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Kids Dental

Sealants to Fight Tooth Decay:

October 16th, 2019

The main way to ward away tooth decay and dental disease is to brush teeth twice daily, and floss at least once. However, even a careful brusher may miss the nooks and crannies on the tops of teeth. Molars especially can have an irregular shape, and in the spaces between the peaks and valleys, food debris and bacteria can thrive.

Anyone who’s diligent enough to work the bristles of the brush over all the surfaces of each tooth should be able to clear away any of the debris or plaque that can lead to tooth decay or, between the spaces of teeth, gum disease. And careful, diligent brushing habits are paramount to a healthy mouth, but there are also sealants, put in place by your dentist at Premier Smile, that work to ensure that your efforts with the toothbrush and a strand of floss are not wasted.

Statistically, sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay by 80%. Amazing that such a small thing can have such a great impact on oral health. And while sealants are an obvious health benefit for adults, statistics also show that school-age children who don’t have sealants—over 50% of children studied did not have sealants—are three times more likely to develop cavities than their childhood counterparts.

To understand what a sealant is and how it works, first let’s talk about tooth decay: a cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by acids produced by bacteria. Bacteria produce these acids when they are able to feed on the sugars within leftover food debris.

So, when a sealant is applied to the tooth, it covers the surface, both at the peak and in the valley, on the tooth and prevents food debris from settling. And sealants are simple for your dentist at Premier Smile to apply. Your dentist will apply the sealant onto the grooves of the tooth, and then use a blue light to harden the sealant. Simple and effective.

If you have any other questions about dental sealants, or if you are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Fluoride is Necessary and Important: Here’s Why…

September 17th, 2019

Fluoride is important for many reasons. First, did you know that cavities and tooth decay are the most common disease in both adults and children? It’s true, and that statistic applies to both adults and children worldwide. And fluoride is the simplest and safest method to limit and prevent the onset and spread of cavities. Fluoride protects the teeth: it helps to make teeth stronger and naturally resistant to acid. Remember that cavities are caused by the acids produced by bacteria: bacteria feed on the sugars we eat and drink and produce acid. This acid wears away the enamel, the hard, protective, outer coating on the teeth. And fluoride, which is added to many public water supplies throughout the world, can help prevent cavities and even reverse the decay, in its early stages.

Fluoride in the water supply is nothing to worry over. In fact, it’s been named one of the great public health achievements in the 20th century. People often fret over the addition of chemicals, but fluoride is a naturally-occurring element in nature, and water is the best choice of beverage for both adults and children, because, unlike juices and sodas, which are usually loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners—both of which are bad for both the teeth and the body—clean water helps to rid the teeth of sugars and food debris, and also keep the body healthy and appropriately hydrated.

And even though fluoride is added to water, it’s still important to use a toothpaste that includes fluoride among its ingredients. Use a toothpaste that is approved by the FDA, and brush twice daily. And remember to floss at least once every day, and drink plenty of clean water.

If you have any questions about toothpaste, the appropriate toothbrush, or if you would like to schedule your next visit to see your dentist at Premier Smile—remember that twice yearly dental visits are an important component to dental health—then call Premier Smile today.

Healthy Summer Smiles:

August 14th, 2019

Every season and holiday poses a unique challenge to a healthy, bright smile. But it’s possible to enjoy the seasons and holidays, partaking in the typical treats and participating in the seasonal activities, and still keep that smile bright and healthy. Here’s a few tips to keep your smile healthy and bright during the remainder of the summer season.

A major obstacle during the summer months, especially in households with children, is to keep to a regular dental care routine. Oftentimes in the warmer months we spend time doing things much later in the evening: a firework show, BBQ, etc. And it can be difficult for people to continue to stick to a routine. Children awake well-past usual bedtimes, watching fireworks or roasting marshmallows over the embers of a fire, might feel overly tired and neglect their teeth when it’s finally time for bed; or they may have fallen asleep on the drive back home, and they are put straight to bed. It’s important to always keep to a regular dental routine: brush teeth twice daily and floss at least once. Decay can take hold quickly, and without regular cleanings could lead to cavities and other dental problems.

The summertime is the perfect time to enjoy sugary drinks: lemonade and other sports drinks are often the first to be reached for when the temperatures rise. But remember to drink plenty of water, and if you do reach for a glass of lemonade or a sugary tea, consider either cleaning your teeth or, at the very least, drink water immediately after to help clean the mouth of the excess sugar.

And possibly the most important tip to keeping your smile bright and healthy in the summer months is to pay a visit to your dentist at Premier Smile. You may be reluctant to visit the dentist this time of year, but you should always stick to twice-yearly checkups/cleanings. It’s also the perfect time to get children in to see the dentist, because you won’t have to pull them from school to make the visit.

If you are ready to schedule your next visit to see your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Vacation and Dental Health: Prepare for Anything…

July 10th, 2018

When you are on vacation, the number one dental tip you should always try to remember is to keep to your regular dental routine of brushing twice and flossing once. Remember, your mouth does not realize you are going on vacation, and in fact it’s while on vacation that many of us eat those undesirable goodies, drink sugary beverages, etc. So, remember to keep to a routine and keep your teeth and gums clean. In addition, here’s a few more tips to keep your mouth healthy while on vacation.

Keep to Regular Dental Visits

Regular Dental Visits are important for many reasons, but before you go on vacation it’s important to remember to go in to Premier Smile for a routine check-up. Your dentist will be able to determine problems long before they become physically apparent to you. Not only does this allow you peace of mind while on vacation, but it also provides your dentist with up-to-date information on the current state of your mouth. If you have a dental emergency while on vacation, and you know the number to Premier Smile, then your dentist can help walk you through the problem; sometimes, a dental emergency can wait until you get home for treatment, while in other cases you may need to go in for an emergency dental treatment.

Tooth Brush Tips:

The toothbrush can be one of the most confounding-to-pack items. But it doesn’t have to be. To keep it simple, pack your toothbrush in a simple plastic sandwich bag; the bag will help protect the tooth brush from dirt and grime and it can also be easily opened and stored once you get to your destination. If you forget your toothbrush, you can get away with a simpler cleaning, placing a small amount of toothpaste on the tip of your clean finger or on a damp, clean rag, and brush. And while this does work to clean the mouth the effectiveness of the cleaning is subpar to a cleaning from a bristled toothbrush, and you should try to find a replacement toothbrush soon.

Teething: When to Expect a Baby’s First Tooth

June 9th, 2018

Probably you don’t need to know the signs and symptoms of a teething baby. The most obvious sign that a child’s first tooth is coming into his or her mouth are irritability and restlessness. The baby may have difficulty sleeping at night, and he or she may seem distracted and confused during the day. It’s easy to see why this entirely natural process is irritating and possibly even painful: a baby is born with all twenty of his or her baby teeth already below the gum line, and when those teeth sprout they literally push up through the gum tissue.

When to Expect a Baby’s First Tooth

A baby will typically begin to sprout his or her teeth between the ages of 6 and 12 months; he or she could begin sooner or even later than that, but this is a good guideline. Once the baby has begun the teething process he or she will continue to sprout all twenty teeth by the time he or she is around three years old.

Normal Baby Teething Symptoms

A baby who is teething will be naturally fussy. They will have trouble sleeping occasionally, and the loss in sleep could escalate his or her fussiness during the day. It is also normal for a baby to have a decreased appetite while teething.

Not Normal Symptoms

A fever is not a common symptom of teething. A baby’s fever could be caused by any number of reasons and should not be ignored. Also, diarrhea and a rash are not direct signs of teething alone, and if the condition persists you should contact your baby’s pediatrician.

Alleviate Symptoms of Teething

Oftentimes a baby’s symptoms can be alleviated or at the very least lessened in intensity by applying a cool cloth to the gum tissue; place your finger inside the cloth and gently massage the baby’s gums. A clean teething ring can also bring some comfort to a teething baby.

When a baby develops teeth it’s time for his or her first visit to the dentist. Oftentimes, bringing a child to the dentist early in his or her life will lessen the potential anxieties of going as they get older.  Call Premiere Dental today!

Oral Care For Your Baby

March 5th, 2018

A baby needs his or her gums and initial teeth cleaned as frequently as his or her parents. It’s not true that because a baby is going to receive a new set of adult teeth that the health of baby teeth can simply be ignored. Plaque begins to form on a baby’s gum line as soon as he or she takes that first bit of milk or formula into his or her mouth. To clean a baby’s gums, even before his or her baby teeth have sprouted, use a soft, damp cloth and gently massage the baby’s gum line. You can begin to do this just a few days after birth, and continue with it until a child has sprouted all his or her baby teeth.

When a child gets his or her first tooth then it’s time to brush. Use a tiny amount of toothpaste—a toothpaste that’s meant for small children (if you have any questions as to the types of child toothpastes then talk to your child’s dentist at Premier Smile)—the amount of toothpaste used should be in an amount that’s comparable to a grain of rice—small. Massage the child’s tooth or teeth with a child-sized toothbrush twice a day. Keep a tooth brushing routine and the child will begin to adopt the habit as they grow.

As the child gets older, and he or she has a mouth full of teeth, you can begin to up the dosage of toothpaste—in an amount no larger than a pea—and he or she can help you brush his or her teeth. As the child gets older and more autonomous you can have the child brush his or her own teeth, but until the child is autonomous enough to handle the entire process, alone, you should still be present to supervise.

Also remember that a child’s first dental visit should happen early. Plan on bringing your child into Premier Smile so that he or she may not only have their teeth cleaned and examined, but he or she will also experience the dentist’s office; hopefully, in giving them a proper introduction to the dentist they will be less likely to develop a fear or anxiety.

February is Childrens Dental Health Month: What to Know!

January 29th, 2018

As an adult, your oral care routine tends to remain fairly static for a large part of your life. Brush and floss. Rinse, perhaps, if you’re fond of it. And, unless you need prosthetics, that’s about all you’ll ever do. But, what about your kids? Toddlers? Adolescents? What sort of routine should they follow? Is it the same as yours? And, should it change from time to time? Since it’s February, and Children’s Dental Health month is upon us, let’s take a quick dive into “what’s-what” from toddlers to teens when it comes to oral care.

Infants/Toddlers:
Use a warm washcloth or gauze pad to wipe your child’s gums after feedings. While most infants don’t begin sprouting teeth until around month six, you’ll still want to keep their gums free of oral bacteria that can develop from normal feeding.
Before your child’s first birthday, visit the dentist for an initial check-up
Around month six, and with the arrival of a child’s first teeth, ask your dentist if it’s the right time to start brushing. For tips on how to make this first step in oral care fun, check out our article on toddler tooth-brushing training tips!
Pre-schoolers:
By this age, your children will be brushing like a mad person. Be sure they learn not to brush too hard. Teach by example, and they’ll keep this good habit their entire lives.
Once a child starts to have teeth that touch, you can introduce flossing. This is extremely variable, and not really related to age, so work with your dentist on this one.
Begin experimenting with disclosing tablets so your child can see how effective their brushing is as they learn to wield a brush on their own.
Grade-schoolers:
Brushing and flossing should be the norm by this time in a child’s life. Experiment with a variety of floss options to find one that works for your child. Rotate between floss picks as well, to what works for your kids.
Once a child learns to spit (this time varies widely) an alcohol mouth rinse could be used if warranted. Ask your dentist, but at this age, there isn’t often a need.
Teens:
Everything changes when kids become teenagers. Orthodontic appliances of all sorts come into play, and oral care can start to seem like a burden. Some kids also start consuming high carbohydrate and acidic beverages, so brushing and flossing are obviously required, and mouthwashes can be used particularly for kids with braces.
Proper prosthetic care is important to keep one’s mouth smelling and feeling fresh, so, yes … brushing the retainer becomes part of the routine.
Be sure your kids are getting up-to-date lessons on brushing technique from their dentist and/or hygienist.
So, as you can see, setting an oral care routine for your little ones is mostly about prepping them for brushing, the middle years are about getting them into the habit of doing things on their own, and (to a degree) the teenage years are, at least a little bit a fallback to having to be a bit of a watchdog on your kids behalf. They’ll gladly, and sometimes vehemently disagree with you as to how to take care of their teeth … your fun is in learning how to encourage, support and provide foresight without being too much of a parent while doing it! And, of course we are always here to lend help and support!

Happy Holidays!

December 5th, 2017

The holiday season is a hard time for teeth; if for no other reason than the perpetual snacking: parties, an office get-together, gift boxes of candies, platters of cookies and other sugary treats, champagne and/or sugary ciders (beverages like Martinelli’s sparkling cider are often overlooked as being bad for teeth). The holiday season is a lot of fun. And, no, you don’t have to entirely abstain from sugary foods over the holiday season, but you do need to be mindful, and you will need to continue your daily oral care routine of brushing at least twice—sometimes more but we’ll get to that in a moment—and flossing at least once.

Being Mindful

There are so many delicious food options during the holiday season that it can be overwhelming. Remember, your teeth need adequate time to recover from eating and drinking beverages—all except for plain water. If you are snacking on delicious food all day everyday throughout the next month or so, then your teeth, and the natural systems your mouth has to fight against cavities—i.e. saliva—won’t be given adequate time to do the job.

Have a plan. If you are going to be attending a holiday party in the middle of the day—i.e. that yearly potluck-style party at the office where everyone brings in platters of cookies and other baked goods, candies—then pack with you a toothbrush and toothpaste. Clean your teeth after such an event. Yes, your mouth can handle quite a lot, but don’t overdo it. Brushing after the midafternoon party, for approximately two minutes, you can get your mouth back into shape.

Remember to avoid chewing hard candies, always. Not only can a hard candy potentially crack a tooth, it can remain stuck in the gaps between teeth and on a tooth’s surface, doing its sugary damage for long periods before finally being dissolved by saliva.

We hope you have a happy holiday season, and we hope that through all your enjoyments you will be mindful of your eating habits and keep to a quality oral care routine.

Wisdom Teeth

November 7th, 2017

Wisdom teeth are appropriately named, because they are a set of molars that don’t grow up through the gums until later in life. Usually, wisdom teeth begin to sprout when a person is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, although it varies—some people get them sooner, others later. Wisdom teeth can sometimes be helpful, because that extra set of molars helps us chew our food. Unfortunately, many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, because there isn’t enough space for them in the mouth.

Problems of Wisdom Teeth

Oftentimes, wisdom teeth don’t have the room to grow. Because the molars develop so much later than other teeth, oftentimes well after a mouth has fully developed—sometimes after a dental appliance, such as braces, have already aligned the teeth—there isn’t room for these extra molars. And there’s no easy way to predict how the wisdom teeth will grow in the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted (impacted means that a tooth is trapped beneath the gum line, possibly even in the jaw). If wisdom teeth grow too closely to other teeth, it’s possible that food debris can get trapped in the spaces between. Sometimes these tight spaces can be very difficult to keep clean. Sometimes they grow so close to the neighboring molar that it becomes difficult, if not practically impossible, to floss. And when the spaces between teeth are not cleaned, bacteria thrive; and, when bacteria are allowed to thrive, a mouth can suffer from conditions such as infection and gum disease. Also, when wisdom teeth grow too close to their neighboring molars, they can damage those other teeth, destroying the roots, or even damaging the bones in the jaw that support those teeth.

Removal

When wisdom teeth overcrowd, or when they do damage to a mouth, they should be removed. Your dentist at Premier Dental will be able to determine if there is a potential issue. You and your dentist can discuss possible treatments, or, when wisdom teeth don’t require immediate removal, a plan to monitor their growth. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, your dentist at Premier Dental is ready to answer them.

Why Premier Dental Hosts 4th Annual Candy Buy Back...

November 2nd, 2017

Holidays and Sugar
Halloween has come and gone, yet the candy lingers. We know the amount of sugar presented to kids at this holiday and most is absurd, and we know that excess sugar leads to tooth decay and a whole host of other issues (you can read about : Ten Ways Sugar is Hurting Your Kids ). Unfortunately, many of our American traditions involve copious amounts of sugar!
  • Birthdays = Cake
  • Easter = Chocolate Eggs & Jelly Beans
  • Christmas = Cookies & Candies
  • Independence Day = BBQ (full of sugar!) & Ice Cream
  • Thanksgiving = Pumpkin Pie
  • And of course, Halloween = Candy
Learning Moderation: Spacing out the candy stash for a specific amount of time can help parents keep within the 3-6 teaspoons of sugar a day recommended by the American Heart Association*. The typical U.S. child eats around 20 or more teaspoons a day, so getting your kids within the recommended amounts most likely means you will have to take sugar out of the rest of your kids meals and snacks. Think: no juice, no soda, no sugar snacks, no honey, no syrup those days. This might be hard, but it will teach not only moderation, but also trade-offs, which are a big part of life.
Giving/Sharing: Keeping only the candy your children really love, and giving the rest away, will reward them twofold: First, the brain enjoys things more when it is not overwhelmed by too many choices and when the so-so options are weeded out. (We actually get less enjoyment when our candy stashes are peppered with mediocre candies.) Give away any candy that is not in your kids' top 10 sweets, and they will be even happier with what is left. Second, giving candy away will also teach charity and sharing.
Premier Dental is hosting their 4th annual Halloween Candy Buy Back on November 6th, 2017. Kids are encouraged to bring in their candy and receive cash and register for prizes. The candy is donated to the U.S. service men and women! It's a definite win-win.  Premier Dental has also partnered with two local schools, Rohwer Elementary and Sandoz Elementary to collect candy and donate the money to the school. The kids get a prize for donating, the school earns money and the candy is out of the hands/mouths of kids.

Why We Floss

September 10th, 2017

We all know that flossing is important. But why? Why, daily, should we have to slip that strand of floss between our teeth, clean out the space down to the gum line? Don’t a toothbrush’s bristles get far enough into those narrow spaces? The number one reason to floss is to help to rid the surfaces of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can develop plaque, which, if allowed to thrive, will then harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bacteria that are allowed to thrive can cause chronic conditions such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. Bacteria allowed to thrive can be responsible for halitosis (bad breath).

How to Floss

Flossing is relatively simple, and if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience (it’s estimated that over thirty percent of adults who are over the age of thirty don’t floss—at all) with a week’s worth of practicing you will have mastered the skill. First, start out with a strand of floss about 12-18 inches in length. (It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use; floss comes in numerous sizes, colors, and flavors—they all work!). Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and work it into the space between two teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth keeping your hands at opposing angles that make the floss bend around the tooth—it should look like the letter C. It’s easiest to begin at a tooth at the edge of the mouth, or a tooth in the very center, so that you will remember which teeth you have already cleaned.

If you have issues with dexterity, there are appliances which can be used with just one hand. One such product is a soft plaque remover, which resembles something like a soft toothpick, and the other appliance is a flossing aid, which traps the ends of the floss between two prongs, and the flossing aid can be maneuvered over the spaces between the teeth, using just one hand.  To schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

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