By Christopher Larsen, DMD & Jennifer Worner, DMD
Kids get pretty inventive pulling a loose primary (baby) tooth. After all, there’s a profit motive involved (aka the Tooth Fairy). But a young Kansas City Chiefs fan may have topped his peers with his method, revealed in a recent Twitter video that went viral.
Inspired by all-star KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes (and sporting his #15 jersey), 7-year-old Jensen Palmer tied his loose tooth to a football with a line of string. Then, announcing “This is how an MVP gets their tooth out,” the next-gen QB sent the ball flying, with the tooth tailing close behind.
It appears young Palmer was no worse for wear with his tooth removal technique. But if you’re thinking there might be a less risky, and less dramatic, way to remove a loose tooth, you’re right. The first thing you should know, though: Primary teeth come out when they’re good and ready, and that’s important. Primary teeth play an important role in a child’s current dental and speech function and future dental development. For the latter, they serve as placeholders for permanent teeth developing within the gums. If one is lost prematurely, the corresponding permanent tooth might erupt out of position and cause bite problems.
In normal development, though, a primary tooth coming out coincides closely with the linked permanent tooth coming in. When it’s time, the primary tooth lets you know by becoming quite loose in the socket.
If you think one of your children’s primary teeth is ready, clean your hands first with soap and water. Then using a clean tissue, you should be able to easily wiggle the tooth with little tension. Grasp the tooth with the tissue and give it a little horizontal twist to pop it out. If that doesn’t work, wait a day or two before trying again. If it does come out, be sure you have some clean gauze handy in case of bleeding from the empty socket.
Normally, nature takes its course from this point. But be on the lookout for abnormal signs like fragments of the tooth left behind in the socket (not to be mistaken for the top of the permanent tooth coming in). You should also look for redness, swelling, or complaints of pain the following day—signs of possible infection. If you see anything like this, make a prompt appointment so we can take a look. Losing a primary tooth is a signpost pointing the way from childhood to adulthood (not to mention a windfall for kids under their pillows). You can help make it a smooth transition—no forward pass required.
If you would like more information about caring for primary teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Importance of Baby Teeth” and “Losing a Baby Tooth.”
Dr. Zhu is always learning something new! For this class, we were more than happy to be her patient!
To help accommodate patients affected by Covid-19, we have added several additional appointments to our schedule for October.
Effective this Friday, July 31 at 5 p.m., we are expanding the current statewide masking order requiring the wearing of masks or face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state. Face coverings will also be required at outdoor public areas whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
This expansion of the masking order is an action that is fact-based, apolitical, and solidly grounded in science. While it can be an inconvenience, especially in the heat, the science and the data are very clear: wearing masks is the single best mitigation strategy we have to fight this virus. It is the best way to keep you and your family safe, to keep people out of the hospital, and to keep Maryland open for business. If you do nothing else, wearing a mask alone would help us significantly slow the spread of this virus and continue on our road to health and economic recovery.
You are probably aware of the problems that sugar can cause for your teeth and gums, but switching to sugarless drinks might not be the final answer for good dental care. Remember that you should be visiting your Dr. Zhu for regular appointments as well as practicing proper dental care at home. Check out this video clip to find out if sugarless drinks could be hurting your teeth.
It is not uncommon to see advertisements for sugarless drinks that claim to be healthier than their competitors. However, switching to these sugarless drinks might not be the best idea for your dental care. Sodas, sports drinks, and other sugarless beverages might still contain acids that can attack your tooth enamel and cause decay; despite the way these drinks are advertised, this is not very friendly towards your teeth. Be sure to read the labels carefully and practice proper dental hygiene daily.
When your dentist tells you to practice proper dental care in Bel Air, MD, you shouldn’t brush off this recommendation. You should be flossing every day, brushing your teeth twice each day, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis for dental cleanings . Failing to do so can result in a wide array of problems that can affect all aspects of your health and well-being. Poor dental care can result in a reduced self-image, poor dental health, and problems with your general health. Keep reading and find out why it’s so important that you practice proper dental care.
When you fail to brush and floss your teeth, visit the dental office, or take care of other dental care responsibilities, your smile might not look the way you want it to look. While this seems like a purely aesthetic issue at first, it can have real consequences on your mental health. People who are ashamed of their teeth may smile less frequently; since the brain and the body work in tandem, this lack of smiling can trick your mind into thinking you’re upset. Some people do experience anxiety and depression because of their self-image, and the smile is an integral factor.
Poor Oral Health
Some people who neglect dental care might not suffer mentally, but no one escapes the decline in oral health that comes with this neglect. The process of brushing your teeth helps to remove food debris, acids, and bacteria that could otherwise build up on your teeth. When they’ve built up long enough they can lead to decay and dental cavities as well as periodontal problems like gingivitis. When plaque hardens into tartar, you will need a professional dental cleaning in order to have it removed.
Inhibited Overall Well-Being
In addition to impairing your self-image and dental health, neglecting your dental care can lead to problems with your general health. Oral health and general health are linked in a number of ways, and poor dental health has been associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Make sure you take care of your oral health to stay in top shape.
Everyone wants a bright and beautiful smile, so it’s no surprise that professional whitening is one of the most commonly performed procedures in cosmetic dentistry. If you’re thinking about seeing a dentist for tooth whitening in Bel Air, MD , then continue reading to learn the answers to common questions about this treatment.
Why is professional whitening better than other options?
The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing a dentist for tooth whitening is speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.
What happens during teeth whitening?
When you visit your dental office for professional tooth whitening, your dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, your dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel. These appointments typically take about an hour.
How long will my results last?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. How well your teeth take to the treatment and how much enamel they have can affect how long your results last. Also, your oral hygiene practices, dietary choices, and lifestyle habits can influence how long your tooth whitening results remain noticeable.
How can I make my results last longer?
Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth.
When you visit your dental office in Bel Air, MD to receive treatment for a cavity, there are times when your dentist may recommend a root canal . Continue reading to learn more about this commonly performed dental procedure.
Allowing Cavities to Progress
Cavities occur when bacteria cause damage to the surface of a tooth and begin to penetrate the enamel. When left untreated, a dental cavity can become severe enough that bacteria can make their way into the tooth. Once a tooth becomes infected, the tissues inside can become inflamed. The swelling can cause the individual a great deal of discomfort which is frequently what leads them to see a dentist for treatment. In addition to cavities, cracked and broken teeth can also be vulnerable to infection.
Examining the Tooth
Once a tooth is infected, parts of it can become damaged and, in some cases, the swelling prevents proper blood flow to the tooth which can kill the tissues inside. When you visit your dental office for a toothache, your dentist will examine your mouth, and he may also take X-rays of the painful tooth to get a better look at the extent of the damage. Depending on how big the cavity is or what damage the infection has caused, your dentist may tell you that you need a root canal.
Performing the Root Canal
Root canals are safe procedures that are frequently performed in dentistry, and they can provide patients with relief from the pain that they are experiencing while avoiding the need to extract the tooth. First, your dentist will numb the area. Next, he will drill a hole into the tooth to remove the infected tissues inside. Then, he will treat the infection, clean out the tooth, and fill the canal with a special type of tooth filling material. Finally, your dentist will use a filling or a crown to seal the tooth and restore its dental function. The site may feel tender for a few days, but patients usually feel much better following their root canal procedure and can enjoy restored function of their tooth.
Children should have their first visit to a dental office once a tooth comes in or before their first birthday to allow dentists to check the growth and development of their teeth. This initial visit is important because, as soon as her first tooth appears, it can develop a dental cavity. When you are scheduling the appointment with a pediatric dentist in Bel Air, MD, try to select a time when your child tends to be more cooperative. For many children, morning appointments work best.
On the day of her appointment, provide her with a light meal, but avoid giving her snacks in the waiting room, as this can make the examination more difficult since she is likely to have food on her teeth. Finally, if you have dental insurance, contact your provider to ensure that your child is included in the plan before her pediatric dentist appointment.
If you’re like most people, then you dislike hearing that you have a dental cavity when you visit your dental office in Bel Air, MD for a check-up. Luckily, preventing the need for tooth fillings and other restorative procedures can be as simple as practicing good oral hygiene.
At home, dental care begins with keeping your teeth clean. To do this, use a toothbrush that has soft or medium-strength bristles, and switch to a new toothbrush once every 3 months. Brush your teeth twice per day for a full 2 minutes using a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Also, floss your teeth at least once per day, ideally before bed, to help dislodge any food that may be stuck between your teeth.
In addition to keeping up with brushing and flossing, scheduling regular dentist visits is also an important part of dental care. See your dentist twice per year for check-ups and cleanings to help keep your teeth free of stains and tartar and to catch small problems before they have a chance to grow into bigger ones.
- General Dentistry
- Emergency Dentistry
- Family Dentistry
- Receding Gums
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Gum Disease
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Implants
- Root Canal
- Wisdom Teeth
- Teeth Whitening
- Your Smile
- Composite Fillings
- Dental Bridge
- Abscessed Tooth