The few teeth your one or two year old has will eventually fall out in a few years—so, why be concerned about tooth decay this early? Actually, you should: Fighting tooth decay should always be a priority, even at this early age.
Even though primary teeth are short-lived, they make a huge impact on future dental health. These early teeth help guide the eruption of permanent teeth—if lost prematurely to decay, the later teeth may come in misaligned and create a poor bite. Preserving them could help you avoid later orthodontic treatment.
Fortunately, you can help prevent decay in your child's primary teeth. Here's how.
Practice oral hygiene even before teeth. You should begin daily oral hygiene, the principal defense against tooth decay, even before their first teeth emerge. You can reduce harmful bacteria in their mouths by wiping their gums with a clean cloth after nursing. When teeth appear, begin brushing with just a smear of toothpaste.
Limit sugar consumption. Because decay-causing bacteria thrive on sugar, reduce your child's intake in snacks and beverages. For example, don't put them down for bed with a bottle filled with a sugary liquid like juice, sweetened drinks or even formula or breast milk. If you do give them a night-time bottle, fill it only with water.
Avoid bacterial transfer. Your child's immature immune system can't handle the same level of bacteria as in your mouth. So, reduce the chances of bacterial transfer that may cause tooth decay by avoiding kissing on the mouth or sharing eating or drinking utensils with your infant.
Begin dental visits early. Even though they may have few teeth by their first birthday, it's still a good time to begin your child's regular dental visits. Your dentist may be able to diagnose decay early (and treat for maximum effectiveness), as well as provide sealants, topical fluoride and other measures for preventing decay.
Tooth decay at an early age could impact your child's future dental health. Taking steps now to reduce it could help ensure they have healthy teeth and gums later in life.
If you would like more information on dental care for 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 “Do Babies Get Tooth Decay?”
So, when should you begin taking measures to prevent tooth decay in your child's teeth? When their teeth first begin to show? When all of their primary (baby) teeth are in? Or, wait until their permanent teeth begin erupting?
Actually, tooth decay can be a problem as early as two months of age, before a child's first tooth even comes in. In essence, then, dental disease prevention should be on your radar soon after your child is born. Here's what you can do to prevent the damage of tooth decay to their teeth now and its impact on their dental health in the future.
Start oral hygiene during nursing. Brushing and flossing are lifetime habits that reduce the risk of dental disease. When your children are young, you'll have to perform these tasks for them, ultimately training them to perform them on their own. But even earlier, before their first tooth, you'll want to clean their gums after feedings with a wet cloth to reduce disease-causing bacteria.
Initiate dental visits by age 1. It's appropriate on or before their first birthday, when most children already have a few primary teeth, to begin regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups. Seeing the dentist every six months at an early age will help your child stay well ahead of tooth decay. And starting visits early increases the likelihood it will become a regular part of their lives into adulthood.
Protect against decay. You and your dentist are partners in protecting your child from dental disease. Besides daily oral hygiene, you can also help by providing a dental-friendly diet, and especially restricting sugary snacks and avoiding sweetened liquids in bedtime bottles (including breast milk or formula). In addition to routine care, your dentist can also provide other measures to fight decay, like sealants or topical fluoride.
It's also important for you to set an example for your child to follow. Children soak up what's important to their parents—in this case, watching you take care of your teeth and seeing the dentist as a friend and ally against dental disease. That's your end goal: preventing dental disease now, and instilling the value of dental care that will last your child a lifetime.
If you would like more information on helping your child avoid tooth decay, 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 “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids.”
Find out what this common dental restoration can do for your smile.
If you or a family member have been told that you need a dental crown, or you’re simply curious to learn more about the dental restorations and treatments our Fayetteville, GA, dentist Dr. Jeff Kendrick offers, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Heritage Dental Associates, we provide our patients with a wide range of restorative dentistry including crowns. These restorations are great for preserving and re-strengthening weak, decayed, or damaged teeth. Here are just some of the benefits:
A Lifelike Restoration
As your Fayetteville, GA, family dentist, we know that nothing is more important than receiving a dental restoration that looks like a real tooth. When you turn to the team at Heritage Dental Associates, this is exactly what you’ll get. The dental crowns we offer are often made from porcelain, which is not only incredibly durable but also mimics the look of real tooth enamel. It even offers a similar light reflection to real teeth so once your crown is fitted and placed it will blend right in.
Improve Your Appearance
When you have a tooth that is discolored or misshapen it throws your whole smile off. This is another reason crowns are beneficial for a person’s smile. If you have a damaged tooth, chances are good that it also looks less than ideal. A crown can restore the tooth’s appearance once more so that you have that perfect smile.
Preserve Your Natural Smile
One of the main purposes of a dental crown is to cover and protect a tooth that is weak or damaged to prevent further injury to the tooth. A crown will also restore chewing and speaking to improve your bite so you don’t have any issues. Whenever possible, it is important to preserve your natural smile, and crowns are one way to do that.
Built to Last
Dental crowns that are made from porcelain are quite resilient, which means that they can easily withstand the powerful chewing forces of your jaws. You can easily bite and chew with confidence knowing that your crown is up for the challenge. With the proper care, a crown can last 15 years or longer!
If you are dealing with a damaged tooth, or if you have questions about the restorative services our Fayetteville, GA, family dentist Dr. Kendrick offers here at Heritage Dental Associates, simply call our practice at (770) 460-9795 to schedule your next visit.
Porcelain veneers offer an easy way to renew your smile. Veneers are extremely thin covers placed over the front surface of teeth with cosmetic issues, such as cracks, chips or discolorations. Veneers can even improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked or oddly shaped. Dr. Jeffery Kendrick can renew your smile with porcelain veneers at Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Renewing your smile with porcelain veneers has numerous benefits. One advantage of veneers is that they are extremely versatile and can improve the appearance of teeth with a wide range of issues, such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Slight gaps between teeth
- Oddly-shaped teeth
Another benefit of porcelain veneers is that they are custom made so you can be confident they will fit perfectly in place. Additionally, veneers can be made from a variety of materials, but a major benefit of choosing porcelain is that it looks so much like tooth enamel. Once in place, the porcelain veneers look completely natural. Finally, veneers are permanently cemented in place so you can enjoy your favorite foods without worrying about the veneers coming loose.
Getting Porcelain Veneers
Getting custom porcelain veneers involves a few simple steps. The first is explaining what you don’t like about your smile, such as a chipped tooth, so the dentist can determine if veneers are the best option for addressing your concerns. Once it is decided that you’ll be renewing your smile with porcelain veneers, the next step is to prepare the teeth that will be getting them. A small amount of enamel will be removed from each tooth to make room for the veneer to rest on top.
After preparing your teeth a mold will be taken of them. The mold is sent to a dental lab that will use it to create your custom veneers. You will receive a temporary set of veneers while your custom ones are being fabricated. When the custom veneers are complete, they’ll be sent to the dentist’s office where they will be permanently cemented on your teeth. The skilled dentist at our office in Fayetteville can determine if veneers will work for your smile.
You can transform and renew your smile with porcelain veneers, which look and function like natural teeth. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kendrick to discuss renewing your smile with porcelain veneers by calling Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA, at (770) 460-9795.
For over three decades, Celine Dion has amazed audiences and fans with her powerful singing voice. Best known for her recording of "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song for the movie Titanic, Dion has amassed global record sales topping 200 million. In her early singing days, though, she struggled with one particular career obstacle: an unattractive smile.
The Canadian-born performer had a number of dental defects including crooked and discolored teeth, and—most prominent of all—abnormally large cuspid or "canine" teeth (located on either side of the four front incisors). They were so noticeable that one Quebec celebrity magazine gave her the unflattering nickname "Canine Dion."
This isn't an unusual problem. Since human canines are already the longest teeth in the mouth, it doesn't take much for them to stand out. Our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors needed these large, pointed teeth to survive. But with the evolution of agriculture and industry, canine teeth have become gradually smaller—so much so that when they're abnormally large, they don't look right in a smile.
So, what can be done if your canines embarrassingly stand out from the rest? Here are some of the options to consider.
Reduce their size. If your canines are just a tad too long, it may be possible to remove some of the enamel layer in a procedure called contouring. Using this technique, we can reduce a tooth's overall size, which we then re-shape by bonding composite resin to the tooth. It's only a good option, though, if your canines have an ample and healthy layer of enamel.
Repair other teeth. The problem of prominent canine teeth may actually be caused by neighboring teeth. When the teeth next to the canines are crooked, the canines can appear more prominent. Alternatively, other teeth around the canines may be abnormally small. Braces or clear aligners can correct crooked incisors, and applying porcelain veneers to smaller teeth could help normalize their length.
Apply dental crowns. In some instances, we can reduce the canines in size and then bond porcelain crowns to them. This is the option that Dion ultimately chose. The natural teeth are still intact, but the crowning process transforms them into properly proportioned, life-like teeth. There is, however, one caveat: The alteration to these teeth will be permanent, so they will need a crown from then on.
Besides crowning her canine teeth, Dion also underwent other dental work to straighten and whiten her other teeth. As a result, this superstar performer now has a superstar smile to match and so can you if your teeth are less than perfect. These or other cosmetic enhancements can give you the look you truly desire. All it takes is an initial visit with us to start you on the road to a transformed smile.
If you would like more information about various cosmetic solutions for your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”
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