May 16th, 2013
Great question! Baby bottle tooth decay is the development of cavities caused by the frequent and long-term exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. These liquids include milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas and other sweetened drinks. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and produce acids that attack the infant’s teeth and gums. After numerous attacks, tooth decay can begin.
First rule is to make sure your child does not fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, juice or other sweetened liquids. Giving an infant a sugary drink before bedtime is harmful because during sleep, the flow of saliva decreases, allowing the sugary liquids to linger on the child’s teeth for an extended period of time. If left untreated, pain and infection can result.
So, how can you prevent baby bottle tooth decay? Be sure to clean and massage the baby’s gums once a day to help establish healthy teeth and to aid in teething. When brushing your child’s teeth, use a soft toothbrush, as well non-fluoride toothpaste. Once your little one is able to spit, you should begin using fluoride toothpaste. From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing. That way, he or she will already have the good habit of spitting when you switch to fluoride toothpaste, which should never be swallowed.
Also, be aware that children should visit McFaul:Wong when they are between 6 and 12 months old. Please give us a call if your child hasn’t visited our San Francisco, CA office in the last six months!
May 9th, 2013
When you think of a dental emergency, you may picture teeth that have fallen out or severe tooth pain. But it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to develop conditions or problems that require urgent care from Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt in the late teen years to early 20s. Spacing and crowding problems often cause impaction and infections, which is why many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain related to your wisdom teeth, call our office to schedule a wisdom teeth consultation.
Perisoronitis and Infections?
You may develop perisoronitis if you have a partially-erupted wisdom tooth that has become inflamed. Often, inflammation is caused by food lodged beneath the gum. Here at McFaul:Wong, we can gently search for and remove food debris, as well as clean the affected area and treat it with antibiotics. Do not avoid treatment, however, as untreated perisoronitis can lead to infection, which ultimately places your health at risk.
Crowding and Impaction?
When your wisdom teeth erupt, they may cause overcrowding of your teeth, which can have a negative effect on their alignment. This can make it harder for you to clean your teeth properly, and it also increases the chances for developing tooth decay and other oral health problems in the future. For some people, the wisdom teeth never erupt, becoming impacted beneath the gum and causing problems with the neighboring teeth.
If you have an impaction or wisdom tooth crowding, make an appointment with our office soon. We will be happy to evaluate the progress of your wisdom teeth, as well as their effect on the rest of your jaw. Depending on our analysis, we will then discuss your options for treatment and whether extraction might be right for you.
Complications from Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
If you have recently had your wisdom teeth extracted, blood clots will have formed in the open sockets the teeth previously occupied. In most cases, the gums heal normally, assuming you follow post-surgical care instructions.. However, a small percentage of wisdom tooth extractions do not heal according to plan. If you continue to experience pain or other unusual symptoms following a wisdom tooth extraction, please give us a call. We’ll do everything we can to minimize discomfort and help you heal safely and quickly.
Remember, our team is here to support your dental health in every capacity. We are dedicated to providing excellent service before, during, and after all wisdom tooth procedures, so you can rest assured that your oral health is in good hands.
May 2nd, 2013
Our team at McFaul:Wong would like to offer some tips regarding the sometimes dreaded task of brushing a toddler’s teeth.
Much of the trick lies in the positioning. Before you begin, make sure you are in a position of control. This protects both you and the child from injury. Consider how well you can see. If you cannot see clearly, the quality of brushing drops significantly. For instance, if your child is standing, you are likely to see only the bottom teeth well.
Our team finds that the best position for brushing and flossing a toddler is when your child is calm, have the child lie down on his or her back with arms out to make a T. Sit down just above the head and lightly place your legs over the child’s arms. Using a circular motion, brush all sides of the teeth.
It may sound odd, but approaching the routine this way can make brushing time a cinch! After you’re done, give the child the toothbrush and let the kid have a turn. The benefit of doing the brushing and flossing first is that it gives him or her an example, which the child is more likely to repeat when you’re done.
Different methods work best for different families and children. These practices need to be performed with kindness and care. Be gentle and make this time a happy learning time. Don’t forget to bring your child to our San Francisco, CA office for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong can advise you on ways to implement portions of these tips in a way that may work bests for you and your child.
April 23rd, 2013
At our dental office, we prefer our patients to practice good oral hygiene between office visits. Part of that process includes flossing, which is as Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong will tell you the process of cleaning between the teeth to remove food and debris from the areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. When food is allowed to remain between the teeth, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause periodontal disease.
Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?
According to the American Dental Association, you can floss either before or after brushing, according to your own preference. By flossing first, you can brush away dislodged food debris afterward. On the other hand, brushing first allows you to loosen plaque between the teeth, making it easier to floss more effectively.
Whichever you choose, the most important goal is to floss thoroughly. That means using a fresh strand of dental floss each day, and carefully pulling it back and forth between all of the teeth. Do not skip flossing because your teeth look or feel clean.
When to Floss
Unlike brushing, you need only floss between your teeth once per day. Although you may choose to do it in the morning or afternoon, many prefer to floss at night to prevent food and debris from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. This could prevent the build-up of plaque too, which is a cause of tooth decay.
Help with Flossing
If you have questions about your flossing technique or what type of floss is best for your teeth, contact our office. The staff will be more than happy to assist you in perfecting your home hygiene regimen. In most cases, you can choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to perform your daily flossing routine. If you have permanent oral appliances or restorations, be sure to follow the flossing instructions provided to you, and contact our office with any questions.