Posts for tag: brentwood dentist

When should a child start using toothpaste?

Parents know that taking care of small children is a full-time job - and along with diaper changes, bath time, and medical checkups, parents also need to take care of their children's teeth.

Birth to 18 months: no toothpaste required

Start cleaning your child's teeth as soon as the teeth begin to come in - but you don't need toothpaste at first. For babies younger than 18 months, the best way to clean your child's teeth is with a wet cloth or gauze - without toothpaste. Gently rub your child's teeth and gums with a cloth over your fingertip - this, along with nursing and/or drinking water, is all the oral hygiene that your child needs at the infant stage. Once your child has more of a "full set" of teeth, you can use a small, soft toothbrush to brush your child's teeth with water.

When to start toothpaste? 18 months

In general, children should not use toothpaste until they are at least 18 months old - and when you do start using toothpaste, make sure it is a safe "children's toothpaste" made especially for young ones. Young children have different dental needs than grown-ups - and children's toothpaste is made for this purpose.

What to look for in a children's toothpaste:

-Safe to swallow: Most young children tend to swallow while brushing, rather than spitting out the toothpaste - so make sure that your children's toothpaste is formulated with this in mind.

- Use only a pea-sized amount: Don't use too much toothpaste - just squeeze a small, pea-size (or smaller) amount onto the toothbrush. Your child doesn't need much toothpaste to be effective, and you don't want your child to swallow too much toothpaste.

- Consider low-fluoride children's toothpaste: Fluoride is an important element of keeping teeth healthy and strong, but too much fluoride can be harmful for young children. Talk to your dentist if you have concerns about fluoride in your child's toothpaste - several varieties of children's toothpaste have lower amounts of fluoride or are fluoride-free.

- Fun flavors: Try some different flavors of toothpaste and see what your child likes. Some children - especially at the toddler stage - are very picky about flavors and might be reluctant to use a certain flavor of toothpaste. So be prepared to buy a few different varieties of children's toothpaste and see which one is your child's favorite.

Remember: brushing your child's teeth is part of parenting, and you need to start at a young age. By taking the time each day - before bedtime and in the morning - to clean your child's teeth with a specially-formulated children's toothpaste, you will be helping to create a lifetime of healthy dental habits and happy smiles.

Should I use Fluoride?

Some people have concerns about fluoride - either in their toothpaste or in their drinking water. Let me do what I can to help relieve you of those concerns. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring chemical compound that is used in dental care as a way to prevent tooth decay. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, and many visits to the dentist will include a fluoride treatment. In addition to its use in dental products, many communities across the U.S. adjust the fluoride levels of their drinking water supplies as a way to bolster the oral health of the public.

The American Dental Association (ADA) stands in favor of using fluoride as an essential component of public health and as a way to reduce the harm caused by tooth decay. Simply put: fluoride results in fewer cavities and lower long-term dental care costs.Is fluoride safe?The American Dental Association (ADA) has been a big supporter of fluoride in drinking water (and fluoride in toothpaste and other dental care products) for many years. Several decades of peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated that fluoride is one of the most essential components of improving the oral health of Americans during the past 50 years. Simply put, as best as we can tell from the available, credible scientific research, fluoride is safe and is beneficial - the improvements in the health of our teeth far outweigh any risks of using fluoride.

What about people who say that fluoride is dangerous?

During the past 60 years, fluoride has proven to be a big success in reducing tooth decay and cavities, and dentists are big fans of fluoride. In recent years, some activist groups have been making some claims about the supposed health risks of fluoride and objecting to the use of fluoride in drinking water. Many of these fluoride opponents are using suspect research or scare tactics, or are just opposed to chemicals as a matter of principle - and many of the fluoride opponents' arguments are based on myths and misconceptions. Is fluoride "unnatural?"Isn't it a chemical? Fluoride is a chemical, but it is naturally occurring. There are small amounts of fluoride that occur naturally in drinking water, food, and many other substances that people live with every day. There's nothing "unnatural" about fluoride.

In fact, some communities have to actually reduce the level of fluoride in their drinking water in order to reach the optimal level to improve dental health - often, when a community fluoridates its water, there's no "adding" of fluoride at all.Should children use fluoride? Parents of small children should be careful not to let their children use too much fluoride - when young children swallow too much fluoride, it can cause dental fluorosis, a type of tooth discoloration. (This is one of the reasons why we teach kids not to swallow their toothpaste.) Use a specially-formulated children's toothpaste that has a lower amount of fluoride. According to the ADA, fluoride in drinking water has not been proven to be the cause of fluorosis - as there are a number of possible causes. Fluorosis occurs in rare cases and usually only results in minor complications - and again, the consensus among dental health professionals is that the benefits of fluoride far outweigh these rare complications.

Where can I get more information? The American Dental Association has a detailed article called Fluoridation Facts with all of the relevant research, questions and answers about fluoride and dental health. This is a great resource if you have any concerns about fluoride and want to learn more - it's a fair, evenhanded look at the issues and the facts.

When First Impressions Count: Let Your Teeth Do the Talking


When you need to make a good first impression, make sure your teeth are working for you and not against you.

Have you ever heard the expression 'a million dollar smile'? It's been applied to everyone from movie stars (like Angelina Jolie) to motivational speakers (like Tony Robbins). And that's because a great smile can be worth a million dollars as far as making a great impression.

In Psychology Today magazine, Paul Ekman, professor of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, and a pioneer of research on facial expressions, revealed the importance of smiling. "We (respond to) a smile from 30 meters away," he says. "A smile lets us know that we're likely to get a positive reception, and it's hard not to reciprocate."

In other words, when you smile at someone, they want to smile back at you. That immediately sets up a positive interaction, even before a word is spoken. What a great way to start off a job interview!


All Eyes Are On Your Mouth

It's a simple fact of life: how you present yourself to others is essential to your success in both personal and professional situations. When you meet a prospective employer or have a chance encounter with a prospective 'love connection,' the other person will form a first impression of you in a matter of seconds.

Your smile can be an important tool for making that first impression a good one.

In a job interview or on a first date, you'll almost certainly be talking. And as well as focusing on your words, the person on the other side of the conversation will also be focusing on your mouth. With a brighter smile, you instantly stand out from the crowd. Others will be drawn to you and want to listen to every word you have to say.

A bright white smile and a set of healthy, well-cared for teeth and gums say many things about you. Perhaps the most important thing they convey to others is that you take pride in your appearance and care about your health.

Speak with Confidence

People with teeth that are stained, discolored or otherwise not 'in shape,' may feel self-conscious. So they refrain from speaking freely. Or they may unconsciously put their hands in front of their mouths when they talk. But when your teeth and gums are healthy, you have the confidence to express yourself. And confidence is a very appealing characteristic.

Missing, crooked, and broken teeth are problems for lots of people. Sadly, many of them don't take the time and effort to do anything about it. And that's a shame because modern dentistry has so many amazing techniques and procedures that can help.

It really starts with regular check-ups and cleanings. That's the baseline of a healthy, happy smile. After that, there's practically no end to what can be done to make your mouth look and feel great.

Tooth whitening can banish coffee stains and remove the yellow left behind from smoking. Invisible braces can remove gaps and get your teeth in line. Perhaps you're a candidate for an 'extreme makeover' with dental implants or veneers. Whatever you choose, you can be certain that the investment you make in a 'million dollar' smile will pay for itself a thousand times over.

Question: Why do I need to get a cavity fixed?


Answer: The answer is ABSOLUTELY. It is important to understand what cavity is and how it affects the tooth. A cavity simply refers to "hole" that is commonly found on a tooth. It is a result of bacteria that normally occupy the mouth becoming "opportunistic" meaning when given an opportunity in the right conditions, they can cause destruction to the tooth. The reason why we discourage sodas and sweets is that the bacteria in your mouth can take this sugar and metabolize it into an acid that can dissolve the enamel from the tooth. Enamel loss is characterized by holes, or dark stains, or identifiable softness within the tooth.


The problem with small cavities is that when the cavity is in the enamel, you cannot feel it. It typically does not occur until the cavity reaches the "dentin" which is tooth structure under the enamel. When the cavity reaches the dentin, sensitivity begins. The tooth will become hot/cold sensitive, bite sensitive, can periodically throb and is also more susceptible to fracture. The longer the cavity persists the deeper it gets, and the deeper it gets, the closer it gets to the nerve.


Once it gets to or close to the nerve, the sensitivity changes. Now the tooth become lingering cold sensitive and throbs eratically without any warning and without any stimulation. The tooth at this point can keep you up at night and be very unpredictable. If the cavity gets any further, the nerve becomes infected and the result is an abscess. An abscess is characterized by swelling, excruciating pain, pain to biting, pain to touch, pain when laying down, etc. When a tooth gets to this point, the only two options to resolve this pain is an extraction or root canal.


Why is this important to know? The reason is that something simple like a filling can prevent an onslaught of problems that become more time consuming, painful and costly. For example a small filling that costs $150 may appear to be costly but when compared to other options it is actually very inexpensive. A cavity that never gets filled can become a root canal, filling and crown that now costs $2000-2500 or an extraction + a permanent bridge which is typically $2500-3000.


This definitely puts a small filling into perspective.

It is important not to delay treatment that needs to be completed. Delaying treatment can become painful, costly and very time consuming. I like to think "an ounce of prevention keeps away a pound of problems".


Please call our office if you have any questions and as always, we appreciate your dedication to your oral health as well as your loyalty to our office!



Question: What is an abscess?



Answer: When you have tooth decay or gum disease, you can get infection deep within the tooth or gum. This infection is an abscessed toot and can be very painful. If it is not treated, the infection can spread and you can lose your tooth or have other health problems.


What causes an abscessed tooth?

Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity, or gum disease can cause an abscessed tooth.If a cavity is not treated, the inside of the tooth (called the pulp) can become infected. Bacteria can spread from the tooth to the tissue around it, creating an abscess.


Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets. If food builds up in one of these pockets, bacteria can grow, and an abscess can form. Over time an abscess can cause the bone around the tooth to dissolve.


What are the symptoms?

You may have:

* Throbbing pain, especially when you chew.

* Red, swollen gums.

* A bad, foul smelling taste in your mouth.

* Swelling in your jaw or face.

* A fever.

* A bump (gumboil) that looks like a pimple on the cheek side or tongue side of the gum near the tooth.


Over time as the infection spreads, the bone in your jaw may begin to dissolve. When this happens, you may feel less pain, but the infection will remain. If you lose too much bone, your tooth will become loose and may have to be removed.


If you have a severe toothache or notice drainage of pus, call your dentist right away. You may have an abscessed tooth. If it is not treated, the infection could spread and become dangerous.


How is it treated?

If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist will give you antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Antibiotics may help for a while. But to get rid of the abscess, your dentist will need to get rid off the source of infection. This is done by making hole in the tooth or gum to drain the infection. Usually this will relieve your pain. If the inside of your tooth is infected, you will need a root canal or to have the tooth removed. A root canal tries to save your tooth by taking out the infected pulp. If you don't want a root canal or if you have one and it doesn't work, the dentist may have to remove your tooth. You and your doctor can decide the best step to take.


You may be able to reduce pain and swelling from an abscessed tooth by putting an ice pack wrapped in a towel against your cheek. You can also try over-the-counter pain medicine, including aspirin, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin). But you still need to see your dentist for treatment.


How can you prevent an abscessed tooth?

You can prevent an abscessed tooth by preventing bacterial infections in your mouth. The best way to do that is to take good care of your teeth and gums:

* Brush your teeth 2 times a day, in the morning and at night, with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association.

* Use dental floss to clean between your teeth every day.

* See your dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups.

* Eat a healthy diet, and limit between-meal snacks.


Some people have a very dry mouth. This can cause deep dental cavities to form quickly, which can infect the pulp of a tooth and lead to an abscess. You may be able to prevent these problems by taking frequent sips of water, chewing gum, or sucking on sugarless candy. If you have severe dry mouth symptoms, you may need to take medicine to treat the problem. Many medicines can cause a dry mouth, including some medicines used to treat depression and high blood pressure.


Contact Dr.Glasmeier today if you have an tooth abscess or infection!

What is a cracked tooth?

With more sophisticated procedures, dentists are helping people keep their teeth longer. Because people are living longer and more stressful lives, they are exposing their teeth to many more years of crack-inducing habits, such as clenching, grinding, and chewing on hard objects. These habits make our teeth more susceptible to cracks.


How do I know if my tooth is cracked?

Cracked teeth show a variety of symptoms, including erratic pain when chewing, possibly with release of biting pressure, or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go, and your dentist may have difficulty locating which tooth is causing the discomfort.


Why does a cracked tooth hurt?

To understand why a cracked tooth hurts, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is the inner soft tissue called the pulp. The loose pulp is a connective tissue that contains cells, blood vessels and nerves. When the outer hard tissues of the tooth are cracked, chewing can cause movement of the pieces, and the pulp can become irritated. When biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in a momentary, sharp pain. Irritation of the dental pulp can be repeated many times by chewing. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged to the point that it can no longer heal itself. The tooth will not only hurt when chewing but may also become sensitive to temperature extremes. In time, a cracked tooth may begin to hurt all by itself. Extensive cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth.

How will my cracked tooth be treated?

There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack.


Craze Lines

Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp (the pointed part of the chewing surface) becomes weakened, a fracture sometimes results. The weakened cusp may break off by itself or may have to be removed by the dentist. When this happens, the pain will usually be relieved. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal treatment is seldom needed. Your tooth will usually be restored with a full crown by your dentist.


Cracked Tooth

This crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically towards the root. A cracked tooth is not completely separated into two distinct segments. Because of the position of the crack, damage to the pulp is common. Root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. Your dentist will then restore your tooth with a crown to hold the pieces together and protect the cracked tooth. At times, the crack may extend below the gingival tissue line, requiring extraction. Even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.

Split Tooth

Vertical Root Fracture


A split tooth is often the result of the long term progression of a cracked tooth. The split tooth is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact. The position and extent of the crack, however, will determine whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. In rare instances, endodontic treatment and a crown or other restoration by your dentist may be used to save a portion of the tooth. Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms and may therefore go unnoticed for some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected. Treatment may involve extraction of the tooth. However, endodontic surgery is sometimes appropriate if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root.


After treatment for a cracked tooth, will my tooth completely heal?

Unlike a broken bone, the fracture in a cracked tooth will not heal. In spite of treatment, some cracks may continue to progress and separate, resulting in loss of the tooth. Placement of a crown on a cracked tooth provides maximum protection but does not guarantee success in all cases. The treatment you receive for your cracked tooth is important because it will relieve pain and reduce the likelihood that the crack will worsen. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function and provide years of comfortable chewing. Talk to your Dr. Glasmeier about your particular diagnosis and treatment recommendations. He will advise you on how to keep your natural teeth and achieve optimum dental health.


What can I do to prevent my teeth from cracking?

While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.-

Don't chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.- Don't clench or grind your teeth.

If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about

getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.

Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.