Children’s Dentistry

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These are Times that Stress Kids’ Mouths

What does a student facing exam pressure have in common with a World War I soldier—or an 18th-Century British sailor? More than you might think. Kids surviving on junk food and stress are at risk of two retro tooth-and-gum woes: trench mouth and scurvy. Trench Mouth (named for the soldiers) is better known today as ANUG, or Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis. While it's similar to periodontal disease, what sets ANUG apart is its immediate onset. Suddenly the mouth is sore, gums bleed easily, and…bad breath! ANUG often strikes students during particularly stressful periods, like exam time. A stress triad believed to contribute to this painful condition includes lowered resistance due to lack of sleep and good diet, poor oral hygiene, [...]

By |2022-01-27T19:29:46+00:00July 12th, 2022|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on These are Times that Stress Kids’ Mouths

What Did You Say?

We've all heard young children speak "baby talk." Sometimes it can sound endearing—or it may be a speech defect. In early infancy, babies begin to make vowel sounds, usually mastered by age three. Consonant sounds are more difficult and come a little later on. By the eighth birthday, most children can pronounce all consonants and are 100% intelligible. But some children have more difficulty with speech and may need help learning. Lisping—The most common speech defect is lisping, which is relatively easy to correct. Children who lisp cannot produce "s," "z," "sh," "ch," and "j" sounds. A lisp is heard when children cut off an "s" with the tongue instead of the front teeth. Prolonged thumb sucking or finger sucking [...]

By |2022-01-27T19:26:16+00:00June 21st, 2022|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on What Did You Say?

Baby Pacifier Pros and Cons

Is putting baby to bed with a pacifier the way to Sleep Heaven? Or the start of a dangerous habit? Moms, doctors, even dentists have passionate opinions on both sides. As usual, the truth lies pretty much in between. A study published in a recent issue of General Dentistry indicates that babies sleeping with pacifiers are less likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than those who don't. It's believed the pacifier allows baby to awaken from the kind of extremely deep sleep that could result in stopped breathing. They also provide what the pacifier was invented for: sucking satisfaction and a sense of well-being. On the other hand, pacifiers can cause problems with the growth of the [...]

By |2022-01-10T22:52:16+00:00April 12th, 2022|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Baby Pacifier Pros and Cons

Baby Teeth and Teething

Being mammals, we sport two sets of teeth, the primaries and the permanent. Assuming Mom has already lent strength to her baby's teeth during pregnancy—beginning from week seven of prenatal life—teeth grow through two stages. In the first permutation, teeth take shape; in the second, the cells are actually transformed to perform different functions. All this is percolating as you enjoy pickles and ice cream. When your baby is born, you won't see teeth, but they're there. Enamel and dentin are still forming in the jaw and, in a matter of months, the teething process is well underway. The root, however, will take another few years to be firmly established. Make no mistake about the role of "baby" teeth—they are [...]

By |2021-10-20T19:35:56+00:00January 11th, 2022|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Baby Teeth and Teething

Thumb Sucking: A Most Common Habit

What's the most common thing nearly half of American toddlers do when they're tired, relaxing, sleeping, or being scolded? They suck their thumbs! Thumb-sucking is the earliest and most common habit among children. It's nothing for parents to worry about—unless the habit persists. Only after age four does thumb-sucking threaten to damage children's teeth Some thumb-suckers simply rest the thumb in the mouth, sucking only at certain times. Others work at the habit and can displace teeth severely. If, when you remove the thumb from your child's mouth you hear a "popping," it signals a great deal of pressure on the teeth that may cause an overbite or underbite. If the child is over four, you may want to discuss [...]

By |2021-02-20T17:20:38+00:00April 20th, 2021|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Thumb Sucking: A Most Common Habit

5 Ways to Protect Children’s Teeth at Home

Parents typically provide oral hygiene care until the child is old enough to take personal responsibility for the daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. A proper regimen of home preventive care for children's teeth is essential from the day your child is born. Clean your infant's gums with a clean, damp cloth. Ask your dentist if you may rub a tiny dab of toothpaste on the gums. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. Remember, most children's teeth are also getting fluoride from the community water supply. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean [...]

By |2019-09-29T21:32:13+00:00December 23rd, 2019|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Protect Children’s Teeth at Home

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

When should my child first see a dentist, and why? The ideal time is six months after your child's first (primary) teeth erupt. This time frame is a perfect opportunity for us to examine the development of your child's mouth carefully. Because dental problems often start early, the sooner the visit, the better. To safeguard against issues such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb-sucking, we can provide or recommend special preventive care. How do I prepare my child and myself for a visit? Before the visit, plan a course of action for either reaction your child may exhibit—cooperative or non-cooperative. Very young children may be fussy and not sit still. Talk to your child [...]

By |2019-09-29T21:20:19+00:00November 19th, 2019|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Dental Sealants for Kids

Why Sealants are Good Parenting Of course, we want the best for our family and especially our children, and most of us work at good parenting every day: quality schools, solid values, a sense of family. Time and money may put limits on what we can do for our kids' health and happiness, but not when it comes to dental sealants. They are, well, a bargain! Sealants are a risk-free, wear-resistant, and painless resin coating that bonds to teeth, sealing out decay. Applied to the chewing surfaces of your child's molars and premolars (these are the areas that are most prone to developing cavities since the deep grooves tend to trap food particles). Once the sealant is in place, the [...]

By |2019-09-01T19:47:56+00:00October 22nd, 2019|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Dental Sealants for Kids

Baby Teeth Q&A

Answers to some frequently asked questions: Q: Why do we have baby teeth and adult teeth? A: A child needs baby teeth long before his or her jaw is big enough to accommodate adult teeth. Baby, or deciduous, teeth are "starters" in every sense of the word. Q: Why worry about cavities if baby teeth fall out on their own? A: They are essential "guides" that help frame the development of adult teeth and the jawbone. The beginnings or "buds" of adult teeth are right behind, starting at birth. Severely decayed teeth can pass the disease back, and don't help the permanent teeth grow in properly. Q: How do they "know" when to fall out? A: They're forcefully pressed out [...]

By |2019-09-01T19:33:38+00:00September 17th, 2019|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Baby Teeth Q&A

Take Care of Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth Are Important To Oral Health Tooth decay is declining everywhere except among preschoolers. Proper dental care for your child and their baby teeth (also called primary teeth) is an important part of prevention, helping ensure the health of permanent teeth in later years. You won't see a newborn's teeth, but enamel and dentin are already forming in the jaw. Teething is just months away. Use a clean dry washcloth to wipe baby's gums after every feeding and continue as teeth begin to emerge. Central incisors arrive first, at nine to ten months, with lateral incisors about two months later. Once teeth appear, use a soft toothbrush on them twice daily. Encourage the child to develop the habit of [...]

By |2019-05-28T07:13:20+00:00May 28th, 2019|Children's Dentistry|Comments Off on Take Care of Baby Teeth