Your site for answers and general to do about dentistry and orthodontics

Archive for January, 2012

Baby Bottle Decay

Progression of baby bottle decay

Children need their teeth to be strong and healthy so they can chew, speak, and have a wonderful smile.  Another function baby teeth have is to hold the space for the permanent teeth.  As the adult tooth erupts, the baby tooth will fall out.  If the baby tooth falls out early, the adjacent teeth could drift into the vacant space.  The huge issue with that is the permanent tooth could become blocked by other teeth that drifted into the baby tooth’s old place!  Orthodontics can correct the problem but doesn’t it make sense to just prevent it?

Every child is at risk for baby bottle decay.  The first tooth generally appears at 6 years of age.  Frequent exposure to sugar and liquids that contain juice, beast milk, and formula can harbor bacteria.  If the bacteria is in constant contact with the teeth an acidic medium will form after exposure for 20 minutes or longer according to the American Dental Association.

Prevention is the best step to stop the decay from forming.  For a baby who has a few teeth, use a child size tooth brush and water.  If your child 2 years and older, use ADA recommended tooth paste.  Infants and bottle users should not go to bed with a bottle of sweet juices nor soft drinks.  Also limit the exposure time to a sippy cup.

Healthy (left) Baby bottle decay (center) Severe decay (right)

Dr. Edgar Mendieta has a private orthodontic practice in Columbus, OH.  Visit us on Facebook!


Celebs who have had braces!

Don't be embarrassed to wear braces

Celebrity Faces with Braces

If you think you are too old for braces you couldn’t be further from the truth!  These celebrities proudly touted their smiles while having braces and so can you 🙂

Which other stars have worn braces?

Britney Spears, Catherine Zeta Jones, Prince Harry, Cher, Butthead (MTV’s Beavis and Butthead), Cindy Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Daisy Fuentes, Whoopie Goldberg, Heather Locklear, Dominique Moceanu, Allysa Milano, Tamara & Tia Mowry (Sister, Sister), Diana Ross, Monica Seles, Scott Hoch (famous golfer), Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Kim Zmeskal (US gymnast), Chelsea Clinton, and Barbara Walters.

See your orthodontist or contact us for answers to your questions.  Don’t forget to join us on Facebook!

FACT: Only an orthodontist has 2-3 years of specialized education beyond dental school and is a specialist at straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function.

5 signs your child may need braces…

It’s easy to tell if your child may need to see the orthodontist.

Let’s show you how you can see for yourself!

There are 5 easy ways to check if your child may need braces

5 easy ways to check if your child may need braces

Here are some of the things to look for (clockwise):

1.  Check to see if there is an over bite.

2.  Is there a cross bite, also known as a “scissor” bite next to the molars?

3.  Check for a large gap in between the two front teeth.

4.  Are the teeth crowded or crooked?

5.  Check to see if there is an under bite.

These are a few of the signs orthodontics may be needed to help improve a smile. If you suspect a problem or have a question, make an appointment to be on the safe side!

Do you have questions or comments?  Let us know! 🙂

What to do if you knocked your tooth out this NYE!

Picture from "The Hangover" demonstrating an avulsed tooth.

What to do if a tooth was knocked out!

So you had a great time celebrating New Year’s Eve but something happened.  You tripped and knocked your tooth out!  Forget about it being New Year’s.   Maybe your daughter caught a taste of a softball while playing with the neighborhood kids. Whatever the case, the tooth is on the ground and you need to act fast!

After you assess the situation and are ready to deal with the tooth, your first job is to locate it and handle it by its crown (Note: it is generally not recommended to re-implant a baby tooth).  If it was completely avulsed (knocked out), ideally the tooth should be gently rinsed (do not scrub it) of any foreign matter with saline or milk and re-implanted exactly as it was before the injury took place.  This is not practical in some situations because there may be blood all over the place and let’s face it, you just don’t know how it goes in!  This is completely understandable.  The next best thing to do is to put the tooth in milk or saline and care for your child as needed.  In either case you should see your dentist immediately!

The dentist is the best person to evaluate the injury.  Most likely a radiograph will be taken to evaluate the site for any fractures among other things.  Having a radiograph also gives the dentist the ability to see if the re-implanted tooth is positioned properly.  If you were not able to re-implant the tooth before your visit to the dentist, your dentist will decide if it is at all possible to put it back in.

Not all situations are treated the same.  Especially when dealing with “baby” teeth vs “adult” teeth.  If you find yourself in a situation where a tooth has been knocked out, call and visit the dentist immediately for guidance because every case is unique and the dentist will have the patient’s health history to give professional advice.

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