Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Children?

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Children?

Nowadays we are much more aware of the effects of chemicals and radiation on our bodies, we can have some warranted skepticism about the way we expose ourselves to these things, and the hazards to which we expose our kids. X-rays are one of these things that may cause concern. Are dental x-rays safe for children? Here’s what you should know:

Radiation

X-rays are a form of radiation that is passed through the body in order to create an image of the bones. When x-ray technology was first discovered, the level of radiation used was high, and in some cases toxic.

That is not the case today. The level of radiation in dental x-rays is low enough to be considered very safe, and is, in fact, comparable to the level of environmental radiation that we are exposed to on an everyday basis. Even though dental x-rays occur near the brain, they don’t put your children at increased danger.

Dental issues

The risk of x-rays is not only mitigated by the fact that they’re no more significant than the radiation in our environment, it’s overwhelmingly overruled but the risk incurred by not getting dental x-rays. Teeth are the only exposed bone surfaces in the human body, and as such, they are very susceptible to damage and very important to protect.

Adults suffer tooth decay and cavities, and children are even more susceptible to these issues since they are less skilled in taking care of their dental hygiene and often actively avoid brushing and flossing their teeth. They also might not notice when something is wrong with their teeth. For these reasons, it’s absolutely crucial children get dental x-rays on a regular schedule, along with dental cleanings.

Is it time your kids got their x-rays or six-month checkup? Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry!

Could Your Bad Breath Be a Sign of Something Worse?

Could Your Bad Breath Be a Sign of Something Worse?

Bad breath is in and of itself a problem: it’s unpleasant, unattractive, and can affect your interactions with others. But sometimes bad breath is more than a sign of bad hygiene, it’s a symptom of an underlying problem or health condition.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a few different things. It can be caused by something as harmless as foods with strong odors, like garlic or onion, or food being trapped between teeth that need to be brushed or flossed out. But it can have some more sinister causes, including tooth decay or gum disease. Using alcohol-based mouthwashes can also exacerbate bad breath. Even though they claim to freshen your breath, the alcohol dries out the mouth, which can make your breath smell even worse.

Other medical problems can cause bad breath as well, particularly those that involve digestion, stomach, or liver issues. Dry mouth due to dehydration, mouth breathing, or medicinal side effects can cause bad breath, as can infections such as strep throat, tonsillitis, and sinusitis.

How do you find out what’s causing bad breath?

First, make sure you’re dental hygiene habits are up to snuff. Bad breath isn’t always a sign of a deeper medical issue, so before you panic, make sure that you’re brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing every day to get out the tricky bits of food, and that you brush your tongue when brushing your teeth—food particles and residue can get stuck on your tongue, too. Also, consider what you eat. If you eat a lot of stinky foods, cut back for a time to see if that makes a difference in your halitosis.

If your dental hygiene is amazing and you still have bad breath, then it’s time to see a dentist. Your dentist can confirm that your oral care routine is working (and if it’s not, can help you fix it) and determine whether the issue is caused by something else. If it’s an issue of gum disease, dry mouth, or tooth decay, that’s something your dentist can catch and treat. For other issues, they will be able to recommend that you see a doctor who can thoroughly diagnose your issue.

Is it time you found a solution to your bad breath? Whether it’s from dry mouth, diet, or something more serious, we can help! Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry.

How to Take Care of Your Oral Health During Pregnancy

How to Take Care of Your Oral Health During Pregnancy

While your oral health is always important, just like other aspects of your health, it’s particularly important during pregnancy. There are myriad dental concerns that can arise with pregnancy that you should be aware of before and during pregnancy.

Gum Disease

New research suggests that women with gum disease who become pregnant are at a higher risk for having premature babies who are at a low birth weight. This might occur because gum disease causes increased levels of the fluids that induce labor. While this hasn’t been definitively proven, you should keep gum disease in check by practicing good dental hygiene and having regular dental checkups.

Morning Sickness

Vomiting from morning sickness can have more than just an effect on your stomach and your appetite. The stomach acid and bile in sick can erode the enamel of your teeth. After episodes of morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water and either brush your teeth or use a mouthwash with fluoride to cut acid levels and fortify your teeth.

Dry Mouth

Many pregnant women experience dry mouth, which can put them at risk for tooth decay and infection (not to mention bad breath!). Staying hydrated with water and chewing sugarless gum can help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth, but if it gets too severe or uncomfortable, your dentist can help find a mouthwash or other solution.

Red or Bleeding Gums—”Pregnancy Gingivitis”

Many pregnant women also find that their gums appear more red than normal or bleed very easily during tooth brushing; some even have severe gum swelling and bleeding. All of these symptoms are signs of “pregnancy gingivitis,” a common experience beginning as early as the second month of pregnancy. These symptoms occur due to the increase in estrogen and progesterone, which enhance the gums’ reaction to irritation. Good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily are the best ways to handle these symptoms.

 

If you have concerns about your dental health at any point in your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to see a dentist. Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry!

Tooth Sensitivity or Cavity?

Tooth Sensitivity or Cavity?

Tooth pain can be frustrating—and just downright painful—and can affect your oral and physical health, as well as your ability to eat your favorite foods. In order to do anything about your tooth pain, you have to figure out what’s causing it. Two of the most common causes of tooth pain, cavities and sensitivity, can be easy to confuse. Here’s how to tell whether you’re suffering from a cavity or sensitive teeth.

Cavities

Cavities are permanent damage to the tooth in the form of tiny holes. Without treatment, they can get larger and even lead to infection or tooth loss. Only a dentist will be able to fix a cavity, which will often require a filling.

Symptoms

  • Obvious holes or pits in tooth
  • White, black, or brown stains on tooth surface
  • Pain when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sugary foods
  • Pain when biting
  • Pain occurring spontaneously

Causes

  • Poor brushing habits/not cleaning teeth well enough
  • Consuming lots of sugary drinks and treats
  • Not getting enough fluoride
  • Frequent snacking

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is an issue that affects many people, and it occurs when the tooth material, dentin, loses its protective enamel and is exposed, causing the nerve endings in the tooth to be exposed. There are toothpaste, mouthwash, and other over-the-counter products that can help treat sensitivity, but severe cases may call for a trip to your dentist.

Symptoms

  • Pain when brushing teeth
  • Pain when eating hot or cold foods/drinks
  • Pain when eating sweet foods/drinks

Causes

  • Overbrushing
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth grinding
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth erosion/enamel loss

If you have issues with tooth sensitivity or cavities, seeing a dentist is the best way to find a solution. Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry!

How to Recover from Oral Surgery

How to Recover from Oral Surgery

If you’re facing an upcoming oral surgery, whether you’re just getting a filling or getting your wisdom teeth removed, you might wonder what to do to speed up your recovery and protect your mouth while it heals. Here are our tips for recovering from oral surgery:

Take your Prescribed Antibiotics

If your oral surgeon prescribed antibiotics for after your surgery, it’s crucial that you take them as directed. If you don’t, you could get an infection, which could delay your healing time and cause other major health problems.

Avoid Hard/Crunchy Foods

This might seem obvious, but hard or crunchy foods could hurt your recovering mouth. Stick with things that are liquid, like soup or milkshakes, or soft, like mashed potatoes, bananas, and applesauce, until you’re sure you’re healed.

Follow Care Instructions

If your oral surgeon says to change your gauze every X hours or to use a special mouthwash or anything else, you should do it. Your surgeon knows what is necessary to prevent infection and encourage speedy healing, and following their directions will get you healing faster.

Don’t Use Straws

This advice is particularly important if you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed or another tooth pulled, but using a straw can cause dry sockets, a painful condition that can also delay healing or lead to nerve damage.

Avoid Chewy Foods

Anything that requires a lot of chewing (steak, salad, etc.) is going to put stress on your mouth and should be avoided while you’re recovering from an oral surgery. Foods that stick to your teeth, candies, marshmallows, and gum, for example, should also be avoided, as they can stick around and cause decay.

Don’t Neglect your Oral Hygiene

You should always be diligent about brushing and flossing, but don’t let your oral hygiene slack because you’re not feeling well. Keeping your teeth clean is crucial for oral health and the best way to avoid needing another oral surgery.

Whether you’re having a tooth pulled, your wisdom teeth removed, or a cavity filled, Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry can help you. Set up an appointment today!