Wisdom Teeth and Teens

Like dental braces, the removal of wisdom teeth is one of the dental “rites of passage” for teens.

Wisdom teeth — or third molars — are our final set of molars and usually start to emerge between the ages of 16 and 25. They are known as “wisdom” teeth in most cultures because of their late arrival compared to other adult molars.

If your teen begins to complain about wisdom teeth symptoms, including inflammation and wisdom teeth pain towards the back of their jaw, it is very likely that their wisdom teeth are getting ready to erupt. Once the teeth break through the gums it is important for your teen to clean them thoroughly everyday, since food and debris can easily become trapped under the gums and cause painful swelling and infection.

Your teen’s dentist will monitor the development of their wisdom teeth by taking X-rays periodically to track their position and movement. If the teeth become impacted — which means that they are coming in at an angle — you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon to have the teeth removed. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, cause cysts and damage nearby teeth and nerves, so they should be removed as soon as possible.

Will Your Teen Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Sometimes wisdom teeth are unable to erupt because there is not enough room in your teen’s jaw. They may become stuck before they reach the gum surface or while the crown of the tooth is partially visible. This can lead to infections and other complications, so your dentist will likely suggest that they are removed.

Some dentists will suggest removing your teen’s wisdom teeth as a preventive measure if it is likely that they will cause dental problems down the road. This is often done long before the tooth emerges because the longer a wisdom tooth remains in the mouth the more developed its root becomes. As a result, oral surgery may take longer and complications can occur.

Most dentists agree that removing wisdom teeth is the best way to prevent tooth decay, gum infection and pressure pain. Since wisdom teeth will try to make room for themselves in your teen’s tightly packed jaw, they may also shift teeth that have been previously straightened with braces or other orthodontic devices, ruining the investment you made in your orthodontist.

If you have not done so already, it is a good idea to speak with your teen’s dentist about their wisdom teeth. Waiting until complications arise can make the removal process more difficult, and a dentist is the best person to advise you about treatment options.

Make an appointment today or call us at (775) 882-1195!

 

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Back To School Check-up!

Summer is over and it’s back-to-school time, which means it’s also time for your child’s check-up. We want to make sure he/she kicks off the school year with excellent dental health! Please call our office at 775-882-1195 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our back-to-school schedule fills up quickly, and we want to arrange a time that works best for you!
As always, it’s our pleasure to provide you and your family with the very best in dental care!

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Six Easy Ways to Prevent Dental Cavities in Children

In dentistry, children and cavities seem to go hand in hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of children ages 2 through 5 have at least one dental cavity, compared to 24 percent a decade ago. Although 4 percent may not seem like a lot, that increase represents thousands and thousands of children and cavities — as well as a trend in the opposite direction of the last 40 years, when tooth decay was on a gradual decline.

Eating unhealthy foods is one of the primary reasons for the rise in numbers of affected children and cavities. Healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts are often replaced with processed foods, and soda and sugary drinks have trumped water.

And unfortunately, even if your child is drinking water, it won’t do their teeth any good if it’s bottled; because unlike tap water, bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride, which is essential for the healthy development of your child’s teeth.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Visiting the dentist regularly, practicing good oral hygiene and promoting healthy eating habits are all ways to help break the connection between children and cavities.

You can also get a head start on fighting the children and cavities epidemic by taking extra special care of your child’s baby teeth. Baby teeth are adorable to look at, but they also set the stage for healthy adult teeth. If tooth decay is present in baby teeth, your child’s adult teeth can also become infected.

So if you have children and cavities are a concern, here are six easy ways to reduce the risk:

1. Avoid giving your baby juice or formula at night. The sugar in juice and formula causes the bacteria in the mouth to produce the acids that cause baby bottle tooth decay. Use fluoridated water instead.

2. Choose low-fat foods from the basic food groups. Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole-grain breads and low-fat dairy products are great for your child’s overall health and their dental health!

3. If you must, give sweets only as a dessert. If your child must have sweets, limit it to dessert or following a main meal. Late-night snacking and frequent snacking are a major culprit of cavities in children.

4. Invest in a water filter. Most community sources of water are fluoridated — an excellent resource to help the battle between children and cavities. Instead of spending extra on bottled water, invest in a filter for your sink, or a filtered water pitcher.

5. Don’t share cups or utensils. Cavities are contagious. So if you have them, you can pass them onto your child by sharing cups and utensils.

6. If you smoke, stop. The University of Rochester’s Strong Children’s Research Center has discovered a link between smoking, children and cavities. Results from a recent study show that children of parents who smoke are more likely to develop cavities.

Learning how to brush properly is also essential in helping to stop the children and cavities epidemic. Teach your child to use short side-to-side, up-and-down strokes and to brush around his or her gum line for at least two minutes twice a day.

Finally, never skip taking your child to the dentist for regular exams and dental cleanings. While you’re at the dentist’s office, be sure to ask plenty of questions — your dentist is the best resource for learning how to protect your children from cavities!

Make an appointment today or call us at (775) 882-1195!

 

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Making the Most of Your Dentures

A Few Tips on Making the Most of Your Dentures

Dentures are more like natural teeth than you might think. Often when people get dentures, they might think they are set for life. In reality, dentures require as much attention as natural teeth. While this might come as a surprise to many in Carson City, a few straightforward tips can help you keep that new smile healthy.

First things first— remember to clean your dentures regularly. While dentures may look smooth and impenetrable, they still have pores and indentations that can trap bacteria. Daily brushing and nightly soaking help kill bacteria and keep you healthy. There are a lot of products out there ranging in price and effectiveness. Ask your dentist for recommendations on what products will work best for you.

Back to the point about being set for life with new dentures. Experts recommend replacing dentures about every 5-7 years, so it is important to keep in touch with your dentist not only for regular cleanings, but also to monitor the condition of your dentures. The Nevada State Health Division recommends regular professional oral care in addition to daily home care, and this applies to dentures.

Finally, many people worry that dentures spell the end of enjoying hard to eat foods like corn on the cob or apples. Your dental professionals, like the friendly experts at Carson Tahoe Family Dental Care, are there to help you quickly adjust to your dentures so you can eat and smile like you always have. Just like your natural teeth, taking care of your dentures will help you get the most out of them.

Make an appointment today or call us at (775) 882-1195!

 

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