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Dental Tips for New Parents

     On January 28th my wife Abby and I welcomed our first child Noah. We learned quickly that being a new parent is a challenge and there are so many questions to be answered. At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, we are here to help new parents create a healthy smile that will last a  lifetime.

Oral Health Care starts at birth. Dental caries in infants is a disease that is preventable. By minimizing your newborn’s exposure to the cavity causing bacteria Mutants Steptococci (MS) you can help prevent cavities before their first tooth erupts. Babies are not born with (MS), but transmission can occur soon after birth and is typically transferred (~70%) by their mother or primary caregiver.

Ways to prevent tooth decay before their first tooth erupts1. Clean your infant’s gums after feeding:

  1. Use a moistened washcloth wrapped around an index finger, or a very soft, baby toothbrush (with little pressure) to gently massage the gum tissue of your infant.
  2.   Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle, instead use a pacifier. Pacifiers have been shown to decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and as long as your child is weaned by one there is little or no adverse effects to their developing dentition.
  3.  Avoid testing the temperature of the bottle with your mouth, or cleaning a pacifier or a bottle nipple by putting it in your mouth. These practices can help stop the transmission of of (MS).
  4.  Important for mothers or caregivers  to see their dentist regularly.  Those with poor oral health  are at greater risk for infecting their children with (MS) increasing their child’s carries risk at an early age.
  5.   Visit our office within 6 months of your child’s first tooth erupting. Providing the best dental care for your child is our top priority. Children that see the dentist by their first birthday have shown to have significantly less decay than those who are seen by  three. Establishing a dental home is important and we will create a personalized dental plan for you and your child.
  Schedule an appointment with our office today, your child’s beautiful smile begins here!
Pediatric Dentist in Yardley

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Why it is necessary to treat baby (primary) teeth?
There is a common misconception that baby teeth are not important because these teeth fall out, and, as a result, treatment in these teeth can be avoided. However, treatment of baby teeth is essential for children.

Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Primary teeth are important for many reasons: for example, they hold the space for the permanent teeth to come in. The first baby teeth may fall out around 6 years of age, however the baby teeth in the back of the mouth, or molars, do not fall out until the ages of 12 or 13!

Prevent Future Orthodontic Problems

When a primary molar is lost early, the permanent tooth can drift into the empty space, potentially blocking other permanent teeth from coming into the mouth properly. This drifting of permanent teeth can lead to crowding and misalignment of teeth, which can result in a need for an early orthodontic consult.

why are baby teeth importantThe Consequences of Not Treating Decayed Teeth

Next, if decayed primary teeth are left untreated, it can lead to infection of the surrounding teeth, gums, tooth loss. Also, an untreated, infected baby tooth can even harm the development of the permanent tooth underneath!
In addition, the baby teeth in the front (incisors) help with your child’s speech and smile. Children that suffer from decay or lose their incisors early struggle with many issues, including speech, self esteem and social development.
Our goal at Growing Smiles in Floral Vale is to address any dental issues that may arise so your child can eat and sleep well and function well at school.
 Schedule an appointment with our office today, your child’s beautiful smile begins here!Pediatric Dentist in Yardley

Why does my child grind their teeth at night?

Teeth Grinding In Children Is Common

This is one of the most common we questions we get at Growing Smiles in Floral Vale.  Tooth-grinding or bruxism is defined as “the habitual nonfunctional forceful contact between occlusal (biting surface) tooth surfaces than can occur while awake or asleep.”  According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry a study of over 800 patients under the age of 17 found that 38% of children grind their teeth.

Reasons Why Kids Grind Their Teeth

There are several reasons why children grind or clench their jaws during sleep. Typically it is a benign behavior that can occur due to the upper and lower jaws not aligning correctly or in response to a emotional stress, such as an upcoming test. Children typically grow out of this problem by age ten without causing any permanent damage to their teeth.

When to become concerned:

If grinding is accompanied by snoring, bed wetting, or poor performance in school your child maybe suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. At this point we would recommend you speaking to your pediatrician or an otolaryngologist if we suspect sleep apnea is an underlying cause of your child’s grinding.

If grinding persists into their permanent dentition, we may recommend treatment in the form of a custom-made night-guard to wear at night.

The majority of children eventually will grow out of this habit. If it concerning to you, please don’t hesitate and call us to schedule an appointment. We can conduct an examination, offer a diagnosis and recommend treatment if necessary.

Zirconia Crowns Repair Badly Broken Teeth in Kids

Dental crowns are tooth shaped coverings that are typically placed on severely decayed teeth or teeth that have fractured due to trauma. Crowns are cemented over the remaining tooth structure restoring the tooth to its original shape and function.

Zirconia crowns are particularly useful when children damage their teeth on the playground, in a sporting event or some direct trauma that chips or cracks a child’s tooth. Cosmetically, a child can be affected negatively if other children make fun of the way they smile. Also, a badly damaged tooth can lead to additional exposure to decay. So there is good reason to repair badly damaged teeth with pediatric dental crowns.

Pediatric Dental Crowns: The Process

More than likely, the dentist will need to shape the damaged or decayed tooth. This requires removing the decayed or damaged enamel and dentin until the tooth structure is small enough for the crown to fit comfortably on top. First, you need to decide what kind of material you want your child’s crown to be made out of. The most commonly used materials are stainless steel (silver appearance) or zirconia (white appearance).

Stainless steel crowns have been used for decades in pediatric dentistry and do a wonderful job of restoring function to your child’s teeth. The only complaint with stainless steel crowns are their poor esthetics.

In contrast to the poor esthetics of stainless steel, zironica crowns are great if you want to maintain the natural aesthetic of your kid’s smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry for Kids Explained


You will need to schedule two appointments for your child to see the dentist. The first visit involves the dentist taking X-rays to make sure the tooth is structurally sound to support a crown.

Depending on the behavior of the child and the amount of work needed; you and the dentist will decide on the best type of treatment for a child.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?

Crowns provide confidence to kids who would be self-conscious. They also improve speech patterns and prevent lisps or slurred speech. Crowns are also incredibly durable and most last until the time the tooth should exfoliate.

Pediatric dental crowns are a great form of cosmetic dentistry for kids. Crowns can enhance a smile while making it easier to chew and talk. Do not delay taking your youngster to our office when there is an emergency. Your child will be thankful you took an active approach to his or her dental health.

Should Xylitol be apart of your child’s daily oral health care?

Xylitol and Teeth – What The Experts Say

What is Xylitol:

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in small amounts of fruits and vegetables.  It has been used as a sweetener aimed to improve oral health1. Xylitol as well as other sugar alcohols are not readily metabolized by oral bacteria, and thus are considered non-cariogenic sugar substitutes 2

How do I get Xylitol

Xylitol is available in many forms (eg, gums, mints, chewable tablets, lozenges, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough mixtures, and oral wipes). The chewing process enhances the caries inhibitory effect.

xylitol and teeth, whats the truth

Do Xylitol Benefits Out Weigh The Side Effects?

The main concern with xylitol is in order to see the dental benefits, one must consume 3-8 gram each day and spread out that amount 5 times throughout the day.  At this constant level abdominal distress and diarrhea have been reported 3.

What do the studies prove:

Overall the results are inconclusive for caries reduction in short term use as well as long-term use. To consume 3-8 grams of Xylitol is unrealistic in a clinical practice 4,5.

Pediatric Dentist in Yardley

Our recommendation:

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, we agree with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that Xylitol is a non-cariogenic replacement for sugar. But the lack of consistent evidence that Xylitol reduces the cavity causing bacteria in children in addition to the abdominal side effects is why we do not recommend the use of Xylitol as part of a daily oral health regimen.

Xylitol and Dogs:

Xylitol is considered safe for human consumption, it is extremely toxic to dogs. Only 0.10 g/kg of xylitol can cause issues. Thus a dog weighing about 7 pounds (3kg) can get sick from eating less than 1 piece of xylitol chewing gum.

 

 

 

References

1. Mäkinen KK. Biochemical principles of the use of xylitol in medicine and nutrition with special consideration of dental aspects. Experientia Suppl 1978;30:1-160.

2. Scheinin A, Mäkinen KK, Ylitalo K. Turku sugar studies. V. Final report on the effect of sucrose, fructose and xylitol diets on caries incidence in man. Acta Odontol Scand 1976;34(4):179-216

3.Ly KA, Milgrom P, Rothen M. Xylitol, sweeteners, and dental caries. Pediatr Dent 2006;28(2):154-63. Discussion 192-8.

4. Oscarson P, Lif Holgerson P, Sjöström I, Twetman S, Stecksén-Blicks C. Influence of a low xylitol-dose on mutans streptococci colonisation and caries development in preschool children. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2006; 7(3):142-7.

Stecksén-Blicks C, Holgerson PL, Twetman S. Effect of xylitol and xylitol-fluoride lozenges on approximal caries development in high caries-risk children. Int J Paediatr Dent 2008;18(3):170-7.

Kovari H, Pienihäkkinen K, Alanen P. Use of xylitol chewing gum in daycare centers: A follow-up study in Savonlinna, Finland. Acta Odontol Scand 2003;61(6):367-70.

5: Hujoel PP, Mäkinen KK, Bennett CA, et al. The optimum time to initiate habitual xylitol gum-chewing for obtaining long-term caries prevention. J Dent Res 1999; 78(3):797-803.