Posts for: June, 2017
As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce
We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.
Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.
Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.
Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.
What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.
If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Do you have periodontal disease? The disease, also called gum disease, can cause severe pain, loosen your teeth and even destroy the bone in your jaw. Fortunately, several dental treatments can help reverse the changes caused by the disease. Our Bethesda, MD, dentist, Dr. John Kelly, discusses symptoms of periodontal disease and explains treatment options.
Bleeding shouldn't be ignored
Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Bleeding may be a sign of gingivitis, the initial stage of periodontal disease. Other symptoms may include gum swelling, bad breath or receding gums. Prompt treatment of gingivitis can help you avoid the unpleasant consequences of periodontitis, the more severe form of the disease. Gingivitis is treated with a deep cleaning in our Bethesda office. Unlike a regular dental cleaning, a deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line.
Gaps around your teeth aren't normal
Periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets infected with bacteria. If you have periodontitis, other symptoms may include bright red gums, pain when you chew, pus around your teeth, chronic bad breath and loose teeth. Antibiotics kill the bacteria but do nothing to improve the condition of your gums. Luckily, several treatments can restore your gums and improve your oral health.
Flap surgery eliminates the pockets. After tartar is removed from your teeth, your gums are firmly stitched around your teeth. In some cases, laser surgery is used to treat pockets. If damaged gum tissue must be removed during surgery, gum grafts can be used to replace the missing tissue. You may also benefit from bone grafts if the infection destroyed part of your jawbone. Lost teeth can be replaced with dental implants, restorations that bond to your jawbone and feel very much like natural teeth. If you choose this restoration option, you'll need to wait for your gums to heal completely before proceeding.
Regular dental exams and cleanings can reduce your periodontal disease risk. If it's been a while since you've seen a dentist, or you're concerned that you have gum disease, call Bethesda, MD, dentist, Dr. Kelly, at (301) 657-3220 to schedule an appointment.
If you've known anyone who has worn braces, you know what comes after — wearing a retainer. This can be kind of a letdown after all those months with braces, but it's absolutely necessary.
That's because teeth have a tendency to “rebound” to their pre-orthodontic positions once the force to move them stops after the braces are removed. Retainers help keep or “retain” moved teeth in their new positions and prevent them from reverting to the old.
When you think “retainer,” you probably picture a removable appliance with a wire that fits over the front of the teeth. While that may be the most common type, it isn't the only one. There's another called a bonded retainer, a thin piece of wire bonded to the back of the teeth that need to be retained. Unlike the other type, a dentist must remove a bonded retainer when it's no longer needed.
The biggest advantage of a bonded retainer is its invisibility — the wire is behind the teeth so no one can see it as with a removable retainer. The wire is bonded to the teeth with a dental composite material and then light-cured to create a strong attachment.
Another advantage is especially pertinent to younger patients. Because it's permanently attached and can't be taken out, there's no constant reminding of the patient to wear it — and no more worries about replacing a lost one.
They can, though, be difficult to floss around leading to potential plaque buildup that increases disease risk. It's very important you receive proper hygiene instruction for cleaning under the bonded retainer. Another concern is that they can break under excessive chewing pressure. And as with the more common retainer, we wouldn't want to remove it as that will result in the teeth's relapse to their old positions.
To learn which retainer is best for your situation, you should discuss the options with your orthodontist. Regardless of which type you choose, though, a retainer is a must for protecting your investment in that new smile.
If you would like more information on orthodontics and retainers, 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 “Bonded Retainers.”