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An allergic reaction is caused by our immune systems being sensitive to a specific substance (also called an allergen). An allergic reaction occurs when you make contact with, inhale, swallow, or inject a substance into your body that causes your immune system to produce a reaction. Many allergic reactions are quite  mild, such as hay fever while others can cause breathing or swallowing to stop, and be life threatening. It is believed 1 in 5 people in America are susceptible to allergies of some kind. There are some common dental products that can cause allergic reactions that we should all be aware of.

Allergic Reaction During Dental Care

The dental office utilizes many types of compounds that could potentially be an allergic issue for you as a patient unless you communicate with your dentist. Some know of their allergies, while others may develop new ones at any time after exposure. The usual first response is itching, redness and irritation of tissue. A rash, or welts may occur, swelling of the face, tongue , lips and/or throat may occur in a severe reaction.  The main potential allergens in a dental office include:

-Latex – This is a natural rubber harvested from trees and used in a wide range of products. Dental products that may have latex include masks, gloves, rubber dams, prophy cups, and some syringes.  The latex gloves are the usual culprit as they may contain powder particles which come into direct contact with the skin and mouth. Prolonged exposure to latex and the dust they shed can trigger an allergic reaction. This reaction can be minor to one that is more severe. Luckily, most dental offices are aware of this allergy today and have non latex gloves available for sensitive patients or have made the switch completely for the safety of all patients.

-Local Anesthesia – A very rare reaction but it does happen to a small subset of the population. Dentists use a variety of local anesthetics based on the need and situtation of the patient. The main anesthetic used is lidocaine. A true allergy to local anesthetic is quite rare and it is usually due to a sensitivity to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). That term is quite a handful but it is simply a by product of the local anesthetic. There have also been cases of local anesthetic allergies to preservatives added to local anesthetics. Most patients who report an allergic reaction are not actually allergies, but instead a reaction to the effects of epinephrine. This reaction usually takes the form of a rapid heartbeat or an increase in blood pressure.

-Metals – Metals are used throughout dentistry and can be a  concern for many. The most common form of metal allergy is a nickel allergy. Nickel alloys are used to create a lot of our everyday items, like buttons, buckles, zippers and kitchen ware. Nickel is also found in some 14K and 18K gold, and when you sweat, it draws the nickel out. Stainless steel has nickel in it, too, but it’s usually bound so tightly that it won’t affect even the most allergic person. But very allergic people can react to the nickel present in some food items, which include nuts, chocolate, tea, coffee, beer and apricots. Dentists can avoid nickel allergies by the use of dental crowns with no nickel content as well as using orthodontic brackets made of ceramic.

-Pine, Mint- Most fluoride varnishes, not pastes, contain natural pine to make them stick to the teeth. Many dental items are flavored with mint oil to make them taste better. Many people are allergic to pine or mints such as spearmint, peppermint, and cinnamon.

-Acrylic Monomer- Acrylic is used in temporary crowns, and removable dentures. The liquid used to activate and harden the acrylic can cause severe allergic reactions to those susceptible.

Dental Allergies Conclusion

Allergies can develop over time, so it is important to tell your dentist if you notice any allergic type reactions during or after your dental appointment. Also, if you know before any dental treatment that you have any allergies you should tell your dentist so the proper materials can be used to avoid an allergic response. The main goal of any dental treatment is to take care of your dental health and not to compromise it. With a little knowledge and good communication, dental allergy issues can be addressed and avoided altogether. An allergist can test you to help determine what you should avoid to prevent an allergic response.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (formerly nursing caries) - is a dental condition that occurs in children between 12 months and 3 years of age as a result of being given a

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Marielaina Perrone DDS

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Can Be Prevented

bottle at bedtime, or at will breast feeding, resulting in prolonged exposure of the teeth to milk or juice. Caries are formed because pools of milk or juice in the mouth break down to lactic acid and other decay-causing substances. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay preventive measures include elimination of the bedtime feeding or substitution of water for milk or juice in the nighttime bottle, scheduled nursing, wiping out the mouth with a wash cloth, and following feedings with water.

We all want what is best for our children and that includes making them happy. Parents hate to see their baby cry for any reason especially at bedtime. But did you know feeding a child at bedtime or even through the night can create dental havoc for them?

Even though baby teeth are temporary in nature, your children’s baby teeth are important for many years, and are still susceptible to tooth decay. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and for a cosmetically pleasing smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their future teeth for decades to come.

What Happens In Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay usually affects the upper front teeth, but other teeth can also be affected. There are a variety of reasons which can cause baby bottle tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, continuous exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Milk contains natural sugar, called lactose, but even though it is natural it is still sugar, so staying in the mouth without cleanup will form acid which leads to decay . Baby bottle tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. While milk contains some natural sugar, juice is primarily sugar. A baby requires milk, while juice is completely unnecessary. Most sugary drinks that parents give their children, are things that they think will taste good, but not what a baby needs. Milk and water to drink and fruit to eat, is the best way to incorporate the healthy attributes of nutrition without making our children prone to sugar causing tooth decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Marielaina Perrone DDS

Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby. However, this only puts a child at higher risk, proper hygiene and nutrition will negate those effects. The earlier you start with sugar, the more addicted to sweets your child will be. They can not make the right choices yet, you have to do it for them.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride in their water, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay in their developing teeth. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable with proper oral hygiene practices.

Tips to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

-Do not share feeding spoons with baby or lick their pacifier. After each feeding for your infant, exercise good oral hygiene by wiping your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or even a washcloth, or give them some water to drink..

-Schedule visit to dentist by age 1. This can be a purely educational visit as you learn what needs to be done to protect their teeth as they come in, and make it fun.

-When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water or a childrens’ toothpaste without fluoride. Talk to your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age 2. Generally, fluoride is not recommended until a child will swish and spit, and not swallow the toothpaste.

-Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste from the ages of 2 to 6. Most kids are not able to properly brush on their own. Parents need to brush for them, and then let them try at the end. Young children will try, but do not do a thorough job.

-Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste. By about age 7 ,most kids are able to brush properly on their own.Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.

-Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed.

-If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean. DO NOT dip it in sugar or honey.

-Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.

-Encourage healthy eating habits.

Conclusion To Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

It is important to get children started on a path to good health. This includes practicing good dental hygiene. Schedule a dental visit for your child by age 1 or when the first tooth appears. For most this first dental visit is a well check and more about education than treatment. Oral care, when started early, will be a fun time for the two of you for years to come. You are the role model, so be encouraging, and they will develop your good habits.