We get asked a lot of questions at our dental office in Erdenheim, and we don’t mind answering them one bit! We believe that the more our patients’ parents know, the healthier their children’s smiles will be. One thing we hear quite often is wanting to know more about dental x-rays and the different types, why we use them, and if they’re safe.
The 4 Most Common Types of Dental X-Rays
There are several different types of x-rays that your dentist in Erdenheim may use to look at various parts of the mouth’s anatomy. Each type is used for a different reason and can show different problems. Let’s take a look at each one.
- Bitewing X-rays. These x-rays are helpful in catching cavities early on and allow the dentist to see places in between teeth not visible with the naked eye. Sometimes, your child won’t have this type of x-ray until they have their first permanent molar, or until their back teeth touch each other.
- Panoramic X-rays. Panoramic x-rays show the entire set of teeth, both top and bottom and from front to back, in one photo. They can also display the jaw joints (TMJ) as well as the top sinuses. While no film inside the mouth is need with these, a patient does need to stand still for up to 18 seconds.
- Periapical X-rays. This type of x-ray is pretty cool and can show the permanent teeth before they erupt through the gums. They’re also used to check the bone structure, for gum disease, or abscesses.
- Orthodontic X-rays. Orthodontic x-rays actually look at both the teeth as well as the head. Taken from the side, the images produced from the x-ray can help a dentist or orthodontist create an accurate treatment plan.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Safety is our top priority with everything we do, including x-rays. Advancements in technology have helped the x-rays perform faster, meaning less exposure to the already low amount of radiation. Dental x-rays emit minimal radiation and are very safe for both children and adults.
We recommend that your child visits our Erdenheim dental office at least once every six months, but she may not need to have x-rays at every appointment. Some children don’t need x-rays as often as others. Your pediatric dentist will look at your child’s oral health and development to determine how often she should have x-rays taken. If there’s been a history of cavities or a higher risk of decay, we’ll probably follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guideline of taking x-rays twice a year.
Using tobacco products of any kind can not only have a detrimental effect on your overall health, there are multiple oral health diseases and problems that can also occur from the habit. Smokeless tobacco, also referred to as, dip, chew, spit, or snuff, is no exception. During this Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the team at our Erdenheim dental office would like to share some of the risks associated specifically with smokeless tobacco.
By now, everyone knows that smoking can cause all types of cancer, including oral cancer. But a lesser known fact is that using smokeless tobacco can also increase the risk of oral cancer. If not diagnosed and treated early, oral cancer can lead to death, which is one reason you should visit your dentist in Erdenheim at least twice a year. It’s also why you should know the signs of oral cancer, even if you don’t use tobacco. If you notice any of the signs below, call your dentist as soon as you can.
Signs of Oral Cancer
- A white, scaly patch on the inside of the cheek or lip
- Sores or lumps in the mouth or throat
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Sensation of something being stuck in your throat
Chewing tobacco is typically done by placing a pinch of tobacco in the mouth between the teeth and lip or cheek and leaving it there. This can cause the gums to recede. Gums normally protect the roots of the teeth, but once they recede, the roots and the nerves in those roots are exposed. This makes the chance of developing cavities much more likely. Not only that, it’s also common for people with receded gums to suffer from tooth sensitivity pain.
Using any kind of tobacco tends to transform teeth from bright and white to a more yellowish appearance. It’s due to in part to what’s in tobacco products, and also because of how often those addicted to tobacco use it. Nicotine and tar, which are commonly found in tobacco products, are a dangerous duo for several reasons, including discoloring teeth. While nicotine is colorless on its own, when it combines with oxygen, it takes on a yellow tint. When exposed to teeth, the tar and nicotine can penetrate tooth enamel, causing the teeth to appear yellow.
At our dental office in Erdenheim, we care about the health of our patients. And while we encourage each and every one of them to avoid tobacco, we understand that the habit may be difficult to break. If you’re looking for help trying to quit, we’ll be happy to help. Or head over to the American Cancer Society website to get started today.
Welcoming new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.
This time of the year, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the pastel packages of chocolate bunnies, gooey marshmallow chicks, and sugary sweet treats of all kinds. At our children’s dental office in Erdenheim, we know how difficult it can be to limit your child’s intake of candy, especially during holidays when it’s a common gift. But we’re hoping this year we’ll able to talk a bit about which candies are the worst for teeth so you’ll able to make a smarter choice.
What to Avoid
- Pure Sugar. Any type of candy that’s simply powdery sugar is bad news for teeth. The reason why is pretty straightforward. It’s just sugar. That’s it. And as anyone knows, sugar causes decay. A straight shot of it to the teeth can definitely increase the likelihood of cavities.
- Anything Sticky. Caramels, gummy animals, and taffy are notorious for getting stuck in the grooves of teeth. The longer these sugar-packed treats are left behind, the more likely it is for bacteria to start eating away at the tooth’s enamel. A special note to parents with kids in braces: sticky foods can cause damage to the brackets and wires and require repairs. It’s best to avoid it.
- Super Sour Stuff. Another cavity-causing culprit is acid, and sour candies are loaded with it. Acid erodes the teeth’s protective layer of enamel, making it easier for bacteria to get in the hard-to-reach places, leading to cavities.
- Hard Candies & Lollipops. There are a few reasons these tough little candies cause problems. First, they’re hard, and if someone bites on them too quickly it could result in a chipped or cracked tooth. What also makes your Erdenheim children’s dentist cringe is that they usually take quite awhile to eat, which means teeth are being soaked in sugar that whole time.
Choose Something Smarter
We know we’ve eliminated some of the most popular types of candy in our list, but there are other options that are just as tasty and a lot less damaging. When searching for sweets any time of the year, look for:
- Dark Chocolates (bonus if it’s hollow!)
- Sugar-Free Snacks
- Bars Packed with Nuts
A sugary snack is alright every now and then, just try to not over due it. And always remember to guide your little one with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our Erdenheim children’s dental office at least every six months.
Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.
Wisdom teeth are often first seen on x-rays conducted during regular appointments at our Erdenheim dental office. Most often, we can see them as they’re beginning to erupt through the gums. It’s also when we’re most likely to recommend that they be removed. In fact, about 90% of Americans get their wisdom teeth taken out. But why can’t they just stay there?
“It’s Crowded in Here!”
The #1 reason wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there isn’t enough room in your mouth for these four back molars, or “third molars,” to fit. We can typically tell if this will be factor from your x-rays. This is one reason regular visits to your dentist in Erdenheim are so important. If your wisdom teeth erupt and there’s no room in your mouth, they can become “stuck” in your bone. When this happens, your wisdom teeth are referred to as being impacted. Surgery to extract impacted wisdom teeth can be more complicated, so it’s best if we avoid it by catching any potential problems and removing the teeth early.
Bacteria Love Them
If your wisdom teeth do fully erupt and don’t appear to be causing any problems, meaning there’s no overcrowding, pain, or changes in the function of your bite, they may still need to come out. Why? Wisdom teeth are hard to brush and floss properly, which puts you at increased risk for cavities and gum disease. If any potential problem is lurking in the dark corners of your wisdom teeth, extraction may be recommended in order to keep your smile healthy.
When to Leave Them Alone
It’s rare, but sometimes wisdom teeth grow in just fine and there’s no reason to have them removed. If your wisdom teeth are healthy, positioned so as to not inhibit proper bite or neighboring teeth, and are able to be cleaned properly, it may be best to leave them alone. Additionally, some people may never have to worry about whether to leave their wisdom teeth or get them removed because sometimes, the teeth just aren’t there.
Regular visits at our dental office in Erdenheim help get and keep your mouth healthy and can also catch any potential problems with your wisdom teeth before they arise. If your wisdom teeth are already causing pain, or removal wasn’t recommended in time before they erupted, call to schedule your appointment today. We’ll make sure to recommend the best option for you and your wise molars.
Serving patients in Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.
Occasionally parents of our patients come to us wondering if it’s normal for their kid’s gums to bleed and if it’s something they should worry about. Despite common belief, it’s not normal for gums to bleed, and it’s always a concern, especially for our children’s dental office in Erdenheim. In this blog, we cover some of the most common reasons kids (and adults!) experience gum bleeding.
Brushing Too Hard
We encourage all of our patients to get in the habit of brushing their teeth as early as possible. However, it’s pretty common for children and adults alike to brush using too much pressure. Brushing too hard can wear down the protective enamel, leaving teeth at greater risk for decay and cavities. Over-brushing also tends to contribute to gum damage, hence the bleeding gums.
Starting to Floss
When a child first begins flossing their teeth, it’s common for them to experience some gum bleeding. The tissues in between teeth are delicate and can become irritated upon initial flossing. If this seems to be the case with your child, don’t worry. The bleeding should go away on its own in about a week.
Certain medications can directly affect the mouth and cause gum inflammation. If this occurs, gums become more sensitive and could begin to bleed. If your child just started a new medication and the gum bleeding began around the same time, the medicine may be to blame. Don’t change the recommended dosage, but do supervise them while brushing and make sure they’re using soft, gentle circles.
Typically gum bleeding caused by any of the above should stop once the medicine regimen is completed or brushing and flossing habits are changed. If it doesn’t, it may be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and a buildup of plaque. Make sure your child is brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, and flossing properly once a day. If the bleeding is an ongoing problem, it’s best to see your kid’s dentist in Erdenheim as soon as you can to get a proper diagnosis and begin any recommended remedy.
Is your child experiencing gum bleeding? Give our Erdenheim children’s dental office a call today. We’ll be happy to help!
Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill
You know the feeling. You’re happily chewing away on your lunch, talking with a coworker when all of a sudden, you hear a crunch. You feel the pain. You realize you’ve just bit your cheek (or lip, or tongue — doesn’t really matter, it all hurts!). This painful accident can be an ongoing problem for many. At our dental office in Erdenheim, chronic biting of any tissues in the mouth can be concerning. Let’s look at why.
Why is it Bad?
Besides the obvious reason of it hurts, there are a few additional concerns of biting the lips and cheeks. Following a bite, usually a sore appears and lasts a few days. While this isn’t concerning for the occasional nip, if biting is an ongoing problem, sores can become infected. Any infection in the mouth is concerning itself, especially if left untreated.
Why Do We Do it?
Like we’ve previously mentioned, most of the time a bite is accidental and only happens occasionally. If this is the case, there’s probably no reason to be worried. However, when lip or cheek biting becomes a chronic thing, there are a few possible explanations. Most commonly, constant biting is a nervous habit or even done out of boredom, like biting your nails. Other times, there’s an anatomical explanation. If bites are a recurring thing and it’s not because of nervousness, there’s a possibility malocclusion, or a bad bite, is causing the trouble. When the teeth don’t close together neatly, the chance of a cheek or lip getting in between them is high. Additionally, malocclusion can lead to its own problems like headaches, jaw pain, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and shifting teeth.
How To Stop
You don’t have to continue to live with the pain and annoyance of constant biting. Try following the tips below:
- Know your triggers. If your lip or cheek biting is a result of stress or nerves as opposed to a bad bite, start paying attention to when you’re doing it and work to either avoid those triggers or work to consciously stop yourself when the trigger is unavoidable.
- Enlist the help of friends. There’s a chance you bite more often than you realize, so ask friends to point out when you’re doing it so you can work to stop it.
- Visit your dentist. If your biting isn’t habitual and your alignment may be an issue, talk with your dentist in Erdenheim.
Don’t have a dentist to talk to? Give our Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help, no matter what your concern may be.
Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.
It’s one of our most favorite times of the year again! Each year, February is recognized as National Children’s Dental Health Month, and that’s definitely a cause our children’s dental office in Erdenheim can get behind — it is what we do, after all!
What is Children’s Dental Health Month?
Hosted by the American Dental Association (ADA), Children’s Dental Health Month serves to bring attention to the importance of dental care for kids. Every year there’s a new theme complete with fun activities to help children learn how to care for their smiles and why keeping a healthy mouth is crucial for a healthy life.
This year, the focus is on our favorite beverage of choice, water, and why it’s great for growing smiles. There are plenty of educational tools and things just for kids including:
- Coloring Sheets
- A Complete Planning Guide
- And More!
Just head over to the ADA website to check them out. The best part? They’re free!
What Else Can You Do?
Dental health for kids isn’t something that’s only important in February. Education and proper dental health should be an ongoing effort for parents. There are several things you can do year-round to continue making learning about dental health fun.
- Chart & Stickers. Have your child earn fun stickers for brushing twice a day for at least two minutes.
- Watch Videos. There are multiple cartoons and children’s shows that talk about healthy smiles. Even YouTube is packed with educational videos on dental health. From how to brush your teeth to being comfortable at the dentist, you’re sure to find something resonates with your little one.
- Pick Up a Book. Reading stories is a great way to capture and keep your child’s attention. Find a few kid-friendly books about dental health with loveable characters and make story time a regular thing. Bonus! Reading also helps develop reading and comprehension skills.
Starting kids off with good oral hygiene practices is the best way to ensure a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles. Make dental care and learning the importance of proper oral hygiene fun by following the tips above and visiting our Erdenheim children’s dental office regularly.
Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.
At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’re in the business of helping each one of our patients get and keep a beautiful, healthy smile. We’ll even often give advice on what you can do at home to protect your dental health. But humans aren’t the only ones that can benefit from at-home dental care. Just like people, pets also rely on good oral health for overall wellness. To achieve this, follow our pet-friendly tips.
Choose the right tools
An important part of your pet’s dental care is similar to your own. We’re talking about brushing teeth. And just like we recommend you choose a toothbrush that’s right for you, you need to choose a brush that’s appropriate for your pet. There are toothbrushes designed just for dogs and cats and can be found at many pet stores. But a clean piece of gauze wrapped around a finger will work pretty well too. When it comes to which toothpaste to use, don’t use your own. Human toothpaste can cause stomach problems in animals. Instead, ask your vet for a recommendation.
Use the right technique
The technique behind brushing your animal’s teeth is not unlike brushing your own. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and gently massage in a small circular motion. You may want to focus more attention on the cheek side of the teeth as that’s where the most tartar tends to accumulate. You don’t need to brush your pet’s teeth as often as you brush you own, however. Two or three times a week is typically standard.
Animals can get gum disease too, and you should know the signs that something may not be right. Keep an eye out for:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen gums
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet.
While we can’t help keep your pet’s smile in top shape, following the tips above and visiting your vet regularly can do wonders in ensuring your furry loved ones are healthy. When it comes your pearly whites, we’ll be more than happy to see you at our Erdenheim dental office. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Welcoming (human) patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.
Our dental office in Erdenheim gets asked questions quite often, and we’re always here to help in any way we can. One of the more common questions we get is from new parents curious about when they should bring their child in for their first dental appointment, and we’re more than happy to guide them.
First Visit by First Birthday
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children see their pediatric dentist by their first birthday, or within six months of getting their first tooth. Some may be surprised by the early timing, but studies show it’s an important step in protecting growing smiles. In fact, many kids get cavities as early as age 2, and the occurrence of cavities in preschool aged children is on the rise — more than 1 in 4 have had at least one cavity by age 4.
What to Expect
At your child’s first visit to her dentist in Erdenheim, she’ll have a quick exam to start getting her comfortable with dental visits. During this exam, the dentist will check for any areas of concern, evaluate her risk for developing cavities, and look for any potential issues with her bite, gums, and jaw.
Your child’s dental team may also discuss some things with you that can help keep your child’s smile healthy in between office visits. Some of these items may include:
- Tooth brushing tips
- Appropriate use of fluoride
- Oral habits like thumb sucking
- Nutrition for healthy teeth
Following the visit, your child’s dentist may recommend a schedule of how often she should be seen. The schedule varies depending on your child’s need and cavity risk level. Typically, she should start to see the dentist every six months as she grows.
Why a Pediatric Dentist?
There are many different types of dentists, and they all have specific training to treat different types of patients. When it comes to pediatric dentists, 2-3 years of additional education specifically designed around dental care for infants, toddlers, children, and even those with special needs is required.
If you’re looking for a dentist for your child, give my Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment.
Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.
Everyone wants a white smile, but everyday habits can really take a toll on our teeth. Red wine, smoking, coffee, tea, and many other culprits have a tendency to transform our once pure white grins into dull, discolored smiles. The good news? It doesn’t have to be permanent. There are multiple ways we can effectively whiten our teeth.
Baking Soda as a Whitener
At our dental office Erdenheim, we want you to not only have a smile you’re happy with, but also help you get it safely and effectively. Baking soda is often promoted as an effective way to whiten teeth, and while it can eliminate some staining, there are several things you should know about the technique before giving it a shot.
It May Not Work
Yes, baking soda has been proven to remove some types of tooth staining, but not all. Since baking soda is abrasive by nature, it can basically scour away minor surface stains and help give your smile a whiter appearance. But if teeth have more severe staining, or staining that actually resides below the tooth surface, baking soda probably won’t work. If this is the case, you may find an in-office professional whitening treatment or cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, more effective. Talk with your dentist in Erdenheim to figure out what’s best for you.
There’s a Right Way to Use It
Whitening your teeth with baking soda may seem easy and harmless, but there is a correct way to use it.
- Mix the baking soda with equal parts water to tone down the level of abrasiveness
- Brush gently, don’t scrub
- Don’t use it every day — once or a twice a week is the recommended limit
- Remember to still use your regular toothpaste every day, twice a day to continue to protect against bacteria
Be Aware of Possible Disadvantages
Using baking soda to whiten teeth is appealing to many people due to the fact that it’s low cost, yet effective, but there are still risks associated with it. Even though the abrasive texture is what makes it an effective whitener, it’s also one of the major risks. If used too often or inappropriately, baking soda can damage enamel and increase the risk for decay and tooth sensitivity.
If you desire a smile that’s whiter, give our Erdenheim dental office a call today to schedule an appointment. We can work together to determine which whitening treatment is best for you.
Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.