Posts for category: Oral Health
Even though baby teeth are not meant to last forever, they serve some very important functions for the time they are around. Healthy baby teeth allow your child to bite and chew food, articulate sounds correctly during speech, and, of course, to smile! They also help guide the permanent teeth, which will one day replace them, into proper alignment. So it’s important to take good care of them while they’re here. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about pediatric dentistry.
Can I get my teeth cleaned while I’m pregnant?
Yes — and you should! Both the American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women keep up with their regular schedule of dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy. Not doing so can allow disease-causing oral bacterial to flourish, which can be a health risk for both the expectant mother and her fetus.
Do infants need their teeth brushed?
Yes, it’s important to start a daily oral hygiene routine as soon as the first baby tooth appears — usually sometime between six and nine months of age. Use a very soft-bristled child-sized toothbrush and just a smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). When your child turns 3, increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste to the size of a pea.
When should I take my child in for her first dental appointment?
The answer to this one may surprise you: All children should see a dentist by the age of 1. Early dental visits get children accustomed to having their mouths examined and their teeth cleaned. Establishing this healthy habit early will go a long way toward promoting a lifetime of good oral health.
Should I worry that my child sucks his thumb?
That depends on how old he is. Thumb sucking is a normal, comforting habit for babies and toddlers. Most outgrow it by the time they are 4. But kids who don’t are at increased risk for orthodontic issues later on. If your child seems unable to break the habit, let us know; we can give you more detailed recommendations at your next appointment.
What can I do to prevent my children from getting cavities?
Make sure your children have an effective daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing at least once per day. If they are too young to do a good job by themselves, help them complete these important tasks. Keep their sugar consumption as low as possible; pay particular attention to beverages — soda, sports drinks and even 100 % natural fruit juices can all promote tooth decay. We can offer individualized advice on fighting cavities, and even provide fluoride treatments and dental sealants for extra protection against cavities. So don’t forget to bring your child in to the dental office for regular exams and cleanings!
Even though teeth are resilient, they're not indestructible. An accidental collision involving the face could damage teeth, even knocking a tooth completely out of its socket.
At first, it might seem like the end of the line for that particular tooth. But it doesn't have to be—if you know what to do. But you'll have to act quickly: The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the less chance it will survive long-term.
Here are the steps you should take to save a knocked-out tooth.
Find the tooth. It's important that you locate the missing tooth quickly. When you do, don't handle it by the root end: It still contains delicate periodontal cells that are essential if the tooth is going to rejoin with the ligaments and bone. Use clean water to rinse off any dirt or debris.
Reinsert the tooth. Holding it by the crown and not the root, reinsert the tooth into its empty socket, hopefully within an hour (the faster the better). You want to make sure it's good and snug, so apply a little force when you do this. Place some clean gauze or cloth between the tooth and its opposite on the other jaw, then have the person bite down and hold it in place.
Get immediate dental care. It's preferable to find a dentist as soon as possible (if not, then the nearest emergency medical facility). The dentist will x-ray the tooth to make sure it's positioned properly, and may adjust it further if necessary. They may also splint the tooth to adjacent teeth to help stabilize it until it fully reattaches with the jaw.
Again, time is of the essence—the quicker you can perform the above steps, the better the tooth's chances. Any delay could jeopardize the tooth's ability to reattach, or it could shorten its lifespan.
You can also get guidance on treating a knocked-out tooth and other dental emergencies with a free mobile app developed by the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT). Just look in your Android or IOS app store for ToothSOS.
If you would like more information on what to do during a dental emergency, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When a Tooth is Knocked Out.”
A loose primary (“baby”) tooth is often a cause for celebration. A loose permanent tooth, however, is a cause for concern. A permanent tooth shouldn't even wiggle.
If you have a loose tooth, it's likely you have a deeper dental problem. Here are the top underlying causes for loose teeth.
Gum disease. Teeth are held in place by an elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament. But advanced periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection usually caused by film buildup on teeth called dental plaque, can damage the ligament and cause it to detach. If it's not treated, it could lead to tooth loss.
Bite-related trauma. A normal bite helps balance out the forces generated when we chew so they don't damage the teeth. But if a misaligned tooth protrudes higher from the jaw, the opposing tooth will likely create more downward pressure on it while chewing. This can stress the tooth's supporting ligament to the point of looseness.
Self-inflicted trauma. While they may be trendy, tongue jewelry can cause dental damage. A wearer who clicks the “barbell” of a tongue stud against their teeth could be creating conditions conducive for gum damage and bone loss, which can cause tooth looseness. Similarly, taking orthodontics into your own hands could also damage your teeth, especially if you have undiagnosed gum disease.
Genetics. Although you can't prevent it, the type of resistance or susceptibility you inherited from your parents (as well as your dental anatomy) can cause you dental problems. Thinner gum tissues, especially around the roots, can make you more susceptible to gum disease or dental trauma, which in turn could contribute to tooth looseness.
There are things you can do to lessen your chance of loose teeth. Brush and floss every day to remove disease-causing bacterial plaque and see a dentist regularly for cleanings to reduce your risk of gum disease. If you have any misaligned teeth, consult with an orthodontist about possible treatment. And avoid oral jewelry and DIY orthodontics.
If you do notice a loose tooth, see us as soon as possible. We'll need to diagnose the underlying cause and create a treatment plan for it. We may also need to splint the tooth to its neighbors to stabilize it and reduce your risk of losing it permanently.
If you would like more information on tooth mobility, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Become Loose.”
How Invisalign treatment from your dentists in Ukrainian Village, Chicago, IL helps your smile
Did you know there is a new orthodontic treatment that can straighten your smile comfortably, quickly, and discreetly? It’s called Invisalign. Dr. Tariq Riyal and Dr. Thomas Kaminski at Miswak Dentistry in Ukrainian Village, Chicago, IL offer Invisalign treatment to help your smile.
Invisalign is different from conventional orthodontic treatment. Instead of using brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a system of clear plastic trays called aligners. You receive your first set of Invisalign aligners, which you wear for two weeks, and then you move up to a new set of aligners, which you wear for another two weeks. You progress to a new set of aligners every two weeks until your treatment is complete. You will visit your Ukranian Village, Chicago, IL dentist every few weeks to monitor your progress.
There are many reasons why adults and children alike love Invisalign:
-It's discreet. The aligners are clear and virtually unnoticeable to people around you.
-They work quickly. The average length of treatment is between nine and fifteen months.
-The aligners are very comfortable. They are smooth plastic with no sharp parts to irritate your tissue.
-Lastly, they are convenient! You remove the aligners to eat, brush, and floss your teeth.
Invisalign aligners look delicate, but they are strong enough to correct many of the same issues as conventional brackets and wires. Invisalign is the perfect choice for correcting overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. You can also close up gaps between your teeth, correct tooth overlap, and even out crowding.
You and your smile deserve the new and improved way to straighten your teeth. Repair your smile the comfortable way with Invisalign. To find out more about this amazing new orthodontic treatment, call Dr. Tariq Riyal and Dr. Thomas Kaminski of Miswak Dentistry in Ukrainian Village, Chicago, IL at (773) 661-0330. Call today!
Wondering just how important those six-month dental checkups truly are?
It’s important to put some time aside to care for your smile. Besides the oral routine you go through daily to keep teeth clean, you also want to visit the dentist every six months for checkups. After all, during these professional cleanings, our Chicago dentist, Dr. Tariq Riyal, can detect problems early on, provide effective treatment, and ensure that you have a beautiful smile that lasts.
Read on to learn five long-term smile benefits:
Preventing decay and gum disease
Most people have some degree of dental decay; however, decay can continue to eat away at enamel until it causes a cavity. It’s common for most people to miss certain spots between and around teeth when brushing and flossing, which leaves plaque and tartar buildup to damage enamel. By coming in twice a year for cleanings, we can remove the plaque and tartar buildup that you missed, and detect decay early on to prevent it from spreading further.
Treating problems early to prevent complications
Unfortunately, many common problems like gum disease don’t cause symptoms until the more advanced stages. So, how are you supposed to detect it early on before it causes permanent damage to your smile? By turning to our family dentist in Chicago every six months. While you might not notice subtle changes in your teeth or gums, that’s what we’re trained to do. By catching problems like gum disease early we can prevent issues such as tooth loss.
Screen for oral cancer
With the increase in mouth cancers over the last few years, it’s now more important than ever to be able to detect early signs of oral cancer when it’s still highly treatable. The best way to catch oral cancer? During a routine dental checkup. Our hygienist can look for lesions, lumps, and other changes to the soft tissue that could indicate oral cancer.
Provide comprehensive and preventive care
Besides cleaning your teeth and gums to reduce your risk for decay and gum disease, Dr. Riyal and his team are focused on all the ways in which they can prevent dental problems from happening. Therefore, we can provide dental sealants to children at risk for cavities or make custom mouthguards for patients who grind their teeth at night. These simple preventive measures can preserve your smile in the long run.
Save time and money
If you skip out on these dental cleanings now at some point you’re going to deal with some pretty nasty problems that could have had a much easier and cheaper solution. We want to save you from needing extensive dental work, procedures, and surgeries by giving your smile the ultimate care it needs every six months.
If you are looking for a dentist in Chicago that can provide your whole family with routine dental cleanings twice a year, then turn to Dr. Riyal and his team at Miswak Dentistry. We can work with your schedule to ensure that everyone gets the care they need. Call our office today at (773) 661-0330.