Table of Contents
- 1. Can my dentist tell how much I brush and floss?
- 2. Do bad teeth run in your family?
- 3. Does an electric toothbrush do a better job than the regular kind?
- 4. Does bottled water have fluoride?
- 5. My Child Has a Toothache. Should I Call the Dentist?
- 6. My Child Lost a Baby Tooth. What Should I Do Next?
- 7. My Child Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth. What Should I Do?
- 8. My Child’s Tooth Is About to Fall Out. Should I Help Him Take It Out?
- 10. What Sort of Toothpaste Should I Use?
- 11. What’s the most hygienic way to store my toothbrush after brushing?
- 12. When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
Dentists care about your smile and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. They also have the answers to all your queries about oral health questions. However, if you’re not sure how to ask them the questions you’ve always had about your teeth, a visit to the dentist can be intimidating. In this article, I’ll be addressing the most common questions I received, heard from colleagues, and saw asked on the web.
1. Can my dentist tell how much I brush and floss?
As a rule of thumb, if you have any health problem that causes you to bleed when you brush your gums, you’re probably not telling the truth. Yes, that’s a loose statement, but if it were possible to know that your gums are swollen or inflamed without realizing it, most people would realize that’s impossible and come up with a reason.
Proper dental care is essential if you want to regain your smile. A simple toothbrush will not do the trick. If anything, it will only make your gums more uncomfortable. It’s important to get regular checkups from a dentist to make sure your teeth are as healthy as they could be.
For some people, their gums bleed from the time they wake up in the morning until they brush their teeth. While it’s not uncommon for bleeding gums to indicate a condition, you should be more concerned about the amount of tartar buildup on your teeth if you frequently identify bleeding at night. Tartar can be costly to remove and should be monitored as it can lead to oral health issues like pain, tooth loss, or gum disease.
There’s hurt to lie to your dentist, but in the end, you are still a victim of your own (poor) dental hygiene habits. Taking care of your dental hygiene can help you live a longer life and improve your health. Take charge of your oral hygiene by finding someone who can give you the personalized help you need to achieve and maintain good oral health.
2. Do bad teeth run in your family?
Your child may actually be more prone to cavities because he has “strong” teeth. But even if he has strong teeth, his teeth are still vulnerable to decay due to genetics. To fight cavities, your child still needs to brush twice a day with fluoride, toothpaste, and floss once a day to prevent decay.
Bacteria cause cavities from the mouth, and sometimes they can be transferred to a child through food. Teeth are not fully formed until the age of 12, and they don’t stop getting cavities until they are 18,” says Dr. Debra Wootton, a senior dental officer at the American Dental Association (ADA).
Conditions that may run in the family
- Periodontal disease: usually shows up as swollen, red gums that look and feel different from the rest of the mouth. It’s a major warning sign something is wrong. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth decay, bone loss, and worse. Proper dental hygiene and regular dental visits are the best way to prevent gum disease.
- Cavities: if you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, consult your dentist for routine checkups and treatments to keep them in top condition. Tooth decay is a growing problem for Americans, affecting adults and children alike. Missing teeth can lead to oral discomfort and tooth loss. Preventing tooth decay is essential.
- Crooked Teeth: If your child needs braces, you probably know many other parents who have the same problem. For many, crooked teeth affect the way they eat and speak. But with the proper orthodontist, children can learn to pay attention to their bite and speak without the problem affecting their comfort.
- Cleft lip or palate: A cleft lip or palate means the sides of the mouth don’t grow together properly when you’re a baby. However, about one in 1,500 babies is born with a cleft lip or palate. Although it’s rare, you or your kid could have this condition if one side of your mouth doesn’t form like the other and the roof of your mouth doesn’t close properly.
3. Does an electric toothbrush do a better job than the regular kind?
When it comes to health, we all want to do everything we can to reduce our risk of illness. Electric toothbrushes have been shown in studies to be the most effective way to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. That’s why I always recommend using them instead of a manual toothbrush. They are far more efficient at cleaning your teeth. So when you use them effectively, it’s not about the toothbrush – rather, it’s about how you brush!
There are two important points in this sentence: effect and benefit. It’s not always the better choice, but it’s probably better for most people. In this new era, most people have access to too many choices. When people are overwhelmed by options, they will often choose the cheaper option – or something even cheaper – out of sheer laziness.
- Small toothbrush heads are valuable because they are shaped to fit into smaller mouths, making brushing easier. This is crucial when it comes to dental health and cleanliness. Of course, these small toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months.
- Timer. It makes a big difference if you can take the recommended 2 minutes. Studies show that people often stop brushing because it feels like a chore – and time passes slowly. First-time timers tell you to use a timer – so use one!
- The moving head actually makes it easier to get into hard-to-reach places. But there are many things that need to happen for this brush to work well – it needs the right combination of bristles (that hold the hair in place), a fine grip that allows movement, and a rotating neck that means it can reach those hard to reach places.
- Pressure sensors built into electric toothbrushes serve many purposes. The first is to prevent tooth wear. Instead of simply reducing pressure, the sensors can detect if the user is applying more pressure than necessary, which allows for better control over-brushing. Another use of the technology is to provide feedback on where the toothbrush should apply the most pressure to effectively remove plaque.
- Novelty and cost. Investing in a quality product is a clever idea for those who are beginning to brush their teeth. This is why manual toothbrushes have been around for so long, as those who have them are more likely to return to their brushing method than those who brush with electric toothbrushes. For those who are new to the world of dental hygiene, electric toothbrushes offer a gentle, clean, brushing experience, but only if they are used properly.
4. Does bottled water have fluoride?
This is important information for everyone, whether you drink bottled water or not. Fluoride has been added to water supplies in most cities and towns in recent years to reduce tooth decay in children. But for many people, like you, bottled water is their main source of drinking water. If you crave fluoride-rich tap water, it’s important to know that bottled water usually falls short.
Most bottled water does not contain fluoride. The best way to be sure is to check the label – it will usually tell you if the water has been processed in a way that results in fluoride in the bottle. Even better, call the number on the bottle. Brands that include this information are more trustworthy, and consumers are more likely to buy from them.
Fluoride in tap water is beneficial because it prevents cavities and tooth decay, among other things. Drinking bottled water could help families reduce the amount of fluoride they miss out on by drinking from the tap.
5. My Child Has a Toothache. Should I Call the Dentist?
Toothaches are not uncommon in young children. But as parents, we always worry when our child is in pain. A child’s toothache can have many causes – cavities, plaque, teeth falling out, decay, chipped teeth, or food stuck between teeth – and sometimes what feels like a toothache can be a pain caused by something else entirely! So what can you do if your child has a toothache?
First, ask questions. The first thing you should do is try to find out the cause of your child’s toothache. If they are old enough, ask them to point to or describe the pain. If they are younger, check for swelling, redness of the gums and cheek, tooth discoloration, or broken teeth. If you find a tooth that is loose, discolored, or broken, you have probably found the cause.
Subsequently, help your child remove any food debris that may be between the teeth. Remember to be gentle and careful when flossing, as your child’s gums may be sensitive. If your child has difficulty flossing or wears braces, consider purchasing a Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids to make flossing easier.
Depending on how excruciating the pain is, a toothache may be a symptom of one of the following dental problems:
- Chipped teeth/broken enamel
- Loose and/or missing fillings
- Tooth erosion and/or decay
- Food accidentally wedged between your teeth can become more painful over time. The wedging force that pushes the teeth away irritates both the roots and the gum line.
If your child is suffering from a toothache, it is important to be as gentle and careful as possible. If your child’s toothache becomes more serious, perhaps due to a cavity or a chipped tooth, you should not hesitate to visit our pediatric dentist in Folsom. If your child has never visited a dentist before and is generally afraid of dental treatments, you can give them details about the first visit, so they know what to expect. Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics will make sure that every child feels comfortable and safe throughout the visit, no matter the reason.
6. My Child Lost a Baby Tooth. What Should I Do Next?
Your child’s baby teeth usually begin to loosen around the age of six. This process continues for a few years until all the baby teeth have fallen out by age 10-12. The first baby teeth to fall out are typically the two lower front teeth and the two upper front teeth. The lateral incisors follow them, the first molars, the canines, and the second molars (in that order).
However, this process can sometimes be delayed by up to a year. So if a few months have passed since your child’s sixth birthday and the first teeth still haven’t erupted, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Of course, your pediatric dentist can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
It’s natural for children to lose their baby teeth, but some may be embarrassed by this gap in their teeth when they go to school. It’s important to explain that everyone loses teeth this way, and a new tooth is on the way to replace it. This is also a convenient time to gently remind your child that adult teeth are permanent, and they will never get a replacement, so proper dental habits are more important than ever.
This is also an excellent time to celebrate! Don’t forget to take pictures of your child’s new smile. You can even create a scrapbook to document the changes in your child’s smile over the years.
7. My Child Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth. What Should I Do?
Make brushing teeth a regular ritual that is fun! Put out your toddler’s toothbrush while you prepare your own. Children love to imitate. If your child sees you brushing your teeth nightly, they’ll be much more likely to understand that getting ready for bed is just part of the routine.
While brushing your teeth, talk about how important it is to get all the sticky bacteria off your teeth and make it sound like it’s fun. Mention how wonderful your teeth feel and check when you’re done!
Also, try to have another parent brush their teeth together. Let your son understand that brushing his teeth is something his parents do, too. Children are naturally interested in imitating their parents’ behavior.
8. My Child’s Tooth Is About to Fall Out. Should I Help Him Take It Out?
It can be irritating for your child and annoying for you to hear about it all the time. But the best way to pull the loose tooth is actually to do nothing. The recommended way is to let the tooth come out on its own. Then there will be less pain and less blood. A little tenderness and mouth care afterward should do the trick.
Many baby teeth fall out on their own. Or children pull them out with their fingers or tongue. Once a tooth is loose, only a tiny amount of tissue holds it in place. This usually makes it easy for children to remove their loose teeth. But if the loose tooth hanging by a thread bothers your child, he or she may ask you to pull the tooth for them.
10. What Sort of Toothpaste Should I Use?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water and helps prevent cavities and reduce tooth decay in children and adults. When the fluoride from toothpaste reaches your teeth, it is absorbed into the enamel and begins a remineralization process. This means it replenishes lost calcium and phosphorus, keeping your teeth strong. Any good toothpaste contains other ingredients to increase its effectiveness. Fluoride is the most important of them.
It is the main reason why tooth decay and cavities have drastically decreased over the last 50 years. This naturally occurring mineral protects your teeth when you eat. Every food you eat leaves traces of sugar and starch on your teeth.
Fluoride counteracts this problem in two ways. It strengthens enamel, the protective layer on the outside of your teeth, and this added strength makes your teeth less prone to chipping and cracking.
When you consume substances that stain your teeth, like coffee, cigarettes, wine, tea, and sugary drinks, the enamel weakens. Fluoride counteracts this problem, although you should still brush your teeth more often if you smoke or consume any of these products. Fluoride also combats earlier damage by reversing the process of tooth decay. For both of these reasons, when buying toothpaste, choose one with fluoride.
While some toothpaste is better for certain situations, the most important thing is that you use toothpaste at all and brush and floss regularly.
11. What’s the most hygienic way to store my toothbrush after brushing?
Toothbrushes should be stored upright in an environment where they can dry out completely between uses. For this reason, medicine cabinets are generally frowned upon as a place to store toothbrushes. You can keep your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet for a limited period, or leave it on the counter but place a toothbrush cover over it.
This can cause it to stop drying out as quickly, so dentists are generally against these covers. During the life of a toothbrush, you can periodically “sanitize” it by soaking the brush head in the mouthwash or even distilling white vinegar for up to eight hours.
12. When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
It’s never too early to start brushing your child’s teeth. Even before the first tooth erupts through the gums, bacteria build up in the mouth. Where do the bacteria come from? Sugars in formula or breast milk are the culprits. When the sugar sits on the baby’s gums, bacteria can form there. Although everyone has some bacteria in their mouth, your goal should be to prevent bacteria from forming en masse, as they can cause dental problems later on.
Brushing can begin as soon as your baby’s first tooth pokes through the gums. If your baby’s mouth is simply a gummy smile, you can use a damp soft cloth or finger brush to wipe the gums and remove bacteria. This will help prevent damage to baby teeth when they come in and get them used to have their mouth cleaned. Use a clean, damp washcloth, gauze cloth, or finger brush to gently clean the first teeth and the front of the tongue after meals and before bedtime.
Pediatric dentists prefer toothbrushes that are moistened with water and contain no more than a rice grain-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste. Brushes should be smooth and have no more than three rows of bristles (a pediatric dentist or your pharmacist can help you find the correct finger brushes and an appropriate baby toothbrush).
You should brush your baby’s teeth until he or she is mature enough to hold the brush. Supervise the process until your child can rinse and spit without help. This is usually around age 6.
Observe for signs of decay – brown or white spots or pits on the teeth. If you or your pediatrician notice problems, take your child to a pediatric dentist for a checkup.
I’m a General Dental Practitioner from Belgium living in the USA. I work Biotech Dental with my 20+ years of experience working in the dental industry and dealing with 1000’s patients, I hope to inform you and help you with my knowledge and the importance of dental hygiene.