Sometimes dental problems follow otherwise healthy people through life. Understanding the causes behind dental disease can eliminate the frustration that builds as teeth deteriorate. Creating a customized preventive routine can leave you looking forward to the good news at your dental visits.
It's easy to ignore, but a little bit of tooth decay or gum disease always leads to a little bit more. The outcome of these untreated problems inevitably becomes pain, emergency treatment, and tooth loss. So why does this happen?
It's an infection.
Millions of bacteria swarm our mouths, many of them harmless and even beneficial. But a few bad characters wreak havoc on the hard and soft tissues of the mouth in many people. Like all living creatures, they need an energy source. Sugars are their snack of choice, and they use simple carbohydrates from our diet to manufacture energy.
Like all living creatures making energy, they also produce waste. These acidic wastes...more
Parents know that teen years present unique challenges. When it comes to dental health, rapid changes influence adolescents moving into adulthood. Cavity activity accelerate with more independence in food and drink habits and oral hygiene activity sometimes becomes inconsistent. A good partnership with our team can set your teen up for a lifetime of benefits.
Dental health during teen years offers another set of challenges. For most parents, this doesn't come as a big surprise. A dizzying number of changes strike during these formative years, and parents often experience a few frustrations along the way.
But teens listen more than we realize, and pestering parents can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of these young adults. Oral home care habits tend to slide, sometimes to the point of complete neglect. Increased independence may lead to eating and drinking habits that harm oral and overall health. Don't...more
Helping our youngest patients grow into healthy young adults is a highlight for our team. Children undergo constant growth and development that present special challenges for an optimal outcome. And childhood tooth decay can create a lifetime of problems often avoided with an early preventive plan.
Tooth decay often begins at an early age, making young children particularly susceptible. Nearly half of 2-11-year-olds have experienced tooth decay while 32% of kids between 9 -11 years old display cavities in their permanent teeth. Major contributing factors to this public health problem include baby formula with added sugar and heavily-sugared fruit juices. Even breast milk can cause cavities in baby teeth because of the natural sugars present.
Care for baby teeth should begin as soon as the first tooth appears. We recommend that you bring your child in for an exam no later than his or her first birthday. And regular six-month checkups from then on will put kids on a...more
Metal grins fill the pages of many high school yearbooks. But braces offer benefits at many different stages of life. Identifying problems at an early age often allows ideal timing in orthodontic treatment, resulting in a perfect outcome. Monitoring growth and development at your child's regular preventive visits is just part of our commitment to your family's dental health.
A variety of tooth and jaw issues open up the door to orthodontics in a growing child. Dr. Reed may point out that your child's baby teeth appear crowded, or the relationship between the jaws isn't ideal. While not generally the time for treatment, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care. As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Reed monitors the process further and helps you decide if early orthodontic treatment makes sense.
Although the majority of cases involve teenagers, braces can play a role for some kids in their earlier years. Since...more
Deep crevices run across the chewing surface of molars. Even though a toothbrush can skim across these surfaces, the narrow grooves trap bacteria beyond the bristles. Cavities may form and end up abscessing without warning, destroying valuable tooth structure. Protecting the grooves with a bonded sealer might be worth exploring.
Our goal is for our patients to experience the least amount of dental treatment possible. And we know that children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth will enjoy the lowest risk of future problems.
Sealants give us a tool that can dramatically reduce the number of fillings placed in permanent teeth during critical stages of growth and development. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves reach into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In fact, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but wide enough for bacteria to hide. It's easy to see how cavities...more