Beginning good dental hygiene habits at an early age is crucial to your child’s oral health throughout their life. However, many parents may not be fully aware of what their child’s dental hygiene routine should consist of. Your dentist can help you and your child understand the best practices for a daily and long-term dental hygiene routine. Find out more about pediatric dentistry and what makes a solid at-home oral care routine important with Upper East Smiles in New York, NY.
How often should my child see their dentist?
The American Dental Association says that all dental patients, regardless of their age, should see the dentist twice a year for routine examinations with their dentist and cleanings performed by a dental hygienist. These regular visits allow dentists to keep track of a child’s growth and development and find and treat any issues like cavities quickly to stop them in their tracks.
How will my dentist help me instill good dental habits in my child?
Seeing the dentist regularly from an early age has proven to instill good oral hygiene habits and reduce the chances of developing dental anxiety or dental phobia. We go above and beyond to establish a good relationship with your child, with a happy, fun environment and a kid-friendly, show-tell-do approach to introducing your child to the dentist’s office and routine check-ups.
What should my child’s daily oral care routine consist of?
Good dental care begins before a child has any teeth at all. As an infant, children’s parents should wipe their gums with a damp, soft cloth after feedings. When their first tooth erupts, brushing twice a day with a child’s toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste will keep teeth decay at bay. As the teeth grow close enough together to touch, begin helping your child floss between each tooth at least once a day.
Children’s Dentistry & You
Starting good oral hygiene habits early will benefit your child for the rest of their life. For more information on ensuring that your child is confident about their dental visits and caring for their teeth, please contact Upper East Smiles in New York, NY. Call 646-864-1808 to schedule your child’s appointment with your dentist today!
At Upper East Smiles, we offer many dental treatments, including the services of an orthodontist for the New York, NY area. An orthodontist is a dental doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, correction, and treatment of bad bites due to teeth being overcrowded or placed in an abnormal way that may affect the way you eat, speak or smile. They create a healthy bite by straightening your teeth.
Orthodontists are most commonly associated with braces, particularly if you are a child, but they offer many more services and options, including lip and jaw realignment. More recently, adults have been actively seeking out smile correction by utilizing the services of an orthodontist.
Types of Orthodontic Treatments
In most cases, an orthodontist will need a comprehensive approach involving several types of orthodontic treatments. Your orthodontist will likely treat you for between one and three years, and that is why residents of New York, NY, needing an orthodontist should seek treatment from a dental practice like Upper East Smiles, which is easy to reach for appointments. Orthodontic treatments are broken down into three main categories.
Braces are small brackets placed on your teeth with dental cement using wire and elastics to hold them together. They apply pressure to your teeth and force them to move. Braces are a gradual process, and your orthodontist will tighten the wires every few weeks to move the teeth into the correct alignment.
While a dentist may fit braces themselves, they will more often refer you to an orthodontist specializing in dental and facial irregularities or malocclusion.
Aligners are plastic and look a bit like mouth guards, and they are placed over the teeth and usually worn overnight while you are sleeping. Similar to a plastic retainer that holds teeth in place after braces, an aligners benefit is that they are removable and less noticeable than braces. Like braces, they gradually correct teeth alignment, and new sets of aligners are made regularly as your teeth move into place.
Occasionally, surgical correction is required to improve a bad bite, particularly if the position of the jaw bone is the cause of the bad bite. Other surgical interventions include removing excess teeth or moving them from the palate.
If you have more questions about orthodontists or need the services of an orthodontist in New York, NY, or any other kind of dental service, then contact Upper East Smiles at (646) 864-1808 so that you can have straight teeth and a confident smile!
The NBA's reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo may seem unstoppable, but he proved no match for a troubled tooth. Antetokounmpo, the self-proclaimed “Greek Freak,” missed one of the final three 2020 regular season games for a dental issue that resulted in last-minute oral surgery. According to a Milwaukee Bucks spokesperson, the star underwent “a root-canal like procedure.”
Root canal therapy, often simply called “a root canal,” may be needed when there is an infection inside the tooth. When dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected, excruciating pain can result. Pulp is the soft tissue that fills the inside of the tooth. It is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. During root canal treatment, the pulp is removed, the space inside the tooth is disinfected, it is filled with a special material, and then the hole is sealed up.
A root canal is nothing to fear. It relieves pain by getting rid of infection and is so effective that over 15 million of them are performed in the U.S. each year. This routine procedure generally requires only local anesthetic, and your mouth should be back to normal within a day or two after treatment. Antetokounmpo can attest to that, as he returned to play the next day.
However, delaying root canal treatment when you need it can have serious consequences. If left untreated, an infection inside the tooth continues to spread, and it may move into the gums and jaw and cause other problems in the body. So, how do you know if you may need a root canal? Here are some signs:
Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. One sign of nerve damage inside your tooth is pain that is still there 30 seconds after eating or drinking something hot or cold.
Intense pain when biting down. You may feel pain deep within your tooth, or in your jaw, face or other teeth. The pain may be hard to pinpoint—and even if it improves at times, it usually comes back.
A chipped, cracked or discolored tooth. A chip or crack can allow bacteria to enter the tooth, and the tooth may darken if the tissue inside is damaged.
A pimple on the gum. A bump or pimple on the gum that doesn't go away or keeps coming back may signify that a nearby tooth is infected.
Tender, swollen gums. Swollen gums may indicate an infection inside the tooth or the need for periodontal treatment.
And sometimes there is no pain, but an infection may be discovered during a dental exam.
Tooth pain should never be ignored, so don't put off a dental visit when you have a toothache. In fact, if a bad toothache goes away, it could mean that the nerves inside the tooth have died, but the infection may still be raging. Also, be sure to keep up with your regular dental checkups. We may spot a small problem that can be addressed before it becomes a bigger problem that would require more extensive treatment.
Remember, for dental issues both large and small, we're on your team! If you would like more information about tooth pain, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”
There are few things sweeter to hear than for your dentist to tell you your periodontal (gum) disease is under control. Depending on how deep the infection may have advanced, your treatment journey may have been a long one.
Unfortunately, while the battle may be over, the threat still lingers—once you've experienced a gum infection, you're at higher risk for a recurrence. To minimize that risk, you may need to undergo dental cleanings on a more frequent basis than before.
The average patient typically sees their dentist for cleanings every six months. The aim of these visits is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of bacterial-laden particles that is the prime source for gum disease. These cleanings are meant to supplement a daily habit of brushing and flossing, which should remove the bulk of plaque that builds up throughout the day.
After gum disease treatment, though, you may need to have these cleanings more frequently, and of a more involved nature than the normal cleaning. For patients who've overcome advanced gum disease, that frequency could initially be every other week, every couple of months or every three months. This frequency may change depending on the status of your gum health.
Besides a thorough cleaning, a specialized periodontal maintenance visit may include other interventions. For example, your dentist may apply topical antibiotics or other anti-bacterial products to keep bacterial growth under control.
Protecting you from further gum infection isn't totally on your dentist's shoulders—you also have a role to play. You'll need to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly every day, along with using any other hygiene products prescribed or recommended by your dentist. Daily hygiene will help prevent the buildup of dental plaque and subsequent bacterial growth.
You'll also need to keep a watchful eye on your gums for any emerging signs of infection. If you begin to notice swelling, pain or bleeding, contact your dentist as soon as possible to initiate remedial treatment.
Gum disease treatment can bring your gums back to a reasonable state of good health. But that state could be reversed with a returning gum infection. Only vigilance practiced by both you and your dentist can stop that from happening.
More than one parent has wakened in the middle of the night to an unnerving sound emanating from their child's bedroom. Although it might seem like something from the latest horror flick is romping around in there, all that racket has a down-to-earth cause: teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is the involuntary habit of gnashing the teeth together when not engaged in normal functions like eating or speaking. It can occur at any time, but frequently with children while they sleep. Adults may also grind their teeth, but it's more prevalent among children.
While stress seems to be the main reason for adult teeth grinding, many health providers believe the habit in children is most often caused by an overreactive response of the neuromuscular system for chewing, which may be immature. Other conditions like asthma, sleep apnea or drug use may also play a role.
Fortunately, there doesn't appear to be any lasting harm from young children grinding their teeth, although they may encounter problems like headaches, earaches or jaw pain in the short term. Most, though, will outgrow the habit and be no worse for wear.
But if it persists beyond childhood, problems can escalate. Adults run the risk of serious cumulative issues like chronic jaw pain, accelerated tooth wear or tooth fracturing. It's similar to finger sucking, a nearly universal habit among young children that poses no real harm unless it persists later in life.
And as with finger sucking, parents should follow a similar strategy of carefully monitoring their child's teeth grinding. If the habit continues into later childhood or adolescence, or noticeable problems like those mentioned previously begin to appear, it may be time to intervene.
Such intervention may initially include diagnosis and treatment for underlying problems like upper airway obstruction, asthma or stress. For short term protection against dental damage, your dentist can also fashion a custom mouthguard for your child to wear while they sleep. Made of pliable plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other during a grinding episode.
Outside of some lost sleep, there's little cause for alarm if your child grinds their teeth. But if it seems to go on longer than it should, you can take action to protect their long-term dental health.
If you would like more information on teeth grinding, 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 “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
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