Category: General Tooth Care Info

Teething Advice
Teething Advice

Most of the time newborns usually have no visible teeth and most start developing baby teeth around 6 months of age. Children usually have a full set of 20 primary teeth in place by age 3.

As their teeth begin to come in, most babies become fussy, sleepless and gernerally  irritable. They may lose their appetite or drool more than usual. If your infant has a fever or diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable, call your physician. These are not normal symptoms associated with teething.

Your child may have sore gums when teeth begin to come in. Gently rubbing their gums with a small cool spoon, or a moist gauze pad can be soothing. A steralized teething ring for your child to chew on may also help. We can recommend a pacifier or teething ring to use as well. We do not recommend that you use benzocaine products for children younger than 2, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional. Benzocaine is an over the counter anesthetic, usually under the product names Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel and Orabase. Benzocaine has been associated with a rare yet serious and even sometimes fatal, condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.

Teething can be a stressful time for both mommy and baby so when your child’s teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a toothbrush suitable for a baby and use filtered water if available.

A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about six months, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 months. For children between the ages of 2 and 5, brush their teeth with a small amount of natural toothpaste. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste.

You should start regular dental check-ups for your child after his or her first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday.

Does My Child Need Braces?
Does My Child Need Braces?

This is a very commonly asked question by parents of our patients. Braces can be used to correct many variations in dental development, and it is important to consider your child’s potential for future growth when answering this question. A good rule of thumb involves looking at your child’s primary (baby) teeth prior to the first tooth coming out.

Generally speaking, children who do not have spaces between their primary teeth, or children who have some crowding in the primary dentition will likely require orthodontic treatment during the adolescent years. Children who do have spaces between the baby teeth are less likely to need orthodontic treatment. Some children may exhibit more growth in either the upper or lower jaw, without showing any crowding between the teeth. In these children, braces may also be indicated at some point.It is important to continue bringing your child every 6 months to their check-up so that the doctor can evaluate your child’s growth and development.

Handling a Dental Emergency

Knocked Out Tooth – Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Applying a cold compress to the face will help to reduce any swelling. Call your dentist immediately to rule out any other injuries. If it is a baby tooth, do not try to re-implant it! Doing so can cause unnecessary damage to the developing permanent tooth. If it is a permanent tooth, place the tooth in Tooth Saver (available at your local pharmacy), or in a glass of room temperature milk and call your dentist immediately.

If no other liquid is available, you can place the tooth in water. Your dentist may try to place the tooth back into the socket, however the success of this procedure depends on the amount of time the tooth was out of the mouth. Ideally, the permanent tooth should be re-implanted by your dentist within 1 hour of the tooth being knocked out.

The Sticky Truth about Gummy Vitamins
The Sticky Truth about Gummy Vitamins

Gummy vitamins have been a very popular choice for parents since they came onto the market about 10 years ago. They taste great and they are supposed to be healthy. What could be better? There are some significant concerns associated with these vitamins, however that parents need to be aware of.

First, these vitamins are just as sticky as fruit snacks or other gummy treats. Many of them contain sugar, which allows the vitamins to stick in teeth and slowly dissolve into the pits and fissures of your child’s molars. It only takes about 20 minutes for the bacteria that form cavities to start digesting these sugars and begin making the acid that forms a cavity.

Secondly, the vitamins taste good, which has led to overdoses. Children may mistake these for snacks and take too many at one time. It is possible for a child to suffer from vitamin toxicity, which can be severe in some cases.

Most children can obtain their required nutrients from normal food groups, and may not even need vitamins. We encourage you to talk with your child’s pediatrician to determine your child’s nutritional needs.

At The Kidds Place, we recommend following a few simple guidelines for giving your child vitamins:

1. If you do give your child a daily vitamin, select a non-gummy variety that turns to powder as the child chews. These may contain added sugar as well, but do not stick to teeth in the same fashion.

2. Give your child their vitamin with a meal if possible

3. Have your child brush their teeth after they’ve taken their vitamins

4. Never give your child a vitamin before bed and let them go to sleep without brushing and rinsing with water.

Why your child’s medical history can influence their dental visit
Why your child’s medical history can influence their dental visit

Every child is unique and special, and many children have various medical needs. Some medical conditions are minor, while others require more attention, but all need to be disclosed to your child’s health care providers, including your child’s dentist.

Many conditions and syndromes consist of multiple systemic needs. Syndromes or conditions that involve cardiac needs may require antibiotic treatment prior to a dental visit. If you are unsure of your child’s cardiac status, it is a good idea to review with your pediatrician, or ask your dentist. Other conditions that may require antibiotics before dental treatment include artificial joints, shunt placement, uncontrolled diabetes, leukemia, neurological conditions, or immune system deficiencies.

While the above conditions may be rare, many children today are diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, or autistic-spectrum disorder. Many children with Autism require special accommodations to be made while at the dental office, and the sooner we can plan for your child, the successful your visit can be. Some children have been instructed to take daily medications; these should always be taken unless instructed differently by your dentist.

If your child takes medication for any of these or other conditions, your dentist needs to be informed to ensure that if local anesthetic or sedative medications are planned, there are no unexpected drug interactions.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?
Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is a very common concern shared by many parents. Many children who brux during the night while they are sleeping, although bruxism can occur while awake as well. There are a variety of different factors that have been identified as possible reasons for this habit. A child’s bite may be slightly “off”, or an irritating dental condition may be present. Other factors include emotional stress, allergies, or alterations in muscle tone. Some children with significant medical/developmental handicaps may also grind their teeth. In healthy children, bruxism is often self-limiting, meaning that most children will grow out of the habit.

Treatment of bruxism often depends on the severity of the habit, and the amount of wear on the teeth. In older children who have severe wear on their permanent teeth, a mouth guard may be indicated, or an adjustment of their bite. Custom bite splints are not recommended, however, due to the risk of choking, expense, and a rapidly changing dentition which can result in a poor-fitting splint. A child with mild to moderate wear may not require any treatment. In extreme cases, a stainless steel crown (cap) may need to be placed to prevent exposure of the nerve in the tooth, or tooth sensitivity.

Bruxism often does not have long-term consequences on the dentition, unless it continues to occur throughout adolescence and early adulthood.