Are Panoramic X-Rays Important to Your Oral Health? Yes, and it’s not just for a healthy smile.

When you get x-rays taken at a typical dental appointment, these dental x-rays give the dentist a close up of view of your teeth.  With panoramic x-rays, they capture the entire mouth in one image, allowing Drs. Nicholas and Baburek to see all of the teeth in your mouth and multiple bones of the head and neck.

Recommended every 3-5 years, a panoramic x-ray can diagnose more than regular dental concerns, like cavities or gum disease.  Because these x-rays show the bones of the head and neck, we can see other important issues that may be occurring in the surrounding tissue and jaw bones such as tumors, growths, or cancer.  Here are four reasons why panoramic x-rays are important to your overall health.

 

Panoramic X-rays Provides a Bigger Picture Than Normal X-rays

A panoramic x-ray allows us view your head, neck, and jaw, and how they work together as a whole, which means we can more easily identify abnormalities.

 

 

Panoramic X-rays is a Great Source for Early Detection

Because a panoramic x-ray offers a comprehensive view of your entire mouth, we can spot dental issues at their onset with the view of the entire mouth.  Because it often isn’t caught in its early stages, oral cancer has a high mortality rate.  With a panoramic x-ray, we can improve the likelihood of identifying oral cancer early on when it’s easiest to treat.

 

 

They can Discover Changes Overtime That May Need Addressed

Since panoramic x-rays are taken every 3-5 years, it allows us to see changes that occur in your mouth over time.

 

 

Panoramic X-rays are Useful for All Ages

Depending on age, we look at panoramic x-rays for different reasons.  For children and teenagers, it’s to determine the need for orthodontic care, along with looking at wisdom teeth.  With adults, panoramic x-rays spot early warning signs of oral cancer, identify TMJ issues, and view cysts, growths, and abnormalities in greater detail.

 

The Best and Worst Foods for Your Dental Health

It’s back to school time, which means lunch packing season has begun!  Your child’s oral health is extremely important, and to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, your diet — what you eat and how often you eat — are important factors. The minute you eat certain foods, bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids.  Acids begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.

There are plenty of foods that can damage your teeth, but did you know that there are foods that actually promote good oral health? Although you’re already flossing and brushing regularly, incorporating the right foods into your diet can strengthen teeth and keep them in great shape. When feeding you and your family, consider these foods to consume and avoid when improving your oral health.

 

It’s a Party in Your Mouth With These Food Choices

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to redeposit tooth enamel after being removed by acids.  Dairy products are full of calcium and other minerals that promote oral wellness, but it’s important to eat the right dairy products. When choosing milk, always skip conventional products that are full of hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals.

Other food choices include crunchy fruits such as apples and pears.  Because apples are high in water, eating them stimulates saliva production, which helps rid your mouth of bacteria and stray food particles. The fiber found in apples also stimulates the gums and acts as a mild astringent for your teeth, gently brightening them.  If you want to consume acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, it will not cause harm as long as they are eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize their acid.

Because they’re high in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, leafy greens—like kale, spinach, Swiss chard and collard greens—are a fool-proof way to keep teeth healthy. The antioxidants and vitamins found in these powerful veggies combat cavities while also serving as a sneaky source of calcium to keep teeth strong.

 

Limit Yourself When Consuming These for Strong Oral Health

Poor food choices include candy — such as lollipops, hard candies, and mints — cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria. In addition, cough drops should be used only when necessary as they, like sugary candy, contribute to tooth decay.

Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks — day-long sipping exposes your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids.

4 Important Factors When Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Providing dental care for your child may start earlier then you thought.  Even though you can’t see your child’s teeth when they are babies, they actually begin to form in the second trimester.

Many parents have questions regarding their child’s dental care, such as how early should my child be flossing? How much toothpaste should my child be using? How old should they be before we see the children’s dentist?  Here are 4 items to consider when providing dental care for your child.

 

It’s Never Too Early to Start Dental Care

Even though you cannot see the teeth, protecting your baby’s gums before teething occurs will help lay the foundation to a healthy mouth.  Before they have teeth to brush, take a damp washcloth over your child’s gums to eliminate bacteria that may be harmful.

When you child’s teeth begin to grow in, brush them with an infant toothbrush using water and fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance.  Only a tiny amount is needed, about the size of a grain of rice.  There isn’t a magic age to start flossing your baby’s teeth, once the teeth begin to touch is the appropriate way of knowing it’s time.

 

Getting Your Child Not to Swallow Toothpaste

At approximately 2 years old, your child should begin spitting while brushing.  Most children are tempted to swallow the toothpaste rather than spitting it out because they are used to swallowing their food and drink, and most children’s toothpaste have an appealing taste to make brushing easier.   To avoid this, do not give your child water to swish the toothpaste before they spit, as this makes swallowing toothpaste more likely to occur.  We recommend supervising your child as they brush their teeth until they are about 8 years old to ensure they are brushing properly and to help prevent your child from swallowing toothpaste.

 

Avoid Too Much Bottle Time

Even if you are practicing ideal dental care for your child, what you are putting into their mouth plays a factor into their oral health.  Babies can develop tooth decay if you do not practice healthy feeding habits, such as giving your baby a bottle to sleep with at night.  While this may make your job as a parent easier, the sugars from the juice or milk remain on the baby’s teeth for hours.  When this happens, the sugars can eat away at the enamel, creating pitted, discolored front teeth and sometimes even cavities from a condition called bottle mouth.

Sucking on a bottle can also be damaging to a child’s teeth, where babies as young as 6 months are recommended to drink from a sippy cup.  To prevent your child from having their bottle too much bottle time, set specific times of the day where your child can have access to their bottle.

 

Planning Your Child’s First Trip to the Dentist

The American Dental Association recommends children visit a dentist by the time they turn 1 years old. During your child’s visit to the dentist, they will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and conduct a modified exam that is catered to children.  If your child display any risk for cavities or other problems, the dentist may start applying topical fluoride even before all teeth come in.  Benefits of fluoride include harding the tooth enamel, and warding off common childhood oral diseases such as cavities.

We recommend booking appointments in advance on a consistent basis.  Request an  appointment by filling out the form here or call us at 419.475.3494.