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Dalin Dental Blog

August 16, 2014

How often should I brush my teeth? Why?

general dentistryTooth brushing is one of the first lessons of personal care that we learn as children – for many of us, brushing our teeth is one of the first “health habits” that we are taught in life.

Brushing your teeth is the simplest and most cost-effective way to preserve your oral health and to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. But it has to become a habit – it has to be something that you do every single day, whether you “feel like it” or not.

It’s interesting how often adults allow their tooth brushing to lapse. Or they might forget about the proper brushing technique, or how often to brush.

Do you know how often you’re supposed to brush your teeth? Let’s take a pop quiz:

People should brush their teeth….

  1. At least once a week
  2. Every day – in the morning
  3. Every day – at night
  4. Every day, but only after lunch
  5. Every day – twice a day – at night and in the morning

The answer is… e!

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people brush their teeth twice every day – once at night before going to bed, and once in the morning. Brushing your teeth at night helps to remove bacteria and keeps your mouth clean while you sleep. Brushing your teeth in the morning helps freshen your breath and  removes any bacteria that built up during the long night of sleep.

But what if you only have time to brush your teeth once a day, or what if you forget?

In that case – and again, you should always try to brush twice each day – it’s most important to brush at night before going to bed. The reason? During the eight (or so) hours that you are asleep, the bacteria in your mouth have an entire night to themselves. This makes it especially important to brush your teeth before going to sleep.

For example, if you drink a can of soda or eat something sugary right before bed, and then go to sleep without brushing your teeth, you are basically allowing the bacteria on your teeth to have a party all night without supervision!

But by brushing your teeth at night, you are getting a head start on the constant battle that goes on inside your mouth every night. You are beating back the bacteria and preventing them from damaging your teeth and gums. (Okay, maybe it’s not always quite as dramatic as that – but you get the picture, right?)

Bonus tip:

In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, the ADA recommends that you floss once a day as well. Flossing is important because it allows you to clean in between your teeth – removing bacteria and plaque, and keeping your gums healthy. Flossing helps keep your gums in shape – if you don’t floss often enough, your gums might bleed, which, if you’re not careful, can be a sign of possible gum disease and infections.

July 16, 2014

What are veneers? Do I need them?

beautiful smileIf you have a damaged, discolored or unsightly tooth, you might consider improving your teeth’s appearance by using dental veneers.

Veneers are basically an extra layer of tooth-like material that is placed over the surface of a tooth in order to improve the tooth’s appearance or to protect the tooth. Veneers are made from either dental porcelain or composite resin and are fixed to the surface of the teeth using strong adhesive cement.

Veneers are used for the following reasons:

  • Improve the appearance of teeth. If your teeth are stained, discolored or otherwise not looking their best, veneers might be a good option to quickly improve your smile.
  • Protect damaged teeth from further harm. If your teeth have been damaged or have decayed over time, a veneer might be used to cover up the damaged tooth and keep it safe from further injury. This use of veneers is similar to the use of dental crowns – but for less severe damage and decay; crowns are used to cover an entire tooth, while veneers only cover a tooth’s surface.
  • Create a straighter smile. If your teeth are not properly aligned, it may be possible to use dental veneers to make your teeth appear straighter – without going through the full treatment involved with braces or other orthodontic work. (Note: Veneers are not ideal for all situations where the goal is to straighten teeth. Depending on the degree of re-alignment that is needed, you might not be able to achieve the best results with veneers alone. As always, please talk to your dentist.)
  • Provide uniform size, shape and symmetry. If your teeth are different sizes and shapes, with gaps in the middle – or if you have small teeth with spaces that cannot be easily closed with orthodontic work, veneers might be useful to create a more consistent-looking smile.

If a patient decides to get dental veneers, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind.

Can I afford veneers?

Veneers are not cheap. Depending on the part of the country where you live, dentists might charge $1,000 per tooth (or more). Cosmetic dental procedures like veneers are often not covered under most dental insurance plans, so before you start the procedures, talk to your dentist and make sure you understand your responsibilities and have a sense of what your total out-of-pocket costs will ultimately be.

Do I want porcelain or composite veneers?

Out of the two main types of material used to make veneers, porcelain tends to be more durable and less likely to stain. Composite veneers are usually less expensive.

How long will my veneers last?

Veneers are a long-term investment in the appearance of your teeth. If you take care of them properly, they should last for many years – they are almost as durable as real teeth. If your veneers chip or fracture, they can usually be repaired without having to go to the full expense of replacement.

There have been many exciting advances in recent years in the field of cosmetic dentistry – veneers are one of the most prominent. More than ever before, veneers and other cosmetic dentistry treatments are making it possible for people to repair, enhance, or create an entirely new smile that allows them to present their best face to the world.

June 16, 2014

I have receding gums – what can I do?

Receding gums are one of the most common dental problems – especially after the age of 40. So if your dentist tells you that you have “receding gums,” don’t feel bad – you are not alone!

Thing of receding gums as being similar to having a “receding hairline” – it means that your gums are slipping backward, away from their regular position. (“Receding hairlines” are also more common after the age of 40.) Receding gums are a problem because they result in the nerves of your teeth getting exposed – and this can lead to pain and infection.

Here are several common causes of receding gums, and ideas for what to do about them:

  • Overly aggressive brushing. If you’re one of those people who likes to scrub your teeth really hard, this could be the reason why your gums are retreating. When you brush too hard, it scares away your gumline – and this can lead to the same dental problems that you were trying to avoid by brushing!

What to do: Lighten up. Use a toothbrush with softer bristles. Or buy an electric toothbrush that will provide a steady, consistent brushing motion.

  • Not enough brushing and flossing. The opposite end of the dental care spectrum can also lead to receding gums. If you don’t brush  and floss often enough, bacteria can build up between your teeth, leading to problems with the underlying bone structure of your mouth. 

What do do: Brush, brush, brush – and floss, too. A lot of people neglect to floss because they feel like they don’t have time, or because they don’t know how. You’ve got to discipline yourself to make oral hygiene a regular part of your day. Every night before bed and every morning when you wake up – brush your teeth. Your gums (and your fellow human beings) will appreciate it!

  • Gum disease. Often, receding gums can be a sign of a more serious problem – like gingivitis or other diseases of the gums.

What to do: Make sure to see your dentist regularly – every six months for a checkup. If you’re a regular visitor to your dentist’s office, he/she can help you keep track of the health of your gums, and can help to correct any serious issues. If you do have gum disease, you might need to be referred to a periodontist, a dental professional who specializes in diseases of the gums.

  • Other causes. Do you have braces, or are you undergoing other orthodontic work? This can contribute to receding gums, especially for older adults. Do you have any piercings in the lip or tongue? These piercings can rub against the gums, causing the gums to recede. Do you chew tobacco? This can be harmful to the gums as well.  Finally, receding gums can also be a sign of eating disorder – repeated vomiting can damage the gums and cause them to recede.

What to do: Talk to your dentist if any of these causes sound familiar – receding gums can be caused by a number of complex factors; it’s not always just a matter of changing to a softer toothbrush.

What if none of these solutions work? What else can I do to help solve my problem with receding gums?

If your receding gums are creating severe discomfort and inconvenience in your life, and none of the other solutions seems to help, you might ask your dentist about “gum grafts.”

Gum grafts are a type of surgical treatment for extreme cases of receding gums. In a gum graft surgery, a periodontist takes some tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth and implants it onto the area of the gumline that is receding.

Another treatment that is still being researched is called “Guided Tissue Regeneration,” or GTR. This involves taking some blood cells from the patient and creating a collagen-based membrane which is then placed over the affected area of the gumline. Results from a recent Tufts University study have been promising, but this treatment is not yet widely available.

So if you have receding gums, don’t worry – it’s a common dental problem and there are a number of options for treatment.

May 16, 2014

What are Wisdom teeth?

wisdom teethAs soon you are born, your teeth start coming in. Over time, all of the “baby” teeth arrive, eventually falling out during childhood to be replaced by “permanent” or “adult” teeth.

The last teeth to arrive – the ones that indicate that you are truly “old” and (hopefully) “wise” – are your “Wisdom teeth.”

The Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to appear, and they are placed at the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear when a person is in his/her late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth usually cause problems and need to be removed.

Why are Wisdom teeth such “troublemakers?”

Getting Wisdom teeth removed is a rite of passage – something almost everyone has to go through during the high school years or early adulthood. But why? What is it about Wisdom teeth that make them such “troublemakers?”

For one thing, Wisdom teeth are often misaligned. They tend to come in at odd angles that interfere with the rest of your teeth. If Wisdom teeth come in too close to your other teeth, they can crowd your teeth, causing damage and increasing the risk of tooth decay. Wisdom teeth can also trap plaque and debris, resulting in cavities and infection.

The other kind of complication that is often seen with Wisdom teeth is when the tooth becomes “impacted” – or permanently stuck within the jawbone or soft tissue of the gum line. Impacted Wisdom teeth can lead to infection, tooth decay and gum disease.

What can be done about Wisdom teeth?

Your dentist will monitor the growth and progress of your Wisdom teeth over the years. This is one of the things that dentists watch for on those dental X-rays that they take of your mouth – by keeping an eye on the Wisdom teeth, your dentist will know if the teeth are coming in crooked, if they are impacted, or if they are likely to cause other problems for the rest of your smile.

Often, your dentist will recommend getting your Wisdom teeth removed. It is usually easiest to remove Wisdom teeth before they cause any problems – and it is also easier to remove Wisdom teeth from people while they are young, because the roots of the teeth are not as solidly-entrenched. Wisdom teeth can be removed from older people, but the work to remove the teeth is often more difficult, and it takes longer for the person to heal afterwards.

How are Wisdom teeth removed?

It depends on the positioning of your Wisdom teeth and other factors. Some people are able to have their Wisdom teeth removed by their regular dentist with only some local anesthetic. Other people need to see an oral surgeon for more complex work – especially if their Wisdom teeth are impacted. Sometimes Wisdom teeth can be removed one at a time as they emerge within the mouth; for other patients, it’s best to remove all four Wisdom teeth at once.

Talk to your dentist if you have any concerns or questions. Again, almost everyone has to get their Wisdom teeth removed, and it tends to be a relatively easy experience.

April 16, 2014

What is a dental implant?

Dental ImplantIn the old days, it was common for people to lose their teeth. In fact, many elderly people could expect to lose all their teeth and have to use dentures instead.

Due to the many advances in dental care and oral health over the past 50 years, today it is increasingly rare for people to lose their teeth. But when tooth loss does occur, whether it’s due to injury (a bike accident or car crash) or advanced tooth decay, dental implants are available to replace missing teeth.

Here are some of the reasons why dental implants are such a big improvement over dentures:

  • They look better. Dental implants look almost exactly like real teeth. Your friends and family probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
  • They feel better. Dental implants don’t cause discomfort (whereas dentures tend to pinch the mouth and  cause pain).
  • They’re better for eating. Many patients find that dental implants perform almost the same as the rest of their real teeth – the implants hold up well to the daily work of biting and chewing.
  • No slurring your speech. With dentures, people’s speech tends to be affected – because the dentures tend to slip and move around in their mouth, altering their speech patterns. Dental implants stay securely fitted inside your gums, thus avoiding any interference with your ability to talk.
  • They’re convenient. Remember those TV commercials for denture cleaner that you could leave your teeth in overnight? Dentures require cleaning, maintenance – sometimes they break or get misplaced. None of these issues is a concern when you have dental implants. The dental implants stay in one place – inside your mouth – and you clean them the same way you clean the rest of your teeth.
  • They’re longer-lasting. If well maintained, dental implants can last for many years – often they can last for the rest of your life.
  • They’re better for the rest of your mouth. Dental implants are a good choice because they don’t cause any impact on the rest of your mouth; whereas with bridgework, surrounding teeth have to be filed down in order to create the bridge. Dental implants tend to be better for your overall oral health.
  • They make you feel better about yourself. Dental implants create a more natural-looking smile – no dentures to worry about, no bridgework to explain to others. You can get your teeth fixed and go on with your life.

Here are a few other facts to keep in mind about dental implants:

Dental implants are not for everyone. If you are healthy enough for routine dental work, you will probably be a good candidate for dental implants. People with certain chronic health conditions, heavy smokers and people who have recently received radiation treatment to the head and neck region might not be able to receive dental implants.

Dental implants take awhile to get done. Getting dental implants is a bit of a complicated process. In addition to talking with your regular dentist about the treatment plan, you might need to be referred to an oral surgeon and/or to a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry. You will go through a multi-step process where an implant is affixed into your jaw bone, your jaw is allowed to heal for 6-12 weeks, a small connector piece called an “abutment” is added to the implant in your jawbone, and then the replacement tooth or “crown” is added on top. This process does take some time, but the results will (hopefully) last for the rest of your life.

Dental implants might not be covered by your insurance. Talk with your dentist’s administrative staff to see what options you might have to pay for dental implants. Many dental insurance plans do not cover this type of complex restorative dental work. However, many dentists offer reasonable payment plans – and when you consider that a dental implant is likely to last for the rest of your life, getting it fixed “the right way” is often a good investment.

March 5, 2014

What are the different types of crowns?

Dental crowns are a common dental procedure used to repair a tooth that has decayed or been damaged. There are a number of different types of crowns used for different patients and various situations – talk with your dentist to find out what type of crown is best for your needs.

First, there are two broad categories of crowns: Temporary and Permanent.

Temporary crowns: These crowns are just like their name implies – they’re a short-term fix. Temporary crowns are made in your dentist’s office and are used as a stopgap, so to speak, until a permanent crown is available. Temporary crowns are not meant to be used for longer than 2 or 3 weeks, and they’re not meant to handle the heavy workload of a regular tooth or a permanent crown. So after you receive your temporary crown, your dentist will give you special instructions on what foods to avoid (hard, chewy, sticky – no apples, peanut brittle or chewing gum, please) and how to care for your temporary crown while your permanent crown is being prepared. Temporary crowns are usually made of acrylic or stainless steel.

Permanent crowns: These crowns can be made from a variety of tough, durable materials. They are built to last – a well-made, well-fitted crown can last for up to 15 years. A permanent crown is meant to be an extension of your natural tooth – you can bite, chew and eat just as well (if not better) than you could before the crown was added to your “starting lineup” of teeth.

Permanent crowns are made from the following types of material:

  • All-metal: Metal crowns are usually made from gold alloy, palladium or a base-metal alloy like nickel or chromium.
    • Advantages: One advantage of metal crowns is that less of the original tooth structure needs to be removed, and there tends to be less wear on the opposing teeth that make contact with the crown during chewing and speaking. Metal crowns rarely break and usually last the longest – it takes a long time to wear down a piece of metal.
    • Drawbacks: Metal crowns are clearly visible in the mouth – the metallic color definitely does not look like a natural tooth. If you’re sensitive to appearance, you might prefer to use a metal crown only for molars at the back of your mouth, where no one can see.
    • Porcelain-fused-to-metal: These crowns contain metal, but also have a porcelain veneer that can be made to match the color of your other teeth.
      • Advantages: Natural color and appearance – it looks the most like a “real” tooth and is a good choice for front or back teeth.
      • Drawbacks: More likely to chip or break, tends to cause more wearing-down of the opposing teeth. Sometimes the metal under the porcelain top is visible as a dark line.
      • All-resin: These crowns are made of inexpensive synthetic material called resin – a chemical composite used in dental restorations.
        • Advantages: These crowns are the least expensive.
        • Drawbacks: Sometimes you get what you pay for – all-resin crowns tend to be the most likely to break and wear down over time.
        • All-ceramic or all-porcelain: These crowns are made entirely of ceramic or porcelain material – no metal.
          • Advantages: These crowns offer the best natural color match – if you want the crown to look like a “real” tooth, then this is a good choice – especially for front teeth. The non-metallic crowns are also a good option for people who are allergic to metal.
          • Drawbacks: Not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Also, they tend to wear down other teeth more than the metal or resin crowns.

Talk with your dentist to find out what kind of crown will best fit your needs. You’re going to be living with this crown for several years, so make sure you are comfortable with the crown’s cost, fit, durability and style.

February 5, 2014

What is a crown?

Sometimes during the course of your life, your dentist might tell you that you need a “crown.”

“What is this crazy person talking about?” You might think. “Is there some kind of coronation ceremony going on here?”


A dental crown is basically a solid “cap” that is placed over a tooth – either to repair damage to the tooth or to prevent further tooth decay. Although having a crown is not an ideal situation to be in as a dental patient, it’s a very common dental procedure that is used to help shore up the strength and health of injured and damaged teeth.

Here are some of the common reasons why you might need a crown:

  • If your tooth is broken (from a bike accident or fist fight) or severely worn down (from years of grinding your teeth while you sleep), a crown can be used to restore the tooth, making it possible to eat, sleep and bike again. (But please, no more fist fights!)
  • If your tooth has decayed or cracked, a crown can be used to hold the pieces of the tooth together.
  • If you have a large cavity, a crown can be used to cover the tooth and keep it safe and strong.
  • If you have a dental bridge or dental implant, a crown can be used to hold it securely in place.
  • If you have a misshapen or badly discolored tooth, a crown is used to cover it up.

Getting a crown is nothing to be embarrassed about or afraid of. The crown is going to make it possible for you to resume the normal use of your teeth, without pain or injury.

What happens when you get a dental crown?

Dental crowns are a rather elaborate dental procedure, and they typically require two separate visits to your dentist.

On the first visit, your dentist will examine your tooth that needs the crown. He/she will then anesthetize (numb) the tooth and surrounding gum area, file down the surrounding tooth in order to make room for the crown (and/or build up the tooth with filling as needed), and will then make an “impression” of your tooth to show how it will look after the crown is added. Finally, the dentist will apply a temporary crown to the top of your tooth. Now you’re ready to go home. Since this is only a “temporary” crown, you need to be careful with it – no hard, chewy or sticky foods, and be very careful when brushing and flossing. (Your dentist will give you more detailed instructions on the day of your appointment.)

Then, after you’ve made your appointment for the second visit, the dentist sends the impression of your “to-be-crowned” tooth to a dental laboratory, which manufactures a permanent crown. This is going to be the new little “part of you” that the dentist will add at your second visit.

Finally, when you arrive for your second visit (usually 2-3 weeks after the initial visit), the dentist will cement the permanent crown onto the top of your tooth. You may now resume regular chewing, biting and eating.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Getting a dental crown is meant to be a safe, comfortable procedure that gets your chompers back into chomping form – we dentists call it “the royal treatment.”

January 5, 2014

How do I know if I need regular braces or Invisalign braces?

So you’re trying to decide whether or not to get braces. Perhaps you’ve heard about Invisalign braces and you’re intrigued.

“Wow,” you might be thinking, “It sure would be nice to straighten my teeth without going through the hassle of wearing braces…and they’re invisible, too. So, is Invisalign right for me?”

Here are a few things to consider (and discuss with your dentist or orthodontist) as you make your choice.

  • How old are you? Are you an adult (over age 18)? If not, have you already lost all of your baby teeth? And have your second molars already erupted? (Don’t worry – “erupted molars” are not a bad thing; your dentist will be able to tell you whether or not you qualify.) The reason is – Invisalign can only be used by adults or older teenagers who have lost all their baby teeth and who have erupted second molars. Younger teenagers who do not meet these criteria will have to get traditional braces. (Sorry, kids.)
  • How much orthodontic work do you need? Invisalign cannot do everything that traditional braces can do – only certain kinds of tooth movements can be carried out with Invisalign. If you need more wide-ranging orthodontic work – for example, major tooth movements, or complicated bridge and crown treatment, or if you have certain abnormalities with your jaw and bone structure – then Invisalign might not be the right choice for you. Talk to your dentist and find out if you are a good candidate for Invisalign straightening, or if your orthodontic needs would be better served with braces.
  • How responsible are you? Invisalign can be a great choice and it offers a lot of convenience – but as Spiderman says, “with great power comes great responsibility.” If you have Invisalign aligners, you need to be really careful not to lose them. You need to be responsible enough to make sure that you wear your Invisalign aligners for the full duration of the day – 20-22 hours a day is preferable (removing them only for meals and cleaning). You need to learn how to properly clean and take care of your Invisalign aligners, and follow all of your dental professional’s instructions for completing the treatment. Are you ready for all of this responsibility? (Parents – is your teenager ready for this responsibility?) Traditional braces have their drawbacks, but at least you can’t lose them – they’re stuck right there in your mouth the whole time!
  • How much are you ready to pay? It’s a fact of life that cost is a factor in most people’s decisions about braces. Invisalign treatment tends to be more expensive than traditional braces. (NOTE: Every individual patient’s situation is different, and you should consult your dentist or orthodontist before making a final decision – sometimes Invisalign will be more cost-effective than you might expect. However, it’s fair to say that in general, most patients pay more for Invisalign treatment than they would pay for traditional braces.

Getting braces (or Invisalign) can be a big commitment of time, money and effort. Make sure to think through the various advantages and disadvantages of each course of action, and talk with your dental professional. Hopefully you will find a good solution that will leave you smiling!

December 5, 2013

What are Invisalign Braces?

Adults are one of the fastest growing groups of people undergoing cosmetic dental procedures – and one of the major types of cosmetic dental procedures is the Invisalign system.

Invisalign is a type of dental adjustment system – it works in a similar fashion to traditional braces, but, as the name suggests, Invisalign is practically invisible.

A lot of adults would like to correct some aspect of their teeth in order to have a straighter, more appealing smile – but they don’t want to go through the hassle, awkwardness and discomfort of traditional braces. (After all – once you’re out of high school, it can be a little awkward to be wearing braces.)

Invisalign is one way to solve this conundrum. You can still benefit from getting a straighter “well-adjusted” smile, but without some of the drawbacks that go with traditional metal braces.

Here are some of the benefits of Invisalign:

  • Removable aligners – not “permanent” braces. Instead of traditional metal braces which are fastened to the teeth for years at a time, Invisalign treatment is done with removable, clear “aligners” that are shaped like a mouthguard and fit directly over the teeth.
  • Flexible for a “grown-up’s” lifestyle. When you’re in middle school or high school, you pretty much have to take what your parents give you – if they want you to wear braces, you’re going to wear braces. But once you’re an adult, you need the flexibility that Invisalign offers – you can remove the aligners if you need to. You can still play sports and have an active lifestyle while wearing Invisalign aligners.
  • No more food stuck in your braces. One of the worst parts of having braces, as many mortified teenagers can testify, is the constant “stickiness” of the metal brackets – food tends to get stuck on braces. This is not the case with Invisalign – no food will ever get stuck on your Invisalign aligners, because you remove the aligners before you eat.
  • More comfortable. Invisalign treatment is intended to be more comfortable for your mouth than traditional braces – as your teeth move into place, the Invisalign process is easier on your gums and jaws. Also, since Invisalign aligners do not have brackets or wires, you are likely to have less discomfort than you would with braces. (No more getting stabbed in the mouth with metal protusions and jagged edges!)

Can any dentist prescribe Invisalign?

No – Invisalign has certain special requirements for the dentists and orthodontists who prescribe this form of treatment. Talk to your dentist if you are interested in adjusting your teeth with Invisalign – your dentist or orthodontist needs to be specially trained in how to use Invisalign treatment.

Is Invisalign only for adults?

No – although most of the people who get Invisalign treatment are adults, many teenagers are also able to use this method of teeth alignment. Talk to your dentist – Invisalign patients need to have already lost all of their baby teeth and have their second molars at least partially erupted.

What if I already have braces – can I replace them with Invisalign?

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist – a growing number of patients are receiving a combination of Invisalign treatment and traditional braces, so it is possible to do both. But talk to your dental professional first and see what method will work best for your unique situation.

Invisalign may not be right for everyone – some people need a level of orthodontic work that can only be achieved with braces. However, if you’re interested in the Invisalign method, talk to your dentist. It might be an effective, convenient, and mostly invisible answer to your teeth-straightening needs.

For more information on Invisalign, check out


November 5, 2013

When should I begin taking my child to the dentist?

Being the parent of a small child brings many appointments – well-baby visits, vaccinations, birthday pictures…and visits to the dentist need to be part of your baby’s “appointment schedule” as well.

How soon is “too soon” to take your child to the dentist?

Basically, you should plan to take your child to the dentist as soon as your child gets his/her first tooth. (There’s not much point in going to the dentist if you don’t have any teeth!) Ask your dentist’s staff whether you need a separate appointment for your child – sometimes it’s OK to “piggyback” your child onto your own appointment, but some dentists will prefer to schedule your little one for his own appointment.

Here are a few of the goals to keep in mind for your baby’s first dental visit:

  • Check the tooth (or teeth). Even if your child only has one tooth, your dentist can check to make sure that the tooth is coming in properly.
  • Check the gums. Your dentist will want to check and make sure that your child has healthy gums and that the teeth below the surface are well-aligned.
  • Check overall oral health. Oral health is more than teeth – even for young children. Your dentist will get a sense for your baby’s overall oral health – tongue, gums – making sure that everything looks good and healthy.

Why else should you make sure to schedule a dental visit for your baby?

  • Help your baby feel comfortable at the dentist’s office. For some small children, going to the dentist can be a bit alarming – it is a new experience with different lights and machines and other unfamiliar sights. By scheduling a dental visit for your child at a young age, you will help familiarize her with the dentist’s office and help make it easier for your child to have a good experience going to the dentist.
  • Ask your dentist for advice. Dentists can offer advice on pacifiers, bottle feeding, diet, and other health issues that affect your child’s teeth and oral health. Your dentist is one of the health professionals who helps maintain the overall well-being of your child – take advantage of the experience and expertise that your dentist has to offer.
  • Have a fun little adventure together. Going to the dentist is a rite of passage for children – and it’s part of growing up that we all remember. Make the first dental visit a special occasion – take a photo of your child in the dentist’s chair. Your dentist might even have stuffed animals, toys or other fun items to make the visit more enjoyable for little ones. The first visit to the dentist is one of the many milestones that shows that your child is growing up healthy and strong.

The first visit to the dentist can be the start of a lifetime of healthy dental habits and strong oral health. So remember – once the first tooth arrives, it’s time for the dentist! Enjoy it.

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555 N. New Ballas Rd., Suite 355, St. Louis, MO 63141 USA
Dr. Jeffrey Dalin Dalin Dental Associates is the dental office of Dr. Jeffrey Dalin and is located in St. Louis, MO offering cosmetic dentistry, general and restorative dentistry to families. (314) 567-3555 (314) 567-9047