Dental Tips Blog

Mar
10

Dentist Day

March is known for going in like a lion or out like a lamb. It also marks the beginning of spring, Mardi Gras and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know it is also the month of National Dentist Day, celebrated each year on March 6?

According to 2012 figures by the American Dental Association, there are nearly 196,000 practicing dentists in the United States. California has the highest number, with more than 30,000. Wyoming had the fewest, with just 293.

While most practicing dentists are general dentists who work on patients of all ages, there are a number of specialists:

Pediatric DentistsDentists who specialize in children’s teeth are called pediatric dentists. They are trained in the care of developing teeth and other issues related to children, ages 0 to 19 years old.

Periodontists – Periodontists treat diseases of the gum, roots or bone. They also perform dental implant procedures.

Orthodontists – This type of dentist treats improper bites, also called malocclusions. If you have braces, you are usually being treated by an orthodontist.

Prosthodontist – This growing area of specialty concerns the construction and placing of artificial teeth, including bridges, implants and crowns.

Dental Pathologist – When a general dentist needs a second opinion for a diagnosis, he generally calls in a dental pathologist, who is more scientist than practicing dentist. The dental pathologist uses microscopes and other laboratory means to track the source of oral disease.

Forensic Dentist – You might have seen a forensic dentist on a TV crime show. They are called in to assist medical examiners on autopsies, helping to identify victims and sometimes cause of death. 

In March, in between all your celebrations and monitoring of lions and lambs, do take time to acknowledge your favorite local dentist on National Dentist Day. Rather than sending cards or flowers, though, why not set up an appointment for that dental work you’ve been putting off?

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care

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Dec
31

Baby’s First Dental Appointment

Your baby’s life is full of exciting firsts and new experiences. As a parent, though, you also know just how disconcerting some of those firsts can be, and the first trip to the dentist can certainly fall within this category. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a dentist by the age of one year, or within six months of the eruption of a first tooth. Knowing what to expect from the first dentist’s visit can help to soothe your anxieties, which may then be passed along to your child.

What to Expect

While the first dental visit is important in terms of establishing good oral hygiene patterns and acclimating your baby to regular appointments, there’s a good chance he’ll receive little in the way of treatment during the first appointment. This visit is all about facilitating a non-threatening, friendly meeting with the person who will be caring for your little one’s oral health and checking for potential problems in the future.

Your baby’s pediatric dentist will check for issues with his gums, oral tissues and long-term bite problems. The dentist may also clean any existing teeth, and will determine the need for fluoride. Expect to get a thorough course in the proper care basics for your child, along with any anticipated issues. Because your child’s dentist will request a complete medical history for your child and require you to fill out necessary health information forms, be sure you’re prepared with any records or written notes to facilitate the exchange of information.

Many pediatric dentists prefer to maintain a six-month appointment schedule, both to bolster kids’ confidence and to monitor the development of teeth and oral tissues as your child grows.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care

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Dec
29

When Should You Start Caring For Your Child’s Teeth?

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Parents often put their children’s oral health before their own, frequently getting necessary dental care completed while the parent’s teeth aren’t as much of a priority. Many parents aren’t sure when to start getting care for their child, or when to implement which type of oral hygiene practices. The truth is, it’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth.

Care Starts Before Your Child is Born

Pregnant women need to take care of their oral health to prevent bacteria from being transferred to the fetus or their newborn baby. Women that chew gum with xylitol in it are more likely to have decreased plaque levels, and give birth to babies that have healthier teeth throughout their childhood.  

Begin Before Your Child Even Has Teeth

Start cleaning your baby’s mouth with a damp washcloth to prevent infections like thrush, and get them used to having something in their mouth. It will also help relieve soreness during teething. As teeth begin to erupt, switch to a soft baby toothbrush and clean the teeth twice each day with tap water.  Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist within 6 months of the first tooth erupting.

Help Your Child With Their Oral Care, Even if They’re Independent

We love to see our children do things on their own, but good dexterity that allows thorough plaque removal may not develop until they are closer to 10 years of age. Children should have an adult brush their teeth at least once a day for them until they are able to tie their own shoes. They can brush their teeth the other times that day, which encourages independence, practice, but also allows the parent a chance to clean their teeth. 

Encourage Them to Drink Water

Tap water has monitored levels of fluoride, which promotes healthy enamel development, discourages decay, and keeps the mouth clean throughout the day.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care

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