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February 17th, 2020

Should teeth be sealed?

The short answer: Yes.

5 Facts about sealants (MediMedia USA)

  • Sealants are safe, painless, and low cost way to help protect back teeth from decay.  Sealants are made of a thin plastic, tooth colored or clear coating that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth causing decay.
  • Even with the most diligent toothbrushing habits, a toothbrush can't get into the deep grooves in the back teeth to remove food and bacteria.
  • Usually the molars and premolars are sealed. Baby teeth don't need to be sealed
  • Sealants can last for 3 to 5 years, even longer.
  • Sealants should be applied as soon as the first permanent molars (6 year molars) erupt. Usually between 5 and 7 years

Before Sealant After Sealant

Contact us today to have teeth at risk for decay sealed before decay has a chance!

February 11th, 2020

Q. At what age can I bring in my child to get his teeth whitened?

A:This is a question I hear. Many parents, as well as children, are disappointed when the adult teeth come in and they are yellower than the baby teeth were. The answer is yes, but with some caveats.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much to whiten a child’s permanent (adult) teeth; they respond very quickly to whitening gel. Before whitening your child’s teeth, make sure he or she fits the following criteria:

  1. All the baby teeth are lost.
  2. All the adult teeth are in place and not still erupting.
  3. All orthodontic treatment is complete. You don’t want to invest in whitening trays only to have them not fit anymore after braces change the placement of the teeth.

If these criteria are met, I recommend getting custom whitening trays from your dentist and whitening just fifteen minutes a day for one week and waiting one month before whitening again. We like to stay away from aggressive treatment for whitening children’s teeth since typically they respond to minimal whitening gel concentrations. Children also may experience more sensitivity when whitening than adults.

Yes, it is possible to whiten your child’s teeth, but I always like to ask parents to consider the following. Who wants to whiten the child’s teeth? Is it the parent or the child? If it is the child, why is the child making that request? Sometimes whitening the teeth can be a Band-Aid for a larger self-image issue. On the other hand, a winning smile is always a confidence builder at any age. It can be a complex decision and should not be made lightly.

Bryan Griffith DMD

February 4th, 2020

When should my child's FIRST dental visit be?

February is Children's Dental Health Month!

According to the American Dental Association, your child should be seen by a dental professional within 6 months of their first tooth appearance.

Top 5 reasons to take your child to the dentist early:

  • The first visit is a "well-baby checkup" for your child's teeth. It's best for your child to have a pleasant first meeting with the dentist.
  • Your child's dentist can show you how to clean your child's teeth, talk about feeding, oral habits, and recommend dental care products.
  • Having early dental visits make the child feel more comfortable with the dental home so they enjoy going to the dentist as they age.
  • Baby teeth can start to decay as soon as they appear, having them checked early can make it treat shallow decay before they become deeper.
  • Don't wait until an emergency comes up to introduce them to the dental office.

Here at Griffith Dental, Dr. Bryan recommends children see a pediatric dentist for all dental treatment other than preventive care.

January 28th, 2020

What if my tooth hurts after a filling or crown?

A tooth that has just had a filling or new crown placed may be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling or crown should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact Dr. Bryan Griffith for a follow up appointment.

3 reasons why your tooth may hurt after a dental work

  • your bite may need adjusting
  • your tooth is inflamed inside the tooth
  • your tooth is chronically inflamed

Once in a while, patients may have dental discomfort after a dental procedure. There can be a few reasons for the dental discomfort. One of the most common is the patient’s bite being off. When you are numb, often you cannot bite down correctly as you normally would, so only so much adjusting can take place at that point. It may also take a few days to get used to your new bite. If you feel like you cannot bite down quite right or having toothache days after the placement of new fillings or crowns, a simple bite adjustment may correct the dental discomfort you are having.

Another common reason for tooth or extreme sensitivity after dental treatment is an acute inflammation inside the tooth. This inflammation arises due to the nerve inside the tooth becoming inflamed in response to dental work. This inflammation is a normal part of healing and precipitated with any dental work. The deeper the cavity, the more inflammation, and sensitivity can be expected after the placement of a new filling or crown. A patient can experience dental discomfort as a result which can last for a few days or even weeks. Most teeth do recover from this type of dental discomfort with time.

If extreme sensitivity or a sharp toothache do not get better with time or increase with time, it could be a sign of chronic Inflammation, and this type of inflammation may require additional dental treatment, such a root canal.

To prevent dental discomfort, an excellent thing you can do is to have a great oral hygiene routine at home including brushing at least twice a day, flossing no less than five times a week, and using a fluoridated mouthwash. Along with proper home care, make sure to visit us at least every six months. Not only is this important to receive a good professional hygiene visit, but for most patients, once a year x-rays are taken which will diagnose decay before it gets deep enough to cause you dental discomfort.

 

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