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Helping Your Kids Feel Comfortable at the Dentist’s Office

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Many people get anxious when they come in to the dentist, and children are no exception. Indeed, most severe cases of dental anxiety are the result of the individual’s earliest experience at the dental office. With this in mind, you’ll want to take care to make your child comfortable with our Federal Way dentistry clinic as early as you can. Here are a few tips to make this possible:

  • Bring your child in at an early age. It is generally recommended that a child’s first dental visit should occur when he or she turns one. This is not only a good way to avoid decay, but also a good way to acclimate the child to the concept.
  • Be mindful of your own reaction to the dentist office. Even if you’re not aware of it, you may be showing signs of nervousness. Your child picks up on these cues.
  • Watch your language. This means not telling horror stories about what may happen, but it also means not saying “everything will be okay”. You don’t want to lose your child’s trust if he or she experiences discomfort in the dentist’s chair.
  • Don’t bribe your child. Children are smart enough to realize that, when you promise to reward them, there must be some reason you would feel the need to do so.

Caring For Your Bridgework

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When you have a missing or broken tooth, our Federal Way dentistry clinic can solve your problem with a well-crafted dental bridge. But after you get the bridge done, how can you best take care of it?

Proper dental care is very important when you have a bridge installed. Since your bridge is supported by the structure of your surrounding teeth, any decay in these teeth can compromise the integrity of the bridge. Therefore, you will want to maintain your usual brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. Though normal flossing will be impossible around your bridge, a product called a floss threader can help you. When well-maintained, a dental bridge can last you for upwards of ; fifteen years; consult our dentist for further information.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

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X-rays are a big part of the experience at any dentist’s office. Getting regular dental x-rays is the only way to assure that you don’t have any tooth decay going on under the surface. But are they worth the risks associated with the radiation exposure? This is a common concern at our Federal Way dentistry clinic, so it’s important to us that patients have the facts they need to feel good about their dental procedures.

Fortunately, the amount of radiation you are exposed to with a modern dental x-ray machine is extremely minimal. Advances in x-ray technology allow that we are able to get a good image of your teeth quickly and efficiently; high-speed machines let us create a picture within a very short exposure period. More limited x-ray beams allow us to focus the radiation on a smaller area, so that only the area that needs to be x-rayed becomes exposed. This improved technology is paired with lead-lined aprons and periodical x-ray machine checks. In short, the little radiation you are exposed to is easily worth the benefits derived from a regular dental x-ray.

Athletes and Tooth Decay

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Athletes are known to be models of good health. Through their rigorous fitness regimens, they maintain stellar circulatory systems, toned muscles, and… bad teeth? Indeed, if you or someone you know is an avid athlete, our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that you be aware of the effect an athletic lifestyle can have on your dental hygiene.

At the London 2012 Olympics, it was found that nearly a fifth of the athletes were suffering from some form of dental problem. From toothaches to bleeding gums, the games were plagued with oral decay. At times, these problems threatened to jeopardize an athlete’s ability to compete.

So, what’s causing such an epidemic amid our athletic population? Part of it is the athlete’s diet. Many fitness buffs dine heavily on carbohydrates and sports drinks, both of which are creating a feeding frenzy for the bacteria in your mouth. Secondly, an athlete tends to become dehydrated during a workout, which fosters dry mouth and encourages the growth of microbes. Aspiring Olympians would therefore do well to drink water instead of sugary sports drinks, and never neglect their routine dental examinations while they are training.

What Toothpaste Should My Child Use?

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Fluoride is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy. This is the substance that rebuilds your enamel, repairing the damage of the acids that break them down. This is why our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that all children should start using a fluoride-based toothpaste as soon as they start showing teeth.

If your child is under three years old, a light smear of toothpaste that covers less than three quarters of the brush should do just fine. Look for a toothpaste that has at least 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. Children between the ages of three and six years old should use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste of between 1,350-1,500 ppm of fluoride. Teach your children to not swallow their toothpaste, as ingesting large amounts of fluoride is not healthy.

Vary Your Brushing Routine!

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When you get your routine check-up at our Federal Way dentistry clinic, do you find that you’re often developing plaque in all the same places? Maybe you’ve even tried to pay more attention to brushing thoroughly, and yet you still encounter the exact same plaque growth patterns. If this is the case, the solution to your problem may be as simple as adding some variation to your daily brushing routine.

Since humans are creatures of habit, it’s easy to fall into a strict pattern with your tooth brushing. You most likely always start brushing in the same place every time you pick up your toothbrush. This means that the same part of your mouth is always getting the best of your attention, and you’re only getting to the other parts of your teeth after you’ve grown impatient, used up much of your toothpaste, and lost focus on your routine.

To avoid this, pay attention to where you begin brushing and try to mix it up. Mentally split up your mouth into four quadrants, then focus on starting in a different quadrant every time you brush. You may be surprised at the improvement you see at your next visit to Bella Dental!

Looking Out for Dental Abscesses

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If you get a cavity, you ought to get it fixed by our Federal Way dentistry clinic as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at serious risk for a debilitating infection that will cause you even more pain and grief than a simple cavity. This infection is what dentists call a dental abscess.

An abscess is caused by the same bacteria that form cavities. When these bacteria penetrate deep enough into your tooth, it begins to flourish in the soft tissues and bones in your face and neck. You experience it in the form of a pain in your mouth, jaw, face, or throat region, and can come with any of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, swelling, or tenderness in the mouth or face
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pus drainage
  • Difficulty opening your jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing

Should you experience these symptoms, contact your dentist right away.

What is a Mucocele?

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Sometimes people will come to our Federal Way dentistry clinic with concerns about strange bumps or developments in their mouths. One of these is called a mucocele. These generally appear in the form of a small, round bump, between two and ten millimeters wide, either pearly white or bluish in color. They may appear on the inside of your lower lip, your gums, or on the roof or floor of your mouth.

Mucoceles happen when a salivary duct becomes blocked or damaged. Maybe you took a blow to part of your face, or maybe you simply bite or suck on your lip or cheek too much. They’re generally painless, and will probably go away by themselves without treatment, but your dentist can help you if they enlarge or become bothersome.

Crown Problems

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Every so often, you may experience a problem with your crowns. This can be due to an improper fitting, tooth decay, or simple wear and tear on the cement holding your crown in place. Most crown-related problems should be fairly simple to remedy, though you will want to bring them to our Federal Way dentistry clinic as quickly as possible in order to avoid any further damage.

First of all, pain or sensitivity on the crowned tooth is fairly common. You may simply need to brush your teeth with a paste designed for sensitive teeth. If you find yourself experiencing pain when you bite down, your crown may be too high up; your dentist should be able to fix this problem.

Sometimes a crown can become loose, or fall off. When this happens, you are exposing a very vulnerable part of your tooth. Be on the lookout for a loose feeling in your crown, and tell your dentist right away if you notice anything askew. Should your crown actually fall off, clean both the crown and the tooth and replace it with temporary tooth cement until you can get to your dentist.

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