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 healthy and happy this summer. 
  

We are very excited to introduce Dr. Carmen to Dakota children's Denitstry!
Dr. Carmen Lammeier
Enjoying children’s sense of humor and excitement for life is why I love working with kids.  My greatest rewards are the healthy, genuine smiles I see on patients’ faces after showing them that a visit to the dentist is a positive, inspiring experience, especially if in doing so I have alleviated previous fears.  I believe my role as pediatric dentist is part of a team that includes our patients, their parents, and our staff, all working together to support healthy, lifelong smiles.

Through participation in various community and dental outreach programs, I witnessed the positive impact that a pediatric dentist has on a child.  In preparation for this, I graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.  I then completed my dental education at the University of Connecticut, where I received my Doctor of Dental Medicine.  I obtained additional training in a hospital-based general practice residency at the University of Colorado. 

Completing my specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Minnesota has given me the knowledge and practice required to provide specialized treatment for children and adolescents with common dental needs as well as complex medical conditions.  I am dedicated to providing the best possible experience for my patients.  To ensure this level of care, I have extensive training in preventive and restorative dentistry, including dental treatment under general anesthesia.  While receiving my advanced training in pediatrics, I was recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for my involvement in research and development for new methods of caries detection.  

In order to maintain the highest level of specialty knowledge, I attend meetings and seminars throughout the year, providing me access to the most advanced techniques and equipment in pediatric dentistry.  I am a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, Minnesota Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Minnesota Dental Association.  I am a Diplomate of the American Board Pediatric Dentistry. 

I live in Minneapolis with my husband.  Together, we enjoy bicycling, cheering for the Minnesota Wild, and spending time with family and friends.  I am thrilled to have joined the talented team at Dakota Children’s Dentistry! 

Image result for tooth eruption chart

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 comlpetely removed from both the crown and root.  The canals are cleansed, medicated and in the case of primarey teeth, filled with IRM material and crowned with a stainless steal crown. 

Image result for shark teeth baby teeth

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 crossbite, 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 crossbite 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 crossbite 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.

What Are Sealants?


 

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.

Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.

Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for 30 seconds.   The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental assistant shines a light on the tooth to harden the sealant. 

Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants can be white, and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles.

As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth.

A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.  Sealants should be checked at each regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.

Sealants do not protect between the teeth, only the biting surface on the pits and fissures area of the tooth.  This means your child still needs to flossing daily to avoid interproximal (in between) tooth cavities.  

Image result for baby tooth trauma
Trauma to Baby Teeth
Due to the active nature of children, trauma to the primary teeth (baby teeth) is very common. Most accidents to your child's baby teeth look bad, but may not require immediate attention. Swelling is to be expected and may look worse 12-24 hours after the injury. 

  • Tooth is knocked out  
    Clinical signs: The whole baby tooth is gone from its socket.
    Treatment: Control bleeding with firm pressure from a cloth. Locate the tooth and save for visual inspection by your child’s dentist.  Place the tooth in milk and contact us as soon as possible. Provide over-the-counter pain medicine and soft diet as needed. Contact us for evaluation.

  • Tooth is gray or brown in color
    Clinical signs: Tooth appears darker in color. Up to 70% of injured baby teeth can darken. A dark baby tooth does not always require treatment. These teeth are at a higher risk for dental abscess (infection).
    Treatment: Over-the-counter pain medicine if pain is associated with the discoloration.  Clinical examination and x-ray by us to evaluate for a dental abscess.

  • Tooth hit but not loose
    Clinical signs: These teeth will sometimes exhibit some bleeding along the gum line but no real mobility of the tooth. These teeth will often be sore for 1-3 days but have a very good prognosis. Discoloration may be noted at any time after the trauma. 
    Treatment: Soft diet and over the counter pain medicine (Tylenol) are indicated for initial treatment. Contact us for an evaluation.

  • Tooth hit and loose
    Clinical signs: These teeth will usually exhibit bleeding and bruising of the gum tissue but appear to be in proper position. They may “wiggle” back and forth or side to side. These teeth will often be sore for several days and have a guarded prognosis. Usually they will tighten back to normal in 1-2 weeks. Discoloration may be noted at any time after the trauma and is fairly common with this type of trauma. 
    Treatment: Minimize movement as soon as possible. Check to see if your child can close his teeth together normally. Firm pressure from a washcloth to control bleeding of the gum tissue, soft diet, and over the counter pain medications are indicated as needed. Contact us for an evaluation.

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