Dealing With a Cracked Tooth

Cracked ToothThere are many ways to crack a tooth. Sustaining a blow to the mouth during sports or in an accident is one way. Grinding or clenching your teeth is another. But it may be surprising to learn that you can also crack your tooth by doing simple tasks like chewing on ice, nuts or hard candy, as well as exposing your teeth to extreme hot and cold. But how do you know if you’ve cracked a tooth? Unfortunately, it’s possible to have a cracked tooth and not experience any pain at all. But other times, you may have one or all of these symptoms:

  • It hurts to bite down
  • The pain is intermittent, not persistent
  • It’s painful to eat and drink, especially hot and cold foods, or foods that are sweet or sour

Why Cracked Teeth are Painful
Sometimes your teeth can have tiny cracks that don’t cause any pain at all. But when the crack in your tooth is larger it can expose the soft tissue (or pulp) underneath your tooth that holds its nerves and blood vessels. When this happens, eating or drinking hot and cold foods or beverages irritates the tissue and causes pain. And if the crack goes undetected or untreated, this tissue can become damages or diseased, putting your tooth at further risk.

What to Do If You Have a Cracked Tooth
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, make an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible. He or she may recommend fixing the tooth with a filling or by putting a crown over it to protect against additional damage. If the crack is more serious, a root canal may be needed and, in some cases, tooth extraction will be necessary if the crack is severe.

For more information about diagnosing and treating a cracked tooth, schedule an appointment by completing our convenient online contact form. For locations, click here to find a center near you.

Preparing Your Child for the Dentist

pediatric dentistryAs a parent, you know the importance of taking your child to the dentist regularly. But, to your child, a visit to the dentist can be downright scary. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your child for his or her next dental visit, and hopefully alleviate some common fears.

Start With the Right Dentist
You and your child need to feel comfortable with your dentist; otherwise, you could be setting the stage for a visit full of apprehension and even tears. Even before your child sets foot in a dentist’s office, it’s a good idea to meet with a few dentists to determine his or her bedside manner, the friendliness of the staff, and the atmosphere in the waiting room. A fun and structured environment can be a big plus for a child.

Read Up
Visit your local library for books about visiting the dentist that you and your child can read together. Knowledge is power, so the more your child knows about what to expect at his next dental visit, the better.

Role Play at Home
Children love to play pretend, so why not pretend your child is going to the dentist? Have your child practice opening their mouth wide, and explain to her some of the sensations she may experience during her visit, such as water being sprayed in her mouth, or tools that will be used to check her teeth. Keeping the role playing fun and light is the key to calming her nerves about her upcoming visit.

Explain the Dentist’s Job
Explain to your child that the dentist’s job is to make your teeth clean and healthy. It may help to tell them that certain people need certain tools for their jobs. In a dentist’s case, this involves certain tools and a special chair. If they understand that the dentist is there to perform a job, they may be more apt to cooperate the day of their visit.

To schedule your child’s next dental appointment, contact Dr. Marshall or call 540-373-2273.

Is It Time For a New Toothbrush?

You use it every day, often quickly and without much thought, yet it’s one of the most important tools for good oral health. It’s your toothbrush, and when it receives enough wear and tear, it needs to be replaced. So how do you know it’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new?

According to the American Dental Association, it’s best to get a new toothbrush every three to four months, but exactly when really depends on how vigorously you brush. If you have a heavier hand, the bristles on your toothbrush will wear out sooner. When the bristles start to stray in different directions, it’s time for a new brush.

Types of Toothbrushes
toothbrushToothbrushes come in two styles – manual and electric. A manual toothbrush is more portable, making it easier to brush on the go. An electric brush needs to be charged so it may not be best when traveling. Regardless of the brush you choose (both are effective), the most important thing to remember is to keep it clean. Just one toothbrush can contain nearly 10 million germs and bacteria. Thankfully, these bacteria aren’t a major threat to your teeth, and it helps that toothpaste has an anti-germ element built into it. What’s more, bacteria needs moisture to survive, so after you brush, be sure to rinse your toothbrush under water to wash away leftover toothpaste and saliva, and then store your toothbrush upright so the bristles can air dry.

Remembering When to Replace Your Toothbrush
In our busy lives, it can be easy to forget when it’s time for a new brush. But there are some ways you can help yourself get into the habit of regular replacement. Consider changing out your toothbrush when you have your semi-annual check-up. Your dentist will give you a new brush at that time, so remembering to toss the old one should be easy. It’s also best to make a note on your calendar to remember to get a new brush midway before your next check-up.

To learn more about maintaining good oral health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall or call 540-373-2273.


Is It Time for Your Child’s First Dental Visit?

You may be pondering this question for quite some time now. So when really is the right time for our children to get their first trip to the dentist? While it is important to continuously monitor your child’s gums and erupted teeth during his or her early months, especially after your baby’s first solid food feeding, Dr. Marshall and most dentists recommend that you bring your kiddo to the dentist after his or her first birthday.

While you’re at it, here are some of the things to expect during your child’s first encounter with the doc.

What Happens During Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Make your child’s first trip to the dentist as enjoyable as possible to help him or her get used to the dentist’s chair. Once you’re all propped up, Dr. Marshall will provide you with specific instructions on how to properly take care of your baby’s teeth. Usually, you get a one-year pass if your child already has switched from bottle to cup and does not need to get fed in the middle of the night. After a year, it is important to have your child checked by the dentist every six months from then on.

Monitoring Your Kid’s Dental Progress

By the time he or she reaches the age of 4, signs of cavities will be checked with the use of x-rays. Meanwhile, the ages between 6 and 12 mean that you have to be extra careful in protecting your child’s teeth since this is the moment when baby teeth get loose for permanent teeth to surface. Sealants are usually recommended for your child during this time. Meanwhile, an orthodontic evaluation usually happens during his or her 7th year.

Early Dental Care in Fredericksburg, VA

Monitoring your child’s dental health early on is the key to maintaining good overall oral health. Call us today at (540) 373-2273 to schedule your child’s first visit with Fredericksburg family dentist Dr. Marshall.


A Visit to Your Family Dentist Can Work Wonders

You might not see the value yet while your teeth are still healthy, but sooner or later, you will realize how important it is to see a family dentist regularly. Don’t wait until you develop dental problems before you see your dentist. Trips to the dentist are not only opportunities to have your teeth cleaned, but are also preventative measures from oral or gum diseases.

Find a reliable dentist who can attend to the needs of your family and give you the following benefits:

  • Preventative care. The focus of a family dentist or a general dentist is to provide care to the teeth and protect them from any damage or harm in the future. Furthermore, family dentists provide professional tooth cleaning. Regular brushing and flossing at home may not be enough to ensure that you have spic-and-span teeth, which is why dental cleaning and consultation are recommended to be done every six months.

  • Early detection of gum disease. Periodontal or gum disease can cause serious problems if not detected and treated early. Taking your children and other family members to the dentist regularly will provide you with more opportunity to detect any warning signs of periodontitis as early as possible. Knowing that you have the condition at a much later stage will only give you irreversible damage.

  • Dental services. A family dentist also provides other services and dental treatments depending on the condition of the patient. Such services include root canals, dental fillings, tooth extraction, dental crowns and bridges, and dentures.

Here at Marshall Dental, we have family dentists who are well-trained in the field and have served many families over the years. Give us a call today at (540) 373-2273 to schedule a consultation!