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When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and usually emerge in the late teens or early twenties. Standard dental practice is to remove wisdom teeth prior to them being fully formed when the roots have not yet had a chance to develop and fully root into the jaw. Younger patients usually have an easier recovery from surgery and many dentists believe early removal prevents future dental problems associated with wisdom teeth.

If your wisdom teeth were not removed as they emerged, there are some signs and symptoms that would indicate the need for extraction including:

  • Wisdom teeth that are impacted, which means they have become trapped in the jawbone or gums.
  • Wisdom teeth that are emerging at an awkward angle, causing pressure on adjacent teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth that do not fit in your mouth, causing crowding of the surrounding teeth as well.
  • Wisdom teeth that are suffering from decay or disease caused by the inability to keep them cleaned properly.
  • Wisdom teeth that have developed fluid-filled cysts near the gumline.
  • Wisdom teeth that are causing pain due to any of the above reasons.

The decision about whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with your dental professional. Your dentist or oral surgeon can assess the position and health of your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation for treatment.

If extraction is recommended, they may choose to extract one tooth or all four molars at once. Recovery from the outpatient procedure takes just a few days, and you will quickly be back to normal. Contact our dental office if you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed to determine if you should consider wisdom tooth removal to ensure your future good oral health.

 

 

Reasons Regular Family Dentist Visits are Important

Reasons Regular Family Dentist Visits are Important

Trips to your family dentist for checkups and cleanings may not top your list of fun family activities, but there are important reasons you should make visits to the dentist a priority for your family. Excellent oral health depends heavily on prevention and by taking proactive steps, you can ensure your family will have years of beautiful, healthy smiles. The following reasons outline why regular care by your family dentist is vital to the overall health of your family:

Your family dentist will screen for oral cancer. In the United States, there is approximately one death every hour from oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment.

Routine cleaning and checkups help to prevent the advancement of gum disease. When diagnosed early, gum disease is both treatable and reversible. However, left unchecked, advanced gum disease can enter your bloodstream leading to a higher incidence of heart disease and possibly stroke.

Maintaining good oral care is the best way to ensure you will keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Gum disease left untreated can lead to tooth loss, causing a host of other potential problems.

Early detection of cavities, gum disease, and other issues by your family dentist will help you to avoid more serious problems which could lead to root canal treatment, tooth loss, or gum surgery. Early detection and treatment are the keys to avoiding larger dental emergencies.

Clearly, making appointments with your family dentist a priority in your family’s regular routine is a critical part of maintaining not only their excellent oral health, but also in ensuring their overall good health. Every member of your family should be scheduled for cleanings and checkups with your family dentist at least twice per year to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today

 

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office

Should My Teen Choose Invisalign or Traditional Braces

Should My Teen Choose Invisalign or Traditional Braces

Metal braces used to go hand-in-hand with teenage years. Those awkward years were made so much worse with the taunts of “metal mouth” or “brace face.” Today, if your teen is dreading those comments, there are alternatives, particularly Invisalign.
Has your teen been told that braces are a necessity? Is he or she fearful of time spent in metal braces? Invisalign could be the solution, providing an “invisible” way to straighten and align crooked teeth.

Not all teens are suited for treatment with Invisalign. The aligners must be worn diligently, up to 22 hours a day, in order to work properly. Teens may be tempted to remove them more often than recommended, leading to far longer treatment time or ineffectual treatment.

Changes in Invisalign treatment are addressing the specific needs of teens with solutions like the blue dot wear indicator, which allows dentists and parents to determine if the teen is wearing the aligner the recommended amount of time.

Power ridges provide the maximum force necessary to exact complex movements in the mouth, including the movement of tooth roots. Because some teens are still in the process of having their teeth erupt, Invisalign aligners can feature eruption tabs or other design elements for teeth that are still in the process of erupting.

Benefits like these allow Invisalign to cater to a teen’s specific orthodontic needs while still providing all of the things that make Invisalign aligners so popular with patients of all ages.

Invisalign makes it possible to remove the plastic aligners while teens are eating or cleaning their teeth. Metal braces can trap unsightly bits of food, leading to a teen being self-conscious. Oral hygiene habits remain far easier with Invisalign than with traditional metal braces. Flossing takes place normally, while flossing with traditional metal braces is very challenging.

If you have questions regarding whether or not Invisalign or traditional metal braces are right for your individual teen, talk to a skilled orthodontist today. Your orthodontist will determine if Invisalign will be the most effective treatment to address your teen’s orthodontic needs.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office

Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign?

Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign?

Having a smile that embarrasses you is not a good way to go through life. With so many options available for improving the way your teeth look, there’s no reason to continue trying to hide them. One of the best options available today is Invisalign, or invisible braces. This innovative technology may be able to help you transform your smile without the hassles of traditional orthodontics.

Invisalign consists of a series of clear plastic aligning trays that gently shift your teeth into better positions. Practically invisible when worn, these aligners are removable for eating and cleaning. No dealing with a mouthful of unsightly metal, avoiding restricted foods, or worrying about food becoming stuck in your braces.

What types of problems can Invisalign correct? Some common flaws include gaps between teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, mild malocclusions, or twisted teeth. Issues like these not only impact the appearance of your smile, but can also cause oral health complications such as difficulty in cleaning or improper wearing on your teeth.

Who should consider Invisalign? Anyone with teeth problems like those above is likely a good candidate, especially those who want to make the best impressions on others in their professional and personal lives. If you want to repair your smile without wearing traditional braces and have the choice of removing your orthodontics for special occasions, then you’ll find Invisalign very appealing. This applies to patients of many ages, from adults in the working world to self-conscious teens. Invisalign is a great solution for those who play sports or play musical instruments that might be hindered by traditional braces.

If you are unhappy with your smile, schedule a consultation with a professional who offers Invisalign as a treatment option. Find out if this treatment can help you, and begin your journey to a brand new beautiful smile.

If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today

Enjoy Food Again With Hybrid Dentures

Enjoy Food Again With Hybrid Dentures

If you are currently a denture wearer, you know that dentures can be problematic when it comes to eating a wide variety of foods, especially those foods with a very crunchy or chewy texture. Dentures can click or move when you are eating, or food debris can collect underneath, leading to poor fit and irritation of the soft palate and gums. Over time, if your dentures aren’t properly cleaned, this can lead to an odor in the dentures that causes bad breath for the wearer.

Issues with stability and retention of standard dentures mean that many wearers have food restrictions, including healthful and fresh foods they previously enjoyed with their healthy natural teeth. Some of the most nutritious foods available are problematic for denture wearers, making chewing difficult. Because so much of the digestion process begins in the mouth with the mastication of food, poorly chewed food can cause digestion difficulties and eventually be a factor in overall poor health.

Standard dentures can also affect the enjoyment of eating the foods that are allowed. They can be bulky, especially on the roof of the mouth, taking away a large part of savoring the texture and flavor of foods.

Hybrid dentures address all of these issues. They are crafted so that the roof of the mouth remains completely open and uncovered. Texture and flavor are enhanced over typical dentures. Hybrid dentures are affixed firmly with four or more dental implants functioning as anchors. These denture anchors are extremely secure and stable, giving the wearer the confidence to eat, drink, and speak.

Talk to your dentist today to see if hybrid dentures can improve your life. Experience the positive effects of hybrid dentures as your put your best smile forward with confidence that it looks and functions virtually identically to your natural teeth and gums.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office