Posts for: May, 2019
If there's anything that makes Alfonso Ribeiro happier than his long-running gig as host of America's Funniest Home Videos, it's the time he gets to spend with his family: his wife Angela, their two young sons, and Alfonso's teenaged daughter. As the proud dad told Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "The best part of being a father is the smiles and the warmth you get from your children."
Because Alfonso and Angela want to make sure those little smiles stay healthy, they are careful to keep on top of their kids' oral health at home—and with regular checkups at the dental office. If you, too, want to help your children get on the road to good oral health, here are five tips:
- Start off Right—Even before teeth emerge, gently wipe baby's gums with a clean, moist washcloth. When the first teeth appear, brush them with a tiny dab of fluoride on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Schedule an age-one dental visit for a complete evaluation, and to help your child get accustomed to the dental office.
- Teach Them Well—When they're first learning how to take care of their teeth, most kids need a lot of help. Be patient as you demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss…over and over again. When they're ready, let them try it themselves—but keep an eye on their progress, and offer help when it's needed.
- Watch What They Eat & Drink—Consuming foods high in sugar or starch may give kids momentary satisfaction…but these substances also feed the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The same goes for sodas, juices and acidic drinks—the major sources of sugar in many children's diets. If you allow sugary snacks, limit them to around mealtimes—that gives the mouth a chance to recover its natural balance.
- Keep Up the Good Work—That means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, every single day. If motivation is an issue, encourage your kids by letting them pick out a special brush, toothpaste or floss. You can also give stickers, or use a chart to show progress and provide a reward after a certain period of time. And don't forget to give them a good example to follow!
- Get Regular Dental Checkups—This applies to both kids and adults, but it's especially important during the years when they are rapidly growing! Timely treatment with sealants, topical fluoride applications or fillings can often help keep a small problem from turning into a major headache.
Bringing your kids to the dental office early—and regularly—is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of good checkups…even if they're a little nervous at first. Speaking of his youngest child, Alfonso Ribeiro said "I think the first time he was really frightened, but then the dentist made him feel better—and so since then, going back, it's actually a nice experience." Our goal is to provide this experience for every patient.
If you have questions about your child's dental hygiene routine, call the office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
These two restorations may be the right way to restore your damaged or missing teeth.
If you are dealing with dental damage of any kind, from fractures to full-on missing teeth then it’s time to read further to find out how our Chatham, NY, dentist Dr. Domenic Riccobono can help. After all, many people face dental injuries and problems at some point during their lifetime, and it’s important to understand more about crowns and bridges and whether they could repair your smile.
How Dental Crowns Work
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a natural tooth in order to stabilize and support the structure after it’s been damaged. Crowns are artificial structures that are cemented permanently into place and sit above the gum line. Crowns will provide a perfect fit around the existing tooth, as each crown is custom-made by a dental laboratory.
The dental lab will use molds of your teeth, which our Chatham, NY, general dentist will take during your office visit. Once your crown is complete, you will come back into the office so that we can check the look and fit before cementing it into place.
A dental crown can be used to support, strengthen and restore functionality back into a tooth that is:
- Cracked, fractured or broken
- Severely decayed
- Too weak to support itself (due to repeated dental procedures or a large dental filling that can no longer support the tooth’s structure)
- Is discolored or misshapen (to improve the overall appearance of the tooth)
Crowns can also be used to cover a dental implant or support a dental bridge to help patients replace one or more missing teeth.
How Dental Bridges Work
A dental bridge is an oral prosthetic that is used to bridge the gap and fill it with natural-looking false teeth. A bridge is a great option for patients missing one or more teeth in a row. In order to secure a bridge into place, we will first need to make sure that the natural teeth surrounding the gap or gaps are strong enough to support a dental crown, which will hold the bridge into place.
Once our dentist has prepared the tooth by shaving it down to make room for the crown, we will place the permanent crown over the teeth, which will then support the false teeth in the middle to give you a full smile again.
Do you have questions about getting dental crowns and bridges in Chatham, NY? Want to find out if your smile could benefit from either of these restorations? If so, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with Countryside Dental.
Having a reliable family dentist that you can call will give you a sense of security and confidence when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums. A family dentist can also consult you on how to make your smile look more attractive and stay that way for many years. You’ll find that numerous treatments can help you when you visit Dr. Domenic Riccobono at Countryside Dental in Chatham, NY.
What Does a Family Dentist Do?
A family dentist’s main goal is to provide superior, caring dental care to every member of your family. That includes young children, teens, adults, and seniors. The treatments include cosmetic, restorative, and preventative procedures to keep your smile in good condition. Family dentists are also concerned with ensuring that you and your family members are relaxed and have a comfortable experience when you visit, which may necessitate sedation dentistry.
Family Dentist Benefits
Having a family dentist will help ensure that you stay on top of your dental health needs. That includes regular cleanings, X-rays, oral checks, and cavity checks. Twice yearly checkups will help prevent the need for costly dental treatments in the future. It’s also beneficial to bring your children to see your Chatham, NY, family dentist when they’re young so that they can get familiar and comfortable with the experience.
Reasons to Call Your Family Dentist
Many patients avoid visits to the dentist due to dental anxiety, but the more you visit, the less likely you’ll have major dental or oral health problems in the future. However, there are cases when you should go to your dentist for a checkup as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, an urgent visit to your family dentist is recommended:
- Dental pain, aching, or throbbing.
- Constant bleeding when you brush or floss.
- Cracked or chipped teeth.
- Bad breath that continues throughout the day, despite brushing or rinsing.
- Unexplained sores on the gums that don’t heal in a reasonable amount of time.
Is It Time for a Visit?
When your teeth and gums start to look or feel less than healthy, it’s probably time for a checkup visit with your family dentist. Call (518) 392-5231 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Riccobono at Countryside Dental in Chatham, NY.
There's no doubt treating dental problems can improve your health. But because the mouth is among the most sensitive areas of the body, many dental procedures can be potentially uncomfortable after treatment.
We rely on pain medication to alleviate any dental work discomfort, especially during recuperation. Our arsenal of pain-relieving drugs includes strong opioid narcotics like morphine or oxycodone which have effectively relieved dental pain for decades. But although they work wonders, they're also highly addictive.
We've all been confronted in the last few years with startling headlines about the opioid addiction epidemic sweeping across the country. Annual deaths resulting from opioid addiction number in the tens of thousands, ahead of motor vehicle accident fatalities. Although illegal drugs like heroin account for some, the source for most addiction cases—an estimated 2 million in 2015 alone—is opioid prescriptions.
Dentists and other healthcare providers are seeking ways to address this problem. One way is to re-examine the use of opioids for pain management and to find alternative means that might reduce the number of narcotic prescriptions.
This has led to new approaches in dentistry regarding pain relief. In a trend that's been underway for several years, we've found managing post-discomfort for many procedures can be done effectively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. They don't share the addictive quality of narcotics and are regarded as safer when taken as directed.
There's also been a recent modification with using NSAIDs. Dentists have found that alternating the use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen often amplifies the pain relief found using only one at a time. By doing so, we may further reduce the need for narcotics for more procedures.
The trend now in dentistry is to look first to NSAIDs to manage pain and discomfort after dental work. Narcotics may still be used, but only in a secondary role when absolutely needed. With less narcotic prescriptions thanks to these new pain management protocols, we can reduce the risk of a dangerous addiction.
The change from primary teeth to permanent is an announcement to the world that a boy or girl is "growing up." "Growing up," though, is still not "grown"—the new teeth are still in a period of development that can affect how we treat them if they're injured or diseased.
While a new tooth erupts with all its anatomical layers, the middle dentin is somewhat thinner than it will be after it matures. The pulp, the tooth's innermost layer, produces new dentin and gradually increases the dentin layer during this early development period. While the pulp continues to produce dentin over a tooth's lifetime, most of it occurs in these early years.
To prevent or stop any infection, we would normally perform a root canal treatment in which we remove the pulp tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals. This poses no real issue in an older tooth with mature dentin. Removing the pulp from an immature tooth, though, could interrupt dentin development and interfere with the tooth's root growth. Besides a higher risk of discoloration, the tooth could become more brittle and prone to fracture.
That's why we place a high priority on preserving a younger tooth's pulp. Rather than a root canal treatment, we may treat it instead with one of a number of modified techniques that interact less with the pulp. Which of these we use will depend on the extent of the pulp's involvement with the injury or disease.
If it's unexposed, we may use a procedure called indirect pulp therapy, where we remove most of the tooth's damaged dentin but leave some of the harder portion intact next to the pulp to avoid exposure. If, though, some but not all of the pulp is damaged, we may perform a pulpotomy: here we remove the damaged pulp tissue while leaving the healthier portion intact. We may then apply a stimulant substance to encourage more dentin production to seal the exposure.
These and other techniques can help repair an injured young tooth while preserving most or all of its vital pulp. Although we can't always use them, when we can they could give the tooth its best chance for a full life.
If you would like more information on caring for your child's teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”