Living Well - Q&A with a local dentist

Dr. Davood Manshadi/Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 2/23/18

Q: When should I start brushing my child’s teeth? When should I take them for their first visit to the dentist?A: Parents should start with wiping the gums of their babies. When the baby …

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Living Well - Q&A with a local dentist

Posted

Q: When should I start brushing my child’s teeth? When should I take them for their first visit to the dentist?
A: Parents should start with wiping the gums of their babies. When the baby teeth start erupting a soft cloth should be used to wipe the tooth. A finger brush that the parent wears over their index finger can be used to brush the baby’s teeth. Every child should have their first dental appointment by age one. These appointments will give the parent the opportunity to learn more about their child’s dental needs and the child will begin to understand what to expect at dental appointments. At this age, the child should sit in their parent’s lap during the appointment.

Q: There are so many choices, can you tell me which toothpastes are the best for my children, myself and my older parents?
A: There are toothpastes on the market that do not have any fluoride. These should be used by children under the age of 3 who do not have the ability to spit on demand. Until age 3, most children will swallow toothpaste that can cause medical problems. In children who are older than 3-years-old, toothpaste can be
used. This toothpaste will come in a variety of flavors such as bubble gum and strawberry. As these might be more desirable flavors to a child, it will make it easier to encourage them to brush more regularly. For teens and adults, most toothpaste on the market will be acceptable to use multiple times a day.
Should a person have sensitivity to either hot or cold temperatures, causing their teeth to hurt, then they should consider using toothpaste without whitening or toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth such as Sensodyne, Crest Sensitive
or other brands that make toothpastes for sensitive teeth, which will help with the sensitivity they are experiencing.

Q: Should you pull a child’s loose tooth that just keeps hanging on?
A: When a child has a loose tooth you can assist them in pulling it out. Some parent use methods such as eating an apple or just playing with the tooth until it is so loose that you can just tug on it and pull it out. If you notice that the erupting tooth is coming out and the primary tooth still has not come out, you may need to make an appointment and have the dentist pull it out.

Q: Can a water pick replace flossing altogether?
A: I think water picks are a good adjunct to flossing for some patients, but not necissarily a replacement for flossing. 

Q: If teeth seem super sensitive to cold or warm sensations, what could it be? When should I see a dentist?
A: You should see a dentist right away because if the issue continues, the nerve could die and infection may follow.

Q: How often should I get my teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist?
A: You should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. You may need to make additional appointments if you have any dental work that needs to be completed.


Q: Are electric toothbrushes better?

A: An electric toothbrush is better to use than an manual toothbrush. Any tooth brush with sonic technology such as the Sonicare ultrasonic toothbrush, will clean your teeth better. Although, the cheaper versions of this toothbrush can also be
helpful. Most brushes make sounds indicating when you should move to another part of your mouth, requiring you to spend the recommended two-minutes brushing.

Q: Are dental implants a good alternative to dentures? What are the pros and cons?
A: Generally, yes, implants are a good alternative, but not in every case. Placement and success of implants depend on many factors, which can be explained by your  dentist during the evaluation of the procedure.

Q: What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to dental health?
A: Most people think you need to go to the dentist to only take care of your teeth, but what they don’t realize is keeping your teeth and mouth healthy is also related to your heart’s health as well as the effect on your total health.

Q: Besides regular brushing and flossing, what advice or tips do you have to do extra to keep  my teeth and gums healthy?
A: Diet is also a big factor since certain food, especially processed sugar, can create an environment to promote growth of the bacteria that are harmful to your oral health.

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