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Find out when your child should start getting regular dental care in South Charlotte, NC.
When it comes to being a first-time parent, you are often learning new things about your little one as you go along. You’ve gotten tons of advice from family members, friends with kids and even doctors. Of course, it’s normal to have a million questions about how to keep your little one safe and healthy. Have you thought about your child’s oral health? If not, don’t worry. Our South Charlotte, NC, family dentists Dr. Richard Bateman Dr. Joshua Neubauer and Dr. Emerald Powell are here to help care for your child’s growing smile.
The first dental visit will really involve our dental team getting to know you and your child and taking the time to discuss their health, lifestyle and certain habits that could impact their oral health. We can also answer any questions you might have about at-home oral care.
After your child’s first visit, they should start coming in every six months for routine checkups and cleanings, as this is the best way to protect against cavities and gum disease.
How should I care for my child’s teeth?
Even before your child’s teeth come in you should still be cleaning their gums between feedings to reduce plaque buildup. All you need to do is use a soft damp cloth to gently wipe the gums after each feeding.
Once your child’s first tooth comes in then it’s time to purchase a small soft-bristled toothbrush designed for babies and toddlers. At this point, you will only want to apply toothpaste that is no larger than a grain of rice to the toothbrush to clean your baby’s tooth. Once your child is 3 years old then you can apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to their toothbrush. Not sure how to begin brushing your child’s teeth? Just ask us during your child’s checkup; we would be happy to show you!
Many childhood cavities form because teeth aren’t properly cleaned or because parents often leave a baby bottle filled with juice in the crib. This means that your child’s teeth may be exposed to sugar all night long, which can cause decay. To prevent this from happening, either remove the bottle while your child is asleep or only put water in the bottle before bedtime (no sugary drinks!).
Need to schedule your child’s next dental checkup? If so, it’s the perfect time to call Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC.
Could you be dealing with a cavity and not even know it?
Decay is one of the most common dental problems facing children, teens and adults today. Even infants can develop cavities. Of course, the goal of our South Charlotte, NC, family dentists Dr. Richard Bateman Dr. Joshua Neubauer and Dr. Emerald Powell is to make sure you keep up with routine dental cleanings and checkups to protect your teeth from cavities.
After all, you may have a cavity but not even know it. That’s why it’s crucial that you visit a dentist every six months for preventive dental care. This is the best way to ward off cavities and gum disease. Plus, if cavities are detected during your dental cleaning they are often caught early on when they are much easier for our South Charlotte, NC, dentist to treat.
Depending on the extent or location of the cavity, you may experience warning signs and symptoms. If you do, it’s important to recognize them so that you can seek dental treatment right away. The sooner a cavity is treated the better. Common signs of a cavity include:
- A sudden toothache
- Dental pain when chewing or biting down
- Tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold (or even sweets)
- A visible dark spot on the tooth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, making sure you come in for routine cleanings is one of the best ways to protect your oral health for the long run.
Are there ways to prevent cavities?
Even though cavities are one of the most common issues we treat, they can often be prevented with proper oral care. This includes:
- Avoiding sugar and starches
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Limiting snacking
- Visiting your dentist every six months
Children who are at a high risk for cavities may benefit from dental sealants on their molars, or back teeth, to protect against decay. This is something our dentists can discuss with you to determine whether sealants are right for your child.
Do you need to schedule a dental cleaning for your or your child? Are you noticing a toothache or other changes to your oral health? If you said “yes” then it’s time to call the dental professionals at Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC, right away to get the care your smile deserves.
Dentists and hygienists are often asked about the safety and necessity of x-rays. This is a great question - with answers that differ from patient to patient.
So let's examine it a bit further. You may be surprised to learn just how safe today's x-rays are, and which audience asks this question even more so than patients.
X-ray Safety Is Always Being Tested
So, who asks this question more often than patients? Would you believe, dentists? That's right!
Together with the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), the American Dental Association (ADA) routinely asks this question, and revises its guidelines when advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure.
In fact, thanks to faster film speeds, digital x-rays, and the use of protective aprons and thyroid collars, the x-ray of today is far superior to those of even just a decade ago.
Below are the general guidelines the ADA and FDA recommend for adults.
It's important to remember that because all dental care is patient-specific, these guidelines are to be used to accompany the professional opinion of your dentist. Only your dentist has knowledge of your health history and vulnerability to oral disease, and is in the best position to make such recommendations.
Full x-rays are generally suggested for new patients to provide your dentist with a full history of your prior oral care and current needs.
Continuing Care Patients:
One set of x-rays every 12 months.
Continuing Care Patient with periodontal disease:
Dependent upon the professional judgment of your dentist.
Patients with a toothache or other dental problem:
A single x-ray, often referred to as a PA, is taken to help diagnose the problem.
Patients with, but not limited to, proposed or existing implants and root canals:
Dependent upon the professional judgement of your dentist.
According to the American Dental Association, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, making this issue much bigger than simple sore gums. However, learning to spot the early signs and symptoms of gum disease allows you to treat it early when its effects are more easily reversible. Find out more about gum disease and its non-surgical treatments with Dr. Richard Bateman, Dr. Joshua Neubauer, and Dr. Emerald Powell at Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria which live on the teeth harden into plaque and tartar. These substances grow under the gum, irritating it and causing an infection. Gum disease begins as gingivitis, a mild condition normally reversible with a professional dental cleaning followed by proper oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, which can cause serious issues. Periodontitis requires more invasive, complex care to treat.
Do I have gum disease?
If you have one of the following symptoms, you may have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease:
- swollen gums
- bleeding gums
- sore gums
- red gums
Though many people mistakenly believe that bleeding gums mean they should stop flossing their teeth, this actually indicates that the gums are infected by plaque and bacteria, which require regular flossing to remove.
If you have one of the following symptoms, you may have periodontitis, a more advanced stage of gum disease:
- loosened teeth
- painful gums
- sensitive teeth
- receding gums
- unexplained bad breath
Gum Disease Treatments in Charlotte, NC
If you think you have gum disease in any stage, you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your dentist begins treating your gum disease, the better. Reversing the symptoms of mild forms of gingivitis require a professional teeth cleaning followed by routine brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. However, more serious forms of the disease may require a periodontal cleaning or even flap surgery to reverse its effects. Your dentist can help you determine the best course of treatment for your gum disease.
For more information on gum disease and what it means for your teeth, please contact Dr. Richard Bateman, Dr. Joshua Neubauer, and Dr. Emerald Powell at Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC. Call (704) 541-5059 to schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
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