Category Archives: Habits
Most dentists agree that thumb-sucking does not pose a serious problem for children until the arrival of permanent teeth. Still, the thumb-sucking habit concerns parents.
Dental problems occur when constant pressure is created by the thumb pressing against teeth. The pressure can distort tooth position and alter the shape of the hard palate. However, not all types of thumb-sucking lead to problems. For example, children who such their thumbs vigorously and for long periods are more likely to have problems than those who suck their thumbs placidly and rarely.
Thumb-sucking is a habit that is difficult for some children to break. Sometimes thumb-sucking in older children is a sign of an underlying problem such as disruption in the family or difficulties at school. In this case, parents should focus on the underlying problem rather than the thumb-sucking. Children should be praised for not sucking their thumbs. Parents should avoid negative comments such as “Get that thumb out of you mouth.”
Finally, let your dentist help you. Dentist will monitor any changes caused by thumb-sucking and will be able to suggest methods to help your child get past this prickly patch of life.
It’s never too early to begin your child’s oral healthcare. Most baby formulas contain sugar. After feeding baby, be sure to gently swab his or her gums with a moist cloth. Babies should into get into the habit of sleeping without a bottle of juice or milk. Liquid will pool in baby’s mouth, which, in the worse case scenario, can result in serious tooth decay. Dentists recommend water for those infants who must have a bottle at nap or bedtime. Be sure to gently swab baby’s gums and erupting teeth until such a time as your dentist recommends regular tooth brushing.
How do I prepare for a dental visit?
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- If you are prone to dental anxiety, eat a high-protein snack and avoid caffeinated or sugary beverages on the day of your visit to help keep you calm.
- If your dental visit coincides with your usual mealtime, bring a healthy snack to much on.
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Bring a list of medications (name and dosage), as well as the names of your recent and current health care practitioners. Additionally, alert your dentist of any medical conditions you have been diagnosed with.
- Jot down any questions you think of on a notepad. Bring extra paper with you to record the dentist’s answers and any oral care instructions.
Expect your dentist to perform a thorough examination, detect potential problems, and provide an appropriate treatment plan. An initial examination may include some or all of the following procedures:a soft tissue examination; screening and exam for periodontal disease; detailed charting of cavities, existing restorations (fillings and crowns), and other tooth conditions; and an oral cancer screening. Dental x-rays also may be taken to locate any abnormalities or injuries that cannot be detected through a visual exam.
Is it important to share a complete medical history?
Yes. Even if you’ve seen the same dentist for years, communicate any changes in your mouth or medical conditions that have been recently diagnosed. Health conditions, medications – even vitamins- can interfere with routine dental procedures. If you have a medical condition, such as heart-valve problems, recent total joint replacement, or insulin-dependent diabetes, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before your dental visit to prevent the spread of bacteria. these procedures could include professional teeth cleaning, extractions, and implant surgery.
If you are a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, it is important to inform your dentist about your condition. According to the National Institutes for Health, 40 percent of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience oral complications including salivary gland dysfunction, which leads to dry mouth rampant dental decay, and painful mouth sores. The more your dentist knows about your medical history and overall health, the better he or she is able to develop a personalized dental treatment plan to help improve your quality of life.
Are routine visits necessary?
Yes. Make sure to get regular dental checkups at least every six months to maintain healthy teeth and gums. But it is important to know that achieving optimum oral health requires more than regular checkups: it requires you to be an informed patient and an active participant in your own health. Ask your dentist questions about results for your check up and any recommended treatment. If you have researched an oral health problem, the information that you gather can help you identify health concerns and ask the right questions.
Do I need to discuss payment arrangements before my visit?
Payment requirements vary with each dental office, so it’s a good idea to discuss this with the receptionist before your next visit. Making payment arrangements ahead of time also can help reduce pre-visit related stress. If possible, find out what services your dental insurance covers. Ask whether your dentist accepts this kind of insurance and about what payment options are offered.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you cannot keep a scheduled dental appointment, don’t’ wait until the last minute to cancel or now show up at all. Since staff has set up a specific time slot for your oral health care, you should provide as much notice as possible of cancellation. Penalties for missed appointments vary from office to office and some may charge you for failure to cancel . While some emergencies may make it difficult to provide advance notice, 24 hours is recommended.
If you’re unsure about what to ask your dentist, try these questions:
- What type of toothbrush and floss is best for me?
- Am I brushing and flossing effectively?
- Are my teeth and gums healthy?