SA Pediatric dental – gtg

Between-meal eating of foods high in sugar and starches may promote tooth decay. Sugarless candies made with certain sugar alcohols do not. Typical Foods: Sugarless candy and gum. Getting a family dentist is a necessity. Over time you’ll build trust and become comfortable with them so your visits don’t seem as bad.

Requirements: Foods must meet the criteria for “sugar free.” The sugar alcohol must be xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, isomalt, lactitol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, hydrogenated glucose syrups, erythritol, or a combination of these. When the food contains a fermentable carbohydrate, such as sugar or flour, the food must not lower plaque pH in the mouth below 5.7 while it is being eaten or up to 30 minutes afterwards. Claims must use “sugar alcohol,” “sugar alcohols,” or the name(s) of the sugar alcohol present and “dental caries” or “tooth decay” in discussing the nutrient-disease link. Claims must state that the sugar alcohol present “does not promote,” “may reduce the risk of,” “is useful in not promoting,” or “is expressly for not promoting” dental caries.

Sample Claim: Full claim: “Frequent between-meal consumption of foods high in sugars and starches promotes tooth decay. The sugar alcohols in this food do not promote tooth decay.” Shortened claim (on small packages only): “Does not promote tooth decay.” Reprinted with permission from FDA Consumer

How to Reduce your Chances of Getting Cavities
Good oral hygiene significantly reduce your risk of getting cavities. Brushing removes bacteria and food debris bacteria feeds on. When brushing it is important to brush all teeth surfaces for 2-3 minutes.

Flossing everyday is important for preventing cavities. Flossing reaches the nearly parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can not reach. In these areas, bacteria lives and may cause cavities.

Good Diet will Help Prevent Cavities
Bacteria are particularly fond of foods containing sugars and carbohydrates. These foods provide bacteria with energy to grow, reproduce, and create enamel eating acid. A special favorite of bacteria are foods which tend to stick to teeth like peanut butter, caramel, and honey. When stuck to teeth these foods are not cleared by chewing and swallowing. Consequently they provide bacteria with a long lasting food source from which to make acid.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that “frequent eating of foods high in sugars and starches as between-meal snacks may be more harmful to your teeth than eating them at meals…” Put the treats out of sight and encourage children to avoid excessive snacking, especially between regular meals. If they desire a treat, consider including it as part of the meal.

One group of scientists doing a recent study found that apples actually helped clean teeth among a control group of children and therefore significantly cut down on the risk of tooth decay.

Fluoride to Help Prevent Cavities
Fluoride is a wonder of modern dentistry. Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel strengthening the enamel and making it more resistant to cavities. Most adults receive adequate amounts of fluoride in their toothpastes. Children often receive adequate amounts in their drinking water. If your water is not fluoridated you may want to consult your pediatrician to see about providing fluoride supplements for your child.

Visit your Dentist Twice a Year for Regular Checkups
Though cavities can be repaired, taking care of your teeth is easier to do. Here’s how:

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after each meal or at least twice a day. Bedtime is an important time to brush.
Brush up and down in a circular motion.
Gently brush your gums as well to keep them healthy.
Floss your teeth once a day to remove plaque and food that’s stuck between your teeth.
Limit sweets and sugary drinks, like soda.

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Why are “baby teeth” important?
Primary teeth have been labeled “baby teeth.” However, the first tooth is usually lost around age six and some primary molars remain in place until 12 or 13 years of age. Primary teeth are necessary for proper chewing, speech, development of the jaws and esthetics. Care of the primary teeth is important not only for proper function, but also to avoid a number of unpleasant conditions, such as pain or infection, that may result from their neglect.

Is it okay for my child to use a sippy cup?
Sippy cup or nursing bottle mouth (early childhood caries) is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugars (milk, formula, fruit juice, sports drinks, soda pop) and can rapidly destroy your child’s teeth if not caught in time. Never put your child to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup. Encourage your child to drink from an open cup as early as his/her first birthday.

What if my child uses a pacifier or sucks a thumb?
This type of sucking is completely normal for infants and very young children as it provides a sense of security and relaxation. Most children naturally stop sucking their thumb or pacifier between two and four years of age with little to no harm to their teeth or jaws. However, prolonged pacifier use or thumb-sucking can push your child’s teeth forward and cause an open bite or may cause the teeth to not come in properly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should cease these habits by the age of three. Ask the dentist for ideas to help your child quit his or her habit.

Why is early orthodontic care important?
Early orthodontics can enhance your child’s smile, but the benefits far surpass appearance. Pediatric orthodontics can straighten crooked teeth, guide erupting teeth into position, correct bite problems, and even prevent the need for tooth extractions. In addition, straight teeth are easier to keep clean and less susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

What are space maintainers?
A space maintainer is used to hold space in the jaw for a permanent tooth when a baby tooth has been prematurely lost. If space is not maintained, teeth on either side of the missing tooth can drift into the space and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting. Space maintainers are usually made of metal and are custom made for your child’s mouth.

What are dental sealants?
Sealants are adhesive coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth and can be very effective in preventing tooth decay. Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult—sometimes impossible—to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants seal out food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.

Should my child wear an athletic mouth guard?
Athletic mouth guards are soft plastic mouth guards made specifically for your child’s teeth. They protect the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue. They can help protect children from such serious head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Current research suggests that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.

What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a safe and effective way to calm a mildly anxious child during the restorative visit. Your child remains fully conscious and alert while breathing the laughing gas. At the end of treatment, it is eliminated after a short period of breathing oxygen and has no lingering effects.

What is conscious sedation?
Sedation is a technique to guide a child’s behavior during dental treatment. Medications are used to help increase cooperation and to reduce anxiety during dental procedures. Sedative medications cause most children to become relaxed and drowsy. Sedation may be indicated for children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills, those who are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion, or those requiring extensive dental treatment. Sedation can be used safely and effectively when administered by a pediatric dentist with a conscious sedation permit.

What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement and discomfort during dental treatment. General anesthesia provides a way of effectively completing dental care in a hospital setting while a child is unconscious. It is generally reserved for children with severe anxiety, extensive tooth decay, young age, special needs or compromised health.

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CHOOSING TO BREASTFEED a child is a personal and special decision for a mother. Not only does nursing provide a valuable bonding experience for mother and baby, it also has many health benefits, such as decreasing the child’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and lowering the chances of mom developing breast and ovarian cancer. But what effect can breastfeeding have on baby’s oral health and development?

Breastfeeding Aids In Bite Alignment
You may not have known that the sucking mechanisms are different for bottle-fed and breastfed babies. Breastfeeding stimulates muscle tone in the jaw because it requires the use of the jaw muscles more so than bottle-feeding. A study published in “Pediatrics” also showed that babies who were exclusively breastfed for six months were 72 percent less likely to have crooked teeth.

With that being said, it is important to remember that every child is different. Breastfeeding does not guarantee that a child will not have future orthodontic problems just as bottle-feeding does not always lead to bite misalignment. There are many factors that go into bite alignment such as thumb sucking, pacifier use and genetics.

Decrease Your Child’s Risk Of Tooth Decay
Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of cavities. This is because they aren’t at risk for baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay happens when a child is put to bed with a bottle that contains formula, milk, or fruit juice. Cavities and decay can still occur in breastfed babies if parents aren’t careful.

To prevent decay, whether bottle feeding or breastfeeding, gently wipe your infant’s gums with a wet washcloth or soft towel after feedings. Later, when your child’s teeth finally make an appearance, start brushing them with a small toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice daily. For children under three, use no more than a smear of toothpaste, approximately the size of a grain of rice.

And good news, moms. The eruption of teeth doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding. Every mother and every child is different. Start weaning your child whenever it is right for both of you.

Moms, Don’t Neglect Your Own Oral Health
Mothers with newborns are completely focused on taking care of the new addition to their family. But, moms, don’t let that get in the way of setting enough time aside to focus on your oral hygiene. Cavity prevention is even more crucial for new parents, as bacteria can be transferred from you to your baby.

We Want Healthy Smiles For Mothers And Their Children
Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, or a combination of both, it’s up to parents to start their children off right when it comes to their oral health and development. If you have any questions concerning pediatric oral health care, give us a call. Our job is to keep families smiling!

To our patients and friends, thank you.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Your First Visit

Our office has been designed to be both kid and parent-friendly. Even more importantly; Our professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. The latest technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

At our office, we encourage parents to accompany their children during the first visit and routine cleaning appointments.

From the time you and your child walk through our office door, the staff has already started understanding your child’s needs, thereby starting to formulate a visit that will bring out the best in your child. Each child’s visit is specifically tailored for your child.

Our approach is one of maintaining calmness and reassurance to both the child and the parent. A technique of “Tell Show Do” is our main behavior modification process. We believe the trust and comfort your child feels in their first dental experience will follow your child for a lifetime.

The Experience

We try to keep your child in motion so that he or she can become familiar with our office and staff. There is time for play, learning, dental care and rewards. Each person that you meet will greet you and introduce themselves to you and your child. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that the doctor will always introduce themself to you. We know that each parent and child is special.

Parents know their child the best, but we recommend that you keep the description of the visit to the dentist as light hearted and routine as possible; just make it matter of fact. Depending on the child’s age, we may use silly terms or words to say what we are going to do. Relax and enjoy it! Let our experienced staff do what they are specially trained to do.

Paperwork

All paperwork including health histories, HIPPA forms, insurance forms, copies of insurance and ID cards, legal guardian papers or any court documents, must be completed before we see your child. We suggest that you download the forms from our website, fill them out at home and bring them in to our office completed, or arrive approximately ten minutes early for your first appointment to complete the paperwork at that time. If there is information that you prefer to keep from your child’s “little ears” please inform us.

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Dentistry for Children-Things you should know about your child’s dental needs.

Q: Why is my child getting cavities?
A: As a pediatric dentist, I see multiple patients in my office that are experiencing cavities. This is very concerning since childhood cavities can lead to pain, difficulty eating and if not treated, can negatively affect the permanent teeth. To appropriately answer the question of why a child is getting cavities, one must first understand what causes cavities to form.

To start, the process of tooth decay is actually called dental caries. A “cavity” is the hole or cavity that is formed on a tooth affected by dental caries. Dental caries is a very complex process.

There are many types of bacteria that occur naturally in our mouths. Almost 90% of humans have a
certain type of bacteria that is responsible for cavities. These specific bacteria live primarily in a sticky
film on and around the teeth called dental plaque. These bacteria love to eat sugar. As they eat and
digest sugar, the bacteria give off acid. This acid can dissolve the minerals on the hard outer surface of the tooth. Prolonged exposure to these acids can result in a cavity.

If a child has a cavity it is usually from either not removing the bacteria sufficiently from the teeth or
from feeding the bacteria excessive amounts of sugar. The bacteria and plaque can be removed by
adequate brushing and flossing. Limiting the frequency of sugary foods and drinks can allow the body to neutralize the acids that are formed from caries.

Here are a few tips on preventing cavities:

Never allow a child to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup containing a sugary substance. (This includes milk and diluted juice)
Assist your child with brushing until the age of 6
Start brushing the teeth as soon as the first one appears
Start flossing daily by age 3
Limit sticky sugary substances (fruit snacks, raisins, etc.)
Only allow candy on a limited basis
Take your child to the dentist when they are 12 months old.
Visit your dentist regularly

There are many other components to the caries process and the prevention of cavities such as fluoride and sealants. A dentist will work with each patient and individualize a prevention plan that is best for you and your child.

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Give your child a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile. Our practice is comprised of a team of Childrens Dentists dedicated to providing exceptional dental care for area families. Our dental office is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. We can provide both Childrens Dentistry and Orthodontics for Adults and Children. You can save time and money by combining your child’s dental and orthodontic visits into one. For the best pediatric dental services, call our office to schedule a visit today!

Pediatric Dentist

We can provide dental care for infants and young children. Our Pediatric Dentists have experience working with the dental needs of young children including space maintainers and teaching proper oral health habits. To schedule an appointment with our Pediatric Dentists, call our office Today!

Childrens Dentist

We make every effort to provide your child with the very best in Childrens Dentistry. Each of our doctors is a specialist with an additional 2-3 years of in depth training and certification. We remain conservative, honest, and practical in our recommended dental care and treatment plans. With our office, you’ll have a Childrens Dentist focused on giving your child a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile.

The best pediatric dentist around!

From regular checkups to tooth repair and fillings, we’re prepared to provide the dental care your child needs. Call today to schedule an appointment for your child.

Childrens Orthodontics

We also provide exceptional Childrens Orthodontics to give your child a beautiful, straight smile. Should your child require orthodontics, you can benefit from the convenience of fewer appointments, exams, and procedures. Our team of Childrens Orthodontics specialists uses the latest techniques and equipment to give your child the most beautiful smile. Having straight teeth is important for appearance and proper oral health.

From traditional braces to the latest techniques, including Invisalign, our practice is your child’s best location for exceptional Childrens Orthodontics. Call today to make an appointment for your child!

Patient Safety

Patient Safety remains our top priority. We take every precaution to ensure your child’s dental care is performed in a clean and safe environment.

To schedule an appointment, call us today!

We provide Invisalign braces!
Invisalign Braces

We can provide invisalign Braces for adults and teens. Invisalign provides a simple and discreet alternative to traditional braces. Get the smile that you always dreamed of with Invisalign Braces. Call today to set up a consultative appointment!

Products & Services

Our practice provides complete dental and orthodontic care for infants, children, and adolescents. We aim to provide every one of our patients with a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile. From regular dental checkups, to tooth repair and Invisalign, we are your all in one location for your children’s oral health needs. Call today to set an appointment!

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Everyone knows just how important taking good care of your teeth is, especially during your first few years on this earth. Everyone also knows that to make sure that you maintain proper dental hygiene you have to regularly check up with a dentist. For little ones however, dental care is quite different to grown-ups, as their teeth are still developing and it is important to make sure that they develop good habits from a young age. This is where pediatric dentists step in, catering for the specific dental needs of young ones, pediatric dentists are specially trained to treat the needs of infants, and have to undertake a total of six years of training, however finding the right pediatric dentist can be a daunting task if you do not know where to start looking.

When it comes to finding a pediatric dentist there are many options that you should take into consideration as opposed to just choosing the closest to where you live. All are unique and different to one another, so you should take the following into consideration before you rush into any hasty decisions. For example, you should take into consideration any needs that your children might need catering for, for example disabled access to the dentistry, or seeking a pediatrician who has a skill-set to cater for your children’s unique circumstances. You should also check that the dentist is fully certified and qualified, and might also want to search some reviews on them online to check the quality of care that they provide for their patients. Once you have decided on the set of requirements that you expect out of your pediatric dentist you can start the search for the right one.

The simplest method to finding a pediatric dentist around your area is by asking friends for their recommendations, as these are always a good place to start, even if they end up not being the right fit for you or your children for some reason. Another good way to get in touch with a pediatric dentist is by asking for a referral from your child’s pediatrician if they already have one, as they will usually be able to recommend more than one dentist and will already know your circumstances so can help to find the right dentist that can cater for them. Another method for finding a dentist for your children if you have already depleted these methods is by using an online search tool which can search for dentists in your local area.

If you are still struggling to find pediatric dentistry for your children, then you can always go direct to some of the institutions that they usually work at, for example going to a medical center to inquire about their services for children’s dental hygiene, or if it is possible maybe a private practice that is near to you. If not, then it is even possible to receive dental treatment from a dental school, so it could be worth checking out a dental school if you know that one is available nearby you. You should be able to find a pediatric dentist that is able to fully cater to you and your children’s needs by running through all of the options in this list, however if you cannot then you will most likely need to expand your field of search in order to find a dentist that suits you.

There are also other considerations that you should put some time into while searching for child’s new dentist, such as taking the time to ask them about their two year work placement and if that experience can be applied to help your children. Also it is never enough when searching for a dentist for your kids to just communicate with the dentist via phone or the internet and make a decision based on conversations over the phone or internet, as it is really important to go out and see the dentist face to face, so that you can assess if the location, the practice and the dentist themselves are right for you.

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Orthodontist « Pediatric and Children’s Dentistry

Parents are busy people, and making an appointment with an orthodontist for your kids is probably the last thing on your mind. But recent research by Scandinavian researchers suggests that orthodontic intervention in early childhood could be beneficial. As dental health experts have claimed for years, and are now being vindicated for, having an orthodontist check on your child’s teeth can reduce the requirement for treatments in the future, including expensive treatments such as Invisalign.

The Scandinavian researchers tracked a group of children up to the age of sixteen, starting from eight. They found that in the group that visited a children’s orthodontist during childhood, the percentage of the children who required further treatment was reduced from 33% to 9%. In total, this group of children experienced a 70% improvement in their oral health.

Needless to say, these children were saved from serious dental problems in later life, and probably experienced a better childhood and time in school. Even for those kids who still required treatment later, their treatment was curtailed in time, complexity and cost. Expensive surgery and Invisalign treatments essentially became unnecessary. And post-treatment, kids that saw an orthodontist early were less likely to have recurrence of symptoms. Of course, parents enjoy the thousands of dollars in savings associated with better clinical outcomes.

In addition, there are other benefits to early consultation and treatment. Kids that need speech therapy benefit more from it and require fewer sessions. We all know childhood teasing can be cruel; kids who get early treatment will have fewer self-esteem issues. This confidence carries over to later life and can have significant impact on opportunities and how they grow up to tackle challenges.

For early childhood treatment, the bulk of treatments belong to the prevention category, especially for the youngest patients under eight. Comprehensive oral assessments should reveal emerging problems that include teeth overcrowding and overbites.

Also, the specialist can spot bad habits and also prevent habits that could result in much more serious problems that require complex treatments in the future. Under the right circumstances, the specialist could extract a few teeth and institute some measures to reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of treatment later in life.

Provided there are no pre-existing conditions, parents should bring their children to an orthodontic specialist starting as early as six, perhaps seven. Misaligned teeth that protrude or jut can frequently be addressed from the ages of eight to ten. More serious overcrowding and overbites can receive attention at eleven or twelve. At the ages of thirteen through fifteen, treatments relating to congenitally missing teeth, a lower jaw that protrudes, or gaps between the two front teeth can be safely implemented.

Your child will benefit from an early consultation. If you choose not to bring your child to a specialist, treatment costs could skyrocket in the future, and your child may have to cope with all the inconveniences and difficulties of an adult procedure like Invisalign.

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There are many dentists you can search on the internet. However, finding the right pediatric dentist requires a lengthy search by concerned parent. These sources above are a great way to start.

Most states require a pediatric dentistry certification from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The purpose of the ABPD is to promote and advocate high standards and guidelines geared toward the betterment of health and oral health for infants, children and teenagers in the United States as well as to make sure that dentists that go through their certification program adhere to the highest standards of excellence in pediatric dentistry. Their certification programs and exams are updated frequently to ensure the aforementioned high standards. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as well as the American Association of Pediatric Dentists work hand in hand to prepare and support pediatric dentists in the United States. Make sure that as you search for dentists that they are fully accredited by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dentist ratings are excellent sources of information and they will help you choose a dentist you can trust. There are many dentists, but they are not all the same. Choosing a dentist should not be a random decision. You should choose your dental provider as carefully as possible. Take some time to explore your options and compare dentist ratings online so you can make the right decision.

There are many rate your dentist websites. Valuable information is provided about general dentists, family dentists, pediatric dentists, cosmetic dentists, oral surgeons and others. In addition to rating their dentists, patients often leave comments about their dental providers.

Ratings are typically based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the highest rating. Dentists are analyzed on how knowledgeable, helpful, informative, punctual, and friendly they are. There may also be a rating for the quality of their employees. Patients take surveys and grade their dental providers as being fair, good, or very good on wait times and the ease of making appointments. Dentist ratings can also let you know if the dentists in your area spend enough time with their patients, help people understand their condition, and answered the patients’ questions. Patients are also asked if they trust their dentists and would recommend them to other people.

Before you schedule an appointment with a dentist, check out the ratings online. Utilize the information that is available to you. Most people want to find the best dental provider possible. In the past, most people would rely on word of mouth from people they know, but today we can find all the information we need by visiting dentist rating websites. This allows us to acquire the viewpoints of thousands of patients in the world.

Dentists rating websites are user friendly. They allow people to sort by state, city, best rating, the doctor’s last name and such. Some of these websites also provide other valuable information about dental providers such as what kind of background the dentists have, where they are located, how much experience they have, as well as detailed reviews that people have about their dentists.

These websites provide information to people when they need it. All you have to do is log on to the internet, search for dentists, and check out dentist ratings and reviews. It will only take you a few minutes to get the information you need.

After you narrow it down to one dentist or specialist who fits your needs, schedule your first appointment. Finding the right dentist for you or your family is an important process and it should not be taken lightly. After you meet with your dentist, you can leave your own rating and review online. The information you provide will help thousands of people find the right dental provider.

If you’re looking for dentist ratings, click here for more information: www.angieslist.com.

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Your smile makes a lot of difference in your day to day life. To have a good smile it is necessary for you to have a proper dentition pattern. There are only few people in the world who are blessed with proper dentition. If you have a child who suffers from toothache, it is really important for you to seek help of a dentist as soon as possible.

Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The age limit of such patients ranges from birth to 21. A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician. The dentist deals with teeth, their diseases and disorders, and oral care. People take their children to a pediatrician because of their expertise in dealing with children’s diseases. The same idea applies to dentistry.

Dental care needs to begin at an early age. Most children are ignorant about dental care, and it is the responsibility of the parents to inculcate oral hygiene into their kid’s daily lives. Even though the children’s teeth are not their permanent ones, any damage to these teeth can affect the growth of the permanent ones that are beneath the milk ones. A child should be taken to the dentist for regular checkups. But care should be taken while choosing a dentist. The best option is to consult a pediatric dentist.

A pediatric dentist deals with kid’s teeth and oral problems and needs to complete additional education beyond dental school in an officially recognized specialty program. A general dentist can legally treat children usually as part of a family practice. Most general dentists do a good job even though they do not have additional specialty training and education of a Pediatric Dentist. It is illegal to call oneself a Pediatric specialist if one if not. Such orthodontic practices do not offer the full range of services as the specialist. A little marketing can deceive the public so don’t assume a practice is a specialist if they happen to look like kids dentists. Most of these kid’s dentists are usually general dentists who have set up a business model to emphasize the treatment of children and mainly target Medicaid insured patients.

Make sure that your child’s dentist is really a Pediatric dentist and not just a general one. If you use a group practice it could be that the dentist seeing your child is general one. If you are not sure, ask specifically whether the dentist is a Pediatric specialist. If you get answers like “our dentists treat children” or “yes, we see children” or, “our practice is dedicated to treating children”, or something other than a straight yes, you are not seeing a pediatric dentist. The answer needs to be specific. If you are still in doubt, do a little research on the internet about their residency and their specialty. Some states require a specialty license.

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Pediatric Dentistry: Is It All Child’s Play?

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the cares and concerns of our health when we’re adults, but let’s not forget that our little ones need just as much care and attention – sometimes even more so.

We all know that kids can get into all sorts of trouble, whether they’re in the playground or scribbling all over your freshly painted living room wall. Sometimes, though, these mishaps can end up causing a lost tooth or other types of dental damage. That’s where pediatric dentistry comes in. It’s a special branch of dentistry that deals exclusively with children, and it could very well save your child’s smile one day.

What is Pediatric Dentistry?

Because the nature and structure of a child’s teeth differs drastically from that of an adult, the amount of care needed and the way it is delivered needs to be different too. For this reason, pediatric dentistry was created. The ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of pediatric dentistry aims to discover new ways to deal with the various infections and problems that children can encounter, while the ‘front line’ is made up of actual pediatric dentists, who are experienced in treating a range of oral hygiene problems in children.

One factor that has to be considered by pediatric dentists is the fact that children often have ‘baby teeth’, which will eventually fall out and be replaced with their adult counterparts. Because the size and shape of these teeth is very different to their adult forms, the tools and procedures are also very different. Pediatric dentists also come across a range of oral hygiene issues with kids because they have a tendency to not want to clean their teeth, and are difficult to convince of the benefits. Call it the arrogance of youth, but for some reason, telling them their teeth will drop out when they’re old doesn’t seem to bother them!

What Are the Benefits of Pediatric Dentistry?

There are a whole host of benefits that are associated with proper pediatric dental care. First and foremost is obviously the health of your child’s teeth. Children are notoriously difficult when it comes to oral hygiene, and a pediatric dentist can give you all sorts of advice which will help you do a better job of imparting the skills necessary for your child to retain a great set of pearly whites.

It is generally recommended that you take your child to see a pediatric dentist roughly once every six months. This will ensure that their teeth are receiving the best possible care. The pediatric dentist will give the child’s teeth a thorough checkup and, if necessary, a good clean. Another benefit of a pediatric dentist is that they are able to provide you with knowledge that you probably couldn’t gain elsewhere. They can teach you how to clean your children’s teeth properly, including flossing and mouthwash if appropriate.

What Sort of Issues can a Pediatric Dentist Deal With?

Pediatric dentists are fully qualified to deal with a range of issues that affect a child’s oral hygiene. For example, your child may at some point suffer from plaque buildup or tooth decay. A pediatric dentist can teach your child how to avoid this situation in future, as well as repairing any damage and removing the plaque. Pediatric dentists can also help with any diseases that may affect your child’s mouth.

Whilst relatively rare, it is possible that your child could contract mild gum disease (known as gingivitis) or an infection (this can happen a lot, as children tend to put things in their mouths). The dentist will be able to treat these problems in a way that is appropriate for a child. There are some ‘adult’ treatments that are simply too harsh to be applied to a child’s mouth. Pediatric dentistry utilizes well researched alternatives to ensure the safety of the child throughout any of these procedures.

Should You Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist?

The short answer to this is yes. Overall, it makes a lot more sense to employ someone who is specifically trained in the area to take care of your child’s oral hygiene. Whilst an ‘adult’ dentist will gladly treat a child, there is always a risk that they may not use the most gentle or effective methods to treat a child’s oral hygiene problems.

To be on the safe side, it really is important to have your child’s teeth looked at by a pediatric dentist at least once every six months. If any issues occur ‘in the between’ you can always make an appointment to see a pediatric dentist in the same way you would an adult one. Remember, the health and future of your children’s teeth really is in your hands.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate health care provider.

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Dentists â Types and Specialties

Having a thorough knowledge of various types of dentists effectively helps patients to properly evaluate and consider their options when seeking dental care. Placing your trust in a specialist who is not equipped to handle your condition, or who lacks the knowledge and understanding necessary to treat you will only work to worsen any current conditions or issues you have.

General Dentistry

Dentistry at its core encompasses a vast array of studies and treatment areas. As such, most general dentistry practices offer patients a variety of treatment options, which touch on everything from checkups and fillings to cosmetic procedures. General dentists are thus, the most common oral health physician and the most well known. While many general practices to offer more in-depth treatments, it will all depend on the individual physician and the skills they have acquired.

Endodontics

This area places a focus on the dental pulp and periradicular tissue. Physicians will study normal pulp in addition to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases associated with it. Practitioners will generally offer root canal surgery, especially in cases where the case is severe.

Oral And Maxillofacial Pathology

These are ADA specialties which merge the areas of pathology and dentistry into one unique treatment area; the focus being diseases affecting the maxillofacial and oral regions. This will ultimately include courses and causes of these diseases, in addition to research and diagnosis through examination.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is an area that places focus on infants, children and adolescents. It involves both therapeutic and preventative care, and includes dental care for those with special needs. This line of dentistry works to ensure younger patients the quality care they need to achieve and maintain appropriate oral health early on.

Periodontics

This branch manages the support of the tooth structure, and involves the treatment to conditions and diseases that work to impact these particular regions. Many of these conditions have various manifestations, however common forms include gingivitis, which works to deteriorate the bone and tooth area over time. As such, periodontics encompasses the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of these diseases.

Prosthodontics

This area tends to focus primarily on patients with missing or decayed teeth. Physicians who specialize in this line of work generally offer implants, tooth reconstruction treatments, and esthetic procedures in hopes to restoring the functionality of the patient’s teeth and support areas. Prosthodontics includes the diagnosis of issues, in addition to the rehabilitation of the areas affected.

Considerations

Before choosing a dentist, be sure to ask yourself what you are looking for in an oral health practitioner. Are you planning on using them for general dentistry purposes, or do you require orthodontic care as well? Do you have children whom might benefit from the attention of a certified pediatric specialist?

If you’re unsure of what services a particular practice offers, the best thing to do is ask. Most practices will be very upfront about the areas they are qualified to treat, and may even be able to point you in the direction of someone who can better assist you in cases where they are ill equipped. This way you’ll find the best dentists.

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Brushing and Flossing: Important Children Dental Care Practices. Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontics recommend the following dental care brushing and flossing techniques to promote healthy teeth for your children.

Brushing
Children Dental Care Tip: Brushing Children’s Teeth. It is best to use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. When brushing the teeth of children younger than 3 years old, limit toothpaste to an amount the size of a grain of rice. Parents should still supervise brushing after age 3. Make sure that children do not swallow any excess toothpaste and limit the toothpaste used to the size of a pea.

The doctors in our practice recommend that while brushing your children’s teeth, move the brush in small circular motions, so as to reach the food particles that may be under the gum line. Brush slowly and carefully while holding your toothbrush at an angle. Be sure to cover the surface of each tooth and the areas between all teeth. To brush your teeth thoroughly will take several minutes. Brush the inside, outside, and chewing surface of all front and back teeth–brushing down on the upper teeth and brushing up on the bottom teeth.

There are three times that you should brush your teeth each day, to avoid cavities and other problems caused by food particle and plaque accumulation. The first of these three daily brushings should be in the morning after breakfast. The next brushing should be after lunch or right after school, and once more before bed.

The best time to replace your toothbrush with a new one is as soon as you notice that the bristles are starting to wear down or to fray.

Flossing
Children Dental Care Tip: Flossing carefully daily is of great importance for optimal oral hygiene. There are some areas between teeth that a toothbrush is simply unable to reach. To remove food particles and plaque from these areas, dental floss is used. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that can reach below the gum line and clean in between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth on a daily basis.

Proper flossing technique is to pull a small length of floss from the dispenser and tightly wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers. Gently guide the floss between all teeth down to the gum line. Doing this will pull out any food particles or built up plaque that has built up in these spaces that are unreachable with a toothbrush. As you floss moving from tooth to tooth you will unwrap clean floss from around your fingers, this ensures that you use all of the floss from beginning to end and that a clean portion of floss is used on each tooth. Be sure to floss behind all of your back teeth as well.

The best time to floss is at night to make leave your teeth squeaky clean before going to bed. Your gums will likely bleed a little when you first begin flossing. If bleeding continues beyond the first few flossings, let your dentist or staff member at your dentist’s office know at your next appointment.

To learn more about dental hygiene or learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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Knowledge about the conditions that affect oral-health throughout the different stages of life can be beneficial to dental health. This article will cover some of these conditions and provide information useful to help maintain strong and healthy teeth.

Dental Health: Pregnancy and Children

By eating a variety of healthy foods and taking supplements such as calcium while pregnant, expectant mothers can effectively give children a solid head start to a set of healthy teeth. Folic-acid supplements decrease the risk of babies being born with conditions such as a cleft lip and palate. After the baby’s birth, it is recommended that, after feedings, parents wipe the infant’s gums using a soft, damp cloth. This good oral health practice helps prevent bacteria from building up. Once a child’s teeth come in, which is typically at about six months old, parents may use a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush twice each day to clean their child’s teeth and gum line, which is where decay develops.

Some dentists also recommend that a parent brush their children’s teeth for them until they reach six years of age to instill good habits and and healthy oral care routine. Children are unable to effectively brush their own teeth prior to this age. Parents can also begin to take children to a pediatric dentist around one year of age. Another important habit that is often overlooked by parents is to avoid giving children foods that are sweet and sticky. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends alternate snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables, or cheese and crackers, that are both tooth-friendly and better for the body and overall health in general.

Dental Health: Adults

Nearly one-third of adults in the USA have tooth decay that is untreated as reported by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most important aspects to proper treatment is early detection: tooth decay is often painless in the early stages and may only be noticed by a dental professional during a dental exam. Loss of bone around the teeth is a visible sign of periodontal disease and requires the intervention of a dentist.

Dental health risk factors are often tied to one’s overall health. People on high blood pressure or epilepsy medications or diabetic people should visit their dentist on a more routine basis. If you fall into one of these categories or have other medical conditions for which you take medication, talk to your dentist in regard to the recommended frequency of your checkups to best care for your teeth and gums.

Dental Health: Older Adults

More adults are keeping their natural teeth in their senior years even as people are living longer lives. Even with this trend, older adults still need to regularly visit the dentist, as they are at a higher risk of developing oral and throat cancers. Seniors also have increased risk for problems such as dry mouth and many may also be taking medications that can have adverse oral health affects. Even for those with dentures, it is still very important to visit the dentist regularly.

To learn more about dental and oral hygiene or services available or learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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Preventative Dental Care

Suggestions to Avoid Tooth Decay
Our suggestions will help your children to avoid tooth decay. We value the benefits of early dental care and promote a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child. To ensure that your child grows up with a healthy smile, we offer sealants, fluoride treatments, tooth-colored fillings and regular check-ups. We strive to educate and inform our patients and parents on the most appropriate home preventative care.

Our doctors want to help prevent problems rather than have to fix them. Our doctors and staff have received extra training in pediatric dentistry; making our practice an excellent choice to help kids and teens get the necessary care in the most supportive way.

The start of healthy smile begins around 12 months old. Bring your baby in after his/her first teeth have erupted and before he/she is three-years-old for a complimentary appointment to learn how to brush and floss and to have your individual questions answered. As always, encourage good nutrition and limit juice to mealtimes. Encouraging water consumption not only builds good habits, it also may provide the nutrients needed, such as fluoride. It is strongly recommended not to put your baby to bed with a bottle because decay can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child. For more information about tooth decay please visit our website.

As your child matures let him/her brush a bit to participate but parents should brush and floss again until the child is doing a good job – anywhere from age 7-10. A great way to help your youngster prepare for their first visit is to bring him/her in before their first real appointment with an older sibling or neighbor to see our friendly office and to become familiar with how a dental visit works.

TIP: Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Please fee free to call us if you have any questions and schedule a free consultation to make sure you and your children are not at risk.

Preventative Dental Care – Avoiding Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Our experienced pediatric dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state.

Sealants

The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult to clean. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years and needs to be checked during regular appointments.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. If necessary, our dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops).

Our practice strives to create a positive outlook toward oral hygiene so our patients have the best possible chance at a beautiful smile.

“Working with the teeth of children, young adults, and special needs patients seems very natural for me because I’ve observed and participated in Pediatric Dentistry for most of my life. I feel very fortunate to come to work each day. I’m blessed to work with children and young adults, the patients I’m lucky enough to care for and the people I work with (great assistants and staff) make this job the best.”

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Creating a beautiful smile is one of the main reasons people choose to get dental braces, but straight teeth are more than just better looking; they’re healthier, too! Here is some basic information about dental braces.

Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean. When you have clean teeth that are free of dental plaque, you’re less likely to develop dental cavities that need a tooth filling or need treatment for gum disease. Wearing dental braces may be able to correct jaw-joints that are misaligned, which may be the source of nagging headaches and neck pain.

Wearing dental braces can also help you to chew more efficiently helping to prevent excessive wear of your teeth. The types of dental braces today have come a long way over the years. If you’re considering braces you may be thrilled to learn that your smile can be put “back on track” without sacrificing appearance or comfort while receiving treatment.

Dental braces are designed with the intention of helping an orthodontist to be able to correct certain types of malocclusions (abnormal bites) such as an overbite, underbite, crowded teeth, or spaced teeth. The type of braces best suited to meet your needs will depend on the type of your malocclusion and it’s severity.

Dental braces move teeth gradually by applying pressure to the teeth. The majority of this pressure is applied by a metal wire called an archwire. Tiny brackets are placed on each tooth and the archwire is fastened to these brackets. These brackets are typically small and glued onto the front of each individual tooth. Rubber bands called ligatures go around these brackets holding the archwire in place and placing added pressure on the teeth.

While traditional metal braces are still extremely popular for straightening teeth, there is now a variety of options for braces designed with keeping your comfort and appearance in mind:

Removable Dental Braces have become very popular and are mouthguard-like devices made of a clear plastic. The most common type of removable braces are the Invisalign dental aligners.

Teenagers might also be interested in colored ligatures (the rubber band that go around the brackets) which are especially popular with for showing school spirit, celebrating the holidays or sporting the colors of a favorite team. During routine archwire adjustments ligatures can be changed by your orthodontist.

Regardless of the type of dental braces that you wear, your orthodontic treatment plan will typically consists of three stages:

Pretreatment – Where your dentist or orthodontist will determine not only if you need braces, but also which type of treatment will be best for you and your needs.
Active treatment – This is the phase of treatment in which you will wear your braces. This stage can last anywhere between one to two years in most cases.
Retention – This takes place once your braces are removed. The majority of patients will wear an orthodontic retainer which helps the teeth settle into their permanent location.

To learn more about dental braces or other services available or to learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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Our practice understands that the dental visit can potentially be intimidating to children, especially a child’s first visit. Recognizing this and understanding what contributes to your child’s fear allows you to help your child feel better about the experience overall. Let’s take a look at what children fear when a visit to the pediatric dentist office approaches and how to enhance your a child’s dental visit experience.

• Rule No. 1 – Never try to trick your child about a dentist office visit. Children are often quite a bit sharper than we think. These days they watch television, and navigate computers and the internet as well as, or even better than we do. You may want to explain to them what to expect in simple terms or show them a cartoon experience for them to visualize what to expect.

• Be a good role model– Children learn more from watching others than most anything else. If you are fearful of your turn in the dentist chair, then your child will likely be scared as well. Never be anxious on behalf of your children.

• Fear of pain – Fearing pain is natural, and it is also natural to want to avoid pain. Never use words like needle, shot or pull. These words will only heighten a child’s fear, instead say sleepy juice or wiggle.

• Choosing the best child dentist – The welcome that you receive when you walk into the dentist’s office can make all the difference. It is important to choose a competent pediatric dentist that has a genuine love for children and males a genuine effort to make your child comfortable.

• Managing uncertainty– Children, just like adults, get scared when they are unsure as to what is happening or what is going to happen next. Be sure to take the time to discuss things honestly and openly with your child, so that you can work through their apprehensions and misgivings. Make an effort to discover your child’s particular concerns. They may have seen a movie or heard a horror story about the dentist from a friend—these things can be very real and frightening to them.

• Make it fun – A dentist’s chair and all of their other equipment can look scary, so let your child see and touch the equipment. The way you approach a pediatric dental visit can be the difference between the experience being horrible or pleasant. These tips can help you and your child have the best dental visit possible.

To learn more about pediatric dentistry or other services available or to learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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Orthodontic Treatment is available by our Pediatric Dentists. Malocclusion is a term often used on the world of Orthodontics literally meaning “bad bite.” Malocclusion refers to teeth that are crooked or misaligned and exhibit fault in regards to the relation between the two sets of teeth, top and bottom. This can be caused by damage to facial bones or the teeth themselves, frequent thumb sucking, improper development, or unknown reasons.

Malocclusions, generally, have no physical health effects as they are a variation in normal positioning of the teeth–not a disease. It may, however, have an impact on facial shape and appearance of one’s teeth, which may cause a lack in self-confidence or even depression. If the malocclusion is severe enough, it may even have an affect on one’s ability to eat, speak, or keep one’s teeth clean.

Orthodontic treatment may be able to help people with many different Malocclusion problems:

Front teeth protrusion – Orthodontic Treatment may do more than improve appearance, but may help to protect teeth from becoming damaged. Protruding teeth are more likely to be injured in the event of a fall or during sports activity.

Crowding – Some people’s jaws are narrow leaving insufficient space for teeth to develop properly. In these cases one or more teeth may need to be removed, in order to make enough room for others to grow in properly.

Impacted teeth – The adult teeth are in the wrong position when they come through.

Asymmetries – Upper teeth and lower teeth are mismatched, most noticeable when the teeth are showing while the mouth remains closed.

Deep bite (overbite) – The upper teeth come down to far over the lower teeth while the teeth are clenched.

Crossbite – Upper teeth bite inside of the lower teeth when clenched.

Open bite – An opening is present between the upper teeth and lower teeth when clenched.

Underbite – Either the lower teeth appear too far forward or the upper teeth too far back.

Spacing – Gaps or spaces are present between teeth. This may be due to a missing tooth or (opposite of crowding) there is too much space in the mouth for the teeth to fill the space.

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Early dental care is important to promote healthy teeth. This article addresses some dental care issues of children and provides guidance for preventing tooth development problems. Most children have their first tooth erupt sometime between the ages of 6 to 12 months. During this time their gums are sore, tender and sometimes are still irritable up until the age of 3. To help soothe your child’s sore gums, you can rub them gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, or a cold, wet cloth. Avoid teething biscuits–they contain sugar that can harm baby teeth. Instead try teething rings which work well.

Dental Care Tip: Monitor your baby’s teeth. It is important to monitor your baby’s teeth for signs of baby bottle decay while your baby is teething. Every two weeks examine the teeth checking for dull spots (whiter than the tooth) or lines, especially on the inside or the tongue side. Decay can be caused by leaving a bottle containing anything other than water in an infant’s mouth while sleeping. This form of decay is caused by sugar in the liquid combining with the bacteria found in dental plaque. Together they form acids that attack the enamel of the tooth. For about 20 minutes after each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acid attacks the teeth. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.

Infant’s New Teeth
The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.

A Child’s First Dental Visit
Dental Care Tip: Schedule First Dental Appointment Around First Birthday. Around a child’s first birthday his/her first dental appointment should be scheduled. During the first visit the most important part is becoming comfortable with and getting to know your doctor and your doctor’s staff. Having a pleasant and comfortable first visit helps build trust and puts the child at ease during future visits. Having some anxiety is normal and children should be encouraged to discuss any fears that they may have.

Primary Teeth Are Important
There are several reasons why Primary teeth are important. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth also allow for clear pronunciation and speech. The positive self-image that having healthy teeth gives a child is immeasurable. Infants that are missing primary teeth or lose primary teeth prematurely may need a space maintainer, which is a device used to hold open the natural space, as primary teeth are what guide the permanent teeth into place. The teeth can tilt toward the empty space(s), without a maintainer, causing the permanent teeth to come in crooked. Always mention missing teeth to your family’s dentist. The way your child cares for their primary teeth plays a crucial role in how he/she treats permanent teeth. Regular care and dental checkups are needed for children, just as they are for adults, as both are equally susceptible to gum problems and plaque.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth
Dental Care Tip: Healthy Food Help Develop Healthy Teeth. A healthy, well-balanced diet is required for the teeth, bones, and soft tissue of the mouth. Eating a variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities as well as other dental problems. Children should only be given healthy foods as a snack such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and cheeses, which promote strong teeth as most of the snacks that children commonly eat cause cavities. Encourage your children to drink water between and after meals instead of sodas and sugary drinks and also to brush their teeth after snacks and each meal.

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1. How should I clean my baby’s teeth?
Most all Pediatric Dentist agree that the best choice for infants is a toothbrush that is specially designed for infants. If you can’t readily find a toothbrush labeled infant, then use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. Plaque bacteria can lead to decay. Brushing several times per day, especially at bedtime, will help remove plaque bacteria.

2. At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
The general rule for a first dental visit is “First visit by first birthday.” Once your child’s first tooth appears, you should bring them to a pediatric dentist to prevent dental problems. This typically occurs between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

3. Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our regular family dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of young people. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist has two to three years additional specialty training in the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents, including those with special health needs.

4. What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how can I prevent it?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when children go to sleep while they are breast-feeding or bottle feeding. The flow of saliva is reduced during sleep and this natural self-cleansing method of the mouth is diminished. To avoid the problem of baby bottle tooth decay avoid nursing children to sleep and put water in your child’s bedtime bottle rather than milk, formula, or juice. As your child approaches their first birthday encourage them to drink from a cup. It is recommended by Pediatric Dentist that your child is weaned from the bottle by 12-14 months of age. Between meals have your child drink water as both milk and juice contain sugar.

5. Can thumb sucking be harmful for my child’s teeth?
Crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and bite problems can be the result of finger, thumb, and pacifier sucking habits that are allowed to go on for a long period of time. If a child is still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, your pediatric dentist may recommend a mouth appliance. While most children will stop thumb/finger sucking on their own, it can be helpful to break these habits by rewarding the child for not doing so.

6. What are dental sealants and how do they work?
Sealants are clear or shaded plastic applied to the teeth that fill in the pitted and grooved surfaces of teeth to help keep them cavity-free. By applying this, food particles that could get caught and cause cavities are shut out. Sealants can effectively protect teeth for several years and are fast and comfortable to apply.

7. Is my child getting enough fluoride?
Fluoride has been shown to make teeth stronger, which dramatically decreases one’s chances of getting cavities. The best and easiest way to get fluoride is in drinking water. To be sure of your fluoride intake, have your local health department conduct an evaluation of the level of fluoride found in your child’s primary source of water. There are fluoride supplements that your pediatric dentist may prescribe in the event that your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially in communities where the water district does not fluoridate the water or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride). Unless your water has been specifically tested, stay away from fluoride drops, vitamins or tablets. This goes for well water also, as it may contain fluoride naturally.

8. How safe are dental X-rays?
The use of contemporary safeguards, such as high-speed film and lead aprons, the amount of radiation that one receives during a dental X-ray examination is minimal. Pediatric dentists take particular caution in minimizing the radiation that child patients are exposed to, even though there is very little risk. Dental X-rays, in fact, represent a risk far smaller than that of an undetected and untreated dental problem.

9. My child plays sports. How should I protect my child’s teeth?
The top priority on the list of your child’s needed sports equipment should be a mouth guard. Athletic mouth protectors, also called mouth guards, are made of soft plastic. Molded to fit the upper teeth, they fit comfortably and protect the teeth, lips, and gums from sports-related injuries. Your child’s best protection is a custom fitted mouth guard from your doctor, but any mouth guard works better than none at all.

10. When do the first teeth start to erupt?
The central incisors (the two lower front teeth) typically show up at about 6 to 12 months. These are followed by the two upper central incisors shortly thereafter. The rest of the baby teeth will show up in no particular order over the next 18 to 24 months. All 20 primary teeth should be present at 2 to 3 years.

11. What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
Remain calm. Find the tooth if possible and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket, if it is free of dirt and debris, and hold it there using a washcloth or clean gauze. In the event that you are unable to put the tooth back into it’s socket or it is dirty, put the tooth in a clean container with some milk and take your child and the tooth to your pediatric dentist immediately. Your chances of saving the tooth are better the faster you act.

12. How can I help my child through the teething stage?
Part of the normal process of teeth erupting is experiencing sore gums. For some children the discomfort can be eased by using a teething biscuit, a piece of toast, or a frozen teething ring. You may also be able to obtain medications from your pharmacy that can be rubbed onto the gums to help alleviate discomfort.

13. I noticed a space between my child’s two upper front teeth. Is this cause for concern?
As the other front teeth erupt this space will usually close. Consult your pediatric dentist as they will be able to determine whether there is cause for concern.

14. If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled?
There are many reasons why primary, or “baby,” teeth are important. These teeth not only help children to speak clearly and to chew naturally, but they also aid in forming the path for permanent teeth to follow when the time comes for them to erupt. Some primary teeth are necessary all the way up to 12 years old or even longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature tooth loss are just a few of the problems that can be caused by neglecting baby teeth. Tooth decay is an infection that (untreated) will spread. Decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. An instrumental part of enhancing the health of your child is proper care of baby teeth.

15. What causes tooth decay?
Cavities require four things to be able to form — (1) a tooth (2) bacteria (3) sugars or other carbohydrates and (4) time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. While eating, the sugars found in food cause this bacteria to produce acids which attack the tooth enamel. Repeated acid attacks, over time, break down the enamel and a cavity forms.

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When is the best time to begin Orthodontic Treatment?
Though there is no limit to the age in which a smile can be enhanced by an orthodontist, there is a time period that is optimal. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that a child’s initial orthodontic evaluation should occur when the first sign of orthodontic problems appears or no later than 7 years of age. Orthodontic treatment may not be necessary at this early age, but the most advantageous time to begin treatment can be anticipated with a vigilant examination.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
More effective orthodontic treatment can be provided, if problems are detected during early evaluations. Serious problems can be prevented from being developed later on with prudent intervention to guide growth as well as development. When it is not yet necessary for dental treatment intervention, an orthodontist is able to carefully monitor growth and development so as to be able to begin treatment at the most ideal time.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
The first adult molars erupt by the age of 7, establishing the back bite. It is during this time that an orthodontist can evaluate tooth relationships, front-to-back and side-to-side. The presence of erupting incisors, for example, can indicate a possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. Chances for an incredible smile are increased with timely screenings.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

The opportunity to create room for crowded, erupting teeth

The ability to influence jaw growth, creating facial symmetry

Reducing the risk of trauma to front teeth that are protruding

Preserving space for teeth that have yet to erupt

Reducing the need to remove teeth

Reducing the amount of time needed for treatment with braces

Why should malocclusions be treated?
Untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists some of these problems include:

Crowded teeth, which are more difficult to brush, floss, and care for properly, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.

Protruding teeth are more susceptible to chipping accidentally.

Uneven tooth wear and growth that is unfavorable can result from crossbites.

Speech impediments and tongue-thrusting habits can result from openbites.

Ultimately, orthodontic treatment does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.

To learn more about orthodontic treatment, the services that we offer or learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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Invisalign takes a modern stance on straightening teeth. The Invisalign system is a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This series of aligners is custom made for you and only you. As you wear the Invisalign aligners, your teeth are gradually shifted into place. This system is available to adult patients and some teenagers with certain orthodontic bite problems. There are 5 easy steps to a beautiful smile with Invisalign.

The first step of your Invisalign treatment is to make an appointment with one of our orthodontists, who will determine if the Invisalign dental braces system will work for your case.

The second step of the Invisalign system is to create a 3D image of your teeth. This is done by our orthodontist taking x-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth. Invisalign will use these images to create a digital 3D image. Using this 3D image, we will be able to map out a treatment plan precisely. Using this 3D technology, we will also be able to show you a virtual representation of the movement of your teeth through each step of your journey to a beautiful smile. Once your Invisalign treatment has been mapped out, it is time to move on to step 3.

For the 3rd step of your Invisalign treatment, you will receive your custom made aligners. These aligners are based on the treatment plan that you and your orthodontist discussed in step number 2. These aligners will not irritate your gums or cheeks as they are made from a BPA-free plastic that is smooth and clear. Outside of brushing, flossing, and eating you will wear your Invisalign aligners approximately 22 hours throughout the day and night. As you wear them your teeth will shift gently and gradually into place. Being virtually invisible, most people will not even notice that you’re wearing them.

Invisalign step number 4 is a continuation of step 3. Approximately every 2 weeks, you will wear new aligners to further the transformation to a more confident smile. Throughout this time, you will have occasional checkups with your orthodontist to monitor your progress about as frequently as a normal dental checkup and teeth cleaning. Sometimes new impressions and revisions are done, and additional trays are fabricated, and is all included in the process.

Revealing your new smile is the last and most exciting part of your Invisalign treatment process. With step number 5, you are finished with your treatment. You and your doctor may want to schedule further “follow up” checkups.

To learn more about the Invisalign system, other services available or learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment
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Plaque Locator Tablets | How do they work?

The home dental plaque locator tablets identifies plaque, a sticky substance that collects around and between teeth. The test helps show how well you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Plaque is the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis). It is hard to see with the naked eye because it is whitish colored, like teeth.

It is hard to tell how successfully you removed plaque after brushing and flossing your teeth. You may see some food particles, but you may not see the plaque, which colorless.

When teaching your child how to properly care for their teeth it is important to help them understand why their teeth need to be cleaned daily. Brushing may feel like a chore to children and just like cleaning their room by cramming toys under the bed, they may just go through the motions of brushing to “get it over with,” rushing to finish brushing instead of thoroughly cleaning those pearly white.

One way to help children understand the importance of brushing is to show them the results of their efforts. When children can see that what they are doing has an effect and they are more likely to take things seriously. One way to do this with brushing and flossing is to use plaque locator tablets.

If you have receding gums you may be at risk for plaque buildup. Wearing braces, a chronic medical condition or other risk factors, using plaque locator tablets can help to identify areas of your teeth that you may have missed after brushing and flossing. Plaque locator tablets contain a nontoxic dye that reacts with plaque and you will see dyed areas if plaque is present.

Before using a plaque locator tablets, brush and floss your teeth as usual. There are a variety of plaque locator products to choose from. Some of them available are listed below:

Plaque disclosing tablets: Chew a tablet and let it mix with the saliva in your mouth. Swish the saliva around your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out.
Plaque disclosing swab: Use the swabs to wipe the surfaces of your teeth.
Plaque disclosing solution: Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out.
Plaque disclosing floss: Use Oral-B® Indicator® Floss, which is blue in color to show the plaque you’ve removed after you use it.

How do they work? After brushing, flossing and applying your selected plaque locator products you may see color stained areas that indicate unremoved plaque that can then be brushed and flossed away. This helps you identify areas to improve your brushing and flossing routine. After you’re done using plaque disclosing tablets there may be temporary discoloration of lips and cheeks. Using the tablets at night is recommended as the discoloration should be cleared by morning.

Remember: Even if you aren’t at increased risk for gum disease, plaque disclosing products let you test yourself to see how effectively you remove plaque from your teeth.

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Teen Dental Care Advice – Risks of Tongue Piercings
The Dentists and Orthodontists in our practice discuss tough topics with our teen patients. The hottest trends lately are health risks of tongue piercings. Many teenagers are at risk of getting bacteria infections in their mouths and/or damage to their teeth.

Teens with pierced tongues are at risk for adverse effects that could last forever. Over time, the tongue repeatedly rubs against the same areas and may develop mouth ulcers. This constant irritation from the barbell-shaped jewelry could result in periodontal disease or oral cancer.

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reported that tongue piercing can result in chipped teeth, infections, nerve and gum damage, uncontrolled drooling, partial or complete loss of taste, and most commonly, tooth loss.

Other risks of tongue piercings come from the bacteria that covers the tongue. When the tongue is pierced, that bacteria can get in the bloodstream, cause underlying tongue tissues that could lead to serious infections. Pre-cancerous ulcers can only be detected during an oral cancer screening by one of our dentists.

Our practice provides services in all areas of pediatric dentistry; including preventive, restorative, and aesthetic dental care specifically designed to meet the needs of children and teens. Educating patients and their parents about tooth development, proper dental care and dental health is our ultimate goal. Our doctors and staff have received extra training in pediatric dentistry; making our practice an excellent choice to help kids and teens get the necessary care in the most supportive way.

Teen Dental Care Advice
Did you know, forty-seven percent of people who have worn tongue jewelry for four or more years have chipped teeth? As the teen becomes an adult, they may eventually have to spend thousands of dollars on dental procedures to regain the smile they’ll want later in life. So while it may be fun for a teen to have a pierced tongue, damaged and missing teeth, disease, and life-threatening cancer are simply put, not worth it. By taking the best steps towards dental health in the early years, we’ll be able to provide our patients with the opportunity for healthy teeth and gums for life. For more information go to Oral Piercing Risks at WebMD.com.

We strive to mold behavior and change attitudes toward oral hygiene so our patients have the best possible chance at a beautiful smile. To learn more about proper dental care, our services, view locations, or learn more about the doctors and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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What are Orthodontic Appliances? This is a good question for an Orthodontist or a Pediatric Dentist. When a child is determined to need orthodontic care, it is time to learn that Orthodontic Appliances come in two different types: removable and fixed. Both types are available at our office.

Fixed Orthodontic Appliances
Fixed Orthodontic Appliances. These are the most commonly used orthodontic dental devices. Fixed Orthodontic Appliances include:

Dental Braces. These consist of brackets, wires, and bands. The bands are placed firmly around teeth and act as anchors while the brackets are typically attached to the front of teeth. Over time an arch wire attached to the brackets moves the teeth slowly into the proper position. The braces are adjusted by an orthodontist once per month. Treatment lasts anywhere from several months to a few years.

Fixed space maintainers – When a child loses a baby tooth space maintainers will prevent the teeth on each side of the space from moving until the adult tooth is able to come into place. These consist of bands on the adjacent teeth with a wire that goes between the two.

Special fixed appliances – These only used when really necessary and they can be recommended to control thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or a bite that braces alone cannot.

While patients with fixed appliances are able to eat as they normally would, though some some food and drinks, such as hard or chewy sweets should be avoided. Special mouth guards can also be made for those who play sports.

Removable Orthodontic Appliances – Typically used in treating problems that are considered minor such as correcting teeth that are slightly crooked or spaced. Removable appliances are taken out for cleaning, while eating, or while brushing and flossing.

Examples of removable appliances include:

Aligners. These are an option typically used by adult patients in place of traditional braces. They can be virtually unnoticeable to others and are removable for activities such as eating, brushing, or flossing. These can be capable of correcting more than minor issues on a case by case basis

Lip and Cheek Bumpers. These relieve pressure on the teeth from lips or cheeks.

Removable Retainers. These prevent the teeth from migrating back to their original positioning after fixed appliances such as braces are removed. They may also be modified to prevent thumb sucking, slightly align teeth, or close a small space.

To learn more about orthodontic appliances, orthodontics, or orthodontic treatment options as well as services available, view locations, or learn more about the doctors, their accomplishments, and how they are actively involved in the dental community, please schedule an appointment.

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FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Why fix this tooth or teeth if they are baby teeth? To prevent infection from occurring in the permanent teeth it is important to address carries in baby teeth. Children typically lose their last baby tooth at around age 12.

How many baby teeth are there? 20

When will my child loose their first tooth? (Exfoliate schedule). The average age is six years but can be as early as four years or as late as seven. Usually the earlier baby teeth come in the earlier they will exfoliate. The later the baby teeth come in the later they will exfoliate.

Baby teeth are still in the mouth but the adult teeth are erupting. What should we do? Sometimes, especially on the lower front teeth, the baby teeth are still present while the permanent teeth grow in behind. It is quite normal that this happens. Sometimes the baby teeth just need a little more “wiggling” from the child. Other times the root may still be too long and the doctor may need to extract it.

My dentist is referring our child to you for treatment through general Sedation. Do we have other options? Yes – depending on the amount of treatment that is needed, we may be able to use an oral sedation or we may use nitrous oxide.

My child fell and bumped a tooth and it is turning color. What should I Do? Call our office to schedule an appointment to have the tooth checked. Usually an x-ray is taken when possible to help diagnose treatment.

Why are sealants necessary? Grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth are deep, especially on permanent molars. Sealants help fill in those grooves so it is less likely to get decay.

How long do sealants last? Sealants last about five years but we check them every six months when the child comes in for their regular hygiene check up.

What is expected from us (parent/guardian) financially? We ask that the initial visit be paid in full at the time of your appointment and your patient portion be paid at all subsequent visits. It is important for you to know what your insurance benefits cover. You are financially responsible for all charges regardless of insurance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should my child see a dentist at one year of age?

The one year / first dental visit will include:

Evaluation of the child: growth, habits, abnormalities or disease
Risk assessment for future problems: growth expectations and future cavities
Preventive information for the parent: oral hygiene techniques and responses to dental injuries
Responses to parents’ questions.

2. Until what age should I help my child with brushing of his or her teeth? Should I be flossing my child’s teeth?

Brushing: help until about 6 years of age or when they can print clearly or tie their shoelaces. Monitor after that time. Remember to use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for preschool children.

Flossing: begin when teeth are in contact and done by the parent until about 8 years or when the child can write script (cursive) clearly . Monitor after that age.

Help may be needed beyond these ages with both procedures if the children are wearing braces or space maintainers.

3. I am confused about fluorides. What should be given to my child. What does it do for the teeth?

Fluoride taken systemically or internally aids in the development of teeth. It should be available from 6 months of age until the mid-teens. Systemic use also provides fluoride in the saliva which is used for remineralizing tooth surfaces. The best and least expensive delivery is via water fluoridation, but prescription tablets or drops are appropriate when fluoridated water is not available.

Topical fluorides should be used in toothpaste after age 2. Only a pea-sized portion of toothpaste should be used by preschool children. This may be supplemented by rinses, gels and varnish which are higher dose applications. Topical fluoride use should continue throughout your child’s lifetime.

What it does: fluorides help in the formation of larger and more acid resistant crystals in the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth. Topical and systemic applications remineralize and strengthen areas weakened by foods, acids and bacteria.

4. My child sucks a pacifier. Is that worse than thumb sucking? At what age will this sucking begin causing problems?

All non-nutritive sucking may have an effect on facial / oral growth by distorting bones and modifying the relationship of the upper to lower teeth. These effects tend to vary with duration, frequency and strength of the sucking habit. However, pacifier sucking is generally much easier to halt at about age 2-3 years and rarely reverts to thumb / finger sucking. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages pacifier sucking at bedtime for the first year of like as this seems to reduce breathing problems associated with some sleeping positions and the possibility of SIDS.

5. Why does the dentist want to take x-rays when there are no cavities?

A thorough examination cannot be done by simply looking at the teeth. In dentistry, diagnosis also involves an evaluation of the areas between the teeth as well as an assessment of the child’s newly formed and unerupted teeth. For these reasons, x-ray images are necessary. The amount of radiation exposure is very minimal. The frequency of x-rays is limited and dependent on the child’s cavity history. In addition, future cavity risk and any abnormal growth or trauma (accident) findings will determine the need for x-rays.

6. Why fix baby teeth? Aren’t they going to fall out soon?

Primary teeth are present for a great deal of the child’s growing period, some until the child is 12 years old. Cavities can lead to pain, infection and lack of proper function and eating, as well as cavities on the adjacent permanent teeth. These permanent first molars are often erupting by age 6.

7. Do sealants really work to prevent cavities?

Sealants are very effective in preventing cavities because they block the collection of food and bacteria on the grooved surfaces of the back teeth. They are not useful between the teeth and therefore flossing is needed in those areas. Sealants are particularly effective on first permanent molars when applied shortly after their eruption, which is usually at the age of 6. The sealants are applied in a “non-invasive”, bonded manner to these surfaces, may be easily evaluated or reapplied, and are relatively inexpensive.

8. My child has crooked (or crowded teeth). When should he or she be seen by an orthodontist?

Pediatric dentists are knowledgeable about early growth and can evaluate eruption of the primary teeth. At rare times, early orthodontic analysis and intervention is needed prior to age 6. As permanent teeth erupt (mixed dentition), a full growth space and positional) evaluation may be indicated. This is generally done after 7 or 8 years of age.

9. How do you obtain cooperation from a very young child who needs treatment?

A variety of techniques are available and their use is dependent on the child’s age and developmental abilities. These techniques include attention getting and word selection choices, distraction and sequential explanations, and demonstrations (“tell, show, do”). At times, holding or restraining the child may be necessary for an adequate examination. This is often done in a position or manner similar to those used by the pediatrician for a physical examination or short procedure. For young children, cooperation for more extensive treatment often requires distraction techniques such as talking, storytelling and listening to music or stories. These approaches may be enhanced by the use of nitrous oxide or selective medications. Restraint or sedation-anesthesia may be indicated when complex treatments require levels of cooperation similar to those needed for medical or surgical procedures such as ear tube placement. A thorough discussion and selection of the appropriate choices for your child should precede any treatment.

10. What should be done if my child has an accident (that breaks or displaces a tooth)?

Accidents may occur at any age and the severity may be difficult to determine at the time of injury. In general, stabilize your child to prevent further immediate injury and call the dental office (or answering service if it is outside of normal office hours) for specific advice concerning your child’s problem. Time may be of critical importance. Try to speak with the dentist as soon as possible so that your child may receive the appropriate care in a timely manner.

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Patient Information > The Importance of Clean Teeth
The Importance of Clean Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

You, your orthodontist and your family dentist are now a team. You all want the same thing-for you to have a healthy smile with beautiful, white, straight teeth. We will straighten your teeth and your dentist will help keep them clean and check for problems periodically. But you’re the one who has to take care of your teeth every single day during treatment to keep them clean, healthy and white. That means closely following the instructions we provide.

Now that you have braces, proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort. But in the end, that time spent will be well worthwhile. By taking good care of your teeth now, you’ll get the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment.

Plaque is the Problem.

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that collects on your teeth. It’s composed of bacteria, food and saliva. If plaque and trapped food are left on your teeth and around your braces, they can cause swollen gums, bad breath, cavities and permanent marks on your teeth. Plaque can also discolor your teeth and make them look yellow. To make sure none of these things happen to your teeth, brush often and floss every day. And remember to visit your family dentist regularly for check-ups.

When to Clean:

Brush thoroughly at least four times a day: after every meal and before you go to bed.
If you can’t brush right away after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush. That way, you’ll clear your braces of most of the large food particles. A travel toothbrush is a great way to make brushing more convenient when you’re at school or work.
At least once every day, brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they are spotlessly clean, and then floss. This takes a little extra time, so you may want to do it at night before going to bed so you don’t feel rushed.
How to Brush:

Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush that’s in good condition. Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, replace your brush as soon as it shows signs of wear.
Brush your teeth and braces the way your orthodontist and staff members instruct you.
Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth. Remember to brush the backsides of your teeth, and be sure to brush your tongue. Doing this will not only help to remove food particles from your mouth, it will make your breath fresher, too.
Brush your gums gently and thoroughly.
Rinse thoroughly after brushing. Swish the water all around your mouth and teeth.
Inspect your teeth and braces carefully to make sure they are spotless. Look closely in a well-lighted mirror.
We may recommend the use of a “disclosing rinse” that will help you see any places you may have missed with your toothbrush. You may have to brush and rinse two or three times before all the plaque is gone. This may sound difficult, but it’s very important. Remember: they are your teeth, and to keep them for the rest of your life you need to take good care of them! A healthy, beautiful smile is worth the effort.

How to Floss:

Flossing is one of the most important parts of taking care of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment. To practice good flossing technique, follow these simple directions:

When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what’s called a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath your archwire easily.
Cut off about 18 inches of floss and loop it through your threader, run the threader under your archwire between two brackets, and, holding one end of the floss, gently pull the threader off.
Loop the ends of the floss around your index fingers, forming a “C,” and gently floss between your teeth as you normally would. Make sure to carefully clean along your gumline on both sides. When finished between two teeth, just pull the floss through, re-thread the floss through the loop, and repeat the process between your next pair of teeth.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of flossing at night before you go to bed. That way, you won’t feel as rushed and will take your time. Flossing with braces on may seem like a difficult process, but it’s very important. And as with anything, a little practice will make it go a lot faster.

Other Hygiene Helpers.

Your orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist will probably recommend some of the following aids to help keep your teeth clean. If you have any questions about how to use them, don’t be shy. Ask the orthodontist, assistant or hygienist to explain them to you.

Interproximal brush.
This tool is designed to slip under your archwire to more completely remove plaque and food particles near your brackets.

Prescription fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse.
Use once a day as part of your cleaning routine, if prescribed. For the best results, use it with your interproximal brush to deliver maximum fluoride protection to your teeth. We may also recommend an over-the-counter fluoride rinse.

Electric toothbrush or water irrigator.
These devices are designed to make brushing easier and more efficient. Ask us if they’d be helpful during your treatment.

New Products.
New techniques and technologies are constantly being developed to help improve results from orthodontic treatment. Ask us if any new products will help you with your daily dental hygiene.

The Problems Bad Oral Hygiene Can Cause During Treatment.

Good dental hygiene is a very important part of your orthodontic treatment. Without it, food tends to become trapped in and around your braces, encouraging the accumulation of plaque, a colorless film of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque react with the sugars and starches in food and form an acid that can eat away the enamel on your teeth, leading to cavities.

If you allow plaque to accumulate around your braces, it can leave permanent stains on your teeth when your braces are removed. This damage is called decalcification and these lines and spots will remain on your teeth for life.

Periodontal disease, caused by the buildup of plaque, occurs in three stages. In the first stage, the plaque accumulation irritates the gums around your teeth, leading to bleeding and swelling. This first stage is called gingivitis.

Over time, this plaque buildup may harden into a substance called tartar. As tartar accumulates, a condition called periodontitis will develop, causing a gap to form between your gums and teeth where even more tartar can accumulate.

In the last stage, or advanced periodontitis, pockets of bacteria form and deepen beneath your gums, attacking and destroying the bone that anchors your teeth, and making even healthy teeth loosen and eventually fall out.

As scary as these conditions are, the simple truth is that they’re all easily avoidable. By brushing and flossing regularly, you’ll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible in the shortest period of time.

Want a Great Smile? Check Yourself.

Today have you:

Removed every trace of plaque and trapped food from all the surfaces of your teeth-fronts, backs, tops and under your wires?
Paid very close attention to brushing at the gum line?
Used dental floss, special brushes, mouthwashes and fluoride mouth rinse as recommended by your orthodontist or dentist?
Rinsed thoroughly after brushing?
Inspected your teeth and braces to make sure they’re spotless?
Take good care of your teeth and braces. Then, when your braces come off, you’ll see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking smile that’s good for life.

© 2002 American Association of Orthodontists