At Dakota Children's Dentistry our gentle approach is effective for children that are frightened or have dental anxiety.  We allow parents to come back with their child so they feel more secure and comfortable. 
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We take time to explain how the procedure will go, we refer to this as "tell, show, do."   This helps reassure the child that nothing bad is going to happen.  It is our goal to help make everything as easy and fun as possible.   
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We feel it is important to give choices.  We let children pick their toothpaste and fluoride flavors. This helps engage the child with our procedures.  Our goal is to provide you and your children with comfort to reassure a positive dental experience and to treat each patient with respect for their individual concerns and needs. 

thumbsuck

Children typically start sucking their thumb when they are a baby, sometimes before they are born.  As your child gets older they suck their thumb when they are bored, tired, or anxious.  Many children stop sucking their thumb on their own between 2-4 year old. 
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When a child continues to suck their thumb after the age of 4-5 year old, they may start to develope an open bite.  An open bite is when the child is unable to bite their front teeth together.  At this time we recommend wearing a sock on the child's hand at night as a reminder not to suck their thumb.  Sometimes the sock doesn't work.  If your child is ready to quit, we would recommend a thumb appliance.  Also, help your child understand that sucking their thumb is moving their teeth into the wrong place and it is important to stop.

If your child starts to develop an open bite we may recommend a thumb appliance.  A thumb appliance simply reminds the child not to suck their thumb and make it less satisfying because they can't get the same suction with the extra plastic piece attached.  



At every dental check up Dr. Glenn or Dr. Carmen records your child's bite and we measure the amount of crowding.  Dr. Glenn or Dr. Carmen will discuss any orthodontic concerns at that time and refer to an orthodontist when needed.  Some children that look severely crowded may just need time to grow, however other children may need early orthodontic intervention.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your child's teeth, it's a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation by 7 years old. An orthodontist is a dentist with additional training, who specializes in aligning and straightening teeth. The best time for your child to get dental braces depends on the severity and the cause of the misalignment of your child's teeth.

Traditionally, treatment with dental braces begins when a child has lost most of his or her baby (primary) teeth, and a majority of his or her adult (permanent) teeth have grown in — usually between the ages of 9 and 14.

Some orthodontists recommend what's called an interceptive approach, which involves the use of dental appliances — not always dental braces — at an earlier age, while a child still has most of his or her baby teeth. Then, when a child has most of his or her adult teeth, a second phase of treatment is started — usually with dental braces. This second phase is thought by some to be shorter than a traditional course of braces if an early treatment has been performed.

Orthodontists who favor the traditional approach say that a two-phase approach to treatment actually increases the total time — and sometimes the expense — of orthodontic treatment with generally similar results. However, other orthodontists believe guidance of growth using dental appliances before the second phase of treatment makes correction easier.

The best choice for you and your child will largely depend on the severity of your child's dental problems. Talk with your child's dentist or orthodontist about the best course of action.

  

Sipping on things like soda, juice, and sports drinks will cause decalcification and decay.  Tooth decalcification is a process in which the teeth lose calcium.  This is caused by poor oral hyiene, not brushing two times daily or flossing.  Decalcification can also be caused by sipping on sweet liquids that contain sugar and acid.

The sugar and acid contained in these drinks are very harmful to our teeth.  It will cause cavities and tooth decalcification.   If you are going to drink these beverages, the most important thing to remember is consumption time.  The longer the sugar and acid is on your teeth, the more likely damage will be done.  So just remember don't sip all day and get decay.  Keep your smile happy and healthy.

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Usually the two lower front teeth (central incisors) erupt at about six months of age, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. During the next 18 to 24 months, the rest of the baby teeth appear, although not in orderly sequence from front to back. All of these 20 primary teeth should be present at two to three years of age. 

What does an abscessed tooth look like?

There will be a bubble on the gums, typically above the infected tooth.



Why do teeth abscess?

Teeth abscess once decay (bacteria) has made it's way into the nerve of the tooth.



How do you treat a baby tooth with an abscess?

There are a number of ways to treat a baby tooth with an abscess, depending on the tooth and the child's behavior.  Typically the tooth needs to be removed once it has abscessed.  Sometimes we are able to save the tooth by doing a pulpectomy. During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root.  The canals are cleansed, medicated and in the case of primary teeth, filled with IRM material and crowned with a stainless steal crown. 

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It is not uncommon for a child to have permanent teeth coming in behind the baby teeth.  This happens because the permanent teeth did not resorb the roots of the baby teeth on their way up, instead the permanent teeth came in slightly behind.

 In some cases the baby teeth may need to be extracted in order to allow the adult teeth to come in. Keep in mind that removing teeth early doesn't make your child jaw bigger.   Although other times the baby teeth fall out on their own.  Once the baby teeth have fallen out, the tongue will act as nature braces and help gradually push the adult teeth into place.  However, in many cases this may mean that your child will need braces in the future due to crowded teeth.  



A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is an early orthodontic treatment used to correct a cross-bite, and are the most common orthodontic appliance used to expand the palate of young children.  Dr. Glenn typically recommends an RPE for a child with a posterior cross-bite around 5-6 years old, depending on how the child will handle treatment.  Most patients feel pressure on their teeth throughout treatment, however experiences may vary.

The RPE is placed on the palate with 2 rings around each molar.  There is a key used to turn the expander twice a day for two weeks; each turn expanding the palate in small increments.   During treatment, some children start to see a gap between their front teeth; this is a positive sign.  A typical cross-bite will be corrected by the RPE within 3-6 months of use.

Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Central incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Second molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years
     
Lower Teeth    
Second molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid) 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Central incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years

                                                                                                                            An overview of children's teeth

Other primary tooth eruption facts:

  • A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
  • Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
  • Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
  • Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs -- one on the right and one on the left.
  • Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
  • By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.


Fluoride is a compound that contains fluorine, a natural element.  Using small amounts of fluoride on a routine basis helps prevent tooth decay.  Fluoride makes your teeth less dissoluble in acid.  Fluoride encourages "remineralization," a strengthening of weakened areas of tooth enamel. 

Fluoride can occur naturally in water but is often added to community water supplies.  It is found in many different foods and in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, and varnish.  Fluoride is most effective when combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.   

Fun Facts!

1. Systemic fluoride has been shown to reduce caries between 50 to 70 percent. 

2.  Water fluoridation is still the No. 1 cost effective way to prevent tooth decay.  However, 30 percent of communities in the United States do not have fluoride in their public sources of water. 

3.  Children may need fluoride supplements if they drink water that is not optimally fluoridated.  Dr. Glenn considers many different factors before recommending a fluoride supplement.  Your child's age, risk of developing dental decay and the different liquids your child drinks are important considerations.  Bottled, filter, and well waters vary in their fluoride amount, so a water analysis may be necessary to ensure your child is receiving the proper amount.

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