Posts for: July, 2018
Parenting doesn't come with an instruction manual, so advice from experts on how to care for your child is always helpful. How to properly brush a child's teeth is often on the top of a new parents' list. That's why your children's dentists in Prior Lake, MN, Dr. Michael Babcock, Dr. Tom Morgan, and Dr. Jolyn Jaberi, have outlined a few of the ways you can help your child achieve good toothbrushing habits from infancy onward!
It may seem pointless to start brushing if your baby only has one or two teeth, but establishing this ritual early will help them get used to the feeling of brushing and the taste of the paste. For their safety and comfort, your Prior Lake children's dentist recommends buying a fluoride-free toothpaste and using a finger brush, which is made from soft, flexible rubber and fits over your finger. If your baby doesn't have teeth yet, try using a warm, dampened washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe their gums clean.
As with infants, your Prior Lake children's dentist recommends brushing your child's twice a day using fluoride-free toothpaste until they're old enough not to swallow it (approximately age 3). Since an independent toddler's favorite word is often "No!", choosing a tasty toothpaste and brightly-colored toothbrush with soft bristles and their favorite cartoon character can help convince them of the necessity. A fun distraction like counting or singing a song may help a busy toddler engaged for the amount of time it takes for you to brush each of their teeth. By age two, they're ready to practice spitting into the sink, which doesn't take long for them to master!
By sticking to a good oral hygiene routine in their earlier years, your children are much more likely to be conscientious about their brushing habits as they get older. Kids can start brushing with supervision around age four or five; they can start using mouthwash around this time as well. Brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time should be the goal. If your child is wearing orthodontic devices, you may need to discuss different tools with your Prior Lake children's dentist to ensure that their teeth are being cleaned effectively.
Checkups twice a year at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental in Prior Lake, MN, is essential for good dental health, regardless of the patient's age. To schedule an appointment, or to learn more tips about how to care for your child's teeth, contact us today!
Your mouth is a lot like the Wild West — home to millions of bacteria and other microbes, some of which are definitely not “the good guys.” But your teeth are well-protected from these hostile forces and their acidic waste products: with enamel shielding the visible part of your tooth, your gums protect the parts you can’t see.
As effective as they are, though, your gums aren’t invincible: their greatest threat is periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection arises from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles accumulating on teeth due to inadequate brushing and flossing.
The infected tissues soon become inflamed (red and swollen), a natural defensive response from the immune system. The longer they’re inflamed, however, the more likely they’ll begin detaching from the teeth. The gums may eventually shrink back or recede from the teeth, often causing them to appear “longer” because more of the tooth is now exposed to view.
Gum recession doesn’t bode well for your teeth’s survival: the exposed tooth and underlying bone can become even more susceptible to infection and damage. In the end, you could lose your tooth and portions of the supporting bone.
Treatment depends on the severity of the gum recession. In mild to moderate cases, we may only need to perform the standard gum disease treatment of removing plaque and calculus from all gum and tooth surfaces (including below the gum line) with special instruments. This helps reduce the infection and allow the gums to heal and re-establish attachment with the tooth. In more advanced cases, though, the recession may be so extensive we’ll need to graft donor tissue to the area using one of a variety of surgical techniques.
Although the right treatment plan can help restore your gum health, there’s another approach that’s even better — preventing gum disease in the first place. You can reduce your disease risk by practicing daily brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist regularly or when you see symptoms like gum swelling or bleeding. Taking care of your gums won’t just save your smile — it might also save your teeth.
If you would like more information on diagnosing and treating gum disease, 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 “Gum Recession.”
When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.
“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”
The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”
A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.
It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.
So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
How dental implants from your dentists in Prior Lake, Minnesota can fill-in your smile.
Gaps between your teeth can leave your smile looking incomplete. An incomplete smile can make you feel less attractive because your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. It’s time to think about closing the gaps with dental implants! Your dentists at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental in Prior Lake, Minnesota and serving Shakopee, New Prague & Savage MN want to introduce you to dental implants, the best way to fill-in your smile.
Dental implants offer benefits which other methods of tooth replacement can’t match. People choose dental implants over partials, dentures, or dental bridgework because dental implants are:
- Completely stable; they are embedded in bone and are a permanent addition to your smile
- Naturally beautiful; the implant functions as a tooth root and is topped by an implant crown. The crown material reflects light just like your natural teeth.
- Healthy; you brush and floss them just like your natural teeth; your dental implants will never decay and they are stain resistant.
Dental implants may even help you look younger too. That’s because dental implants help your body create more bone to fuse with the dental implant. If you have worn a denture for a long time, you may have noticed that your jawline is not as firm as it once was. That’s because dental appliances put pressure on your jaws and cause the bone to diminish over time.
Dental implants don’t put pressure on your jaws. Instead, because more bone is created, dental implants give you a firmer jawline and add back your youthful facial fullness, which are the hallmarks of a younger-looking face.
Whether you have lost a single tooth, multiple teeth, or you wear a denture, dental implants can provide life-long function and beauty to your smile. Dental implants can help you enjoy the foods you love without worrying about slippage, and they look virtually identical to natural teeth.
Dental implants can close the gaps and make you want to smile again. You deserve to look your best, and it all begins with a great smile. For more information about dental implants and other restorative and cosmetic dental services call your dentists at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental in Prior Lake, Minnesota and serving Shakopee, New Prague & Savage MN today!
People with missing teeth have more replacement options than ever before, including the ever popular but often more expensive dental implant. But there has also been an expansion of choice on the more affordable side of dental restorations. The flexible removable partial denture (RPD) is one such choice.
Though RPDs have been around for some time, the newer flexible RPD offers some advantages over the more rigid traditional RPD. They’re made of a kind of nylon that’s pliable but also strong and durable. This material is thermoplastic, meaning when heated it can be injected into molds based on a patient’s individual mouth to form an accurate denture base. The gum-colored base can also be formed to cover any receded areas of the gums, which can greatly improve smile appearance.
Older versions of RPDs are made of rigid acrylic plastic that stay in place in the mouth with metal clasps that attach to remaining teeth. The flexible RPD, on the other hand, is secured with finger-like nylon extensions that fit and hold in the natural teeth’s concavities near the gum line. This, along with its relatively light weight, offers a more comfortable fit.
But aside from these benefits, flexible RPDs do have a few drawbacks. Although fracture-resistant, they’re not easy to repair or reline to readjust the fit to accommodate mouth changes. They can stain (though not as much as a traditional RPD), so they require diligent cleaning and maintenance.
We consider the whole category of RPDs as “temporary” restorations, meaning they’re intended as a transitional phase between tooth loss and a permanent restoration like a natural tooth-supported fixed bridge or dental implants. For some, however, the flexible RPD might be a more long-term solution. As mentioned before, to extend their life as much as possible they should be removed daily and cleaned thoroughly. And like any form of denture, they should not be worn overnight.
In either case, flexible RPDs offer an effective way to restore not only dental function diminished by missing teeth but an improved appearance as well. With careful maintenance, they could serve you well for some time to come.
If you would like more information on flexible partial dentures, 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures: An Aesthetic Way to Replace Teeth Temporarily.”