Posts for: September, 2016
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
What your family dentist in McKinney, Texas wants you to know about Invisalign
Choosing the right orthodontic treatment is an important decision. Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your smile, and you want to get the best return on your investment. Thanks to modern techniques and materials, you now have a choice of several different treatment options, so what should you choose? Dr. Kenneth Sharp, your family dentist at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, Texas wants to share the magic of Invisalign.
Invisalign is the innovative, revolutionary new orthodontic treatment to achieve a straight, beautiful smile. One amazing feature is that no one will notice you are straightening your teeth! That’s right; Invisalign is virtually invisible to those around you.
There are many reasons why people consider Invisalign, and your family dentist in McKinney, Texas wants you to find your own reasons why it is the right choice for you. It is the discreet way to straighten your smile. Consider that Invisalign is:
- Comfortable, with no sharp metal pieces to irritate your soft tissue
- Convenient, because you can remove the appliance when you want
- Beautiful, because it’s made of clear, smooth plastic
- Quick, because Invisalign treatment only takes between 9 and 15 months
- Healthy, because you can remove the appliance to brush and floss normally
- Satisfying, because you can eat the foods you love without worrying about food getting caught in your braces
Your family dentist in McKinney, Texas begins your treatment with the first set of clear plastic appliances called aligners. You wear this first set for 2 weeks and then receive a new set, which you wear for the next 2 weeks. Every 2 weeks you change aligners until your teeth are straight. The entire Invisalign treatment takes between 9 and 15 months.
Invisalign from your family dentist in McKinney, Texas can correct the same alignment issues as conventional braces including teeth that are overlapped, rotated, poorly aligned or spaced widely apart. Major bite issues can also be corrected including overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite.
If you want a straight smile, you should consider Invisalign, the most modern, state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment available. Don’t wait to get the beautiful smile you deserve. Call Dr. Kenneth Sharp, your family dentist at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, Texas. Get started on your new, straight smile by calling today!
We all have habits: things we do every day often without consciously thinking. Some of them are good; some not so much. And many of them took root in childhood.
That's why it's important to help your children form good habits in their formative years, especially regarding oral health. Here are 4 areas to focus on developing good dental habits — and avoiding bad ones.
Keep teeth and gums clean. The best defense against dental disease is stopping plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, from building up on tooth surfaces. That means brushing and flossing each day, along with regular dental cleanings and checkups. You should begin cleaning your child's teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth with a clean towel or rag at first and later brushing them. Eventually, teach your children to brush and floss for themselves. Dental visits should also begin around their first birthday.
A nutritious diet equals healthy teeth. The saying, “You are what you eat,” is especially true about teeth. Help your child form a nutritious diet habit by providing meals rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, quality protein and dairy products. You should also restrict their sugar intake, a primary food for bacteria that cause tooth decay; try to limit sweets to mealtimes and avoid constant snacking.
Avoid habits with hidden dangers. Actually, this one is about you — and what you might be doing to increase your child's risk for dental disease. Avoid actions that increase the chances of transmitting oral bacteria from you to your infant, like kissing on the lips or licking a pacifier to clean it. You should also avoid giving your child night-time bottles or sippy cups filled with milk, formula or any sweetened liquid — likewise for pacifiers dipped in something sweet.
Steer them away from future bad habits. As children become teenagers, they're eager to stretch their wings. While this is normal and good, they can get into habits with dire consequences for oral health. You should by all means steer them away from tobacco use or oral piercings (tongue and lip bolts especially can wreak havoc on tooth structure) that can harm their teeth and gums.
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 “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”