Taking good care of your teeth is a habit that can begin very early in childhood. The first visit to your family dentist can occur as soon as the first tooth arrives. However, even before baby teeth begin to emerge, you can start to establish good oral care habits that will serve your child well into adolescence and adulthood.
Taking Care of Your Baby’s Gums and Teeth
One of the most important things you can do for your child before the first baby teeth emerge is to accustom her to having her mouth cleaned. Use a small piece of gauze or a soft towel to wipe her gums after you feed her. This removes any milk or formula left behind that can attract bacteria. When the first tooth arrives, continue to use a soft cloth or gauze to clean it. Consult with your family dentist to determine the best time to start using a regular toothbrush and toothpaste.
A child’s first toothbrush should be small and soft. You should also use a toothpaste designed for children. Be careful not to use too much, as excess fluoride can be dangerous for a baby or small child. Until your child can maneuver a toothbrush on her own, you will have to brush her teeth for her. As she gets older, though, you can teach her to maintain her own oral hygiene routine.
As Your Child Gets Older
By the time your baby has become a toddler, she can start to learn to brush her teeth on her own. There are many tools available that are specifically designed for children, such as toothbrushes with larger handles that are more easily maneuvered by little hands. As your child gets a bit older, you can teach her to floss using similar child-friendly tools such as floss holders. You can find these in bright colors, and shaped like animals, which helps make tooth-cleaning time more fun.
If you have any questions about how to best take care of your child’s teeth, ask our family dentist for recommendations. He can let you know what types of toothbrushes and floss holders he recommends, or might even provide samples so you can check out different kinds and see which ones your child likes best.
In need of a family dentist? Contact our office today to speak with a caring and professional member of our team!
Gingival recession refers to a condition in which the gum tissue pulls away from the roots of the teeth, reducing the support given to your teeth. Extreme recession leads to tooth loss as the teeth become loose and eventually fall out. If you have problems with your gums, even if your symptoms are limited to minor inflammation, you should talk to your dentist about appropriate treatment.
Treatment for Gingival Recession
Early symptoms of gum disease include increased space between the gum tissue and the tooth roots. When you visit the dentist, he measures the depth of the pockets between the gums and the teeth. If these pockets are more than two or three millimeters deep, he will probably recommend treatment for gingivitis or early gum disease.
In its early stages, treatment for gum disease is relatively simple and non-invasive. Your dentist may recommend a special toothpaste, an antibacterial mouthwash, or treatment with antibiotics. As the infection becomes more serious, however, treatment becomes more difficult. In later stages, your dentist will probably recommend a deep cleaning procedure called planing and scaling. With planing and scaling, the dentist cleans between the gum tissue and the tooth and also smooths out the tooth root so there are fewer rough surfaces where bacteria can collect. If gum disease progresses even farther, you may require gum surgery, which usually involves grafting tissue from the roof of the mouth onto the gums to create sufficient tissue to support the teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Although gum disease is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, there are some symptoms you can keep an eye out for. If you see any of these problems developing, be sure to bring them to the attention of your dentist:
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- An unusual color or appearance in gum tissue
- Persistent, extreme sensitivity
For the best chances of diagnosing gum disease before it becomes serious, be sure to visit your dentist regularly.
Are you due for an appointment? Contact our office at Bliss Dental today!
Dental veneers are a very popular cosmetic dentistry treatment, largely because they are so versatile they can be used to address a wide range of problems. They are also less invasive than techniques used in the past to correct similar issues, such as dental crowns.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are very thin shells made of porcelain that are affixed to the front of your teeth. They completely cover the tooth surface, disguising any features of the tooth you might find unattractive. They can also be shaped to be larger than the tooth to make disproportionately small teeth look larger, or to make asymmetrical teeth look more regular in comparison to the rest of your teeth.
Veneers are more natural looking than dental crowns because they are semi-translucent. Light penetrates the surface, then is reflected back. Your enamel reflects light in the same way. These reflective properties mean porcelain veneers have the same luster as enamel, making your teeth look less artificial. Veneers are also easy to apply. Your dentist can put them in place in two appointments—one to ready your teeth and to make molds and one to permanently affix the final, custom-made veneer.
Cosmetic Issues Treated with Dental Veneers
Dental veneers can improve the look of many problems you might have with your teeth. Some of the more common issues addressed with veneers are:
- Pitting on tooth surfaces
- Intrinsic discoloration
- Severe staining that doesn’t respond to tooth whitening
- Small gaps
- Minor misalignment
If you have any of these issues, ask your dentist if veneers are a good treatment option for you. In cases of misalignment or gaps, you might require orthodontic work. Veneers only disguise the issue rather than correcting it. Your dentist should evaluate your teeth to be sure the misalignment is only minor.
Veneers are a straightforward way to greatly improve the look of your teeth. With veneers, you can regain confidence in your appearance and smile freely again. Contact us at Bliss Dental to confer with our specialists and determine how you can freshen up your smile!
Preventive dentistry is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright. You should brush and floss regularly, avoid foods that can cause tooth decay, and visit the dentist regularly. X-rays, dental exams, and professional fluoride treatments help ensure your teeth are as healthy as possible.
Taking Care of Your Teeth at Home
Everyday dental care is the most important component of successful preventive dentistry. Since childhood, we are told we should brush our teeth after every meal, floss once a day, avoid sugary foods and beverages, and drink milk to provide calcium for strong teeth and bones. These are more than just clichés—they’re pieces of an important foundation that can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your life.
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, you can take other measures to keep your teeth and gums healthy, including:
- Avoid foods high in acid, like sour candies and large quantities of citrus
- Don’t chew on ice, pens, or pencils
- Eat an overall healthy diet
- Visit your dentist regularly and report any unusual developments or symptoms
These guidelines can help you maintain excellent oral health throughout your life.
Why Are Dental Visits So Important?
Many people feel that if they take good care of their teeth on an everyday basis, they don’t need to visit the dentist. However, even the most diligent, everyday care can’t eliminate the need for regular examinations. Your dentist can help detect and diagnose many problems, many of which don’t produce symptoms, including:
- The beginning stages of decay
- Early stages of gum disease
- Signs of abnormal wear and tear
- Oral cancer
Your dentist has many tools available to him that you don’t, including X-rays, digital photography, and expert examination techniques. A dentist can often detect problems before they become serious and when they require much less complex and invasive treatments. Your dentist also supplies professional cleaning, which can remove tartar—something your toothbrush can’t effectively treat—and can provide fluoride treatments to prevent and in some cases even reverse decay.
Need a checkup? Call our office today!
Tooth colored fillings have been around for decades, and with their flexibility, they can be used for more than just repairing dental decay.
Improvements to the composite resin material used in bonding and fillings have produced long lasting, beautiful restorations that are usually completed in one dental visit. The many uses include:
Decay repair – until the creation of composite resin, cavities were filled using silver amalgam. While still in limited use in some communities, repairing a cavity with amalgam requires more of the tooth’s structure be removed to fill the tooth. In addition, the appearance of an almost invisible tooth colored filling versus a big clump of silver metal in your mouth make using composite resin the logical choice.
Aesthetic enhancements – The same basic product that is used to repair a cavity has many cosmetic uses such as covering dental spots or stain, repairing chipped teeth, closing small gaps between teeth and protecting teeth that have experienced gum recession.
For cosmetic repair, a consultation will explain the advantages of using composite resin over a more invasive procedure. Depending on the extent of the repair, very often it can be completed during this same visit.
The bonding process involves removing a small amount of dental enamel. The tooth’s surface needs to be slightly rough to strengthen the bond of the repair material to the tooth. As your dentist places the bonding material, a special light will be used to cure the material. Once the bonding is applied, your dentist will be able to shape the material so this repair will match surrounding teeth in size and shape. Depending on the extent of the correction, an anesthetic may be used for the patient’s comfort.
Tooth colored fillings used to repair dental decay are strong, and since much less of the tooth needs to be removed to complete the filling, there is less impact on the structural integrity of the tooth. You can expect a composite resin filling to last indefinitely barring a traumatic event to the tooth.
The final result for teeth treated with the tooth colored filling material is a nearly invisible repair, and an enhancement that is gorgeous as it reflects light naturally because of its translucent realistic properties.
Whether it is cosmetic bonding or cavity repair, composite resin provides the best result for longevity and aesthetic value. Call us at Bliss Dental today to discuss your treatment options with our team!
An impacted tooth is a common reason to visit the dentist. It happens most frequently with wisdom teeth, which then usually need to be removed. A tooth becomes impacted when there isn’t enough room for it to properly emerge. This can result in infection.
Side Effects of Impaction
Impaction occurs when a tooth is “trapped” and can’t emerge fully from the gums. If teeth are crowded, it’s more likely for a tooth to become impacted. Teeth can also become impacted if they emerge at an incorrect angle. Some teeth are situated improperly in the jawbone and this causes impaction as they try to emerge from the gums sideways or at an angle that is blocked by neighboring teeth.
An impacted tooth can push other teeth out of position, causing achiness, sensitivity, and misalignment. Impacted teeth are also prone to infection. Because impaction creates a situation detrimental to the health of your other teeth and to your oral health in general, your family dentist will probably recommend that your impacted tooth be removed. Depending upon the location of the tooth, how far it has emerged, and its overall positioning, this might be done in your regular dental office. In other cases, you might require oral surgery.
Impaction and Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth often become impacted. As the last molars to emerge, they often don’t have enough room to successfully join the rest of the teeth in your mouth. The result is discomfort, swelling, movement of your other teeth, and possibly infection. For this reason, your family dentist will keep track of the positioning and size of your wisdom teeth even before they begin to emerge. If your wisdom teeth are starting to come in and you notice symptoms of impaction, you should discuss this with your dentist.
Other teeth can also become impacted. If a tooth is positioned incorrectly in the jawbone, it might try to emerge from an angle where it wedges against adjacent teeth. Regular X-rays usually detect these problems before the tooth emerges, allowing your dentist to recommend appropriate treatment.
Are you concerned about your wisdom teeth coming in? Contact our office today to set up a consultation with our caring team today.
Just like the rest of us, our teeth change with age. As we get older, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly to ensure age-related changes aren’t leading to long-term problems. Our teeth are subjected to high levels of everyday stress, which can lead to damage and other issues.
Your Teeth and the Aging Process
You use your teeth every day to bite and chew. This activities place high levels of stress on the teeth. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is still subject to wear and tear over time. Chewing and biting can eventually cause the enamel to become thinner and to break down. If you have issues with your enamel—for example if it is softer than normal or didn’t develop properly—these problems are made worse.
Under normal conditions, the teeth will become darker over time as the enamel becomes thinner. The dentin beneath, which is softer and darker than enamel, shows through. In addition, teeth can become chipped or cracked from the stress of chewing and biting. This kind of damaged is more likely and usually more severe if you habitually grind your teeth.
Your Gums and the Aging Process
The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. If untreated, gum disease, also called periodontitis, causes the gums to recede and pull back from the tooth roots. The teeth become loose and can eventually fall out. If you have dry mouth—also more common among older adults—this can increase your risk for both gum disease and tooth decay. If you’ve already lost some teeth and have dentures, you’ll still have to practice preventive care by thoroughly cleaning your dentures so bacteria doesn’t collect under them and cause gum disease. Implants must also be cared for diligently to keep gum disease at bay.
Your family dentist can help you ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy well into your old age. Visit the dentist regularly and point out any issues you might have, such as bleeding gums or uncomfortable sensitivity. Practice diligent at-home care, and together you and your dentist can keep your teeth healthy for many years to come.
Call our caring team at Bliss Dental today to set up an appointment to discuss your mouth!
Metal amalgam fillings are a common approach to tooth restoration, used to restore teeth after decayed areas have been removed. In time, however, these fillings can become discolored and make the surrounding teeth look darker. Replacing amalgam fillings with tooth-colored fillings gives you a more natural look.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made Of?
Tooth-colored fillings are generally made of either porcelain or a composite resin. Porcelain fillings are very durable, but must be custom-made, usually in an off-site laboratory. Your dentist removes the decayed area of your tooth—or removes your existing metal filling—then makes a cast that is used to make your final filling. Composite resin can be placed in the tooth in the dentist’s office just like metal amalgam. It is cured with a special light, making it hard and durable.
The type of tooth-colored filling you choose is based on your personal preference as well as that of your dentist. This type of filling can be designed to match or very closely approximate the color of your teeth, giving you a natural look and eliminating stains that can be caused by metal amalgam fillings.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Porcelain and resin fillings provide a number of advantages over metal fillings. These advantages have led many people to choose to have their old amalgam fillings replaced. Some of the advantages include:
- Resin is more flexible and less likely to pull away from the surrounding tooth
- Less tooth structure must be removed to make room for a resin filling
- Tooth-colored fillings do not contain mercury, which concerns some patients
A disadvantage of tooth-colored fillings is that they tend not to last as long as metal amalgam. With proper care, however, they will serve you well for a decade or more. Your dentist will examine your new fillings on a regular basis during your routine examinations. Regular brushing and flossing will help reduce the chances of developing additional decay in other teeth or in other areas of the teeth you’ve already had restored.
If you’re looking to get tooth-colored fillings, contact our friendly team at Bliss Dental to schedule an appointment today!
Gingivitis is inflammation in the gums. If untreated, it can worsen and develop into infection and gum disease. The presence of gingivitis can lead to other issues with your overall health. If you have gingivitis, you should talk to your dentist about how to treat it.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It consists of fairly minor inflammation of the gingival tissues, otherwise known as the gums. It occurs when certain bacteria in the mouth build up just below the gum line. If it isn’t treated promptly, the inflammation can develop into serious infection. The gums begin to draw back from the teeth, resulting in loose teeth and even eventual tooth loss. Gingivitis itself is fairly simple to treat, but if it is allowed to develop into severe gum disease, treatment becomes complex and invasive.
You can prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing regularly. This removes the bacteria that cause the inflammation and also massages the gums to keep them healthy. Your dentist will check your gums for any signs of inflammation or infection during your regular check-ups, so be sure to go about every six months for this important evaluation of the health of your mouth.
How Does Gingivitis Affect My Overall Health?
Studies have shown that people with chronic gingivitis or gum disease are much more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, including heart disease. The bacteria that build up in your mouth can move to other parts of your body through the bloodstream, leading to inflammation in the arteries and elsewhere. This spread of inflammation leads to cardiovascular problems, and can become a serious issue.
To prevent the bacteria from your mouth from spreading and to keep gingivitis from developing in the first place, pay close attention to your oral health. Brush regularly and thoroughly. Daily flossing helps remove food particles and bacteria that brushing can’t reach, including bacteria and plaque that build up just beneath the gum line. With diligent oral hygiene, you can preserve not only your oral health, but the health of your whole body.
If you’re concerned about gingivitis, have our dentist evaluate your oral health at your next checkup. Call us to make an appointment at Bliss Dental today!
our office hours
10:00am - 7:00pm
10:00am - 7:00pm
10:00am - 6:00pm
10:00am - 2:00pm
Enjoy your Dental Visit!
- Dental Care for Whole family
- Insurance friendly and payment plans
- No insurance! No problem!
- TV's in treatment rooms
- Nitrous Oxide
- Emergencies handled promptly
- Evening and weekend hours
- Full and Partial Dentures
- Porcelain veneers