Dental Tips

baby teeth
Baby Teeth vs Adult Teeth
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How many teeth do children have compared to adults?

The answer is that children have 20 baby teeth and as children grow older, they will have 32 adult teeth. Adult teeth are also known as permanent teeth or secondary teeth. Fun fact permanent teeth start to develop in the jaws at birth and continue after a child is born. By about 21 years of age, the average person has 32 permanent teeth, which includes 16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw. There are cases however when the third molars (aka wisdom teeth – do not develop or do not erupt). This then leaves a set of 28 permanent teeth which is considered normal too.

 

What are the differences between baby teeth vs adult teeth?

Baby teeth can be different from permanent teeth in many ways. Baby teeth can be whiter in color compared to adult permanent teeth which are actually more yellowish in color. It is also differ in that their outer shell, known as enamel, and the dentin layer are both thinner and weaker, and the pulp is larger relative to the size of the whole tooth. Other variable differences between adult and baby teeth include the number of teeth, eruption times, types of teeth, anatomy, and composition.

 

Are baby teeth as important as adult teeth?

Parents tend to think that looking after baby (primary) teeth isn’t as important as caring for adult (permanent) teeth, simply because baby teeth aren’t permanent and are meant to fall out anyway. In actuality, baby teeth are very important because, amongst other things, they enable children to chew food and speak properly. They also reserve the spaces in gum tissue for future adult teeth to grow.

 

When do baby teeth fall out and adult teeth grow in?

Typically around the age of about six years, baby teeth start to become ‘wobbly’ and fall out to make way for adultry. However it can also be normal for a child to lose their first tooth up to a year or two earlier or later than six years of age. Interestingly girls generally lose teeth earlier than boys and the first tooth to fall out is usually located in the front of the lower jaw.

 

Should I have a need do I remove baby or adult teeth?

While baby teeth are meant to come out in due time, permanent teeth are supposed to be, as the name implies, permanent. Removing a permanent tooth is a big deal, as it will not grow back and its removal forever changes your mouth.

 

What can I do to insure healthy baby and adult teeth?

Call our office for a consultation and to schedule an infant dental exam.  Dr. Albert Kim is a trusted dentist in Richmond, TX, with convenient access to the communities of Harvest Green, Long Meadows, Pecan Grove, Cinco Ranch, Sugarland, and Mission Bend.  Highline Dental offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and pediatric dentistry.  Call for your appointment today at (832) 220-9324. We look forward to meeting you and your family!

Dental Emergency If Teeth Got Broken
What is considered a dental emergency?
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What is considered a dental emergency?

If you’re experiencing pain, which includes bleeding or need treatment in order to save a tooth, these can be considered a dental emergency. In this case, please call us at Highline Dental (832- 220-9324) right away. And if you have severe swollen gums or jaw pain this can be a sign of infection, and is usually accompanied by a bad taste in your mouth, high temperatures, or fever. It may also be difficult to swallow food, drink fluids or even breathe. Please call our Highline Dental office if you suffer from any of the below symptoms so we may assist you.

 

What are the Signs of dental emergency situations?

  • Loose teeth & excessively bleeding gums
  • Prolonged severe toothache
  • Long headaches and excessive fatigue
  • Swelling in the jaw caused by abscess infection

 

After Hours Emergency Dentist – How Highline Dentistry Can Help

While most dental offices, including Highline Dental, are not open 24 hours, we do our best to assist you with dental emergencies. Don’t suffer in pain when you have injury causing excessive bleeding or accidents with loose or fractured tooth. Simply come see us for same day appointments or do a search for “dental emergency near me” if looking for an after hours, emergency dentist.

 

Can I go to Hospital Emergency Room or Urgent Care Centers for dental emergencies?

Hospital rooms generally do not have the proper facilities or training to deal with standard dental care. Emergency departments or urgent care centers may or may not have dentists on 24 hour call. However, staff at these centers are trained to stabilize the patient who may be suffering from fractured, broken or dislodged teeth and severe pain. Do a search for dental emergency near me and call to confirm your condition and what care they are able to provide you.

Cavities and exercise
What Do Cavities And Exercise Have In Common?
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You wouldn’t think tooth decay is related to exercise, but they do have a common link! Exercising may not have a direct effect on your cavities, but a chemical called lactic acid plays a role in both. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, many of my patients have often expressed the idea that develops teeth cavities by coming in contact with sugar. While sugar can eventually lead to decay, it does not do it through direct exposure. So how do teeth form cavities? From bacteria!

Lactic Acid

Bacteria exist everywhere. We have bacteria on our skin, in our intestines, and even in our mouth. Some bacteria, like Streptococcus Mutans, break down sugars and fermentable carbohydrates from the foods we eat and make lactic acid as a byproduct. The same lactic acid that our muscles produce when we workout. The bacteria then excrete this lactic acid onto the surface of our teeth, slowly breaking down the enamel into soft, decayed tissue.
When working out, the lactate produced can be repurposed into glucose and used as fuel for the entire body including the muscles, heart, and brain. Lactate is also metabolized in the mitochondria and used as powerful fuel for muscle contractions during workouts. It’s interesting to think that the same chemical that helps our bodies when we’re working out, can cause so much trouble in our mouths!

Preventing Cavities

By brushing and flossing regularly, you remove food debris from your mouth and deprive bacteria like S. Mutans of their food source. It’s not the act of limiting sugar contact with teeth, but proper hygiene that really helps prevent tooth decay. Brushing and flossing every day might seem like a tiresome chore, but doing this a few minutes a day—along with regular visits to the dentist—will ensure that you keep your teeth healthy for a long, long time.
If you’re not completely sure how to brush or floss properly, come on down to Highline Dental. Our skilled dentist, Dr. Kim, would be more than happy to show you the proper way to keep your teeth looking their best!

Dental Procedure
Can I Claim Dental Procedures On My Tax Return?
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It’s that time of year again; it’s time to file your taxes. The process is dreaded by many Americans because it can be complicated and confusing. We can help, at least a little. In this post, we’ll tell you what you need to know about claiming dental services on your tax return.

Can I Claim Them?

The short answer: yes! Dental care is expensive. Especially when it comes to surgery and orthodontic work, it can set you back thousands of dollars. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does consider many of these costs to be medical expenses, which means there’s a chance that you can count them as a deduction, but this is not true for all expenses.

Which Expenses Are Deductible, And Which Ones Aren’t?

The following dental expenses can be claimed on your tax return:

  • Dental surgery
  • Extractions
  • Artificial teeth
  • Braces
  • Hospital stays and any related x-rays or medications
  • Many routine and preventative services like time with a dental hygienist and sealants

Cosmetic procedures and non-prescription drugs cannot be claimed, in addition to services that were covered by your health insurance. When it comes to unqualified expenses if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) you may be able to use that to cover the fee. Talk to your employer or provider to learn more about your specific benefits.

Don’t Delay! Come See Us At Highline Dental in Richmond

Just like you don’t want to wait until April 14 to file your taxes, don’t put off your bi-annual visit to the dentist! Make sure to come to see us in the first half of 2019 for a check-up. Here at Highline Dental, we offer a whole variety of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, including implants, veneers, whitening, and much more. Contact us today to set up an appointment for yourself and everyone in your family.

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Dental Emergency
How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies.
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When a dental emergency occurs, your first instinct may be to panic. However, with a little planning and information, you can turn panic into action that eases your pain and restores your oral health. Today, our team at Highline Dental wants to share some tips for managing common dental emergencies so you can protect your friends and loved ones.

Toothaches

Toothaches can range from uncomfortable to unbearable. When you first notice your tooth pain, try rinsing your mouth with warm water. Then, check to see if there might be a piece of food or other debris trapped between your teeth and gums that is causing your discomfort. If you find something, you can try gently removing it with a piece of floss. While you might be able to cure a minor toothache at home, more severe toothaches can be a sign of infection or other serious issues and require medical attention. If you are experiencing a painful toothache, call our office and we will walk you through the appropriate next steps.

Protect Cracked or Chipped Teeth

If you crack or chip a tooth, your first priority is to prevent further damage and infection. Gently rinse your mouth with warm water and call our office immediately. In most cases, we can accommodate same-day emergency appointments. Our team will determine the best course of treatment to ease your pain and restore the function of your tooth.

Save a Lost Tooth

No matter what causes a tooth to get knocked out, it is important to know how to react. You can, try to gently place the tooth back in its socket without touching the root. If this is impossible, you can put the tooth between your cheek and gum or in a glass of milk to keep the tooth from drying out while you seek medical attention. If you follow these steps, you improve your chances of saving your tooth.

While we certainly hope that you and your family do not experience any dental emergencies during this holiday season, we hope this information helps you in the event the unthinkable happens. To ask our team anything related to an emergency in dentistry of spring Texas you can ask any questions or to schedule your next visit to our office, at Highline Dental TX !

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Brushing habits for child
When Should Kids Begin Brushing Their Own Teeth?
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If you have young children, you’re probably wondering when they should start handling their daily oral healthcare routine on their own. Here, we’ll not only explain when your kids should begin brushing their own teeth, but how you should teach them and how to get them excited to brush their teeth on their own. But first, let’s talk about how to care for their oral health before they can do so by themselves.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Even before your child has any teeth, wipe their gums with a moist washcloth every day, preferably after feedings. Around six months, when your baby’s teeth start emerging through their gums, start brushing them. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically made for a baby or even a wet washcloth wrapped around your finger to gently brush your baby’s teeth and gums to wipe away any bad, decay-causing bacteria. And as soon as your child has two teeth touching, begin flossing between their teeth.

When Kids Should Brush Their Own Teeth

Children typically shouldn’t start brushing their own teeth until they’re coordinated enough to tie their own shoes. This usually happens around age six or seven. Wait until they have enough dexterity to properly and safely use the tools themselves so they are more likely to reach every surface of their teeth. This timeline also gives you ample time to show them how to properly brush their teeth.

How to Teach Kids to Brush Their Own Teeth

Set a good example of great oral care for your family. Make a point of showing your kids that you brush your teeth twice a day: in the morning and at night before bed. When your child is coordinated enough, guide them through the following steps and supervise their brushing until you are confident they are getting an effective clean:

  • Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush specifically made for children.
  • Wet the bristles before putting a small amount of toothpaste–about the size of a grain of rice if they’re under three and a pea-sized amount if they’re over three–on the toothbrush.
  • Brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of every tooth using gentle, circular motions as you move throughout the mouth.
  • Remember to brush their tongue!
  • Always encourage your child to spit out their toothpaste and to not swallow it.

How to Get Your Kids Excited About Brushing

There are a bunch of ways to get your kids excited to brush their teeth. For example, take them to the store to pick out their own toothbrush that features their favorite character, make a game of tooth brushing, use positive reinforcement with a sticker chart or extra reading time or a special family outing, turn tooth brushing time into a dance party with their favorite song, or watch any of the many videos available online that are made specifically to keep your child entertained while they brush their teeth. If your child is especially reluctant to brush their teeth, consider investing in an electric toothbrush to jazz up their oral care routine.

We See Patients of All Ages!

Highline Dental offers affordable dental care for patients of all ages in Richmond, TX. If you have any other questions about proper preventive oral care for your children or would like to schedule their next checkup at our office, contact us today.

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