PEDIATRIC DENTAL ASSOCIATES

ANDREW S HOBBS DDS

Education

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay occurs when the child's teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids for long periods. These liquids include milk (even breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened liquids.

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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training are required to become a pediatric dentist.

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Primary Teeth

Primary teeth (baby teeth) are far more important to your child's future dental health than you might imagine. In addition to providing a proper chewing surface until age 12 or 13, healthy primary teeth form pillars that allow young mouths to develop correctly.

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Nitrous Oxide

Most Children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office. The office is designed for young people, and pediatric dentists have additional training in caring for infants, children and adolescents. Staff members chose to work in a pediatric dental office because they like children and want to cater to their special needs. These elements combine to make your child feel relaxed and special.

Sometimes, however, a child may feel anxious before or during treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child's fear of the dental visit and enhance effective communication. Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

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Sealants

Sealants are plastic material (resin) that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – the premolars and molars. The resin bonds to the depressions and grooves (called pits and fissures) in the back teeth. A sealant is a barrier that protects tooth enamel from plaque and acids.

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XYLITOL-Reducing Cavities

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of xylitol on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs.

The use of Xylitol gum by mothers (2-3 times per day) starting 3 months after delivery and until the child was 2 years old, has proven to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time the child was 5 years old.

Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing prevention methods.  This xylitol effect is long0lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts.  Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs.  One cup of raspberries contains less than one gram of xylitol.

Studies suggest xylitol intake that consistently produces positive results ranged from 4-20 grams per day, divided into 3-7 consumption periods. Higher results did not result in greater reduction and may lead to diminishing results.  Similarly, consumption frequency of less than 3 times per day showed no effect.

To find gum or other products containing xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the Internet to find products containing 100% xylitol.

 

Beware of Sports Drinks

Due to the high sugar content and acids in sports drinks, they have erosive potential and the ability to dissolve even fluoride-rich enamel, which can lead to cavities.

To minimize dental problems, children should avoid sports drinks and hydrate with water before, during and after sports. Be sure to talk to your pediatric dentist before using sports drinks.

If sports drinks are consumed:

 

Tongue Piercings - Is It Really Cool?

You might not be surprised anymore to see people with pieced tongues, lips or cheeks, but you might be surprised to know just how dangerous these piercings can be.

There are many risks involved with oral piercings, including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, blood poisoning, heart infections, brain abscess, nerve disorders (trigeminal neuralgia), receding gums or scar tissue. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway!

Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the path of the needle.

So follow the advice of the American Dental Association and give your mouth a break-skip the mouth jewelry.

 

Tabacco - Bad News in Any Form

Tobacco in any form can jeopardize your child’s health and cause incurable damage. Teach your child about the dangers of tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco, also called spit, chew or snuff, is often used by teens who believe that it is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is an unfortunate misconception. Studies show that spit tobacco may be more addictive than smoking cigarettes and may be more difficult to quit. Teens who use it may be interested to know that one can of snuff per day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes.

In as little as three to four months, smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal disease and produce pre-cancerous lesions called leukoplakias.

If your child is a tobacco user you should watch for the following that could be early signs of oral cancer:

Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it’s not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery. Even worse, it can kill.

Help your child avoid tobacco in any form. By doing so, they will avoid bringing cancer-causing chemicals in direct contact with their tongue, gums and cheek.