March 27th, 2019
It’s common for children to suck their thumb at a young age. Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our team want you to understand the potential issues that can surface down the road if the habit isn’t broken early on.
It’s normal for infants to explore the function of their mouths by putting objects like their thumbs inside it. You shouldn’t be concerned if your baby regularly sucks his or her thumb. For infants who are still growing their baby teeth, thumb sucking can help with stimulating growth and development of their baby teeth.
Thumb sucking is not a problem among infants because they generally do it to sooth and comfort themselves. Problems can occur of kids continue the habit when their baby teeth begin to fall out, around six years of age.
If you have a young child whose adult teeth are starting to come in, that’s when thumb sucking can start to be a problem. Most children stop thumb sucking between the ages of two and three years. According to the American Dental Association, if thumb sucking continues as adult teeth come in, this can lead to problems involving improper alignment of teeth and growth of the jaw, gums, and roof of the mouth.
It may also affect your child’s speech after that, by causing a lisp or other speech impediments. As a parent, you may need to begin to regulate and intervene if thumb sucking starts to become a bigger problem for your child.
How to Stop Thumb Sucking
- Provide comfort to your child if thumb sucking happens when he or she is anxious.
- Limit thumb sucking initially to bedtime or naptime.
- Employ positive reinforcement for good behavior.
- Talk with your child about the potential problems that come from this habit.
- Distract your son or daughter with activities such as fun games any time you notice it starting.
- Involve your little one in choosing methods for stopping, like positive rewards.
- Have Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes talk to your child to reinforce concerns about thumb sucking.
Don’t forget that thumb sucking is a common habit that many children indulge in, and it should not be a concern right away. If you’re worried about your child’s thumb-sucking habit, start to address the issue as soon as possible.
The above techniques can help to reduce the amount of time your child sucks a thumb. Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our team are here to help you if you have any questions or concerns about this habit.
Feel free to call our Cookeville office and we will be happy to help you and your child.
March 20th, 2019
Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly on the consumer’s preference. Fact is, floss comes in a wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, that is what is most important: that the dental floss you buy is functional—cleaning the areas in between your teeth. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.
Flavored Dental Floss
Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss because it freshens their breath even more than unscented floss. The latter can also take on the smells associated with bacteria in your mouth. And we all know how bad that can be. So, if flavored dental floss is what you prefer, and it allows you to floss your teeth regularly, then it is automatically best for your mouth.
There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers also come flavored in mint and various other varieties.
Gentle Dental Floss
Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason some companies make floss with soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. For the most part these types of floss are just as effective as regular floss, and for those people that require a more sensitive approach to flossing, especially when just starting out, this is the best option.
Of the aforementioned options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our team say that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the best. For more information on floss, contact our Cookeville office.
March 13th, 2019
Have you ever noticed your attention being instantly drawn to peoples’ teeth when they smile at you? Some people have dull and yellowing teeth, while others have teeth that appear bright white. Everyone’s teeth naturally dull over time because of aging and the contact your teeth have with staining foods, such as chocolate and coffee. However, teeth-whitening treatments can help you keep your teeth white for life.
Get Regular Treatments
The effects of teeth whitening or bleaching treatments are only temporary, so regular treatments at Hayes Family Dentistry are necessary to keep your teeth white for life. Bleaching too frequently, though, can wear away your tooth enamel. The effects of in-office bleaching can last for several months to a year, while you may need to repeat your use of at-home bleaching kits every few months to maintain your white teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, so you can use them daily. The American Dental Association suggests asking your dentist for advice on which treatment is best for you.
Have Realistic Expectations
Not everyone’s teeth can be turned bright white, according to the American Dental Association. Your teeth may naturally be a light yellowish color that lends itself well to teeth-whitening procedures, but bleach is not likely to be effective for grayish teeth. Brownish teeth fall somewhere in between.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Your teeth whitening efforts will not be as effective if your teeth are in poor health. Visible fillings, implants, or bridges that are metallic stand out against the white color you want to achieve. You can help prevent tooth decay and reduce your risk of needing these unsightly treatments by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day to remove dirt and potential staining agents, the actions below can promote a healthy mouth.
- Floss every day
- Visit Hayes Family Dentistry regularly
- Rinse your mouth with water after each meal and snack
- Limit sugary and starchy foods and beverages, especially between meals
March 6th, 2019
An emergency usually evokes panic, and for good reason. Emergencies don’t discriminate when it comes to time or place. They’ll happen during your vacation, at home, while you’re shopping for groceries, at the movies … whenever they can.
We’ve identified the five most common reasons for emergency visits to our office, so if you ever find yourself in one of these situations, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us!
- Getting a piece of food stuck where it doesn’t belong. This might sound trivial, and even comical, but a piece of food stuck and left unattended can cause inflammation, pain, and a serious infection.
- Losing a filling. If this happens to you, it’s crucial that you receive care immediately. The purpose of a filling is to shut off a space where bacteria can enter. If that barrier is breached, your tooth becomes more vulnerable to decay.
- A chipped tooth. Even if the chip is small, it’s essential to get it repaired before it grows bigger. Unless chips are affecting a nerve, they are usually easy to repair with a crown, bonding, or veneers.
- A broken tooth. This can result from a small, hidden chip in the tooth. It’s clearly something to address quickly, because the pain will be much more severe than what you’ll feel with just a chip.
- Losing the entire tooth. This is the worst of the list. When you lose a tooth, you should not delay in seeking emergency care. Usually, you have a window of one to two hours during which the original tooth can be salvaged and successfully reattached.
Though any of these scenarios can be nerve-wracking, Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our team are here to assist you with any and all dental emergencies. Don’t wait; give our Cookeville office a call!