Most children start using a fluoride toothpaste around 4-5 years old.  Fluoride is an important preventative measure that helps make our teeth less disolvable in acid, which ultimately means less decay.  It is important for your child to use fluoride free toothpaste untill they can fully spit it out.  If fluoride toothpaste is swallowed frequently, your child could develop dental fluorosis.  Dental Fluorosis can permanently discolor the adult teeth, but is strictly cosmentic.  

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. 
Open bite
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 develope 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.   

tetracycline staining due to stain removing main types of bacterial

The most common stain we see on baby teeth is black line stain.  Black line stain is harmless and strickly cosmetic.  Black line stain can be removed at your child's dental cleanings.  Patients that have black line stain tend to have less cavities, because their saliva is less acidic.  Using an electric toothbrush will help remove the stain at home.  

BRUSH 2 TIMES DAILY!

Maintaining good dental care early in life helps ensure continued tooth and gum health in the future. When it comes to dental hygiene for kids, you can never start too soon. The most basic elements of dental care are regular brushing and flossing, but it’s important that your children know effective dental hygiene techniques and have access to quality dental products. You should also try to make your children comfortable with visits to the dentist and routine dental cleanings. The earlier you start exposing them to good dental care, the more likely they will be to keep their beautiful smiles for life.

FLOSS ONCE DAILY

Good oral hygiene prevents dental plaque from building up on teeth; this inhibits cavity formation and reduces the oral bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Your children’s dental care routine should include twice-daily brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and daily flossing.  When flossing your child's teeth lay them down on the sofa for the best acess and view.  When they are old enough to brush unsupervised, consider introducing an electric toothbrush.  Often times the night time brushing get missed because the child is too tired.  It's alright to brush after dinner, the important thing to remember is to brush every 12 hours.  

 
 



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. 
 



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.

We are enjoying some Halloween Fun at our office!!!  Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!!!




 

Sealants protect the gooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where most cavities are found.  Sealants are a preventative measure we recommend on the permanent molars ("6 year" and "12 year" molars).  Sometimes Dr. Glenn will recommend sealants on primary molars (baby molars) if the child is at high risk for decay.  
 

Last week Dr. Glenn and our staff volunteered at Christina Smile.



Christina’s Smile, a non profit mobile dental care facility, provides free dental care to children in need. Identified through social and community service organizations, children in each community served receive comprehensive, “most needed” dental treatment at no charge.
The Clinic is housed in a 53 foot trailer equipped with three dental treatment stations, x-ray equipment, and an instrument sterilization area. It travels across the US annually, bringing quality dental care to children in need from inner cities, migrant worker camps, and homeless shelters as well as to children in residential treatment facilities and those from uninsured, working poor families.
The clinic shows dentistry at its best. With the help of volunteer dentists and assistants, each child receives a comprehensive exam and immediately needed dental care.  Many of the children have lived with chronic dental pain or serious dental disease and deterioration for months, even years, before gaining access to the Clinic. The volunteer dentists perform extractions, fillings, root canal treatments, and provide crowns and sealants.



At every dental check up Dr. Glenn records your child's bite and we measure the amount of crowding.  Dr. Glenn 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.

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