Teeth vary in size, shape and their location in the jaws. These variations enable teeth to work together to help you chew, speak, smile and support your facial structure. At birth, babies usually have twenty primary teeth, which often start about 6 months of age. They then fall out at various times throughout childhood. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth have usually erupted. Here’s a chart that shows the schedule.
Fluoride is a natural element that has been shown to prevent tooth decay. In many areas, fluoride is added to the water system and research has shown that in those areas, cavities have been reduced 50%. Many children have been cavity-free since the widespread use of fluoridated water.
Fluoride works by inhibiting the loss of minerals from the tooth enamel and encourages remineralization, which strengthens the tooth enamel that may be starting to develop a cavity. Fluoride also has an effect on the bacteria that causes cavities, reducing the acid that attacks the enamel of the tooth.
Using fluoride for the control and prevention of cavities in children has been proven safe. However, all products containing fluoride should be stored out of reach of young children. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which appears as white spots on the teeth in mild cases, or in more severe cases appears as brown spots. Dr. Laura and our team will discuss the proper use of fluoride for your child and recommend if additional fluoride treatments or supplements are needed. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re here or give us a call.
Children should have their first dental exam no later than the age of three. There are many benefits to bringing your child to a dentist specializing in the treatment of children, and one of them is that our office and team are focused on making sure that each child has a positive dental experience. Providing rides in the dental chair, games about toothbrushing, props such as stuffed animals to help us educate and relate to your child, are all part of providing care for your child.
Your child’s dental health is a partnership between the parents, child and the dental team. If we all work together, your child will have the best experience and best results for their care. We want to make sure that your child has the advantages of healthy teeth and gums so that their teeth will support their overall health. Some of the preventative treatments that we provide, aside from regular examination, cleaning and education are fluoride treatments and sealants. Fluoride treatments may be done to provide the strengthening of fluoride to your child’s teeth. Daily eating and drinking can create an acidic environment that can weaken the enamel of the teeth and open a pathway to cavities. Fluoride, along with regular brushing and flossing, does quite a good job at preventing that.
Sealants are another tool for preventing dental decay. Sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the permanent back teeth (molars). They fill in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth where foods and bacteria can get stuck and cause cavities. Once applied, sealants can last for several years. This is particularly effective against foods like breads, crackers and cereals which tend to stick in the grooves. Although these foods are generally not high in added sugar, when broken down, these carbohydrates convert to sugar that can attack the teeth.
Give us a call and schedule an exam for your children. We’ll let you know what the best way is to prevent dental decay.
As we start to move toward the end of 2015, it’s time to check your health care plan and your FSA or HSA to see whether you’ve fully utilized your benefits. Have you used the allocated number of hygiene visits in your dental plan? Have you used the money set aside in your Flex Plan? It’s time to check your account and see if you have a balance that you’ll lose at the end of this year. Is your child up to date on fluoride treatments, sealants, and their hygiene care?
It’s also time to plan ahead for next year. Will your child have any restorative needs that you can use Flex Plan money for? Is a trip to the orthodontist in the cards for next year? Ask Dr. Laura whether it should be done now or later. Age 7 is the ideal time for a first visit to the orthodontist, and some orthodontists offer a free initial exam, so plan accordingly.
With so many options available today for maximizing your health care spending, it’s important that you know your plan and quarterly review your status in your plan. You don’t want to leave any of your hard earned money in an FSA at the end of the year. Our administrative team is able to help you maximize your benefits with us, and of course always check in with your office plan administrator.
As Halloween is near it is a great time to think to remind ourselves of the pitfalls of Halloween. Besides the costume malfunctions, not being invited to the cool kids party and the fear of not filling the “trick or treat” bag, here are some real tips to help make this a smoother healthier Halloween.
Get the kids involved in creating their costume. Share pictures from Pinterest and look around the house to see what your little or teen goblin can create. Great costumes can be created from things around the house, without going to great expense. Save that money for their future!
Consider how stressful Halloween can be for your pets. While a small number of pets love all the excitement, most become adjitated by it. There are some really cute costumes for pets on the market but think about how stressed out your cat or dog will be if they actually have to wear a costume all day and night. It might be better for them, and you, to fill their water bowl and put their favorite bed in a quiet room, with the radio playing music so they don’t hear the doorbell. Also, remember candy isn’t good for your pet.
If you like to decorate the walkway and front porch, be sure that the decorations are securely fastened so that no one falls and gets hurt while trying to get to your front door. Mark steps with a piece of reflective tape and use Dollar Store flameless candles in your pumpkins and anywhere that you need a little extra light.
Before your ghost and goblins go out to trick or treat feed them a healthy meal that is high in protein. Limit soft drinks and juices as well at Halloween, as well as during other times of year. Little, and even big, ghosts and goblins tend to crave fewer sweets when they are full.
Limit the number of pieces of candy they can eat when they get home to three or so. After you inventory their candy haul, let them pick out their three favorites. Remind them that they cannot eat any candy until they get home. It’s a tough rule to follow, especially when your kids are trick or treating in your neighborhood where you know everyone. Once the selection has been made, put the bag or bags of candy away for safe keeping. As a child, I remember sleeping with my candy and before the night was over I was sick to my stomach.
Over the next couple of days let them select a couple of pieces a day and talk to your child(ren) about what a good thing it would be to donate their left over candy.There are many drop-ff sites in the area where you can drop off your extra candy. Reward your child(ren) for their generosity with a movie or a pizza.
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you to have your kids brush their teeth after eating candy. The sugars in candy can quickly begin to erode tooth enamel leading to cavities. After a they have eaten their allotted candy wait about 10 minutes and then have them give their teeth a good brushing with a high-quality toothpaste. This will ensure they can continue eating candy and other wonderful foods for years to come. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween.
Did you know that teething is a frequent cause of night-waking for those children under the age of 2? We know how a sleepless night can affect all members of the family so want to offer a few tips to make this time easier. Children often start getting teeth between 6 and 9 months and the last of their teeth may not erupt until after age 2, so for many children (and parents!) this can be a long time to go with disrupted sleep and the other symptoms such as crankiness and poor appetite! Not every child is bothered by teething, and the discomfort can vary for each child. Here are a few tips that can soothe the little one:
• Use a firm teething ring for your baby to chew on. Avoid the fluid-filled rings as they can break or leak.
• Use a clean finger to gently rub the area or chill a clean damp washcloth in the freezer and use that for chewing. Make sure that the washcloth is laundered after each use.
• If your baby is being bottle fed, they may experience some discomfort when sucking. They may prefer to suck from one side or another instead of straight in the front.
• Liquid pain relievers as recommended by your pediatrician, such as Tylenol, can take the edge off and help your child to sleep. Topical pain relievers are generally not recommended because saliva will dilute and rinse them away. Contrary to some folk remedies, any kind of alcoholic beverage is not recommended.
Don’t forget that it’s important for your child to see a pediatric dentist around the age of one. In addition to a brief exam, we will coach you how to best care for your child’s teeth and get them started on the road to a lifetime of dental health. Dr. Laura is an expert at dealing with any resistance on the part of your child. We can make dental care a positive experience for everyone!
Primary teeth are not “just baby teeth.” They serve an important role in your child’s development, so it’s important to keep them healthy until they are ready to be replaced by adult teeth. Thorough brushing with the help of a parent, flossing (yes, flossing for kids!) and regular visits to the dentist are important for your child’s health. Neglected primary teeth increase risk for cavities and periodontal disease which can lead to problems with developing permanent teeth and overall health.
Primary teeth are important to:
While front baby teeth generally fall out between the ages of 6 and 8, primary back teeth aren’t ready to fall out until ages 10-12. So dental care for your kids’ primary teeth is an important part of their overall health care for a long time!