My Blog

Posts for: December, 2012

By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
December 29, 2012
Category: Oral Health
OralHealthTipsBrushUpOnAGreatSmile

Some of the most important lessons parents and caregivers can give their children involve teaching and demonstrating good oral health habits. The following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are some ideas for helping you keep your children's teeth healthy.

  1. Start cleaning teeth early.
    As soon as a child's first tooth erupts (appears), you should clean it daily by using a clean, damp cloth. Once several teeth are in, you should switch to a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. As for using toothpaste containing fluoride, you typically should start using it to brush your child's teeth at around 2 years old. However, there are some situations in which we recommend using toothpaste earlier than age 2. It just depends on your child’s mouth and development.

  2. Use the right amount of fluoride toothpaste.
    Many people are aware that using toothpaste containing fluoride is an important tool for fighting tooth decay. But, many are shocked to discover how much should be used and what could happen if too much is used and swallowed. Because children under the age of 6 may tend to swallow all or some portion of toothpaste, you should only use (and teach them to use) a small amount—about the size of a pea. Otherwise, they could be at risk for getting white spots on their permanent teeth years later from having swallowed too much fluoride. This is also a key reason for teaching children how to rinse and spit properly after brushing their teeth.

  3. Supervise brushing.
    Because children's abilities and maturity can vary greatly from child to child, you should brush your children's teeth until they have demonstrated the ability to handle the task alone. However, even when you give them the power to self-brush, you need to monitor them closely to ensure they are doing a thorough job, using the correct amount of toothpaste, and not brushing in a way that could damage teeth or gums. Brushing for too long and too hard are bad habits that can be detrimental to teeth and gums.

  4. Talk to your child's doctor and with our office.
    Did you know that your first appointment should be at age one? The age one dental visit can be critical in establishing great communication and trust, and preventing early childhood decay. And having a positive rapport with your dentist and physician is important at any age; however, it is vital for parents and caregivers to develop great communication with their healthcare professionals on behalf of their children from the start of life. Not only does it model good habits for them to observe, but it also helps you stay abreast of the oral and general health needs.

Want to learn more?

Contact us today to discuss your questions or to schedule a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor article, “Oral Hygiene Behavior.”


By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
December 19, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
QuestionsYouShouldAskBeforeGettingADentalImplant

Anytime you are considering an implant surgery to replace missing teeth, you should take the time to gather the facts so that you have clear understanding of the procedure, your options and any potential risks. You should also feel comfortable with the dental team who is treating you. For these reasons, we created the following comprehensive list of questions so that you can obtain the answers you need to help you feel at ease prior to treatment.

  • Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
  • What is the success rate for dental implants?
  • How long have you been placing implants and how many do you place each year?
  • Can you show me some before and after photos that illustrate your work?
  • What are the risks, benefits and alternatives to dental implants?
  • Are dental implants ever rejected?
  • How do you assess whether I have enough bone to anchor dental implants?
  • Can you tell me about the surgical procedure for implant placement?
  • How long will the entire process take from my first appointment until I have my implant(s) and crown(s) in place?
  • Do I have to go without teeth while my implants are healing?
  • What type of anesthesia will you use during my implant surgery?
  • What can I expect in the hours and days following my implant surgery?
  • How long will it take my implants to heal?
  • How long can I expect my implants to last?
  • Will there be any maintenance required with my implant(s)?
  • How much will dental implant(s) cost?
  • Will my insurance cover all or a portion of the cost?

To learn more, read “Dental Implants, Evaluating Your Professional Options For Care.” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.


By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
December 14, 2012
Category: Oral Health
TestYourDentalInjuriesIQ

Every parent, caregiver, coach, sports fan and especially injured party dreads the moment when an injury to the mouth occurs during a sporting event. The first thought observers have after looking closely to see if it is their child or someone they know is, “I hope someone knows what to do!” Do you know what to do in case of a dental sports emergency? Test your dental injury IQ with this simple, quick quiz. The answers are listed at the bottom of this article.

Dental Injury IQ

  1. If a tooth (including its root) is totally knocked out, what can you safely store it in while finding a dentist within 5 minutes of the injury?
    1. Water or salt water
    2. Milk (preferably cold)
    3. Inside the cheek (mouth) of the injured person
    4. All of the above
  2. True or False: Immediately following the injury, fresh cold tap water or bottled water is the best way to remove debris from where a tooth was knocked out.
  3. If a tooth has shifted from its original position following an injury, you should...
    1. See a dentist within 5 minutes
    2. See a dentist within 6 hours
    3. See a dentist within 12 hours
    4. Only see a dentist if the tooth is not better in a few days
  4. True or False: You treat a knocked out baby tooth in the same manner as you do a permanent tooth.
  5. The most important thing to do to save a tooth that has been completely knocked out of the mouth is to…
    1. See a dentist as soon as possible
    2. Replant the tooth within 5 minutes
    3. Stop the bleeding before re-planting the tooth
    4. Rinse the tooth with fresh, clean water

The Answers

1) d = all of the above, 2) true, 3) b = see a dentist within 6 hours, 4) false – baby teeth are typically not replanted, 5) b = replant the tooth within 5 minutes

Want To Learn More?

Contact us today to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about treating dental injuries when you read the Dear Doctor article, “The Field-Side Guide To Dental Injuries.” Or, you can download a FREE, pocket-sized guide for managing dental injuries.


By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
December 05, 2012
Category: Oral Health
WhatAreBabyTeethAndWhyDoTheyComeOut

Many youngsters look forward to finding a surprise under their pillow after a visit from the “tooth fairy.” This fable may comfort children who wonder why their first teeth come out. Parents need to know that losing baby teeth, also called primary or deciduous teeth, is completely normal, but at the right time and the right “space.”

A child's first set of teeth must be lost to create room for the adult or permanent teeth that have been forming beneath them. The buds of the permanent teeth grow within a child's jawbone just under the baby teeth. The tops, or crowns, grow first, followed by the roots. Then as the roots develop, the permanent teeth push the baby teeth above them up through the gum tissues. As this happens, the roots of the baby teeth are resorbed, or melted away.

With their roots gone, eventually the baby teeth become so loose that they can be easily removed or fall out on their own, making room for the adult teeth to appear. Sometimes, when a baby tooth is so loose, it can be wiggled out. It leaves a little bleeding gum tissue that heals easily. This is also normal.

Besides making sure the tooth fairy comes, parents need to be sure that their children are evaluated to determine whether baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence so they will act as guides for the adult teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely because of decay or trauma, it is important that space is maintained for the adult teeth when they come in.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss whether your child's baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence and the adult teeth are coming in correctly. To read more about losing baby teeth, see the article “Losing a Baby Tooth: Understanding an important process in your child's development.”