Who Needs Fluoride Treatments?

The Benefits of Fluoride

We know that fluoride prevents tooth decay by making enamel stronger, more resistant to bacterial colonies that attack plaque on teeth. We also know that plaque are hardened food debris, especially of sugar, that once colonized by bacteria can start a cavity on enamel surface. Fluoride can also protect beginning cavities and reverse early decay. Fluoride, calcium and phosphate are minerals naturally occurring in food and water that are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer.
Added fluoride speeds up this redeposition, strengthening the enamel.

So, who needs this strengthening from fluoride. All teeth do, of children and of adults. A child not yet 6 years of age has fluoride already incorporated into his developing permanent teeth. The teeth of babies , toddlers, up to children who are 16 years of age should be exposed to fluoride. This is the time in which primary and permanent teeth erupt. Fluoride also benefit the teeth of adults, hence, normal oral hygiene routine of brushing with fluoride toothpaste is recommended.

Adults with certain conditions need additional fluoride exposure, such as in cases of dry mouth, due to certain diseases and medication that initiates environment for more bacteria, and gum disease which increases the chances of tooth decay. More fluoride is beneficial also for people who have frequent tooth cavities, and if they wear appliances like bridges, crowns and braces. Apart from toothpaste and mouth rinses, dentists can recommend fluoride gel, foam, or varnish. Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets.

Fluoride Treatments from Auburn Dentist

Knowing the benefits of fluoride to dental health, it becomes clear how regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps. From your Auburn dentist, you can get additional protection from tooth decay if you’ll have fluoride treatments on a regular basis. Ask your dentist if you could benefit from additional fluoride.

Dental Hazards of Thumbsucking by Auburn Dentist

Worrying About Thumbsucking

Babies are prone to sucking on their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects that seem to calm them, soothe them and make them easily fall asleep. As parents, you are likely to let it be seeing your child is happier and less fuzzy; you might even think the child will soon outgrow this seemingly harmless habit.

Prolonged thumbsucking, like after the toddler years or when the child’s first permanent teeth start to come in, this finger habit can cause interference with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. Teeth, gums, jaws, the roof of the mouth, and even facial form can be impacted. Some children tend to vigorously suck their thumbs and its intensity can determine whether or not dental issues will arise. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth, while passive suckers may not. A dental or skeletal open bite can develop among aggressive suckers but it will self-correct if the habit stops while the child is still growing.

Though thumbsucking may cease between the ages of 2 to 4 years of age, you can still do some intervention soon enough to prevent untoward effects. For example, you can provide extra comfort and caresses to ease your child’s anxiety or insecurity, or wean the child away from dependency on the thumb by distracting his attention towards, say, speech sounds. Older children may understand if you explain what happens to the teeth if they continue to suck or praise the child for not thumbsucking.

Seeking Professional Advice

Want to know more tips to help you wean your little one out of this reflex? Ask your Auburn dentist about thumbsucking and ways to manage it.

Auburn Dentist Says: Kids’ Oral Hygiene is a Parent’s Job

Starting Them Young

Regular six-month dental checkups for children are recommended just to set up a guideline for how taking care of oral health should be. Dental visits are good for a child’s development – it instills responsibility, develops compliance, and sets them on the right track.

Regular cleanings are essential for small teeth. Cavities develop quickly and spread like wildfire in young teeth where the enamel is not hard enough and noticeable spaces between teeth are likely places where food can lodge. If there should be beginning cavities, steps should be taken to ensure there are not going to be many more. Hence, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day are routine. Parents should see to it that children are taught proper brushing and flossing procedures, until they can do them on their own, and reminded all the time until these become habits.

Parents should also limit their kids’ intake of sweets – candies, chocolates and fruit snacks. As a parent, you might think that gummy vitamins are good for children because that ensures they are taking daily vitamins. But actually, kids who snack on gummy vitamins tend to develop more cavities. Another helpful habit is to drink lots of water everyday. Water hydrates the mouth and washes away sticky sugar from teeth surfaces. However, soda and fruit juices and shakes are not as healthy as plain water. The timing for brushing is also habit-forming. Brushing at sunrise and before going to bed leave a healthier mouth and fresher and nice-smelling breath.

Auburn Dentist: Parents’ Guide to Kids Oral Health

Want to know more about how to keep your child’s oral health in top form? Pay us a visit at Auburn Avenue Dental and tell us about your little one’s special needs. We always have time to listen.

TMJ Care for TMJ Pains by Auburn Dentist

When Pain and Popping in the Jaw Happens

The temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ is that joint that connects your lower jaw (or mandible) to your skull, at the temporal area just in front of each ear. Several medical conditions,apart from traumatic injuries, affect not just the joints themselves, but involve their surrounding muscles, tendons and bones as well. With them, even nerves and blood vessels are affected. Certain habits promote the TMJ Syndrome – like poor head posture, chewing with your gums, teeth grinding, lack of sleep, and even stress. The pain can also be traced to a tooth misalignment or a bad orthodontic brace.

Headaches, earaches, and stiffness of jaw muscles are felt. Some symptoms can be quite disturbing, like popping sounds in the ear, jaw clicking, and sometimes the fearful locked jaw. Most symptoms are home-remedies, like applying ice packs, massages, and pain-killers. But if the problem still persists, then a look at a medical practitioner is the next step.

TMJ Care from Your Auburn Dentist

Sometimes, it’s not enough to see your primary physician or a medical specialist only, such as an ENT MD. A consultation with your local Auburn dentist can be as helpful also, and might just be the specialist you need. In instances where the causative factors are related to dentition, let your dental professional examine you and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Dentists have training and working knowledge of the temporo-mandibular joint, its anatomy, functions, and related disorders and treatment.

You can be prescribed gentle therapies like massages, medications like muscle-relaxants, or mouthguards if needed. Rarely are drastic treatments employed. Here at Auburn Dental, we know TMJ, indeed.

Facial Swelling: A Dental Emergency

Facial Swelling – Possible Sign of Infection

Localized facial swelling is usually associated with dental swelling and it can be due to a variety of reasons. Some culprits could be gingivitis and gum disease, blockage of the salivary gland openings, medication side-effects, vitamin C deficiency, and some oral cancers. In most cases, a root abscess causes the swelling. At the tip of a root, a pocket of pus has collected caused by bacterial infection of the pulp that has escaped the chamber and exited via the root.

The body tries to fight it off and so pain, swelling and heat manifest causing the bulging of the affected area. It is considered an emergency case and should be treated promptly. It’s a potentially risky situation as the infection can enter the general circulation and spread through the body, causing sepsis or blood poisoning. If your resistance is low, it would be extra difficult for you to surmount it.

Maybe you think it will go away but it is better to be safe. If you can handle the swelling, the pain you probably wont. See your dentist right away who will prescribe some strong antibiotic as a temporary measure, just to lessen the symptoms. The real treatment is removing the source of the infection. The entire tooth is extracted if it is no longer salvageable, or a drainage system created to remove all the pus and the void left sterilized and treated. A root canal therapy is one such option. Know that abscesses do not only happen at root tips, but bacterial invasion can also cause swelling of the gums. This is not a root abscess this time but a tooth abscess.

Nonetheless, you’ll still need the protection of your antibiotic, you can be given painkillers, be asked to carry on with good oral hygiene practices, and lastly, to stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods.

Prompt Treatment with Auburn Dentist

Your Auburn dentist tells you not to ignore any localized facial swelling. Expect to be treated right way should this unfortunate dental emergency happen.

Teeth Whitening Options: Which is the Best?

Different Roads to Whiter Teeth

You have three main teeth whitening options available to you. Each of them require a different procedure and also differ in safety profile, effectiveness and treatment duration. Since not all teeth reach the same level of whiteness, the option that works best for others may not necessarily be the optimal choice for you. However, it is good to know the advantages and disadvantages of the these options.

Performed by a dentist, in-office whitening procedures use the strongest bleaching solutions. Studies show that a 38 percent hydrogen peroxide concentration achieve a six-shade change in whiteness. Your dentist should protect your gums, lips and the rest of your mouth during the procedure and only subject the exposed teeth to the strong solutions. Your gums need to be healthy and have no inflammation prior to the bleaching as peroxide can burn inflamed tissue on contact. In most cases, as few as 3 visits to the dentist can achieve the whitening desired.

The other option is the use of custom-made flexible plastic trays for at-home bleaching. One week of 10% carbamide peroxide in your customized mouth tray, made by your dentist, produces the six-shade whitening desired. It is not as acidic as hydrogen peroxide, so this method is generally the safest.

It is also the most cost-effective, best-researched whitening treatment available. And, of course, you have those teeth-whitening products you can buy OTC at drugstores and supermarkets. Most come in strips requiring 16 daily applications of 5.3 percent hydrogen peroxide to achieve that six-shade change in whiteness.

Whiteness according to your Lifestyle

Know more about these options at Auburn Dental. We offer all the options with our proper instructions for a healthier and younger-looking you. When you make a treatment choice, that will depend largely on your preferences, lifestyle and your finances. Let us help you achieve that maximum whiteness by giving enough time for these options to work.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Is it necessary?

The Trouble with Wisdom Teeth

Mention tooth extraction to most teens and young adults and they tend to cringe. Maybe a past painful experience in the dentist’s chair or somebody’ else’s cringe story are keeping them away from regular dental visits. As far as wisdom teeth removal is concerned, in many cases a necessity, young people ought to be educated in the wisdom of their extraction.

Is it absolutely necessary?
Can I just keep them? They’re not bothering me anyway.

There are cases when you can keep your wisdom teeth. If all have fully erupted properly or are positioned correctly, it’s a healthy sign. If they bite opposing each other properly is another good sign. They are not carious, hence, healthy, and if they can be reached and cleaned with no difficulty, you can let them stay. However, in many instances, such is not the case. Wisdom teeth or third molars grow last in the arches and often find no place to erupt properly.

They will force their way out and often at different angles causing overlapping or crookedness. Sometimes they erupt horizontally causing friction with the roots of the neighboring teeth, or at times hidden under the gums or get stuck in bone, in both cases may lead to swelling and pain or development of cystic growths.

Improperly erupted third molars are not easily cleaned and develop caries easily. Eventually, they will decay, develop gum disease, cause bad breath, and damage other normal teeth. If you go for regular dental visits, your dentist will note your wisdom teeth development and if he sees potential problems, will recommend early removal. If removed early, wisdom tooth extraction is easier for the dentist and for you because the teeth and their roots have not fully developed; there will be little to no complications, and recovery is a lot faster after the surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Care at Auburn

Come and consult with your Auburn dentist on the your particular case. The earlier you start with wisdom tooth extraction, if necessary, potential issues with them can be avoided.

Professional Staff at Auburn Dental: Can’t Do Without

We’re Here for You

At Auburn Avenue Dental, the staff’s collective efforts run the clinic like clock work, making sure that the overall aim is both patient-centered and job-fulfilling.
Take our Office Dental Manager. Responsible for smooth operations of both office and staff, she oversees the day-today activities of the clinic. She makes sure that facilities are clean and orderly, all instrumentation and apparatus working in top form, supplies are adequate. Her plate is rather full but being so allows the dentist to focus on patient care.

The Dental Hygienist works closely alongside the dentist. A licensed practitioner, she performs dental procedures like teeth cleaning and diagnostic tests, works with the dentist during certain intensive procedures, and educates patients on preventive care and oral hygiene practices. She will even advice of proper tooth brushing and flossing methods.

The Dental Assistant at Auburn Dental is a trained assistant, great with people skills and with numbers. She prepares the patient for examination, answers their concerns and makes sure they are comfortable. She is the one by the dentist’s side passing on instruments or materials and seeing that the patient’s mouth is dry and clear via the suction tube. She keeps their records, schedules their turns and follows up on appointments.

Auburn Dental Staff and the Auburn Community

No dental practice is going to thrive without the able and efficient staff attending to the overall business of patient dental care. Here, our commitment to service and comfort stands out in every facet of patient engagement. Within our office walls, we nurture the bonds formed in our quest for a healthier and happier Auburn community.

Care for the Diabetic Patient at Auburn Avenue Dental

Discovering the Diabetic Patient

We, at Auburn Dental, understand the correlations of diabetes and oral health and, hence, There are many instances that dentists are able to spot the condition unbeknownst even to the diabetic himself.

People with diabetes have the same dental problems as other people; however, their blood sugar profile is so problematic that they are more prone to mouth infections and have difficulty surmounting them. Diabetics tend to make more frequent dental appointments due to some infection and then another. They are unable to defeat bacterial invasion as easily as non-diabetics do.

Our Auburn dentists can discover, in spite of the absence of gum pain or swelling, the presence of periodontal disease by careful oral examination. Another condition, called dry mouth, may indicate diabetes as patient’s salivary glands tend to clog owing to sluggish blood flow. Also, if periodontal disease does not respond well to dental treatment, it will tell our dentist that the patient has issues controlling blood sugar. Furthermore, diabetic patients tend to lose their teeth early due to the onslaught of the disease, and many have resorted to crowns and dentures as an aftermath.

Dental Help for Diabetics in Auburn

Our dentists and staff at Auburn Dental are trained and experienced in dealing with this vulnerable class of patients. Diabetes is so widespread that a multidisciplinary approach becomes essential in the battle against the disease. Our Auburn dentist joins the medical profession in co-managing these patients, contributing to the early diagnosis, control and treatment of dental-related conditions of diabetes.

Auburn Dentist: What to expect with your New Dentures

Dentures: the Acquaintance Stage

New dentures can be life-changing for most people and it’s common to have feelings of unease and awkwardness. Knowing their long benefits enables many patients to go through the adjustments and live with them on a daily basis.

Firstly, your entire face will look slightly different to your friends and family. Actually, your general appearance hasn’t changed that much. Give that a few weeks and soon your smile will turn as natural as the dentures you’re wearing.

You feel the bulkiness in your mouth at first; some areas may be tight, some loose. Initial soreness or irritation should go away in a couple of weeks, so with decrease saliva flow. Give time for your arches, gums, the roof or floor of your mouth to adjust to the appliance, your tongue and muscles to keep the dentures in place.

When it comes to eating, practice your oral structures to start off with soft diet. Re-learn to bite, chew and munch slowly yet confidently. Take small bits and bites of food and avoid very hot or very cold food and drinks at first, training your mouth and dentures to get used to the differences in intake. And do not worry about your speaking habits. Practice talking, laughing, and reading with family and get that skill and confidence back in no time.

Guidance and Assurance with New Dentures

Your new dentures and you are a pair for years to come. Your Auburn dentist’s tips are invaluable helps to keep you calm and steady as you begin journeying with your new dentures. You are encouraged to call or drop by for any concerns you think are unexpected or unusual with your denture-wearing. At Auburn Avenue Dental, we are always happy to assist.