All About Baby Teeth!

All About Baby Teeth!

Baby teeth, while temporary, will be in your children’s mouths for a long time and impact the eruption of their permanent teeth, so it is important for both you and your children to keep them clean. Here are some pointers on what to expect and how to take care of them.

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Babies are born with their 20 primary teeth in their jaws, but they do not erupt until around the ages of 6 months to 1 year. By  years old, most children have all 20 baby teeth. Every child is different, but generally the front teeth at the bottom and top of the mouth come in first. When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing to them.

Baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help him or her chew, speak and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby loses a tooth too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded.

You should begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a soft cloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can appear, so until the age of three, you should brush your child’s teeth morning and night with a bit of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. When your children are aged three to six, you should teach them to brush their teeth morning and night with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brushing your teeth alongside them is a fun bonding activity and an opportunity for you to be a great role model of proper oral hygiene.

You should schedule your child’s first dental appointment after the first tooth comes in, and no later than the first birthday. This is a simple checkup to make sure that the baby has no cavities or other tooth problems, and we can show you how to clean your child’s teeth properly and how to handle thumb sucking. Follow these instructions and you can start your children on the path to a lifetime of great oral health!

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The 8 Superpowers of Your Smile

Young Man LaughingWe all know that it feels good to smile, but you’ll be happy to find out that smiling carries even more benefits! New research from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has found some incredible benefits of smiling that may not be so obvious. Check these out, as well as some previously conducted research, below

  1. Smiling can make you look younger. Researchers at UMKC asked college students to guess peoples’ ages based solely on a photo of their faces. In some photos, the subjects were smiling and in others they were frowning. The students consistently rated the smiling faces as younger. This might be due in part to the physical effect that a smile has on your face, raising your cheeks, jowls, and neck. It’s like a free facelift!
  2. Smiling can make you look thinner. Another result to smile about! In an experiment conducted at UMKC, people with sad faces flashed on a screen to participants were judged to be heftier than people with smiling faces. So for anyone giving up your happiness to stick to a diet, just remember that happiness makes you look skinny too!
  3. Smiling makes you feel better. According to psychologist Sarah Stevenson, smiling elevates your mood and increases your sense of wellbeing by increasing production of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, the chemicals associated with happiness. She states that “Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain,” and that’s just adorable. In fact, according to Ron Gutman, the author of Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act, one smile can generate the same brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate.
  4.  Even a forced smile can lead to a mood boost. As Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Research has proven this proverbial wisdom to be true. Even experimental subjects instructed to place a pencil in between their teeth actually felt better than subjects that didn’t.
  5. Smiles can predict fulfillment in marriage. In a study cited by Gutman, researchers were able to predict how long-lasting and fulfilled a person’s marriage would be based on amount of time spent smiling. What could be a more important benefit than that?
  6. Smiling makes you seem courteous, likable, and competent. Courteous and likable seem pretty obvious, but how can smiling make you seem more competent? A smile may be a sign of confidence and ease, qualities which seem to be closely tied to competence.
  7. Smiling can predict life span. Now this one may be a bit out there, but researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI studied 1950s major league baseball cards. They found that players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, while players that smiled lived an average of almost 80 years.
  8. Smiling is Contagious You probably know this one already, but seeing a warm smile can really warm the heart and get you smiling too! So if, you’re serious about making the world a better place, start by smiling!

Fun Dental Facts!

Fun Dental Facts!

You know how amazing your smile is, but I bet you didn’t know these teeth-related fun facts!

  • The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime.
  • People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. There are 10-12 teaspoons of sugar in a single can of soda!
  • Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.
  • If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces. Brushing is only half the job!
  • Right handed people tend to chew their food on the right side of their mouths and left handed people tend to chew their food on the left side.
  • Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a million dollars on chewing gum.
  • Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different. Same goes for tooth prints!
  • The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles about 8 times a day.
  • Kids laugh around 400 times a day, adults just 15 times a day.
  • The average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day, the recommended amount of time is 2-3 minutes.
  • 78% of Americans have had at least 1 cavity by age 17.
  • 1882 was the year commercial floss was first manufactured.
  • The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816 one of his teeth was sold in London for $3,633, or in today’s terms $35,700. The tooth was set in a ring! (source: Guinness World Records 2002).
  • More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.
  • Dogs have 42 teeth. Humans only have 32 (and 28 after wisdom teeth extraction)!
  • A snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth!
  • The Blue Whale is the largest mammal on earth, but it eats only tiny shrimp because it has no teeth.
  • The Crocodile Bird flies into the open mouth of a crocodile and cleans the crocodile’s teeth!

E-mail us to learn more about your mouth and the steps you can take to keep it healthy!

Why Choose Invisalign?

Why Choose Invisalign?

Invisalign is a teeth-straightening technology that is equally effective as braces without many of the downsides. Both braces and Invisalign work by applying controlled force to the teeth, slowly shifting them over time. The average length of treatment is about a year.

The most notable difference between braces and Invisalign may be the appearance. Instead of metal wires, Invisalign retainers are made from a clear thermoplastic material. This allows your smile to shine through without being covered by metal brackets and wires. Most people won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.

Another important difference is that as a patient, you can remove your retainers whenever you want. With braces, once they’re on, they’re on. We recommend that you wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, but you can remove them to eat, brush, and floss. Brushing in between braces and chewing crunchy things can be difficult, or even impossible. With Invisalign you can eat whatever you want and take better care of your oral hygiene.

Invisalign also requires less time in the doctor’s chair. With braces, you have to routinely go in to the orthodontist’s office to adjust the brackets or wires as the treatment proceeds. The Invisalign software, on the other hand, allows us to map virtually where your teeth will be as treatment goes on, and you only need to come into the office one time to receive your retainers. Invisalign patients receive multiple retainers that they change every two weeks. Each is designed to move your teeth to a slightly further position, until at the end of the treatment, you are left with perfectly straight teeth!

While it is true that Invisalign is a more expensive option, the vast convenience, aesthetic, and treatment advantages make it a much better option than braces in many ways. A New Smile Dental Center is a Preferred Invisalign Provider, meaning that we have vast experience in Invisalign treatment, so great results are guaranteed. Reach out today to find out if Invisalign is right for you or a loved one!

How To Never Have Bad Breath Again

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No one wants to hear that they have bad breath, but what’s even worse is not knowing. We all know what it’s like smelling someone’s bad breath. It doesn’t matter what that person is saying, they could be telling you the meaning of life for all you care, the only thing you can pay attention to is the foul odor emanating from their mouth with every word. This is why bad breath can ruin existing relationships and prevent new ones from forming. It’s tough to fault somebody who spurns someone with bad breath. The smell can be awful and no one should have to subject themselves to that. But if you are the one with bad breath, as we all have been at one time or another, there are easy steps that you can take to alleviate the situation.

  1. Brush and Floss After Meals
    Bad breath is often caused by poor dental hygiene. When food debris is not cleaned from your teeth, bacteria feeds on it and begins to grow in your mouth, causing a foul odor. Brushing and flossing after meals is a great way to prevent food debris from becoming a problem, and that simple habit can prevent cavities and gum disease, which can accelerate your bad breath problem.
  2. Take Care of Cavities and Gum Disease
    Once you have a cavity or a gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis, your breath can quickly go from bad to worse. In the case of cavities, this is because bacteria can build up in the hole in your tooth, making it impossible to reach and impossible to deal with, aside from coming in for a cleaning and filling. In the case of gum disease, bacteria feeds on proteins from bleeding gums and diseased oral tissue and grows. Tooth decay and ill-fitting dentures also aggravate bad breath.
  3. Stay Hydrated
    A dry mouth is the perfect environment for the formation of bad-breath causing bacteria. Saliva cleans your mouth, washing away odor-causing bacteria from your teeth, tongue and gums. Dry mouth caused by the lack of salivary production while sleeping is the cause for “morning breath.” This is also a reason why smoking and drinking alcohol cause bad breath. Drinking plenty of water is crucial to preventing bad breath for this reason. Using a mouthwash designed for bad breath, such as Biotene, which we carry at our office, can be a great solution for those who suffer from chronic dry mouth.
  4. Chew Something
    Chewing sugarless gum or eating crispy fruits or vegetables such as carrots, celery or apples stimulates saliva flow which is integral in the fight against bad breath. That is why any type of sugarless gum, not just mint-flavored, can fight bad breath. It is all about getting the saliva to flow and fight bacteria. If your mouth feels dry, that is a sign that you might have bad breath.

In rare cases, bad breath can be a sign of larger health concerns in the body, but 90% of cases of bad breath are caused by bacteria in the mouth, which is good news, because now you know how to fight that nasty bacteria! Clean those teeth, come in for regular check-ups, and keep your mouth from getting dry and you should have no concerns about bad breath!

3D Printed Crowns in an Hour!

Click here to watch CEREC in action

Crowns are some of the most commonly used dental appliances. They are placed over the tooth and are typically used to reinforce a heavily damaged or decayed teeth. They are also used to finish off root canal procedures and dental implants. Historically, the process of receiving a crown took 1-3 weeks from start to finish. With new CEREC technology, however, we are now able to provide patients with crowns in one visit, or no more than an hour and a half.

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Doctors Nahon and Collazo review a digital impression

It used to be the case that patients would have to come into the office, bite down on a messy gel to create a mold, then we would have to send that mold to a lab and wait for the crown to be milled. In most other offices, this is still the case, but at A New Smile we can make the crown in-house using CEREC’s milling machine, which is pretty much a 3D printer for crowns. Instead of patients biting onto a mold, we use a special light that scans the teeth and creates a virtual mold which is then sent to the milling machine. The machine carves out a crown in 30-45 minutes, as opposed to the traditional dental lab, where building a crown would usually take a week.

No matter the reason, at A New Smile you can be in and out of our office in little more than an hour with a brand new crown, instead of waiting around for weeks while your teeth sustain further damage.

E-mail us for more info!

 

Why Do Toothaches Hurt So Bad?

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If you’ve ever had a toothache, you don’t need us to tell you how painful it can be. For many, it is the most intense pain that they have ever experienced.

A toothache is the result when the nerve of a tooth has become infected. This infection is most commonly caused by a deep cavity, but can also be the result of a trauma to the tooth or a very severe case of periodontal disease. But why does an infected root cause such intense pain?

When your finger is infected, it swells up because of your body’s own immune response. This is possible because the tissues in your finger are relatively soft and flexible. When you have an infection in a tooth, the immune response is the same – but a tooth cannot swell up in the same way a finger can. The infection is caught inside the hard tissues of the tooth, causing extreme pressure. This is the reason for the intense toothache. When the pressure gets too high, the infection will start to work it’s way out of the tooth through the root and into the surrounding bone structure. From here it will continue to push it’s way out through the hard tissues. At this point the toothache is especially painful. Eventually you might develop an abscess, which can normally be seen in the mouth around the area of the root of the tooth which is infected. Sometimes the abscess is even outside the mouth under the chin. When the abscess bursts, the pressure is off, and many people feel instant relief from the toothache. This does not mean that the problem is solved, however. The reason for the toothache – the infection – is still there and treatment is still necessary.

There are only two ways of effectively treating an infected tooth. The first is root canal treatment, in which the dentist drills into the tooth and removes the infected tissue. If this is not possible, the tooth must be removed. In some cases it is necessary to combine the treatment with antibiotics.

No one should have to experience a toothache. They can easily be prevented by regular visits to the dentist, where we can spot small cavities or onset of periodontal disease before they progress to the point of causing toothache.