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.  


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. 

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.   



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.




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.         

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 does an abcessed 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. 
 



Summer is here!  We need to be aware how sipping on sweet liquids affect our teeth. 

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. 
  

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 bitting 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.  


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.

Fluoride

April 03, 2014 | Posted Cavity Prevention | 1 - Comment



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 disolvable 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 aged 6 months to 16 years may need fluoride supplements if they drink water that is not optimally fluoridated.  The pediatric dentist 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, fliter, and well waters vary in their fluoride amount, so a water analysis may be necessary to ensure your child is receiving the proper amount.

1. Why do kids grind their teeth? Does the answer change depending on the age of the child?

It is not uncommon for children to grind their teeth.  We see it in children younger than 7-8 years old.  A lot of children will stop grinding once their six-year permanent molars erupt. Their permanent teeth bite begins to establish itself once those molars erupt. 

Children's bites are very flexible and subject to changes as they grow. Occasionally, children will exhibit an abnormal bite causing them to grind because of the placement of their teeth.

2. Could it be stress-related? Do children grind their teeth for some of the same reasons adults might grind their teeth?  

Grinding is more commonly related to stress when children are middle school and high school age due to final exams and other major testing.

3. What should parents do if their child is grinding his or her teeth?

If the child is still very young with baby teeth still present, nothing needs to be done as we do not want to affect their growth. If the child is older, intervention may be necessary. The plan is to protect the permanent teeth while not negatively affecting their normal growth.

4. What should they look out for? When should parents worry? 

Dr. Glenn will notice and track wear patterns and recommend treatment when appropriate.

5. Any other tips for parents who are concerned about their children's teeth-grinding issue?

Our major concern is that permanent teeth are not affected and normal growth is allowed to occur. 

First Dental Visit



The Amierican Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommendeds the first dental check up at 1 year old or 6 months prior to the first tooth erruption.  At the first visit we will keep the it short and easy for your child.  Typically the child sits in the parent lap and holds hands while Dr. Glenn examines the teeth.  During the exam Dr. Glenn will check all of your child teeth for decay, examine your child's bite, and look for any problem with the gums, jaw and oral tissue.

During your first visit we will discuss:

1.  Good oral hygiene for your child's teeth and gums and cavity prevention

2.   Fluoride needs

3.  Oral habits (thumb sucking, nuk habit, lip sucking)

4.  Proper nutrition

 Regular check ups help you child stay cavity-free and it is important for your child's dental growth and development to be monitored.  We recommend children under 3 years old to have a dental check-up once per year; children 3 years and older should have a dental check-up twice a year.

Dental Fluorosis 


One of the many types of common tooth discoloration is Dental Fluorosis.  Dental Fluorosis is a developmental distrurbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.  These changes are most prone to occur in children between 20 and 30 months of age.  The critial period of exposure is between 1 and 4 years old.  Dental Fluorosis occurs when a child ingest too much fluoride.  Be certain that your child can fully spit out their toothpaste before introducing fluoride toothpaste .  When a child swallows fluoride toothpaste at a young age it can affect their permanent teeth that are forming.  The affects of fluorosis are strinctly cosmetic.   The teeth are actually stronger because of the extra fluoride, however fluorosis can cause severe stain throughout the teeth.  

How to treat Dental Fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis can be cosmetically treated by a dentist.  Tooth bleaching, moicroabrasion, or a conservative composite restoration are commonly used treatements.  Typically bleaching and microabrasion are used for superficial staining, where constructive restorations are used for more unaesthetic situations. 
  

How can cavities be prevented?



Visiting your dentist every 6 months to have a dental exam, have debris removed, and a fluoride treatment applied.  Dental hygiene is very important! Simply removing bacteria daily will significantly bring your decay risk factors down.  Brush twice a day and floss once a day. Use fluoride toothpaste around the age of 4 years old, when your child is able to spit toothpaste without swallowing it.  Fluoride make childs teeth less disolvable in acid.  Beware of frequent snacking.   Also, assure proper fluoride through drinking water (city water contains fluoride, while well water does not).  You may want to start a reward chart/sticker chart to make caring for your teeth a postitive reinforcement.  If you are already brushing twice a day and flossing but still have a high decay rate, you may want to add a fluoride rinse once per day.      

 

Why do baby teeth need fillings?  



The average child doesn't loose all their baby teeth untill 10 to 12 years old.  The baby teeth are important space maintainers for the permanent teeth, so we need to keep the baby teeth healthy untill the permanent teeth errupt.  A cavity (infection) in a baby tooth will contiue to grow untill it is treated and it can be painfull.  It is important to remove the decay present in a child mouth in order to prevent the spread of more disease (tooth decay).  Also, it is important to maintain a healthy environment for the permanent teeth to develop.   


This fall, Dakota Children's Dentistry staff volunteered with Christina's Smile.  Christina's Smile Children's Dental Clinic is a non-profit organization that works in cooperation with the PGA Tour and Champions Tour to deliver comprehensive dental care to children in need. Poor dental health affects the lives of millions of children from low-income families and can cause pain and discomfort, infection, speaking and eating problems and low self-esteem.  We are very passionate about the work Christina's Smile's does, and volunteer our services every year.  We really enjoy working with the kids and supporting a wonderful cause.

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October 15, 2013 | Posted Grinding | Be the first one to comment.

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