Tips to Comfort Your Teething Baby

Even babies whose teeth have not yet come in can be susceptible to gum and teeth problems. But when teething does start, you’ll need to be ready. Your Charleston, West Virginia dentist wants you to know that there are safe ways to comfort your teething baby. The crying and discomfort of teething can be eased with a few simple, dentist-approved tips.

How to Know When Teething Starts

There are some common signs you can learn to recognize to know when teething starts. They are:

  • Inconsolable crying or fidgeting
  • Bottle or nipple refusal
  • Drooling
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Unusual sucking/chewing motions
  • Low-grade fever
  • White spots on gums

If your baby exhibits two or more of these symptoms, it’s possible that teething has started. Consult with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist to be sure.

Tips to Comfort Your Teething Baby

Following are the best tips that will help comfort your baby without jeopardizing their oral health.

Massage gums with warm fingers

Warm your clean index finger in a cup of warm water. Then gently massage the gums with a small bit of pressure. Don’t be surprised if baby falls asleep while you’re doing this!

Use a cold washcloth

An icy cold washcloth can help to numb the discomfort of teething. In Charleston, dentists recommend chilling a clean washcloth in the freezer for several minutes until it’s slightly frozen. Let your baby chew on the cloth under your watchful eyes.

Chill fruit snacks

If your baby is old enough to nibble on fruit, trying chilling it before you give to your baby. You can chill mashed mango or mashed bananas, as well as other fruits.

Massage cheeks

Try gently massaging the outside of your baby’s cheek with circular motions. The soothing sensation will feel good and help distract from the discomfort.

Chill pacifier

If your baby uses a pacifier, keep a spare one in the refrigerator. The cold may help soothe aching gums. When one has come down to room temperature, replace it with a freshly chilled one.

Monitor temperature

Even though it’s natural for teething babies to have a low-grade fever, that doesn’t mean you should let the fever run rampant. If it climbs higher than about 99 degrees, consult with your dentist about getting teething medication.

These tips will help you and your baby get through the teething process as smoothly as possible. When you’re ready to bring your baby in to see your Charleston dentist, contact us to book your appointment!

Easy Ways to Keep Gums Healthy

Your Charleston dentist wants you to know that oral health can be achieved with consistent habits and proper, routine dental care. The foundation to healthy teeth and a beautiful smile is healthy gums. Here are the easiest ways to keep gums healthy for a lifetime.

Floss Regularly

Every time you eat, tiny bits of food get trapped in between teeth and at the gumline. Regular brushing and rinsing can help, but often, there are still bits of food that can’t be reached. Regular flossing ensures that you remove these tiny bits of food so that bacteria doesn’t buildup and destroy your oral health.

Get Professional Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings go beyond brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Your dental hygienist not only cleans above and below the gum line; they also look for signs that can lead to gum disease. That way, preventative treatments can be done to help protect your teeth. Dentists recommend cleanings at least every six months.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of teeth and gum disease. Even though it may be hard to believe that smoke can cause gum problems, it most certainly does. One reason is that smoking lowers your immune system so that your gums have a harder time fighting off harmful bacteria. Try to quit smoking using ideas your doctor recommends, such as nicotine patches.

Don’t Drink From the Mouthwash Bottle

Many people, especially single folks, assume that it’s okay to drink from the mouthwash bottle since they are the only ones in the household. However, bacteria from your mouth can get into the bottle when you drink from it, thereby rendering the sterilized mouthwash contaminated with bacteria. Instead, use disposable paper cups and use them each time you use your mouthwash.

Use Therapeutic Mouthwash

Everyone wants to have fresh breath, but some of the nice-smelling mouthwashes don’t offer germ-killing benefits. Make sure you choose a therapeutic mouthwash that’s recommended by your dentist. Many of them now come in refreshing flavors that also leave your breath smelling nice.

Contact your Charleston dentist whenever you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums. And remember, regular dentist appointments are your best defense against gum disease.

 

Treatments For Swollen Gums

An important part of your oral health, swollen gums can make life miserable. Sensitive and painful, they are prone to bleeding when you are brushing or flossing, creating even more problems. Caused most often by such things as gingivitis, malnutrition, infections caused by such problems as tooth decay or herpes, and even pregnancy, it is crucial you address the problem as soon as possible. As for the most common ways swollen gums are treated, there are various medical and home treatment options.

Diagnosing the Problem

If your gums remain swollen for at least two weeks, see your dentist. Along with taking dental x-rays and asking you various health-related questions, your dentist may also order blood tests to determine if you have an infection. If you are pregnant or have had recent dietary changes, be sure to mention this during your visit.

Medical Treatments

If your swollen gums present a serious problem, certain medical treatments may be necessary. While it may be as simple as your dentist prescribing oral rinses and special types of toothpaste, you may also need antibiotics if an infection is present. Should your condition be severe due to gingivitis, surgical procedures such as scaling and root planing may be needed. When this is done, your dentist will scrape away tartar, plaque, and diseased gum tissue from the roots of your teeth, thus letting the remaining healthy gums begin to heal.

Home Treatments

If you have a milder case of swollen gums or have to wait a few days to see your dentist, there are numerous home treatments you can use that are helpful. To begin with, avoid irritants such as alcohol, tobacco, and strong mouthwashes. For many people, rinsing their mouths with a saltwater solution brings relief, while at the same time ridding their mouths of bacteria. Also, you may want to place a warm compress on your face, since this will ease the pain. If you need to decrease swelling, try a cold compress. Finally, drinking plenty of water can stimulate saliva production and reduce bacteria, while brushing and flossing gently can also help.

Since your gums are so important to your oral and overall health, contact your dentist as soon as possible should you have concerns about how to proceed.

 

Why do My Teeth Have Ridges?

You might be concerned about the ridges that form on the edge of your teeth. This condition, known as a mamelon tooth, usually appear as three small but prominent ridges or protuberances on central and lateral incisors, creating a scalloped or even wavy edge to the tooth similar to a serrated knife. The word mamelon is of French derivation,” describing their small, bumpy appearance. Mamelons are made up of enamel, just like the rest of your tooth’s coating. Mamelons don’t have any health implications or other importance, but many people find them visually unappealing. Most dentists believe that the main reason for mamelons is to help new permanent teeth break through the gums. However, there is no critical importance for them once a child’s full set of permanent teeth come in.

How are Ridges Formed?

Mamelons are found most frequently on children as their permanent teeth grow in, but they do get worn out over time which is why they are less frequently seen on adult teeth. They may start as very distinctive, larger bumps, and then lessen to a mild wavy texture over time. Occasionally, mamelons can also be found on children’s baby teeth. While mamelons usually get worn down naturally through typical everyday biting, chewing, and coming into contact between your upper and lower incisors, sometimes mamelons do not get eroded on their own and you may choose to see a dentist to smooth out the mamelon ridges if you find them unsightly. Adults may also find that their mamelons have not worn away if they have an open bite, where their front top and front bottom teeth do not come into contact, or if they have other jaw misalignment issues.

How to Fix Ridged Teeth

A simple dentist appointment is a typical path to remove mamelons if you don’t like the look of ridges on your teeth. Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss whether tooth reshaping, contouring, or shaving might be possible for you. Smoothing down mamelons is quick and non-invasive. It’s considered a basic dental procedure that doesn’t impact nerve endings or causes any excess discomfort. Book an appointment with your dentist now if you have ridges on your teeth that you would like to have removed.

 

Help! My Teeth Are Moving! Find Out Why

Even though most people expect that their smile will always be the same, the teeth can actually shift places in the gums and jawline. When this starts to happen, it can be rather alarming to see, especially if the shifts are leaving gaps or misalignment. Here is a look at some of the common reasons teeth can shift from their usual position.

The issue may be due to changes in the mandible.

The mandible is the lower jaw bone, and it does have the potential to both grow and shrink over the years, even in older adults. These changes can cause your teeth to appear as if they have shifted, but the change will be a very gradual thing. For example, if you notice that the teeth on your lower jaw are getting more crowded than they have ever been, this could be a sign that the width of your lower jaw is changing.

You could be grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Bruxism is the medical term given to teeth grinding, and a lot of people do this without even realizing that they are. One of the unfortunate side effects of tooth grinding is the undue stress on the teeth can cause them to shift and move. If you feel like you have sore jaws in the morning or notice your teeth seem to be moving, talk to your dentist to determine if teeth grinding could be to blame.

You may have issues with bone loss.

Bone loss is actually bone breaking down and becoming less dense, and your jawbones can be affected. If your jaws are suffering from bone loss, it can definitely cause the teeth to shift and move. You may notice that your teeth seem to have sunken downward or tilted back. Even though bone loss can be age-related, it can also be related to certain medical conditions.

Get More Information About Tooth Shifting

It is never a good thing to see your teeth shifting positions in your mouth, and professional attention to the matter is always best. If you have started to notice changes in your teeth and where they are positioned in your mouth, contact us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta DDS.

Home Remedies for Dental Pain That Actually Help

Most people claim that toothache pain is one of the most intense pains ever, and it really can be. When the enamel breaks down on a tooth, it exposes the sensitive nerves in the soft tissue, and the pain can be quite severe. If you have to wait to see a dentist, you will be willing to try a lot of things to help thwart the throbbing toothache. Here are a few safe home remedies that may actually help.

Rinse Your Mouth in Warm Salt Water

Saltwater has the ability to calm inflammation and has healing properties for wounds in the mouth. Therefore, rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can actually help with a toothache. The salt also acts as a natural disinfectant and will loosen debris that may be stuck in your teeth that is causing irritation. Simply mix a 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a warm glass of water and stir before using the solution to swish around your mouth.

Apply Garlic Paste to the Aching Area

Garlic has been recognized for all kinds of amazing therapeutic reasons, but it can do something that a lot of people do not know about: it can act as a pain-relieving agent. Simply peel one clove of garlic and crush it. Work with the crushed garlic until you have what resembles a bumpy paste and then apply it to the area causing the pain. You can add a tiny bit of salt to further help with inflammation.

Dab the Area with Natural Vanilla Extract

Alcohol can help numb pain, and vanilla extract does contain a small percentage of alcohol. Plus, natural vanilla extract can help heal wounds because it boasts antioxidant properties, so if an abrasion is causing pain the extract may help. Simply use a cotton swab or cotton ball to dab the area that’s hurting with the extract and repeat as often as you need to.

Toothaches are never something easy to deal with, and there are effective ways to relieve some of the pain, but it is a must that you seek professional attention from a dentist as soon as possible. Reach out to the office of Michael J. Tupta DDS in Charleston so we can help you.

The Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that contains the key element fluorine. It is widely used throughout the world as an additive for drinking water because it is known to promote healthier teeth and gums. Namely, fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and subsequent cavities.

Why do we need fluoride?

Fluoride is necessary for your teeth because it helps you combat cavities. It does this by working with the phosphate and calcium already present in your teeth. Together, these three elements fight against the harmful acids that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities in your mouth.

How can you get more fluoride in your diet?

Many communities and countries throughout the world fortify their public drinking water with fluoride. This does not change the taste of the water and is considered safe. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the practice of fluoridation as completely safe and healthy.

If your community does not fortify their water with fluoride, however, certain over-the-counter dental products can help you get the fluoride you need. For example, fluoride-fortified toothpastes and rinses are widely available.

Finally, you might consider a fluoride treatment. Most dental offices offer these treatments, which are often recommended for children and teens but can also be provided to adults.

What is fluoride treatment?

Fluoride treatments are typical procedures performed in dental offices by hygienists. Generally speaking, the fluoride is applied to the teeth by way of a foam, gel, or varnish. Depending on the product, the fluoride may be painted on the teeth or applied with a mouth guard. After a specified amount of time, the fluoride is then removed and rinsed.

Are you a good candidate for a fluoride treatment?

Not everyone needs fluoride treatments, but your dentist may recommend them for children and teens or some adults who struggle with tooth decay and cavities.

If you are interested in strengthening your tooth enamel with a fluoride treatment or need to book a regular teeth cleaning, you can request an appointment at today by filling out our online appointment request form or calling our office directly at (304) 744-4150.

Exploring Why Regular Dental Checkups are So Important

Only with routine professional dental checkups and care can you fully preserve the health of your teeth and gums. During each checkup appointment, your dentist will perform a full examination to assess your dental health, and then offer preventative and restorative care based on the exam findings. When you commit to coming in for a dental checkup on a regular basis, you will enjoy the following benefits.

Preventative Care Keeps Teeth and Gums Healthy

Preventative dental care helps keep your teeth and gums healthy year after year. At every dental care appointment, your dentist will likely perform a full teeth cleaning to remove plaque both above and below the gumline. The tooth cleaning process helps to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other potentially painful dental problems.

Early Treatment Helps Limit Tooth Loss and Complications

When you are visiting your dentist on a regular basis, not much time goes by between examinations, allowing for the early diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. When you have these problems treated right away, you reduce the risk of tooth loss and other complications. With early diagnosis, you can reduce the risk of emergency dental problems and select the level of care that feels best for your needs.

Ongoing Support Helps Optimize Effectiveness of At Home Dental Care Routine

With ongoing support from your dental care team, you can improve your at home care practices using their demonstrated techniques. Dental professionals strive to help their patients learn all they can about effectively removing plaque at and below the gumline. These experts also proudly assist their patients in learning about the most effective tools to use for at home dental care, including electric toothbrushes and water flossers.

Schedule Your Dental Checkup to Learn More

To improve your dental health, you can partner with your trusted dentist to receive the care you need. Your dentist will help improve the appearance, function and overall health of your teeth and gums with proven care techniques. To schedule your dental checkup appointment, give our team a call at 304-744-4150.