When Do Babies Start Teething?

Welcoming Your New Baby

 

Nothing beats the moment that you hold your baby for the very first time. That moment will forever be ingrained in your memory as long as you live. Having a baby is truly an amazing experience. Most parents are quick to capture every “milestone” that their child conquers such as sitting up on their own, crawling, their first steps, and even their first words.

 

As parents, it makes sense to be overjoyed with and proud of your little one as he or she begins to develop into a young man or woman. During this time of growth and development, there are so many changes that happen to your baby’s body- internally and externally.  Some of those changes include hair and nail growth, brain and personality development, and even teething! While all of these changes are happening, it can seem somewhat overwhelming as parents to make sure that all of the changes are on the right track and that you don’t miss one. We are here to help!

 

Teething

 

One of the first big and sometimes painful changes that a baby goes through is teething. Yes, many parents will attest to countless hours of sleep lost or to witnessing painfully gut-wrenching tears that are the first “tell-tell” signs that their baby is teething. In fact, some parents misdiagnose their little ones for being “fussy” or for being hungry when in fact their little one is just beginning the teething process.

 

When To Expect Teething

 

An exact timeline for teething in babies cannot be pinpointed for all children collectively as each baby is unique. However, we can give an estimated window of time that will help you monitor your little one to see if the teething process has begun. Check out a few tips below.

 

Teething Tips

 

You can bet to start seeing signs of your baby teething when he or she is between 3-6 months old. Most babies will progress slowly starting with inflamed or puffy gums and a fussy attitude (it does hurt after all). You may also notice that your baby has a loss of appetite, loss of sleep, extra drooling, or even a low grade fever below 101 F.

 

This process isn’t completed in a week or two, unfortunately. You may notice your little one forming new teeth every four to six months, and will typically have their complete set of baby teeth by 24 months. This may come as a shock but wait, there’s good news!

 

The pain associated with teething won’t last the entire 24 months! In fact, the extremely painful moments of teething typically only last between 1-2 weeks in most babies, and can occasionally rear its head again later on throughout the remaining months of the teething process. However, if your little one seems to be in extreme, long-lasting discomfort or distress that exceeds the normal projected timeline and set of teething symptoms, seek out medical help to ensure that there is not a more serious, underlying condition.

 

The best thing you can do as a parent for your little one during this time of development is to comfort them, make sure they are eating and drinking, and making sure they get plenty of rest. It is also a great idea to bring your little one in to the dentist early on to make sure that their oral development is on track. If you’re looking for a family-friendly dentist in Cleveland, we would love to meet you! Give us a call or stop by our office to schedule an appointment.

What Vaping Does to Your Teeth

What Is Vaping?

 

When vaping burst onto the scene a few years ago, it was heralded as the healthy alternative to smoking. It sounded too good to be true, and it was.

While vaping might be a little better for your lungs than cigarettes at first glance, it’s just as bad or worse for your teeth. The term “vaping” refers to the act of smoking electronic cigarettes like e-cigs, juuls, or just “vapes.” These devices use a battery to heat ‘vape juice,’ which contains nicotine and provides the same desired effect as a cigarette. Even though this seems better, in theory, the side effects can still be life-threatening.

Why Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

 

The main issue with vaping is that people are still coming into contact with nicotine which reduces blood flow in the mouth. This can negatively affect the soft tissues in your mouth, and cause rapid recession of your gum line. But, it gets worse.

Reducing blood flow to the mouth not only causes the gum line to recede, but it also reduces the mouth’s ability to fight bacteria. This can rapidly increase the risk of infection and decay, and eventually cause tooth loss, cavities, and even cancer in some situations. These are the most serious side effects, but there are others that can be less life threatening but just as troublesome.

Vaping and Halitosis

 

Vaping can even cause one of the most undesirable social conditions imaginable: halitosis. Halitosis is the term used for chronic bad breath that you can’t get rid of, even with the strongest mouthwash, gum, or toothbrush. This doesn’t help when trying to make a great first impression at home or in business. Gross!

If you still feel you have to vape, especially if you’re trying to quit smoking, be sure to consult your dentist further about the potential health risks involved.

 

The Importance of Using a Mouthguard in Sports

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

 

America is known for its sports. In fact, over 45 million American youngsters are involved in an active sport today. We start our children out in t-ball, football, basketball, and a variety of other sports. No doubt, sports are a wonderful thing for our youth to be involved in. Aside from the fun of competition, we learn discipline, hard work, and perseverance from sports.

 

While sports are exciting and fun, they also come with injuries. Some of the injuries encountered are minor while some are more significant and even life-threatening at times. Broken bones, skinned knees, and bloody noses can be found in almost any sport. There are a few specialized sports, however, that are extremely dangerous for teeth – oftentimes the most expensive kind of injury.

 

Teeth Related Injuries

 

Lifelong complications can be derived from a blow to the head. Some of those complications can be jaw displacement, TMJ development, tooth loss, tooth chipping or breaking, or damage to the tissue on the inside of the mouth, tongue, and gums. Depending on the severity, the restoration process may even require oral surgery.

 

Thankfully, there are different types of mouthguards that protect your athlete from losing or damaging their teeth. Mouthguards are actually thick plastic protective devices shaped like a dental tray, which form to the shape of the teeth, gums, and mouth.

 

The Importance of Mouthguards

 

The mouthguard creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent them from crashing together during dangerous impacts, as well as protecting the teeth from being hit by something outside of the mouth.

 

Fortunately, most sports teams recommend or require mouthguards to be used by athletes, but even in the cases where they are not required we still recommend them to be worn at all times – especially during high impact sports.

 

With the possibility of costly dental bills, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Give us a call today to learn more about what mouthguards we offer to ensure your athlete’s dental safety.

 

Oral Health Begins Early

Do you have a little one running around at home? Having children is a ton of fun, but it also comes with a ton of responsibility. They rely on you for everything from transportation, to food, to providing a home to live in, and so much more. Oral hygiene can be boring to adults, let alone for children. However, it is essential that parents and caregivers ensure that their children are brushing and flossing every day as well as visiting a dental professional for a regular cleaning and examination. Below you will find a couple quick tips for you as parents and caregivers in making sure your little one’s teeth are squeaky clean and healthy.

Limit Sugar

We appreciate the soccer moms and homeroom moms of the world. We know that you do your best to make sure your kiddos are “snacked and packed” ready to blow through the day! When you are picking up the team snacks or classroom treats for the week, make an effort to grab snacks that are not sugar-filled like gummies or candy. Instead, grab crackers, granola bars, or even healthy “sugary” foods such as grapes or bananas.

Also, try to grab water instead of capri-suns or sodas. Yes the kids like sweets, we all do. But, as parents and caregivers, you can help protect them at a young age from having major dental problems later in life by monitoring what goes in their mouths and into their bellies now.

They Are Watching You

Your kids are watching you. They look up to you. They want to be like you. So go the extra mile! Get creative, and make brushing and flossing FUN! Make it a game or competition. Explain why you take time to brush and floss your teeth to them. They want to learn and understand. Make it a regular part of your day- a routine. As soon as they see that it’s not a burden or a bother to you, and that it’s actually fun, they will join in as well and view this typically mundane, yet essential daily routine positively.

We hope these two tips helped in encouraging you as a parent or caregiver to teach the little ones in your care that oral health doesn’t have to be hard or boring. Together, let’s make sure that the children in our care are as healthy as possible, and that they learn healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

How to Avoid “Keto” Breath

What is the Keto Diet?

 

You’ve probably heard of the Keto diet. This diet pushes your body to consume primitive food groups and encourages lean eating habits. It has had some serious success for people world-wide, even some celebrities. However, while this new diet is making strides in the healthy-living world, there are some other “smelly” side effects of taking on this diet.

 

While the Keto diet encourages dieters to eat as much meat, cheese, and veggies as their hearts desire, it discourages sugar. From a dental perspective, this is a great attribute of the Keto diet! As you know, overtime, sugar can lead to cavities and tooth decay. While you’re teeth, gums, and dentist may thank you for consuming less sugar, you may find yourself having bad breath. Keto is known for causing bad breath. But, why you ask?

 

“Keto breath” is typically a temporary side effects when your body is not yet using all the ketones your liver is producing. Your body will become “Keto-adapted” when it starts using these ketones to fuel your muscles and brain efficiently. When you become “Keto-adapted”, your bad breath should begin to subside. The good news is that you will not have to deal with Keto breath for very long. In fact, most people report that it lasts as little as a week but no longer than a month.

 

How To Prevent “Keto Breath”

 

If you have chosen to take on the Keto diet but you don’t want to deal with the bad breath that may accompany it, you need to educate yourself on ways to prevent bad breath. Check out some of the most common, easy ways to do just that!

 

Drink Lots of Water

 

Your body slows its production of saliva when you don’t eat very much. After starting the Keto diet, you may notice that you start to lose your appetite and eat less over time. The less you eat, the dryer your mouth gets. Furthermore, it is essential to drink plenty of water to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth. You will find that if you stay hydrated you will have more energy too, which you need when starting a new diet of any kind. So, make it part of your challenge to drink lots of water each day.

 

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

 

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential throughout your Keto experience. Ensuring that you properly brush and floss each day is crucial. It’s also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Some people who are experiencing extreme “Keto breath” at first recommended brushing after each meal to help with this problem.

 

Take Your Time

 

Rather than jumping in head first, gradually cut carbs out of your diet instead of cutting them out all at once or “cold turkey” as they say. By doing this, it gives your body time to adjust to the change and not release as many ketones at once. You are basically giving yourself time to “adapt” or acclimate to the Keto diet, and therefore you may by-pass “Keto breath”.

 

Stress Less

 

Finally, work to stress less. This is always important, but especially so when going on the Keto diet. Stress not only reduces the flow of saliva in your mouth, but it also slows digestion of proteins in your body. Anxiety can also cause acid-reflux, which is also known to cause bad breath. Finding ways to de-stress is important when starting a new diet, so learn techniques for doing this if you haven’t already.

 

While “Keto breath” may be embarrassing, the Keto diet may be a great way to achieve and maintain overall health. If you have more questions or concerns about how the Keto diet may affect your oral health, we would love to help! Give us a call or stop by our office this week.

Cavities – Signs & Symptoms

When you hear the word cavity, a shiver might run down your spine. Maybe you have had one before. You might have just heard about how terrible they are from friends and family. If you haven’t been lucky enough to wind up with a cavity yourself, you may not be aware of their common symptoms.

 

The assumption that cavities only happen to people who don’t brush and floss regularly is entirely inaccurate. In fact, over 70% of Americans have a cavity right now, whether they realize it yet or not. So, what do you need to look for in your mouth when checking for a cavity? What should you feel? Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of cavities.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Cavities

 

  1. Searing tooth pain that may have been gradual in progression, but that came out of nowhere (no apparent cause)
  2. Sensitivity to cold or hot beverages and foods
  3. Visible holes or craters in your teeth
  4. Dark colors or black spots on your teeth
  5. Pain when you bite down or when you eat sugary foods

 

What are cavities anyway?

 

Cavities are areas on your teeth that are permanently damaged causing tiny holes and openings around your teeth. This tooth decay can be caused by lack of proper oral hygiene, snacking on unhealthy foods, especially those filled with sugar, such as sodas and candies. Cavities can be pretty painful. In fact, the pain and inconvenience/lifestyle disturbance is what sends most patients to the dentist to remedy their problem with a cap or root canal.

 

What can you do to avoid cavities?

 

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential in avoiding a nasty cavity. This includes brushing and flossing two times a day for over 60 seconds each brushing. It also includes drinking plenty of water and limiting your sugar intake where/when you can. Also, it’s important to have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly to ensure that even the toughest plaque build-up can be eliminated before causing more problems in the future.

 

We hope you never have to experience a cavity. However, if you do, we are here to help! Give us a call or stop by our office to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

 

Dental Fear in America

Dental phobia, called odontophobia, is a serious, often paralyzing fear of seeking dental care. It has been reliably reported that 50% of the population does not seek regular dental care. An estimated 9-15% of all Americans avoid much needed dental care due to anxiety and fear surrounding the dental experience. This translates to some 30-40 million people so afraid of dental treatment that they avoid it altogether.

 

Unfortunately, because of dental phobia, many people avoid seeing the dentist when they could have prevented serious or life-threatening situations.

 

The Typical Causes of Dental Fear:

  • Fear of Pain – Pain is often associated with a dental visit. This can be due to a bad past experience, or from stories shared by someone else.
  • Cost – The cost of going to the dentist is a major reason people don’t want to visit the dentist. This is especially true if they think serious dental work might be required. A recent survey found that 44% of people were not visiting the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance.
  • Fear of Additional Dental Work – Patients fear hearing that there is a problem with their teeth and that they’ll need additional work.
  • Drilling Sound – The sound of the drill can be unsettling especially if they are worried it might be used in their procedure.
  • Tool Fear – A dental office is filled with sharp tools that can be intimidating.
  • Medication Effects Such As “Big Lip” – People fear the effects of the novocaine and anesthesia. The thought of having to deal with a fat lip or feeling groggy can be off-putting.
  • Helplessness – Patients can feel trapped and unable to move while the dentist works on their mouth with sharp tools.
  • Shots – Many people fear shots. Large dental needles going into their mouth can be very intimdating.
  • Fear of Medication Not Working – People can be afraid of the medication not working well enough and that they will be in significant pain from the procedure.
  • Gagging – Some patients fear that they will choke or gag on the tools and water used by the dentist.
  • Self-Conscious – Patients can feel self-conscious with how close a dentist must get to them and that their personal space is being violated. They might also fear that they have bad breath or did a bad job of brushing.

 

Symptoms of Dental Fear

 

  • Trouble sleeping the night before
  • Heart racing
  • Dry mouth
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Nausea
  • Urge to urinate
  • Urge to gag/vomit
  • Fainting or feeling faint

 

If You Have Dental Phobia We Can Help

 

Many reasons to fear the dentist are no longer an issue because of advances in technology and science. For example, Dr. Beard provides sedation to eliminate almost the entire list of fears by itself. Advancements in tools such as using lasers create a much less intimidating dental experience.

 

If you experience symptoms of dental fear, the best solution is to talk to us. Be open and honest about your fears and let us support you. It is our goal to make you feel comfortable and deliver the safe and complete care you deserve.

You Don’t Have To Give Up Sugar For A Beautiful Smile

Who doesn’t want a better smile? A bright smile conveys confidence. Smiles are one of the first things we notice when meeting a new acquaintance or love interest. If white smiles are desirable, then it would make sense to avoid anything that would dim your pearly whites. Obviously, the best way to keep a bright and healthy smile is to brush your teeth two to three times a day. Tips are thrown at you to stay away from coffee, sweets, and acidic foods to protect your teeth. As much as you might want a model set of chompers, there are many people that rather live life with teeth than without coffee or sweets.

 

Here are a Few Ways to Drink Coffee and Eat Sweets Responsibly

 

Drink Coffee Through a Straw to Protect Your Teeth

 

When drinking a dark, sugary drink like coffee, the best way to protect your teeth is by drinking it through a straw. Drinking your Starbucks venti, extra shot, white mocha macchiato through a straw minimizes the amount of liquid that comes into contact with the surface of your teeth.

 

Eat The Right Kinds of Candy to Protect Your Teeth

 

Sugarless gum is your number one option for a sweet that take it easy on your teeth. Chewing on some sugarless gum after a meal actually helps rinse off any acids or bacteria that may have crowded the surface of your teeth. Sugar-free candies are usually less acidic as well, so they cause less wear and tear that a normal candy would. The saliva you produce by sucking or chewing on the candies also helps neutralizes the acids to protect your teeth.

 

Wash It All Down With Water to Protect Your Teeth

 

After you eat a chocolatey treat there might still be some remaining sugars and bacteria. Left untouched, candy, coffee, and soft drinks, could eat around at your enamel. Water is the best way to wash potentially harmful liquids and food particles away from your teeth.

 

If you follow all of these general guidelines for maintaining a bright and healthy smile, but you still are not happy with the brightness or coloring of your teeth, Dr. Beard and his team at Cosmetic Dentistry offer teeth whitening and brightening services.

How To Properly Brush & Floss

Brushing and flossing are of paramount importance to oral hygiene. Though bi-annual professional dental cleanings remove plaque, tartar, and debris, excellent home-care methods are equally valuable. Proper brushing and flossing can enhance the health of the mouth, make the smile sparkle, and prevent serious diseases now and in the future. So let’s talk about how to properly brush and floss.

Reasons Why Proper Brushing & Flossing Are Essential:

  • Prevention of tooth decay – Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and its treatment often requires complex dental procedures.  Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth. This phenomenon can easily be prevented by using proper home hygiene methods.

  • Prevention of periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition which can cause tooth loss, gum recession and jawbone recession.  Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque, and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body. Removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the tooth using a toothbrush, and from the interdental areas using dental floss, is an excellent way to stave off periodontal problems.

  • Prevention of halitosis – Bad breath, or halitosis, is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth. These food particles can be removed with regular brushing and flossing; leaving the mouth healthier, and breath smelling fresher.

  • Prevention of staining – Staining or the yellowing of teeth can be caused by a wide variety of factors such as smoking, coffee, and tea. The more regularly these staining agents are removed from the teeth using brushing and flossing techniques, the less likely it is that the stains will become permanent.

The Proper Way to Brush

Your teeth should be brushed at least twice a day; ideally in the morning and before bed.  The perfect toothbrush is small in size with soft, rounded-end bristles and no more than three months old. The head of the brush needs to be small enough to access all areas of your mouth, and the bristles should be soft enough so as not to cause undue damage to your gum tissue. The American Dental Association (ADA) has given electric toothbrushes their seal of approval; stating that those with rotating or oscillating heads are more effective than other toothbrushes. So whichever kind of toothbrush you prefer, just make sure you use it correctly!

Here is a basic guide to proper brushing:

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gums and teeth meet.

  2. Use small circular motions to gently brush the gumline and teeth.

  3. Do not scrub or apply too much pressure to the teeth, as this can damage the gums and tooth enamel.

  4. Brush every surface of every tooth, cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing surfaces. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of the back teeth.

  5. Use back and forth strokes to brush the chewing surfaces.

  6. Brush the tongue to remove fungi, food, and debris.

The Proper Way to Floss

Flossing is a great way to remove plaque from the interdental regions (between the teeth).  Flossing is an especially important tool for preventing periodontal disease and limiting the depth of the gum pockets.  The interdental regions are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and should be cleansed with dental floss on a daily basis.  The flavor and type of floss are unimportant; choose floss that will be easy and pleasant to use. However, if it tastes good, that’s even better!

Here is a basic guide to proper flossing:

  1. Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long.

  2. Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand and the other end around the middle finger of the right hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart.

  3. Work the floss gently between the teeth toward the gum line.

  4. Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.

  5. Carefully move the floss up and down several times to remove interdental plaque and debris.

  6. Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this will inflame and cut the gums.

If you have any questions about the correct way to brush or floss, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop by our office! We look forward to seeing you soon!