Hampstead General and Family Dentistry
When you step into Dockside Dental in New Bern, NC, you’ll know you’ve found the perfect place for your family’s care.
Our team loves helping kids grow into healthy adults. Dr. Charles Schein and Dr. Kyle Viloria know that early experiences influence the value children place on their oral health as adults. One negative experience can affect a child’s outlook on dentistry for the rest of their life. You can be sure your child will have a great experience at Dockside Dental.
The services offered at Dockside Dental ensure that patients of all ages feel welcome. From the earliest check-ups to orthodontic evaluations, Dr. Charles Schein and Dr. Kyle Viloria will listen to your concerns and guide you through every stage.
Tooth decay often begins at an early age, making young children particularly susceptible. Nearly half of children between the ages of 2-11 have experienced tooth decay while 32% of kids between the ages of 9-11 develop cavities in their permanent teeth. Major contributing factors to this public health problem include baby formula with added sugar and heavily-sugared fruit juices. Even breast milk can cause cavities in baby teeth because of the natural sugars present.
Care for baby teeth should begin as soon as the first tooth appears. We recommend that you bring your child in for an exam no later than his or her first birthday. Regular six-month checkups will put kids on a schedule like most adults, establishing a routine that will last a lifetime.
The following early steps can help guard your child against tooth decay, even before their first dental visit:
- Your baby’s teeth should always be rinsed with water or wiped down with a damp cloth after feeding, especially before they fall asleep. Milk or formula residue left in the mouth can promote decay even in the youngest patients.
- Try to wean your child off bottle feeding by their first birthday. This helps avoid decay and minimizes the chance of jaw growth problems from excessive sucking.
- Begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. Even if it’s barely poking through the gum, a tooth can develop decay if not cleaned properly. Start by brushing with a soft bristled brush and water and ask your dentist when it’s ok to begin using a small amount of toothpaste.
- Help your child brush and remember that kids don’t have the dexterity to clean their teeth on their own until after they can tie their shoes.
- Don’t give bottles of sugary drinks or milk before bedtime.
- If you do choose to offer sugary beverages, have your child use a straw, so the teeth to have less contact with the liquid.
- Try to limit the overall sugary foods your child eats and drinks.
Dental health during the teen years offers another set of challenges. For most parents, this doesn’t come as a big surprise. A dizzying number of changes strike during these formative years, and parents often experience a few frustrations along the way.
Teens listen more than we realize, and pestering parents can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of your young adult. You might feel like you’re nagging, but teens are always listening and believe it or not, the constant reminders to brush, floss, and eat well will sink in. Don’t underestimate any encouragement given to help your teen avoid the long-term effects of cavities and gum inflammation.
Preventive visits every six months provide us with an opportunity to coach your teen and reinforce the efforts you’re making with them. Sometimes the rapport we establish in a professional, yet friendly, setting proves especially effective. Plus, we can share problems with them through visual aids while reinforcing any positive efforts they’re making.
Tips for home efforts that protect your teen’s dental health:
- Limit sodas and energy drinks. Sugary carbonated drinks are the number one cause of tooth decay in adolescents. Many 20-ounce bottles of soda have 18 teaspoons of sugar in an extremely acidic liquid. The combination can be devastating for teeth as well as their overall health.
- Encourage brushing before bedtime. The hours spent sleeping can be especially harmful as the mouth dries out and bacterial plaque flourishes.
- Explain the dangers of sharing toothbrushes. Explain the dangers of sharing toothbrushes and that bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities can easily transfer from one person to another.
- Slip in dental floss or a toothpick with their lunch or backpack.
It’s easy to ignore, but a little bit of tooth decay or gum disease always leads to a little bit more. However, one thing is certain. If left untreated, it almost always results in pain, emergency treatment, and tooth loss. So why does this happen?
It’s an infection.
Millions of bacteria swim around in our mouths. Many of them are harmless, and some are even beneficial. But a few love nothing more than to eat away at the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Like all living creatures, they need an energy source. Sugars are their snack of choice, and they use simple carbohydrates from our diet to manufacture energy.
Like all living creatures making energy, they also produce waste. These acidic wastes deposited on the teeth erode the hard surfaces, weaken the enamel, and form holes known as cavities.
Some bacteria produce a toxic waste that causes bleeding gums, and the destruction of bone around the teeth, which is called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the leading reason people lose their teeth and end up with dentures.
Most infections can be treated with antibiotics, but mouth bacteria require a different approach. Regular checkups help us identify new cavities, and periodic cleanings remove plaque and tartar that harbor millions of harmful bacteria. High-risk patients benefit from a customized approach with our team, and we have many methods to strengthen weakened enamel that has not yet developed into decay.
The complex cycle of inflammation and infection extends beyond the gums and mouth. In fact, research continues to uncover the many ways that our oral health affects the overall health of our bodies including heart health, and can influence medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. For example, mouth bacteria enter the bloodstream through inflamed and bleeding gums. Like a river, blood flow carries the bacteria to the small vessels of the heart and brain. Here they can damage the intricate vessel lining, leading to blockage of the vessel. Heart attack or stroke can result because of bleeding gums.
A few tips for maintaining a healthy mouth:
- Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day and floss at least once a day: It sounds like a long time, but it makes a difference. Consider an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer or set a timer on your phone. If you don’t like to floss, consider toothpicks, proxabrushes or the magic of a Waterpik.
- Brush for at least two minutes each time: It sounds like a long time, but it makes a difference. Consider an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer, or setting a timer on your phone.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly and replace every three months:Bacteria linger on your toothbrush, finding their way back into the mouth at the next use.
- KDrink sugar-heavy liquids through a straw: A straw helps keep sugar from bathing the teeth directly before swallowing.
- Drink sugary liquids through a straw: A straw helps keep sugar from bathing the teeth directly before swallowing.
- Drink water after eating a meal: Water helps clean larger deposits of food from your teeth. Plus, we all could use a little more hydration!
- Get cavities treated immediately: Cavities rarely hurt until they reach a critical stage. And don’t forget: a little bit of tooth decay eventually becomes a little bit more.
- See your hygienist every six months: The risk of critical dental problems diminishes significantly if you’re visiting us twice a year. Patients that fit preventive dentistry into their schedule and budget typically enjoy fewer dental visits and expenses over time than those who wait for emergencies to develop.