Dental Tips Blog

Feb
27

What Is Fluorosis?

Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem that occurs in the enamel of forming teeth.  Fluorosis appears as faint white lines on the tooth.  Most are barely noticeable, but in some cases, these white lines may be seen during regular lighting.

Fluorosis most often occurs when a small child swallows an excessive amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Doing so changes the way the tooth is being formed in the gum, and the tooth develops with these faint lines across them.  There is no structural damage to the tooth, just the cosmetic changes in coloring with the faint white lines. Fluorosis can only develop when teeth are below the gum line;  once a tooth has erupted, fluorosis cannot develop.

The most important thing a parent can do to prevent fluorosis damage is to prevent a small child from swallowing toothpaste that contains fluoride. While it is important to teach children to brush at a very early age, the use of a specific children’s toothpaste is recommended.  Talk to your dentist if you are considering using an ‘adult’ toothpaste in a child under two.

Never use more than a small pea sized amount of toothpaste in children, in case of accidental ingestion.  Additionally, teach children to spit (not swallow) after brushing to avoid the potential of fluorosis.

Fluoridated water may contribute to fluorosis if used to mix baby formula in infants with no teeth.  If you have a baby and are using water to mix formula, talk to your pediatric dentist about the advantages and disadvantages about the use of fluoridated water.

With a little bit of prevention, your child should never develop fluorosis.  If you have concerns about fluorosis, make an appointment to see your regular dentist.

Posted on the behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Feb
14

Cleft Lip and Palate

Sometimes children are born with a common birth defect known as a cleft lip or a cleft palate.  Clefts simply mean a space that does not close all the way.  Sometimes cleft lips or palates occur alone, and in other cases they occur together.  If your child was born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate, your pediatrician has probably already spoken to you about corrective surgery.  If not, you should talk to him about this as soon as possible. Surgeries to repair the cleft can begin as early as three months, and more than one surgery may be required.

When you meet with the surgeon, make sure you include your pediatric dentist or family dentist in the plan. Correction of cleft lips and palates may cause a need for braces later in life, and if your dentist is aware of the issues, he or she can closely monitor your child.

Consider taking your infant to the dentist a bit earlier than normal if they do have a cleft, so that a relationship can be developed and the dentist can have a memory of the extent of the cleft and the repair to be done prior to working with your child the first time.

While it may seem overwhelming if your child was born with a cleft, do know that these are always repairable. Talk with your healthcare team and know that they are all there to help you, and help your child achieve the best possible outcomes. Include your dentist in the team as you move forward, and they will also be there to help you as you move through this process.

Dec
10

Choosing a Dentist

If you’ve moved to a new town it can be a hard decision when it comes to choosing a new dental care provider. Putting off preventive dental care can result in the development of oral diseases that won’t be found until later on when you start feeling the symptoms. It’s important to be able to find someone you trust and are comfortable with that can provide you with preventive care early on when you move to a new town.

You can first begin looking for a dentist by asking coworkers, family, friends and neighbors about who they use. What have their experiences with the office been like? What type of financial policy does their dentist have with insurance coverage? Hearing repetitively good feedback about a certain provider can be a good way to start. Likewise, a couple of bad remarks from different people is a red flag that you probably won’t get the care you’re looking for in a particular office.

Do you need a specialist such as a pediatric dentist or cosmetic dentist? Or would you prefer a general family dentist that can see your entire family? Choosing the type of dentist and their location can help narrow down your choices. Do any of those dentists seem to have a better relationship with the community? Do they sponsor local organizations, schools and clubs? Chances are if they do, you’re likely to find someone that really cares about the community that their office is a part of.

Some patients prefer evening and weekend appointments. These times aren’t typical of traditional offices, but they’re getting to be more common in practices every day. Keep in mind that these appointments are usually the first ones to go, so schedule well in advance to be able to get the time that is best for your needs. 

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