Written by Dr. Christian Peck, DDS, MS
Q. My kid’s breath smells funky! Is this a dental hygiene issue? Or could it be something else?
A. Bad breath is caused by bacteria that produce foul-smelling odors. These bacteria are found in dental plaque, on the tongue, underneath the gums and in the tonsils. Practicing good oral hygiene can eliminate the odor-causing bacteria.
Q. Do teeth-whiteners weaken your enamel?
A. Whiteners do not weaken enamel, although they can cause sensitivity and damage to gums if not applied correctly. Follow the directions.
Q. What are the pros and cons of chewing gum?
A. Pros: Chewing gum with xylitol can prevent cavities. Cons: Gum with regular sugar will cause cavities. Chewing gum can also cause jaw soreness.
Q. Why do we remove “wisdom” teeth?
A. Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, are usually removed because there is not enough room in the jaws to accommodate them. This is called impaction. Impacted 3rd molars can cause pain, cysts and damage to adjacent teeth.
Q. Does thumb-sucking really lead to crooked teeth?
A. Prolonged and frequent thumb sucking will cause flaring of the front teeth and narrowing of the palate. See a pediatric dentist if you are concerned about prolonged thumb sucking.
Q. I detest flossing. Do any of the miracle water picks or other devices actually work?
A. Water picks can remove debris around the gums but to effectively clean between teeth, flossing should still be performed.
Q. “Myth or Real?” If you fall and knock out a tooth, place it in milk as you hurry to the dentist.
A. If a tooth is knocked out, try putting it back in the socket in the correct orientation. You could also place it inside the mouth (in the cheek area) if you are sure not to swallow it. The next best thing is milk. Do not put it in water or let it dry out. Get to your dentist immediately.
Q. How often should we replace toothbrushes? Why?
A. There is no set time to replace a toothbrush. When the bristles become frayed, they lose the ability to effectively clean your teeth, so they should be replaced with a new toothbrush.
We invite you to call our All Kids Dental Pediatrics and Orthodontics team today to learn more about protecting your child’s smile in Glenwood Springs, Eagle and Rifle, Colorado, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Allen, Dr. Megan Rohman or Dr. Hannah Frebel. We look forward to helping your child’s developing teeth and gums stay healthy, strong and straight for a lifetime of smiles!