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Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

July 17th, 2019

“Are Dental X-Rays Safe?” and Other Questions about Dental X-Rays

Some of the most common questions we get at All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do I or my kids need them? And how often should I get them?

These are great questions (and we love how much you prioritize your health). The answers can get complex quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics here.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Let’s start with the most important issue—safety.

Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce
exposure.

Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the X-ray of today is far superior to those of even just a decade ago.

This applies to children, too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to in an X-ray of the back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.

Why Do You Need X-Rays?

X-rays, also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, that they can’t see through a visual examination. X-rays are especially important for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.

The benefits of X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.

How Often Should I Get Them?

Your X-ray schedule depends on a number of risk factors, including your medical and dental history.

Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every 12 months.

The best way to reduce the number of X-rays you need is to follow good oral hygiene at home.

What type of dental x-rays do you offer?

Here, at All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we use digital xrays that emit the lowest radiation levels. Our hand-held x-ray unit looks like something Buzz Lightyear would use. It's called the Nomad.  Children don't feel intimidated by it since it looks less cumbersome and intrusive. We also use a digital panoramic x-ray machine to evaluate for growth & development and also for timing when to see the orthodontist or oral surgeon for those wisdom teeth.

Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?

Contact us.  If your child hasn't seen the a pediatric dentist, then give contact us and we will help your child establish a dental home for future dental visits.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about digital x-rays check out our website section. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD).  He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

What is Plaque?

June 11th, 2019

Most people have heard of the word “plaque,” and know it’s not something you want on your teeth. Yet, they don’t know what exactly plaque is or how it contributes to dental decay.

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that lives on the surface of your teeth and along the gumline. It accumulates from normal daily activities such as eating and drinking, especially if you’ve been consuming a lot of sugars and starches.

Ever had that fuzzy feeling on your teeth that goes away after you give them a good brush?
Yep, that’s plaque. Plaque is what contributes to dental decay, as bacteria like to consume the sugars in your mouth and excrete acids that wear away at your tooth enamel.

So, what's the big deal about plaque?

When you don’t regularly brush and floss away plaque, it forms tartar. Tartar forms 24 hours after plaque is left on the teeth.  Soft plaque turns into hard tartar.  Tartar is the calcified substance on your teeth that now only a professional cleaning can remove.

How do I prevent tartar buildup?

The best way to prevent tartar buildup is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss.   I would recommend brushing after every meal. Yes, that means 3 times a day. If you decide to snack, then remember to brush also after snacking.

Why does tartar matter?

Remember that plaque excretes acids on your teeth.  These acids breakdown the enamel surface of the tooth which can lead to a dental cavity which may need a filling.

What are some ways of removing plaque from my teeth?

Check out our section on Preventive Care. Here you will find how to properly brush and floss your teeth. If you have an infant, then head over to our Infant Care section.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about improving your child's oral health check out our preventive dentistry page. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

 

Breaking Bad: Dental Habits To Break as a Child

May 2nd, 2019

Nobody’s perfect. We all pick up bad habits along the way. Even our oral health isn’t immune. Try as you may, odds are you're child may have picked up a habit or two in the name of convenience.

That’s totally okay! We get it. And that’s why we’re here: to ensure your child's oral health is in fantastic shape.

Here are a few less-than-stellar dental habits that we often see, with some tips on how to break them.

Thumbsucking

If your child is putting his or her thumb or any finger in his or her mouth  this can led to several problems.  First, there in increased bacterial transfer from the fingers to the oral cavity, which can lead to illness.  Second, thumbsucking may shift your child's teeth and also reshape the palate.  This can lead to misalignment of teeth and even airway issues.

Need more advice? Check out our page for more info about thumbsucking.

Inconsistent Dental Checkups

If your child hasn't seen  the dentist every six months, or if it’s been a while since we’ve seen your smile, schedule an appointment today!

You can call us at 858-737-9000 or go through our scheduling portal to make an appointment. Staying on top of your child's health today can save yourself a lot of time and money down the road.

Not Flossing

Again, you probably figured this would be on here. And you know what, it’s for good reason. Flossing helps prevent decay and gum recession. It’s extremely important!  This maybe even more important than brushing.

So how can you help your child remember to floss more? Put a post-it note on your child's mirror as a reminder. Invest in a flossing stick — some people find it much easier than the traditional method.  Make it stick: Floss at the same time each day to build up a routine.

You can also start small, setting a goal of once per week. After that settles in you may find yourself craving a good floss after brushing.  This will help your child gain the skill as it becomes part of his or her nighttime routine.  Parents, check out our flossing techniques if you need a refresher.

Brushing Too Vigorously

One of the top causes of worn enamel is brushing too hard. If your child complains that his or her arm is sore after brushing, pull back on the reins. Along with the enamel, over time this friction will also wear away your child's gum tissue.

Remember to keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the base of the gums, and move the brush in a gentle, circular motion.

Not Brushing Long Enough

If your child is taking less than 2 minutes to brush his or her teeth then he or she is not getting their teeth brushes adequately.  Sometimes it may see like a race to see who finishes brushing the fastest.  One way to help them brush for the full 2 minutes is to use a timer. You can use an old fashion sand timer or put a 2 minute alarm on a stop watch or smartphone.  You can even search for 2 minute songs on Youtube for them to listen while brushing.

Using an Old Toothbrush

When was the last time you changed your child's toothbrush? It’s not something you often think of, right? The problem with using an old toothbrush its frayed bristles can end up damaging your child's teeth rather than cleaning them properly.

You should change your child's toothbrush every three to four months. A good mnemonic device is to change your toothbrush on the first day of every new season. That way you’ll never have an old brush!

Letting the Water Run

This one is self-explanatory, and it’s an easy fix. After you wet your tooth brush turn off the tap. That initial wetting is all the water you’ll need. Turning off the water is good for your bill and great for the planet.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about improving your child's oral health check out our preventive dentistry page. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD).  He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

Should I Brush Before I Floss?

April 2nd, 2019

The age-old question – should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!

Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job, we don’t care when you floss!

The Case for Flossing Before Brushing

Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.

Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it. Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss
afterward.

The Case for Flossing After Brushing

Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.

Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.

Bottom Line

Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.

And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.”

Want us to show you how? Just ask!

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about improving your child's oral health check out our preventive dentistry page. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.