A guide to your child’s dental health care

Has the first tooth of your infant arrived? Are you guessing when to inculcate the regular brushing habit in your child? This post has especially been created to deal into the general FAQs of parents, especially the first-timers! The anxiety quotient among new mums will to some extent be relieved on going through these general questions that have occurred to them at some point of time or the other!

  1. When Should My Child Start Brushing?

While the baby’s first tooth appears, you are not to worry. This is because tooth care should start off even before the first tooth appears. Teeth, simply because they are not visible, does not mean that they are not there. A baby’s teeth start emerging as early as the second trimester of pregnancy. By the time they are born, as many as 20 teeth are present inside the jaws. Therefore a tooth care regime for infants is equally important. Here are some tips on how you would start off with the job:

  • Use a clean, damp, cloth, wrap it on your fingers and rub the gums on both the jaws of the baby, even before he or she starts teething.
  • As soon as the very first tooth appears, start off with the daily brushing regime. Use a fluoride toothpaste – only a tiny bit of it every time. Preferably use one with American Dental Association (ADA’s) seal of acceptance.
  • Once several adjacent teeth start appearing, start flossing in between them.

Make sure that as a responsible parent, you keep an eye on some important facts and they are:

  • Around the age of 2, your child should learn to spit while brushing.
  • Kids who are 3 and above should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Kids younger than 8, should always be supervized while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste!
  1. When should my baby quit bottle feeding?

Often, putting a baby to sleep with the feeding bottle is very convenient. Beware, as this can seriously harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from milk or baby feed remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel. This condition is known as bottle mouth. The signs and symptoms of a bottle mouth are pitted or discolored front teeth. Kids with severe bottle mouth problems are likely to have of their front teeth pulled out. This should be a cause of serious concern especially when permanent teeth are far from emerging.

Babies should have specific times for drinking each day. Sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth. Babies from the tender age of 6 months are encouraged to switch from a bottle to a cup. By the age of 12 months, they’ll have the motor skills and coordination that are needed to use the cup on their own.

  1. How to keep my baby away from cavities?

Cavities are formed due to food particles that are left over. Bacteria start feeding on these foods and release acids. The latter is responsible for softening the enamel until holes or cavities are formed. Hence, ways to keep cavities at bay are one of the most important causes of concern among parents! The following tips could help deal with cavities efficiently:

  • Avoid certain foods– sugary foods like gums, candies, juices etc. should be avoided. Even if they are consumed sometimes, rinse the baby’s mouth thoroughly such that no sugar content is left-back.
  • Get adequate amounts of fluoride for your baby– Fluoride aids in strengthening the enamel of the teeth thus making it difficult for acids to penetrate this hard layer. Quite often, the local water supply is fluoridated. Otherwise, you need to consult your pediatric dentist to suggest the appropriate fluoride toothpaste for your child!

Fluoride levels should be adequate since too much of fluoride might be responsible for tooth discoloration again! Thus consulting your kid’s dentist is crucial.

  • Stick to a healthy oral hygiene– The regular flossing and twice-daily brushing regime should continue. This ensures that food particles are left back in your baby’s mouth! Brushing especially after major meals is most significant.
  • Application of Sealants by the pediatric dentist – Sealants are especially applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (or the molars). They are resin-made thin protective covering for the chewing surfaces that prevent food crumbs from entering the hard-to-reach crevices of the back teeth!
  1. What Is Orthodontia?

Often, in case of children, straightness of their teeth is adversely affected. This usually happens due to the untimely tooth loss in children (on account of sports injuries, cavities, etc.). Premature loss of teeth creates a space that provides room for the adjacent teeth to shift slightly. Orthodontic treatment in such cases should start at an early age. Such corrective treatments can nowadays star as early as the age of 7.

Often if children are troublesome in wearing devices studded with metals and wires, plastic aligners are also available to serve similar purposes. According to dentists, manipulation of teeth at a younger is indeed easier and more effective.

  1. When Should My Child See the Dentist?

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that children should start seeing the dentist by their first birthday. At this first visit, the dentist explains proper brushing and flossing techniques and does a preliminary exam of the baby’s teeth.

If a child seems to be at risk of cavities or other problems, the dentist might start applying topical fluoride even before all teeth come in! Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel, thus keeping dental cavities – the most common childhood dental menace – or dental carries away!

Many individuals are often under a myth that baby teeth do not need significant care as they are not permanent ones. This article was indeed created to heavily bust this myth. Baby teeth create room for permanent teeth in future. Premature loss of baby teeth due to lack of proper care and hygiene rather creates room for other teeth to shift and destroy the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth! Thus baby teeth are as important as permanent teeth and calls for proper dental care.

5 Effective tips for Preventing Dental Anxiety in Children

Dental anxiety is a serious problem. Studies have shown that people who suffer from dental anxiety have worse oral health. I’ll explain the 5 most effective tips for beating dental anxiety and preventing dental anxiety in children.

Kids Dental Care

1. Do not wait until you are in extreme pain to visit the dentist.

Only visiting the dentist when you are in extreme pain is the worst thing you can do if you are afraid of the dentist. Once a tooth becomes very painful you are likely going to require a root canal or an extraction. Root canals and extractions are unpleasant and will only serve to reinforce your dental fear. You should visit you dentist regularly every 6 months, and at the first sign of any tooth discomfort.

2. Find the right dentist

It is important to find a caring dentist who is able to put you at ease. Ask friends and family members if they can recommend a good caring dentist. Before you book an appointment with your dentist make sure to check the testimonials.

Food For Thought: Don’t keep your search limited to a certain channel, for example – Yelp Reviews. Make sure to consider other major platforms like Google Reviews, too.

3. Openly discuss your dental anxiety with your dentist

Tell you dentist that you have dental anxiety and explain what it is that you are scared of.

4. Consider medications and general anesthesia

If you suffer from severe dental anxiety, discuss the option of administering sedation like diazepam, or nitrous oxide. Anxiolytics like valium can acutely help anxious patients cope up with their dental treatment. Many dental practices offer NO2, which can help patients feel relaxes during the procedure.

Dentists can do most dental procedures under general anesthesia, but it is a last resort. Your dentist will help you know what will suit your needs the best.

5. Have good oral hygiene

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Having healthy teeth and gums is the best way to avoid the dentists drill.

How to prevent dental anxiety in children

If you are a parent who is afraid of the dentist it is very important not to let any of that fear pass onto your children. Children are perceptive and impressionable, if they see that a parent is afraid of the dentist they will naturally become afraid of the dentist too. Do not let your children know about your fear of the dentist.

Here are some tips to ensure children to not develop dental anxiety.

  1. Talk about dental visits in a positive way.
  2. If you are scared of the dentist schedule your appointments on a different day than your children’s appointments.
  3. It is never too young to start bringing your child to the dentist for regular visits. Children under the age of 2 should simply experience time in the dental chair. From the age of 2 children should start having proper checkups and from the age of 4, getting cleans.
  4. Always give plenty of positive reinforcement and praise for good behavior at the dentist.

Proper care, treatment and restorations are necessary and critical to preventing the decay from becoming worse. Call +1 708-794-9526 your own Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule your appointment with our team.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Your Kids? Read This Blog To Understand

The advancement of sedation drug therapy has enabled many pediatric dentists to make use of sedatives during the course of treatment. The use of sedatives in children reduces anxiety, discomfort, and stress-level associated with the treatment.

Sedation Dentistry for Kids

As a parent, it is quite natural for you to feel worried about your kid whenever a dentist is using a sedative on your child. In this blog, we will let you know whether sedation dentistry is safe for your child, and also to what extent.

Know How Sedation Is Used On Children

Pediatric dentistry is no child’s play. But, the process has become much safer and faster since the introduction of sedatives. Thus, there is no reason for you to worry.

Listed below are some common methods followed by the dentists –

  1. Nitrous Oxide Nitrous oxide, also known as, laughing gas, is completely safe for children. A mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas is passed through the nasal cavity of the children to reduce the activity of the voluntary muscles. It can also be used for reducing anxiety, unintended movements, and stress level of the children.
  2. Oral Conscious Sedation – If nitrous oxide doesn’t show effective results, the dentists make use of oral conscious sedation. Your child will be made to drink a medicated liquid brewed as per your child’s health, level of anxiety, and treatment recommendations. After drinking, the ability of your child to maintain ventilatory function may be impaired but will remain responsive to verbal commands.
  3. General AnesthesiaIf your child is too young to handle anxiety, then there remains no way for the dentists other than using general anesthesia. A sedative liquid is inserted through the veins of your child via a syringe to shut down all the activities of the voluntary muscles. In simple words, it puts your child to sleep. All necessary dental treatment can be performed without worrying about the stress level of the child.

What Happens After The Process Is Complete?

You must be present in the clinic when your child is waking up from sedation. It will help them to gain back their confidence. Your child can often feel confused, upset, or can feel like vomiting due to the effects of sedatives.

Dizziness, sleepiness, loss of physical coordination are also common side effects. The dentist monitors the condition of your child for the first few hours. If everything is normal, he/ she will be sent back home. Else, proper measures are taken to re-energize the voluntary muscles

From the above discussion, it can be easily concluded that the process of sedation dentistry is completely safe for your child, and you can easily opt for it. With minimal side effects and ever-rising positive results, this process is gaining worldwide popularity. Hence, if you are a resident of Harlem City, then we, at Joyful Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, can cater to all your needs. We consider your child as ours and never leave any stones upturned in treating them with comfort.

Call us now at (708) 794-9526 to book an appointment!