Steven K. Patterson BS DDS MPH


Preventing Tooth Decay in Young Children

Tooth decay, called dental caries, is caused by bacteria eating away the outer protective layer (enamel) of a tooth. Help prevent tooth decay in young children by adopting the following healthy habits: Teach your child to brush and floss every day. Clean your baby’s gums with a soft cloth or gauze pad to remove plaque…

Dental X-Rays

Explains what dental X-rays are and why they are done. Covers commonly used types of dental X-rays, including bitewing and panoramic X-rays. Includes info on risks. Also covers what results mean.

Self-Examination for Dental Plaque

Describes a test you can do at home that will show how well you’re brushing and flossing your teeth. Covers over-the-counter products that can be used to identify plaque. Covers how to do the self-exam and what results mean.

Tooth Development in Children

Your child’s primary teeth usually begin to break through the gums (erupt) at about 6 months of age. This is called teething. Teeth break through the gums in a certain order, typically from the front to the back of the mouth. Lower teeth often appear 1 to 2 months before the corresponding upper teeth. A change in the…

Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It’s caused by the growth of bacteria present in plaque, which is a clear, sticky substance that your mouth produces. Periodontitis is a severe type of gum disease that can’t be reversed. Gingivitis is a type…