now know that your smile and teeth are going to get better. So, your confidence and self-image can increase throughout the whole procedure.

Self Confidence

How to look after your braces?

Now the medical and psychological benefits of braces can only do so much. YOU have to do your part!! The most important part is keeping your teeth and braces clean! BUT remember although it might be  a bit more difficult to keep them clean, we all know that nothing worth while is easy, we all have to work at it!!!

Sometimes you may feel some soreness during treatment. More usually just after the braces are first placed and then sometimes after the periodic adjustments. This is only to be expected and should only last for a short while, everyone is different. Your lips and cheeks may also take some time to get used to the braces and need time to adjust to this ‘alien’ thing in your mouth. Don’t worry, this is quite normal, but if you have any issues about any discomfort or pain, please call your Orthodontist for reassurance and advice. Your Orthodontist does not want you be stressed about the braces and will give you advice to minimize any issues you might have. You might be given soft wax to place over the bands and brackets at night which helps your lips and cheeks to adapt to the braces. Another simple remedy is to rinse your mouth with a warm salt water mix (1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of warm water) for the first week.

For ongoing maintenance you will need to check your braces daily to see if any are loose or broken as this can happen occasionally. Of course, if you do find anything loose or broken you will need to call you Orthodontist immediately to get it fixed.

Other maintenance issues are the very basic ones of brushing often and minimizing your intake of sugar, which, of course apply to ALL dental hygiene regimes. Those that specifically apply to braces are avoiding sticky foods such as caramels, Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, Gummies; avoiding hard foods such as nuts, popcorn (well – the kernels are hard !!!!), hard pretzels, suckers, ice, Jolly Ranchers, Jaw Breakers; cutting apples, carrots and corn on the cob into pieces and tearing bagels, pizza crusts and jerky with your fingers NOT your teeth!!  Now, just because these are the only items on this short list – don’t think that they are the only ones you should avoid…..use your common sense!! THINK before you eat if and how the food will affect your braces. It is up to you to be careful, after all, it will be YOU back at the dentist in pain if you don’t pay attention.

Ultimately, your braces will result in a wonderful new smile for you – but only if you follow your Orthodontist’s instructions and attend all your appointments.

I’d like to thank the staff at our colleague the Betsy Meade Orthodontics (DDS, MS) office for helping with the information for these last two blogs about braces.

NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY!!!!!!

ToothFairy

For hundreds of years, mystical legends, stories, and traditions have been shared about the loss of baby teeth. In some cultures, children’s teeth were buried in order to hide them from witches and evil spirits who would use the tooth’s powers for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had a magical power in them that would help them fight in battle. They would even pay their children for their lost baby teeth so that they could be used to string onto battle necklaces and other jewelry.

Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who would scamper around town and steal children’s teeth in the middle of the night. This story of the mouse soon transformed into the story of the Tooth Fairy, who would leave treasures under the children’s pillows in exchange for their lost teeth.

The traditions and legend of the Tooth Fairy are still practiced today all around the world. It is considered a useful practice by many parents because it gives their children something to look forward to when they lose their teeth. And so year after year, baby teeth are placed under children’s pillows at night in hopes of waking up to a wonderful surprise from none other than the Tooth Fairy.( http://www.toothfairy.org/2012/01/04/hello-world/)

THUMB SUCKING

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Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy, or provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep.

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

Children should cease thumb sucking by the time their permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and four. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop.

Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking. They can affect the teeth essentially the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, use of the pacifier can be controlled and modified more easily than the thumb or finger habit. If you have concerns about thumb sucking or use of a pacifier, consult your pediatric dentist.

A few suggestions to help your child get through thumb sucking:

Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure. Focus on correcting the cause of anxiety, instead of the thumb sucking.

Children who are sucking for comfort will feel less of a need when their parents provide comfort.

Reward children when they refrain from sucking during difficult periods, such as when being separated from their parents.

Your pediatric dentist can encourage children to stop sucking and explain what could happen if they continue. If these approaches don’t work, remind the children of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night. Your pediatric dentist may recommend the use of a mouth appliance.

http://www.childrensdentalhealth.net/pediatric-info.php#thumb_sucking

ORAL PIERCINGS

Oral Piercing

Be VERY VERY sure you want to go ahead and do this.

Not as safe as you think…..

Piercing, like tattooing, is just one of today’s popular forms of ―body art and self-expression. Piercing may seem daring, cool and totally safe because some celebrities use piercing to flaunt their particular style or attitude. But piercing the tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat) is not as safe as some would have you believe. That’s because the mouth’s moist environment—home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria—is an ideal place for infection.

An oral piercing can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. That may seem like a mere inconvenience until you consider that it may also cause:

–  Excessive drooling (something you won’t see in hip fashion magazines!)
–  Infection, pain and swelling
–  Chipped or cracked teeth
–  Injuries to the gums
–  Damage to fillings
–  Increased saliva flow
–  Hypersensitivity to metals
–  Scar tissue
–  Nerve damage

These harmful effects can happen during the piercing, soon after, or even long after the procedure. 
An infection can quickly become life threatening if it’s not treated promptly. For example, oral piercing carries a potential risk of endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves or tissues. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the piercing site in the mouth and travel to the heart, where it can colonize on heart abnormalities. This is a risk for people with heart conditions and, in the worst of cases, results in death. 
After a piercing the tongue may swell. There have been reports of swelling serious enough to block the airway. And it’s very possible to puncture a nerve during a tongue piercing. If this happens, you may experience a ―numb tongue—nerve damage that is sometimes temporary, but can be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. And damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss. 
In addition, piercing jewelry can sometimes cause allergic responses to the pierced site. The jewelry can even get in the way of dental care by blocking x-rays.

Don’t pierce on a whim. The piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep. Talk to your dentist for more information.