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Archive for the ‘Dental Emergency’ Category

Vacation? Have braces? Just remember to…

Keeping your teeth/braces clean does not stop even when you are on vacation. Whether it’s to another state or overseas, here is what you should do and remember to take.

Keep your teeth clean even when on vacation

Tooth bugs never sleep, even when on vacation

1. Have fun on your vacation!  That’s the most important part.  Make sure you bring lots of fun pics back to show your orthodontist.  Dr. Mendieta loves it when patients show him your neat photos!

2. Tell your orthodontist of your travel plans so they can make arrangements for your next appointment when you return.  Certain procedures like debonding need to be scheduled at shorter intervals.

3. Add the office email and phone number to your contacts, just in case you have an emergency.

4. Take extra wax, in case some pinching/poking occurs.

5. Take a travel kit with a small tube of paste, mouth wash, floss, and a tooth brush case.  Remember, airports will not allow large size liquid containers as carry-on items.  In the odd chance you get a free meal on a domestic flight, you are prepared to brush:)

6. If a bracket falls off make sure you email or call your orthodontist right away! Dr. Mendieta gives his patients advice when they call.

7. Take Advil with you in case your teeth start to hurt or bother you!

8. Don’t forget your rubber bands, it’s a long flight and a good time to wear them!

Keep your teeth clean even when on vacation

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9. Have fun and remember to be at your next appointment when you arrive back home ready to show Dr. Mendieta your pictures:)


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!

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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