Posts for tag: pediatric dentistry
A child's formative years have an immense impact on their physical, mental and emotional well-being. As a parent you want them to have every advantage possible.
That should include a healthy mouth — actions you take now could determine the long-term soundness of their teeth and gums. Here are 5 things you can do to ensure your child's present and future oral health.
Begin oral hygiene habits early. By early, we mean even before their first teeth appear. Wipe their gums after every feeding with a water-soaked cloth or gauze pad; when teeth appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the end of the brush.
Start dental visits around their first birthday. Early dental visits increase the chances of detecting and treating developing problems before they become worse. And starting may also help your child become comfortable with visiting the dentist — waiting until later increases the chances of anxiety and an aversion to dental visits that might carry over into adulthood.
Adopt dental-friendly home and lifestyle habits.Â Don't allow your child to sleep with a pacifier or bottle filled with sugary fluids, including breast milk or formula: fill them with water instead. Limit their sugar consumption to small amounts and only at meal times. And be sure to “childproof” your home against hazards, especially sharp-edged furniture that could damage teeth if they make hard contact with it.
Teach them to care for their own teeth. Although you'll need to brush their teeth for them in the beginning, be sure you eventually teach them to perform this vital habit for themselves. To ease the transition try modeling the behavior or make it into an activity you can do together.
Partner with your family dentist. Your dental office can do more than prevent or treat dental disease — they're an important resource in helping you manage your child's dental needs at home. They can coach you on brushing and flossing techniques, and provide information to set your mind at ease about concerns like teething or thumb sucking.
If you would like more information on complete oral care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
Are you looking for other ways to safeguard your child’s smile from decay?
With the amount of sugar that sneaks into our diets, it’s not too surprising that our Woodstock, Kennesaw and Marietta, GA, dentists see a lot of children dealing with cavities. Perhaps kids aren’t brushing as well as they should or they are choosing foods and drinks that damage teeth and gums rather than promote a healthy smile. If you are concerned that your child may be at risk for cavities, find out how dental sealants could help.
What are dental sealants?
While nothing will take the place of proper brushing and flossing, there is another safeguard that you can take to protect your child’s smile from decay. Dental sealants, which are made from tooth-colored plastic, are bonded to the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars to reduce your child’s risk of cavities.
How do dental sealants work?
While all teeth are prone to decay if they aren’t properly cared for, back teeth tend to be most at risk for decay. Why? All you have to do is open your mouth and take a look at the chewing surfaces of those teeth. Do you notice a lot of crevices and grooves in those teeth? These areas can easily trap food and bacteria, which can be challenging for your children to thoroughly remove through brushing. By sealing these grooves with dental sealants, we can prevent bacteria from getting stuck in these hard-to-clean regions.
How are sealants placed?
Most parents think about their children getting dental procedures and they worry that it will lead to anxiety or even a tantrum, but you’ll be happy to hear that getting sealants is completely painless. After our Woodstock, Kennesaw and Marietta family dentist cleans your child’s teeth we will then apply a gel over the teeth that will etch the surface of the tooth to make the sealant stick better. Then we will paint the plastic over the surfaces of your child’s back teeth. Once we have applied the sealant, we will harden the sealant with a special light.
Do you have questions about dental sealants? Do you want to find out how your child can get them? If so, call 1st Choice Dental Care in Woodstock, Kennesaw and Marietta, GA, today to learn more.
There's something universal about thumb sucking: nearly all babies do it, and nearly all parents worry about it. While most such worries are unfounded, you should be concerned if your child sucks their thumb past age of 4 — late thumb sucking could skew bite development.
Young children suck their thumb because of the way they swallow. Babies move their tongues forward into the space between the two jaws, allowing them to form a seal around a nipple as they breast or bottle feed. Around age 4, this “infantile swallowing pattern” changes to an adult pattern where the tip of the tongue contacts the front roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth. At the same time their future bite is beginning to take shape.
In a normal bite the front teeth slightly overlap the bottom and leave no gap between the jaws when closed. Â But if thumb sucking continues well into school age, the constant pushing of the tongue through the opening in the jaws could alter the front teeth's position as they erupt. As a result they may not fully erupt or erupt too far forward. This could create an open bite, with a gap between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed.
Of course, the best way to avoid this outcome is to encourage your child to stop thumb sucking before they turn four. If, however, they're already developing a poor bite (malocclusion), all is not lost — it can be treated.
It's important, though, not to wait: if you suspect a problem you should see an orthodontist for a full evaluation and accurate diagnosis. There are even some measures that could discourage thumb sucking and lessen the need for braces later. These include a tongue crib, a metal appliance placed behind the upper and lower incisors, or exercises to train the tongue and facial muscles to adopt an adult swallowing pattern. Often, a reward system for not sucking their thumbs helps achieve success as well.
Thumb-sucking shouldn't be a concern if you help your child stop before age 4 and keep an eye on their bite development. Doing those things will help ensure they'll have both healthy and straight teeth.
If you would like more information on thumb sucking, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”