Posts for: April, 2017
At your child's latest dental visit, you found out one of their primary (“baby”) teeth has become decayed and in danger of loss. Of course, you may think, it's only a primary tooth — it's going to come out sooner or later.
But a primary tooth lost “sooner” rather than “later” can create long-term negative consequences for your child's dental health. For the sake of the future permanent tooth, the best treatment strategy could be to put forth the effort and expense to save it.
Besides its role in eating and chewing, a primary tooth's most important function is as a “trailblazer” for the permanent tooth developing below it. A primary tooth doesn't normally loosen and let go until the new permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Until then they hold the new tooth's space in the jaw.
But if the primary tooth is lost prematurely, nearby teeth can drift into and crowd the space so that the permanent tooth comes in out of position. This can result in a malocclusion, or poor bite.
Depending on the state of your child's jaw development, it may be advisable to attempt saving the tooth through a filling or, in the case of deep decay, a modified root canal treatment. If the tooth can't be saved, then placing an orthodontic appliance known as a space maintainer might be necessary. Cemented to a tooth next to the empty space, this appliance has a looped band of metal that butts against the tooth on the other side of the gap, and prevents both teeth from drifting into the space.
Intervening for a decayed primary tooth can seem a waste of time and money since it has a limited lifespan to begin with. But for the health of its companion permanent tooth, as well as possibly avoiding orthodontic treatment, it could be well worth it for your child's long-term dental health.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Importance of Baby Teeth.”
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
Seeing your dentist to improve the appearance and function of your smile can result in being presented with countless options. This can make choosing the best treatment options for you confusing and difficult. Understanding some common procedures beforehand can help you feel more prepared and make a more informed decision about your best options. Find out more with Dr. Joseph Reed at Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment which straightens the teeth, treats under crowded and overcrowded teeth, and corrects bite issues like overbite or underbite. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign’s design uses clear, plastic aligner trays rather than metal brackets and wires. These trays, worn one after another until finishing the series, place gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into place. Invisalign is also removable, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth normally and eat the foods you love throughout treatment.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants replace a missing tooth. However, unlike other tooth replacement options, implants also replace the tooth’s root. This important factor allows the implant to stand alone, without requiring the support of healthy natural teeth like a dental bridge. Implants can replace one missing tooth, a row of missing teeth, or even hold a full, permanent denture in place. Thanks to their versatility, implants can benefit many patients in various different situations.
How can these procedures work together to makeover my smile?
Combining Invisalign with dental implants is a surefire way to completely overhaul your smile. Normally, you will need to complete the Invisalign treatment before your dentist places a dental implant. This will allow you to straighten your smile and correct your bite, then fill in the gaps with implants.
Cosmetic Dentistry in Arlington, TX
Cosmetic dentistry is an important branch of dentistry aimed at making you feel great about the way you look. Many cosmetic procedures, such as Invisalign and dental implants, help increase the functionality of your smile as well, killing two birds with one stone. However, a good candidate for any cosmetic dentistry procedure should be free of tooth decay and gum disease and have a strong at-home oral care routine to keep their teeth healthy between their bi-annual dental examinations and cleanings.
For more information on these cosmetic dentistry procedures and more, please contact Dr. Joseph Reed at Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX. Call (817) 303-5700 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Reed today!