If you have children, chances are you’ve wondered if you are doing everything you should to protect your child’s teeth from bacteria and decay. You may have questions about when your child should first visit a dentist, when the right time is to begin brushing and flossing, and if there is anything else you can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
When habits are formed early, it is often easier to maintain those habits as we get older. As parents, it is important to begin thinking about oral health before your child’s first birthday, as many children develop cavities well before they turn five years old. Understanding how children get cavities and what you can do to prevent tooth decay can set your child up for better oral health as they grow older.
Early Stages of Dental Care
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit a dentist around their first birthday, or when teeth first begin to appear. Home care can begin even earlier to reduce bacteria growth and to promote healthy gums.
Before your child has teeth, you can use a soft washcloth to wipe their gums after feeding to combat bacteria. After teeth begin to arrive, you should begin brushing using an infant toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. You should not use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to spit properly, usually at about age 2 or 3.
When Can My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?
Most children can begin brushing their own teeth with adult supervision when they are 2 or 3 years old. Once your child can spit properly, experiment with allowing them to do the brushing. Do not begin using fluoridated toothpaste until they learn to spit. Encourage healthy habits by brushing with your child, providing instruction and encouragement.
It may be a struggle to get some kids to brush twice a day. Seek ways to make brushing a fun, rewarding experience. Award gold stars, offer rewards or use music to make brushing more fun. You should supervise brushing until your child is older, and possibly perform a final brush until they get better about brushing all the surfaces of their teeth.
Flossing should begin whenever two teeth are touching. Brushing rarely gets all the food stuck between the teeth, especially the ones in the back of the mouth. Teach your child how to floss, or use special flossers or floss picks safe for use by kids. Flossing should be done daily.
Dental Sealants and Fluoride Usage
Dental sealants are often recommended for children, as sealants provide a barrier between your kids’ teeth and cavity causing bacteria. They are generally applied to teeth in the back of the mouth where most chewing takes place. The thin resin coating protects the teeth and allows them to get stronger as your child grows older.
Fluoride treatments can also be applied at the dentist to help teeth become stronger. Most municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride, and most toothpaste will contain a small amount of fluoride. Your dentist will be able to recommend additional fluoride supplements if necessary.
Establish Healthy Habits for Oral Health
It is important to encourage healthy habits early in life, as your child will continue these habits throughout life. Teach your child to brush and floss regularly, and work with your dentist to identify any other steps that may be necessary to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Visit the dentist regularly to check for early signs of tooth decay and to have sealants and fluoride treatments applied. Talk to your child’s dentist about any concerns or questions you may have about their oral health and dental care. More
We hardly need scientific evidence that whiter teeth make a person look more attractive and youthful, but a study conducted by a major manufacturer of oral-health products does just that. The study showed that whiter teeth can make a person look as much as five years younger and increase attractiveness by 20%.
Brightened smiles also seem to increase the perception that a person is more successful, more employable, and better educated. Nearly one-third of the men surveyed think that white teeth demonstrate wealth and status and double the perception that a person has received education at a private university. With all of this in mind professional tooth whitening may be as helpful in getting a job as in getting a date.
Are You Looking for Whiter Teeth?
Discolored teeth are a common cosmetic concern for people. It is actually the most common complaint people have about their smiles. Luckily, it is also one of the most treatable.
Teeth whitening is a common option, with both take-home and in-office teeth whitening available. Which is right for you depends on the nature of your stains, how white you want your teeth to get, and how quickly you need results. For people with stains that don’t respond to whitening, porcelain veneers are another way to achieve that white smile you’re looking for.
Teeth whitening is a great option for removing many types of stains, such as food and tobacco stains. However, there are other types of stains that can’t be removed with whitening because they’re inherent in the enamel. If you have thin enamel, very dark colored dentin, staining due to poor enamel formation or enamel defects, or a dead tooth that has turned dark, teeth whitening cannot help.
To learn more about your options for achieving that white smile you desire, please contact Dr. Dennis Hatch in his Blackfoot office today. More
Professional tooth-whitening can totally change the appearance of your smile, making it look healthier and decades younger. Tooth-whitening is one of the most popular and highly sought after cosmetic dental treatments – a treatment that can revolutionize your smile and your self-confidence. Let’s take a look at some of the ins and outs of tooth-whitening.
It’s recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before teeth whitening to ensure that you get the best possible results. Dental plaque and tartar don’t respond to bleaching. Whitening without removing plaque and tartar will leave you with a smile that is discolored and unhealthy. You’ll also want a thorough check-up at the time of treatment to determine the exact reason your teeth aren’t a healthy white color. If the problem is due to tooth decay, poor oral hygiene or even gum disease, your dentist will first recommend treatment before proceeding with any cosmetic teeth whitening. In most cases the cause behind tooth discoloration and staining is prolonged exposure to dark, tannin-rich foods and beverages, like coffee, tea and wine
In-Office vs. At-Home
When whitening your teeth, you’ve got two options: in-office-based teeth bleaching, or at-home care. There are pros and cons to each option. Before you try at-home tooth-bleaching kits, talk to your dentist. Not everyone will see good results. Tooth-whitening done by your dentist can get teeth brighter faster. The most dramatic results are generally three to eight shades brighter.
At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides), while in-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide. Generally, the longer you keep a stronger solution on your teeth, the whiter your teeth become. But you will want to be careful. The higher the percentage of peroxide in the whitening solution, the shorter it should be applied to the teeth. Keeping the gel on longer will dehydrate the tooth and increase tooth sensitivity.
Tooth bleaching can make teeth temporarily sensitive and is sometimes uncomfortable for people who already have sensitive teeth. When used incorrectly, home kits can also lead to burned, even temporarily bleached gums.
Tooth-whitening works best for people with yellow teeth and is less effective for people with brown teeth. If your teeth are gray or purple, tooth bleaching probably won’t work at all. Bleaching will not whiten porcelain crowns or composite tooth-colored bondings.
Talk to your dentist before you use an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, to be sure tooth-whitening is worth your time and money. The staff at Dennis Hatch, DDS is happy to answer your questions concerning teeth whitening in Blackfoot.
Choosing a good family dentist is not always easy. Your dental health is an important part of your overall health, and you need to see someone who is experienced, stays up-to-date on new techniques or procedures, and who is convenient for you to visit in Blackfoot. Cost and insurance coverage are also deciding factors. Take the time to do a little research, learn about the dentists in your area, and select someone who will meet your needs. The office of Dr. Dennis Hatch is happy to help answers questions you may have. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a family dentist in Blackfoot.
The first place many people look when choosing a new dentist is a list of providers covered by their dental insurance. Make sure you understand your dental coverage, and verify with the dentist’s office that they do accept your insurance plan.
Ask about accepted payments and if payment plans are available. Costs for certain procedures can vary greatly between different practices in the same community. You may want to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs for common procedures like a filling or root canal.
Some dentists will offer a discount if payment is made at the time of service, so be sure to ask about any additional ways to lower your costs. If you do not have insurance, you may still qualify for a dental discount plan or a payment plan.
Location and Office Hours
It’s important to choose a dentist whose office is close to your home or work and who is available at times that are convenient for you. It is not uncommon for dentists to have several offices to serve a wider area, so be sure to confirm their hours of operation before scheduling an appointment.
Be sure to inquire about emergency care and whether the dentist is available outside of regular office hours to treat emergencies. You’ll also want to know if they offer most major dental procedures, or if you would be referred to another office for more serious procedures.
Experience and Qualifications
Dental offices should be forthcoming when answering questions pertaining to the dentist’s training and experience. Find out where they obtained their education and how long they have been practicing. Also check to see if they belong to any trade associations, and if they receive continuing education.
Use your own judgment when evaluating the experience and education of a dentist for your family. Consider your own personal preferences and decide if you’d rather see someone with years of experience and who has an established practice in your community or someone who has less experience but more recent education.
You can also check with your state licensing board to verify that the dentist is licensed to practice in your state and whether any disciplinary actions have been made against them.
Ask Friends and Family for Referrals
Asking your friends, family or coworkers about their dentist can provide valuable insight that can help you make your decision. Ask them what they like about their dentist, how they started seeing him or her, and if they’ve ever had any problems with scheduling, visits or billing.
Of all the research you can do, getting an honest opinion from someone you trust is often the most insightful. Many times your friends or family will have had experiences with other dentists as well, so be sure to ask if you have someone in mind.
Making the Final Decision
As you can see, several factors should be considered when deciding which dentist you should see. Rank your priorities and try to focus on the items that are the most important to you personally. Find a dentist that you like and can trust, and that you can openly discuss any concerns you may have about your dental health. More
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, so it’s important to teach your child early about the importance of maintaining good oral health, especially during candy-focused holidays like Halloween, the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Not only does untreated tooth decay cause pain, it may also lead to infections that affect eating, speaking, and overall wellbeing. Fortunately, tooth decay and other oral diseases are preventable. Hatch Dental in Blackfoot is a general family dentist who is happy to answer questions about all your dental needs.
• Bring your child to his or her dentist for regular checkups.
• Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride.
• Talk to your dentist about dental sealants. Sealants protect teeth from decay and have the potential to nearly eliminate tooth decay in school-age children when used in combination with fluoride.
Teach Your Children These To-Do’s
• Make taking care of teeth fun! Let your child pick out their own toothbrush or perhaps make teeth brushing a family affair. It’s always fun to brush the tongue!• Brush teeth 2 times each day for 2 minutes
• Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste
• Spit and don’t swallow
• Angle toothbrush against gums
• Brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes
• Brush the front, back, and top of teeth
• Brush tongue to remove germs and freshen breath
• Have your child floss daily to remove plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line, before it can harden into tartar.
Kids will generally need help with brushing until age six or seven. Beginning around age 4, begin flossing for your child. By the time they reach age 8, most kids can begin flossing for themselves.
A Few Facts
• Kids should use a soft toothbrush with a shape that will allow them to reach all areas of their mouth.
• Plaque is a sticky film of germs that forms on teeth and gums after eating. Plaque that’s not removed by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can lead to cavities.
• Taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.
• A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth.
• Discourage frequent snacking between meals, especially sugary foods. The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candy, and soft drinks attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities.
Call Hatch Dental in Blackfoot to schedule an appointment today. More
Tooth decay is incredibly common, but largely preventable through good oral hygiene. Changes to diet, regular visits to your dentist, and brushing and flossing regularly can prevent tooth decay and cavities. But what causes tooth decay to begin with, and what changes may be necessary to prevent further decay?
What is Tooth Decay?
Our teeth are made up of minerals, and tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up and acids in our saliva attack the hard surfaces of our teeth, resulting in mineral loss. The foods we eat and beverages we consume largely affects the acid levels in our mouth, as does the time of day we are consuming these items.
The acid is produced by a reaction between the sugars we consume and bacteria in our mouths from plaque. Sugary foods and those with a lot of carbohydrates can cause tooth decay, as can foods that tend to stick in our teeth. Limit your intake of foods or beverages with a lot of sugar, and avoid eating these types of snacks in-between meals. Over time, the acid produced by the bacteria reduces the strength of the enamel and can result in tooth decay or a cavity.
Does My Overall Health Affect Tooth Decay?
Each person is distinctively different and factors such as existing medical conditions, medications, family history and oral health history can all impact your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Talk with your dentist about your medical history and discuss ways to prevent additional tooth decay.
It is important to point out that regardless of your family history or your additional risk factors, tooth decay is preventable with the appropriate care. Flouride treatments and dental sealants both provide a barrier of protection against acids and bacteria causing tooth decay. Those with a family history or personal history may need to be extra diligent to effectively combat tooth decay.
Oral Hygiene Habits to Prevent Tooth Decay
Good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Brushing helps control plaque, and reduces the bad bacteria in your mouth. You should also clean in between teeth using floss or a type of interdental cleaner daily to remove plaque and any food that may be stuck between your teeth. You may also use a fluoride rinse after brushing.
See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. If you have problems with tooth decay, you may want to discuss fluoride treatments or dental sealants with your dentist.
Just as important as good oral hygiene, eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet can play a huge rule in preventing tooth decay. Avoid snacking on sugary or sticky foods, as these can promote the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Some foods containing carbohydrates like breads and cereals may not seem harmful, but they typically contain sugars and also promote acidity. Eating these items with other food items as part of a meal can counter the acidic reaction and lessen the potential damage.
Reducing Tooth Decay Through Daily Practices
It is possible to reduce tooth decay and to prevent cavities by making small changes in our daily routines. Make brushing and flossing a priority everyday. Avoid drinking sodas or sweetened beverages, and swap out sugary snacks for more healthy options.
If you have problems with tooth decay, your dentist can be your best resource for identifying things you can do to lower your risk of developing cavities. Talk to your dentist about your family history, and share any concerns you may have about tooth decay, plaque and cavities. If you are looking for a dentist in the Blackfoot. Call Dr. Dennis Hatch to schedule an appointment in Blackfoot. More
While dental amalgam has proven itself to be an effective and relatively inexpensive material for filling cavities caused by tooth decay over the past 150 years, it is not the most pleasing aesthetic choice. Amalgam’s silver color stands in stark contrast to natural tooth color when placed in visible tooth surfaces. More
For this reason, patients are likely to prefer composite-resin tooth-colored fillings, which can so closely approximate their natural tooth color as to be virtually unnoticeable. Composite resins may be somewhat less durable than amalgam fillings, and they may cost more, but patients’ concerns over cosmetics have made them an increasingly popular choice.
As far as dentists are concerned, the best filling is no dental filling. Prevention is preferred. Dr. Dennis Hatch can answer your family dentist questions and help you decide what is best for you and your family. For your family dental care in Blackfoot call Dr. Dennis Hatch.
If you experience tooth sensitivity and/or eat a lot of sugar and simple carbohydrates, you may want to consider using tooth products that help reduce (or even reverse) early decay by virtue of a process called “remineralization.”
This involves delivering extra doses of calcium and phosphate to replace minerals lost in the ongoing battle against bacteria and acids. To maintain the mineral building blocks that are essential to tooth strength, saliva containing calcium and phosphate helps replenish minerals dissolved by acidic plaque or food.
This balance may be upset when more minerals are lost than gained and teeth become vulnerable to decay. While fluoride greatly helps saliva’s natural remineralization, toothpastes that deliver calcium phosphate may speed up the process.
If you have questions about tooth sensitivity, or any other dental concerns, we invite you to call us. At the DENTAL OFFICE OF DR. DENNIS HATCH, we provide quality, personal dental care in a comfortable, immaculate and professional environment at 790 N. Meridian Street.
From preventive and routine core ,to elective cosmetic procedures, our staff will make you feel comfortable during your visit. Our emphasis is on prevention. Preventing dental disease is less costly and more rewarding than correcting problems after they occur. Let us help you bring out that natural smile.
Technology today is changing our everyday lives. Many people, however, aren’t aware that technology also is impacting dentistry in new and exciting ways. Cutting-edge innovations in dental instruments are requiring less time in the dental chair, causing less discomfort and creating satisfying results. One breakthrough instrument, called CEREC®, allows dentists to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience.
What is CEREC?
CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CERamic REConstruction. Translated, it means that a dentist can economically restore damaged teeth in a single appointment using a high-quality ceramic material that matches the natural color of other teeth.
How does the instrument work?
CEREC uses CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, incorporating a camera, computer and milling machine in one instrument. The dentist uses a special camera to take an accurate picture of the damaged tooth. This optical impression is transferred and displayed on a color computer screen, where the dentist uses CAD technology to design the restoration. Then CAM takes over and automatically creates the restoration while the patient waits. Finally, the dentist bonds the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth. The whole process takes about one hour.
What does this innovation mean for a patient?
A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. Dentists no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated. CEREC has two decades of clinical research and documentation to support the technology. The restorations have been proven precise, safe and effective.
How can I find out if this is an option for me?
Call the office of Dr. Dennis Hatch at 208-643-9752 in Blackfoot, Idaho. We will be happy to answer your questions on this new technology.
Preventing Tooth Decay from Acidic and Sugary Foods
It’s no secret that the things we put in our mouth have a direct impact on the health of our teeth and gums. The acidity or sugar levels of some foods and drinks may speed up tooth decay, so it’s important to know just what you are consuming and what it’s doing to your teeth.
The science is pretty simple—your mouth naturally has a neutral pH. When we consume acidic foods or drinks, it affects the pH level and speeds up tooth decay. Sugary foods create bacteria in your mouth that also lead to tooth decay.
There are a few tips—and a few foods and drinks to avoid—that can help prevent tooth decay caused by acidic or sweet foods.
Limit Acidic or Sugary Foods and Drinks to Prevent Tooth Decay
Soda is the first thing that comes to mind when people think about foods or drinks that damage their teeth—and they’re right. Not only is soda acidic, but it is also filled with sugars that will cause bacteria that break down the enamel on your teeth.
Alcoholic drinks as well as citrus fruits or juices are also acidic. Swap for a less acidic beverage, or use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. Keep an eye out for acidic especially if they are vinegar or tomato based.
If You Must, Consume Acidic Foods with Other Foods
Generally speaking, you can reduce the level of acid in your mouth by consuming acidic foods or drinks as part of a meal. The additional foods will neutralize or wash away the acid and can reduce damage to your teeth.
Some foods also have preventative qualities that make them ideal for eating with acidic or sweet foods. Crunchy foods like apples or carrots can help remove plaque from your teeth. Dairy foods and items high in calcium can also help protect your teeth.
If you must snack during the day, avoid foods with sugar, and this includes crackers and most breads, which actually have high levels of sugar. Check the labels, and choose healthy snacks to prevent tooth decay.
Brush your teeth regularly, floss every day, and use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing to reduce plaque and to promote enamel. Good dental hygiene is the number one defense for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
See Your Dentist for Regular Check-Ups
Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are experiencing tooth decay and can offer additional guidance for prevention. Regular check-ups ensure that potential problems can be addressed sooner, preventing prolonged tooth decay that can cause cavities.
Many people feel that visiting the dentist on a regular basis for prevention is cost prohibitive, and may postpone a visit until they can no longer tolerate the pain. Most tooth problems do not get better on their own, and the sooner you address the problem the less pain you will have and the easier it will be on your pocketbook.
Also keep in mind that if the cavity or other problem is a result of consuming acidic foods or bacteria caused by sugary foods, your other teeth may be decaying if you don’t make a change.
Know What You Consume and How it Impacts Your Health
The main point to takeaway is that the old saying is true—we are what we eat. Take the time to read the labels on the products you consume on a regular basis and you will be surprised to learn just how much sugar is in the foods you eat every day.
Limit acidic foods and avoid eating acidic or sugary foods as snacks. Drinking lots of water will help wash away some of the acid and sugar, but not all. Be sure to take care of your teeth brushing and flossing everyday, and you will have an advantage over most when it comes to tooth decay. More