While toothpaste [dentifrice] is a valuable adjunct to a toothbrush in oral hygiene, it is the correct brushing action that removes the plaque [sticky mixture of bacteria, food & debris] from your teeth.
• Fluoride Any brand toothpaste that contains fluoride and the ADA Seal of Approval, to attest that there is evidence of its safety, reliability and effectiveness through clinical trials, is acceptable. It makes no difference if the toothpaste is a gel, paste or powder or which flavoring agent is used. However, from an individual motivational standpoint, and assuring its use, these characteristics may be important. Other than fluoride, which strengthens the enamel and fights decay, toothpastes contain abrasives to remove stain and polish the teeth and ingredients to leave the mouth with a clean, fresh feeling.
• Sensitive Teeth If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, choose a desensitizing paste with either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate as an added ingredient. Expect about 4-6 weeks to see real improvement.
• Tartar Control There are brands of toothpaste that advertise “tartar control” and usually have the active ingredient pyrophosphate. While it will not remove tartar, studies have shown it will reduce tartar formation up to 36%. Tartar [calculus] can only be removed with a professional prophylaxis [cleaning].
• Abrasiveness Many toothpastes now contain baking soda, which is less abrasive. This is advantageous for reducing tooth sensitivity in people with gum recession or those who have eroded their teeth by rigorous brushing with an abrasive toothpaste.
• Whitening Bleaching teeth to make them lighter has become popular. If you desire a whitening toothpaste, look for the active whitening agents of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These toothpastes serve best to maintain the tooth shade after bleaching procedures. Call our office if you have bleaching questions.
• Dentures If you wear partial or full dentures, they will also stain and absorb odors. Ask your pharmacist to recommend an ADA Accepted denture cleaning paste and/or solution. When brushing, it is not necessary to overload your brush with toothpaste. Squeeze a “pea-sized” amount on the top of the bristles. Correct brushing techniques will cause the paste to foam and cover all of your teeth.
Usually, a baby’s teeth are not visible at birth, but they are present under the gums. However, sometimes a baby is born with 1-2 teeth. Women who breast-feed will have to be careful, or they will be bitten. We will get two sets of teeth – 20 baby teeth [also known as primary or deciduous] and 32 permanent teeth.
As the primary teeth get ready to erupt into the mouth, the gums get hard, red and swollen. This process called “teething” can also cause discomfort, excessive drooling, runny noses, low-grade temperature and/or overall crankiness. However, each child may exhibit some differences, sot there is an average range within tooth eruption occurs [see chart]. For example, if a child is breathing in second-hand smoke from one or both parent smokers, the eruption of his/her teeth can be delayed 4-5 months.
The two lower front teeth [deciduous central incisors] are typically the first to arrive when the child is 6-8 months old. There will be periodic eruption of the rest of the primary teeth, usually in pairs on both sides of the jaws. By the time your child is 2½ years old, all of the deciduous teeth should be visible. Eventually, the primary teeth will become loose and fall out or be removed easily. Their permanent counterparts should replace all of the primary teeth. It’s important, however, to maintain a child’s primary teeth. They are necessary for chewing food properly, speech, and physical appearance. If a primary tooth decays and abscesses, it could damage the developing bud of the permanent tooth underneath. Also, premature loss of a back [posterior] primary tooth could reduce the amount of space necessary for its permanent replacement. In the primary dentition, large spaces between the teeth are normal.
Usually, the first permanent teeth to erupt are the child’s four first molars that do not replace any teeth but come in directly behind the child’s deciduous second molars. This occurs are about 5½ – 6 year old [sometime called the six-year molars]. The progression of tooth replacement/eruption follows with the four permanent front teeth [central incisors] at about age 6-7. The eruption of the permanent teeth is almost complete at age 12-13 when the second permanent molars come in. the third molars [wisdom teeth] may erupt anywhere between 1- to 21 plus years. It’s quite common for wisdom teeth to be impacted in the bone and never erupt. Sometimes other permanent teeth are congenitally missing and will never be present. This is typically diagnosed with proper x-rays [radiographs]. One of the concerns that we verify at the check-up appointment is that your child’s teeth are developing properly and taking their correct position in the mouth. If you have questions regarding your child’s teeth development or eruption pattern, please call our office.