How to Pull a Child’s Tooth

How to Pull a Child’s Tooth
My Kid’s Tooth Is Loose — What’s Next?

Being a parent is one of the most stressful tasks in a person’s life. Once you master one stage of your child’s life, they move on to the next stage with a whole new set of problems to figure out. Case in point: their mouth. You spend years ensuring their teeth come in healthy and clean, only for them to start to fall out. As much as we love to hear the types of methods used to remove loose baby (also called primary) teeth, there are issues that can arise from this type of removal.

How Do I Know When a Tooth Is Ready to Be Pulled?

A loose tooth can cause your child pain and discomfort. You may have the urge to pull it out, but there are a few reasons why that might not be the best idea.

Be cautious of which teeth are loose first. The first teeth that come in are usually the first teeth to come out (the front teeth should normally become loose before the back teeth). A loose tooth could be caused by damage to that tooth — for instance, from a nasty fall. If you have concern that a tooth is loose due to something other than natural causes, contact your dentist for an examination.Primary teeth help guide in adult teeth. If a tooth is pulled prematurely, this can affect the placement of one’s adult tooth.Be aware of your child’s discomfort. If the tooth isn’t ready to come out yet, it will most likely still be connected to nerves, causing pain. Another indicator the tooth isn’t ready to come out yet is if there is a lot of blood when it’s pulled.You Won’t Let Me Tie Their Loose Tooth to a Drone – What Should I Do Instead?

To keep things natural, a good rule of thumb is to do what cavemen did. They didn’t have doors and automobiles to attach their loose teeth to, did they? If your child indicates they have a loose tooth, be sure to monitor it. Some kids may become anxious thinking about their teeth falling out. If this is the case, be reassuring and encouraging throughout the process. Beyond that, they will do all of the work. Once they find out they have a loose tooth, they will wiggle it with their tongue or fingers, leading to it falling out in a less intrusive way. If the tooth seems fairly loose and you want to help out, use a piece of gauze and gently pull the tooth while doing a wiggling motion. You shouldn’t have to use much force at all, so if doesn’t come out with a gentle pull, it probably isn’t ready yet.

There are general guidelines of when teeth are expected to become loose and fall out, but every child will be different. If you are concerned with how long your child’s baby teeth have remained in their mouth, a dentist can determine if any of them need to be pulled, while considering the health of their future adult teeth.

Tips for Giving Your Child Healthy Adult Teeth

There may be a train of thought that since baby teeth fall out, there isn’t as much of a need to care for them as compared to adult teeth. This could not be further from the truth. Taking care of children’s teeth (and gums) sets them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. While baby teeth do eventually fall out, they will have them for around 10 to 12 years. Not only will this set them up successfully for the future, but kids need a healthy mouth to enjoy the first part of their life as well.

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Survive Allergy Season

Survive Allergy Season

Making the Best of Your Summer and Fall

For most parts of the country, summer and early fall are often filled with outdoor adventures. From enjoying the local water hole and hiking to classic barbecues and playing your favorite lawn game, the fun is endless. However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, for more than 23 million Americans, nature has created a buzzkill: ragweed. Ragweed may not be that person who signs up to bring only napkins and plastic cups to your barbecue, but the allergy symptoms of ragweed (hay fever) can make your eyeballs feel like an overfilled balloon. While the symptoms of hay fever can be merely uncomfortable and a nuisance, there are instances in which they can significantly hinder your daily life.

Hay fever includes the following symptoms:

Itchy eyes and throatNasal congestionSneezingRunny noseHivesCoughing

  If left untreated, symptoms can escalate to a sinus infection. Sinus infection symptoms can include facial pain, congestion, bad breath, coughing, and dental pain.

How to Fight Back

There are a few medicines, remedies, and practical tips you can use to help relieve symptoms and prevent hay fever altogether.

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Stressed Out: Can Stress Affect Your Teeth?

Stressed Out: Can Stress Affect Your Teeth?
Stressed Out: Can Stress Affect Your Teeth?

You have too much to do at work. You have to juggle a million tasks between your children, your spouse, and errands — not to mention your mother-in-law is in town for the weekend. We all have those days, and those days can add immense stress to your life. That stress affects more than just your emotional health; it physically alters you as well.

Physical Symptoms of Stress on Your Mouth

Your mouth already experiences daily wear and tear that you need to prevent as much as possible. If you are too stressed, this adds another layer of factors fighting against the health of your mouth. It starts before you even realize — you are stressed out thinking about everything you need to do, and then you notice you’ve been clenching your teeth for the past few minutes. Depending on how you handle stress, you may be doing this multiple times per day, which takes a toll on your mouth.

Stress-related clenching and teeth grinding (also called bruxism) can carry into the night while you sleep. If left untreated, bruxism can also destroy dental restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.) that you’ve had done, creating more pain and costing more money. Additionally, this can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). Symptoms can include:

Constant headacheSore jaw musclesSensitive teethExtra tooth wearHow to Prevent Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Since one of the main causes of teeth grinding and clenching is stress, the best way to stop is to reduce your stress. Hold on — put down that glass of chardonnay or moonshine you have after work to unwind (alcohol increases the likelihood of teeth grinding while sleeping). Here are some stress-management techniques that will help reduce your overall stress.

Exercise. Not only does this release endorphins to help combat stress, but at the end of the day, you’ll be too tired to have stress-inducing thoughts.Autogenic relaxation. This method involves “commanding” your body to relax. This takes a lot of practice but can be very effective once learned. Learn more about autogenic relaxation here.Visualization. Trying to use all five of your senses, imagine a scenario that is relaxing. For example, if you imagine yourself in a forest, listen to the sway of the branches, feel the warm light creeping between the trees, and note the scent of pine needles.Listen to your favorite music. Classical is always a reliable genre to relax to, but listen to the type of music that helps you unwind.

 

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When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
Keep Your Toothbrush in Fighting ShapeEverything You Need to Know About Your Toothbrush

You hear it time and time again: Brush your teeth at least twice a day. It becomes so routine that you brush your teeth while juggling a few other tasks at the same time. How much time goes by before you notice the shape your toothbrush is in? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I don’t need to clean my toothbrush, my toothbrush cleans me!” The condition of your toothbrush is often the last thing you think about in your busy life, but it plays a significant factor in your oral health.

Symptoms of an Unclean, Older Toothbrush

The most common issue with an older toothbrush is effectiveness. When the bristles are frayed, its cleaning ability is compromised — leaving your teeth more exposed to bacteria.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should monitor and replace your toothbrush more often if you or a family member have:

A systemic disease that may be transmissible by blood or salivaA compromised immune system or low resistance to infection due to disease, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, etc.How to Disinfect Your ToothbrushRinse and air dry. The simplest way to keep your toothbrush clean: After every use, rinse it and keep it upright in an open area.Soak it in hydrogen peroxide.Boil it in hot water. This is another simple option, but be sure the toothbrush is completely cooled before handling/using. No one wants scalded gums.Use an ultra-violet light toothbrush sanitizer. These sanitizers made for toothbrushes (more specifically, electric toothbrush heads) are a good option, but studies show that while they do kill bacteria, they don’t have a distinct advantage over any other method.

  The ADA warns to be wary of any product that says it will do more than sanitize or reduce bacterial contamination. If you are interested in a toothbrush sanitation product, make sure it is Food and Drug Administration approved. There isn’t an obvious answer as to which method is preferred or best, so do what works for you.

Not Recommended Toothbrush CareMicrowave: While this idea makes sense on paper, the ADA doesn’t approve. It will most likely kill bacteria on your toothbrush, but zapping it can have adverse effects on the brush itself.Dishwasher: While this is an effective way to clean your toothbrush, the ADA states that this method will also compromise the quality of your brush.How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

For typical usage with no special circumstances, you should change your toothbrush every three to four months. If you see that your toothbrush bristles are frayed or beginning to fray, replace it. If your toothbrush seems to fray too fast, you are mostly likely brushing too hard — go easy on those teeth!

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E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health: The Smokeless Threat to Your Smile

E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health: The Smokeless Threat to Your Smile

For many smokers, e-cigarettes seem like the best answer to avoiding the nasty side effects of smoking traditional cigarettes, including the odor and the staining of teeth, skin, and clothing. Though e-cigarettes still contain the highly addictive chemical nicotine, tobacco and other harmful elements are eliminated from the electronic smoking process, or what some refer to as “vaping.”

The growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping, especially among young people, has caused a rise in concern over the lack of knowledge around the effects it has on health. While clinical studies are currently underway, in 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement saying “e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, so consumers currently don’t know the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or whether there are any benefits associated with using these products.”

Even though the FDA isn’t yet ready to comment on health risks associated with vaping, dentists are able to speak to how these new smoking devices threaten your oral health. Nicotine is harmful to your teeth and gums, even in the absence of tobacco and other chemicals traditionally found in cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes still deliver nicotine to their users through the mouth, throat, and lungs. The following are some of the consequences that come with using smokeless cigarettes.

Gum Disease: One of the telltale signs of gum disease is swelling of the gums caused by irritation. Nicotine reduces blood flow, preventing swelling, which can mask the presence of gum disease — causing your dentist to miss the symptoms and allowing the disease to progress.

Gum Recession: Lack of blood flow to the gums keeps the tissue from receiving the nutrients it needs to survive. Over time the skin dies and recedes.

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