Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic FAQ
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later. Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. Financing is usually available, and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, many insurance plans now include orthodontics.
Explain to your child what a dentist is and why it’s important to take care of his/her teeth. Let them know what they can expect, such as the dentist looking in their mouth, brushing and flossing, and even taking x-rays. Make sure that they know that the dentist is there to help them keep a beautiful smile.
You may have had a painful toothache or have had extensive work done on your teeth, but try not to talk to your child about negative dental experiences.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Always tell your child how proud you are of them and what a big, brave boy/girl they are. New experiences can be scary and anytime they handle it well, we want to offer praise and encouragement
There are many great children's books about visiting the dentist. Seeing their favorite characters successfully visit the dentist can help alleviate a child’s fears about their visit.
We will evaluate your child's risk for dental disease, which we will use to create a treatment plan that addresses your child's specific needs.
Our team has the special skill and training necessary to work with children who may not understand what is happening around them. We encourage you to share with us any techniques that you find effective for helping your special needs child to remain calm and receptive.
If a child does not stop on his or her own, the habit should be discouraged after age four. Excessive pressure can do more harm than good.
Here are a few tips to consider:
-Instead of scolding your child for sucking, offer praise for not sucking.
-Remember that children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or seeking comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of anxiety and comforting your child.
-Reward your child when he or she avoids sucking during difficult periods, such as being separated from you.
-Your dentist can encourage children to stop sucking and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop.
-If these approaches do not work, remind your child of the habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock over the hand at night.
-You could even loosely wrap an ACE bandage around the child’s elbow so that sucking their thumb is not as easy or comfortable.
-If the sucking persists, ask your dentist, hygienist, or pediatrician. The use of a mouth appliance or nontoxic, bitter-tasting substance to coat the thumb or thumbnail may be recommended to prevent sucking.
Eating patterns and food choices are important factors that affect tooth decay. Almost all foods have some type of sugar that cannot and should not be eliminated from our diets. Many of them, such as apples, oranges, and milk, contain important nutrients and add enjoyment to eating. Without a balanced diet, however, health problems including obesity, nutrient deficiencies, and tooth decay can result.
Each patient has a unique set of teeth so depending on what we need to do will determine how long treatment will take but most people are in treatment from 1 to 3 years.
Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam.
How often X-rays should be taken depends on a patient’s present oral health, age, risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. We will review your child’s history, examine their mouth, and then decide whether or not they need X-rays.
As their teeth erupt, some babies become fussy, sleepless, or irritable. Loss of appetite or drooling more than usual also can be signs of teething.
To comfort a teething child, gently massage the gums with:
-a clean finger
-a small, chilled spoon or teething ring
-a clean, moist gauze pad or cloth.
Your dentist or pediatrician may recommend a pacifier or special “numbing” salve for the gums.
Yes, any person that participates in risky sports or recreational activities should wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are primarily designed to protect teeth from chipping, breaking, or being completely knocked out. However, they do more than that. They protect your kid’s tongue, lips, gum, jaw, neck, face, and help absorb the force exerted by a blow to their head.
-Regular check-ups are an important part of preventative care.
-Brush at least twice daily, especially before bedtime with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily.
-Eat a well-balanced diet and limit sugary snacks between meals.
-If recommended by your dentist, use a mouthwash containing fluoride.
-If you have a history of, or are at risk of developing cavities, talk to your dentist about fluoride varnish and/or xylitol gum.
-Parents should assist children in brushing until at least age eight to ensure plaque is being properly removed.
-Limit beverages containing sugar including juice and sports drinks.
-Encourage drinking water between meals.
-Dental sealants are recommended on six and twelve-year molars.
-Promote a healthy diet with planned meals and snacks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unsweetened dairy products.
-Limit sugary foods to mealtimes and avoid sticky foods like fruit snacks and dried fruits.
Bacteria in the mouth use the sugars found in liquids and foods to produce acids that attack the teeth. Each time these liquids or foods are consumed, acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or longer. After many attacks, tooth decay can develop.
This is a type of tooth decay that occurs because of prolonged exposure to liquids that contain sugar. One of the more common ways this can occur is bottle propping or putting your baby to bed with a bottle.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the ocean. Research has shown that fluoride not only prevents cavities in children and adults, it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay is visible. During childhood, when teeth are still forming, fluoride works by making tooth enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out, hold it by the top part (crown), rinse it gently with water, reinsert into the socket, making sure it is facing the correct direction, and take the child to the dentist immediately. If you can’t replace the tooth put it in a container of cold milk or in a cold wet cloth and bring it to the dentist immediately.
Tooth decay can begin as soon as teeth emerge in a baby’s mouth – usually by age six months or so.
-It is beneficial for the first visit to occur within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the baby’s first birthday. Consider this first visit as the “healthy baby checkup” for your child’s teeth.
-During this visit, your dentist will check for decay and other conditions and show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Additionally, the dentist may recommend oral care products for your family.
To reduce the risk of tooth decay, children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
Straight teeth are important for a nice smile and correct jaw positioning and well-positioned teeth are together important for chewing, digestion, speech, and good looks; in other words, for physiological and psychological health. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean and this enhances the health of the gums and of the oral cavity in general.
Baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth – for chewing, speaking, and appearance. In addition, baby teeth hold the space in the jaw for permanent teeth. Both primary and permanent teeth help give the face its shape and form.