We know you care about your children’s teeth and want to make sure they have a good experience with the dentist. In fact, that’s what we want, too! Positive dental experiences can help ensure your child embraces a lifetime of good oral health habits. Let’s have a look at some of the top questions many of our patients have about our pediatric dentist services.

1. At what age should my child first visit a dentist?

Pediatric dentistry focuses on children from young toddlers into their late teens and early adulthood. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears and certainly by their first birthday.

2. How important are baby teeth?

Your child’s first teeth are very important. They help as your child graduates to chewing solid foods and supports good nutrition, they aid your child as he or she learns to speak clearly, and they pave the way for the permanent teeth that will follow.

3. give_kids_a_smile_boulder_dental_paul_sicaHow often should my child visit the pediatric dentist?

Just like adults, children should have a dental checkup every six months for a cleaning to prevent cavities. In early childhood, these regular visits also help to make your child feel comfortable about visiting the dentist and start good oral hygiene habits.

4. When should we start using toothpaste?

As soon as the first tooth arrives, it’s time to introduce toothpaste. Just a small smear of toothpaste is sufficient for children under two years old. From 2-5 years old, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used. Follow the instructions, be sure your child doesn’t swallow excess toothpaste, and use a soft child-sized toothbrush. Again, in the beginning, it’s all about the learning and practice of cleaning the teeth for children.

5. How can I help my child avoid tooth decay?

For very young children, use only breast milk or formula in a baby bottle, never juice or any sweetened drinks. If a child goes to bed with a bottle, be sure it only contains water. As children sleep, saliva is reduced, and its self-cleaning action is lessened. Help your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday and never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey. Just like your own dental care, healthy snacks, and limited sweets are important for good health.

6. Should I consider sealants for my child’s teeth?

Dental sealants are a great, easy, and safe way to help children stay cavity-free. They are painless and quick to apply, and provide a clear coat onto the surface of teeth that can be hard to clean. Best of all, sealants can protect a child’s teeth for years.

7kids-fluoride-use-boulder-coHow can I ensure my child gets enough fluoride?

Fluoride is an important part of dental health care. The primary source of an appropriate level of fluoride is drinking water. For many health reasons, it’s important that you and your child make a regular habit of choosing drinking water over sodas or other drinks. Regular use of fluoride toothpaste also provides adequate coverage and protection for the surface of teeth.

8. What kind of protection should my child use during sports?

It’s great for kids to become active and want to participate in organized sports. You will want to consider a soft, plastic mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth, cheeks, and gums. Custom-fitted mouthguards provide good protection as they are purpose-made for your child’s individual mouth and bite.

9. Should I be concerned about dental X-rays?

New, digital X-ray technology is now in use in progressive pediatric and family dentistry practices. This technology not only provides excellent detail for your dentist to understand and identify any problems with the mouth or teeth, but the process is now quicker and exposes patients to up 85% less radiation than traditional film X-ray technology. You should not have a concern about utilizing this great diagnostic asset in you, or your child’s, dental care.

10. What should I look for in a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists have received additional professional training for babies, children, teenagers, and children with special needs. First and foremost, make sure your dentist is a qualified pediatric dentist that can provide this expert-level of care. Dental practices that are family friendly and offer a comforting environment are important to put your child – and you – at ease. Finally, a pediatric dentist who will explain the process of a dental visit and what procedures to expect help to ensure your child has a positive experience, one that they will want to repeat.

North Boulder Dental Group offers professional, qualified pediatric dental care and we’re here to answer any other questions you might have. If you are looking for a dentist for yourself and your family, we’re confident you will be pleased with your experience at our practice. Learn more about our family of dentists or contact us to set up an appointment for you or your child.

Fluoride is a natural compound from the element fluorine, which is abundant in the earth. This compound is found in the rocks and soil and, as water passes over it, the compound dissolves to add varying amounts of fluoride concentration in all water sources. The use of fluoride is an essential part of modern-day dentistry. Let’s explore a few of the myths and facts about the use of fluoride.

Myth: Regular brushing will stop tooth decay.

toothpaste-toothbrushFact: While brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist are critical to preventing tooth decay, fluoride can provide additional benefit.

Dental decay occurs from plaque, a deposit of bacteria that forms on the teeth. This bacterium combines with the sugars and carbohydrates you eat to form an acid. It is this acid that can attack and break down the enamel on teeth and causes a cavity to form. Fluoride reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce acid and can also improve the tooth enamel to resist acid. Fluoride is a vital part in fighting tooth decay.

Myth: Fluoride doesn’t really help end tooth decay.

Fact: Fluoride stops mineral loss in tooth enamel, helps rebuild weak tooth enamel, and minimizes the ability of bacteria to make acid that results in decay.

Fluoride in toothpaste, mouthwash or from dental treatments helps protect teeth. Also, water fluoridation (the addition of optimal levels of fluoride to public drinking water) has also played a significant role in improving dental health by reducing tooth decay.

Fluoride is naturally occurring in all drinking water and water that has fluoride added brings the fluoride to an optimal level. Water fluoridation is one of the most widely researched public health measures in history and it, alone, has been found to reduce dental decay by 20-40%.

Myth: A lot of fluoride must be good for my teeth.

Fact: As with most minerals, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Too much exposure to fluoride can cause fluorosis, which stains the teeth, and can cause bones to become brittle over time. While fluoride has been proven to make teeth more resistant to bacteria and resulting cavities, it’s important to use the correct amount.

Water fluoridation is carefully monitored to ensure the optimal amount of fluoride exists in the water supply. Patients should also do their part and follow the instructions on fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, using only the recommended amount and avoiding swallowing these cleaning agents.

Myth: Fluoride is unsafe for children.

kids-fluoride-use-boulder-coFact: It is critical for young children to strengthen their growing teeth with the optimal exposure to fluoride.

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes fluoride use will prevent and control cavities and is safe and effective. Likewise, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends fluoride supplements if there is no access to fluoridated water. Fluoride will help children have stronger and more decay-resistant teeth over their lifetime. Parents should consider fluoride treatments from the dentist and use fluoride toothpaste per the instructions.

Myth: Fluoride treatments at the dentist don’t really help.

Fact: Dental fluoride treatments have helped protect the oral health of children and adults patients for decades.

The professional fluoride treatment available from the dentist is an excellent preventative measure, especially for patients who are at a higher risk of developing cavities. While fluoride prevents tooth decay, it also can reverse early decay from plaque bacteria. Dental treatments are an easy, fast, and effective way to keep everyone’s teeth healthy and strong.

If you have other questions about fluoride and fluoride treatments, talk to your dentist for more information. To book your next checkup and stay on the road to good oral health, contact us at (303) 447-1042.

According to the American Dental Association, over 175 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and the average adult (aged 20-64) has three or more missing or decaying teeth. Missing teeth can affect how to chew, cause other teeth to shift, and impair speech. Luckily, there are options available to restore missing teeth and improve confidence.

What is a Dental Bridge?

boulder-dental-bridgesGenerally speaking, a dental bridge uses an artificial tooth to fill a gap in the mouth. A relatively easy way to replace a missing tooth or teeth, a dental bridge is anchored to adjacent teeth with crowns on either side of the gap.

Replacement teeth used in a dental bridge are often made from porcelain for both aesthetic and durability considerations but can also be made from gold or alloys.

Most dental bridges are permanently fixed to give them more stability and a life-like feel; however, some patients benefit from a removable bridge (also known as a partial denture). Removable dental bridges are custom-made to match natural teeth and have a gum-colored plastic base.

Dental Bridge Types

There are four types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional dental bridges are a common bridge where the teeth on either side of the empty space are prepared for dental crowns, and a false tooth or teeth are placed as to “bridge” the gap between the existing teeth.
  • Cantilever bridges are needed when there are adjacent teeth only on one side of the missing tooth or teeth or when the space from the missing tooth is small.
  • Maryland bonded bridges use metal or porcelain ‘wings’ on either side of the bridge and is bonded to existing teeth. This dental bridge option is often used to replace missing front teeth.
  • Implant supported bridges are needed when there are no adjacent teeth on either side to serve as an anchor for the dental bridge. Implants help simulate roots of the teeth to maintain the integrity of the jawbone and provide further support.

Dental Bridge Cost

Several factors assist in determining the cost of dental bridges. Considerations include whether additional procedures are required (e.g. fillings) to any of the adjacent teeth, what materials are used in creating the dental bridge, preparation in the procedure, and dental insurance coverage.

In general, patients can expect to pay from $600 to $1500 per tooth for a dental bridge. With proper care, patients can expect a dental bridge to last for up to ten years.

Is a Dental Bridge for You?

dental bridge boulderAlmost anyone missing one to three consecutive teeth is a good candidate for a dental bridge. As an affordable, low-risk treatment for missing teeth, a dental bridge is certainly worth considering to improve dental functionality and oral health.

There are many benefits of a dental bridge: a restored smile and improved face shape, the ability to properly chew and clearly speak, correct distribution of force when you chew, and to stop other teeth from shifting out of position to fill gaps from missing teeth.

Areas of slight risk that should be discussed with the dentist include if a dental bridge will weaken surrounding teeth, whether jawbone degeneration is an issue, and any recovery time needed or post-procedure sensitivity that may be experienced. Another important consideration, to ensure the stability and longevity of the dental bridge, is proper care and wellness to ensure overall health.

Are you interested in learning more about dental bridge options? Please contact us to set up an appointment!