Importance of Pacifier Weaning

Importance of Pacifier WeaningMost babies love their pacifier and so do parents for their soothing capabilities. But once your child reaches a certain age you may want to reconsider the use of a pacifier in order to avoid dental problems down the road. At Brar Family Dentistry, we believe maintaining your child’s dental health from an early age will lead to health benefits that will last throughout adulthood.

Effects of a Pacifier

While the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) explains that pacifiers can have positive effects on children between one and six months old, it’s best to begin breaking the habit sooner rather than later. Using pacifiers for longer than necessary can influence the shape of the mouth and alignment of the teeth because babies are still growing. As they mature physically, their jaw will begin to grow around anything that is inside their mouth on a repeated basis. Similar to long-term thumb sucking, you may notice the upper teeth begin to tip outward or not even come in properly. If you’re concerned about your child’s pacifier use, it would be best to consult with a pediatric dentist as they can help you come up with a plan to help your child quit.

Breaking the Habit

In addition to consulting with your family pediatric dentist, you’ll want to prepare for when it’s time to take away your child’s pacifier. Knowing what motivates your child is a good start. The best way to encourage your child to stop using their pacifier is through positive reinforcement. You could do this by praising your child for good behavior or even offering a prize for each day and night they don’t use it. But remember, consistency is key when it comes to weaning. If your child is often in the care of someone else, be sure to let them know your goal so that no one gets confused.

Time it Right

There are many sources out there with varying information on when your child should stop using a pacifier. Some experts believe your child should stop after six months of age when the risk of SIDs drops and ear infections become more likely. However, you could just cut back the use of the pacifier to nap and bedtime only. At the end of the day, the safest time to stop is before your child’s teeth begin to develop. Before the age of two, children’s teeth usually can self-correct within six months of breaking a habit. After the age of two, their teeth become more impressionable and a pacifier can cause problems.

Contact Your Trusted Nashua & Merrimack Dentistry 

While pacifiers can offer comfort and reassurance for babies, it’s best not to let the habit continue for longer than it should. Knowing when it’s time to stop is key and Brar Family Dentistry is here to help. To ensure your child has a future of strong dental health, be sure he or she receives the best early dental care possible. Book an appointment today by contacting our family dentistry at (603) 889-0601 or (603) 424-2121. We happily provide premier family dentistry treatment to families in and around the Nashua or Merrimack, NH area.

Fixing Gummy Smiles

Fixing gummy smilesSome people feel self-conscious about smiling because they believe their gums are too prominent. Though we each have our own definition of what makes a smile beautiful — including how much gum is too much — cosmetic dentists define a smile as “gummy” when 4 millimeters (just over 1/8 of an inch) of gum tissue shows. If your smile looks gummy there can be different reasons for this. It is important to understand the various causes of gummy smiles so you and your cosmetic dentist can work together to find the best cosmetic dentistry procedures to adjust and enhance your smile.

Causes

Gummy smiles can be a side effect produced by issues with your gums, teeth, lip, or jaw. Depending on what area of your mouth is causing the gummy smile, cosmetic dental treatment will differ.

  • Gums – If your teeth appear too short in relation to your gums, it could be that they are being covered up by too much gum tissue. Your cosmetic dentist can resolve this problem in our Nashua or Merrimack office with a periodontal plastic surgery technique called “crown lengthening,” which involves removing and reshaping the excess tissue to expose the full length of teeth.
  • Teeth – Teeth sometimes emerge in the mouth at different heights; some teeth growing in shorter than others. This may add to the gumminess of a smile. To remedy the issue, we recommend a cosmetic dental treatment known as capping or crowning, which involves making shorter teeth appear longer by covering them with thin porcelain veneers. On the same note, you may have a grinding habit that is causing your teeth to get worn down and become shorter over time. This type of grinding may also cause compensatory eruption, in which teeth actually begin to move (or erupt) very slowly outward from the gum to compensate for the wear and maintain a functional bite. These issues can lead to gummy smiles, and many times your cosmetic dentist will recommend you complete orthodontic treatment to move the affected teeth back into the correct position. Afterward, the worn-down teeth can usually be restored with porcelain crowns/veneers as well.
  • Lip – On average, your upper lip moves 6 to 8 millimeters from its normal resting position to achieve a full smile. If the lip is hypermobile, meaning it rises much farther up, more gum tissue will be revealed—thus producing a gummy smile. In order to alleviate this type of gummy smile, you’ll need to ensure the muscles that control the lip are modified so they don’t raise it quite so high. Treatment for this issue can range from Botox shots that temporarily paralyze the muscles for about 6 months to surgery that permanently restricts how high the lip can move. The latter is referred to as a lip stabilization procedure.
  • Jaw – Sometimes the upper jaw (maxilla) is too long for the face, a condition referred to as Vertical Maxillary Excess. If you are experiencing this oral-facial condition, your jaw will need to be repositioned with orthognathic surgery (“ortho” – straighten; “gnathos” – jaw). Of all the cosmetic dental treatments highlighted above, this is the most complex procedure; however, when performed by a skilled cosmetic dentist, it can yield amazing results!

Contact Your Trusted Nashua & Merrimack Dentistry 

If you would like more information on how to improve your gummy smile, please contact our Nashua or Merrimack office to schedule your consultation with a cosmetic dentist. We look forward to helping you find your ideal smile!

Top Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

Top Reasons to Choose Dental Implants
Both dentists and patients agree: dental implants are the way to go when it comes to tooth replacement. Brar Family Dentistry is excited to offer you state-of-the-art implant restorative dentistry treatment to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Visit us in Nashua or Merrimack to chat with our friendly doctors about what our dentistry can do for you!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a restorative dentistry method for replacing teeth. The implant consists of both a titanium post and a dental crown. The small titanium post is the actual implant, which is attached to a lifelike dental crown. The crown is the only part of the tooth-replacement that is visible in your mouth. Dental implants can be used for one, two, or all of your teeth!

Benefits of Dental Implants

The many benefits of dental implants can be summarized into three main categories—similarity to natural teeth, dental health, and cost efficiency.

Similarity to Natural Teeth

Dental implants are made of titanium—a metal with a unique ability to fuse to living bone. Following the procedure, the titanium in the dental implant begins to fuse to your bone. After a period of several months, a dental implant will feel completely natural, indistinguishable from your normal teeth. At this point, your implant has fused with your jawbone, securing itself completely. You can eat, speak, and smile with confidence, knowing that your dental implant will remain secure and comfortable.

Dental implants are similar to your regular teeth in terms of maintenance as well. Caring for dental implants requires the same oral hygiene routine as your natural teeth: brushing and flossing accompanied by consistent visits to your dentist is recommended.

Unlike with other teeth replacement options (such as dentures), there is no special cream or soaking overnight for dental implants. The material that forms your dental implant prevents inherently decay. Your implant, however, can be damaged through gum disease. So, again, vigilant oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will promote a long life for your implant, as well as your remaining original teeth!

Dental Health

One of the little-known woes of tooth loss is the bone loss that inevitably follows. Bone is a living tissue that requires constant stimulation to rebuild itself and stay healthy. In the case of your jawbone, that stimulation comes from the teeth. When even one tooth is lost, the bone beneath it begins to resorb, or melt away. This can give your face a prematurely aged appearance and even leave your jaw more vulnerable to fractures if left untreated. Dental implants halt this deteriorating process by fusing to the jawbone and providing stabilization. No other tooth restorative dentistry method can offer this advantage.

Moreover, dental implants are a healthier option for the adjacent, natural teeth. Unlike dental implants, other restorative dentistry methods weaken the adjacent teeth. With bridgework, for example, the natural teeth on either side of a gap left by a missing tooth must provide support for the dental bridge. This can stress those adjacent teeth and leave them more susceptible to decay. Likewise, a partial denture relies on adjacent teeth for support and may cause those teeth to loosen over time as a result. Dental implants are stand-alone tooth replacements that don’t rely on support from surrounding natural teeth. Talk to your dentist today to learn more about how implant restorative dentistry can keep your teeth strong.

Cost Efficient

Because dental implants become part of your jawbone, they provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. Other restorative dentistry options may need to be replaced or remade over time. If you properly care for your dental implants, they should last a lifetime. As a result, dental implants provide the best long-term value for tooth replacement. For information about financing your implant restorative dentistry treatment, contact our Nashua or Merrimack office today.

Get Started with Implant Restorative Dentistry

Whether you need a tooth replaced or simply want more information about implant restorative dentistry, contact your trusted local dentist. Our staff eagerly awaits the opportunity to discuss what dentistry options are right for you. Conveniently located in Nashua and Merrimack, Brar Family Dentistry is your go-to for general, cosmetic, and restorative dental needs. We can’t wait to make you smile!

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Among the most common birth defects, cleft lip and cleft palate affect approximately 1 in 800 babies born in North America. Luckily, dental treatment exists to help affected children live a healthy, normal life. Learn more about how dentistry can help cleft lip and palate conditions now.

What Are Cleft Lip & Palate?

Cleft lip and palate are birth defects resulting from the incomplete formation of anatomical structures during early pregnancy. The names vary based on the location of the impartial formation (either the lip or the roof of the mouth, referred to as the palate). These two conditions may occur separately or together.

The severity of the symptoms vary from case-to-case. Cleft lip and cleft palate are distinguishable by a separation or opening in the palate or lip. As a result, the individual may have difficulties with feeding and speech. Additionally, both conditions are associated with ear infections, hearing loss, and dental problems. To treat these symptoms and others that may arise, work with your children’s dentistry specialists to develop a treatment plan.

Causes & Risk Factors

Doctors know that cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital defects, meaning they’re present at birth. While experts assume they are genetic conditions, the cause has not yet been determined. Scientists believe cleft lip and cleft palate may be linked to certain factors during pregnancy, such as…

  • Certain medications
  • Viral illness
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Vitamin deficiency

Cleft Lip & Palate Treatment

Cleft palate and cleft lip are complex conditions requiring a team of medical professionals. In general, the first goal of treatment is to repair or “close” the gap in the lip and/or palate as soon as it is practical. Typically, this may be at as early as 2 to 9 months of age. However, your child may require several surgical procedures at different points in their childhood. In addition to your children’s dentist, you may work with an oral surgeon, an orthodontist, a plastic surgeon, or other specialists.

For the initial surgery, your child will receive intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, ensuring that he or she doesn’t experience any pain during the procedure. Both conditions rely on a specialized “flap” procedure; this consists of incisions to create “flaps” of tissue around the affected area. These flaps are then stitched together in order to close the gap.

Post-Treatment

Depending on how complex the child’s condition is, follow-up procedures may be required after the initial treatment to fully correct any defects in form and function of the lips, teeth, and jaws. These follow up procedures may include plastic surgery, orthodontics, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and speech therapy. Our friendly dentists at Brar Family Dentistry can provide you with a list of recommended specialists for consultations in these areas of treatment.

Visit Brar Family Dentistry

Cleft lip and cleft palate can be a daunting undertaking for the family of a newborn. Our team wants you to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. The children’s dentistry specialists at Brar Family Dentistry are eager to join your team as you begin treatment and we’ll help provide guidance along the way. With the proper care, your child can achieve a healthy and normal life. Schedule an appointment at our Nashua or Merrimack office today. We look forward to working together on enhancing your child’s future!

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth & Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, wisdom teeth often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems arise. Thus, it becomes necessary to extract them.
Never fear. Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively common procedure, performed on some five million patients every year. Your experienced family dentists at Brar Family Dentistry can take care of this procedure for you.

When Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?

When your wisdom teeth start coming in your Nashua and Merrimack dentist will conduct a thorough examination and run diagnostic tests such as a panoramic x-ray to see if the incoming teeth will cause issues in your mouth. Wisdom tooth extraction will be recommended if:

  • Your jaw is too small to accommodate all your teeth once the wisdom teeth come in.
  • The wisdom teeth are erupting (coming in) in a crooked orientation.
  • It doesn’t look like one or more of the wisdom teeth are going to erupt.

Whether your Nashua/Merrimack family dentist recommends wisdom tooth extraction as a means to prevent future problems or alleviate a condition you already have, the extraction of wisdom teeth can be an effective treatment to help your smile. As with all medical actions, we would be happy to discuss all aspects of the procedure, its benefits, risks, and alternatives in your individual case.

What If I Leave My Wisdom Teeth In?

When your Nashua/Merrimack family dentist recommends wisdom tooth extraction it is in an effort to prevent dental problems in the future. If your jaw is too small for the new wisdom teeth then crowding will occur. Such crowding can lead to your wisdom teeth becoming impacted (that is, unable to emerge from the gums), potentially harming adjacent bone or teeth. Additionally, if your wisdom teeth come in at a crooked angle then they can damage teeth, harm the jaw, and cause bite problems. If a wisdom tooth doesn’t fully erupt then it has a greater chance of developing a bacterial infection as well. A cyst (a closed, fluid-filled sac) may also form around an unerupted wisdom tooth, which can turn into an infection and injure adjacent bone or nerve tissue. To potentially save your mouth from a myriad of dental problems like these, wisdom tooth extraction can be a simple solution easily completed by one of our trusted Nashua and Merrimack family dentists.

The Extraction Procedure

Wisdom tooth extraction is referred out to a trusted oral surgeon. You would need to make an appointment. It’s possible to have the treatment done with only a local anesthetic (numbing shot); this could keep you from experiencing any pain. However, if multiple teeth are being extracted at one time (as is often the case) a general anesthetic or conscious sedation may be administered. We will talk to you beforehand about the type of anesthesia that’s best for you.
Once you have been appropriately anesthetized, the gum tissue at the extraction site may need to be opened if the tooth is impacted. Your oral surgeon will then gently remove the tooth. When the extraction is complete, you may need to have the extraction site sutured (stitched) to aid healing. After the procedure is over you will rest for a short time before going home. Depending on what type of anesthesia you have, you may need another person to drive.

Recovery

The recovery period after wisdom tooth extraction generally only lasts a few days. During this time you should rest to encourage healing and take pain medication as prescribed by your oral surgeon. It’s normal to experience some bleeding at the extraction site; this can be controlled by gently biting on gauze pads, changing them as needed, and resting with your head elevated on pillows rather than lying flat.
You can also hold an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for a few minutes at a time (for example, five minutes on / five minutes off) as this may help reduce swelling the first day after the procedure. On day two, the warm moist heat of a washcloth placed on the outside of the cheek may make you more comfortable. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water a few times a day can also help relieve discomfort.
We recommend eating soft foods for the first few days after wisdom tooth extraction. On the same note, be careful when brushing your teeth or putting anything in your mouth until your healing is complete. As a whole, be sure to follow the post-operative instructions your oral surgeon gives you; every wisdom tooth extraction is a little different and recommendations are customized to make you as comfortable as possible.

Make a Wisdom Tooth Extraction Appointment Today!

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure that many of us go through in order to prevent future dental problems and protect our smiles. If you’re at the age when your wisdom teeth are coming in, make an appointment with Nashua or Merrimack’s most trusted family dentists at Brar Family Dentistry. We would be happy to examine your teeth and recommend the best procedure for you!

Stress & Oral Habits

The effects of stress on our bodies are well-known. Stress not only affects your body, but it also impacts your oral health as well. One specific way is by clenching or grinding our teeth, also known as bruxism or bruxing. When we grind or clench, we damage our teeth and dental work by:

  • Wearing down the tooth’s surface
  • Increasing the likelihood of cavities
  • Damaging or scraping away the enamel
  • Increasing sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Damaging crowns and fillings
  • Loosening teeth
  • Becoming prone to tooth loss
  • Causing Jaw pain and headache

It is common to clench or grind your teeth without your knowledge, as it often occurs during sleep. If you suspect nocturnal bruxing, the dentists at Brar Family Dentistry in Nashua & Merrimack, NH are here to help you find relief.

Why Do We Clench & Grind Our Teeth?

Stress is the main reason for clenching and/or grinding our teeth, whether it happens nocturnally or during the day. Here are other common factors that can lead to bruxing:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Overuse of caffeine
  • Side effects of certain prescription medications
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs

Solutions & Treatments

As most bruxism is stress-related, the simplest way to reduce teeth-clenching and grinding is by managing our stress in positive ways. Relaxation techniques may help, but a custom occlusal guard may be the best long-term option. An occlusal guard is a custom-made mouth (similar to an athletic mouth guard) that is worn during the night. The occlusal guard keeps teeth from touching one another during sleep and also maintains proper jaw alignment during sleep to help reduce jaw pain.

Contact Brar Family Dentistry Now!

If you experience any of the above symptoms related to bruxing, contact Brar Family Dentistry in Nashua and Merrimack, NH today. We would be happy to provide additional information regarding restorative dentistry, implant restorative dentistry, and all your family dentistry needs.

Hidden Consequences of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss causes many problems, the obvious one being the inability to chew certain foods. The most detrimental and long-lasting problem, however, is bone loss. When teeth are lost, bone loss is inevitable. Bone needs constant stimulation to maintain its form and density. Without the pressure and stimulation of teeth, the signals for the bone to regenerate itself are lost. As a result, the bone begins to disintegrate. Within the first year of tooth loss, the jawbone can decrease in width by 25%. If multiple teeth are lost, the lower third of the face can partially collapse due to a loss of the structure of the jawbone. Those missing teeth may also experience the following:

  • Increased risk of jaw fracture
  • Shifting of remaining teeth
  • Improper bite, known as TMJ
  • Jaw pain
  • Compromised nutrition

Implant Restorative Dentistry and Bone Loss Prevention

If you have lost teeth and are searching for treatment, Brar Family Dentistry in Nashua and Merrimack, NH can help. Your professional family dentists will discuss long-term viable options including implant restorative dentistry. Implant restorative dentistry may not only vastly improve your smile, but it can also prevent bone loss that may become problematic. Because the metal in dental implants is titanium, they have the unique ability to fuse with the jawbone. As a result, dental implants stabilize and stimulate the bone to maintain its proper volume and density.
Dental implants are placed through a minor surgical procedure using a local anesthetic. After healing, the implants are topped with dental crowns. With the look and feel of natural teeth, the success rate of dental implants is 95%–the highest rating among tooth replacement options.

Other Tooth Replacement Options

If implant restorative dentistry is not a viable treatment option for your tooth loss, other options include dental bridgework and removable dentures. The risks associated with bridgework and removable dentures include potential damage to the anatomical structures on which they rest. In terms of bridgework, fixed bridges for example affix to adjacent teeth for support, subjecting those teeth to additional stress, as well as necessary filing down and capping. This results in an increased risk of tooth decay and root canal problems. Removable partial dentures, meanwhile, hook onto existing teeth, which may cause them to loosen over time. Full removable dentures press on the ridges that support the teeth—accelerating the bone loss that began when teeth were lost in the first place.

Contact Brar Family Dentistry

If you have lost teeth and are exploring treatment options, look no further than Brar Family Dentistry in Nashua and Merrimack, NH. Schedule an appointment with our team of family dentistry professionals today! Your smile will truly benefit!