kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

asthma and oral health

Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?

About 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, a long-term lung disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. The condition has been linked to oral health, with patients having increased risk for cavities, gum problems, and bad breath.

One of the main culprits negatively impacting an asthma patient’s oral health is the medication required to treat the condition. Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, decrease the flow of saliva. This leads to dry mouth, which in turn can increase cavities and bad breath. Dry mouth is worsened by the fact that many asthma patients breathe through their mouth. Inhaled steroids can also increase the risk of thrush, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.

Here are some tips for keeping your mouth safe while still controlling your asthma:

  • Make sure your dentist is aware of your condition, as well as all medications that you are taking.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash after using your inhaler.
  • Consider using a spacer device with your inhaler, which will spray the medication directly into your throat and avoid some of the direct risks to your mouth.
  • Bring your inhaler with you to dentist appointments, both to show it to your dentist and to have your medication available in case you experience an asthma attack at the office.
  • Ask your dentist if more frequent dental visits are recommended in your case.
  • Inquire about adding fluoride supplements to your routine, especially in areas where the water is not fluoridated.
  • Maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

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Emergency dentist in Clinton NJ

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess
If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

 

Emergency dentist in Clinton NJ – Perryville Family Dentistry

family dentist

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Dentist for seniors in Clinton NJ

FAQ for Seniors

Senior adults have unique oral health needs that come with age. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions by seniors.

Do seniors need to worry about cavities?
Cavities can actually occur more often in seniors than younger people. Less exposure to fluoride over your lifetime and deterioration of older fillings can contribute to decay. Receding gums can expose tooth roots, promoting cavities in that area. Also, dry mouth is a common problem in seniors and can cause tooth decay.

Why are my teeth more sensitive as I get older?
Receding gums are often a culprit of tooth sensitivity. A soft tissue graft may be required to solve this problem. Switching to toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help, as well as using a fluoride mouth rinse.

What can I do if arthritis makes it hard to care for my teeth?
There are several things to help seniors who have difficulty completing oral health tasks. Wrap your toothbrush handle with tape to make it thicker, or tape popsicle sticks or small wooden rulers to the handle to make it longer. Try switching to an electric toothbrush, and check out the flossing aids available at your drug store.

What can I do about loose teeth?
See a periodontist, a type of dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and supporting structures. This dentist can examine your mouth, and provide suggestions for treatments or changes in your hygiene or medical care that might help.

Can my mediations affect my oral health?
Medications can definitely impact your teeth and gums. Provide your dentist with a list of medications you take so that any issues can be best addressed. For example, some drugs are known to cause dry mouth, which can increase your risks of decay. It’s possible that another medication without that side effect can be prescribed instead.

Are seniors at more risk for oral cancer?
Oral cancer risks increase with age, and long-term smoking also puts you at higher risk.
Any lesions on your tongue or in your mouth should be closely monitored by your dentist.

At what age can I stop seeing the dentist?
Even if you have little or no dental problems, you should continue with regular dental checkups for your entire life.

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Learning about Tooth Extractions

Sometimes it is necessary to have a tooth removed. Common reasons for dental extractions include infection, disease, teeth crowding, or injury. Your dentist will usually refer you to an oral surgeon who specializes in mouth surgeries to extract your tooth. If there is an infection present, the extraction should be scheduled as soon as possible so that it doesn’t spread or cause more serious problems. It is helpful to know what to expect during and after a tooth extraction so you will be prepared.

What is the procedure like?
You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the extraction area, or a stronger general anesthetic if several teeth are being removed or the procedure is complex. General anesthesia will put you to sleep and prevent pain in your entire body. After the extraction is complete, you may need stitches which will either have to be removed later or will dissolve on their own. You might be instructed to bite down on gauze initially after the procedure to help stop any bleeding, which is a normal part of the tooth extraction procedure.

What about recovery?
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for the best recovery results. You can usually expect recover to take at least a few days. Here are some guidelines to help with healing:

  • Take pain medications as prescribed.
  • Change gauze pads before they are saturated with blood.
  • Do not drink through a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day after the first 24 hours following surgery. This will help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Limit physical activity because it can promote bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods like thin soup, gelatin, and pudding. As you heal, you can increase your intake of solid foods.
  • Try not to rub the extraction area with your tongue.
  • Carefully brush your teeth and tongue as directed by your doctor.

If you live in the Clinton NJ area and you need a great dentist, contact our dental office today.

Family dentist in Clinton NJ

Tips for Parents about Children’s Dental Care

As a parent, you want your child to have the healthiest teeth possible. Here are some tips for you to consider as you strive to help your child achieve this oral health goal.

Teach oral hygiene
Helping your children take care of their teeth should start at a very early age, so that proper hygiene habits are learned and practiced throughout life. Begin brushing their gums with a soft toothbrush even before the first tooth erupts to prevent bacteria from building up. Once your child is old enough to brush, allow them to do it with supervision until about age eight. Also teach your child to floss properly as part of a daily dental care routine.

Choose the right toothpaste
Look for the key ingredient of fluoride in toothpaste, which helps fight bacteria and plaque. When your child is young, supervise the use of fluoride toothpaste so that none is swallowed.

Visit the dentist
Begin taking your child for dental visits around their first birthday, and continue with regular checkups twice a year. Early dental visits help your child become comfortable with the process, and allow the dentist to watch for oral health problems so that they can be treated as soon as possible.

Avoid bedtime bottles
Do not give your child bottles filled with milk, fruit juice, or soda at bedtime. The sugars in these drinks can harm teeth and cause decay, and prolonged exposure to them such as overnight makes it even more hazardous.

Consider sealants
Ask your dentist about applying sealants to your child’s teeth in order to help prevent decay and cavities. Usually applied by your dentist to the chewing surfaces of back teeth, sealants help keep food and bacteria out of areas where decay most often occurs. Sealants are a painless way to help protect your child’s teeth.
Kids dentist in Clinton NJ

Root canal treatment Clinton NJ

Signs that Point to a Root Canal

You may be scared off by the words “root canal” because it sounds like a dental procedure to avoid no matter what. However, if you’re experiencing the symptoms that mean a root canal might be necessary, it’s better to have the procedure because it will get rid of the painful symptoms. Once you recover from the root canal, your oral health will be restored.

What exactly is a root canal?
It’s a procedure to restore a severely decayed tooth. Instead of extracting the tooth, the nerve is removed and the tooth is sealed to prevent further damage.

What are the most common indications that a root canal may be needed?

  • Lingering tooth pain when you consume hot items. It can also occur when eating or drinking cold items.
  • Pain when chewing on a tooth. It may also be swollen or sensitive when touched.
  • Pain that begins in one tooth and moves to other areas of your jaw or head. For example, pain may start in a back tooth and move to your ear so that it feels like both a toothache and earache.
  • Toothache that interrupts your ability to sleep.
  • Bubble on your gum similar to a pimple, which may bleed or release pus when touched.
  • Tooth discoloration can result from severe decay.

If you experience symptoms like these listed, it’s time to call your dentist for an appointment. You should get a dental examination as soon as possible, so that you can receive treatment before your symptoms get worse. Even if a root canal is required, it’s better to have the procedure than continue with a terrible toothache.

Root canal treatment in Clinton NJ

Don’t Fall Victim to Bad Breath

One thing that can make you a pretty unpopular person is bad breath. People will avoid being around you if you emit a stinky odor every time you open your mouth. If you don’t want to fall victim to this embarrassing problem, try the following tactics.

Brush and floss
For many reasons, you should carefully brush your teeth at least twice a day. This includes brushing your tongue and gums, where bacteria tend to build up and lead to mouth odor. Flossing should be performed daily to help get rid of food debris and plaque.

Drink water
Having a dry mouth increases bad breath, so staying hydrated is an important way to avoid odor. It is recommended to drink thirteen cups of water each day, which may be difficult to accomplish but it is a good goal to keep in mind. You can also prevent dry mouth by limiting foods and drinks known to cause dehydration, like coffee, energy drinks, and anything high in sugar or caffeine.

Chew parsley
A natural remedy for decreasing odor, chewing parsley can be helpful for stinky breath. It contains chlorophyll, which is known to fight smells and freshen breath.

Brush with oils
Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are both known to decrease halitosis, or bad breath. Placing just a couple of drops of these oils on your toothbrush can help attack the bacteria in your mouth and therefore fight mouth odor.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning.

How to Enjoy a Whiter Smile

Over time, age and lifestyle choices can diminish your smile’s beauty. Stains and discolorations can make teeth look dull or yellow. If you would like to brighten your smile, talk with your dentist about professional teeth whitening. Both at-home and in-office whitening can remove discolorations and lighten your smile up to 10 shades.

After you whiten or to naturally keep teeth looking their best, follow these tips:

Practice good home care

One of the most important steps you can take to enjoy a gorgeous, vibrant smile is brushing and flossing. Make sure you brush after meals and floss at least once a day.

Choose food and beverages wisely

Coffee, tea, and dark soda can contribute to stains on your teeth. As well, blueberries, cherries and other pigmented foods may cause discolorations. When you partake in these choices, rinse your mouth right away to lessen the impact.

Chew sugarless gum

If you chew gum after meals, you will stimulate saliva flow and clean the surface areas of your teeth.

Pick the right snacks

Foods like apples, carrots, strawberries and celery act as natural detergents for teeth, so munch on these yummy morsels when you feel hungry.

Say no to nicotine

When you smoke, not only do you leave a yellow residue on teeth and gums, but many people also experience problems with bad breath. Smoking also increases the risks of gum disease and oral cancer.

Drink lots of water

Not only does water increase saliva production and promote a healthy smile, but it also washes away food particles and bacteria, which contribute to plaque and tartar build-up.

Schedule your appointment at our Phillipsburg dental office