Posts for: February, 2016
As a children’s dentist, we can treat your family as they grow. We enjoy getting to know our young patients and helping them maintain strong and healthy teeth as they age. This takes effort on your part at home, along with regular care in our office. The goal is to make it possible for your child to avoid common problems like toothaches and cavities. This can be easier said than done, especially as your children enter their preteen years. Busier schedules, changing priorities, and a love of junk food often lands them straight in our dental chair with an emergency. You can help prevent this by using these tips:
#1 - Avoid soda like the plague.
Plain and simple, soda is the enemy. Not only is it full of sugar, but it is also highly acidic. Letting your child have a soda even occasionally is bad for them because the acid can actually erode the enamel on their teeth. This can lead to sensitivity while also increasing their risk of developing cavities. Switch to water instead.
#2 - Help them make better choices.
As a children’s dentist, we are practical about diet and healthy choices. We know that there is no way to prevent your child from ever eating sugar. That will not happen. Even if you ban candy at home, they will get it at school or at a friend's house. What you can do is help your child learn how to make healthier choices when they do have something sweet. Sour candy is the absolute worst for their teeth because it is acidic and full of sugar at the same time. Chocolate bars with caramel are also bad because the sticky caramel can hurt their teeth. With that in mind, if they are getting something sweet, a plain chocolate bar is probably their best bet. Just be sure to have them brush their teeth afterward.
#3 - Give them a mouth-healthy diet.
Your children should eat a diet that is full of lean protein, dairy products, and green leafy veggies. This is the best way to keep their body and their teeth healthy. Make it more fun by including them in the cooking. They may enjoy doing an activity with you enough to enjoy trying new things.
#4 - Buy a mouth guard.
Sports injuries are incredibly common, even in sports that most people think are tame. For example, college basketball players tend to have more mouth injuries than football players. This is because one group does not wear mouth guards and the other does.
#5 - Use an app, song, or show.
There are fun apps you can use to make brushing teeth fun. You can also play a short cartoon or video each time they brush to help them remember to brush for the full two minutes.
Visit Our Children’s Dentist Office
In addition to using these tips at home, you should also visit our children’s dentist office twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning. By removing the plaque and tartar forming on their teeth, we can reduce the likelihood of them developing cavities or infections.
As a pediatric dentistry office, we want to help your children remain in excellent oral health. This takes effort. Many parents think that baby teeth are healthy and strong, mostly because they are so new. We wish this were the case. In reality, baby (non-permanent) teeth are just as susceptible to decay and often do become infected. Even toddlers are known to suffer from cavities to the point that this common condition is often referred to as “baby bottle tooth decay.” In order to prevent this problem, you need to take steps to keep your children in excellent oral health. Bringing them to our office this winter is a step in the right direction.
Why do children need to visit the dentist in the winter?
It is always a good idea to have your teeth cleaned, regardless of what time of year it is. However, in the winter, there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing cavities. The first is that the holiday season is full of non-stop cookie and candy eating. This can leave a layer of plaque and tartar on your child’s teeth. While eating Santa’s cookies may seem fun at the time, if your child develops a cavity and toothache, it won’t be. The good news is that we can clean their teeth to remove plaque before they start to develop bad cavities.
The other reason to visit our pediatric dentistry office this winter is the weather. If your child is in the cold at home or on a ski trip, or a virus is going around the school, there is a good chance they will end up with a cold. All that nose-breathing can lead to a dry mouth. While that may seem innocent enough, constantly breathing out of the mouth can actually increase the risk of developing cavities. This is because dry mouth reduces saliva, and saliva is how the body naturally washes away food particles and plaque. Without it, these food particles could remain on the teeth longer, plaque can form as a result, and that plaque can secrete acid onto the teeth. The result is often newly formed cavities. By professionally cleaning your child’s teeth, we can help reduce the risk of them forming in the first place and treat them right away if they do.
What else can I do to keep their teeth healthy?
As a pediatric dentistry office, we recommend that you start by looking at what they eat. Do your best to cut out sugar, simple carbs, and anything acidic. For example, you should eliminate soda and acidic juices. You should also cut out lemons and limes and limit how many oranges they eat. While citrus has other health benefits, after eating them, your child should rinse their mouth with water and then brush before too much time has passed.
The other thing we advise is being sure to brush at least twice per day and floss daily. Your child may need help doing this until they are older, but your effort can significantly impact the health of their teeth.
Many people in high school or college do not understand the importance of visiting a young adult dentist. This is why, as a parent, it is necessary to convey the importance of getting a regular checkup and making sure that they do. Once young adults have moved out of the home of their parents or guardians, they are often inclined to put visits to the dentist on the back burner. Unfortunately, this tendency leads to the shocking statistic that 27% of adults ages 20-44 have untreated dental cavities. This number increases from the approximately 17% of children and teens ages 5-19 years with untreated dental cavities. The number of adults ages 18-64 who visit the dentist drops nearly 20% from the former 83% who visit regularly between the ages of 2 and 17— most likely from being encouraged by their parents.
Young Adults Are Not Invincible
Since many young adults believe they are at the pinnacle of health during their teens and 20s, they don’t make it a priority to visit a young adult dentist as they should. This failure to prioritize often leads to unwanted cavities, tooth loss, and higher bills. While men’s bones (including teeth) continue to grow and develop until you are in your mid-thirties, a woman’s skeletal bone mass will begin declining in her 20s. This correlates heavily with dental health. Because bone mass will gradually decline, teeth will also become weaker— increasing the need to visit a young adult dentist more often for dental health check-ups and dental cavities treatment.
Preventative Care Will Save You Money
On average, the cost of a general checkup and cleaning from a young adult dentist is around $170 to $300. This cost often also includes an X-ray that can tell the dentist more about your dental health. Crowns, on the other hand, can cost over $500, and fillings typically cost around $140 to $350 per tooth depending on the size of the cavity and materials used. These expenses can often be avoided if you bring them to visit our office for regular checkups. We can keep their teeth clean and free of plaque and tartar build up. If they fail to visit a young adult dentist even after a cavity develops, they could become in need of a root canal procedure to remove a painful infection deep within a tooth— if this occurs, their dental expenses could jump to nearly $1000 or more for the treatment. In addition to these extra financial burdens, they are putting themselves in danger of other health ailments in the future since oral hygiene is directly linked to heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes.
To avoid concerning health problems down the road, make an appointment for your child with a young adult dentist today. We specialize in caring for babies to teens and young adults. Our practice is focused on youth and we do a fantastic job of making oral health issues relatable so that they can take control of their health now and in the future.