I’m a little embarrassed to be asking this. I’m 12 and still suck my thumb. I want to stop because I have a slumber party in a month. Can you help?
First, I want you to know that you are not the only girl your age who still sucks her thumb. There are many teenagers who are still trying to break this habit. The part that will help is you are motivated to quit. Here are some suggestions:
You could wear a sock on your hands when you sleep at night. The good part about this process is it doesn’t cost any money.
There are liquids you can purchase to put onto your thumb that taste absolutely horrible.
You could also purchase a thumb guard. This is a plastic appliance that goes over your hand and protects your thumb so you will no longer be able to suck it.
If there is enough time, I recommend you visit a pediatric dentist, who will also have ways to help.
I hope this helps and have fun at your slumber party.
I’ve gotten one of my teeth prepped for a crown. At first there was some normal tenderness. That went away, but for some reaason now my lower left jaw (the side where the crown is being placed) is having a lot of pain. The pain is to the point that I have to take medicine. Is that normal?
Anthony H.- Cincinnati, OH
The type of pain you are describing is not normal after a dental crown preparation. It is possible the pain is coming from the tooth itself. If your tooth has already been through a significant amount of trauma, such as large fillings, the inflammation may not be reversible.
If that is the case, the best solution would be a root canal treatment. Your dentist will know best if that is the case. Either way, you’ll want to let your dentist know. He’ll probably coat your tooth with some type of desensitizer sealant on the surface of the dentin to try to get the pain to go away. Hopefully that is the solution.
Can you tell me the secret to getting really white teeth. I’ve been wearing some teeth whitening trays with gel for a week and they aren’t very white yet.
The only secret to teeth whitening is persistence. The gel has to be in contact with your for extended periods of time. Wear the gel for as long as you’re able each day. You may even want to sleep with it. In just a few weeks, your teeth should be significantly whiter.
If you’re in a hurry to have your teeth whitened, some offices do a Zoom whitening, which will whiten your teeth in just one appointment.
Hi, I’m a first time mom and was wondering when I should expect my daughter’s teeth to start coming in.
Cammie Anne S.- Atlanta, GA
Below is a chart to show you the location of the teeth and a list to give you some general guidelines. Bear in mine that each child is different, so don’t panic if your child doesn’t follow the schedule exactly. It will be important that you find a good dentist. Look for someone who does pediatric dentistry.
Is it common for your teeth to shift after getting a tooth extracted? My front teeth seem to have moved and I find it a little embarrassing. I have to get another tooth extracted and I want to prevent it from happening again if that is the cause.
Lindsey G.- Benton, AR
Once a tooth is extracted your body begins to reabsorb the bone. That combined with the occlusion (how your teeth come together) of your teeth can lead to shifting. Everyone’s teeth behave a little differently when it comes to occlusion. The ideal treatment is to replace your teeth whenever they are distracted.
The best tooth replacement is a dental implant, because it will place a prosthetic root into your gums, which will prevent any further bone loss. Depending on your budget, this might not be possible, but their are other tooth replacements that will prevent any lateral movement of your teeth.
There is extensive decay in my six year old’s mouth. He needs six teeth worked on that have deep cavities. It has gotten to the point that it is painful for him to eat. I’m assuming he’ll need some root canal treatments as well. The problem I have is no matter what dentist I bring him to, he throws too much of a fit for them to do any work on him. What do you recommend?
You need to look for a pediatric dentist who also does sedation dentistry. The sedation will keep your child from panicking and allow the dentist to do the necessary work.
You also need to do something much more difficult. The way a child of six gets that much decay is from frequent eating. You are going to have to say no to your child’s snacking. Get him to not eat for 3-4 hours in a row so that he’ll be thoroughly hungry and eat sufficiently to not need to snack so much.
I’ve been told my daughter needs a pulpotomy, but I’m unclear what it is. I know it has to do with her infected tooth, but its just a baby tooth so won’t it fall out anyway?
Serina- Detroit, MI
Think of a pupotomy as a root canal for baby teeth. With this procedure, most of the pulp of the baby tooth is removed. Then the tissue inside the roots is daubed with a disinfectant. The tooth is then sealed and covered with crown. Unless you’re talking about a molar, it is unnecessary.
I know that her teeth are falling out anyway, but you want to keep her molars until she is about 10 or 12 years old, when her adult molars come in. If you don’t her teeth will become bunched together.
There is an alternative treatment of extracting her tooth and placing a space maintainer.
I recently got a snake bite piercing. Since then I’ve been drooling like nuts. Is this from the piercing? I’ve never drooled before.
Kevin B.- Pine Bluff, AR
It is very likely the drooling is a result of the snake bite piercing. Here’s why. Any type of oral piercing will stimulate your salivary glands. This can lead to excessive drooling. This is a common risk factor with oral piercings.
You may also want to look out for some of these other possible risk factors:
Tooth & Gum Irritations: Depending on the positioning of the piercing, it could wear down the enamel on your teeth. You will also need to be proactive with your oral hygiene because if it rubs against your gums it will not only cause irritation, but could lead to gum recession and periodontal disease.
Bacterial Infections: Though inflammation is normal after an oral piercing, it should go down within a few days. If it doesn’t, you need to be seen by a doctor. The ADA (American Dental Association) have documented an increased risk for bacterial infections in those with oral piercings. It is not just from transference during the procedure, but rather because our mouths are loaded with bacteria. When you introduce a new open area, you increase the opportunities for the bacteria to spread.
Allergic reaction: Many people are allergic to various types of metals. If you’re having any type of reaction such as itching, redness, burning, swelling, or rash, see your doctor immediately. Allergies are serious and need to be dealt with.
Speech impediments: If the piercing keeps you from closing your lips completely,that will lead to speech impediments.
My dentist always uses something called a Dental Dam when he does root canals and fillings. I don’t like how it feels. Can you tell me what its used for?
Anne G.- Ft. Worth, TX
Sure. A dental dam, also called rubber dam, are designed to keep your tooth dry for procedures like root canals and sometimes composite fillings. The purpose for it is to protect your tooth from saliva. Our saliva has bacteria in it that can increase the chance of your tooth getting reinfected after your root canal procedure. It is also useful for keeping your tongue out of the way as well as keeping dental material and water out of your throat during the procedure. This helps people with a strong gag reflex.
Some dentists will use it when doing white (composite fillings) also because if the tooth doesn’t stay dry, the material won’t bond properly to your tooth. I would discuss with your dentist how you feel about the dam and see if you can work out a mutually beneficial solution.
I’ve been getting treatment for bulimia and I have realized how bad my teeth have gotten because of it. Is there anything I can do to fix the damage I’ve done?
The first thing I recommend is going to see your dentist. The acid from your purging is what causes the erosion on your teeth. I would drink a lot of water to help neutralize any residual acid.
Bulimia can also cause your mouth to dry out. This can lead to tooth decay, because the minerals and enzymes in our saliva helps to fight the bacteria in our mouth. Chewing on a sugarless gum will help promote saliva production.
Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment. Depending on the condition of your teeth, it may be wise to get porcelain crowns placed on them. Please be aware that this does not completely protect them from purging. There is always some space that can allow the acid through.