Posts for category: Children's Dental Health
If your kids are like mine, they are getting excited for Halloween. Wearing costumes, carving pumpkins, school parties and of course, trick-or-treating are all just around the corner. And we all know what that means . . . CANDY! And lots of it.
Buts let’s all be careful how quickly we get ready for the ghosts and goblins to arrive. Buying Halloween candy early will only lead to snacking on treats all month long. Prolonged and repetitive exposure to sticky candy and sugar is bad for you and your teeth. Avoid the candy aisle until only a few days before Halloween and escape the temptation.
Also, avoid candies that are sticky or take a long time to eat, such as caramels, gummy treats, suckers or hard candy. These types of treats expose the teeth to sugar for longer periods of time and will be more damaging. Sugar-free candies, dark chocolates, and other treats that don’t stick to the teeth are better choices.
In addition, always remember to brush and floss after eating candy and to drink plenty of water. If you have any questions or if one of your child’s Halloween candies comes back to bite you, call our office at (937) 434-8870.
As summer rolls around and our kids are spending more time outside, playing sports, riding bikes and just running around, we see an increase in the number of injuries to teeth that come to our office. Depending on the type and severity of the dental trauma, the initial response and treatment can be the determining factor in saving a tooth or losing it.
One of the most severe dental injuries happens when a tooth is avulsed or knocked out of the mouth. This happens when a tooth gets hit hard enough that the traumatic force pushes the tooth out of the socket. This can happen from falling off a bicycle, getting hit with playground equipment, or even just running into someone while playing. Just this week, we had a patient get hit with a baseball that caused the front incisor to be pushed out.
When this happens to either a child or an adult, how you react during the first several minutes is critical to saving the tooth. By following the steps below, you will increase the chance of tooth survival.
1. Remain calm and locate the tooth. This can be difficult at times but it is important to find the tooth.
2. Avoid touching the root of the tooth as this may damage the root surface. Gently clean the tooth with water to remove any dirt or debris.
3. If possible, re-insert the tooth into the socket and hold in place with gentle pressure. By getting the tooth in quickly, you will increase the chance of saving the tooth.
4. If you are unable to insert the tooth, place the tooth in milk which will help preserve the root surface.
5. If the tooth that was lost is a baby tooth, do not put it back into the socket as this may damage the developing adult tooth under the gums.
6. Call your dental office immediately so that they can reposition the tooth and support the tooth with a bonded orthodontic wire. This will help hold the tooth in position as the gum and bone heals.
Research shows the sooner the tooth can be re-inserted, the better the chance of tooth survival. Ideally, the tooth should be put back into the socket within 30 minutes or sooner. Teeth that are inserted later than 30 minutes have a higher chance of being lost. Further procedures, such as root canal treatment and restorative treatment, are often needed to help preserve the tooth.
In addition to knowing how to deal with an avulsed tooth, it is important to try to avoid tooth trauma in the first place. One great way to protect teeth during sports is to wear a properly fitting mouth guard. By wearing a mouth guard, the chance of tooth trauma is much less. Anyone who plays sports that include contact and/or hard equipment should consider wearing a custom mouth guard. Though custom guards are more expensive than over-the-counter guards, they tend to fit better, are more comfortable and are more protective of the teeth.
If you have any questions pertaining to treatment of dental trauma, mouth guards or any other dental topic, contact our office at (937)-434-8870 or send me an e-mail at [email protected].
Dr. Almoney and the Almoney & Brown Dental Team
Sealants and fluoride are tools that can be used to prevent cavities from forming, thus saving a tooth from a lifetime of repair and maintenance.
What are sealants?
Permanent molars with deep grooves and pits on the chewing surface are some of the most susceptible areas in children to form cavities. These pits and grooves are most vulnerable in young children due to their lack of oral hygiene skills, dexterity, and diet high in processed sticky sugars. The first permanent molars typically erupt around age six, and the chewing surfaces of these molars are often formed with deep grooves and pits. These areas can easily become clogged with food debris that is nearly impossible to remove. The sticky processed sugars often found in today’s diet are prime catalysts for cavities. Placing sealants on the teeth as soon as they erupt helps prevent decay from starting.
A sealant is a filling material that starts out as a thick liquid and fills in the grooves and pits of tooth surface. Once placed it is cured with a visible light that hardens the material in seconds. There is no need to numb the tooth unlike when a filling is placed to restore a cavity. The sealant may chip or wear over time and can be simply re-sealed if needed. Sealants do not make a tooth bullet proof so don’t neglect hygiene or have an undisciplined diet. The sides of the teeth and in between the teeth are vulnerable to decay as the sealant does not protect those surfaces. Sealants should be placed on all of the adult molars as well as the bicuspid teeth if these teeth have deep grooves and pits.
How is fluoride beneficial?
The use of fluoride is another great way to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a natural element that is found in trace amounts in water supplies and foods that we consume. Fluoride has been incorporated into toothpastes, gels, and mouth rinses, and acts as an anti-cavity agent. It can also act as a desensitizing agent for teeth that are cold or sweet sensitive.
Our teeth are in a constant state of war. They are being demineralized by the acids in the foods we consume as well as by acids produced by bacteria in our mouths. This is counteracted by the action of fluoride, calcium and other minerals to re-mineralize these surfaces. Normally a balance is kept such that no appreciable amount of demineralization occurs. When this balance is tipped in favor of demineralization, cavities become evident at a clinical or radiographic level. For most people, with good diet and hygiene , fluoridated toothpaste is a sufficient source of fluoride for oral care. Patients with less than optimal hygiene and diet or those who have weaker enamel can benefit from other sources of fluoride. Mouth rinses with fluoride, prescription gels, and fluoride tablets can help to remineralize enamel and keep teeth cavity-free.
Fluoride is especially important for children who may not have the best oral hygiene habits or dexterity and consume diets high in processed carbohydrates and sugars. Mouth rinses should be checked for alcohol content as this tends to dry the oral tissues and can be uncomfortable. Also, excess fluoride exposure should be avoided especially in young children. Be sure to follow the directions and when using fluoridated toothpaste with young children, it is best to use only a pea size amount to prevent ingestion of significant amounts of fluoride.
If you have any questions about sealants or fluoride for your children, please contact our office at (937) 434-8870 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website to read other articles about dental health and to learn more about our office.
The Almoney and Brown Dental Team
Today is the first day of the National Children's Dental Health Month and I wanted to start our month long focus on children's dental health by discussing the true cost of a cavity and the importance of preventative dentistry. When a child develops a cavity and an initial filling is placed in the tooth, this filling will need to be maintained, repaired or replaced throughout the child's lifetime, and the cost of this ongoing treatment can become expensive. Data shows that maintaining a single filling restored on a 10 year old's molar will cost, on average, $2,187 (in today's dollars) by the time he or she is 79 years old. Add a few more teeth to the equation, and one can easily see how costly these initial cavities can become.
Currently, there are no permanent restorative materials that will last forever. Fillings wear out over time and need to be repaired or replaced and in some cases the weakened tooth structure requires more extensive treatment like crowns to restore the tooth properly. Add to that the possibility of root canal treatments, extractions and the replacement of missing teeth, and the cost of maintaining that initial filling far exceeds the cost of preventing decay from ever starting. In our practice, over 90% of the teeth we restore have already been filled. This means that almost all of the restorative procedures we do involve repairing or replacing existing fillings. If these fillings were never needed in the first place, there would be little need for additional treatment later in life.
Now this is not to say that patients should avoid filling cavities. Once a cavity has formed, it is critical that it gets fixed as soon as possible. Untreated tooth decay will get worse over time resulting in more extensive and costly initial treatment. Smaller, more conservative, fillings are easier to place, less expensive and typically last longer than larger fillings. Therefore, once a cavity develops in a tooth, getting it fixed quickly is very important. However, the best plan is to prevent the cavity from even forming.
Prevention of dental decay starts as soon as the first tooth erupts into the patient's mouth. This can be as young as a few months old. Even though these first baby teeth will be replaced later with adult teeth, it is important to keep the baby teeth healthy and to begin developing good dental health habits in our children. Proper daily brushing, a healthy diet with minimal sugar exposure, and regular dental cleanings and exams are critical to starting a lifetime of good dental health.
Throughout the month of February, we will be posting a weekly blog on how to prevent cavities and help your child to develop a lifetime of good dental health. If you have questions about prevention of dental disease or other dental issues, please contact our office by email at Contact Us or by phone at (937) 434-8870. You can also visit our website at www.almoneybrowndental.com to learn more about our office and other dental topics.
The Almoney & Brown Dental Team
Every February, the American Dental Association sponsors the National Children's Dental Health Month. The ADA's intitiative is to give young people the education and motivation to develop good oral hygiene skills, so that they may grow into adults with good dental health. Almoney and Brown Dental stands behind the ADA program, urging parents to help their children create healthy teeth and gums for life!
During the month of February, both Dr. Almoney and Dr. Brown will be presenting dental health talks to several Dayton area schools. If you would like to schedule one of the doctors to come to your child's school, please contact our office to see when the doctors are available. You can call the office at (937) 434-8870 or email at [email protected] Also, please check in frequently to read our blog at www.almoneybrowndental.com or on our Facebook page. We will be focusing on children's dental health topics throughout the month.
--The Almoney & Brown Dental Team