FAQ

Grinding

 

Grinding is one of the most commonly asked questions in our office bar none! Noise generated during grinding can be very difficult to listen to and may disrupt sleep patterns at home or while on vacation. The level of wear that is created through grinding on primary teeth rarely causes a serious problem. However,  after finishing orthodontics and growth slows down, a custom fitted night guard can be used to protect the permanent teeth against any wear while reducing and evenly distributing clenching forces when grinding occurs. Feel free to contact as if you have any further questions regarding grinding.

 

Sealants

Sealants have been in use since the early 80’s. Sealants are a means of altering the natural anatomy of a tooth to prevent food impaction. Typically, the chewing surface  anatomy of a permanent tooth is very “groovy”. When a sealant is applied properly and kept in place, these grooves will no longer be able to trap food. Sealants are made typically of two materials: Resin-based sealant and a cement-style. Both sealant materials do not contain the Bis-Phenol  A  compound. Ask any member of our staff for more details.

Canker Sores

 

These painful mouth sores are a true problem for some. Usually caused by trauma, they develop into lesions that take approximately 7 days to heal on their own.  During that time, measures to keep the sufferer comfortable include: numbing agents (orajel, zilactin), pain relievers, and a benedryl based mouthwash. Prevention is the best management of these painful problems of the mouth.

Cold Sores

These sores located generally where the red part of your lip touches the skin of your face are viral in nature. Herpes Simplex One viruses are the inhabitants of these slow to heal, scabby sores that are seen after excessive exposure to the sun, stress, or after fighting off a cold. They heal on their own over the course of 2 weeks.  Keeping them moisturized is usually helpful in keeping the affected person comfortable during the healing process.

Fluoride

As a naturally occurring element in our environment, fluoride is helpful in producing a strong form of enamel that is more resistant to acid than the calcium based enamel. Too much of any good thing is no longer a good thing. Fluoride is no exception. Please ask us regarding the specific fluoride recommendations for your child.

Xylitol

A naturally occurring sugar alcohol, that is not alcoholic but reduces oral bacteria’s ability to form acid, is harvested from many commonly eaten vegetables. Xylitol itself cannot be used by the bacteria in your mouth to form acid. It tastes great and is easily found in many of the Trident gums available anywhere. We recommend kids chew sugar free gum as a substitute for sweets during the day to benefit from the following:  to reduce their overall sugar consumption, neutralized mouth acids (gum is basic), stimulate the flow of their own saliva, and it tastes good!

Mouth Guards

Dental injuries in sports is an unfortunate reality. Contrary to public opinion, hockey is not the most common sport to injure permanent teeth. In our office, Baseball tops the list! A well fitted mouth guard will provide superior protection mainly due to its fit.  If it fits well, the athlete will wear it while playing. Ask us about fabricating a mouth guard for your athlete.

A Dental Home

Similar to the physician’s model of the Pediatrician providing a central hub for medical care (Home), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has adopted this concept so to make available any level of care and information counseling to our pediatric patients and their parents. The establishment of your child’s dental home starts with an exam and consultation by age one.  Please call our office to discuss setting up your child’s dental home at Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics!

Dental X-Rays

X-rays are all around us. Cosmic Rays are going through your body as you read this. Everyone should be concerned regarding their exposure to radiation. Dental x-rays are an essential tool used in the diagnosis of dental decay and orthodontic dilemmas. We strive to use only those x-rays that are important for your child’s complete diagnostic picture.  We do not engage in indiscriminate x-ray exposure.

First Baby Tooth

The eruption of your child’s first baby tooth should be approximately six months of age. The central incisor frequently is the first to present itself.  Various symptoms are typically experienced during teething:  low grade fever (99-100), excessive drooling, irritability, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, and chewing on fingers and toys. Time always takes care of the problem but using various pain relievers, numbing gels, teething rings and biscuits, and sometimes teething tablets are helpful in getting through the teething process.

Knocked out Permanent Tooth

Should your child have an accident where they have knocked out a permanent tooth, time is of the essence!  Pick up the tooth by the crown ONLY!  (the part of the tooth you are used to seeing) Please don’t touch the root!  Best case, if the tooth is not dirty with debris, replace the tooth in the socket. If not, then get the tooth in some cold milk and get into see Dr. Culp ASAP!

What Causes Tooth Decay?

 

Many different strains of bacteria live in our mouths. Like any living thing, they breakdown food to obtain energy and produce waste.  Sugars are the high octane fuel for decay causing bacteria. The bacteria digest the sugar quickly and produce acid that is concentrated in dental plaque. If the plaque is not removed, the acid degrades the enamel and eventually chemically drills a hole through it. We see this with our eyes as a dark hole known commonly as a cavity. We can’t eliminate the bacteria from our mouths but we can reduce the amount of fuel (sugar) they have available to them and neutralize their acidic by-products on a regular basis by brushing accurately and chewing sugar free gum.

Dental Abscess

You’re helping your child brush their teeth one evening and you notice a very strange pimple on their gum. It doesn’t hurt and if you hadn’t lifted their lip up higher than usual, you might have missed it. These soft, pus-filled masses are the result of the body fighting a local bacterial infection. Typically there are two causes: A cavity has grown in size large enough to introduce bacteria into the pulp chamber of the tooth or through trauma to that area, the nerve inside the tooth has died.  This dead-nerve space is perfect for the growth of bacteria. If you see something like this in your child’s mouth, please call to have it evaluated!

Ectopic Eruption

 

There isn’t a week that goes by in our office that we don’t see at least a couple examples of Ectopic Eruption. Frequently seen in the lower front area of a 1st grader; it’s almost like these new permanent incisors forgot to turn on their GPS. Toward the tongue or “lingually” is  the entry point for the newest permanent teeth to arrive on the scene. Most but not all of the root of the baby incisor is dissolved away. With enough of the baby tooth root remaining, some kids simply can’t get their teeth to come out. Our office encourages an “at home” approach first but if unsuccessful, the stubborn baby teeth can easily be asked to “leave the premises.”  : )  Call our office if you need help with Sharks Teeth!

Gray Tooth

 

Minor traumatic injuries to kid’s baby front teeth are very common. Whether it’s a quick, accidental head butt from your buddy when going down a slide at the park or a full-on collision with your sister during a great game of hide and go seek, those little front teeth can take a beating!  Fortunately, primary teeth are very resilient!  They recover from injuries like these very well.  A common finding after such an injury is the “gray” or “bruised” tooth. Sometimes it is the only evidence that an injury has occurred. If you see a bruised tooth in your child’s mouth, it’s important to properly evaluate what is going on with an x-ray.  This evaluation will determine if the roots are fractured or if the nerve tissue has died. Because of the location, they are easily recognized by the parent. Give us a call if you see a bruised tooth.

Orthodontic Decay (Decalcification)

Many kids find it difficult to routinely remove plaque deposits from their teeth. When Orthodontic appliances are needed to perform necessary tooth movements and corrections, the degree of difficulty of proper hygiene is increased significantly. I would rather a young adult have less than perfectly straight teeth, that are healthy instead of perfectly straight teeth that are scarred or decayed.

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