Tips By Pediatric Dentistry For Kids to Brush Correctly

It is important to brush and floss our teeth the right way to keep our dental health in good condition. This applies to kids as well. Parents must make it a point to make their kids learn the right dental hygiene techniques from a young age so that they can reap the benefits in the long run. The dentist in 68505 says that it is your responsibility to brush your kid’s teeth till the time they turn 6-7 years old.

When it is time to let your kids brush on their own, you must supervise when they brush to make sure that they do it the right way. Brushing or flossing alone is not important; it is the technique that matters. You need to make your child brush their teeth twice a day. Here’s a look at some tips for your kids to brush correctly.

  • It is important to make gentle strokes while brushing so that the kids don’t end up damaging their enamel. Aggressive brushing is a big NO. Also, the brush should have soft bristles and not hard ones as they can again harm the enamel. The child should make circular strokes and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
  • Fluoride toothpaste must be used for children so that their enamel gets the strength and ability to fight against the cavity. For kids who are less than 2 years old, only a small amount should be used. For kids aged between 2 to 5, pea-sized toothpaste can be used.
  • Parents should try to set an example for the children. Kids tend to follow everything that their parents do. Thus, if you brush in front of your kids, they will be tempted to do the same. Asking your kids to brush may not motivate them to follow your command. Setting an example for kids is the right way of making them brush as well, says the dentist near Lincoln, NE.
  • If your kid act fussy to brush at night before bedtime, try to link brushing with some kind of reward. If the child agrees to brush their teeth at night, offer them to read a story from their favorite book or comic.
  • For younger kids, cartoons and animated characters are always a fascination. So why not allow your child to choose a brush on their own. Take them to the supermarket and let them pick a toothbrush with their favorite animated character. This will make them look forward to using the brush and they will happily agree to brush.
  • When the child grows up a little, try to explain to him/ her about the importance of dental hygiene and why it’s important to brush and floss every day. This may not be possible with toddlers, but young kids will certainly understand and agree to brush whenever you ask them to.

Apart from making them learn the importance and technique for brushing, it is also important to make them familiar with the dental clinic and your dentist. Routine brushing and flossing alone can’t help in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. You need to take them to the dentist as well for routine cleaning and examination. This helps in keeping decay and plaque at bay along with other dental issues.

Talk to your child in advance about the dental clinic visit so that they are not in a state of shock as some kids are anxious about seeing the dentist. Ask them about their fears and what is making them uncomfortable. This will help you in solving their queries and pacifying them.

Try to consult a family or pediatric dentist for your child as they are aware of various ways of making any child feel comfortable during the dental appointment. Allow your child to take their favorite soft toy to the clinic as it will help in distracting them during the appointment.

The Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE, has a child-friendly environment and bright lights to make the child feel comfortable. The dentists are warm and friendly with children and often have TVs in their rooms to distract the kids. They talk to the kids gently and are empathetic towards their needs.

Your Oral Health Says a Lot About Your Health

Maintaining a good oral health is always vital, so that we can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for a longer duration. A part of the healthy maintenance of teeth and gums is seeing the dentist in every 6 months for dental cleaning and examination. This helps in preventing not just dental issues but a lot of health issues as well. Did you know that there’s a deep connection between oral health and your overall health? The dentist near 68505 can figure out a lot about your health by having a look at your mouth. Let’s have a look at what your oral health says about your overall health.

  • Sudden Cavities Can Be a Sign of Diabetes

If you recently saw your Lincoln dentist and he discovered some abnormal amount of cavities during the examination, it can be a sign of a greater problem. If you are not one of those who have a sweet tooth or taking any new medications, it can be a sign that your body is finding it difficult to process glucose in your body. In this condition, the sugar buildup in your saliva and further mixes with the bacteria in the mouth causing an acid attack on the teeth enamel. This can also cause you some pain while eating something hot, cold, or sweet. Cavities are one of the symptoms of diabetes.

It is also important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine for preventing gum disease and cavity. Gum disease can lead to diabetes and increased blood sugar can lead to gum disease. It’s a vicious circle!

  • Eroding Teeth can Be a Sign Of GERD- Gastroesophageal Reflux

Heartburn is a common symptom of acidity, but if you are experiencing frequent episodes of heartburn i.e. few times a week in a row, you may be suffering from GERD. If you haven’t heard of GERD, it is a condition where your stomach acids leak into the esophagus. Some people will notice the burning sensation in throat and chest but others may not even notice the symptoms at all, says the Dentist near Lincoln, NE.

When the acid in the stomach reaches the mouth, it can impact your oral health by wearing away the tooth enamel. You may begin to notice sensitivity in your teeth and erosion on the sides and bottom of your tongue. The symptoms will be accompanied by a burning sensation in your throat. In case you are suffering from GERD, the doctor will prescribe some antacids along with lifestyle changes, which would include losing weight if you are overweight and avoiding to eat certain foods. It is better not to ignore the signs of GERD and get it treated as early as possible.

Bleeding Gums While Brushing Are a Sign of Gum Disease

Bleeding gums can happen as a result of rough flossing or aggressive brushing. Apart from that, seeing blood in the sink while brushing can be an indication of developing gum disease, says Lincoln dentist near me. It’s important to treat gum disease as it can have severe implications on not just your oral health, but your overall health.

When gum disease is in its early stage, it can be treated as well as reversed, but if left untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease, which can cause the gums to recede from the teeth and form pockets that can get infected. When the infection progresses, it can reach other parts of the body as well and cause several other diseases such as diabetes, strokes, and Alzheimer’s. Gum disease in pregnant women can lead to pre-term birth as well.

If you notice signs of gum disease such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, you must immediately make an appointment with the Sedation Dentistry in Lincoln, NE so that he can suggest right precautions along with treatment for preventing further damage.

It is said that the best way of combating dental issues or other health issues is to seek professional help. The dentists will be more than happy to help you out and restore your oral health. It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine along with a good diet so that you can prevent dental issues from happening.

How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?

Dental implants done in our practice allow our dental professionals to create customized plans for treatment. Lincoln Dental Associates is dedicated to restoring your smile, so let’s discuss some of the things patients should know about the dental implantation process.

The First Step: Your Consultation in Omaha

Since every patient is unique, we will need to have a consultation in our office to determine the treatment that you need. Our dentists will go over your oral health and discuss your medical history along with the goals you have for your smile. Once this is done, we can discuss options for replacing any missing teeth.

A Typical Implant Dentistry Timeline

How long treatment takes depends on the type of implant being used, the condition of the jaw, and your medical history along with your dental history. You will need several appointments at your Lincoln dentist near you for implants to be installed successfully.

What About Mini Dental Implants?

A mini dental implant in Lincoln, NE, may be recommended if they would be a better fit for your jawbone. They’re faster than other dental implants, though they may not be as strong and durable.

Making Sure the Bone and Gum Tissue is Healthy Enough for Implants

Your gum tissues, as well as any bone beneath them, should be in good condition before implants can be installed. If a bone graft is necessary, this will be done before treatment and may add to the time it takes for implants to be completed.

Allowing Time for Osseointegration

Once your dentist in 68505 places the implant, it will need to bond to the jawbone to be secure. This process is known as osseointegration and can take several months to complete.

Placing the Final Tooth Restorations

Your dentist in Lincoln, NE, will check how stable the implant is and make sure the tissues have healed. Once the implant has bonded to the bone, your crowns, dentures, or bridges can be placed by the dentist near you.

Risks and Signs of Oral Cancer

When you go to the dentist office for a routine deep teeth cleaning and oral examination, you may have had your mouth, tongue and throat checked closely for oral cancer. It may not seem like a big deal, but this quick, simple check can be a lifesaver.  Like other forms of cancer, oral cancer is dangerous and is fatal if not diagnosed and treated early on. Unfortunately, oral cancer progresses rapidly and exhibits  very subtle symptoms that are often overlooked. With oral cancer, there aren’t always visible symptoms or pain or discomfort. Only the trained eye of a dental professional can identify these subtle signs.

Who’s at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Like other forms of cancer, anyone can develop oral cancer. Even though healthy patients who take great care of their teeth and gums can get it, there are some patients who are at greater risks of getting oral cancer. Below are the patients who are more likely to develop oral cancer some time in their life:

  • Those who smoke
  • Those who chew tobacco
  • Those who consume excessive alcohol
  • Those who participate in risky sexual behavior, namely oral sex
  • Those that don’t regularly see the dentist for check-ups
  • Those with a previous cancer diagnosis
  • Those with significant sun exposure to the face

The Signs of Oral Cancer

One of the biggest reasons that oral cancer is so dangerous is that some of the symptoms aren’t noticeable. Patients can be unaware that they have the beginnings of oral cancer. When noticeable symptoms arise, it may be too late for effective treatment. This is why regular dentist office visits every six months are important.

While some of the signs of oral cancer may be unnoticeable, there are others symptoms that should be red flags and warrant a prompt visit to the dentist. These oral cancer symptoms include:

  • Mouth ulcers that don’t seem to go away
  • Red or white patches in the mouth, particularly on the gums, inside of cheeks, around the tongue, on the lips and along the throat lining
  • Unusual lumps and swelling in the mouth

How Oral Cancer is Diagnosed?

Oral cancer has been on the rise in recent years and more cases have been noticed among young adults and adults who are healthy. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest ones are the widespread lack of information and awareness of oral cancer. Patients can better protect themselves through regular oral cancer screenings and through recognizing the symptoms.

At Lincoln Dental Associates, we conduct an oral cancer screening on every patient. We make it a part of our routine oral examination.  It is important to note that an oral cancer screening and diagnosis doesn’t treat the condition, nor does a screening protect one from getting oral cancer. The purpose of these tests and diagnoses is to spur proactive, preventative treatment and care to halt the progression or formation of the cancer.

At Lincoln Dental Associates, we take oral cancer seriously and believe these screening are important for the health of our patients. Below is what you can expect from an oral cancer examination:

  • We’ll do a thorough look inside of the mouth. We may use a light to look for red or white patches or sores in the mouth. The light will make abnormal cells and tissue appear lighter in color.
  • We’ll feel the inside of your mouth for abnormal lumps

If you wear dentures, we’ll ask you to remove them for the exam. This will let us get a better look at the gums and other areas of the mouth that are covered by the dentures.

Should we find something unusual, we’ll conduct further testing. This may include having you rinse with a special blue dye that adheres to abnormal cells. We also may perform a biopsy, whereby we remove a sample of cells to be examined in a laboratory to determine whether cancer is present.

Should we do any of these additional tests, we’ll request you come in for a follow-up appointment to see if any improvements have occurred.

If it has been more than six months since you last paid us a visit or you notice abnormal changes in your mouth, contact us today to schedule an appointment for your family dentistry in Lincoln, NE needs. Oral cancer is nothing to take lightly and early, proactive treatment is the best way to maintain good health.

What is Preventative Dentistry and How Can Your Dentist in Lincoln Help?

One of the most underrated areas of dentistry is preventative dentistry. This includes all the work that prevents bigger problems by keeping your teeth healthy and whole. There are two areas of the mouth that we focus on during preventative treatments, the teeth and the gums.

Preventative Dentistry for Teeth

Beautiful, healthy teeth are good for more than just a great smile. Healthy teeth are strong, enable you to eat well, and talk properly. Taking care of your teeth is very important. The American Dental Association recommends a professional cleaning every six months to keep your teeth in top condition. This is important because we can monitor your teeth and give extra care to weak spots. Some of the most basic but important things we do during a visit are:

  • Take radiographs. This allows us to take a deeper look inside your teeth to find potential problems that aren’t visible during a visual exam.
  • Oral Cancer Screening. Just like other cancers, the sooner the cancer is found, the better the prognosis.
  • Hygiene Instruction. Based on areas with more plaque and tartar, the hygienist can spot areas you miss during brushing and flossing.
  • Apply sealants. These are placed on the biting surfaces of molars and premolars. They help protect the teeth from decay in the most vulnerable areas by creating a smooth surface so food and bacteria can’t get stuck.
  • Fluoride treatments. We apply these in the office to help strengthen your teeth and build up the enamel where demineralization has occurred.

Another procedure that some classify as preventative dentistry is filling small cavities. While this is not totally preventative, it does prevent more damaging problems and procedures.

Preventative Dentistry for Gums

Gums are a vital part of your mouth because they hold your teeth in, signal serious underlying problems, and protect the roots of your teeth. As a dentist in Lincoln who prides themselves in helping patients avoid dental problems, we do two preventative services for your gums. During your regular cleanings for preventative work, the hygienist will scrape off the plaque and tartar and then we do assessment on your gum health.

Scrape Plaque and Tartar

This is an unpleasant experience for some patients during the cleaning. It is very important to remove them from your teeth and gum line to help protect your mouth. Plaque is a sticky yellow substance that clings to your tooth, trapping bacteria against it. Tartar is plaque that has hardened and can only be removed through scraping. Both contribute to cavities and gum disease. Since it lies along the gum line, infection builds and the gums swell up and recede.

Assess Gum Health

Periodontal treatments are available in the office for those who have gum disease. Each treatment is based off what is the most effective method to fix the current conditions of the gums. Some of the signs we look for during a gum assessment that you can watch for at home are:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad Breath
  • Swelling or bright red colored gums
  • Receding tissue
  • Shifting teeth
  • A constant funny taste in the mouth

If you notice any of these signs between visits, let us know. We can help provide treatments in the office that help heal gum disease. The sooner the treatments are done, the better. Like all preventative dentistry, the best way to stop problems from happening is proper care at home and in the office.

Everything You Need to Know About Dentures

Do you think you’ll need dentures soon? Dentures have come a long way since your grandpa’s dentures thanks to improved dental technology.

Today’s dentures have many advantages to them over the ones of the past. The greatest of these include:

Improved looks. Your grandpa’s dentures probably looked like a like something from a monster: the size and teeth were too big for his mouth. Having his dentures in gave him a perpetual fake smile. The teeth of the dentures are also not the correct, natural shape.

Today’s dentures, however, have gotten a much-needed facelift. They are made of composite resin that better mimics the look of natural teeth. The teeth of modern dentures also have the density of natural teeth.

Better fit. Old timers using traditional dentures are often heard complaining of the bad, loose fit of their dentures. Today’s dentures are custom fabricated to specifically fit each individual patient. This is done using 3-D imaging technology that reconstructs the ideal teeth size, shape and alignment of the denture to make it look and feel like the patient’s natural teeth and bite. The 3-D imaging produces a more accurate picture of the patient’s mouth which yields a better fitting, more comfortable and secure denture.

Less slipping. One of the greatest complaints of traditional dentures is their ill-fit and risk of embossing slips. Dentures of old were not nearly customized as modern ones are, so there was a one-size-fits all mentality with them. This created dentures that caused irritation, made it more difficult to speak clearly and a lose fitting denture that would accidently come out of the mouth with even the smallest cough or laugh.

With the addition of better dental technology, modern dentures utilize the 3-D imaging technology and additional support of other restorative dental procedures to produce dentures that have a more comfortable and snug fit, ensuring they will better stay in place. Today’s dentures are truly custom fabricated to each patient.

Utilize other dental treatments for more options. In the past, the only denture options were partial or full dentures. Both options were removable and had to be taken out at night and before eating. Those two options still exist today with modern dentures. There is however, an additional option: permanent dentures. These dentures, also called All on Four, utilize dental implants to anchor the dentures in place. These types of dentures don’t require to be taken out to be cleaned or before meals. These dentures truly act like natural teeth. You can eat food with them, and bite with them without the fear of them slipping out. They are cared for as you would your natural teeth.

Dentures have come a long way from the ill-fitting, unnatural contraptions of the past to natural-looking, comfortable-fitting dentures of the present.

Those who need dentures don’t have to worry about the shortcomings of past dentures.

For more information about modern dentures or to learn whether dentures are the best options for you, contact us at Lincoln Dental Associates. We are a state of the art dental office in Lincoln Nebraska, and would love to take care of your dental needs.

Implants vs Dentures for a More Confident Smile

There are many reasons that people lose their teeth as they age, but the one unifying factor is that each person looks for a solution with no hassle. For some people, they have found that dentures are a great option, but for others, they are a constant pain. Implants have become a major procedure for fixing teeth problems. If you are looking for the best option for your situation, let us help you decide.

Dentures

The most common dental solution for massive tooth loss through most of the 1900s was dentures. These are fake teeth that you can take out and put back in. The biggest problems with dentures for patients have been

  • Fit: Fitting dentures for a mouth takes careful measurements to make sure they fit the gums right. If the dentures are too big, they are hard to wear and if they are too small, they pinch and cause pain. The fit is more difficult to get and can change over time.
  • Comfort: Comfort becomes an issue with the fit of the dentures, but also how securely they are placed. From strips to creams, there are many products on the market to help dentures stay secure.
  • Confidence: When the fit and comfort are not precise, dentures make chewing and talking difficult. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re constantly in pain or worried your teeth could fall out of your mouth during any conversation.

Dentures are less expensive and the only option for some patients. Too much bone loss, smoking, and a few other characteristics can disqualify patients because they don’t have enough bone and healthy tissue for dental implants, which require a titanium screw to be fused for the tooth to attach. While dentures have made a lot of improvements in the last ten years, conventional denture options include implants to improve the device.

Implants

Dental implants are available in different forms; a single tooth, a row of several teeth, or a full arch on the top or bottom. The titanium screw is placed in one appointment and then left to heal for a few months. Once healing is complete, you come back into the office and have the tooth or teeth placed. One screw is used per tooth when done as a single space, but with multiple teeth, less screws are used.

The main benefits of implants are that they are

  • Permanent
  • Secure
  • Feel and look real

Implants are great replacements and don’t require any extra special care. Instead of removing teeth to brush, floss, and soak the dentures, you just brush and floss like you would regular teeth. The lack of messy and insecure adhesives mean you can feel more confident in every situation. Many patients appreciate not having to worry about going out to eat with family, limiting themselves to softer foods, or stressing about having conversations.

If you have missing teeth and want to know your options, we’d love to talk to you. We pride ourselves on creating beautiful smiles our patients can feel confident showing. Make an appointment today to see what we can do for you.

Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

There are multiple options for replacing missing teeth, but for almost all of them, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lincoln.

You could continue to live with the anxiousness, frustration, and overall lower quality of life by not doing anything about your missing teeth.

Or you can take charge of your life and repair and restore your smile with these restorative dental procedures:

  • Dental Implants. This missing tooth replacement option is ideal for patients with one or a few missing teeth. Dental implants are made up of a titanium post that is inserted into the jaw where the missing tooth was located. On top of the post, an abutment is attached and a tooth-like crown then tops the implant off. Only the tooth-shaped, tooth-like crown is visible.
  • Patients who have multiple missing teeth that were located next to each other can be best treated with a bridge. There are various types and sizes of bridges available. The most common types of bridges include: implant supported bridges, tooth supported bridges, and resin bonded bridges. Each of these types of dental bridges are highly durable and last many years. Most type of bridges are considered permanent, meaning they don’t have to be taken out when eating or sleeping overnight.
  • Partial Dentures. These forms of teeth replacement are ideal for those who are missing more teeth that can be best treated with implants and bridges, but aren’t missing all their teeth which would warrant full dentures. Common partial denture types include cast metal partial dentures and flipper removable partial dentures. Flippers are often used as a temporary treatment for patients waiting for implants to heal and/or awaiting additional orthodontic work.
  • Full Dentures. Full dentures are ideal for patients who have lost all or most of their teeth. Patients who have only a few remaining teeth will likely have those removed so the full denture can be inserted. The conventional full dentures are still in use, though newer, more comfortable, more natural-looking and more secure dentures are now offered by dentists, including Lincoln Dental Associates. At our Lincoln dental office, we offer patients All on Four implant supported dentures. These permanent full dentures are comfortable, natural-looking and don’t need to be removed to eat or taken out at night to be cleaned.

You don’t have to live with a lowered self-esteem, difficulty eating or speaking or lack of confidence and happiness because of missing teeth.

If you’re tired of hiding your smile because of missing teeth, contact us today to set an appointment. Our trained and experienced staff will recommend the best option for replacing missing teeth for you.

Dental Trends of 2018

We’re just starting a new year,  and it’s the time when many people reflect on their past year and commit to resolutions to make the next one better. Though many people choose to lose weight by dieting and exercising, take new adventures, start a new hobby, and some even look to improve their oral health.

Looking back on 2018, dental trends illustrated the greater use of technology to provide more cost-efficient, quicker and effective dental treatment. This was especially apparent in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. At Lincoln Dental Associates, we too like to look back over the past year at the various dental trends so that we can harness and utilize the latest, most advanced dental technology to better serve our patients.

Here is a review of some of the dental trends of 2018:

More Financing Options

While most Americans have dental insurance through their employer, a government program or through getting their own private insurance, a good portion of Americans don’t have any dental insurance. Without dental insurance, dental costs can be financially straining. As a result, patients without insurance avoid necessary, regular dental checkups and cleanings. Even when something is wrong, uninsured patients only see a dentist only when they are in extreme discomfort or when there is an emergency. Many times it is too late to treat the issue without expensive, extensive dental work.

More and more dentists have recognized the devastating effects infrequent dental office check-ups and prevention can be on a patient’s oral health. To encourage those without dental insurance to pay them a much-needed visit, many dental offices now offer flexible financing options that make their dental services affordable to their self-paying patients. Knowing that dental care is affordable, the hope is that more patients will take their oral health seriously and have their teeth and gums checked out by a dentist.

Use of Online Solutions

If your dentist office still uses paper health records, they are not alone. Dental and medical offices are notorious for being behind other industries when it comes to utilizing paperless business solutions. This mostly has to do with the high level of confidential patient information that is handled. More and more online business solutions such as cloud storage and email are becoming secure enough to satisfy the strict HIPAA regulations. In turn, more dental offices are embracing paperless online solutions. Cloud storage is not only more secure, but it gives dental staff convenient, immediate access to records while also eliminating unnecessary paper in the environment.

Online scheduling is another online solution being used more and more by dental offices. It is speculated that the days of mailed appointment reminders will soon be over as patients can schedule their appointments on their phone or computer.

Use of Digital Technology

The use of lasers, cone beams and imaging machines like CAD/CAM have been used by dentists for a few years now. While the use of this imaging technology to taking impressions of teeth isn’t new, its use has continued to grow in 2018.

The need to cut overhead costs as well as meet the demands of patients for quick acquisition of dental appliances like implants, crowns, dentures and veneers have fueled this increase of digital technologies in dentistry.

Online Marketing and Reviews

Another area where dentistry has not fully utilized until recently is in online marketing. Many dental offices are small, being staffed by one or two dentists, a few dental assistants/hygienists and a receptionist. With a small staff, they can easily get busy. Traditionally, dental offices didn’t invest in advertising as patients would just go to the nearest dentist and provide free word-of-mouth advertising and recommendations to their friends and family.

Marketing and reviews are still important for any dental practice. The only difference is that today everything is online. Patients still recommend (or complain) about a dentist to others, but they do so in the form of online reviews. Like with many other businesses, prospective, first-time patients will read online reviews about a dental office when making a decision about which dentist to go to. Additionally, the number of dental offices mean patients can shop around and even go to an office farther away if it invest more in its online marketing and online review management.

2018 saw more dentists (like us) utilize online marketing and invest more into managing their online reviews as a way to attract and maintain patients and by differing themselves from other dental offices.

3D Printing

3D printing has traditionally been used in dental labs to create orthodontic devices for patients. In the last few years, especially in 2018, 3D printing technology can has been utilized to build oral devises for implantology, prosthetics, general dentistry and sleep apnea. As 3D printers become more commonplace, expect to see even more 3D printing dental applications in the near future.

Group Practices

The higher costs of advanced dental technology and the high, steady demand for dentists have made group practices grow in popularity in 2018. Instead of one dentist owning and running his or her own practice, a small group of dentists work together in the same office, splitting the costs and profits. This option is becoming increasingly popular among recently graduated dental students who are looking for immediate employment and older, soon-to retire dentists who may desire to work part-time hours.

There were quite a few dental trends in 2018, with the vast majority of them geared towards providing a better experience for the patient. Though 2018 is winding down, there is still time for you to schedule your end-of-the-year dental check up and cleaning, utilize the remainder of your dental health insurance benefits and experience a more pleasant dental office experience. Contact us at Lincoln Dental Associates today to schedule an appointment.

Top Dental Concerns as You Age

The body undergoes many changes during the course of one’s life. As we age, our bodies break down, leading to many aches and pains. The teeth and gums aren’t immune to becoming weaker through years of wear and tear. As one gets older, oral health care becomes more important as one’s mouth becomes more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

Whether one is old or young, below are some of the top dental concerns one should be aware of:

Cavities

Everyone is at risk for cavities regardless of age. However, young children and seniors are at the greatest risk as their teeth are either still developing or are naturally weakening. For young children, sealants are recommended to help protect their primary teeth.

Gingivitis

This low-level form of gum disease is fairly common among adults. Fortunately, gingivitis can be treated and the damage reversed.

Older Patients

Some of the top dental concerns for older patients include:

Dry Mouth

As we age, our saliva glands begin to slow down production. Saliva is the body’s naturally produced mouthwash. It washes debris from the surface of and gaps between teeth. It also moistens the surface of teeth and gums, making it more difficult for plaque and tartar to attach. When one’s mouth is dry, there is a better environment in which bacteria and debris left from food and drinks to decay and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Seniors are especially prone to dry mouth due to it being one of the most common side effects of many medications.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Though low-level gum disease, gingivitis is fairly common among adults, a smaller percentage, mainly older patients have the severe form of gum disease, periodontal disease, or periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, periodontal disease can’t be easily treated nor can the damage be reversed. It is this kind of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss and jaw bone damage.

Flossing and regular visits to the dentist for periodontal screenings and treatment are important to one’s gum health. As one ages, keeping up with proper gum care can become a challenge. Seniors who have mobility and dexterity issues caused by arthritis can have great trouble in flossing between their teeth. The inadequate care of their gum disease and tooth decay has forced some seniors to get dentures. Gum disease, if not treated can lead to tooth loss as well as the weakening and damaging of the jawbone tissue. A weakened jaw may lead to additional tooth loss, pain and discomfort which can make eating and speaking.

Tooth Decay

The many years of clenching, grinding, biting and chewing can take a toll on one’s teeth. The lifelong use of one’s teeth can subject them to cracked, broken or chipped tooth enamel which can leave the tooth vulnerable and not as strong to resist cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. As we age, it becomes more important to regularly floss and brush one’s teeth to protect them.

When tooth enamel get compromised germs and bacteria can infiltrate into the sensitive inner parts of the tooth. Unchecked tooth decay can lead to a tooth extraction, a tooth abscess and the need for more intensive dental treatments like root canals.

Staying up on one’s dental care becomes even more important as one ages. Like our bodies, our teeth and gums get worn out, which make them more likely to become diseased or decayed. The wear and tear of a lifetime of use on the teeth and gums can lead to the destruction of the tooth enamel as well the delicate gum tissue. As one ages, it becomes more difficult to properly care for one’s teeth and gums.  Additionally, dry mouth makes matters worse by allowing a favorable environment in which bacteria and plaque can grow.

Whether you’re older or you have a young child and are need of dental care, Lincoln Dental Associates offers family dentistry in Lincoln NE with a wide range of dental services, from the oldest member to the youngest. Regular six-month checkups are highly important in preventing premature tooth loss and other oral health problems in the future. Contact us today to schedule an appointment if it has been longer than six months since your last dental cleaning and check-up.

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