According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing, but no later than age two. At these early appointments, your dentist can answer any questions you may have and give you information on a variety of topics, including infant feeding, teething, pacifier usage, finger-sucking habits, and early dental care.

Even if you feel like your child is too young for the dentist, it’s important to know that the best way to ease fear and anxiety about the dentist is to get your child comfortable at an early age. Exposure builds trust and comfort. If it makes you feel more at ease, try bringing them along to one of your dentist appointments first and check out our tips on easing dental anxiety in children.

What to expect at your child’s first appointment

Your child’s first appointment will most likely be about introducing them to the dental office and staff members, as well as learning the basics about caring for their teeth. Typically, dentists will not do an actual exam on the first visit but they may take a quick look inside your child’s mouth to ensure all the teeth are coming in properly and to assess their bite. If possible or necessary, a quick cleaning may also be done.

Dentures are removable artificial teeth that can come in two forms: partials or completes. Just like the name sounds, partial dentures cover only a portion of missing teeth with other natural teeth present in the mouth. A complete denture set covers the entire mouth that no longer has any natural teeth present. Dentures are a great way for individuals with missing teeth to restore a beautiful, natural-looking smile!

Other benefits of dentures include:

Increased self-esteem. People with missing teeth can often feel embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance. After all, your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. But a benefit of dentures is a beautiful, pearly-white smile that makes you feel confident, self-assured, and ready for your close-up!

Improved quality of life, including improved eating and speech. Dentures support your facial muscles, allowing you to be able to eat foods you weren’t able to eat when you had damaged or missing teeth. With a bit of practice in your new dentures, you should be able to chew tougher foods like meat, caramel, crunchy fruit, and everything in between. Support from dentures can also improve your speech. If certain words are difficult to enunciate with missing teeth, dentures can help you to enunciate your letters and words better and restore your usual manner of speaking.

When we think of oral health, we tend to only think of our teeth. But that’s not the whole story. Your gums are the foundation of a healthy smile and they protect your teeth (and their nerves and roots) and the bones of your jaw. Gum health is a critical part of your oral health and can even play a significant role in your overall health as chronic gum inflammation is thought to be linked with other diseases, including respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important thing you can do to prevent and treat issues with your gums. If you aren’t brushing or flossing enough, plaque can build up on your teeth and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums, usually dark red in color
  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Tender gums

Root canals are used to repair and save teeth that have become badly decayed or infected. When the pulp of the tooth, which is made up of blood vessels and nerves, is damaged, it needs to be removed and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned, filled, and sealed. Physical symptoms don’t typically start until the problem has become more advanced, so it’s important to be aware of some signs of possible trouble. Here are 5 signs that you may need a root canal:

Persistent or excessive pain. Pain is one of the biggest indicators that something is wrong with the root of your tooth. If it hurts when you put pressure on your tooth and if this pain has lasted for weeks or months without improvement, a root canal might be in your future. Prolonged tooth discomfort is typically due to a damaged root and these don’t heal on their own.

Chipped or cracked tooth. When a tooth gets cracked or chipped, it can expose the nerves beneath the surface of the tooth, which can lead to an infection. This infection, if not treated by a root canal, can enter the bloodstream and spread, potentially causing more widespread issues.

Sensitivity. If you’re noticing that a tooth is becoming increasingly sensitive while eating or drinking, especially hot or cold items, damaged blood vessels and nerve endings may be to blame. A root canal may be in order!

When most people think of foods that are bad for their teeth, they think of sugar. Our childhoods were filled with warnings about what eating too much candy could do to our teeth. But sweets, unfortunately, aren’t the only culprit. Many foods and beverages, especially ones that are highly acidic, can wear down the enamel that protects your teeth, a process known as tooth erosion. When the enamel wears away, it exposes an underlying material called dentin and leaves your teeth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria, which cause decay.

To better protect your enamel, try to avoid or limit the foods below.

Sticky candies and sweets.

We’ll start with the obvious. Even though sugar itself does not contain high levels of acidity, it promotes the growth of acid-creating bacteria in your mouth. And sticky treats can get stuck on your teeth for longer and cause even more decay. Also, keep in mind that sour candies are even worse for your teeth due to their high acidity level.

You’ve been told most of your life about the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day. But what about flossing? Just how often should you be doing it — really?

Flossing cleans between your teeth and along your gum line. And while flossing can often feel like a chore, it really is essential to your dental health. It helps get to those hard-to-reach places in between your teeth and your gum line, which is prime real estate for plaque buildup. If plaque isn't removed from these areas, it builds up and eventually hardens, resulting in a substance called tartar. And tartar buildup can lead to gum disease or health oral health issues.

Here's everything you need to know to establish a healthy flossing routine.

How often?

It’s recommended that you floss every time you brush your teeth, but at least once a day. Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity — flossing one time well is much better than not-so-great flossing three times a day.

Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral care. According to the American Dental Association, both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that can cause tooth decay and disease. But is one better than the other? Read below for more information about each option to help you decide which might be best for you.

Perks of Electric Toothbrushes

More effective at cleaning

Several studies show, in general, electric toothbrushes are more effective at decreasing plaque levels and the risk of gingivitis than manual toothbrushes.

Easier for people with mobility issues

For those with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or any condition that may reduce mobility in the hands and arms, electric toothbrushes are an easier option because they do most of the hard work for you and require less grip and overall movement.

Orthodontic treatment with SureSmile® Aligners can help you achieve your dream smile faster and easier than you ever imagined. SureSmile® is a method for straightening teeth by combining aspects of traditional braces with modern technology through the process of wearing a series of clear, custom-fit removable molds.

Here are a few more reasons to get your best smile with SureSmile®.

Fully customized for YOU

The SureSmile® Aligners system is designed so your dentist can have incredibly precise control over the way your teeth shift and realign using top-of-the-line digital software. There are also options to add additional attachments should your alignment issue be a little more complex!

Smart, effective design

SureSmile® Aligners are made from a premium plastic material that makes them virtually invisible! Your aligners are only compatible with the most modern computer-aided design and manufacturing software so that you can be confident you’re getting highly accurate, effective, and comfortable treatment.

Monsters under the bed, a dark bedroom, clowns…and the dentist? Believe it or not, dentist fear and anxiety is a common problem, with almost 20% of school age children suffering from it. In many instances, these challenges can prevent children from getting the dental care they need to maintain clean, healthy, and beautiful smiles. But fear not! We have a few suggestions to make those early dental visits easier for you and your child.

What Can Parents and their Dentist Do to Help?

Parents play an important role in making their child's first dental office visit a positive experience. Here are a few tips for parents to help the dental visit go more smoothly:

Before the Visit:

  • Tell your child in advance that they have a dental visit. Children need predictability in their life in order to better handle unfamiliar situations.
  • Answer their questions with straightforward, simple responses. Try to limit the amount of details given and remind them they can ask the dentist questions, too.
  • Communicate and educate. Talk to them about the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Explain that the dentist is a friendly doctor who helps keep their mouth safe and healthy.
  • Tell your dentist beforehand. Making your dentist aware of your child’s dental anxiety ahead of time will help them be prepared for the visit, too.

Don’t have perfect teeth? You’re definitely not alone! Whether it’s a chipped tooth, discoloration, misalignment, or gaps, there are treatment options for a variety of cosmetic dental concerns. Two popular choices are dental bonding and porcelain veneers. While they treat similar cosmetic issues, there are a few distinct differences between veneers and bonding.

If you’re considering either of these options, it can be helpful to know more about these treatments and see how they compare.

What cosmetic issues do they address?

Both procedures can address many of the same cosmetic issues. However, veneers may be a better option for improving more pronounced concerns, like discoloration, irregularly shaped teeth, and gaps. Dentists often recommend veneers when multiple teeth are affected. Bonding, on the other hand, is most typically used for smaller changes that don’t require covering the entire tooth, like a chipped or cracked tooth. 

Do you ever wake up from a night's sleep with a sore jaw? Or do you suffer from chronic headaches or earaches? Are you noticing a few broken or cracked teeth in your smile? If you answered “yes’ to any of these questions, you might be grinding your teeth.

Teeth grinding is exactly what it sounds like: you either clench, grate, or grind your teeth together—often at night without being aware that you’re doing it. The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism, and over time it can lead to an array of dental and medical issues including premature loss of enamel, fractured teeth, receding gums, jaw pain, and migraine headaches.

Because most people are unaware they’re grinding their teeth and clenching their jaw at night, the safest and most effective way to ensure teeth are protected is to wear a night guard while you sleep. If you’re wondering if a night guard might be right for you, let’s talk about the reasons for using them, the different types, and their benefits.

Who Needs Night Guards

Because you could be unaware of bruxism until obvious complications develop, it's important to know the signs and symptoms and to seek regular dental care. Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include: