You may have some questions about your child’s teeth. Dr. Joseph Curtin and Dr. Parnaz Mansouri, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend the following.
How can I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?
The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is to maintain a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Let your child know that it’s important to keep his teeth and gums healthy, and that the dentist will help him do that. Remember that your pediatric dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety and that our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment. There are also many children’s books you can read to them ahead of time to put them at ease as well (i.e. Curious George, Dora, Berenstain Bears).
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for children can be used. For children under two who may not like it, a brush that goes on your finger or simple gauze or wash cloth can be used as well. Children under 18 months can use plain water on the brush, children between 18 months and 2 years should use a very thin “smear layer,” children between 2 and 6 can use a pea-sized amount, and kids above 6 can brush like adults. Just make sure they are spitting out as much toothpaste as possible and swallowing as little as possible. Parent’s should assist in brushing until the child is 8 to 9.
When should I brush my child’s teeth?
After breakfast and before bedtime are the best times.
When should I floss my child’s teeth?
Flossing is recommended once the baby teeth start touching. Some children will have large spaces between all their teeth and some will have really tight contacts between them. And they can change over time. Single-use flossers are easier for kids to use than traditional floss.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. Anticipatory guidance will be given and a quick exam will be done. We will incorporate cleanings and xrays into the appointments as the child becomes comfortable with us.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Baby teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt and allow normal development of the jaw bone and muscles.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
Give the child children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. Orajel will help alleviate pain in the gums for a short amount of time, but will not affect the teeth at all. Finally, call our office as soon as possible. We may need to see them and get an xray to figure the problem.
What should I do if my child has a swelling?
If it’s an infected upper tooth where a large swelling is on the cheek and approaching the eye or a lower tooth where the swelling is under the chin and approaching the neck or airway, the child may need to go to the emergency room or urgent care for IV antibiotics. If it is a small bump or bubble on the gums above or below the tooth, call our office to get him/her seen as soon as possible.
Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of four or five, we will talk about future treatment options after the permanent teeth start erupting.
Should I put my child to bed with a bottle?
Try to avoid nursing your child to sleep or putting anything other than water in a bedtime bottle. During sleeping the saliva decreases and the milk will sit on the teeth for a long time, possibly starting the process that leads to decay. If they need this before bedtime, brush afterwards as normal.
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This prevents food and liquids from getting caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Protective aprons and high-speed digital films are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
Can diet affect my child’s teeth?
Though a balanced diet is certainly important in preventing cavities, experts agree that cavities are not only the result of what children eat, but also how often they eat. Frequent snacking without brushing leaves food on the teeth longer and fosters tooth decay. Child dentist recommendations include to make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay.
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.
What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?
Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’. The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:
- Bad Breath
- Gum Recession
- Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
- Tooth Pain
- Tooth Loss
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of Periodontal Cleanings, Root Planing & Scaling, Laser Therapy and Local Antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. Periodontal Surgery is only necessary for severe cases.
What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?
Silver Fillings known as Amalgam have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, it was the best restoration for fillings. The metal expands and contracts with the heat and cold placed in the mouth. This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.
White Fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay. Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.
How Can I Improve My Smile?
There are several ways in today’s Dental World to enhance your smile. Certain procedures include:
- Tooth Whitening
- Porcelain Veneers
- Porcelain Crowns
We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For an exact consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.
What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, fluoride is has been added to the whitening product. This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.
Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.
The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly. Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect. Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!
What is Bonding?
Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color. The immediate results are amazing. Within a few hours, you will have a great smile! Bonding like Tooth Whitening may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits. Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth. This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile. Many times, patients ask for Porcelain Veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!
What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth. It will change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits.
What is a Dental Implant?
A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
- Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
- Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
- Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
- Dental Implants replace the need for a Removable Full or Partial Denture.
- Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing. A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.
Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
With major advancements in Dentistry and Dental Implants, most people are candidates for Dental Implants. There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.
What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The average Dental Implant Procedure takes 3 - 4 visits. The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the Implant.
The next visit is to place the Implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area. (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist). The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone. The area will then be covered with sutures. The procedure is usually completed with minor pain.
You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the Porcelain Crown to place over the Implant.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist. Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.
How long does a Dental Implant last?
With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.
Does your office offer financing for services provided?
Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!