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All Posts in Category: General

thumb sucking prevention

The Consequences of Thumb Sucking

The parents of many young children might recognize thumb sucking as an annoying habit that toddlers eventually outgrow. However, what Moms and Dads may not realize is that the relatively common habit can potentially yield several side effects impacting dental health. Fortunately, however, parents might also be able to employ certain method geared towards preventing or ceasing the act of thumb sucking. Questions about thumb sucking and how it can affect your child’s oral development? Check with your 3V Dental Port Washington Dentist!

The Side Effects Of Thumb Sucking

Tooth Misalignment

Children who suck their thumbs for extended durations, especially after age five or six (when they begin losing baby teeth and developing permanent ones) might be stricken with a condition that is medically referred to as dental malocclusion. In simpler terms, this means that the crucial oral components are moved out of position. These bad alignments can occur both the top and bottom front teeth (a condition known as open bite) and in the upper front choppers (referred to as overbite).

Not only do can these problems cause noticeable oral deformities but might also lead to issues affecting how the child’s face is shaped and said individual’s ability to smile. Should either of these conditions progress, impacted young persons might need corrective measures such as the installation of braces or be forced to undergo orthodontic work. To understand the full potential side effects of thumb sucking, ask your 3V Dental dentist how you can help prevent thumb sucking with your child.

Speech Problems

Thumb sucking has the potential to impact the proper formation of an affected child’s jaw (TMJ), tongue and palate. Eventually, the habit may result in lisping or other speech challenges that could precipitate speech and communications difficulties. In certain instances, speech problems could also result in scholastic struggles or social problems.

Damaged Skin

Long-standing thumb sucking could produce significant skin issues on the digit the child routinely places into said individual’s mouth. Continued exposure to the moisture created by saliva on the thumb in question could eventually cause skin sensitivities or damage such as cracked skin, sores and bleeding. Should skin problems progress, the child may be at an increased risk of developing skin infections that will require antibiotic treatment.

Increased Risk Of Mouth Or Other Bodily Infections

The skin on a child’s thumb might become exposed to toxins such as microbial elements and allergens that may eventually result in infections within the mouth or in other bodily regions.

How Can Parents Prevent Or Stop Thumb Sucking

Do Not Punish The Child Or Take An Aggressive Stance

Though the habit may be frustrating for parents to deal with, said individuals should not forcefully attempt to prevent their offspring from engaging in the activity, not should they yell or exhibit any other type of aggressive behavior. Such actions are more likely to cause increased tension and could even cause a young person to perform the habit more often.

Identify The Reasons The Child Engages In The Habit To Start With

On some occasions, children may suck their thumbs as a means of coping with stressful situations. If parents are able to identify what these tension-inducing circumstances are, said individuals might also be able to prevent their children from engaging in the activity.

Distract The Child’s Attention

When a parent notices their offspring engaging in the habit, some dentists recommend quickly attempting to distract their attention by giving said youths their favorite toy or turning their attention to some other kind of activity.

Cover The Child’s Thumb

A parent might find success covering the thumb or hands of the child in question with an item such as a sock or Band-Aid. This might be particularly effective for children known to suck their thumbs while sleeping.

Apply A Bitter-Tasting Medication Or Substance To The Child’s Thumb

If all other measures prove unsuccessful, parents might appeal to their dentists or family physicians who might prescribe a bitter-tasting substance that can be applied to the finger in question.

 

3V Dental is your local Port Washington dental team. For more information on how you can prevent or stop your child’d thumb sucking habit, schedule an appointment to speak with your dentist today. We’re more than happy to help!

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Oral Cancer Screening: What to Know and What to Expect

An oral cancer screening is performed by a doctor or dentist to look for any signs of the disease, or to search for precancerous symptoms in your mouth. Here at 3V Dental, our dentists can perform oral cancer screenings during your visit. Your screening can be performed as a form of preventative care, or in addition to your scheduled cleaning, exam, or during any service we provide.

The importance of an oral cancer screening is to detect issues at an early stage. It’s important to catch them early because at this point it is easier to remove it and it is more likely to be cured at an early stage. Some groups recommend screening while others don’t, since some groups don’t see any benefits. There are some risk factors that make testing more important. If you use tobacco of any kind, which includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco, you could be at a higher risk for oral cancer. Other factors to consider include heavy alcohol use, a previous oral cancer diagnosis, and a history of significant sun exposure, which can increase the risk of lip cancers. It’s important to ask your dentist why this screening is appropriate for you, as well as ways to reduce your risk of developing this disease. Unfortunately, this process can’t predict all mouth cancers, so it’s possible that a small percentage could go undetected. However, it’s still important to get screened.

Who Can Perform an Oral Cancer Screening?

Your dentist at 3V Dental will perform an exam during a scheduled dental visit. If a dentist notices something that could be precancerous, then he or she will refer you to a specialist for a biopsy.

What to Expect During Your Oral Cancer Examination

You don’t have to do anything to prepare for this exam. This examination is pretty quick and only takes about 60 seconds. During the exam, your doctor will check 10 places inside and around the mouth and look for lumps and irregular tissue changes. Your dentist will start by asking some questions about your health. Be open and honest with your dentist about any changes to your health. Even if you think these changes are small, they could be very important. Some of the questions could be about your regular dental hygiene routine, about any tobacco use, and if there are any symptoms, such as sores. You can feel free to ask any follow up questions. Once there are some general questions answered, the dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in the neck, head, cheeks, and mouth cavity. The dentist will be looking for any sores or tissue that looks discolored. The dentist may use some other devices, such as rinses, dyes, or different types of lights, to detect any abnormal cells. Once the assessment is over, the dentist will discuss some findings. A test can’t diagnose this disease; it can only be diagnosed after a biopsy. Just because something looks abnormal doesn’t mean that you have this disease, which is why a medical professional will need to make the diagnosis.

How Is Oral Cancer Detected?

This disease is detected as part of a routine dental exam. Some of the things the dentist is looking for include red or white patches, a sore that bleeds easily or doesn’t heal after some time, any thick or hard spots or lumps, or a roughed or crusted area. Other symptoms that are important to discuss for detection include numbness, pain or tenderness, or a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down. If there are any problems when swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw, be sure to speak with your dentist.

There are certain oral cancer screening guidelines that have been developed by the American Dental Association, in order to perform this assessment. If something unusual appears during the screening, your dentist may reexamine you in one or two weeks to see if the sore has healed or to further evaluate your mouth. It’s possible to also just be referred to a specialist to determine your next steps.

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Port Washington Dentist

How to Ease Your Child’s Fear or Anxiety of the Dentist

Regular dental visits are important for your child’s dental health and overall health. However, the fear of dentists can make an office visit very unpleasant. It is estimated that 20 percent of children suffer from dental anxiety. The good news is that there are things that you can do in order to ease your child’s anxiety.

Prepare Your Child for the Dental Visit

Many children are scared because they do not know what to expect. That is why it is a good idea to talk to your child before you take them to the dentist. You should let them know what to expect one week ahead of time. You do not want to wait until the last minute because this can worsen fears.

Choose Pediatric Dentists

All dentists are trained to work with patients of all ages. Pediatric dentists only work with patients who are under the age of 18. They complete an additional two years of training after they finish dental school. They know how to manage the fears in young patients. They can also design their office to make more kid-friendly.

Start Early and Have a Better Chance At Reducing Dental Anxiety

dental fillings cavities port washington ny

The earlier a youngster is taken to the dental office, the easier it will be for them to adjust to the environment. There are several benefits that can be reaped from the taking your child to the dental office early. This not only helps them get used to the environment, but it can also help catch problems early.

Help Your Youngster Relax

You can help your child’s anxiety by helping them relax. There are several things that you can do in order to help them relax. You can encourage them to take deep breaths. Deep breathing helps instantly alleviate stress. Progressive muscle relaxation is another remedy that can be used in order to ease stress in the dental office.

This is something that can be done in the chair at the office. Your youngster will need to close their eyes and slowly relax all of the tense parts of the body. Not only can progressive relaxation be done at the office, but it can also be done at home.

Positive Reinforcement

Most children respond well to positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can help in several ways. It can show a youngster that the dentist’s office is not a place that they have to fear. It can also show a youngster that if they are on their best behavior while at the dentist’s office, then they can expect a reward.

oral health toddlers

You can give your youngster stickers, tattoos and baseball cards. You can also set up a token system. When your youngster gets a certain number of tokens, you can take them to get a reward.

Distract Them

Distracting your youngster can take their mind off of being at the dentist’s office. You can distract them with their favorite toy. You can also ask the dentist if they can bring a tablet in.

Don’t Tell That it Will Not Hurt

The pain is what scares most youngsters the most about going to the dentist’s office. Dental visits are pain-free most of the time. However, you should not tell your youngster that they will not have pain. If they happen to have pain during the exam and cleaning, then this may make them even more afraid to go to the dentist.

Don’t do a lot of Talking

It may be tempting to talk in order to calm your youngster down. However, you should let the dental professional do most of the talking. They can also help calm your youngster down.

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remove coffee and tea stains from teeth

How to Avoid Those Pesky Coffee and Tea Stains!

For many people coffee and tea are as essential as the air we breath. Their mornings just cannot start without a little zip from the caffeine. As wonderful as these drinks make us feel, our teeth don’t enjoy them quite as much as we do. If consumed often enough, coffee and tea can leave stains on your teeth making them look dull and dirty. Fortunately there are ways to maintain your pearly whites without sacrificing your favorite caffeinated beverages! Below are some tips from our Port Washington Dental Team to help keep your teeth pearly white!

Brush Your Teeth More Often

This may sound like a no-brainer, but dentists confirm that brushing your teeth immediately after you drink coffee or tea can help reduce stains tremendously. You should brush before and after your morning beverage of choice, and again in the afternoon if you decide to imbibe. Use a toothpaste that is designed to whiten your teeth. The more often you brush, the better chance you have at keeping your teeth sparkly white.

Use a Straw

Let’s be clear here, this advice should only be followed if you are drinking a cold beverage. Do NOT drink warm beverages through a straw as you run the risk of burning your throat. If you drink iced beverages through a straw, your teeth don’t have as much contact with the liquids, and reduces your chances of staining. Combine this tip with regular brushing for extra protection.

Rinse and Repeat

Chasing your favorite caffeinated beverage with a big old glass of water can help keep your teeth looking their best. Drinking water immediately after consuming your latte can help rinse away the compounds in these popular caffeinated beverages that discolor your teeth. If you don’t have access to your tooth brush after drinking that afternoon latte, keep a small bottle of mouth wash with you.

Go to the Dentist Regularly

Keeping up with regular teeth cleanings will help keep your teeth white as snow. You should strive to follow your dentist’s advice and floss your teeth as often as you can. Practicing good oral hygiene is important to making sure your mouth is as healthy as possible, and a bright white smile is a happy by-product of that!

Get Your Teeth Whitened

If the stains get out of hand, talk to your dentist about having a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure. Our team of wonderful dentists can help you decide if this procedure is right for you. Teeth whitening is a safe and painless process. Your dentist will use a special type of bleach that is designed to get rid of those pesky dark spots. The procedure is relatively quick and you can expect to be in and out of our office within a couple of hours!

We can also help you decide if at-home whitening trays are a good option for you. These trays will produce good results, but take much longer than in-office procedures. Whichever option you chose, remember that it is very possible to have a dazzling smile without giving up your daily caramel macchiato!

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prevent tooth decay

5 Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

There are different types of dental fillings available at 3V Dental, including metallic and color-matching composite materials. Today, it is easy for our dentists to fill a small cavity in only a few minutes to prevent additional decay. However, it is better to prevent tooth decay in the first place. Here are five oral care tips that will improve the condition of the enamel on your teeth to help prevent any cavities that will require fillings.

Here Is How To Strengthen Your Teeth To Prevent Decay

Tip 1: Consume More Fruits and Vegetables

Your daily diet affects the condition of your teeth, but you can add an assortment of fruits and vegetables to your menus. Look for fresh dark leaf greens, bright red tomatoes and tasty bell peppers to create a salad for lunch instead of eating a hamburger. When you want a tasty snack, eat an apple rather than consuming potato chips or ice cream.

Tip 2: Perform Oral Care At Least Twice a Day

It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. In addition, flossing once a day is also essential to remove additional food debris that leads to a buildup of plaque on your teeth. Buy a new toothbrush every three months, and choose dental floss that is easy for you to use.

Tip 3: Stop Smoking Cigarettes

If you smoke cigarettes, then you are more likely to have tooth decay, gingivitis or halitosis. The nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco will inflame the soft tissues inside your mouth, causing you to have numerous dangerous bacteria on your gums, palate or tongue that will cause tooth decay.

Tip 4: Take Vitamins To Improve Your Teeth

In addition to a healthy diet, you can take dietary supplements to improve the condition of your teeth. Taking vitamins and minerals is especially important when you have allergies that make it impossible to consume certain foods or beverages.

Tip 5: Schedule Routine Dental Visits Twice a Year

You should visit your dentist every six months to have a thorough cleaning and examination of your teeth. If you have a cavity, then your dentist can fill it with a color-matching filling when it is toward the front of your mouth. Alternatively, if you have a cavity in a tooth at the back of your mouth, then your dentist will use a durable metal filling instead.

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implants-vs-dentures

Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Which is Right for You?

What Are Dentures?

In the past, false teeth, or dentures, were your only option for replacing the teeth on the bottom or top of your mouth. A dentist would collect X-rays of your face and molds of your mouth to create false teeth that were attached to durable resin materials. These dentures would fit comfortably in your mouth so that you would have a normal appearance.

what are dentures

With the proper fit, false teeth are easy to wear so that you can chew food and talk correctly. However, wearing false teeth isn’t always easy because the items may slip on the gums, leading to clicking noises or mouth sores. In addition, you must remove the false teeth to brush away food debris to prevent bad breath. If you don’t like wearing false teeth, then visit a dentist to learn if there is another option that will make your life easier on a daily basis.

What Are Dental Implants?

If you have missing teeth, then you can have an attractive smile and strong bite by having dental implants inserted in your mouth instead. These types of restorations are placed directly into the gum tissue so that you don’t need to remove the items to get rid of food debris. However, a dental implant procedure, performed by an oral surgeon, requires having healthy gum tissue and strong alveolar bone to hold the devices in place. If you have a healthy mouth, then a dentist can insert a dental implant right away, but when your bones aren’t in good condition, you will require preliminary treatments first.

what are dental implants

A dental implant procedure can take only a few office visits, or you may need extensive treatments to eliminate gum disease and build stronger bones. A dental implant can last for many years, making the restoration a good financial investment.

Why Choose Dental Implants Over Dentures?

With implants, you will have a more natural appearance with dental crowns that are attractive but durable. You won’t need to remove dentures twice a day to brush away food particles and rinse your mouth. A dental implant won’t slip inside your mouth while chewing food or talking to someone. While there is an adjustment time after getting a dental implant, you won’t need to cope with painful blisters inside your mouth that occur with false teeth. A dental implant can give you more self-esteem because you won’t feel at though anyone else will notice your false teeth. Having implants can also improve your life in other ways, including making it easier to chew nutritious food along with talking without any slippage.

Contact 3V Dental Associates today to learn more about your restoration options when you have missing teeth.

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oral health toddlers

Dental Care for Toddlers

Starting your child’s dental care as early as possible will prevent cavities and other dental issues. Caring for toddler’s teeth is fairly easy, but it’s important to help your child develop good habits early in life.

Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth

Your child should brush twice a day as soon as their teeth appear. Most children can start brushing with help from their parents when they’re three years old. Until your toddler reaches the age of six, you should supervise his or her brushing.

Use about a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste, making sure that your toddler doesn’t swallow it. With a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth. Angle the toothbrush’s bristles toward the gums as you brush. Your toddler should also floss just before bedtime.

Teach Good Eating Habits

Teaching your child good brushing and flossing habits from a young age will help them maintain their dental health into adulthood. Toddlers might not want to brush and floss, but make sure they know it’s not a negotiable part of their morning or evening routine.

When kids are very tired, they usually don’t want to brush. Having them brush and floss a little earlier in the evening can be easier for them than brushing and flossing right before bedtime when they’re exhausted. However, make sure the only drink your child has after brushing is water.

Problems to Watch Out For

You should watch out for baby bottle tooth decay, which can occur when your child takes a nap with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar can cling to a tooth and lead to tooth decay. Only give your toddler water in a bottle before they go to sleep.

Drinking from a sippy cup all day can also lead to tooth decay, especially on the back of the front teeth. A sippy cup is a good tool for transitioning to drinking from a glass, but your toddler shouldn’t have one all day long.

Some children’s medicines are flavored or sugary, and they can increase the risk of cavities if they stick to a tooth. If your child is taking one of these medications, he or she may have to brush more than twice a day. Ask your dentist how often your child should brush.

If your child continues with a thumb-sucking habit after the age of three or four, it can cause issues with the mouth and jaw. Try to use positive reinforcement to break this habit by praising your kids when they don’t suck their thumbs.

 

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breastfeeding and oral health

What You Need to Know About Oral Health and Breastfeeding

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding breastfeeding, especially regarding extended nursing. All of this confusion and misinformation can cause new moms to be unsure of how nursing could be impacting their little one’s oral health. Many believe that allow a baby or toddler to breastfeed for too long can lead to tooth decay, similar to “baby bottle tooth decay” in formula fed babies. However, this assumption has never been proven to be factual.

All children can be susceptible to contracting cavities; however, nursing is usually not the main proponent. In fact, before the bottle was introduced, cavities and dental decay in children were extremely rare. However, breast milk does contain natural sugar, so it is important to begin caring for your child’s oral health as soon teeth come in.

Streptococcus Mutans and Cavities

Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria known to be the primary cause of tooth decay, uses sugars found in food to produce acid. This acid contacts teeth and begins the decaying process.

Dr. Brian Palmer, a dentist, stated, “Human milk alone does not cause dental caries. Infants exclusively breastfed are not immune to decay due to other factors that impact the infant’s risk for tooth decay. Decay causing bacteria (streptococcus mutans) is transmitted to the infant by way of parents, caregivers, and others” (Palmer 2002).

A study conducted by Dr. Torney in 1992 also discovered that there was no correlation between cavities found in patients under the age of two and baby’s nursing patterns, such as frequent night nursing and nursing to sleep. The study also states Torney’s belief that breast milk bacteria actually assists in defeating decay-inducing bacteria. However, he also said that this does not make exclusively breastfed babies immune to cavities, as small enamel defects can cause teeth to become too far gone, and not even breast milk can save them.

In 2015, a study was performed in exclusively-breastfed infants for six months by Pediatrics. This study found that these children were 72% less likely to have crooked teeth, along with a lower chance of having an open bite, cross-bite, and/or overbite than formula fed babies.

This proves that if your breastfed toddler has crooked teeth, a cross-bite, etc., the cause is highly likely to not be from nursing. Instead, evaluate for other sources for the problem. Pacifiers and thumb-sucking have been known to cause crooked teeth; however, sometimes the problem is merely genetics.

Many mothers are frightened by the daunting task of nursing an infant or toddler who has teeth. Even though your child has teeth, you do not need to wean them off of breastfeeding. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend moms to breastfeed their infants for at least the first year of life, and the World Health Organization advocates for a minimum of two years.

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diabetes and oral health

Living with Diabetes? Oral Problems to be Aware of

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas isn’t secreting enough insulin to combat the glucose in the bloodstream. It can cause all sorts of health problems. While many associate it with problems like poor circulation, trouble with eyesight and fatigue, few realize that it can also be a source of poor dental health. There are many dental problems that can be related to the disease. That’s why it is important to get frequent dental check-ups and cleanings. Here are some problems your dentist will be watching out for:

Gum Disease

There are two types of gum disease that are often spotted in diabetic patients. An early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis is most common in those with diabetes. If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a much more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Proper oral hygiene is not enough to combat this condition. As those with the condition may be susceptible to it because their body is less able to fight the infection that causes gum disease.

Serious gum disease needs to be treated by a dentist right away. It is not only detrimental to our oral health. It can actually lead to the progression of the disease itself. Having gum disease can make it more difficult for the body to regulate blood glucose levels.

Cavities

Diabetics are at a higher risk for cavities. Cavities are caused when bacteria invades the tooth. Part of the reason diabetics often experience this problem is because they have less saliva. Saliva helps to protect the teeth from these bacterial invasions. The other reason is that there is more glucose present in the saliva that the body’s able to produce. Since there is less insulin to counter-act it.

Dry Mouth

As noted before, having a dry mouth can lead to cavities. Diabetics must deal with the discomfort that a dry mouth produces. Having a dry mouth tends to lead to bad breath as well. That’s why it is especially important to use mints, gum, and mouthwash if you suffer from diabetic, dry-mouth symptoms.

Diabetes and Oral Health Are Heavily Linked

Diabetics need to take extra precautions when it comes to their dental health. Those with the condition should be sure to brush their teeth after every meal, visit the dentist at least twice a year, and never forget to floss. While being a diabetic makes it harder to keep up with dental health, it is possible.

If you are a diabetic, and would like to schedule a consultation with our friendly dental staff, contact us today. With a convenient Port Washington location, you’re in good (local) hands!

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does sugar cause cavities

Does Sugar Really Cause Cavities?

Sugar is a major issue in the standard American diet today. There are many studies showing the negative impact of unhealthy food in the diet. Not only are people dying earlier because of these habits, but many people are also having dental issues. Oral health is vital to living a long and happy life. If you want to improve your smile, you need to improve your diet. Here are some of the most important steps that you can take to transform your diet in the coming years.

Oral Health and Daily Diet

One of the most important parts of having a healthy mouth is eating the right food. There are many people today who eat a diet that is high in sugar and other processed chemicals. This is not the best way to have success with your mouth. You need to be on an eating plan that aligns with your goals in every way possible.

Not only that, but you need to work with a dental team who has your best interests in mind. Our team has decades of experience in this industry.

Finding the Right Dentist

Going to the dentist on a regular basis is a great way to prevent cavities. You need to work with a person who you can trust. A lot of people do not enjoy going to their local office because they think it is too expensive and a waste of time. However, this is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Several times a year, you should be going to a dental office in your area. This is one of the best ways to take your health to a new level. Not only can this help to prevent issues, but they can give you advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle with your test.

Final Thoughts

Overall, having a healthy mouth is an important step in having a healthy life. There are a lot of people today who struggle in this area. You need to be on an eating plan that makes sense with your health goals. For many people today, it is hard to stay on track with healthy eating for a variety of reasons.

The more processed food you have in your diet, the higher the chance that you will get oral issues later on. Cleaning up your diet and getting regular cleanings is the best way to have success in this area.

To schedule a dental checkup, contact 3V Dental Associates today!

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