The Classic Smile

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

October 17th, 2018

Children are born with a set of primary teeth – 20 to be exact – that help them learn to chew and speak, and develop enough space in the jaw for the permanent teeth that will appear several years later. Kids are especially susceptible to decay, which can cause pain and tooth loss – a problem that could interfere with oral development. As a parent, it is important that you take proactive steps to keep your child’s teeth as healthy as possible.

Bottles and “Sippie Cups”

One of the biggest culprits of childhood tooth decay is poor diet. This begins as early as a few months old, when children are often allowed to go to bed with bottles and “sippie cups” of milk or juice. The sugars in these beverages – even natural sugars – can steadily decay the teeth.

Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our staff suggest serving children milk and juice only at meal times, and limiting juice intake to just a few ounces per day. If your child becomes thirsty between meals or likes to go to bed with a bottle, serve water during these times.

Hygiene

As a parent, you can establish healthy dental habits long before your child’s first tooth erupts. Start by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean wash cloth during the first months of life. By age one, graduate to an appropriately sized toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste, and brush at least twice a day.

Dental Visits

Dental visits should start young and continue on a regular basis throughout your child's life. Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our staff recommend parents bring their children to The Classic Smile for the first time no later than the child’s first birthday. Initial visits concentrate on parental education, while later visits may include thorough cleanings and fluoride treatments as your child grows.

For more information about keeping your child’s teeth cavity-free, contact our Medford, MA office to schedule a dental consultation and checkup.

How do I know when I have a cavity?

October 10th, 2018

Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our team at The Classic Smile frequently field questions about cavities and what causes them. Patients will typically ask, “I brush twice a day and floss regularly, as well as rinse with hydrogen peroxide, so a cavity is unlikely, right?”

Not quite.

When cavities, also known as caries, are in their initial stages, people often will feel no symptoms, and they won’t experience any pain or discomfort. It’s not until the tooth decay has reached a certain level that patients begin to notice the signs. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi as soon as possible:

  • Dull or sharp toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity or mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • The presence of a sticky, tarry feeling when biting down
  • Puss or discharge around a tooth, especially when pressing on your gums
  • Visible holes or discoloration in your teeth (usually black or brown)

Cavities can happen at any time, to anyone, no matter how old you are. Routine dental care is important to prevent cavities or the onset of tooth decay, so it is important to visit Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our team at The Classic Smile for regular cleanings. If you are overdue for a checkup or think you may have a cavity, please give us a call at Medford, MA office to schedule an appointment.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 3rd, 2018

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our team at The Classic Smile encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Medford, MA for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Why should I have my child’s wisdom teeth removed?

September 26th, 2018

The wisdom teeth are the last of the permanent molars to emerge from the gums. This can occur as early as age 17 or as late as 21. Though some teens and young adults experience a completely normal tooth eruption with ideally aligned molars that pose no health threat, this is not the case for everyone.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), wisdom teeth must meet specific criteria to avoid a required extraction. These guidelines include:

  • Completely erupted and non-impacted
  • Completely functional
  • Painless
  • Free of decay
  • Disease-free
  • Capable of being properly cleaned

If one or more of your child’s wisdom teeth do not meet these conditions, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi; an extraction may be necessary.

Impacted wisdom teeth

One of the most common reasons for extracting a wisdom tooth is due to impaction. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that has not erupted and will not fully erupt from the gums. Usually this occurs because there is not enough room for the tooth to emerge. Impaction can be painful and can also lead to infection if left untreated. According to the AAOMS, roughly 90 percent of the teen and adult population has at least one impacted tooth. Extracting an impacted wisdom tooth early can help prevent future complications, such as periodontal disease, infections, and damage to neighboring teeth.

Extracting fully erupted wisdom teeth

Even if your child’s wisdom teeth are fully erupted, Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi and our team at The Classic Smile may recommend removing them as a preventive measure. Fully-erupted third molars often interfere with a healthy bite. This can lead to problems with tooth and jaw alignment and may also contribute to the development of headaches. Your child’s wisdom teeth may also be more prone to tooth decay and gum disease, because their location in the back of the mouth makes them more difficult to reach for brushing and flossing.

To learn more about wisdom teeth, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Short, Dr. Ronni Schnell, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, and Dr. Shila Sharifi, please give us a call at our convenient Medford, MA office!

CEREC Velscope Invisalign

Let us take care of you. In the heart of Historic Medford Square

  • “The environment of the office is tranquil, unlike many other dentist offices and you feel right at home. I would recommend The Classic Smile to anyone and everyone!”~ Brittany W.

  • “Hands down the best dental experience I've ever had. For someone with very sensitive teeth, the hygienists always make sure to take extra care, and the result is a great experience with dental professionals I can trust.”~ Lukas L.

  • “Everyone is so kind and professional. The Classic Smile sets the bar for superior customer service!”~ M. Rodrigues

Read more reviews
The Oral Cancer Foundation Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation Readers Choice Awards Massachuetts Dental Society ADA Member
Leave a Review Request an Appointment PatientLogin