Wednesday, September 11, 2019

5 ESSENTIAL DENTAL MILESTONES TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR CHILDREN

Raising a child means constant love and attention, especially when it comes to their health. After all, children are growing at a lightning-quick pace and it’s your responsibility to ensure they’re hitting all the necessary milestones as they age.
While it isn’t uncommon for some children to experience milestones at different times compared to their peers, most kids will follow the same pattern of dental milestones as they grow. If you’re a new parent, here are some of the primary milestones your licensed dentist will monitor in your child through the years.

Teething

Baby tooth eruption, also known as teething, occurs when your child first grows their baby teeth. This typically occurs before your child hits one year in age, but some children can develop their first teeth as early as three months old. More often than not, you’ll notice the bottom front teeth come in first, followed closely by the top front teeth. These teeth are then followed by the canines and molars, though these eruptions can also happen simultaneously.
This can be a painful time for children and often involves a lot of screaming and crying as they begin to grow. Children will often feel the need to chew on things in order to relieve some of the pressure in the gums. At this stage, it’s not uncommon for a child to refuse food or beverage because it hurts so much. Keep in mind, however, that the gums aren’t being cut or damaged as the teeth come in — this is a natural process that your child’s body accounts for by making room in the gums for the teeth to erupt.
Your child will likely have their full set of baby teeth by age three though some may have them all by age two. As soon as the first tooth comes in, however, it’s recommended that you bring them to a licensed dentist for a checkup. Family dentists are adept at identifying problems or abnormalities in your child’s mouth before they cause problems later on. Kids dentists can also offer great tips for oral hygiene and pain relief. In fact, it’s recommended that you should start cleaning your child’s gums with a damp cloth before teeth even erupt. When that first tooth comes in, it’s vital that you start a brushing routine to develop healthy habits in your children.

Thumb-sucking

Thumb-sucking is a coping mechanism that many children turn into a habit. Thumb-sucking can be a way to relieve pressure in the gums during teething, but many children turn to this harmful habit when they’re feeling stressed. In particularly severe cases of thumb-sucking, the development of the palate and jaw can be affected because of the pressure. While some degree of thumb-sucking is considered normal, be sure to check in with a licensed dentist to monitor the behavior — and your child’s development.

Losing the first tooth

Your child will often lose their first tooth around the age of five or six. This is an exciting time for your child since this loss paves the way for adult teeth to follow. If your child is nervous, however, you can always pull out the tooth fairy card to make it a more fun experience.
Baby teeth will continue to fall out over the course of the next few years. This can happen naturally or happen because of impact while playing or through sports. Ensure your child wears a mouthguard when they partake in team sports so a baby tooth doesn’t come out before it’s ready.

Braces

When your child has their full set of adult teeth — typically by age 12 — it’s time to consider braces. More often than not, your child will have misaligned teeth due to genetic reasons. Overcrowding, misaligned jaws, and other issues can make teeth crooked or create gaps between teeth. In severe cases, some children experience jaw pain because of an overbite or crossbite. This is the perfect opportunity to invest in braces.
Investing in braces early ensures that your child’s teeth will look good for years to come. This is also a great age to introduce braces since most other children will also have them around this time. Establishing healthy dental habits, such as flossing and wearing a retainer, is easiest at this age since younger children are more likely to form these habits than older kids. Talk to your licensed dentist about braces for your child if their teeth are crooked or if there are issues in your child’s jaw.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are often the last dental milestone for your child. These pesky back molars can form anywhere between the ages of 16 through 24. While these teeth may have helped our ancestors replace missing teeth, they’re largely unnecessary in modern times. As a result, they often cause overcrowding in the mouth, increase in plaque, pain when they come in, and problems if they aren’t removed.
Luckily, a licensed dentist should have no problem getting rid of these malignant molars. When your child starts to experience dental pain because of wisdom teeth, refer to pediatric dentists for advice and preventative care tips.
There are a number of milestones your child will experience as they age. Here are just some of the dental milestones they might experience throughout their childhood.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Dangers of Plaque to Your Teeth

Bacterial plaque is a sticky buildup that develops on your teeth. Within 24 to 72 hours, plaque buildup turns into tartar and eventually results in gingivitis, which manifests in the form of inflamed, bleeding gums.

You can use plaque removal dental gel, plaque removing toothpaste, and tartar removing toothpaste to combat this condition. A high-quality, fluoride free toothpaste can also help.However, plague and tartar buildup doesn’t just threaten your dental health. It has also been found to affect other aspects of your health, even contributing to conditions like heart attacks and dementia.

Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth. Any time you eat or drink something with starches or sugars, bacteria releases acids which attack the enamel on your teeth. Because plaque is sticky, it basically holds a layer of acid up against your teeth constantly, which goes on to break down the enamel and cause serious tooth decay.

Before long, plaque leads to gingivitis—a condition involving swollen, tender gums, that occasionally bleed—which then leads to all-out gum disease. When periodontal (gum) disease develops, the gum tissue is drawn back away from the teeth, creating a perfect opportunity for bacteria to begin destroying the bone that supports your teeth underneath.

As of now, scientists have discovered links between periodontal disease and several severe health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, Rheumatoid arthritis, and premature birth. It isn’t known for certain how periodontal disease contributes to these conditions, but some experts speculate that oral bacteria might escape into the bloodstream when gums are infected and bloody. This bacteria can then go on to cause injury to major organs.

A major common denominator, according to most experts, is inflammation. When periodontal disease manifests in the mouth, it causes inflammation of the gums, which could potentially spread to other parts of the body. Inflammation is a recognized condition underlying diseases like arthritis and heart disease.
There have been numerous studies over the years that found gum disease to correlate with poor heart health.

Also, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum problems than people who don’t. Again, this may be partly due to inflammation. It’s also probably because people with diabetes are more likely to develop infections of all kinds. Interestingly, periodontal disease has also been discovered to raise one’s risk of developing dementia later on in life. Poor dental health also seems to be correlated with other mental conditions, such as cognitive impairment and memory loss.

There was also a strong connection found between rheumatoid arthritis and bad gum health. As an autoimmune disease, arthritis is a condition involving painful joints and—you guessed it—inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have periodontal disease and missing teeth than people who don’t.

Interestingly, people with severe arthritis have been known to experience less swelling, pain, and stiffness after having treatment for periodontal disease.

When it comes to the link between gum disease and preterm birth, scientists have drawn conflicting conclusions. While some studies seemed to find that women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth prematurely, other studies suggested no such correlation.

To prevent plaque buildup and the myriad of health conditions that can result from it, it’s important to use good oral hygiene, including plaque removal dental gel.

In addition, you should have your teeth cleaned by a dentist regularly. You may also ask your dentist if you should have a protecting sealant or coating applied to the back of your teeth, where most of the chewing is done, and where tooth decay usually starts.

Getting good plaque removal dental gel is an excellent first step to getting your plaque—as well as your oral and whole-body health—under control. Contact local Gainesville, VA Dentist to learn more. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON IS COMING: HERE’S HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD EATS A HEALTHY LUNCH

dentistSummer is coming to an end, and it won’t be long until the school season starts and parents have less control over their children — specifically, their diets. It’s one thing if you pack a lunch for your child each day, but if they’re eating food from the cafeteria, it’s important to be wary of each day’s choices. Eating the wrong foods can hurt not only your children’s overall health, but their dental health in particular. Here are just a few tips to help make sure your child or young teen is eating healthy meals throughout the entire school year.

Provide your child with their own (healthy) beverages so they don’t take a trip to the vending machines.

Everybody knows that sugary drinks are bad for your health and especially your teeth, but many schools stock their vending machines with the worst of the worst: energy drinks. As much as sports drinks are harmful to your teeth, dentists and researchers found that exposure to energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster®, and Red Bull® resulted in twice as much enamel loss as exposure to sports drinks such as Powerade®, Gatorade®, and Propel® (3.1% to 1.5%). To prevent your child from the temptation, provide them with their own healthy beverages from home. Milk, unsweetened iced tea, and flavored water are all great options.

Pack a healthy snack for between meals.

Some students don’t have lunchtime until later in the afternoon, which means they’re usually hungry before they even get out of their last class. Help them resist cravings by packing them a healthy snack for before lunch. A granola bar, dry cereal, or a piece of fruit are all great options. You never know if the snack they ate before lunch is what prevented them from treating themselves to a sugary dessert.

Check the school lunch menu ahead of time.

Finally, it’s important to check the school’s lunch menu ahead of time to determine whether or not it’s a healthy option. When in doubt, pack your child’s lunch or buy the ingredients they need to make it for themselves. Communicating with your child or young teen is also important to ensure proper dental development and oral health education.
Ultimately, these tips can make sure your child or young teen takes care of their teeth throughout the entire school year. For more information about pediatric dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.

DON’T FALL FOR THESE MISLEADING MYTHS ABOUT FLUORIDE

dentistsOne 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65% of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained. Knowing this, it’s clear to see that both children and adults alike are woefully misinformed about the essential facts of fluoride. Without further ado, let’s debunk some of the most misleading facts about how fluoride affects your teeth and overall dental health:

Fluoride is unsafe for young children.

Perhaps this misconception originated from someone who read a bit too much into the ‘do not swallow’ warnings on toothpaste tubes. But the fact is, fluoride is absolutely safe for young children. Moreover, kids dentists agree that fluoride is an essential component of oral health because it helps to strengthen the enamel. This is important to start from a young age. Make sure to encourage consumption of fluoridated water and twice-daily brushing with your child — their dentist will thank you.

Fluorosis is a common effect of ingesting fluoride.

While it’s true that fluorosis can result from ingesting too much fluoride, it’s very difficult to reach these levels of toxicity. If you have very young children, you may want to ask your dentist what the right amount of fluoride is. You should also double check with your dentist if you plan on using infant formula with fluoridated water — typically, infants should be drinking formula only with purified or distilled water. Still, the chance of fluorosis is very rare.

Fluoride causes cancer.

Finally, this outdated has been discredited long ago, but for some reason, it still scares some people who may not know the facts. Experts agree, however, that there is absolutely no evidence of any sort of connection between fluoride intake and bone cancer. Take it from Colgate Professional:
“The National Cancer Institute asserts, citing decades-long surveys by the Public Health Service and other national organizations and reviews of studies, that there is no association between fluoride and cancer. Years and years of epidemiological data support the safe use of fluoride,” writes Jen Collins.
Now that you know the real facts about fluoride, you can make the most informed decision for your family’s dental health. For more information about kids dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tooth Decay 101

Most people will get a cavity at some point in their lives. While this is never an enjoyable experience, it is very routine. Tooth decay still shouldn’t be taken lightly, so if your children are suffering from tooth pain or have simply not been in for a checkup recently, seek out your family dentist. To help your children avoid cavities, here are some basic facts about tooth decay.

Causes

There are good reasons that dentists caution against sugary snacks and advocate better brushing habits. When sugars and starches stay on your teeth, they form a thin film called plaque. The acidity of plaque is quite high, and when over concentrated can cause the bacteria in your mouth to eat its way through your teeth.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a cavity are typically fairly painful. Pain on the affected tooth could be triggered by pressure, hot or cold beverages, or it could come in waves. If you see any visible holes on your tooth, or if you can feel them with your tongue, you have a cavity.

Prevention and Solutions

Preventative measures are fairly straightforward. The best thing you can do is avoid sugary foods and maintain a regular brushing regimen. Your children can still eat sweets so long as they thoroughly brush after doing so.
Treatment for tooth decay is also straightforward, but can sometimes be tricky for children, which is why a dentist for children is a good idea. The procedure is a simple filling of the cavity and the installation of a cap. Some kids might fear this, though, which is one of the reasons pediatric dental sedations are growing in popularity. In fact, the number of sedations performed on children each year has swelled to 250,000, contributing to a reduction of fear for the dentist among many.
Tooth decay is simply part of life. It can happen even if you are excellently disciplined at brushing your teeth. Still, your chances are reduced greatly by proper brushing and eating habits. If you would like to learn more, visit our blog or contact us today.

Monday, May 7, 2018

5 Fun Flouride Facts

Kids dentists are in the business of protecting your children’s teeth. In order to give the best dental care possible, childrens dentists recommend a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Why? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that contributes positively to the health of everyone’s teeth. So, without further ado, here are some interesting facts about fluoride.
  1. We Drink It Every Day
    Almost every single source of water contains trace amounts of fluoride, as that is where it occurs naturally. Don’t worry, though, because fluoride is not classified as a medicine. Humans lived for many years drinking natural water, so drink up and don’t sweat it.
  2. How Much Do We Drink?
    A 2012 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry revealed that over 65% of parents who used bottled water didn’t know the fluoride levels it contained. Thankfully, the recommended level for drinking water is 0.7 parts per million. This ensures the public doesn’t consume too much fluoride.
  3. Fluoridation Saves Money
    Fluoridation, or the introduction of additional fluoride into drinking water has been shown to save money on dental costs on a large scale. In most cities, a $1 investment in fluoridation can save $38 on dental costs. This just goes to show how protective this mineral can be.
  4. Fluorosis Is Rare
    Fluorosis can have parents a little worried. Too much fluoride consumption can cause little white flecks to appear on teeth. This will not harm your children in any way. Besides, even mild cases are not very common.
  5. Tooth Decay Is Down
    Even though tooth decay is still five times more common than asthma, overall national rates have declined. This is due in part to fluoridation and to the cultural promotion of healthy teeth.
As a naturally sourced mineral, fluoride is found in almost all water. This is good news, as it can provide enormous public health benefits. If you are concerned about your kids’ dental health and what to learn more about the dos and do nots of fluoride, talk to your childrens dentist today. They will be able to provide you with great information about preventing tooth decay, giving your children a head start on growing great teeth.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Top 5 Foods and Drinks That Harm Your Children's Teeth

There are so many different things you need to keep track of as parents that sometimes you overlook something important. Dental hygiene is necessary to instill at a young age, but even good brushing habits can be flummoxed by some common foods and drinks kids consume. To prevent tooth decay and multiple visits to pediatric dentists, try to teach your children about the perils of the following tasty treats.
  1. Energy Drinks
    While sports drinks are not great for your health, they pale in comparison to carbonated energy drinks. While these drinks may give you wings, they also result in significantly more enamel loss than sports beverages. In fact, energy drinks cause 3.1% enamel loss compared to 1.5% in sports drinks.
  2. Sour Candy
    No surprises here, but the reason sour candies are so harmful is actually rather illuminating. There are numerous acids that go into creating the flavor in these candies, but they also can get stuck to your kid’s teeth, prolonging the exposure.
  3. Citrus
    Orange juice is generally good for you and definitely delicious, but the citric acid content is high, so moderate your kid’s intake. Just because citrus can decay enamel, it doesn’t mean you should give up OJ altogether, but consider buying it as an occasional special treat instead.
  4. Potato Chips
    Kids dentists aren’t the only people that will say to avoid potato chips, but the high starch content breaks down into complex sugars, something to be avoided if the goal is having healthy teeth.
  5. Ice
    Who doesn’t like chewing on ice cubes? It’s certainly a refreshing way to cool down in the summer, but ice is really hard. Chewing on it can cause chipped teeth, loosened crowns, and a number of dental emergencies. Kids dentists see teeth that have been damaged by ice all too often.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your children make the best decisions for their health. This includes proper brushing habits, regular exercise, and moderating potentially harmful food intake. To help your children develop the best dental hygiene habits, talk to your kids dentist today about better food options.