Monday, May 28, 2012

It is never too early to start dental care for you child


Many parents bring their children in for their first dental visit long after all their baby teeth have erupted, when in fact, dental care should start even before the first tooth has erupted, at the infant stage. It is recommended that the first appointment to the dentist should be from one to six months after the first tooth has erupted. This is not to worry parents that are wondering how their child will "open wide' or sit patiently. It is a quick and friendly encounter to ensure things are developing healthy and normally, and to educate moms and dads about dental care.

The average age for the baby's first tooth to appear is approximately six months. Parents should be wiping the gums with a clean, damp cloth before teeth erupt, as well as the first tooth after it erupts until a toothbrush can confindently be used. This is essential because tooth decay, or the destruction of tooth enamel by acid producing bacteria, can begin with only one tooth.

There are many other thing to to prevent tooth decay at the early stages:

1. Do not put the baby to bed with a bottle containing any milk (including breast milk), juice or anything containing sugar.

2. No sharing utensils, cups, tooth brushes, etc. because decay-causing bacteria is communicable.

3. Once the child is on solid foods, avoid excess snacks high in carbohydrates and keep in mind that the bacteria produce harmful

acids 20 minutes after the food is eaten. Healthy choices include fruits, vegetables and cheese.

4. Check your child"s teeth and gums monthly.

5. After the first visit, regular six month checkups are recommended.

6. Fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, suppliments and mouth rinses will help strengthen enamel.

It is never too early to start dental care for you child and to avoid oral health problems, such as tooth decay, that may lead to extensive and excessive procedures.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dental X-rays

Dental x-rays have always been an essential tool for dental diagnosis. Without it, small problems (e.g. cavities) turn into big ones, such as, root canals. Now I know that everyone shy’s away from any form of radiation but let me put it into perspective. Dental x-ray technology has come a long way. With the use of digital radiology, exposure has been reduced to under 1.5 microsieverts for a standard bitewing x-ray. Those are the x-rays you get once per year at your routine dental check-up. To compare, an acceptable level of environmental radiation per year is 3500 microsieverts. In addition, dental x-ray techniques of today focus the x-rays on specific sites of the mouth. The extreme rarity of cancerous lesions in those areas is further proof of the safety of dental x-rays. So in a nut shell, the benefits far outweigh any risk