What do I do if I (or my child) accidentally has a tooth chipped, loosened or knocked out?

If the tooth is chipped, save the chipped portion in a clean container with some saline or milk, if available, and get to a dentist ASAP. If a permanent tooth is avulsed (knocked out of the socket), bite on a clean gauze to stop the bleeding, gently place the tooth in a clean container with milk or saline or place it under your tongue (avoid water), and get to a dentist within an hour (this is very important). If the tooth is a baby tooth, have the child bite on clean gauze to stop the bleeding and get to your dentist ASAP. If the tooth is loose or displaced in the socket, get to the dentist within an hour, if possible. If you’re unable, try to move the tooth back into the original position for the time being and get to a dentist when you can.

How often should I see a dentist for a checkup and cleaning?

Under normal circumstances, visits at 6- to 12-month intervals are recommended. Patients with periodontal or systemic conditions may require more frequent visits.

Do I really need an X-ray? I am concerned about the effects on my body.

Generally, dental X-rays are an important diagnostic tool in detecting many serious disease processes and pathologies. Our advanced digital dental imaging system is low in radiation in comparison to medical X-rays or CT scans, with up to 80% less radiation than traditional dental film exposures. Even so, we always employ ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principles when prescribing dental radiography, specific to the needs, history and risk/benefit ratio for each of our patients. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist about your concerns regarding dental X-rays, or any other issues.

When should I take my child for his or her first dental visit?

Unless there are special concerns, a child’s first official dental visit should occur around the 2- to 3-year old mark, when he or she has most of their primary teeth erupted. Usually the primary goal of a child’s first visit is to affirm that dental offices are fun and comfortable.

I never have any problems or pain, so why should I get my teeth checked?

Most dental ailments, such as cavities and gum disease, are painless until they reach an advanced stage when treatment options are more complicated, uncomfortable and expensive, with poorer prognosis. Therefore, it is worthwhile to keep up with your regular dental checkups and cleanings to ensure your oral—and overall health—are in optimal condition.

Why should my child get his or her baby teeth filled when they will fall out anyway?

Other than chewing, primary (baby) teeth also serve as space maintenance for permanent teeth. Therefore, it is important to keep primary teeth healthy as long as possible to avoid pain, infection, poor aesthetics, premature loss and subsequent alignment issues.

For any other dental health issues, the knowledgeable team at Oliver Family Dental is standing by. Send us an email with any questions or concerns you may have and we’ll promptly respond.

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