Helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and smile is the main goal of general dentistry. We prefer to provide more minor, preventive care than to see patients suffer with more intensive treatments from a problem that was not managed in time. We want to ensure that your oral health is in its optimal state and positively contributing to the health of your entire body. We are here to brighten your smile and pave the way for a brighter life.
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily to help remove plaque and food particles that get stuck to your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes (or longer), though most people rush through this time. You need to make sure that you reach every side of each tooth, including the inside and outside. To help keep your breath fresh, you should also brush your tongue. Then, you can begin flossing.
Cleanings And Exams
Having a dental practice perform a checkup and regular cleaning gives a preventive approach to dental care. These general dentistry treatments help prevent problems with your teeth, gums and jaw bones, or they catch and manage problems before they worsen. During your visit, our doctors will take a picture of the current standing of your dental health and what would be needed to keep your oral hygiene in its best state.
A common request we receive is how to make a smile whiter and brighter. This is a relatively simple and quick treatment option that can be performed periodically. Certain foods and beverages, such as wine and coffee, stain the teeth and contribute to discoloration. The teeth whitening process provides a solution that lightens the shade of the teeth. Additionally, the process actually rids the teeth of plaque and tartar that tend to lead to dental problems.
Oconee Dental, PC provides dental fillings in Watkinsville, Georgia, for patients whose teeth have been damaged by cavities, chipping, or other minor to moderate tooth damage. Dental fillings can help restore your smile to full beauty and function! Please call us at 706-769-1659 to learn more about dental fillings and to schedule your appointment with our talented dentists.
Composite dental fillings require significantly less removal of your original tooth structure than amalgam fillings, meaning that you retain more of your natural teeth for a healthier smile. Composite fillings are also healthier because they contain no mercury. This type of filling material bonds to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of the original shape. Silver amalgam fillings, on the other hand, weaken the teeth, making them more susceptible to breaking, and increasing your sensitivity to heat and cold. In the long run, using a composite filling material will most likely save you time and money.
Most patients prefer composite dental fillings due to the natural color, strength, and overall appearance and feel. You can receive your dental filling in just one appointment at our office. When you receive your restorative treatment, our dentists will remove the decayed or damaged portions of your tooth, clean the tooth, and then fill it with the composite resin and shape it to match your original tooth structure. The filling will then be hardened to provide a comfortable, long-lasting restoration.
For more information about composite dental fillings and to make your appointment with Dr. Harmon-Smith, and Dr. Anthony, please contact our office today.
Root canals are needed when decay and bacteria spread for too long without treatment. At a certain point, this decay makes it to the pulp inside the tooth. This pulp includes nerves, therefore infection generally causes a lot of pain. Since this is happening on the inside of the tooth, you won’t necessarily see the damage. Instead, you could feel it through pain and notice other signs that include bleeding, swelling and bad breath.
An extraction is performed to remove a tooth, whether because of disease, crowding, or damage. When extractions are required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and your dentist will remove the tooth. A small amount of bleeding is normal, as your mouth will replace the removed tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area.
Early Dental Care
It is never too early to being achieving a healthy, beautiful smile! At Oconee Dental, PC, we provide early dental care to help children begin learning the oral habits that will lead to a lifetime of healthy smiles. We do our best to make sure that children feel comfortable and safe at our practice, and to make your child’s visit as stress-free as possible. We welcome you to contact us at (706) 769-1659 to learn more about early dental care in Watkinsville, Georgia, and to make your child’s appointment with one of our gentle dentists.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Your child’s first dental visit is a big step. It is recommended that you bring your child to visit the dentist for the first time within 6 months of his or her first tooth emerging – usually at about 1 year of age. The most important part of this initial visit is helping your child get to know and become comfortable with our dentists and team. A pleasant, comfortable visit builds trust and helps your child feel at ease during his or her future visits. If possible, we allow your child to sit in a parent’s lap during the examination. We encourage children to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
The first tooth usually erupts between 6-12 months. Teeth continue to erupt until about age 3. During this period, your child’s gums will be sore, tender, and sometime irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, you can rub your child’s sore gums gentle with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, or a cold, wet cloth to soothe the gums. Teething rings are also a great option. Avoid teething biscuits, as they contain sugar and are not a healthy option for baby teeth.
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.
Infant Tooth Eruption
Children’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies.
Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).
Infant’s New Teeth
The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.
Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to your family dentist. The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental checkups.
Why Primary Teeth Are Important
Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
Good Diet and Healthy Teeth
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
For more information on early dental care and to schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Harmon-Smith, and Dr. Anthony, please contact our office today.