Kissimmee Family Dentistry

Children’s Teeth Timeline

Childrens-Teeth-TimelineDo you know when your child should be expecting their first new teeth as a baby? How about when they should be loosing those baby teeth? As with many things in development, every child is different and has a different time frame for each stage, but we’ll give you a general idea of when you can expect these different stages to occur: from the appearance of baby teeth to the arrival of permanent adult teeth.

BABY TEETH

4 to 7 months:

Usually the two front lower teeth begin to be exposed. Gums may become red and swollen where the teeth are cutting through.

Fun Fact: Lower teeth usually come in before the upper teeth.

8 to 12 months:

Upper middle teeth tend to come in next (it is common for girls to get their baby teeth before boys!)

9 to 16 months:

Teeth on both sides of the middle teeth begin to come in, for both the top and bottom.

Did You Know: Teeth usually erupt in pairs! One on the right, one on the left!

12 to 19 months:

Molars come in on the top and bottom about the same time.

16 to 23 months:

Canines (sharp, pointed teeth) begin to emerge.

Tooth Truths: Baby teeth are usually brighter and whiter than permanent teeth, and are much smaller.

2 to 3 years:

Second molars come in, and by now your child should almost completely have a full set of 20 teeth! By 4 years old, jaw and facial bones continue to grow to allow more space for the incoming permanent teeth. 

NOTE: If your baby does not show signs of bottom teeth by 18 months, mention it to your doctor. Do not be alarmed, every child is different and some don’t begin showing teeth until after their first birthday, and catch up without any problems. 

LOOSING TEETH/ADULT TEETH

6 to 12 years:

Children begin loosing teeth, they can be lost in any order, but it is common to lose them in the same order they came in, starting with the front middle, gradually going back further in the mouth.

12 years:

Once your child has lost all of their baby teeth, their mouth now consists of 28 permanent teeth. Four wisdom teeth will begin to appear between 17 to 21 years old, however 85% of people end up having their wisdom teeth removed, so don’t get used to them for too long!

 

Teeth Whitening- What You Should Know

Teeth-Whitening-What-You-Should-KnowTeeth whitening can lead to a brighter smile and a more confident you. Whether your teeth have been stained from drinking coffee and tea, or you are just looking to make your teeth a few shades lighter to match your new tan, teeth whitening is a great way to start with a fresh “you.”

When it comes to choosing your options of obtaining a brighter, whiter smile, there are a few options. We offer “in office” whitening (could be a single session, some could require multiple appointments), using bleaching or gels. Then there are alternative, “at-home” treatments, which include over the counter strips, gels, and other options. Each option has its benefits, whether it is convenience, price, time, longevity of brightness, quality, the list goes on and on. There is no perfect formula to obtain the ideal brightness of teeth. You definitely will get what you pay for. Although more expensive, in-office treatments will boast the highest results, but not everyone wants to dedicate the time or money. The benefits of an at-home remedy are that they are more wallet friendly, and can be done on your own schedule for merely minutes a day, as frequently as you desire.

What you should to know:

Regardless of which approach you take to making your smile brighter, there are a few things you need to know about dental health when it comes to teeth whitening.  Your teeth (more than likely) will be sensitive. The sensitivity should only last a short while after bleaching, but some of the at-home strips do seem to leave a lingering feeling, especially when exposing your teeth to extremely cold, or extremely hot food and drinks. If your teeth continue to be sensitive for multiple hours or even days, it is recommended to avoid using those whitening products and consult us for the best alternative. In addition to tooth sensitivity, the gums may also become slightly irritated when exposed to the peroxide in the gels and bleaches. We generally use a rubber “dam” to protect patient’s gums from contact, but the at-home kits are usually one size fits all and may involve contact to the gums.

All in all, as with most things, there are general side affects, and will affect everyone differently. Be cautious and observant when considering whitening options. Read all instructions carefully and understand that some products will offer results quicker than others, and one product may work well for one person, but not for others.

Contact our office today to find out what the best whitening option is for you!

Are Dental Implants Worth It

Are Dental implants worth itWhat’s involved in a dental implant? Do they hurt? Can anyone get them? There are a lot of questions surrounding dental implants but one thing is certain; they’ve been reconstructing smiles for over 35 years with amazing results. But what’s the fuss surrounding dental implants and are they really worth it? Lets answer some question to help you decide for yourself.

Can anyone get a dental implant? Anyone who is healthy enough to get a dental implant can get one as long as they have enough bone to hold the implant. This is where bone grafting comes in for those who have been told their jawbone won’t hold an implant. Keeping up with regular oral hygiene is also an important factor and heavy smokers may be told it’s not a safe option.

What exactly is a dental implant? A dental implant replaces your tooth root with a metal rod. It provides a solid structure on which to place a new tooth that is made to match your real teeth. Dental implants not only improve the overall look of your smile but they’re durable, convenient, and easy to take care of.

What are the steps to getting a dental implant? As your doctor, we will want to develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your specific needs. Once we have agreed on a treatment plan, the next step will be the placement of the implant in your jaw. The implant is made of titanium and once placed the jawbone will actually begin to grow around it. In about six to twelve weeks the implant will have completely bonded to your jaw and it will be time to attach a small post that connects your new tooth to the implant. We create a mold of your bite that allows us to create your new tooth. This replacement tooth is then attached to the post and the implant process is complete!

Lastly, how painful are dental implants and are they difficult to take care of? Most patients have said they experienced very little discomfort when receiving their implant. Many have even said the process is much less painful than a tooth extraction. Mild pain that may occur for a few days after you receive your implant can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. Dental implants require the same care as your real teeth but generally they are much easier to clean and you don’t have to worry about cavities.

We hope this answers some of the questions surrounding dental implants. If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, give us a call to ask more about the procedure. We’ve seen many patients leave happy and comfortable with their improved smile!

Is Periodontal Disease Contagious? And other questions…

Is-Periodontal-Disease-ContagiousIn our practice, we hear many great questions about periodontal disease and gums in general. So, to help educate our patients better, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions for you here:

Q: Is periodontal disease contagious?

A: Yes and no. The disease, which is an inflammatory response to bacteria under the gums, itself is not contagious. However, that bacteria can be spread through saliva, which could in turn cause periodontal disease in another person. To be safe, don’t share utensils or toothbrushes in your house.

Q: Can children get periodontal disease?

A: No. Periodontal disease has only very rarely been found in children and adolescents. However, it’s never too soon to adopt good healthy gum habits! Teach your kids to brush twice and floss once every day.

Q: Do I need antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria?

A: Possibly. A number of factors go into our determination about whether a patient needs topical antibiotic treatment after a periodontal cleaning. If you do need it, it will be applied under the gums during treatment.

Q: Are diabetes and periodontal disease related?

A: Yes, periodontal disease is a common complication of diabetes, most likely because diabetes makes a person more prone to infection. New evidence also shows that good periodontal health may have a positive effect on blood sugar levels as well!

Q: What about heart disease?

A: This is less clear, however several studies have shown that gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease as well.

As always, we are here to help. If you have additional questions that don’t appear on this list, give us a call!

It’s Alive! Your Tooth, That Is!

It's AlivePeople often wonder, “How does a tooth get to the point of infection?”

It’s a common misconception that teeth are not alive. That belief leads to confusion about how teeth become infected. Because you can’t “feel” the part that you can see (the crown), many people think that their teeth are not alive. Yet, the opposite is true. Most of the material that makes up your teeth is, in fact, made of living cells. Since the material is alive, it makes a great hosting site for bacterial infections!

Similar to hair and fingernails, there is a part of your teeth that is not alive – it is the outermost part, called “enamel”. This is the hard, white part that you can see. It is made of calcium phosphate, a very hard mineral that is perfect for breaking down food when you eat. Underneath that enamel, however, is where all of the live action happens!

Starting on the outside and working our way in, we find dentin (alive), and then the pulp cavity and root canal, through which nerves and blood vessels flow.

Generally speaking, if the enamel is intact, bacteria cannot get through to the pulp to cause problems. However, if there is a crack in the outer part of the tooth due to injury or decay, this creates a pathway for bacteria to enter into the innermost part of the tooth (the pulp cavity and canal) causing infection of the living tissue.

That is when endodontic treatment becomes essential! The only way to remove the infected material is manually, by accessing the canal itself, irrigating and then filling, or closing off access, to the inside of the tooth again.

Invisible Braces- Not Just for Looks

When most of us think of invisible braces such as Invisalign®, we naturally assume thaInvisible Bracest their sole purpose is to enhance the aesthetic value of one’s smile.

And to a certain extent that assumption is true. For most people with braces of any type, the primary goal of straightening their teeth is improving their look. But did you know that there are actually added health benefits to having a straighter smile as well?

Here, we outline just a few reasons, outside of the obvious aesthetic benefits, that invisible braces can help you:

  • Periodontal Health: Overcrowded teeth can result in swollen, red, irritated gums. More often than not, these symptoms are the result of periodontal disease. Braces help to straighten and evenly space teeth to allow for enhanced gum health.
  • Better Cleaning Access: Because the clear teeth aligners are removable, you can do a better job of brushing and flossing your teeth, just as you would without braces. By contrast, traditional metal braces limit access to the surfaces and in-between areas of teeth, making it difficult to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine.
  • Healthy Diet: Invisible braces are removable, which means that there are no restrictions to what you eat. This allows you to continue your healthy eating habits just as if you didn’t have braces at all. With traditional metal wires and braces, however, some people fall into the trap of eating only soft foods and thus miss out on much-needed nutrients.
  • Overall Health: Because oral infections are thought to be related to other health issues in the body such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, keeping your teeth properly spaced and straightened is an important first step toward better health throughout your body.

Allow us to enhance your smile both aesthetically and from an oral health standpoint as well with invisible braces!

Teeth Whitening- At Home vs In-Office Treatments

Over the last decade, at-home tooth whitening systems have become more abundant, more varied, and more affordable. A quick walk through your local drug store is all you need to do to know that there is an endless supply of teeth bleaching treatments that you can do at home to achieve a whiter smile.

You may be wondering, “If it’s so easy to access these products in a store, why would I want to spend the time and money to have my teeth whitened in my dentist’s office?”

Here are the top five reasons that we recommend that you come see us first if you are interested in whitening your smile:

  1. Whiter whitening: Over the counter bleaching products can only contain 10% peroxide, while our in-office treatments can contain 25-40% peroxide, offering a whiter white!
  2. Quicker: The higher concentration of peroxide combined with other safety and acceleration tools like lasers allow us to whiten your teeth much more quickly than can be done at home.
  3. Fewer Side Effects: At home, some people experience damage to the tooth or surrounding gum area when whitening their teeth, causing pain or sensitivity. By contrast, in the office, we have access to preventative tools that can protect your gums and teeth from damage from bleaching.
  4. Always Examine First! It is always wise to have an oral exam prior to your whitening procedure, as we can detect potential problems, areas that are prone to sensitivity, and even help you choose your best path to a whiter smile.
  5. Best of Both Worlds: If you still want to try at-home treatments, give us a call. We can send you home with approved whitening treatments to give you the protection, convenience and the whiter smile that you desire.

Bringing Teeth Front and Center

Fact: 75% of parents report that their children forget to brush their teeth from time to time.

Fact: 51 million school hours are lost annually due to kids with dental related illnesses.

When you combine these two facts, you would think that it is easy for the professional dental community to explain to kids and parents why oral hygiene is so important. Yet, we still have a long way to go when it comes to getting this message across properly!

Although the teeth are, without a doubt, part of the body, they have perhaps not been given the respect that they deserve during the childhood years.

Babies:

It is understandable that, in times past, when a child was young, it seemed pointless to take care of their “baby” teeth, as they were going to fall out anyway.

>>Yet we now know that it is essential to take care of so-called baby teeth and even the gums before teeth erupt to ensure a life of good oral health.

Children:

As parents, we have all had those mornings and nights where asking our child to brush his or her teeth turned into a battle at best, and a tantrum at worst! So, understandably, we frequently backed down or even “forgot” to make them do it. >>But those moments of “forgetfulness” add up very quickly at this age and can cause decay that turns into cavities, abscesses and root damage in the near future.

Teens:

If you are lucky, your teen will be more than willing to keep up on proper tooth brushing habits out of fear of teasing and other uncomfortable social situations. However this is not true for all teens.

>>This is the age where oral hygiene is even more important, catching any cavities before they turn into bigger problems. Also, if your teen has braces, they need extra care to keep the mouth in tiptop shape!

So please help us spread the word! Teeth are not a part of the body that can be ignored – they are the window to your body and overall health. The earlier that you set those good oral hygiene habits, the better oral health results you will see as your child grows up!

 

Sugar Bugs and Mouth Monsters

Sugar-BugsIn our practice, you may have heard us refer to those nasty “sugar bugs”, the bacterial villains that cause tooth decay, feeding off of sugar in your child’s mouth! This is a great, fun way to get the message across to kids that oral hygiene habits are important! Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (mychildrensteeth.org) uses the term “Mouth Monsters” to refer to these same bacteria that cause decay of the teeth!

So whether you call them “Sugar Bugs” or “Mouth Monsters”, here are some additional handy tips for teaching your kids about their oral health:

  • Keep it Fun: Keeping if fun makes it more, well, fun! And it also keeps the battle out of the brushing routine. If your child associates tooth-brushing time with battle-with-mom-and-dad time, they are less likely to follow through with the activity, and so are you. Keep things light and fun if you are doing the brushing yourself. And if your child is old enough to brush on his own, give him the space to do so (standing there watching over only gives the battle more attention).
  • Visual Appeal: Keep the bathroom area kid-friendly. Brightly colored tooth brushes, paint and maybe even a fun tooth-fact or window decal on the mirror will entice them to spend their 2 minutes in there, giving them something to look at while they brush.
  • Charts: A chart right there in the bathroom helps to set good oral hygiene habits early on. A reward could be something as simple as a new toothbrush!

Need more ideas? Give us a call to find out how we can help you keep your child on the path toward great oral health!

Heart Disease – The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Heart Disease and the ImportanceDid you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.

We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing combined with annual check-ups will help to fight the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease. Check out these oral hygiene facts and make sure to establish a routine to ensure a great smile and a healthy life.

According to the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Eating healthy snacks like celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
  • The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
  • Nearly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
  • Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases and oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
  • Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in teens than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
  • Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.

Issues that go untreated can end up costing a lot more than routine visits to your dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Remember, regardless of how old you are, it’s never too late to start taking serious care of your teeth and mouth.