I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
If you have a small child, you may be excited when you first get a glimpse of your little one's teeth. The first teeth to present are usually the two teeth in the center of the bottom palate. Once the first two little pegs appear, it is important to take care of them properly. Here are a few reasons why and what you can do to care for your youngster's teeth.
A primary tooth holds the position for a permanent tooth.
A primary tooth is a place-keeper for the permanent tooth that lies beneath the gums. If the primary tooth is not cared for properly, it may be lost too soon due to decay. As a result, the permanent tooth may not present in proper alignment.
It can take years of orthodontic treatments to correct a dental misalignment. The expense and inconvenience can be saved by simply caring properly for the primary teeth.
Dental decay in a primary tooth can spread to a permanent tooth.
Dental decay occurs when bacterial acid damages the tooth enamel of a tooth. The decay can subsequently spread to deeper layers of tooth material, such as the dentin or pulp. As the decay worsens, the likelihood of the tooth becoming irreparable and of the decay affecting the underlying permanent tooth increases.
Once the decay invades the pulp of a tooth, the dental nerves of the tooth may be affected, and the decay can result in a large amount of discomfort for your child. For small cavities, a dental filling may be enough to treat the decay. However, for larger, deeper cavities, a filling must be accompanied by a dental crown or cap. Still, in the most severe cases of tooth decay, an extraction may be necessary.
There are things you can do to protect the primary teeth.
Here are a few things you can do to help keep your child's baby teeth in good shape:
Brush and floss regularly. Be sure that your little one brushes correctly for at least two minutes twice daily. Flossing should be performed at least once per day. If your child is unable to floss properly with string floss, use a water flosser instead.
Discourage use of a bottle at times of rest. Wean your child as early as possible, and be sure to remove the bottle before the child naps or goes to bed at night. Using the bottle as the child rests can result in baby bottle decay, a serious form of pediatric tooth decay.
To learn more about protecting your child's primary teeth, schedule an appointment with a dentist like those found at Neu Family Dental Center in your area.