Questions to ask your dentist at your next checkup
Why do kids get more cavities today vs. decades ago?
They're consuming sugary drinks. This is one time when your parents (grandparents) can complain legitimately: "We didn't have juice or soda. We drank water." So yes, water is beautiful, sugary juice and even worse soda is horrible for your teeth (waist line, mental health, and so on). Drink water. Next, cavities are caused by bacteria. These germs feed on sugar and produce an acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth. They also produce plaque — the sticky yellowish film that builds up on teeth and damages enamel. Want to prevent these germy bad-boys? Dr. Jean Piper says, "Stop sharing food, forks, and anything else that passes germs. Role model good brushing" -- read more about that below!
Is fluoride bad for you?
The bottom line is that fluoride prevents tooth decay and people who don't have access to it have more cavities. Need more proof? Fluoride is a mineral and is present naturally in tea, canned fish, kale, apples, and milk. Studies have shown that fluoride can reverse decay and prevents osteoporosis.
What are sealants?
Sealants help prevent tooth decay by, literally, sealing teeth with a thin coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. These barriers protect teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Although most commonly used with children, they help protect adults with decay too. Want more? They're half the cost of fillings.
What are the dangers of oral piercing?
So you went a little nuts, had a little too much to drink. Bad judgment is par for the course, it's what makes life interesting. But Dr. Jean Piper has seen a lot of bad decisions, including piercing a tongue, lip and well places you don't want to know about. If you've made a regrettable decision, you can simply remove the piercing & monitor it for infection. Dr. Jean Piper says, if you don't, you risk:
• Excessive drooling (hip right?)
• Infection, pain and swelling
• Chipped or cracked teeth
• Injuries to the gums
• Damage to fillings
• Hypersensitivity to metals
• Scar tissue
How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?
It's up to you whether your kids enjoy brushing their teeth or not.
- Yep, we're using the word enjoy. The best way is to model it -- brush along with your kids. Show them:
- brushing teeth isn't really brushing teeth at all -- it involves little circle movements that move along the gum line. Walk away from the sink -- teach your kids to start in the bathroom & move around the house while "messaging gums"
- Start at 18 months using a pea sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit after brushing, but not rinse.
Don't forget, use the right size brush.
- Have fun and make up a tooth brushing song; we know you're creative, you have children. Put it to good use.
This one is HORRIBLE. We know you can do better:
If a tooth is knocked out, can it be saved?
First, if this happened to you, we're so sorry. We know how painful this is. But there's no time for fretting, schedule an appointment with Dr. Piper immediately. Next, rinse, do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris. Place the clean tooth in your mouth in-between your cheek and gum or under your tongue. Do not attempt to put your tooth back into the socket (this will make things worse). If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth and immerse it milk. We're located near Hilldale mall, call us quickly:
What's the Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?
Tartar is the buildup of plaque that has not been removed and can cause tooth discoloration, tooth loss, cavities, gum recession and gum disease. In contrast, plaque is a biofilm or mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth. ... Oral hygiene is important as dental biofilms become acidic causing demineralization of the teeth (also known as dental caries) or harden into dental calculus (also known as tartar). You can keep plaque to a minimum by flossing. No matter how good you are with a toothbrush, floss is the only way to remove plaque in-between your teeth. An antiseptic mouthwash helps to kill bacteria that cause plaque.
Have more questions about what to ask your dentist? Dr. Jean Piper is Madison Wisconsin's BEST small town dental practice. We take the time and answer your questions.
Make your appointment today - you're teeth will thank you:
Dr. Jean Piper
4506 Regent St, Madison, WI 53705
Serving the Hilldale (Madison) Wisconsin area