Posts for: September, 2017

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
September 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Wondering whether you or your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment?braces

When children’s permanent teeth start to come in it can be obvious whether they need braces or not. Of course, it isn’t always that easy to tell. This is why it’s a great idea to visit our Marion, AR, family dentist, Dr. Wayne Cook, for an orthodontic assessment.

So, when is the best age to visit our Marion dentist to find out if braces are the best option for your child? There is no perfect age, but if you are bringing them in for routine cleanings and exams every six months then we can often determine whether they should get braces early on when baby teeth are still present or whether braces may be a better option once permanent teeth have fully erupted.

Of course, here are some of the telltale signs that your child may need braces:

  • Baby teeth that fall out too early or too late
  • Teeth or jaws that do not properly align
  • Crooked, twisted or protruding teeth
  • Crowding or gaps between teeth

Most of these issues are genetic, which means that there is nothing you can do to prevent these misalignments and other dental problems from happening. Of course, there are certain factors such as thumb sucking, injuries or a poor diet that can also contribute to these problems.

What is the most common age to get braces?

This will really depend on the issues we need to address as well as other factors but it’s common for children between the ages of 8 to 14 to have braces. Of course, this doesn’t mean that anyone over the age of 14 can’t benefit from getting braces.

On the contrary, more and more adults are turning to braces to get their smiles back and you could, too. There are many new orthodontic treatments out there that offer adults a way to get a straighter smile later in life. No one is ever too old for braces.

It never hurts to sit down and discuss your orthodontic treatment options here in Marion, AR. Whether you think your child could benefit from braces or you want to find out about adult orthodontic options, we are here to serve you. Call us today to learn more!

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
September 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sensitive teeth  

Like other living tissue, your teeth can feel. Dentin, the layer below the enamel, houses fluid-filled conduits that transmit temperature or pressure sensations to a nerve network within the tooth’s inner pulp. It’s so effective that incoming sensations must be buffered — “toned down”— to avoid a painful overload of the nerves. The enamel above the gum line and a bone-like substance called cementum below help do this.

Unfortunately, if teeth lose this protection they can become hypersensitive. This can cause a flash of sharp pain while eating or drinking something cold or hot or just biting down.

There are a number of causes for tooth sensitivity, any of which can influence how we treat it. While you’ll need a dental exam to know for sure, your hypersensitivity will more than likely stem from one of these 3 problems.

Periodontal (gum) disease. This is an infection caused by bacterial plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on the teeth due to poor oral hygiene. The inflamed gum tissues weaken and detach from the teeth, causing them to shrink back or recede. This leaves the cementum unprotected, which easily erodes and exposes the dentin to acid and bacteria — and hypersensitivity. Clinically removing the plaque helps the affected gums heal. In extreme cases, the gums may need surgical grafting to regenerate.

Overaggressive brushing. While a lack of oral hygiene can contribute to gum recession, ironically too much hygiene — brushing too hard for too long — can damage your gums and cause them to recede. Brushing really doesn’t require a lot of elbow grease — a gentle scrubbing motion over all tooth surfaces is sufficient to remove plaque. Fine-tuning your brushing will help your gums to recover and heal.

Mouth acid. Although quite strong, enamel has one formidable enemy: acid, which can erode enamel and expose the dentin. Over-indulgence in acidic foods and beverages can make your mouth more acidic; more likely, though, bacterial plaque will again be the culprit, because bacteria excrete an acidic waste product. You can reduce mouth acid with daily brushing and flossing and consuming less acidic foods and beverages.

If you’re experiencing any kind of tooth pain, see us for an examination. We’ll determine the cause and initiate the appropriate treatment to regain your oral health.

If you would like more information on tooth sensitivity, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity: Understanding Your Options.”

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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