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5 Common Myths about Baby Teeth

Myth: Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be by their 3rd birthday

Fact: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should be by their 1st birthday. By the age of 3 about 10% of children have an oral health issue and by kindergarten an estimated 40% of children have had at least 1 cavity.

Myth: You shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste until your child can spit

Fact: Toothbrushing with a a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended as soon as the first primary tooth erupts. Fluoride is both safe and highly effective in significantly reducing the the chances of decay

Myth: Flossing baby teeth isn’t necessary

Fact: Once the primary teeth touch it is imperative to floss. Over 60% of the tooth is missed by not flossing. Primary teeth are about 1/3 as thick as permanent teeth and cavities progress much more rapidly in children than adults.

Myth: Baby teeth aren’t important

Fact: Primary teeth are the place-holders for permanent teeth. If lost too early, the dental arch can constrict leading to excessive crowding and the need for extensive orthodontic treatment.

Myth: Its ok to let my kindergartener brush their teeth by themselves

Fact: We recommend that parents supervise their children brushing as long as possible. Until children can tie their shoes by themselves (8-9) they will lack the dexterity to brush alone.

Dr. Ross Growing Smiles in Floral Vale Yardley PA Dr. Ross Levine is a board certified pediatric dentist and has been honored by both The Bucks County Courier Times and Philadelphia Magazine as a Top Pediatric Dentist in Bucks County.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation

Pediatric Sedation Dentistry at Growing Smiles

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we specialize in a technique known as oral conscious sedation. Sedation is recommended for children requiring dental treatment who are young, nervous, have special needs, and/or require multiple dental visits. Unlike general anesthesia, children are still able to breathe on their own and respond to verbal commands. Often children fall asleep because they are relaxed. All of the dental work is completed in one visit, making the experience easier on the child (and parent!).

Conscious Sedation Dentists are Licensed and Experienced

Dr. Radin, Dr. Bari and myself are specifically trained to perform these procedures in our office and are licensed by the state. We have safely sedated thousands of children, allowing us to provide high quality dental treatment while preventing a trip to surgery center for general anesthesia.

Preparing for the Oral Sedation Medicine

What to expect: patients are asked to come to their appointment with no food or drink after midnight the night before their treatment. Having your child on an empty stomach allows for better uptake of the medication and minimizes their risk of vomiting. After reviewing your child’s medical history, your child is weighed and medication is dispensed by the doctor based on your child’s weight that day.

Oral Sedation Coupled with Laughing Gas

Typically it takes 1 hour for the medication to take effect and your child will become sleepy and tired. At this point you will be separated from your child and the doctor will be with your child throughout the procedure. During the procedure, ensuring the patient’s safety is of the utmost importance. While a patient is sedated, we often use nitrous oxide paired with oxygen to help keep the patient calm. During the sedation, their blood oxygen level, breathing rate, and heart rate are closely monitored.

After the sedation, children are typically groggy and tired . Due to longer-lasting effects such as dizziness, sleepiness, a child shouldn’t go back to school or daycare after their procedure.

That night your doctor will check-in to see how your child is doing, but if you have any questions or concerns you can always reach us at our office at 215-860-9808 and we have provided more information about our oral sedation dentistry on this page.

Sports Drinks are a Hidden Cause of Cavities

Tooth Decay From Sugar in Beverages

During the summer it’s important to stay hydrated, but sports drinks can be a hidden cause of your child’s cavities. In a single 12 oz Gatorade (the smallest they make) there is 21 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective the American Heart Association only recommends that children should consume less than 25 grams of added sugars daily and should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to only 8oz WEEKLY.

Sports Drinks Do Cause Cavities

Sports drinks not only contain added sugar to cause cavities, but they are extremely acidic. Most sports drinks have a pH below 5.5 which is the threshold to cause not only cavities but erosion of enamel. sports drinks cause cavitiesThis is magnified during physical activity, as children dehydrate easily preventing the necessary buffering capacity and slowing the saliva flow to prevent cavities.

When are sports drinks needed?

For children the best answer is never. I know this is not feasible with most children, as its hard not to watch any sporting event and not see Bryce Harper or Serena Williams drinking Gatorade. But studies have shown that water is sufficient enough to hydrate active children. If desperate; try food coloring and water as an alternative.

For teenagers the best way to stay hydrated is hydrate before they start their activity. I understand that sometimes water does not suffice, so at the very least if gatorade or a sports drink is consumed it should be done before their sporting event, before and should be followed by water.

Treatment of White and Brown Spots

ICON resin infiltration is a new treatment aimed to improve the appearance of white spots (decalcifications) or white/yellow/brown developmental spots on smooth tooth surfaces. Treatment is completed without no injection or drilling.

Causes of Brown Spots on Teeth

Decalcifactions may  be  caused by the accumulation of plaque which could lead  to a cavity. Patients in orthodontic treatment are at a higher risk for decalcification, and white spots may appear around the brackets.

Other causes of white or brown spots include, high fluoride intake as a child, childhood illness or trauma to primary teeth that in-turn can leave white spots on adult teeth.

Treating Spots on Teeth Without Drilling

Traditionally these white spots would be treated by with composite filling material or porcelain veneers as an adult, which requires the drilling away of tooth structure.  ICON is a non-drilling conservative technique that we can preserve your child’s tooth structure and and allow the white spot to blend with the surrounding tooth, restoring a beautiful smile. 

The Importance of Dental X-rays

Kids Dental Xrays Are Important

Dental X-rays are a diagnostic tool used by dentists to diagnose oral diseases and monitor dentofacial development. We understand that because your child is being exposed to radiation that you may be hesitant to consent to treatment. At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we take every precaution when treating your kids with dental x-rays. With the use digital X-rays your child is exposure is reduced by 70% vs a traditional film radiograph. During each X-ray, every child wears a lead apron with thyroid collar to future reduce their exposure.

Are Digital X-Rays Harmful for Children?

How much radiation is in a typical digital X-ray

Radiation is measured in milligram or milliSievert (mSv). On average, we receive about 6.25mSv each year. Half of which is from natural background radiation and the other half is man made.

A single digital X-ray is .0001mSV which is equivalent to .1% of an annual radiation dosage. In comparison a 3 hour plane ride is .3mSV, a chest X-ray is anywhere from 10-40msv and a daily exposure is about 1mSv.

When do we take X-rays

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we adhere to the standards set by the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. We determine the need for digital dental sensors and radiographs based upon each child’s individual need. We typically prescribe bitewing X-rays, which diagnose decay between the teeth, soon after the primary teeth touch. Typically around the age of 3-4, but varies for each child. Depending on your child’s caries risk, X-rays are taken every 12-18 months until the permanent teeth erupt. This is because a cavity on a primary tooth can progress in less than 1 year.

X-rays are unfortunately a necessity in every dental practice. Without their use, pathology and oral disease can go undiagnosed and untreated. Taking digital X-rays when needed gives us the ability to keep your child healthy and allow us to make a complete diagnosis.

Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatments: Not Your Child’s Only Option

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has gained national attention over the past few years as an alternative to the treatment of tooth decay. Dental Caries (tooth decay) affects about one out of four children between the ages of 2-5. SDF is antimicrobial liquid that is brushed onto a cavitated tooth to stop the progression of the cavity. It is typically used in dental offices on children that can not tolerate dental treatment, those with special needs and in the elderly that do not have access to care. SDF has been used in Europe and Asia for decades. In the United States it is FDA approved to treat tooth sensitivity but is being used off-label to treat decay.

SDF Dental Treatments: What You Don’t Know

The misconception about SDF is that once it is placed there is no need for a filling. In reality, SDF is  only a temporary solution. It must be placed in at least two separate visits to arrest the decay and must be continuously monitored. Additionally, SDF is not recommended for every tooth with decay, and

Black Stains on your Child’s Teeth are Common with SDF Treatments 

Zirconia Crowns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, we do not find it necessary to use SDF unless it is medically necessary. Dr. Radin and myself are specially trained to treat your child and alleviate the anxiety you or your child may have regarding dental treatment. There are different options we can present to you and your child and none of which require general anesthesia.

We treat every child as if they were our own and look forward to you joining our extended family. If you have any questions our concerns, please schedule a consult with us.
Your child’s beautiful smile begins here.