More Fun ABCs of Dental Care

In the past, we’ve made a list of the ABCs of Dental Health. Our patients loved that list so much, we decided to do another oral health list! At We Make Kids Smile in the Prince Frederick and Waldorf, Maryland are, we are your go-to for pediatric dentistry. We want your children to be informed about the dental care they receive, and how to ensure their dental routines help make their smiles last a lifetime. Check out the new ABCs we have this time!

A — Abscess: An abscess is when a tooth or gums gets infected by a buildup of pus in either the tooth itself or the gums around the tooth. This is considered a dental emergency and should be treated by a dentist immediately.

B — Bruxism: Bruxism is the term for people who grind their teeth or clench their jaws. Bruxism usually happens at night while someone is sleeping.

C — Composite fillings: A composite filling is what dentists used to fix or repair broken or chipped teeth. A composite filling is made of a mixture of materials that can be matched to the color of your natural tooth.

D — Dental sealants: Popular for pediatric patients, dental sealants are a clear coating that is applied to the back molars to provide protection from cavities.

E — Extractions: An extraction is when a dentist has to remove a tooth because it is dead or damaged.

F — Fissures: A dental fissure is a deep groove in the surface of a tooth that happens because of normal wear and tear.

G — Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. It is caused by the buildup of bacteria, which causes inflammation. The good news, gingivitis is reversible with improved oral care and regular visits to the dentist.

H — Hypersensitivity: Some people’s teeth are more sensitive than others. Hypersensitivity can be caused by temperature changes or other environmental stimuli.

I — Incisors: Your incisors are the long front teeth that make biting and tearing food apart easier. Each adult mouth has four incisors.

J — Juice: Juice is a popular drink among kids, but often, juice contains more sugar than you think. Juice is fine to consume during meals, but sipping on juice throughout the day can cause prolonged exposure to sugars, which can damage teeth over time. A better option is to sip on water throughout the day.

K — Kids toothpaste: If your child isn’t a fan of mint toothpaste, there are brands that cater to children with fun flavors, like bubble gum. Look for the ADA seal, which means the American Dental Association recommends that product.

L — Lingual braces: Lingual braces are like traditional metal braces, but they are affixed to the back side of the teeth, also known as the lingual side.

M — Molars: Molars are the very back teeth in your mouth. They are used to chew food. In children, molars can be hard to brush, so some dentists may recommend dental sealants for children.

N — Nutrients: Nutrients are key to a healthy lifestyle, and there are certain nutrients that can be beneficial to your teeth. Look for foods with fluoride and calcium, which helps to fortify the teeth.

O — Orthodontics: Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of the teeth and the bite of the mouth. Many people associate orthodontics with braces, which is the most common treatment for teeth alignment.

P — Plaque: Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth, and if not taken care of with proper brushing techniques, plaque buildup can cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

Q — Quarters: Quarters refers to the dental office. It is a term often used by the military to describe a building.

R — Retainers: Dental retainers help keep teeth in place. Retainers are often worn after traditional metal braces are taken off to make sure the teeth don’t shift. Retainers are often made of plastic and are clear aligners, meaning people won’t know you are wearing them.

S — Saliva: Another word for saliva is spit. The saliva in your mouth is natural and helps to naturally wash away bacteria in your mouth and regulate pH levels in your mouth. Saliva also helps to kickstart digestion and can help with chewing.

T — Tartar: Tartar is hardened plaque. Tartar forms when plaque hasn’t been removed by brushing and flossing. Since tartar is much harder than plaque, it needs to be removed by a dental professional.

U — Underbite: A dental underbite is when the bottom teeth and jaw stick out beyond the upper jaw and teeth. An underbite can be assessed and treated by an orthodontist.

V — Vitamin deficiency: A vitamin deficiency means the body isn’t getting enough vitamins. A deficiency in certain vitamins can harm the teeth and body. Important vitamins for strong teeth include calcium, vitamins A, C, and D.

W — Water flosser: A water flosser is a handheld device that uses a pressurized stream of water to clean between the teeth instead of using dental floss.

X — Xerostomia: Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth, which is a condition where your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva naturally.

Y — Yawning: Yawning is what happens when someone is tired. Sometimes, a person can yawn too hard and wide and injure the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, which is the ligament that attaches the jaw to the skull.

Z — Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that can help contribute to healthy tooth formation. Zinc can also help prevent bad breath, gingivitis, and dental caries.

Learning the ABCs of dental health can help your child make healthier decisions when it comes to their oral health. If they have any questions about their teeth or dental health, We Make Kids Smile is happy to answer them during your child’s biannual appointment. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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Prince Frederick, MD 20678

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