Once they learn to walk, there's no stopping most children. Sometimes it can be a little jarring, as when you discover your toddler on top of the kitchen counter reaching in the cupboard on tip-toes for a snack!
Fortunately, children are fairly resilient. Unfortunately, they're not invincible — some of their adventures could result in physical injuries, especially to the highly vulnerable area of the mouth.
Even if you've carefully “child-proofed” your home, it's still best to be prepared for mishaps. Here are 3 common dental injuries and how to handle them.
Soft tissue injuries. Making contact with the ground or hard objects like furniture can injure the lips, tongue, cheeks or gums and cause bleeding, cuts or bruising. First, clean the area with clean water and a cloth or gauze as best you can, making sure there aren't any trapped pieces of tooth or dirt. Apply gentle, continuous pressure with a clean cloth to control bleeding, and apply ice packs or cold compresses for swelling. Don't apply bleach, aspirin or similar medications to open wounds. If the bleeding won't stop or the wounds look serious or deep, go to an emergency room.
Chipped or displaced tooth. A blunt force mouth injury can chip or push (displace) teeth out of position. In this case try to save any chipped pieces you find — your dentist may be able to re-bond them to the tooth. A displaced tooth is a dental emergency, so contact your dentist immediately. Don't try to re-position the tooth yourself unless it's completely knocked out.
Knocked-out tooth. Actions to take with a knocked-out tooth depend on whether it's a permanent or primary (baby) tooth. If permanent, rinse the tooth with clean water. Handle it by the crown (never by the root) and gently place it back in the empty socket. If that's not possible, place the tooth between your child's cheek and gum (if the child is old enough not to swallow it by mistake. You can also place it in a glass of cold milk. Get to a dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible — minutes count for a successful reattachment. Conversely, don't try to put a primary tooth back in its socket — you could damage the developing permanent tooth beneath the gum line. But do see a dentist as soon as possible for an examination.
Find out if you have what it takes to get porcelain veneers.
It’s amazing how much a smile can make or break a first impression or encounter. If you find yourself feeling anything but confident about how your smile looks then you may find yourself avoiding social situations. But our Milwaukee dentist, Dr. Paul Scholl, has some good news. A simple restoration known as a dental veneer could quickly transform your smile. Find out if you could be the ideal candidate for this cosmetic dentistry.
Your Dental Issues
While there are many cosmetic dentistry options out there, not all of them can offer the results you’re looking for. So, how can you tell if veneers are the best option? Well, one way is to determine which issues you want to correct with the help of dental veneers. Some problems that can be treated with veneers include:
- Chips, cracks and other wear and tear on teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Malformed or misshapen teeth
- Minor misalignment (crooked or crowded smiles)
All smiles must be in the best of health before you can get cosmetic dentistry in Milwaukee. This requires us to perform a thorough evaluation to look for issues such as decay or gum disease. If you don’t have any of these issues then we will most likely deem you a great candidate for veneers.
Your Tooth Enamel
If you are someone who grinds their teeth then we may notice that your teeth have a lot of excessive wear and tear. In this case, there may not be enough tooth enamel needed to properly support your veneers. This is something we will be able to determine when you come in for your consultation.
Before you get cosmetic dentistry it’s important that you are committed not only to caring for your oral health but also your new restorations. While dental veneers are made from durable porcelain, they aren’t impervious to damage. Certain bad habits like teeth grinding or using your teeth as tools can break your veneers. If you want to keep your veneers healthy you’ll want to maintain smile-friendly habits and nix those bad habits for good.
Art of Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, is ready to help you achieve a beautiful smile that you will feel confident in. A smile says so much about you. Call us today to schedule your cosmetic consultation.
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.
You know the basics of great oral hygiene: Brush and floss daily; see your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups; and watch your diet, especially sweets.
While these are the basics for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, there are a few lesser known things you can do to enhance your hygiene efforts. Here are 4 extra tips for better hygiene.
Use the right toothbrush. As the old saying goes, “There's a right tool for every job.” Brushing your teeth is no exception. Most people do well with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with a head small enough to maneuver easily in their mouth. Toothbrushes wear out, so switch to a new one every three to six months or if the bristles become too soft or worn.
…And the right brushing technique. Hard scrubbing might apply to housework, but not your teeth. Over-aggressive brushing can lead to gum recession. A gentle, sustained effort of about two minutes on all tooth surfaces is sufficient to remove plaque, the bacterial film most responsible for dental disease.
Wait a while to brush after eating. Before hopping up from the meal table to brush, consider this: eating many foods increases mouth acid that can erode your teeth enamel. Fortunately, your body has a solution — saliva, which neutralizes mouth acid and helps restore minerals to your enamel. But saliva takes thirty minutes to an hour to complete the buffering process. If you brush before then you could brush away miniscule amounts of softened minerals from your enamel. So wait about an hour to brush, especially after consuming acidic foods or beverages.
Drink plenty of water. Your mouth needs a constant, moist environment for optimal health. But smoking, alcohol and caffeine can cause dry mouth. Certain drugs, too, can have mouth dryness as a side effect. A dry mouth is more susceptible to plaque formation that can cause disease. To avoid this, be sure you drink plenty of water during the day, especially as you grow older.
If you would like more information on taking care of your teeth and gums, 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 “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Find out if sugar could be the sneaky culprit that’s leading to your dental problems.
Hearing that you have cavities is never ideal. If you brush and floss regularly you may be scratching your head trying to figure out what could be causing your decay. Our Milwaukee, WI, dentist Dr. Paul Scholl reveals that your sweet tooth could become a decayed tooth if you aren’t careful.
While biting into that chocolate bar during that 2 pm lull or chowing down on a cold ice cream on a hot summer day may pump out all those happy brain feelings, it could be doing some less-than-great things for your teeth. Even if you can’t see it, our mouths have a lot of bacteria. While some of these bacteria are necessary for a healthy smile, there are also bad bacteria lurking.
These bad bacteria are just the kind to absorb and thrive off the sugar you are giving it. Every time bad bacteria takes in sugar it converts it into acid. As you may be able to guess, even strong, durable enamel is no match for this destructive acid. With every bite of sugar, another acid attack tries to break down the enamel fortress. The more sugar you consume, the more likely you are to deal with cavities or holes in your enamel over time.
Is there a way to stop these acid attacks?
While bacteria will continue to absorb sugar and churn it into acid, there is some good news on the horizon; these effects can be prevented. Of course, one of the best ways to prevent decay or further damage to enamel is to limit your sugar intake. If you are someone who helplessly runs to the candy machine or noshes on sugar throughout the day, then your mouth will never get the opportunity to repair the damage.
You may be surprised to hear that saliva has a role in helping protect enamel. Saliva contains vital minerals like phosphate, which are great for remineralizing and restrengthening damaged enamel. So, how can you stimulate saliva? Our Milwaukee general dentist recommends that when the urge to eat sugar hits, pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth. This will hopefully nix the sudden craving while also increasing saliva.
Another option is to always use fluoride toothpaste when you brush your teeth. Fluoride is great for protecting your teeth against decay and can even reverse damage during the earliest stages. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day can go a long way if you are careful about what you are eating.
While avoiding sugar altogether is virtually impossible, it’s a good idea to come in every six months for routine cleanings to ensure that your teeth are as healthy as possible. During these visits, we can provide your teeth and gums with the proper and thorough cleaning they need to avoid decay and gum disease in the future. Call the Art of Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, today.
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