by Dr. Kochevar | Oct 10, 2020 | Dental
Sports are great for kids they help build confidence, build team working skills, and help your child be healthy. Sports are great to get your child involved in most teams require safety gear and training for your child, a lot of sports do not require or provide mouth protection during sports. Have no fears there are things you can do to help keep your child’s teeth safe!
Talk to your dentist before your child starts playing sports to find the right protection for their needs and risks. Your child may not like wearing a mouth guard etc. at first but they will adjust and adapt. It is important to keep this habit to keep your child’s mouth safe!
by Dr. Kochevar | Oct 5, 2020 | Dental
When your child loses teeth, it’s the first sign of a bunch of exciting things coming down the pipe. First and foremost, your baby is growing his or her adult teeth – the teeth that will remain in the mouth throughout adulthood. Secondly, your child is learning about proper oral hygiene and preparing to meet the tooth fairy for the first time.
If you’re like most parents, though, you’re not exactly sure what to do when your baby starts losing teeth. Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In this post, we’ll lay out some simple ways to navigate this life phase and ensure you’re giving your little one everything he or she needs.
When Your Child Starts Losing Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are fascinating things. They start forming before a baby is born and play an essential role in speech development and other critical issues. Here are a few facts to consider about your baby’s teeth:
- Most kids get all 20 baby teeth within their first three years of life
- Teeth are critical for processing food, obviously, but also for helping kids learn to speak
- Generally, kids get their first tooth by six months of age
- Baby teeth, while not permanent themselves, offer spacing for adult teeth and help guide them as they push through the gums
- Young children lose their teeth at various rates – molars and canines don’t generally fall out until ages 9-13, while incisors fall out between ages 6-8
- Toddlers and infants who drink sugary juices from bottles, or who regularly fall asleep with bottles in their mouths can suffer premature tooth decay
- Parents should start promoting good dental health in babies within the first few weeks – rubbing thee gums with a clean cloth or a finger is a great start
- Proper dental development helps kids chew properly, which then supports healthy digestive and GI function
- Parents should take their babies to the dentist by the time the first tooth pops through the gums
- According to a June 2015 study, babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months were 72% less likely to have crooked or overcrowded teeth
According to information from the Mayo Clinic, most kids start losing their first teeth around the age of six years. While the timing varies slightly from child to child, it’s still smart to visit the dentist if your baby loses teeth as the result of an accident or premature dental decay. If the tooth loss is normal, there’s no reason to make an emergency trip to the dentist, although maintaining your regular check-ups is smart.
As a general rule, a child’s teeth will fall out in the order in which they first broke through the gums. Usually, this means your baby will lose the first two teeth on the bottom fist. From there, it will spread to molars and moe. Generally, the shedding of the baby teeth lasts from about age 6 to age 12 or 13. In some cases, teeth can take a few days or weeks to fall out. If this is the case for your child, avoid the urge to yanked the tooth out forcefully, and try to discourage your child from touching the tooth excessively.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.”
Pulling at ooh prematurely – even when it’s loose or wiggling – can expose the socket too early, creatine ga direct pipeline for infection, bacteria buildup, and more. Once a tooth falls out, a new one should replace it within six months. If no new tooth grows in that timeframe, take your child to the dentist to ensure there’s no underlying problem.
What to do After a Child Loses a Tooth
Before you summon the tooth fairy, take some time to care for the new gap in your child’s mouth! Here are a few steps to follow:
- Have the child gargle with saltwater. When a tooth falls out, it exposes a part of the mouth that’s not used to being exposed. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for infection and more. To prevent this, have your child gargle with salt and warm water once the tooth is gone. This is especially important if the space is bleeding. Encourage the child to spit all the water, rather than swallowing it.
- Brush around the space. Bushing directly over the exposed socket can create irritation and pain. With this in mind, have your child to brush around the socket, and avoid pushing too hard on any space that is sore or painful, as this can cause excessive irrigation. Your child should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Avoid foods that can damage teeth. To maintain a healthy mouth, have your child avoid consuming soda, candy, and other foods that can damage the teeth. This is critical as the vulnerable socket is exposed. The more sugar and bacteria you introduce into the space, the more likely it is that the socket will become irritated or infected.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Dental care is critical as your child’s mouth continues to change. With this in mind, maintain your regular schedule of dental visits, and make sure you’re not skipping appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify problems before they flare into significant issues, and ensure that your child’s teeth are all falling out and growing in normally.
When to Call a Doctor
There are very few reasons to seek out medical help as your child loses and grows new teeth. If, however, you notice your baby’s mouth is bleeding excessively, that new teeth are not growing in the places of old teeth, or that your child seems to be losing too many or not enough teeth, it can be smart to pay a visit to your doctor. The doctor will be able to evaluate your baby’s mouth and ensure everything is progressing normally and that there aren’t any warning signs to be aware of.
Has your child started to lose baby teeth? Give our office a call! We’ll help guide you through this process and ensure your little one’s mouth is healthy and happy.
by Dr. Kochevar | Jul 10, 2020 | Dental
Getting braces can feel like a rite of passage for many kids, in the United States alone, 3.5 million children will get braces this year. Many of us will at some time in our life wear braces to fix a variety of dental issues, from crooked teeth to bite issues to spacing issues. If your dentist has recommended your child needs braces there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare for their braces.
If your child is getting ready for braces make sure they know and are ready for the commitment of having braces. Talk to your child’s orthodontist and dentist to make sure everyone is comfortable with the treatment plan, as long as everyone is ready braces should be a piece of cake!
by Dr. Kochevar | Jul 5, 2020 | Dental
As a parent, your child’s well being is one of your top concerns. Of course, it is! You want your little one to grow up strong, healthy, and happy. One of the best ways to do that is to take care of their teeth. When you give your little one the care, attention, and skills needed for their teeth to develop correctly, you set them up for straight teeth and a healthy mouth well into their lives.
Like you, we care about setting your little one’s mouth up for success. Here are a few of our top recommendations for doing just that:
How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Healthy teeth are one of the essential pieces of your child’s overall health. In addition to cutting down on the risk of chronic diseases and bacterial infections, a healthy mouth inspires confidence and promotes normal development. Here are a few ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy from the get-go:
- Avoid leaving bottles in a baby’s crib, and given children fruit juices and sweet drinks sparingly
- Before your baby’s teeth erupt, rub the gums with your finger or a wet cloth after the baby eats or drinks. This will keep the gums clean and keep oral bacteria to a minimum.
- Take your baby to a pediatric dentist by this first birthday, or as soon as they cut their first tooth
- As soon as your little one’s first tooth erupts, start brushing the tooth and teaching the child healthy brushing habits
- Demonstrate healthy oral habits and routines in your daily life – lead by example as parents
- Limit sweet food, sticky food, and food that’s high in sugar. Offer healthy food options for your child and limit unhealthy choices
- Give your child plenty of books and education to help them learn about good oral health
Behaviors to Avoid for a Healthy Mouth
Knowledge and great habits are essential for good dental health. While other things, like genetics, also play a role, one of the biggest definers of your child’s dental health is behavior. Specific behavioral considerations can damage dental health and put your child at risk of future dental issues. With that in mind, be aware of the following behaviors in your child:
Pacifiers are often considered a lifesaver by parents. Used to calm a fussy baby, soothe a child who wants to suckle, or put a little one to sleep, pacifiers are a popular accessory for young kids. Despite that, however, the use of pacifiers is much-debated in the parenting world.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pacifier use is fine for kids, as long as it’s implemented correctly. When used excessively or for too long, pacifiers can damage a child’s dental development. If a child is still using a pacifier as his or her teeth begin to break through the surface, for example, the pacifier and the pressure of the suckling motion can press teeth out of position and cause a misalignment in the mouth.
Thumb sucking, pacifier sucking, can develop into a damaging habit if it goes on too long. While kids typically chew and suck on their fingers as they are teething, children who continue thumb-sucking behavior for too long risk misaligning their teeth and becoming dependent on the action.
Because of this, dentists recommend discontinuing thumb sucking by the time the child reaches the age of two. If the behavior persists past this point, teeth may come in crooked, or they may protrude from the front of the mouth.
Dental Problems Kids May Face
With or without potentially-damaging behavior, kids may face the following dental issues:
- Overcrowding. This is a common issue in both kids and adults alike. If your child has a small jaw, there might not be enough space for your baby’s adult teeth to come through. This can cause other teeth to move or shift to make room for adult teeth. Poor hygiene from overcrowding is another issue. Overcrowding can make it challenging to maintain a healthy mouth since it’s hard to clean all teeth adequately when they’re too close together.
- Dental Misalignment. Things like crossbites and overbites can cause teeth to come in crooked, leading to bite issues down the road.
- Airway Restriction. In some extreme cases, kids can even experience airway and breathing issues thanks to dental problems. Mouth breathing, for example, can be caused by jaws that are too narrow or deep.
- Crooked Teeth. Crooked teeth can lead to bite issues and confidence issues for kids. Adolescence is already hard enough for little ones, without struggling with these things.
How to Set Your Child up for Dental Success
The best thing you can do to ensure your children’s teeth develop correctly is to be attentive. The more attention you pay to your child’s dental development, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to spot potential dental issues and stop them before they become significant issues.
By brushing your child’s teeth, setting a good dental hygiene example, and taking your child to the dentist regularly, you can avoid most common dental issues. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, you should take your child for his or her first orthodontic check-up before he or she reaches the age of seven.
If you don’t have a family orthodontist, as your dentist for a recommendation. They likely have a professional in town they enjoy working with. The orthodontist will be able to evaluate your child’s jaw and tooth development and decide whether or not any intervention is required.
This orthodontic care, when combined with your child’s traditional dental care, will go a long way toward setting your child up for dental success and ensuring a lifetime of healthy teeth and mouths. Additionally, getting your child into the dentist early helps prevent dental phobias and ensure that your child will continue taking care of his or her teeth, long after you stop being in charge of it.
Ready to learn more or book your child’s first appointment? Contact our team today.
by Dr. Kochevar | May 5, 2020 | Dental
Fluoride: it’s a hot topic in the dental industry. A mineral found naturally in the bones and teeth, fluoride strengthens the teeth and works to prevent cavities. As such, many communities around the US add small quantities of fluoride to county drinking water in a process known as fluoridation.
While adults generally get adequate fluoride levels in their daily lives, kids sometimes need some help. Because of this, some dentists recommend topical fluoride treatments for kids beneath a certain age. So, what’s the story on these treatments? And are they right for your child?
Read on to learn more.
Why Fluoride is so Important
As it stands now, dental cavities are the single most prevalent disease for both kids and adults around the world. That’s a staggering statistic, and it just goes to show how important dental health is around the world. Fortunately, fluoride is one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent cavities in both kids and adults.
Fluoride is a pretty simple mineral. Here’s how it works, according to the American Dental Association (ADA):
“Your mouth contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. This produces acid that can wear away the hard, outer shell of your tooth (enamel). This can lead to cavities. Fluoride protects teeth by making your teeth stronger and more resistant to acid. It not only reduces the risk of cavities; it can even help reverse early signs of decay. Due to its success in preventing cavities, fluoride in water was named a top public health achievement in the 20th century.”
How Kids Get Flouride
Again, fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. Found in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even air, fluoride surrounds us at all times. So, how does it enter our bodies, and is your child getting enough of it?
Here’s a breakdown of the most common sources of fluoride today:
Fluoridated water is inexpensive, convenient, and easily one of the best sources of fluoride for kids. In fact, all natural water sources contain some level of fluoride – be it stream water, lake water, rain water, or the drinking water that comes from a well.
If you happen to live in a community that adds fluoride to its public water supply, all that’s happening is that your child is getting the exact right dose of fluoride, as determined by the EPA. Keep in mind that not all bottled water contains fluoride, so it’s smart to check the label if you want to be sure that your child is getting enough fluoride in their daily diet.
Toothpaste With Fluoride
Toothpaste that contains fluoride is another excellent source of the mineral and will help keep your child’s mouth healthy from infancy to toddlerhood and beyond. When your child is a baby, you should use a soft cloth to wipe his or her gums and teeth. As the baby develops more teeth, you can use a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. As the child grows, you can increase the amount of toothpaste you use – remember to encourage spitting the toothpaste, rather than swallowing it.
If your child happens to swallow a mouthful of toothpaste here and there, don’t worry too much about it. As long as you’re using a dentist-recommended amount of toothpaste and supervising brushing, so they’re not swallowing toothpaste every time, your child won’t face any adverse health impacts.
Your dentist has recommended a fluoride treatment for your child. Now, you’re wondering what this treatment is, and why it’s so important. Here’s an explanation, according to the ADA:
“Fluoride treatments prevent cavities by strengthening the hard, outer shell of teeth, and they may even reverse very early cavities that have just started forming. A fluoride treatment is quick and painless. Your dentist will paint a thin layer of fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth. Fluoride varnish is a sticky yellow or orange substance that often has a pleasant taste. The varnish application is fast and sets quickly. Your child may be advised to avoid eating or drinking for a short period (maybe 30 minutes) after the treatment. ‘
As you can see, a fluoride treatment is a simple procedure. Not only is it painless for your child, but it can work wonders to strengthen enamel and prevent or diminish cavities. If you still have doubts about the treatment, talk it over with your dentist. They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have and ensure you’re helping your child enjoy a healthy mouth.
Other Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Fluoride is a critical aspect of excellent dental health, yes, but it’s just one facet. If you want to teach good dental habits now, focus on these smart tips for your child:
- Teach good brushing habits. From an early age, kids should learn to brush their teeth at least twice a day. When kids are old enough to manage flossing, they should learn to floss regularly, as well.
- Avoid food that’s bad for teeth. Some foods are dangerous or damaging for teeth. To keep your child’s mouth healthy, learn to avoid these foods. Sticky candy, soft drinks, potato chips, fried foods, and even dried fruit can contribute to excessive sugar production in the mouth, leading to dental decay and cavities. Teach your child to opt for healthier alternatives instead.
- Discourage biting or opening objects with teeth. Just as dangerous as cavities and discoloration is breakage and fractures. With this in mind, teach your kids to ask an adult for help instead of trying to open packaging with their teeth. This will protect the mouth and reduce the risk of broken teeth.
- See your dentist frequently. Your dentist is your first line of defense when it comes to great dental health. With this in mind, ensure your child sees a dentist regularly for cleanings, checkups, and more.
Ready to book your first appointment with our office? Contact us today to learn more.