Thursday, April 28, 2011

When Should I Bring My Child To The Dentist?

First Dental Visit
This is a question we hear quite often from new parents. When is the best time to bring a child in for that first visit? A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth," are as important as the permanent adult teeth. We at Brown Family Dentistry recommend that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, but at least no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well baby checkup" for the teeth. The front four teeth usually erupt first, beginning as early as 6 months after birth. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of 3 years. The primary teeth generally begin to shed, or fall out, at about 6 years of age. The first of the 32 permanent teeth begin to appear about the same time.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth
            Begin brushing your child's teeth with a little water as soon as the first tooth appears. Supervise toothbrushing to make sure children older than 2 years of age use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. Children should be taught to spit out remaining toothpaste and rinse with water after brushing. Most children will be able to brush on their own by the age of 6 or 7 years and should be brushing two times a day. Parents should be using floss on their children's teeth as soon as any two teeth touch. Cleaning between the teeth is important because it removes plaque where a toothbrush cannot reach. At that first dental visit, we will be checking for tooth decay and other problems, demonstrate how to clean the child's teeth properly and evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.

Routine Dental Checkups
            Help your children maintain a lifelong healthy smile by providing them with a well-balanced diet, limiting snacks, ensuring that they brush twice per day and floss once per day, and scheduling regular dental checkups for them. Please give us a call at 920-725-0400 or visit us at and we will be happy to assist you in scheduling your child’s first visit!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Are You Too Sensitive?

We’ve all noticed it from time to time – have some ice cream followed by good hot coffee and OUCH! – your tooth is telling you not to do that! According to The Academy Of General Dentistry, over 45 million Americans experience this on a frequent basis. But how do you know if your tooth sensitivity is a sign of (pardon the pun) a deep rooted problem?

Let’s start with a little quiz. What is the hardest substance in the human body?

a)    Fingernails
b)   The thigh bone, also known as the femur
c)    Your hard-headed uncle’s skull
d)   Tooth enamel

If you guessed tooth enamel, you’re not only on your way to a winning appearance on Jeopardy but you’re ready to understand tooth sensitivity.

The enamel that covers your teeth is an extremely hard substance and acts as a great protectant. Inside the enamel is something called dentin, which is a bit softer and actually has small hollow tubes leading right into the nerve chamber. Irritate that layer and your tooth will let you know!

So if the enamel on your teeth is worn away, sensitivity can set in. The roots of your teeth are in a similar situation, and receding gums which cause the roots to be uncovered can cause sensitivity as well. So what can you do?

First of all, be gentle when you brush and always use a soft toothbrush. Lots of pressure and stiff bristles don’t clean your teeth any better and actually can wear away enamel and gums.

Some people find that acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes can cause sensitivity, so avoid those if you are in that category.

Also, there are over-the-counter products, such as special toothpastes and rinses, that can help. Let us know and we’ll be glad to recommend the right one for you.

Unfortunately, many of the causes of tooth sensitivity are also signs of much larger dental problems. Things such as cavities, defective fillings or crowns, receding gums due to gum disease, grinding, and many other conditions can cause sensitivity and all of these things definitely need attention from a dental professional.

At Brown Family Dentistry we want you to be comfortable and have healthy teeth and gums! If tooth sensitivity or any other dental issues are causing you concern, please give us a call at 920-725-0400 or visit and we will be glad to see how we can help. We want to get you comfortable again!