Posts for: March, 2018
Fluoride is an important weapon in the fight against tooth decay. Fluoride consumption and other applications are especially beneficial during children's dental development for building strong teeth long-term.
But the truism "too much of a good thing" could aptly apply to fluoride. If a child consumes too much fluoride over an extended period of time, it could cause a condition called enamel fluorosis in which the enamel surface develops mottled or streaked staining. It's not harmful to the tooth's health, but it can greatly diminish a person's smile appearance.
To avoid fluorosis, it's important with the help of your dentist to know and regulate as much as possible the amount of fluoride your child receives. Here are 3 fluoride sources you should manage.
Toothpaste. Many manufacturers add fluoride to their toothpaste formula, usually an important way to receive this tooth-strengthening chemical. But younger children tend to swallow more toothpaste than older children or adults. Because the chemical builds up in the body over time, swallowing toothpaste every day could potentially elevate your child's fluoride levels. To avoid this, just use a "smear" of toothpaste on the brush for children under age 2, and a pea-sized amount for older children.
Your water system. About three-quarters of all public water utilities add fluoride to their water as an added measure for tooth decay prevention. The amount can vary from system to system, although the maximum amount recommended by the U.S. Government is 0.70 parts per million (PPM). You can ask your local water system how much fluoride, if any, is present or they add to your drinking water.
Bottled water. Any type of bottled beverage (water, juices, sodas, etc.) could contain various levels of fluoride. Unfortunately there are no labeling requirements regarding its presence, so the most prudent course is to carefully manage the beverages your child drinks, or stay with bottled water marked "de-ionized," "purified," "demineralized" or "distilled," which typically have lower fluoride levels. For babies feeding on milk, you can use the aforementioned bottled waters to mix powder, use ready-to-feed formula (also low in fluoride) or breast-feed.
If you would like more information on fluoride and your baby, 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 “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”
You might not be aware how much force your jaws generate while you eat or chew. But you can become aware in a hurry when part of your inside cheek or lip gets in the way.
What may be even worse than the initial painful bite are the high odds you’ll bite the same spot again—and again. That’s because of a feature in the skin’s healing process.
As a surface wound heals, it often forms a cover of fibrous tissue consisting of the protein collagen. This traumatic fibroma, as it’s called, is similar to a protective callous that develops on other areas of damaged skin. In the process, though, it can become “taller” than the surrounding skin surface, which increases the chances of another bite.
This second bite often results in more fibrous tissue formation that rises even higher from the skin surface, which then becomes more likely to be bit again. After repeated cycles, the initial wound can become a noticeable, protruding lump.
These kinds of sores are typically not cancerous, especially if they’ve appeared to form slowly over time. But they can be a nuisance and the occasion of sharp pain with every subsequent bite. There is, though, an effective way to deal with it—simply have it removed.
While it involves a surgical procedure—an oral surgeon, periodontist or dentist with surgical training usually performs it—it’s fairly minor. After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, the dentist will then completely excise the lesion and close the resulting gap in the skin with two or three small sutures (it could also be removed with a laser). The wound should heal within a few days leaving you with a flat, flush skin surface.
The tissue removed is usually then biopsied. Although it’s highly unlikely it was more than an annoying sore, it’s still common procedure to examine excised tissues for cancer cells. If there appears to be an abnormality, your dentist will then see you to take the next step in your treatment.
More than likely, though, what you experienced was a fibroma. And with it now a thing of the past, you can chew with confidence knowing it won’t be there to get in the way.
If you would like more information on dealing with common mouth sores, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth.”
The team at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA specializes in treating cases of missing teeth with dental implants and implant-supported devices. A lot of patients now request implants over dentures or bridges. They offer numerous benefits to your dental health and your desire for a strong, long-lasting, attractive smile. Find out how dental implants work and visit the dentist to see if they will be the best solution to replace your missing teeth.
Why Dental Implants?
Since they were first developed in the 1950s and 1960s, dental implants have become the ideal tooth replacement solution. They help patients who have lost a tooth due to periodontal disease, dental decay, and injuries. If you’re a candidate, you should choose dental implants to complete your smile for these reasons:
- You get a permanent tooth that’s fully integrated into your smile.
- When an implant heals, the bone tissue stays healthy and useful.
- You can relax when you’re eating, knowing that your tooth replacement won’t slide out.
- Only your trusted Danville, VA dentist will know that you have an implant (it only shows up on X-rays).
The process of installing an implant involves three main steps: cleaning and preparing the socket, inserting the titanium post, and waiting for the bone tissue to grow and heal around the implant. The healing process is called osseointegration and can take a few months to complete. Once your new tooth is firmly set in place, a dental crown will cover it.
Dental Implants—Good for Your Dental Health
Dental implants are considered good for your dental health because they keep your jawbone viable and strong. People who get dentures often lose a significant amount of bone tissue, which can make the gum line go slack and lose its structure. Implanted teeth are also easy to keep clean—just brush and floss normally.
The Art of Dental Implants
Even if you’ve had a missing tooth for a while, it’s worth exploring the possibility that you’re a candidate for dental implants. Contact the team at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA for a consultation with Dr. Jessica Owens or Dr. Zachary Hairston by calling (434) 792-0700 today.