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Untying the Knot: The Cause, Effect and Treatment of Lip and Tongue Ties

When someone is “tongue-tied,” it usually means they have difficulty articulating their thoughts. But for some children and infants, being tongue-tied is an actual medical condition they were born with that can cause issues with eating, pain, cavities, or even speech problems.
The problem stems from the frenum, also known as the lip tie or tongue tie, a soft band of tissue connecting the lips, cheek, and tongue to the jawbone.

“Usually, this thicker tissue is found above your two front teeth, connecting the top lip, or beneath the tongue,” explains Dr. Leva Sabet, a pediatric dentist at Summerville Pediatric Dentistry. “Sometimes, children are born with thicker than normal frenum, which can prevent proper function.”

Common Signs and Symptoms
There are many signs Dr. Leva warns parents to watch for. These can include breastfeeding issues, speech issues, difficulty sleeping and eating, and even issues with brushing teeth.
“They may struggle with swallowing certain foods, leading to prolonged mealtimes as well as choking, gagging, and spitting food out,” said Dr. Leva. “They may also struggle to transition from breastfeeding or bottle feeding due to issues with solid foods.”

At nighttime, if your child resists brushing their top teeth, grinds their teeth, or snores, a tongue-tie could be the culprit. “A lip tie can be very uncomfortable for a child when lifting the upper lip, becoming a food trap and obstacle when brushing,” she said. “In normal anatomy, the tongue should rest forward on the roof of the mouth during sleep. A tongue tie can cause the tongue to fall backward in the throat during sleep, leading to airway obstruction. This incorrect positioning can lead to teeth grinding, snoring, or sleep-disordered breathing. Such disordered breathing can lead to bed-wetting, restlessness, or frequent waking at night.”

Take a good look at your child’s tongue for even more telltale signs. If they can’t stick their tongue out or their tongue is heart-shaped, it could be an issue. “Spacing between baby teeth is ideal, but an upper lip tie can lead to esthetic concerns for some in the permanent teeth,” said Dr. Leva.

Easy, Painless Procedure
The good news is that tongue tie is a common condition among newborns (affecting approximately 5%) and can be corrected with a simple procedure known as a frenectomy. Summerville Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is the only pediatric practice in Charleston that has the Solea Co2 Laser, which allows them to correct the tongue-tie with minimal discomfort, no swelling, and little to no bleeding. And here’s the better news for the little ones: no needles, incisions, or sedation are necessary. This machine also reduces the risk of infection and other complications.

“It’s changed the entire game on how we do dentistry,” said Dr. Leva
“This means children can get right back to school after their appointments without worrying about long-lasting numbness,” said Dr. Leva. “In eliminating the need for anesthesia-related injections, in addition to shorter procedure in-chair time, the laser significantly improves our young patients’ experiences in our office. However, we will only do the procedure if the frenum is causing direct functional issues, not only cosmetic reasons, unless working in conjunction with an orthodontist.”

Working with Parents Post-Op
The crucial part of this corrective procedure is the recovery period. Parents are given exercises to do with the child at home post-op to ensure the procedure’s success. The exercises are demonstrated in the office so that they can be performed at home the recommended “three weeks, three times a day for three seconds.”

“It’s all about us being a team with the parents,” said Dr. Leva. “Parents doing the exercises at home is the biggest key to success.”

Frenectomy Patient Testimonial
Sabet noted that post-procedure, parents reported significant improvements in the child, including more mobility in the tongue and less picky eating. One parent shared her child’s exciting progress that immediately followed his procedure.

“My two sons go to Summerville Pediatric Dentistry. My one-year-old went and saw Dr. Leva, and she discovered he had a lip tie. She mentioned that they can do a simple laser procedure to remove the lip tie and improve some functions that he was having trouble with. I opted to proceed with the procedure. Let me tell you that it was the best decision I could have made. It only took about 2 minutes to do the procedure. Although my son didn’t like it very much, he only cried like 2 seconds after it was done. When we got to the car I gave him a sippy cup that had a straw. He could not drink out of a straw at this point but it was all I had with me. When I gave it to him, he drank out of it like he had been doing it all his life. He even started talking more that day. The results that I saw immediately after the Laser procedure were amazing. I would recommend it to anyone whose child has a lip tie. Get it done. Thank you, Dr. Leva, for being the best.”

If your child meets the criteria or if you’re concerned your child is struggling with these issues, contact Summerville Pediatric Dentistry today for a consultation.

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The Best Way to Get a Child’s Loose Tooth Out

Nobody seems to have a distinct idea of what the Tooth Fairy actually looks like, but, regardless of her – or maybe his – appearance, for more than a century, he or she has helped make losing a baby tooth a less painful proposition for children throughout the world. Here in the United States, according to the results of a recent national survey, when American children go to sleep with a tooth placed carefully under their pillow, they wake up the next morning with an average of
$3.70 in its place. However, before that tooth can turn a profit, it has to come out of the child’s mouth, and, sometimes, that can be a problem, according to Rory Nathanson, a dental hygienist with Summerville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Of course, a loose tooth is a common occurrence for young kids, Nathanson points out. The 20 baby teeth begin to emerge at the age of 6 months, and they usually start giving way to adult incisors, canines, bicuspids and molars between the ages of 5 and 8. She says once a tooth starts to wiggle, it’s best to let children continue to loosen it with their finger or tongue until it falls out on its own. “It shouldn’t be a scary thing,” Nathanson says. “Hard food like an apple or raw vegetables will help, and there’s no danger of swallowing the tooth because it’s so small.”

In most cases, a baby tooth is loose because an adult tooth is trying to emerge and push it out of the way. However, there are situations when a loose tooth might require a visit to the dentist – for example, if it’s loose because of some type of trauma to the face or if the child seems to be too young to be losing his or her baby teeth. “If you are unsure, bring the child in. We can take a panoramic X-Ray and see if the child is missing an adult tooth, in which case, the baby tooth wouldn’t come out on its own. We can determine if the baby tooth is worth saving or if it should be pulled,” she says. She adds that it’s not all that uncommon for people to keep one or two baby teeth their entire life, as long as the teeth remain healthy. “If the baby tooth is compromised or has a cavity, we might determine that it needs to be pulled and then do some orthodontic work to close up the space,” she explains. “Baby teeth are typically smaller, with shorter roots, but it doesn’t cause a problem if you keep a couple of them.” Nathanson says that some kids are terrified of losing a tooth, though it’s a natural part of growing up. And, if they do have to pay a visit to Summerville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to have a tooth removed, they’ll be able to take it home with them and still have the opportunity to place it under their pillow at night and reap the financial benefit of a visit from that vague and undefined character – the tooth fairy.

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Finish the Job by Flossing

Brushing your teeth three or more times a day is certainly a major step toward making your incisors, canines, bicuspids, and molars as healthy, durable and useful as they can possibly be. But as functional as a toothbrush is, it needs help to complete this vital task.

That important assistance comes from regular flossing, finishing the job of cleaning your teeth by running string floss in between them and removing the food particles, plaque, and bacteria that threaten the health of your entire mouth and maybe other parts of your body as well.

“Brushing alone doesn’t clean every surface of each tooth,” says Rory Nathanson, a dental hygienist with Summerville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. “Each tooth has five surfaces; if you don’t floss, you’re leaving two surfaces unclean.”

She says if you ignore the benefits of flossing, plaque and bacteria will accumulate in those hard-to-reach-with-a-toothbrush areas of your mouth. Plaque can build up in as soon as 24 to 36 hours, causing cavities and contributing to the possibility of gingivitis – inflammation of the gums.

Nathanson says some of her patients avoid flossing because they say it makes their gums bleed. However, she points out that it’s the plaque that causes this problem and that “if you routinely clean these areas, your gums should stop bleeding.” She adds that cavities, another result of poor brushing and flossing habits, are considered to be the most chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma.

But why should young children go to the trouble of taking care of their teeth? After all, before too long, those baby teeth will fall out and be replaced by their permanent pearly whites.

“Kids need to develop good habits. The earlier you floss, the better it will be long-term for your teeth and for your overall health,” Nathanson says. “The mouth is the opening to the rest of the body. More and more studies show that other health problems are associated with bacteria in the mouth.”

At what age should children start flossing? According to Nathanson, kids should get into the habit of taking good care of their teeth as soon as they start to emerge. Of course, at that age, they’ll most likely need help from their parents.

“As long as they have teeth, they should floss,” Nathanson says. “At a young age, it’s more to get used to the idea of flossing so it won’t be totally foreign when they are 10 years old and have their adult teeth. It’s more about getting into the habit.”

She adds that by the time children are able to tie their own shoes, they should be responsible enough to floss without help from their mom or dad.

Nathanson says traditional string floss and floss picks – plastic toothpicks that include a small piece of floss – are both good options, adding that a pick is probably a little easier for parents to use on their children’s teeth. She adds that the best way to ensure the health of your kids’ teeth is to visit the dentist on a regular basis.

“Coming to the dentist every six months for a good cleaning is always the best option,” she concludes.

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Holiday Sweets and Brushing Your Teeth

As the holidays roll around, parents often tell their kids to wait until after dinner to eat their favorite seasonal sweet; however, dentists suggest this may not be as effective for their tooth care. On the downside, sugar is public enemy No. 1 when it comes to dental health. It causes cavities, affects the enamel that protects your teeth and has the potential to do long-term damage to your mouth.

The upside is that one way to neutralize the effects of sugary desserts is to eat them along with your main meal. That’s right: You won’t have to wait for dinner to be over to get a taste of Grandma’s world-famous three-layer chocolate cake or that cherry pie you’ve been staring at since it came out of the oven.

“If you are going to eat sugar, it’s better to do it at the same time as a balanced meal,” says Dr. Dorothy Baker of Summerville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. “Rather than serving dessert last, incorporate it into your holiday meal. Healthy foods help neutralize the acids in sugar, and they also displace sugar from your teeth.”

Dr. Baker cited several eating habits that kids should avoid, not only during the holiday season but throughout the rest of the year as well. For instance, even though nuts are great to help build strong bones and muscles, you shouldn’t use your teeth to crack them open. Chewing on items such as ice cubes and hard candy is also a no-no.

“Hard candy is the worst offender,” she says. “It stays in your mouth for a long time, and it can also break your teeth.”

She added that soft drinks should be avoided and that fruit juice is included in that category because it provides lots of sugar and empty calories but little in the way of useful nutrients.

So what are parents to do during the holiday season? Should they keep their children from eating any sweets at all, or is it OK to depend on regular brushing and flossing to protect their kids’ teeth from the chaos sugar is capable of producing? Fortunately, they have another option: Various spices can be used to replace sugar, and many of them also have qualities that add to, rather than subtract from, your kids’ overall health and well-being.

Cinnamon, for example, plays a role in reducing inflammation and fighting off bacteria, and it also adds flavor to oatmeal or apple pie. Nutmeg, an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, can play the same role, according to Dr. Baker. She added that clove has been used as a pain killer, and clove oil is an ingredient in some toothpaste and oral antiseptics. It also can be used to give a burst of flavor to apples and pears.

Peppermint, meanwhile, helps alleviate digestive issues, and Dr. Baker points out that rubbing it on your temples can make a headache go away. And chewing on a mint leaf can help you get rid of bad breath.

“Smart snacking is advised, especially right before bedtime and after brushing,” Dr. Baker concludes. “You can replace candy with any winter produce, such as squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins or any fresh vegetables.”

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Bullwinkel Brings Familiar Name to Summerville Orthodontics Practice

Bullwinkel Brings Familiar Name to Summerville Orthodontics Practice

The building is the same, as is the staff inside, as well as the orthodontist helping to bring brighter smiles and increased self-confidence to patients. There’s a new name and a new logo, but everything else about what had been the orthodontics wing of Summerville Pediatric Dentistry remains comfortably unchanged.

That’s because the new name is really a familiar one: Dr. Katie Bullwinkel, orthodontist with Summerville Pediatric Dentistry since January of 2016, has started a new practice called Bullwinkel Orthodontics. Her office at 405 West 5th North St. was the original home of Summerville Pediatric Dentistry, and while the two offices are not affiliated, she maintains close ties to Dr. Dorothy Baker at the dentist’s current office down the street.

“It was an opportunity I could not pass up,” says Bullwinkel, a native of Chapin, S.C., graduate of The Medical University of S.C. and a mother of three.

“This office is a perfect fit for me—I have a background in pediatric psychology, and I have my own experience with children by being a working mom and a busy mom. I know what it’s like to have kids and take them for appointments, so I think I bring a personal touch to the office that makes it special. And it’s always been a dream of mine to own my own office, and Dottie was wonderful enough to help me realize that dream.”

Stronger Than Ever

Bullwinkel, whose husband is from Charleston, split her time between working at offices in Mount Pleasant and her native Chapin before an opening arose for an orthodontist at the practice then called Summerville Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. She joined Baker’s practice, and the connection was instant—to the point where Baker knew it was Bullwinkel who would one day take over her orthodontics wing.

As Summerville Pediatric Dentistry grew larger and busier, Baker moved the dentistry wing to another building at 384 East 5th North St., where it’s currently located. Over Christmas, she approached Bullwinkel about taking over the orthodontics practice.

“Once she realized it was a good fit for her and her patients, she knew this would be the plan,” Bullwinkel says. “We’d been talking about it for a while, and this was the time to do it.”

The purchase became official in January. Bullwinkel says patients will notice no difference other than the new logo, and that her relationship with Baker—whom she called a mentor, and says coached her so she was ready to open her own office—is stronger than ever.

“We still communicate on the back end, we still text every day, we still communicate about our patients,” Bullwinkel said. “Dottie and I are great friends. We talk all the time. This is just my opportunity to realize a dream, and she’s been very instrumental in helping me with that.”

A People Person at Heart

Growing up, orthodontics was not exactly the career field Bullwinkel foresaw for herself. She was more interested in architecture, until she realized during a shadowing assignment that it lacked the personal interaction she desired. As someone who did her own time in braces, Bullwinkel wound up working after school for her orthodontist, who helped her see that the profession combined design elements—just for teeth, rather than a building—with people skills.

“It brought together that design and artistic element, and also kids and families and people,” she says. “I’m just a people person at heart. I come from a long line of teachers, and there’s lot of teaching and coaching in orthodontics. You really have to have the patient on your side, no matter what the treatment.”

Now, she’s putting those skills to use in an office with her own name out front. If your child is in need of orthodontic care, contact Bullwinkel Orthodontics at (843) 285-5315, or visit their website at BullwinkelOrtho.com for further information.

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Sleep Apnea and Your Child’s Dental Health

UP TO 20 PERCENT of habitually snoring children have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results in brief but repeated interruptions to normal breathing during sleep. Not only is this a potentially life-threatening disorder, it also has a significant impact on oral health.
 

The Three Types Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can occur in three different ways. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the result of a blockage in the airway, typically the tongue collapsing against the soft palate, which in turn collapses against the back of the throat, closing off the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to signal the muscles of the respiratory system to keep breathing. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the first two types.

Each time breath is interrupted, the brain causes the person with sleep apnea to wake up. It happens so quickly that they usually don’t remember it, but the interruptions severely impact the overall quality of sleep, as they can happen as often as hundreds of times in a single night.

What Does Sleep Apnea Have To Do With Teeth?

In addition to leaving your child with all the usual symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as exhaustion, difficulty concentrating at school, irritability, and hyperactivity, sleep apnea has a number of effects on oral health. There is a significant association between OSA and moderate to severe periodontitis (gum disease), but the most common dental health complications are temporomandibular joint disorders(TMJ or TMD).

Studies have shown that the jaw reflexively clenches to prevent the airway from becoming blocked when the throat relaxes during a sleep apnea episode. TMD leads to other problems like worn, cracked, or broken teeth, pain when chewing, chronic headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

How The Dentist Can Help

The dental effects of sleep apnea are so common that the dentist might be the first one to spot the signs and diagnose the disorder. This is just one way your child’s regular dental appointments will benefit their overall health. If they are diagnosed with sleep apnea, common treatment options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and nighttime dental devices that push the tongue or the lower jaw forward.

Healthier Sleep For Healthier Smiles

If your child has been experiencing any of the symptoms described above, there’s no reason for them to continue living with interrupted sleep and the health and cognitive problems that come with sleep apnea. Give us a call or drop by our practice today to schedule an appointment so that we can see if sleep apnea is the cause and get your child on the path to more restful sleep and better oral health.

Wishing all our patients a good night’s sleep!

 

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Train Your Child to FLOSS like a NINJA

BEING A GOOD NINJA isn’t just about mastering the nunchaku and learning to move about completely undetected; it’s also about keeping one’s teeth and gums healthy and strong. One of our greatest weapons against gum disease and tooth decay is a good flossing habit.
 

The Importance Of Flossing To The Path Of The Ninja

You might wonder why it’s so important for a young ninja-in-training to floss. If baby teeth are only temporary, then why does it matter to keep them healthy, and does flossing really make a difference? While it is true that baby teeth will soon be replaced by adult teeth, it is still critical to keep them healthy and strong so that the adult teeth can come in where they should. A toothbrush isn’t enough to keep them clean, which is where flossing comes in.

When To Begin Flossing Training

It takes time for all shinobi to develop good dexterity and hand-eye coordination, so we recommend that you start flossing for them around age two and a half. If you make it into a daily habit, they will be ready to learn how to floss on their own by about age five. The most important thing is consistency. They will be much more likely to maintain a good flossing habit on their own if they are already used to it being a part of their day.

The Way Of The Flossing Master

Here are a few tips to help parents pass on the noble technique of flossing to children who are ready to learn, because what is second-nature to an adult may not be so easy for a child:

  • Explain the importance of flossing. If they understand why it matters, they will be more motivated to do it.
  • Emphasize that flossing is a Big Kid skill. Like learning to tie their shoes and ride a bike without training wheels, they’ll be eager to prove how grown up they are by flossing their own teeth.
  • Use flossers or floss picks if traditional floss is too tricky.
  • If you’re sticking with traditional floss, show them how to pull out the right amount (a foot and a half) and loosely wrap it around their middle fingers, leaving just an inch or two to slide between the teeth.
  • Show them how to effectively clean by using a back-and-forth motion without snapping their gums. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C-shape to make it more gentle.
  • Teach them how to move down the strand so they use clean floss on each tooth. We want to get rid of the plaque, not move it around!

Seek Wisdom From Your Dentist

Teaching your child good dental hygiene habits is as much about giving them the right perspective as it is about the proper technique. Ideally, they’ll see tasks like brushing and flossing as quick and easy ways to keep their teeth feeling great, rather than unpleasant chores. If you need help or advice on how to convince your young ninja that dental hygiene matters, we are always happy to provide a demonstration at our practice!

Keep up the great work training a new generation of flossing ninjas!

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New Years

IT’S A NEW YEAR!

New Years

IT’S A NEW YEAR! We’re so excited for what this year will bring, particularly when we look back at everything we achieved in 2018. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to give our wonderful patients an update on the goals our team members have made for the new year, as well as their accomplishments from the last!

How Far We Came In 2018

2018 was a year of focus and growth for our office. After the big move of 2017 to our new Pediatric and Teen dental location, both the dental office and the orthodontic office spent 2018 breathing in their new space. We’ve celebrated new milestones and fun giveaways with our patients and office family, incorporated new technologies and fun new treatment options—I’m looking at you GOLD BRACES. We’ve worked hard to make sure your dental and orthodontic experience is always TOP NOTCH. Thank you for all of your patience, your suggestions and your love for our doctors and our amazing team. You, our WONDERFUL patients, have made us all so thankful to be in this profession of serving others.

Our Roadmap For 2019

We are EXCITED to tackle this new year, 2019, with goals for health, mindfulness, presence, but importantly reflection on where we have come from and where we are going. Thinking back to our start over TEN years ago, it is the love our patients that has propelled us forward. Our office goal for 2019 is to continue to grow and surpass your expectations with a single-minded obsession. You have many choices for dental care and we are honored that you have chosen our little office!

Side note — Dr. Katie is also super excited about her new Bullet Journal resolution… #bulletjournal… mind blown. Shout out to Olivia Olson for the suggestion! Bring on that #organizedlife!!!

Check out this video for tips on keeping your resolutions:

What Are Your Goals This Year?

Now that we’ve told you about our goals for the new year, we want to hear about yours! Share your New Year’s resolutions in the comments below or on Facebook, and we look forward to seeing you this year!

Let’s all support each other in making our resolutions a reality!

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candy and braces

Halloween, Candy, and YOUR BRACES

Halloween, Candy and YOUR BRACES

WE ALL LOVE EATING our favorite candy from time to time, especially around Halloween. But those treats can get tricky for orthodontic patients, because many of the standard goodies are harmful to braces. So how can you safely enjoy your spooky night of fun and sweets? Just follow our guidelines of what to aim for and what to avoid in the trick-or-treat bowls around your neighborhood.

candy and braces

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

The good news is that chocolate is safe! Any type of soft chocolate, from a bar to a peanut butter cup, is perfectly fine to eat with braces. But soft is the keyword there. Hard or large pieces of chocolate could still pose a danger to orthodontic equipment, and you should avoid chocolate with hard pieces of toffee embedded in it.

 

Cookies and brownies are another safe option for braces-wearers, so make sure you pay a visit to the house that always hands out baked goods this year! Again, softness is key. If someone gives you a hard cookie, give it a good long soak in cold milk before biting into it.

 

While whole caramel apples are firmly on the banned list, you can take that caramel apple home and chop it into slices. After that, it won’t pose a threat to your braces. Even better, apples are much healthier for your teeth than all that candy, so you can enjoy something both delicious and good for you!

 

Hard candies are okay, but there’s a catch: no chewing allowed. If you have the patience to be able to suck on it until it dissolves, a hard candy is safe. However, just because they’re safe for braces doesn’t make them great for your teeth, so we still recommend sticking to the other options.

 

Treats To Trade To Your No-Braces Friends

No matter how much you love them, there are some treats and candies that are definitely off-limits if you have braces. Anything hard, gummy, chewy, or sticky can put brackets and wires at risk. That means no taffy, gummies, caramels, toffee, popcorn, jelly beans, Tootsie Rolls, or Starbursts, and absolutely no gum. Any of these can pop or pull a bracket right off a tooth. It’s also important to avoid candies like M&Ms or Skittles, because their small size makes it easy for them to get into the wrong place and pop a bracket loose.

 

Check out this video for a reminder about banned foods and why to avoid them:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do1VCqfiLgo

 

If you do end up with a bag full of banned treats, just trade those away to a friend or sibling without braces until your Halloween haul is all orthodontist-approved!

 

Don’t Forget To Clean Your Teeth!

The most important thing to remember after your night of fun and tasty treats is to take care of your teeth and your braces, because many of the treats that are safe to eat can still lead to tooth decay without proper attention to dental hygiene. So make sure to brush and floss away all traces of that sugary deliciousness. We’ll be checking the next time we see you that you’ve been keeping up with your braces cleaning routine!

 

Keep making wise choices to keep your braces safe!

 

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What To Do In A Dental Emergency

WHEN WE THINK OF an emergency, we probably don’t imagine it could have something to do with our teeth. However, any chip, crack, or toothache should be treated as a priority, because even if they seem like minor issues, they can lead to much worse (and more expensive) problems down the line.

Know Where To Go

Before an emergency happens, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family. The first is to find a dental practice that is right for you. This way, you’ll know where to turn when something goes wrong unexpectedly, and you won’t have to waste precious time looking up dental practices. You want a dentist who is within easy driving distance, has a good reputation, is within your price range, and who makes you and your family feel comfortable.

Common Dental Emergencies

In addition to knowing where to turn when an emergency happens, you can also prepare for dental emergencies by becoming educated on what you can do on the way to the dentist. Here are the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendations for three common dental emergencies:

A Knocked Out Baby Tooth

If a baby tooth is knocked out, contact your dentist immediately. Most likely, even if the tooth was not loose, they will not replant it because it could compromise the developing permanent tooth underneath.

Fracture Of A Tooth

If a tooth is cracked, chipped, or broken, contact your dentist right away because this will need treatment as soon as possible. Rinse out your mouth with water and find any broken fragments of tooth, then place them in cold milk to preserve them and bring them with you to the dentist. Do not ignore a crack or chip! If the dental pulp is exposed, it is in danger of infection unless treated quickly!

Watch this video to learn about bonding, one way a dentist may repair a chipped tooth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyPxbrnkLMk

A Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, head straight to the dentist. In most cases, a knocked out tooth can be saved if the dentist sees you within an hour of the accident. Before you get there, you can help preserve the tooth by replacing it in the socket and holding it in place with clean gauze or a washcloth. If it won’t go back in, store it in cold milk.

A few things you should NOT do if a permanent tooth gets knocked out are letting it dry out, handling it by the root, scrubbing it clean, or using soap, alcohol, or peroxide on it. Doing any of these things will damage the root of the tooth, reducing the chances the dentist will be able to successfully replant it.

We are Ready To Help!

Even if your tooth shows no external damage, a toothache is a sign that something could be wrong on the inside, and that should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Now, hopefully you will never have to put any of this preparation to the test, but if you do, you now know where to go! If you have any questions about what else you can do to prepare for a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to ask us.

Your dental health is our top priority!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please feel free to contact us with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

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