How Early Do I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

At University Dental Arts, our professionals get asked this question a lot.  New mothers and fathers can have many questions surrounding baby teeth.

When do babies get their first tooth?

Teeth can appear as early as 6 months and as late as 12-14 months.  The arrival of this important milestone will vary among children.  It is crucial to be aware that as soon as a tooth is visible, decay can begin.

Why are baby teeth important if we lose them?

Your child’s teeth are important parts of their development! Chewing, talking, and smiling for family photos all utilize your child’s set of temporary teeth.  Damage to baby teeth can cause spacing problems for adult teeth.  Decay is another concern.  Cavities in baby teeth need to be addressed quickly as they carry risks for future development.

When should I take my baby to the dentist? 

The ADA recommends that you schedule a visit with your dentist between the moment the first tooth appears and no later than 12 months.  Our dentists are professionals and can help prepare you to know the best practices to keep your child’s smile bright and healthy!  Our dental team will also pay attention to any potential problems and give advice on avoiding sweets and thumb sucking.

Tooth decay in baby teeth can grow into a serious issue. Schedule an appointment today with our team at University Dental Arts today. We are here to answer your questions!

Teeth Whitening: At-Home(DIY) vs. Professional Treatments

Having whiter teeth is not just a matter of good looks. For most people, great-looking teeth can be essential as a confidence booster! It is not surprising to see how popular teeth whitening services have become! 

If you are looking to get your teeth whiter, you have many options at your fingertips. From home-grown solutions to products you can buy, and professional treatments, anything goes.

Most DIY whitening solutions at home might give you some good results. However, a professional treatment is always going to be the sure-fire option for peace of mind and great results.

DIY teeth whitening can have many pitfalls. If you use incorrect products or dosages, for instance, you might risk staining or damaging your teeth rather than whitening them in a very uniform way. By contrast, you can always rely on the experience and knowledge of a qualified professional. Our specialized professional treatments are performed by experts who have a wealth of background in the industry and have access to the best tools and equipment to get the job done with no compromises. 

 

Sugar: Quantity or Duration?

We all go to great lengths to keep our teeth as healthy as possible. However, it’s easy to not understand the impact that sugar has on our teeth. One of the most common topics in relation to teeth health is definitely sugar intake. As you might know, sugary foods may facilitate the formation of dental cavities. Essentially, some bacteria in your mouth might feast on the sugar that’s lodging in your teeth, and as a result, they create cavities (tooth decay).

To prevent too much sugar intake, some people opt to drink a single latte or bag of candy throughout the day. The idea is that by eating only a single item it may not impact your teeth as much. The truth is quite different. As it turns out, it’s actually better for your teeth to eat more sugar at once than tiny amounts spread throughout the day! Sugar is more prone to damage your teeth by prolonged exposure than the amount of sugar. If you must drink a soda, try and limit it to your lunch break or a single meal. Doing this will give your teeth the fighting chance they need to stay cavity free!

The Dangers of Brushing too Hard

Teeth problems even when you brush every day? You might be putting
too much strength into it!

Brushing your teeth every day is very important. However, you could
actually do more harm than good if you don’t do it right! Keep reading
to learn more about the dangers of brushing your teeth too hard!

Issues with your gums.

If you brush your teeth with too much strength, you might risk
damaging your gums by causing irritation, cuts or bruises. In turn,
inflamed gums can quickly morph into gingivitis and gum disease.

Wearing down tooth enamel.

Every single day, we expose our teeth to a certain degree of acidity,
especially after we eat or drink certain things.

Carbonated beverages, as well as foods that are highly acidic (such
as pickles or vinegar), can cause the enamel of your teeth to become
temporary softer for quite some time after you eat. For this reason,
brushing your teeth too hard soon after eating or drinking acidic things
might wear your enamel significantly.

What’s the best way to do it?

Use a brush with softer bristles if possible, and brush your teeth
gently, in a circular motion to target your teeth. Avoid brushing too
strongly on your gums!

Preparing Children to Visit the Dentist

It’s not just the kids: even grown-ups can scare easy before visiting the dentists!

The good news? These fears are unfounded because dentists are caring, professional and knowledgeable individuals. They know how to make patients feel comfortable, in most situations. Having said that, children might benefit from a little extra encouragement. With some easy steps, you can make them feel more comfortable before a dental appointment. Keep reading to learn more about some simple tips to prepare children for their scheduled dental visits.

Consider explaining the procedure and why it is important for them to visit the dentist.

Some kids might be scared of what they don’t know or understand. To put their mind at ease, it might be worth considering explaining the procedure. Use gentle terms and avoiding gruesome details! Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your child. Awareness of the situation can actually enhance the kid’s experience at the dentist.

Don’t stress and keep a positive attitude.

Oftentimes, parents might be more stressed than their kids at the dentist’s office. Their anxiety might transfer to their children, making them feel nervous. As a parent, you can accomplish so much if you are able to maintain a positive attitude, and act as a good role model for your child.

In conclusion, these are only some of the most amazing tips you can use to improve your child’s experience prior, during, and after a dental visit!

Tips to Develop Healthy Brushing Habits in Children

Oral health is very important, yet often overlooked. Parents should make sure to teach their kids how to take care of their teeth properly from a very early age.

Taking care of teeth early on in life will prevent many problems for years to come, and foster healthy tooth development. Keep reading for some easy tips to help your children develop healthy brushing habits!

Explain why brushing is important.

Some parents use a very authoritarian approach, simply forcing their kids to brush their teeth. The problem with this approach is that kids they will see brushing teeth as a boring chore. Even worse, they will miss the importance of healthy teeth!

The best way to help your children develop good oral health habits is to actually explain things to them. Tell them why it is important, and why they need to brush teeth every day!

Make sure they don’t brush their teeth too hard.

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to brushing teeth is the strength needed. Some people think that you need to brush your teeth as strong as possible. However, this might be more harmful than helpful, especially for kids! Brushing teeth too hard can deteriorate tooth enamel, as well as damage the gums.

Teach your kids to brush twice a day, relatively softly, using a gentle circular brushing motion. This is the best way to maintain healthy teeth, as well as fighting decay and gum disease.

Prevent your kids from eating too much sugar.

It’s hard to stay away from candy and treats, but it’s important to tell your kids that too much sugar will hurt their teeth, especially if they don’t brush properly!

The best approach is not to forbid sugary treats, but definitely promoting moderation. A coca cola or a candy bar shouldn’t be a daily indulgence, but once-in-a-while treats!

Abrasion vs. Erosion | What is Tooth Enamel Loss?

Commonly known as the hard and outer surface layer of the teeth, tooth enamel protects the teeth against decay. Considered the hardest mineral substance in the body, it’s even stronger than bone. Despite its strength, acids from drinks and foods can pose a risk to teeth enamel. Over a long time, the acid buildup results in plaque bacteria that destroy tooth enamel.

Tooth damage is divided into two types such as abrasion and erosion. Abrasion is caused by something that rubs against the teeth. This can be brushing your teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush, using toothpicks, or scraping your teeth when removing dentures. Erosion, on the other hand, happens when the tooth enamel is exposed to acids from sweet drinks and starch-rich foods.

Tooth enamel loss is easy to diagnose. Signs include a change in shape and color, recurring sensitivity, extreme roughness, acid reflux (heartburn), and bulimia (repeated vomiting). The good news is that tooth enamel loss can be avoided. The bad news is that once enamel loss has occurred, the enamel will never recover without a dental procedure. Studies show that consistent checkup from a reliable dentist helps to minimize the risks.

A sweet smile is beautiful, and missing enamel can enormously affect your confidence. Before your tooth enamel loss, rely on a professional physician. Dr. David Redford is the reason families choose University Dental Arts. More than his experience and knowledge, he’s friendly and approachable. He treats every client with value, making him the sought-after specialist in Cherry Creek, Denver, Lodo, and other surrounding areas.

The Main Causes of Bad Breath

How does your breath smell? Bad breath has happened to all of us at one point or another. This is an unpleasant and common problem, but do you know the cause?

1. Hygiene
To counteract bad breath, we first must look at the hygiene of your mouth. If you do not brush regularly, if you do not use dental floss, harmful bacteria can attack tooth enamel and produce cavities. Do not forget to replace your toothbrush at regular intervals because microorganisms can settle in and infect your mouth. Regular cleanings at the dentist will also help minimize bad breath. If the problem persists, you may be suffering from caries (bacteria reservoirs), canker sores, and inflammation of the gums or infection. After eliminating all medical causes, know that you can improve your breath by rinsing with a solution of baking soda twice a week. Some essential oils like mint, lemon, rosemary or eucalyptus are effective.

2. Morning breath
When you wake up, your mouth may feel dry and uncomfortable. As you sleep, salivation decreases and smelly bacteria begin to multiply: when you wake up, you have bad breath. Brushing and flossing at bedtime will keep your mouth clean during the night. Since saliva acts as a natural mouthwash, try breathing through your nose to prevent your mouth from drying out. But the best way to get rid of bad morning breath is to get up and brush your teeth.

3. The food you eat
The foods you eat change your breath, especially those with high aromatics like onions and garlic. Saliva enzymes start digestion as soon as you start grinding food in your mouth, but as soon as their food components enter the bloodstream, they enter the lungs where they are expelled by breathing. Brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth or sucking on a mint candy can only mask those bad smells. To eliminate bad breath, avoid certain types of foods such as meat, sugar, very fat or very spicy food, as well as dairy products.

4. Sinus infection and allergies
Smelly bacteria are attracted to proteins found in mucus and phlegm. When you have a sinus infection, a cold or allergies, your sinuses produce more mucus. As this mucus goes down your throat, it makes your breath different from what it normally is.

5. Gum disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. People who suffer from it are more likely to have bad breath because of the accumulation of bacteria. If you cannot get rid of bad breath even by brushing your teeth and flossing every day, you are encouraged you to go to your dentist to see if you have an illness.

6. Dry mouth
Dry mouth disease occurs when the production of saliva in your mouth decreases. The purpose of saliva is to clean your mouth and remove food debris. Permanent problems with salivary glands or the habit of breathing through the mouth can lead to bad breath. Chewing sugarless gum can help you salivate and chase away bacteria from your mouth, leaving you with fresh breath.

7. Smoking
Not only does smoking leave a tell-tale smell of ash, but smoke changes salivation: your mouth becomes dry. The chemicals found in cigarettes can also cause bad breath; smoking can mostly cause heart disease and a range of cancers including that of the mouth.

8. Untreated health issues
Bad breath can be a sign of some health problems: respiratory tract infection, post-nasal discharge, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis and diabetes. If your dentist declares that your mouth is healthy, you should see your family doctor determine where bad breath can come from.

9. Digestive disorders
An unhealthy diet can cause gastric acidity that rises along the digestive tract to the mouth, inflammation of the esophagus or stomach ulcer-causing bad odors. You have to change your diet and in particular ban some foods like garlic, onion, spices, among others. Consumption of alcohol and smoking are also prohibited. Brush your teeth without forgetting the tongue.

Prevention and Treatment of Bad Breath
If you want to avoid eating gum and sweets, even without sugar, other products will allow you to have “great smelling breath”:
Avoid heavy consumption of tobacco, coffee or alcohol
Drink water, six to eight glasses a day to hydrate your mouth
These simple measures should reduce or halt bad breath. If not, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.

Periodontitis and Other Gum Diseases

Periodontitis is a severe inflammation of the gums in the mouth. If inflammation of the gums remains long, deeper parts of the supporting tissue of the teeth and molars (jaw bone, root cement and root membrane) can also become involved in the inflammatory process. Then periodontal degradation occurs. You then speak of periodontitis, in which loose teeth (sometimes even falling out), bad taste and bleeding gums are the main symptoms.

What is Periodontitis?
Gum disease can spread in depth to the jaw bone around the teeth and choose. This allows the gums to separate from the teeth and to remove. In the space (the pocket) that occurs between the gums and the teeth and molars, plaque forms again. Because of this plaque, the inflammation moves even further in. The fibers begin to break through the swelling, and the jawbone is broken down. This makes the pockets deeper. In the lowered pockets the plaque partially calcifies to tartar. This progressive inflammation with a breakdown of fibers and jaw bone is called periodontitis.

Characteristics of Periodontitis
Periodontitis can remain unnoticed for a long time because it often does not involve – or only at a very late stage – symptoms. Some features that can occur are red, limp and swollen gums, bleeding gums when brushing or eating and receding gums. A bad taste or bad breath can also indicate periodontitis. Periodontitis rarely causes pain. Only in an advanced stage of periodontitis do symptoms arise. These can, for example, consist of the loosening of teeth and/or the creation of gaps.

Sensitive Teeth
A periodontitis patient also sees his gums withdraw; you speak of a gingival recession. The patient will then suffer from sensitive teeth and exposed tooth necks. The cause is the bone that disappears around the teeth and automatically follows the gums with pockets.

Bad Breath
The breakdown of the support tissues is almost imperceptible and can only be detected by having periodic examinations carried out by the dentist and dental hygienist. Often, a person suffering from periodontitis suffers from bad breath, including sulfur-producing bacteria.

More Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms that the patient sees is the movement of the teeth on the front of the teeth (the front elements). Observing an opening between the central front teeth is almost always a symptom of periodontal destruction. The patient can see this himself by comparing old photographs with the current situation or hearing from others. The dentist examines this with x-rays to determine the cause. It is also essential to find out in which period the movement has occurred or increased.

Consequences of Periodontitis
If the gum recedes too far, it can look unsightly. Because the roots are partially exposed when the gum recedes, the teeth and teeth can be susceptible when brushing or drinking hot, cold, sweet or sour drinks and eating food. Eventually, periodontitis can cause so much of the jawbone to disappear that the teeth will loosen and eventually fall out.

Prevention of Periodontitis
Bleeding gums means that there is gum disease (gingivitis). Do not ignore this signal, but take action to get the gums healthy again. The cause of inflamed gums is a dental plaque. That is why it becomes more imperative to keep your mouth clean. Tools for cleaning your mouth can be (electric) toothbrush, toothpaste, toothpicks, dental floss, brushes, gauze and a tongue scraper. Dental plaque and tartar under the gum line (subgingival) can only be removed via the dentist and dental hygienist. That is why people who do not go to the dentist – often anxious persons – may be more likely to suffer from periodontitis. Always consult with your dentist or dental hygienist which tools are most suitable for you.

Treatment of Periodontitis
Timely treatment can prevent the loss of teeth and molars. By good oral hygiene, you can contribute to the healing of periodontitis yourself. Also, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar in the recessed pockets by professional dental cleaning. The tooth plaque above the gum line should be removed daily by proper oral hygiene. With a toothbrush, you can brush away the plaque on the surface. With tools such as brushes and toothpicks, you can remove the plaque between teeth and teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will tell you which tools are suitable for your mouth. The combination of good oral hygiene and dental cleaning usually removes the inflammation and attaches the healthy gums to the teeth.

After the Treatment of Periodontitis
When the root and tooth surfaces are clean after surgery, good oral hygiene at home can prevent new dental plaque from quickly getting underneath the gums again. Proper aftercare during treatment (counseling and periodic dental cleaning) by the dentist and dental hygienist can prevent a chance of further periodontal decay, both now and in the future.

Risk Groups for Periodontitis
It has been proven that some people have more tendencies for periodontitis than others. Often, specific bacteria play an essential role in this. Some groups are at extra risk:

  • Smokers: In the case of smokers, periodontitis is more common than in non-smokers. Also, the severity of periodontitis in smokers is greater. Smokers even respond less to the treatment of periodontitis.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes also gives an increased chance of developing periodontitis. Diabetes also increases the likelihood of developing abscesses during periodontitis.
  • Stress: Mental stress can suppress the body’s defenses. As a result, the chance of developing periodontitis increases and the adverse effects of periodontitis can be higher.
  • Pregnancy: systemic diseases and medication use can also affect periodontitis. That is why it is important that your dentist and dental hygienist are aware of your health.

Healthy Dental Practices for a Healthy Smile

Though Oral hygiene is vitally important for maintaining your overall health and well being, it is actually quite easy to. But that’s fine Denverites! Listed here are a few dental practices that you should try to follow to avoid a negative visit to your Denver Dentist.

Don’t forget to floss!

Flossing is as equally important as brushing, if not more. While the primary purpose is to get rid of the little food particles stuck between the teeth, flossing also helps to prevent cavities, reduce plaque and keeps your gums in excellent condition.

Brush well

It’s no point brushing your teeth just for the sake of it. Perform this task actively. Don’t be lackadaisical and careless in your approach. Remember, merely shoving the brush inside your mouth won’t get you rid of the plaque and germs!

Don’t neglect the tongue and gums!

Plaque doesn’t just build up on your teeth; it also accumulates on your tongue and below your gums. So brush your tongue and ever so gently and clean your gums to avoid a host of oral health problems.

Eat right

Avoid eating too much of the sweet stuff. Try to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and grains. Most importantly, drink as much water as you possibly can to give a mini-rinse to your mouth in between meals.

Brushing technique/equipment/habits etc.

Brush twice a day at the very least.

Use fluoride toothpaste only.

Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every 3 months or so.

Make sure that when you brush, your toothbrush motions towards and across your teeth and gums and not in a haphazard and directionless manner.

Visit your Denver Dentist once every 6 months.

 

Adhere to these healthy dental practices to keep your teeth and gums in good shape!