Baby teeth are important teeth, forming a foundation for good oral health and smile aesthetics that last a life time. Green Bay Family Dental loves serving our youngest patients through innovative and gentle pediatric dentistry. We carefully evaluate and treat teeth, gums and even developing bone structure for best functioning and best-looking young smiles.
Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve at Green Bay Family Dental and our dedicated team like to see children when that first little tooth erupts, or by their first birthday at the latest. This first dental appointment is a fun, get acquainted visit so child and parent get used to the sights and sounds of pediatric dentistry. At age 3, we perform a comprehensive oral exam, checking for decay, gum disease and tooth and jaw development. We advise 6-month cleanings and visits for all children and adults to detect any oral health problems before they become costly and complicated. Now is the right time to start teaching your child good oral hygiene habits, including the importance of regular dental visits. Call 920-432-2961 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve at their Green Bay, WI children’s dentistry office- Green Bay Family Dental.
Parental involvement in kids' oral health helps prevent tooth decay--the number one chronic health problem in American children. The staff and Dr Heidi Eggers-Ulve at Green Bay Family Dental teach kids and parents that mom and dad must brush toddlers' teeth for them and supervise kids at least up to the age of 8. Twice daily brushing with a soft-bristled brush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste is the rule, and parents must realize that young children do not have the dexterity to brush and floss by themselves.
Green Bay Family Dental also stresses nutritious, low-sugar diets and drinking plenty of water to wash tooth surfaces and promote production of saliva. Saliva keeps teeth and gums clean--important in between meals and during the night. Additionally, the pediatric dentist often recommends fluoride treatments and plastic sealants for young teeth--particularly molars that have intricately-grooved chewing surfaces. These simple "painted-on" dental materials quickly and comfortably provide protection against decay, and for adults, fluoride reduces dental sensitivity.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that any decay found in children's teeth be treated. The health and development of baby teeth impacts how their adult teeth look, function and erupt into the mouth. Furthermore, it's wise for children to receive a complete orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Early orthodontic treatment wards off problems from crooked teeth later on in life--decay, gum disease and self-image issues specifically. Early intervention takes advantage of the developing jaw, making treatment easier and less complex than older teen or adult treatment.
Don't delay. Establish a routine of good dental care for your children. Call Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve at Green Bay Family Dental, 2609 Development Drive, Green Bay WI 54311, today at (920) 432-2961 or (920) 499-7933 to set-up an appointment. Or email: info@GBFamilyDental.com.
A tooth with deep decay is in real peril. If the disease isn’t stopped, it can eventually infect the bone and greatly increase the risk of losing the tooth. But tooth decay removal and a root canal treatment can stop advancing decay and resulting infection in its tracks.
During this common procedure we first drill into the tooth to access the inner pulp. After removing the infected pulp tissue, we disinfect and fill the empty chamber and root canals with gutta percha. We then seal the tooth and crown it to protect against re-infection.
But while most root canals are successful and long-lasting, sometimes the tooth becomes re-infected. Here are 3 factors that could affect the long-term success of a root canal treatment.
Early treatment. Like many health problems, the sooner we detect decay and treat it, the better the outcome. A tooth in which the infection has already advanced beyond the pulp is at greater risk for re-infection than one in which the infection is localized in the pulp. Keeping up your regular dental visits as well as seeing the dentist at the first sign of abnormality—spots on the teeth or pain—can increase your chances of early diagnosis.
Tooth complications. Front teeth with their single roots and canals are much easier to access and treat than a back molar with an intricate root canal network. Root canals can also be extremely narrow making them easy to miss during treatment. In cases like this the expertise and advanced equipment of an endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatment) could help increase the odds of success in complex situations.
The aging process. Teeth do wear over time and become more brittle, making them increasingly susceptible to fracture. A previous root canal treatment on an aging tooth might also increase the fracture risk. To avoid this, it’s important for the tooth to receive a crown after the procedure to protect the tooth not only from re-infection but undue stress during chewing. In some situations, we may also need to place a post with a bonded composite buildup within the tooth to give it extra support.
Even if a tooth has these or similar complications, a root canal treatment may still be advisable. The benefits for preserving a decayed tooth often far outweigh the risks of re-infection.
If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 “Root Canal Treatment.”
In October, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association sponsors National Dental Hygiene Month to remind everyone that having good oral health is directly related to practicing good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing twice each day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once per day. But sometimes we forget that dental hygiene applies not just to your teeth but also to anything you regularly wear in your mouth. This includes removable dentures (full or partial), clear aligners, nightguards, mouthguards and retainers. If you (or your kids, or seniors you know) wear any of these, please review the three appliance-care tips below.
1. CLEAN IT. Just like natural teeth, an oral appliance worn every day needs daily brushing. But toothpaste isn’t an appropriate cleanser for these devices; it’s too abrasive. The grainy particles it contains are great for scrubbing plaque and bits of food from the hard enamel coating of teeth—but they can actually leave little nicks in the plastic of your oral appliance, creating areas for bacteria to hide. This can eventually cause odors and stains. Instead, clean appliances with liquid dish soap or denture paste. Buy a separate brush for your appliance—don’t use the same one that you use on your teeth. It can be a very soft regular toothbrush, nail brush or denture brush.
2. RINSE IT. After cleaning your appliance, rinse it thoroughly. But don’t use hot water—and never boil an oral appliance to sterilize it! Your device was custom-made for your mouth, and it needs to fit precisely to do its job. Hot water can warp the appliance and change the fit, possibly rendering it useless or even harmful. For example, a warped orthodontic aligner might not move teeth into the correct position. Remember: the goal is to kill bacteria, not your appliance!
3. STORE IT. Keep your appliance in a safe place—away from curious pets and toddlers. When you are not wearing it or cleaning it, your device should be packed away in its case or soaking overnight in water or a cleaning solution according to your original instructions.
If you have any questions about oral appliance care or oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance” and “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Watching your kids dress up in cute, spooky costumes and go out trick-or-treating can be a real thrill. But thinking about the dental damage caused by eating all those sweets might just give you the chills. So is it best to act like a witch and take away all the candy from those adorable little ghosts and goblins?
Relax! According to experts like the American Dental Association, it’s OK to let kids enjoy some sweet treats on special occasions like Halloween—especially if they have been taking good care of their oral hygiene all year long, by brushing twice each day and flossing once every day. But to help keep cavities away from those young smiles, there are some things parents (and everyone else) should understand.
Cavities—small holes in the tooth’s outer surface that result from the decay process—get started when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acids. The acids eat away at the hard enamel coating of teeth. If left untreated, decay will eventually reach the soft inner core of the tooth, causing even more serious damage.
There are several ways to stop the process of tooth decay. One is to take away the sugar that decay bacteria feed on. Because this ingredient is common in so many foods, it’s hard to completely eliminate sugar from the diet. Instead, it may be more practical to limit the consumption of sweets. For example, if kids are only allowed to eat sugary treats around mealtimes, it gives the mouth plenty of “downtime,” in which healthful saliva can neutralize the bacterial acids. It also helps to avoid sweets that stick to teeth (like taffy or gummy bears) and those that stay in the mouth for a long time (like hard candy).
Another way to help stop tooth decay is by maintaining top-notch oral hygiene. Decay bacteria thrive in the sticky film called plaque that clings stubbornly to the surfaces of teeth. Plaque can be removed by—you guessed it—effective brushing and flossing techniques. While it’s a good start, brushing alone won’t remove plaque from the spaces between teeth and under the gums: That’s why flossing is an essential part of the daily oral hygiene routine. Helping your kids develop good oral hygiene habits is among the best things you can do to fight cavities.
And speaking of habits, there are a few others that can help—or hurt—your oral health. For example, drinking plenty of water keeps the body hydrated and benefits oral health; but regularly drinking soda and other sweetened or acidic beverages greatly increases the risk of tooth decay. And seeing your dentist on a regular basis for professional cleanings and routine checkups is one of the most beneficial habits of all. Working together, we can help keep tooth decay from turning into a scary situation for kids—and adults too.
If you have questions about cavity prevention or oral hygiene, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health” and “Tooth Decay—How to Assess Your Risk.”
Your baby is hitting new milestones every day, and his or her first dental visit is another one to include in the baby book!
Your child’s first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday. Why so early? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, as soon as your baby has teeth, he or she can get cavities. Being proactive about your child’s dental health today can help keep his or her smile healthy for life.
How to Prepare
Start early! To get your child ready for the visit, talk to him or her about what’s going to happen and be positive. Have your child practice opening his or her mouth to get them ready for when the dentist counts and checks their teeth. Reading books or watching videos about first dental visits may help your child be less fearful and more confident.
Moms and dads can prepare, too. When making the appointment, it can’t hurt to ask for any necessary patient forms ahead of time. It may be quicker and easier for you to fill them out at home instead of at the office on the day of your visit.
Make a list of questions, as well. If your child is teething, sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier too much, your dentist can offer some advice.
What to Expect During the Visit
Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve, Pediatric Dentistry Clinic at Green Bay Family Dental in Green Bay, WI, will examine your child to make sure their jaw and teeth are developing in the way they should. During the visit, you will be seated in the dental chair with your child on your lap if your child isn’t able to — or doesn’t want to — sit in the chair alone. The dentist will check for mouth injuries, cavities or other issues. Once that part of the exam is over, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and give you tips for daily care.
If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry. It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child!
Tips for a Great Visit
- Don’t schedule an appointment during naptime. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
- Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.
- Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
- Think of the appointment as a happy and fun experience. If your child becomes upset during the visit, work with your dentist to calm your child. You’re on the same team!
- For more information on your child’s first dental visit, please contact Pediatric Dentistry Clinic at Green Bay Family Dental in Green Bay, WI. Call (920) 432-2961 to schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve today!
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