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Posts for: January, 2017

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
January 21, 2017
Category: Oral Health

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat:

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
January 19, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding  

What your dentists in Williamsburg want you to know about teeth grinding

Your teeth are covered with hard enamel, but enamel isn’t always hard enough to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. If you teeth grindinggrind your teeth at night, you will experience many bad side effects on your teeth, jaws and head. Your dentists at Williamsburg Family Dentistry in Williamsburg, VA, want to share the facts about why you need to protect your teeth from grinding.

Grinding your teeth can cause damage by wearing down the enamel and exposing the layer underneath, called dentin. Dentin is porous, with tiny openings called tubules. When these tubules are exposed, your teeth may be extremely sensitive, especially to hot and cold.

Grinding can also chip and fracture teeth, ruining your smile. You may need expensive restorative treatments later on. When you grind your teeth, you may also stretch the ligaments and tendons that hold your teeth in place. This stretching can cause teeth to become loose, or you may get the sensation your teeth are moving.

One of the most insidious forms of damage from grinding is bruising of the inside of your tooth, an area called the pulp chamber. When the pulp is traumatized, it causes inflammation and pressure, and you may eventually need a root canal.

Teeth grinding doesn’t just damage your teeth. It also exerts tremendous strain on the muscles of your face, head, jaws and neck. Continued strain can cause:

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Tired muscles
  • Earaches
  • TMJ pain

There is an easy answer to teeth grinding. You need a nightguard from Williamsburg Family Dentistry. The dentists in Williamsburg will create a custom nightguard designed to fit your teeth exactly. Custom nightguards are comfortable and easy to care for. Don’t settle for generic nightguards available from your neighborhood store. When it comes to nightguards, one size doesn’t fit all! You need a nightguard custom designed for you.

Remember that your teeth are not a grinding machine; you need to protect your teeth, so they can give you a lifetime of smiles. To learn more about nightguards and teeth grinding, call your dentists at Williamsburg Family Dentistry in Williamsburg, VA. Call today!

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
January 06, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Removing plaque, a bacterial film that builds up on teeth, daily is crucial in preventing dental disease, but is your brushing and flossing making enough of a difference?

Plaque forms every day in our mouths as a result of eating. The bacteria in it produce acid, which can erode tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Certain strains can also infect the gums and cause periodontal (gum) disease. Either of these primary diseases could lead to tooth loss.

Daily plaque removal with brushing and flossing keeps bacteria growth under control, so a quick swish of your toothbrush across your teeth won't be enough. Plaque's soft, sticky consistency enables it to hide in hard to reach places below the gum line, irregular biting surfaces, or in fillings or other dental work.

Because it's virtually invisible, it's hard to tell if you've successfully removed it. That's where disclosing agents can help. These are solutions, swabs or tablets with a dye that temporarily stains plaque while not staining tooth surfaces. Dental hygienists use them to show patients where they're missing plaque when brushing and flossing, but you can also use them at home to see how you're doing between dental visits.

After brushing and flossing, use the disclosure product according to the package directions. If you're using a solution, for example, swish it around in your mouth for about thirty seconds and then spit it out. The dye reacts with leftover plaque to stain it a bright color. Some products even offer a two-tone dye that displays older plaque in a different color from newer plaque.

After noticing the dyed plaque in a mirror, brush and floss until you don't see it anymore. You may have to change your approach, which will help you perform better in the future. Although safe in the mouth, you should still avoid swallowing the agent or getting it on your clothes. Any on your lips, gums or tongue will eventually wear off in a few hours.

A disclosing agent gives you a snapshot of where you need to improve your oral hygiene. Occasional “spot checks” will help keep your brushing and flossing well tuned.

If you would like more information on how to perform effective oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.