What happens if my child injures a tooth?

While statistics show that over 120 million of us are missing at least one tooth, that doesn’t make it any easier when you are one missing it! More difficult still, is when a child loses a permanent tooth in an injury or accident. It can be a stressful situation and one that we do occasionally come across. So, what happens when your child chips or loses an adult tooth?

The first thing to do, if your child experiences this, is to go to see your dentist. Whether there is a chip or a crack in the tooth, or if the tooth is loose or missing, it’s the best idea to get in to see a dentist right away. If there is something that can be done, doing it sooner than later, is always in your child’s best interest. 

There are a few treatments that can be done, depending on the injury sustained. 

  1. My child’s tooth is chipped.  Whether this is a front tooth or a back tooth, usually a chip in a tooth can be fairly easily restored with a resin filling, or bonding material. This is a tooth-colored material that is very durable, and it can work in a variety of situations to make the tooth whole again. 
  2. My child’s tooth is cracked. If a tooth is cracked or broken, there is still a good chance that the tooth can be saved. Sometimes, a small crack can be treated just like a chipped tooth, using filling material, as described above. More often, in these situations, a crown could be placed on the remaining, unaffected structure of the tooth, keeping the aesthetic look and function of the tooth. Occasionally, a crack will run up and down, or vertically, in the tooth, and that could be a situation where the tooth cannot be saved. Regardless, your dentist will be able to assess the tooth and let you know what your options are.
  3. My child’s tooth was knocked out. In these situations, it is always good to get your child to the dentist right away. If possible, bring the missing tooth with and keep it in water or milk while transporting. While it is difficult, sometimes the dentist can try to place the tooth back into the socket and stitch the gums slightly to see if the tooth will reconnect with the tissue. This is not always an option and it doesn’t always work, but it is worth a try. If the tooth cannot be placed back into the mouth, the dentist can make sure the socket is clean so that it will heal as nicely and quickly as possible. Your dentist can also discuss future options for tooth replacement with you and your child at that time. 

Any time a child has an injury involving their teeth it can be a traumatic situation. Getting them in to see their dentist right away is the best thing to do. These stressful situation are the times where it is helpful if you and your child have a dentist already so that you have a relationship with someone you trust and know. If you or your child don’t have a dentist currently, we recommend calling our office to set up a new patient exam! Today is a new day and a new opportunity to care for yourself and your family. We’d be happy to be a part of that!

Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy!

Did you know that kids can smile up to 400 times a day? Who doesn’t love that?! 

To ensure that you are helping to take care of your kid’s teeth, make sure you are scheduling them for their preventative visit early. At Grand Avenue Dental Care, we recommend that you take your child to the dentist when they get their first tooth or when they turn one year old - whichever happens first. 

This is what we call our ‘knee-to-knee’ exam and it’s a great chance for a dentist to take a look at how your child’s teeth are developing. It also allows both the child to start getting comfortable at the dentist, and the parent the opportunity to ask questions about at-home care and eating habits. 

The goal is prevent decay and development problems rather than have to treat them later. Plus, it allows us to develop a relationship with the patient from a young age, helping to ensure that they come every 6 months for their preventative visits as they get older. 

In addition, it can be beneficial to talk about habits like thumb-sucking or using a pacifier at these visits. Until a child is 2 or 3, it can be common for a child to suck their thumb or soothe with a pacifier. However after the age of 3 or 4 years old, this habit can become one that could damage tooth and jaw development. If you fear that your child is carrying their habit with them into adolescence, speak to your dentist as there are a couple of options that they can discuss with you!

Regardless of what your concern is, we recommend talking with your dentist. You will be helping to develop a positive relationship between your child and the dental office and that will help keep your child smiling.

Smile Like a Celeb!

For years, celebrities have always had those ‘knockout’ smiles. The good news is that the technology that allows celebs to achieve those amazing results is available for everyone. So, regardless of what needs improving in your smile, there is a way that your dentist can help you to get that million dollar smile!

  1. Crooked teeth?  Braces, or orthodontics, will help you straighten your teeth so that they are aligned beautifully.
  2. Discolored Teeth?  Whitening is a treatment that can be done either in the office or at your home. This will take the overall shade of your teeth and whiten and brighten it just the right amount for you!
  3. Decay or Dark Spots on Front Teeth?  Composite Bonding is a dental treatment during which, the dentists remove decay and use a composite resin material to fill in the area. The tooth colored material can be applied to most surfaces of the teeth and gum line. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored coverings that are placed over existing teeth. They can cover damaged or dis-colored surfaces, look and feel very natural and they can give your smile a major makeover!
  4. Missing Teeth?  Implants can allow you to replace a missing tooth. An implant acts very much like your real tooth and can be placed almost anywhere in the mouth, giving you back your full 

No matter what the issue it, it’s nothing that you and your dentist can’t handle. Visit your dentist, discuss your concerns, make a plan and smile! We are here to serve you and help you to share your best smile possible!

Keep on Sharing Smiles- Tips on How to Maintain Your Smile!

In February we focused a lot on how to take care of your teeth when we did our school visits to celebrate Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month. The truth is, being able to maintain our smile and care for our teeth at home is just as important for adults as it is for kids. And, it’s not too difficult to do!

  1. Be sure your home care is off to a good start! Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day, every day! Removing the build-up from the day is hugely important in keeping the enamel of your teeth strong and your teeth healthy.  In addition to brushing twice a day (morning and night), floss your teeth once a day. A good amount of your total tooth structure exists between your teeth and, without flossing, you will never be able to remove the daily debris. Use your favorite floss or water flosser once a day and you will be showing some love to your teeth!
  2. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for your regular check-ups! Just as you brush your teeth TWO times per day, you should visit your dentist TWO times per year. Many people like to wait until they are in pain or have a broken tooth. If you wait until you have pain, you usually have a large amount of decay that has caused it. It is best to see your dentist on a set schedule, so that if there is any decay, we catch it early, and while it is still small and easy to remove. You should also know that if you have any form of periodontal (gum) disease, your dentist may want you to come in more frequently until there is improvement in your gum health. 
  3. Watch what you eat and drink! While genetics does play a role in how healthy our teeth are, it is more likely that what you eat and drink more greatly affects your teeth. For instance, drinks like soda, sports drinks, juice, coffee and tea are all acidic and they make your teeth more likely to get decay. It is hugely important that the main drink that you sip on all day is water, and that after you do have a coffee or other acidic drink, you rinse with water. Alternatively, snacks like cheese are the opposite of acidic and can make your mouth less susceptible to decay. So, adding cheese to your crackers could be benefit for your teeth. Here are some “go-to” snacks and some “sometimes” snacks that you should be aware of. Eat from the blue colume frequently and the other columns, well, just sometimes. 
 This snack guide is courtesy of  TheDentistDad.com . Remember to eat LOTS from the blue column and only sometimes from the other two columns!

This snack guide is courtesy of TheDentistDad.com. Remember to eat LOTS from the blue column and only sometimes from the other two columns!

Remember- your mouth plays a big role in your overall health and taking care of your smile is a great step in taking care of YOU!

You've Scheduled! What you should ask about before and during your appointment!

As discussed in an earlier blog post, sometimes the anxiety of not knowing what to expect can prolong us from scheduling something like a dental appointment. One way to help overcome anxiety is by taking some time to ask questions before and during your first appointment.

Two things can happen when you do this. First, you will feel like you have more answers and are more involved in your dental health, which is always a good thing! Second, we will most likely learn more about you and your past dental experiences, which will help us better in knowing how to best serve you. Individualized customer service is what we strive for and the more we know about you - the individual - the better job we can do! So, what might be some things you would ask about?

  1. Ask about the overall health of your teeth. While your dentist should go over this information at your first visit, feel free to ask if anything wasn’t covered. Things that should be discussed include: Are you having any pain or discomfort? How are your current dental restorations are looking and holding up? Are you happy with the look of your smile? Do you have any additional concerns? If you do have additional questions about anything related to past or possible dental work, it’s a good idea to write them down. Sometimes we forget when we are there what it is we wanted to ask, but if you go in with your questions on paper, then you’ll get the answers! 
  2. Ask your doctor about the health of your gums. Again, most doctors will discuss this with you but the health of your gums, while related, is not the same as the health of your teeth. We do a periodontal exam at your adult new patient exams to measure the health of your gums around each of your teeth. Your doctor should discuss these results with you and if you don’t understand, you should definitely ask for more information!
  3. Ask about your Oral Cancer Screening. After your doctor completes this, feel free to ask about how your tissue is looking. Again, if you’ve had any issues with the tissue in and around your mouth, it’s a good time to discuss this with your doctor. This could include any bumps inside your lip or cheeks, pain or discomfort under your jaw, or anything unusual in the area that you are concerned about. Most likely, it’s nothing to worry about, but we’d rather discuss it with you than have you worry.  
  4. Call your insurance company before your visit. This is a tricky one because many times patients expect the dental or medical office to know all the ins and outs of their plans. The reality is that there are so many different insurance plans, each with it’s own unique coverage, that it is impossible for us to know exactly what’s covered for each plan. We do our best to estimate for you what we think will be covered, but we highly recommend calling your insurance company first. We also think it’s a good idea to ask about payment plans and financial arrangements with your dental office, if you do need dental treatment. It’s always best to know what is expected earlier rather than later.
  5. Ask about what YOU can do to improve your oral health! Many times there are simple things you can do at home that will greatly affect your gums, teeth and overall dental health. From better flossing techniques to using an electric toothbrush or even to slightly altering your diet, there’s usually some way that you can positively impact your dental health! 

So, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down your top dental questions! More information - it’s a good thing!