How do I know if my child is getting the appropriate amount of fluoride in their diet?
If you do not reside in a community that has fluoridated water or have the appropriate amount of natural fluoride in your well water, your child may need some sort of supplement in their diet. We can help you determine how much of a supplement your child needs based upon their weight, age, current water fluoride level, and brand of toothpaste. In addition to fluoride, calcium and phosphorus must also be readily available through your child’s diet and in their saliva to maintain healthy tooth enamel.
What is an appropriate diet for my child?
It is important that your child receives a naturally-balanced diet that includes the important nutrients your child needs in order to grow. A daily diet should include the major food groups of meat/fish/eggs, vegetable/fruit, bread/cereal as well as milk and other dairy products.
Absolutely. It is important that you initiate a balanced diet for your child so that their teeth develop appropriately. In addition, this will positively affect healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Please note that a diet high in sugar and other forms of carbohydrates may increase the probability of tooth decay.
How do I create a diet that is safe for my child’s teeth?
As we stated earlier, initiate a balanced diet. Analyze the frequency in which starch- based foods are eaten. These types of foods include breads, pasta, potato chips, etc. In addition, sugar is found in more than just candy. All types of sugars can promote tooth decay. For example, most milk-based products contain sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a favorite for bagged lunches. Unfortunately, it includes sugar not only in the jelly, but also in the peanut butter. For less sugar and more flavor and nutrients, try replacing jelly with fresh fruit slices (apples, pears, or bananas) or chopped dried fruit. Go easy on the peanut butter, though — it’s high in fat. Choose the “no-salt-added” kind for less sodium.
Should I eliminate all sugar and starch from my child’s diet?
Of course not. Many of these foods are incredibly important to your child’s health. Starch- based foods are much safer to eat for teeth when eaten with an entire meal. Foods that stick to teeth are also more difficult to wash away by water, saliva, or other drinks. It’s important that you talk to our staff about your child’s diet and to maintain proper dental care.
What helpful information can you give me regarding tooth decay in infants?
Most importantly, don’t nurse your children to sleep. If you feel compelled to do so, please brush their teeth or wipe them with a Xylitol (for more information, go to www.spiffies.com) containing tooth wipe before placing your child to bed. A recent clinical study showed that Spiffies are as effective as brushing for removing dental plaque from baby teeth. In addition, this study demonstrated that both moms and babies preferred the wipes to brushing, especially before bedtime. In addition,do not put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula. When a child is sleeping, any liquid that remains in the mouth can support the bacteria that produce acid and harm the teeth. A simple pacifier or bottle of water is fine.
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Contact our office as soon as possible.
Rinse the knocked out tooth in cool water. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or have you child bite down to keep it in place. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth under your child’s tongue and in contact with their saliva. If you are concerned about your child swallowing the tooth place it in a container of milk (or water if milk is not available.) Come to our office immediately. Please call our emergency number 716.332.2444, (option 8) if it is after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.
Contact our office as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! Our goal is to save the tooth, protect the health of the nerve and prevent infection. Rinse the mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment, it can be bonded back to the tooth.
Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. To help comfort your child, rinse out the mouth with warm salt water and you may use Tylenol or Motrin as directed.
Simple. Sport related dental injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouthguards. Child proofing your home can help reduce injuries at home. In addition, regular dental check ups will contribute to preventative care.
What are sealants?
Tooth sealant refers to a protective coating that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping prevent the formation of tooth decay.
How do sealants work?
In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves between their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can't reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.
The longevity of sealants varies. Sealants that have remained in place for three to five years would be considered successful, however, sealants can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealants placed during childhood still intact on the teeth of adults. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Any tooth that shows characteristics of developing decay should be sealed. The most common teeth for a dentist to seal are a child’s back teeth, and of these teeth, the molars are the most common teeth on which dental sealants are placed. The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What is the procedure for placing sealants?
Generally the procedure takes just one visit. Placing dental sealants can be a very easy process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned, and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth where it is hardened with a special blue light and then buffed. All normal activities can occur directly after the appointment.
How important is brushing and flossing after sealants are applied?
It is just as important for your child to brush and floss their teeth. Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay.
How much does it cost?
This treatment is quite affordable, especially when you consider the value of protection against tooth decay. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Check with your insurance company about your child’s coverage.
When some children smile, they may show an excessive amount of gum tissue. This is called a gummy smile and may be due to a few different problems:
Gum irritation and overgrowth from braces. This is more likely to happen if the teeth appear short before the braces are placed on the teeth. This problem results not from the quality of the orthodontic care, but is a result of pre-treatment gum and bone thickness.
Altered passive eruption. The gum and bone normally recede as a part of the normal eruption of the teeth. When this normal recession doesn't occur, the gums cover too much of the teeth and make them appear "too short". The teeth are usually not too short. They are usually of normal size but are buried under the gum and bone.
If there are habits such as digit sucking or grinding (bruxism), excessive pressure or tooth wear can alter the appearance of the teeth. The problems may be able to be corrected with orthodontics, surgical procedures, or dental restorations such as crowns or veneers.
Skeletal developmental problems affect the growth of the jaws and the teeth. If orthodontics are instituted between the years of seven and nine, the growth of the jaws can often be controlled and the cosmetics can be improved.
Before treatment, it is critical to properly evaluate the problems and get an accurate diagnosis. Some cosmetic issues can be easily corrected while others like skeletal problems can be more difficult.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouth guard is comprised of soft plastic. They come in standard or custom fit to adapt comfortably to the upper teeth.
Why is a custom mouthguard important?
A mouth guard protects the teeth from possible sport injuries. It does not only protect the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw bone as well. It can contribute to the protection of a child from head and neck injuries such as concussions. Most injuries occur to the mouth and head area when a child is not wearing a mouthguard.
When should my child wear a mouthguard?
It should be worn during any sport-based activity where there is risk of head, face, or neck injury. Such sports include hockey, soccer, karate, basketball, baseball, skating, skateboarding, as well as many other sports. Most oral injuries occur when children play basketball, baseball, and soccer.
How do I choose a mouthguard for my child?
Choose a mouthguard that your child feels is comfortable. If a mouthguard feels bulky or interferes with speech to any great degree, it is probably not appropriate for your child. Many parents choose an over-the-counter mouthguard because they are unaware of the benefits of custom made mouthguards. It is rare that an over-the-counter mouthguard will fit a child properly, resulting in improper use and wear.
There are many options in mouthguards. Most guards are found in athletic stores. These vary in comfort, protection as well as cost. The least expensive tend to be the least effective in preventing oral injuries. Customized mouth guards can be provided through our practice at a very reasonable cost. Also, several options are available in customizing such as variety of colors, sizes, thicknesses and break-away straps. They may be a bit more expensive, but they are much more comfortable and shock absorbent.
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