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Tuesday, 08 June 2021 15:43

Pediatric Dental Care

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Comfortable with Dental Appointments Chattanooga

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Comfortable with Dental Appointments Chattanooga

Dental visits can be stress inducing, for patients of all ages, but what do you do when your child is outright afraid of going? There are some things you can do to help ease them into these situations with confidence. Here are 5 tips to get your kids comfortable with dental appointments Chattanooga, and we hope you’ll give them a shot.

1– Start dental appointments early!

Start em young. One great way to ensure your child is totally comfortable with dental appointments is to follow the recommendations of the ADA, and start taking your child to the dentist around the age of 6 months. As soon as your baby starts getting teeth, it’s time to start taking care of them. Early exposure to dental appointments can help create a comfort level with that type of care with your child. Treat it like the routing occurrence it is, and your child will likely follow suit.

2– Stay positive.

Kids pick up on energy. Don’t forget this. If you’re stressed, they feel it. If you’re anxious, they feel it. Lead by example, and take great care of your own teeth at home. When you have dental appointments, make sure your child sees you going into them with confidence. If you have had bad experiences with dentists in the past, keep that under your hat. Your attitude about the whole thing will influence your child more than you might realize.

3– Have a pretend dental appointment at home.

Before your child’s dental appointment, have a trial run at home. Do a little role playing, and make it fun. Your little one might gain some comfort from approaching things this way, and it also provides an opportunity for your child to ask any questions that may come up about the dental appointment and what to expect.

4– Talk about it.

Don’t overwhelm your child with too much information or too many details, but talking about the upcoming dental appointment can really help ease any worries. Talk about how important it is to take great care of your teeth and gums, and explain that the dentist and his staff are going to brush their teeth just like you do at home to make sure they are clean and healthy. Avoid words like scary, pain, and shot, because those will likely just frighten your child. Using neutral language will soothe your child, and create a feeling of comfort and security.

5– Find the right dentist.

Another important factor in instilling confidence for your child regarding dental appointments Chattanooga, is to find the right pediatric dentist. At Tedford Family Dentistry, we work to create an environment where children can feel comfortable. We understand how important it is for kids to feel confident about coming into the office for cleanings and other procedures, and we strive to create a sense of security and comfort with every office interaction.

Some dentists and their staff members have specialized training when it comes to providing pediatric dental care. The key is working with a team that invests time in building rapport and trust with your child, in an environment designed for treating kids. Our team at Tedford understands that this goes a long way.

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Chattanooga, contact our team today. We’d love to take care of your little ones and help steer them toward lifelong oral health.

Overcome Dental Anxiety by Finding the Right Chattanooga Dentist

overcome dental anxiety with the right Chattanooga dentist

Does the thought of stepping into a dental office cause you immediate waves of anxiety? If so you’re not alone by any stretch. Many people deal with a very real fear of the dentist that can stem from all sorts of things. Some people deal with fear of injections or pain in general, others may feel embarrassment associated with the state of their teeth, and others still have suffered through negative dental experiences in the past that cause dental anxiety. Some people struggle with anxiety so severe that it keeps them from seeing a dentist regularly which only exacerbates the issues. 

Find the Right Chattanooga Dentist

So how do you overcome this dental anxiety or fear of the dentist? There are lots of things you can do, but we think the number one line of defense should be to find a Chattanooga dentist who is just right for you. When you take the time to find a dentist who is able to make you feel comfortable when you’re in his or her care, you’ll be surprised at how much of your dental anxiety or fear will melt away.

Lots of factors can come into play when it comes to your comfort level at the dentist’s office. The atmosphere, the support staff, and the overall feel of the practice can go a long way in helping to ensure your comfort. It also helps to find a dentist who you trust who does great work, has experienced assistants, and who takes the time to discuss things with you to ease your worries about any necessary treatments or procedures.

Relaxation Tactics

Another way to combat dental anxiety is to practice relaxation techniques to help actively calm your mind and body. Deep breathing is a great place to start, as it is instrumental in relaxing tense muscles. Focusing your mind on your breath is also a great way to meditate and center yourself. Counting your breaths can serve as a great source of distraction while you’re undergoing dental procedures that have you stressed, plus this mindful breathing practice also helps to lower heart rate. You can also try systematically relaxing all the muscles in your body from head to toe, starting with the face and neck, and then the shoulders and so on.

Laughing Gas & Anesthesia

Some dentists will use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to help relax patients who suffer from dental anxiety. Many patients find that the use of laughing gas is enough to quell their fears surrounding dental experiences. Talk with your Chattanooga dentist about this option if you are feeling extra anxious about your dental visit.

Some dental procedures that are more involved may require anesthesia, in which case your provider will discuss with you the options available. One option that’s sometimes available is conscious sedation. This type of anesthesia involves the use of drugs that depress the central nervous system allowing for the dental procedure to be carried out while the patient is still conscious and able to communicate with the dental staff during the visit. Different levels of sedation through anesthesia are often available during more invasive dental procedures.

Don’t Skip the Dentist

No matter how you address your fear of the dentist or dental anxiety, be sure it doesn’t get so overwhelming that it keeps you from your regularly scheduled visits. Skipping out on cleanings and dental exams can lead to dental problems that are unpleasant and costly to address, and those experiences will only contribute to any negative feelings you may have about seeking dental work. If you are looking for an experienced and caring dental staff in the Chattanooga area, contact our team at Tedford Family Dentistry. We work hard to create an environment in which our patients can feel safe and comfortable while receiving the quality dental care they deserve.

Dental Night Guard Chattanooga

dental night guard Chattanooga

If you’re a stress grinder or tend to clench your teeth and jaw at night, you may want to explore the option of a dental night guard with your Chattanooga dentist. Teeth clenching, also known as bruxism, can result in a lot of discomfort and serious damage to your teeth over time. Grinding and clenching can cause jaw pain, jaw dysfunction, ongoing fatigue, and even teeth breakage due to the constant pressure.

If any of this is sounding familiar, chat with your dentist about dental night guard options that can help protect your teeth while you sleep. Even though wearing a night guard takes some getting used to, and can feel uncomfortable at first, the pros far outweigh the cons. Here are what we consider the top three benefits of wearing a dental night guard.

1– It protects your teeth from damage.

The last thing you want to deal with is broken teeth. They are painful and expensive to fix. A dental night guard protects your teeth from damage by acting as a cushion, a barrier of sorts, while you clench or grind your teeth. This helps prevent chipping, worn-down teeth, and breakage.

2– It helps minimize jaw pain and headaches.

Clenching one’s teeth throughout the night puts a lot of stress on the jaw. As such, many people who clench their teeth at night will experience some level of jaw pain, which can actually lead to ongoing headaches and even migraines in more severe cases. Wearing a dental night guard can help minimize the effects of clenching and grinding.

3– It can help promote better sleep. 

A lot of people who clench their teeth during the night wake themselves up doing so. By this token, wearing a night guard will help them get a better night’s sleep. The dental night guard takes the brunt of the force associated with clenching and grinding, allowing the muscles of the jaw and face to relax more during sleep.

If you think you could benefit from wearing a dental night guard, chat with your Chattanooga dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry. We’d love to help you find the right solution for your bruxism, grinding, or clenching. Your teeth deserve a break, and you deserve peaceful sleep.

Oral Health Chattanooga

Toothpaste tablets and oral health Chattanooga

Dental hygiene is critical, but sometimes gets tossed to the back burner if we’re running late, tired, or just don’t feel like facing the dentist for that much-needed check up. Here’s the thing though, the teeth you have are the only ones you’ll ever have, so taking great care of them is imperative. That said, if you need to rally with some new, fun, dental care products to ramp up your oral health game, we’ve got some suggestions for products you should check out. In the meantime, schedule an appointment with our team at Tedford Family Dentistry, because when it comes to oral health Chattanooga, we’ve got your back all the way.

The Electric Toothbrush, Only Smarter

You have likely tried electric toothbrushes before, but the technology going into them is greater and more impressive than ever before. Switching from a regular toothbrush to a sleek, electric one with a spinning head can serve to motivate you to brush more frequently, and will help you be more effective in the process. We love the Oral-B 6000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush.

Say goodbye to replacing batteries, as this tool from Oral-B is rechargeable. More than that, this toothbrush actually features bluetooth connectivity so you can pair it to your smartphone for real-time feedback about how well you’re doing on the toothbrushing front. This powerful tool can remove up to 300% more plaque along the gumline than a manual toothbrush can. How’s that for upping your oral health game? Read more about this toothbrush on the Oral-B site.

Toothpaste Tablets

Another way to reimagine your approach to oral health care at home is by using toothpaste tablets. Totally hygienic, and generally tidier than tube toothpaste, toothpaste tablets are easy to use, and perform just like regular toothpaste when it comes to cleaning teeth. One of the great features of using tablets is they prevent cross-contamination, which is particularly helpful when it comes to the spread of germs. Other benefits to these tiny tablets include easy storage and ease of use for travel. They also result in less waste, and often feature recyclable packaging! (Did you know that nearly 1 billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills yearly?) They also help promote better dental health habits as they make brushing your teeth extremely convenient.

Fun Floss Flavors

Let’s admit that most of us don’t floss as often as we should. Dentists agree that you should floss at least once per day, but twice is better, and flossing your teeth after each meal is even better. It’s important to actively remove bits of left behind food while also mitigating the formation of plaque between the teeth with regular flossing. One way to encourage yourself to reach for the floss more frequently is by finding a fun new flavor.

Cocofloss is a brand we love that comes in a variety of flavors, and this floss is also coated in coconut oil which serves to help gently scrub away plaque. Coconut oil is also a natural antimicrobial, working to sooth the gums while also fighting cavity-causing plaque build up. Try the fun flavors this brand has to offer like the classic Delicious Mint, or go for something more left field like Fresh Coconut, Pure Strawberries, or Cara Cara Orange. You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your gums.

With these different products, you can revive your home oral health habits, and have a little fun in the process. If it’s time for a check up or dental cleaning, contact our team at Tedford Family Dentistry. We care about oral health Chattanooga, and we’d love to help you get and stay on track for your best oral health ever.

Friday, 19 February 2021 15:56

Am I Using the Right Oral Care Products?

How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for You and Yours

How to choose the best toothpaste for your dental health

If you’re toothpaste shopping at your local store or supermarket, you’ll probably find yourself presented with an almost overwhelming number of choices. Rows and rows of boxes of toothpaste from different brands, with different claims– tartar control, whitening, sensitivity, fresh breath. So how do you choose the best toothpaste for you? We’ve got a few tips to help you narrow down your choices, and of course, your dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry is always happy to answer any questions about choosing the right oral care products.

First ask yourself some helpful questions about your teeth and gums. Do you have sensitive teeth? Are you looking for whitening help? Do you need extra tartar protection? Do you have gingivitis or any other gum disease? Are you looking for a toothpaste that will appeal to your kids? No matter what the situation, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before purchasing a toothpaste.

Is it ADA approved?

Step one is going to be to check for that ADA stamp of approval on the toothpaste you’re considering. To earn this seal, toothpastes must meet the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs requirements for safety and efficacy in reducing tooth decay. Essentially, you know the toothpaste will be safe and effective at cleaning your teeth so long as it has been ADA approved.

Does it contain fluoride?

It’s imperative that the toothpaste you choose contains fluoride. This natural mineral fights cavities and protects your enamel, or the outermost layer of the teeth. According to the ADA, “Fluoride strengthens teeth to help prevent tooth decay and remineralizes tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay.” The fluoride in your toothpaste can strengthen weakened and compromised teeth, and serve as a preventative defense against future dental problems.

Beware of Abrasive Ingredients

Some toothpaste options contain ingredients that can be potentially harmful to teeth and their delicate enamel. Again, the ADA approval seal will ensure your chosen toothpaste is effective and safe to use, so that’s the first line of defense against toothpastes with potentially abrasive ingredients to steer clear of. For example, a relatively newer trend in dental care involves the use of products that contain activated charcoal. If used regularly, charcoal can be rather abrasive, and could potentially damage tooth enamel or even contribute to increased tooth sensitivity in the long term. Though activated charcoal does have some proven health benefits, there isn’t enough solid scientific evidence to prove dental whitening is among them. Furthermore, charcoal dental products generally don’t contain fluoride, which, as we’ve established, is critical for proper oral care.

If you have any questions or concerns about the dental products you’re using or how to choose the best toothpaste for you, discuss your situation with your Chattanooga Tedford dentist at your next visit. If you need to schedule an appointment, cleaning, or exam, contact our team today!

Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:15

10 Things You Didn't Know About Teeth

Inspire Your Dental Health with These Facts

10 facts about teeth that will inspire your dental health

At Tedford Family Dentistry, we think teeth are fascinating. Of course, not everyone shares our level of enthusiasm for all things dental health; however, we think you’ll find these strange and interesting facts about teeth to be rather entertaining. We hope, too, to inspire you to work toward greater dental health by furthering your knowledge about teeth. So here are 10 things you didn’t know about teeth to galvanize your personal dental health journey.

1– Teeth are not bones.

A common misconception, teeth are actually not bones. Though they are hard and white, they are made up of different materials than your bones are. Bones can heal themselves over a long period of time, while teeth do not have this ability to recover from stresses.

2– They are as unique as fingerprints.

An important tool in forensics, teeth are just as unique as fingerprints, if not even moreso. The way your teeth are arranged inside your mouth is unique to you and you alone. Every human has their own bite that cannot be replicated by anyone else. Even if you’ve worn braces!

3– Most people have 32 teeth.

8 incisors, or your front teeth, 4 canine teeth, 8 premolars, and 12 molars– that is the set up most people are working with, landing at 32 total teeth. That said, every mouth is different. Some people are missing certain teeth genetically, and others have lost some due to various circumstances.

4– Orthodontia dates back to ancient Egypt.

Wildly enough, braces have been a part of human dental history for an incredibly long time. Archeologists have even discovered Egyptian mummies with simpler versions of braces on their teeth. The first documented braces, however, were designed in 1728.

5– Tooth plaque contains more than 300 species of bacteria.

Plaque actually contains millions of types of bacteria, made up of more than 300 different species. The main cause of dental health problems is Streptococcus mutans, which is a bacteria that converts carbs and sugar into an acid in your mouth that eats away at healthy tooth enamel.

6– You’ll produce roughly 10,000 gallons of saliva in your lifetime.

Your body produces saliva constantly, about a quart every day, which averages out to be about 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill two swimming pools! That saliva generated serves important functions in overall health. It makes food easier to swallow by helping to break it down as you chew, contains enzymes that aid in digestion, and washes lingering food particles away from your teeth. It also contains calcium and phosphate, which help to neutralize the acids in plaque that cause tooth decay.

7– Enamel is the hardest part of the body.

Enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and like a hard shell, it exists to protect the rest of the tooth. Made mostly of calcium and phosphate, the enamel is like bones, only stronger as it is formed from specific proteins and crystallites.

8– Cheese is good for your teeth.

What? Yes, it’s true. Cheese is good for your teeth! Eating cheese can actually help protect your teeth by creating a layer over them that wards off the effects of acids and plaque. Cheese also has high levels of calcium and phosphate, which also work to strengthen your teeth from the inside out. Another fun fact is that cheese actually helps to balance the pH level inside your mouth resulting in less acidic saliva, and consequently fewer cavities. As if we needed more reasons to love cheese!

9– Teeth are like icebergs.

Teeth are similar to icebergs in that about a third of them is underneath the gum line. So there’s a lot more to your teeth than meets the eye. This is why it’s extremely important to take great care of your gums and keep them healthy. Healthy gums are firm and pink in color.

10– Tooth brushing dates back to about 500 B.C.

Though dental care has evolved dramatically over the years, people have actually been using toothpaste to clean their teeth since roughly 500 B.C. In that time, the ancient Greeks used a mixture of iron rust and coral powder to clean their teeth, though the toothbrush-type instruments used were made of twigs.

Dental health is paramount to overall physical wellbeing, and the more you know and understand about teeth and gums, and how to keep them healthy, the better success you will have. Our team at Tedford Family Dentistry hopes you’re inspired by these strange and fun facts about teeth and oral care, and that you’ll come see our staff for preventative cleanings and exams, as well as with any issues that may arise with your teeth. Visit our Ooltewah family dentistry office today!

Your Chattanooga family dentist at Tedford wants you to understand cavities so you can better prevent them.

Let’s get granular about cavities. We all know what cavities are, right? Tooth decay that creates permanently damaged areas in the hard surfaces of the teeth that become tiny holes. But the more we actually know about cavities, the better job we can do at preventing them.

Did you know that cavities are one of the world’s most common health problems? According to the World Dental Federation, untreated tooth decay is an issue affecting nearly half of the world’s population. Cavities are most prevalent in children, teenagers, and older adults, but anyone with teeth is at risk of developing tooth decay.

What Causes Cavities?

Simply put, sugary foods cause tooth decay. So when bits of food and drink like bread, fruit, candy, milk, soda, and the like stay in contact with your teeth, they cause decay. The bacteria in your mouth turns these foods into acids, then the bacteria, acids, and food debris combine with your saliva to form plaque. This plaque clings to the surfaces of your teeth, dissolving the enamel and causing cavities to form.

How Do You Know If You Have a Cavity?

Signs and symptoms of cavities often depend on where they are in your mouth and how large they are. You may not even have any symptoms at first, if the cavity is small enough, but as it gets larger, you may experience some of the following:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Visible black, white, or brown stains or spots on the teeth
  • Visible holes in the teeth
  • Pain when you eat or drink sweet things, or hot and cold things
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Pain or a toothache that occurs at random

Cavity Contributors

Everyone with teeth is susceptible to tooth decay and cavities, so it’s important to do what you can to minimize the chances of getting them with preventative care. Being aware and conscientious of habits that can affect your overall oral health can go a long way. So here are a few things that can contribute to the formation of cavities.

  1. Frequent consumption of sugary food and drink that clings to the teeth– ie. bread, cereal, chips, ice cream, milk, soda, etc.
  2. Poor oral hygiene. When you don’t brush properly and often enough, you’re giving plaque and decan an open invitation.
  3. Insufficient fluoride. This mineral, found in toothpaste and tap water, helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
  4. Dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in oral health, constantly working to wash away food particles and plaque that can cause decay. Ergo when you don’t have sufficient amounts of saliva at work in the mouth, your chances for forming cavities are increased.
  5. Acid reflux. If you suffer from frequent reflux, talk to your dentist about how to best protect your teeth. That stomach acid that gets forced into the mouth breaks down tooth enamel and contributes to decay.

Cavity Treatment

If you do get cavities, you’ll need to work with your Chattanooga family dentist to figure out best treatment options and preventative measures to take as you move forward. Depending on the size and location of your cavity, your dentist may suggest a basic filling made of silver alloy, porcelain, gold, or composite resin. If the tooth decay is more severe, you may be looking at a root canal and/or crown. The best way to avoid getting cavities is to brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, eat a healthy diet without too much intermittent snacking, and of course, see your Tedford Family Dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Our team will work with you to help prevent tooth decay and keep you smiling!

Friday, 20 November 2020 20:42

Happy Gums, Happy Teeth, Happy Holidays

Give the gift of better oral health wiht our holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide for Better Oral Health

There’s a time and place for practical gifts, and our team at Tedford Family Dentistry thinks gifts that help promote better oral health are always a great way to go. So this year as you’re doing your holiday shopping, consider some of these top items from our holiday gift guide for better oral health!

1– Electric Toothbrush

It’s a little luxurious, and a little boujee, but also such a nice thing to have– the electric toothbrush. Help that loved one in your life take their brushing up a notch. With cool options like Quip or Sonicare, you could even gift your loved one an ongoing subscription for top-of-the-line dental supplies.

2– Sugar Free Gum

If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer for your kids or significant other, consider sugar free gum to accompany all the chocolate candy this year. Chewing gum can actually have a positive impact on your dental health by stimulating your mouth’s production of saliva. Steer clear of sugary gums though, as these can promote tooth decay.

3– Water Flosser

Let’s be real. Most of us don’t take flossing as seriously as we should, and could use a little extra motivation in this important department of dental hygiene. So consider giving the give of a water flosser. Water flossers use water pressure to help clean between the teeth. A lot of people prefer this method to traditional dental floss, finding it more effective and more comfortable. Waterpik® is a great brand for water flossers you can check out.

4– Teeth Whitening

There’s nothing like the confidence boost you get from loving your own smile. So maybe this holiday season you give the gift of professional teeth whitening treatments to a loved one, or better yet– treat yourself this year! Our team at Tedford can help you achieve your best smile with our in-office whitening services.

5– Dental Travel Kit

Lots of us travel during the holidays, and it’s nice to be set up to take great care of your teeth while you’re on the go. Another great gift idea is a travel dental kit put together by hand. Select a great travel toiletry bag, and fill it with travel size toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, mints, and anything else you think fits the bill. Bonus: this person will think of you with every trip taken!

So while you’re doing your holiday shopping this year, think about how you can give the gift of a healthier smile to the ones you love the most. We hope our holiday gift guide serves as inspiration for your most practical yet loveable gifts for better oral health in the upcoming year! Cheers and happy holidays, from all of us at Tedford!

Friday, 16 October 2020 19:10

Beware of the Sweet Tooth

Halloween tips from your Chattanooga pediatric dentist

Things Your Chattanooga Pediatric Dentist Wants You To Consider at Halloween!

The costume-clad, candy-hunting holiday we celebrate now as Halloween was derived from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain during which people would light bonfires, dress in costumes to ward off ghosts when the veil between the living and the dead was thought to be thinnest.

Over time, the name and customs associated with the holiday have evolved to include jack-o-lantern carving, scary movie viewing, and trick or treating around neighborhoods. But even though Halloween might be a dream for your children (who doesn’t love dressing up and eating tons of candy?), it has the potential to become your Chattanooga pediatric dentist’s nightmare. So our team at Tedford Family Dentistry has compiled a list of tips to help you keep your child’s dental health in check through the sugariest holiday on the calendar.

TIP ONE

Know which candies are least harmful to your teeth. Dark chocolate for example is one of the better options, as it tends to have less added sugar. Furthermore, the antioxidants found in dark chocolate have been shown to fight periodontal disease. Who knew? (Well, we did, and now you do.)

TIP TWO

Take it easy on the taffies and ultra sticky candies like Milk Duds. Sticky caramels and taffy tend to stick to the teeth, allowing the sugar therein to eat away at tooth enamel. These treats are also potentially dangerous for children with caps on their teeth, as the sticky candies can even pull off caps or crowns.

TIP THREE

Enjoy candy at mealtimes. It’s a good idea to let your kids eat their candy and treats at mealtimes, because the saliva produced in the mouth while eating actually helps to wash away otherwise lingering sugars and bacteria.

TIP FOUR

Eat dinner before trick or treating! Trick or treat with full bellies so your kids won’t be tempted to candy binge. This will also give you time to get home and check over their stashes to ensure safety of the treats. Plus, counting and sorting the goods is half the fun!

TIP FIVE

Instate a candy budget. Don’t let your kids go crazy on the candy, but teach them moderation. Not only will the trick or treating loot last longer than a night or two, but also limiting your kids’ intake of sugar will be best for them all around. Their teeth (and tummies) will definitely thank you.

TIP SIX

Drink lots of water. Not only does drinking water have fluoride in it, which helps preserve tooth enamel, but also the swishing water inside the mouth helps wash away bits of food and treats, as well as sugar and bacteria that can cause cavities.

TIP SEVEN

Don’t forget to brush and floss. Good oral hygiene is imperative always, but especially when your child has consumed sugary treats. Leaving candy residue on teeth and gums is an invitation to decay. Brush, brush, and brush again.

TIP EIGHT

Consider non-candy treats. Broaden your Halloween horizons by giving your kids something other than candy on this holiday. We’re talking glow sticks, coloring books, temporary tattoos, and maybe even a new toothbrush!

TIP NINE

Don’t skip your cleanings! It’s really important to maintain your child’s dental cleaning and exam schedule to ensure issues are caught early– plus preventative care is always less painful and less expensive than fillings, root canals, and crowns.

Regardless of how you and yours choose to celebrate Halloween this year, we hope you have a safe and fun time. Our team at Tedford Family Dentistry wishes you the spookiest Halloween ever, and we hope you’ll take our dental tips to heart. Can’t wait to see your boo-tiful smiles soon!

Your pediatric dentist will tell you how important it is to care for your baby’s baby teeth from day one to avoid future dental issues.

When it comes to protecting your child’s teeth, the more you know, the better a job you’ll be able to do. Especially for first time parents, your knowledge about early dentistry and baby teeth may be limited, because this is a whole new adventure for you. So, here are a few things perhaps you didn’t know about baby teeth, and how you can best care for your child when it comes to oral health.

Your baby’s first tooth is a big childhood milestone. You’ll be saying ‘so long’ to that gummy grin, and you’ll likely deal with a little fussing as your baby’s teeth begin to erupt and grow in. This process can come with a little pain and irritability for your baby, as well as a low grade fever on occasion. That said, a lot more changes during this stage than the way your baby’s smile looks.

The Importance of Primary Teeth

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, serve a major purpose for your child. Those baby teeth prepare the mouth for the permanent teeth that will carry your child through adulthood. These primary teeth serve the obvious purposes– chewing and eating, but they also aid your child in speech functions, while also serving as placeholders for the permanent teeth that will eventually begin to replace them.

Keeping these baby teeth healthy as your child grows and matures will help ensure a healthier dental path for them as they approach adulthood. Proper dental hygiene and preventative dental care work in tandem to help keep your child’s teeth and mouth healthy and prevent dental problems down the road that can be both painful and costly.

Work with your pediatric dentist to provide great care for your child’s baby teeth, teaching good dental habits early.

Quick Facts about Baby Teeth:

  • Teething generally begins around six months of age, but can start anywhere between 3 months and 12 months varying baby to baby.
  • Baby teeth begin to form while the baby is still in utero. In fact, tooth buds begin forming during the second trimester.
  • By age 3, most babies have grown in all their primary teeth– 20 in total.
  • Signs of teething include excessive drooling, irritability, red or swollen gums, ear rubbing, low-grade fever, sucking or biting, and sometimes facial rashes.
  • You can help soothe your baby’s sore gums with teething toys, a cold washcloth used as a compress or to bite down on, chilled foods, and of course– lots of extra love and cuddles.
  • Even before your baby’s teeth come in, it’s a good idea to wipe down the gum area daily with a wet washcloth.
  • As soon as teeth become visible, you should begin brushing them twice daily with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your baby to spit as soon as he or she is able.
  • Baby teeth can get cavities just like permanent teeth. Work to avoid this with proper at home care and regular exams and cleanings with your pediatric dentist.
  • Limit the amount of sugary juice and foods your baby has to help protect the primary teeth against decay.
  • Visit a pediatric dentist when the time comes. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends seeing a dentist before the child’s first birthday, or six months after the appearance of that first baby tooth.

Our team at Tedford Family Dentistry in Chattanooga would love to help you and your child take exceptional care of those precious primary teeth. If you need to schedule an appointment for your child, contact us today!

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