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A first dental visit for your child may cause you anxiety, but your child does not know what to expect, and will generally follow your lead. Starting a child off with enjoyable,

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

Pediatric Dentistry Can Be Fun!

comfortable dental visits can make it easier for both of you, and lead to a lifetime of worry free, healthy dental care. So what can be done to make the dental visits and treatment go as smooth as possible?

Tips For A Fun Dental Visit

-Start With Good Oral Hygiene, and a Healthy Diet at Home. Good nutrition, and proper brushing should help keep your child cavity free. Dental visits are much easier to cope with, and feel at ease with, when there is little work to be done. Stay away from , soda, sticky sweets, and fruit gummies. Drink lots of milk and water, keep juice to a bare minimum. Teach and help with brushing and flossing everyday. Your child’s first dental visit should hopefully not be due to dental decay causing a toothache.

-Choose The Right Dentist – Not all dentists are comfortable treating children. In my opinion, a family dentist is the perfect choice for the ease of scheduling and the fact that the dentist you choose can treat your child into adulthood. Plus, children feel like grown ups to go to the same dentist as their parents and older siblings.

-Have Older Siblings Act as Role Models. A younger child usually will try harder to do something that they see big brother or sister do. If there are no siblings, have your child sit in the office with you, and at the end, have them sit in your lap for a quick peek, and a ride in the chair.

-Start Young – The earlier a child visits the dentist, the better. This will make a child very familiar with the surroundings of the dental office. It is best that the first visit starts at age 1 or when the first tooth is visible. The initial visit generally is an introduction visit with oral hygiene education for parents.

 -Be Honest – Never try to fool or trick a child into doing something. Kids generally have a good sense of their surroundings and will react badly if they are tricked. Kids are quite strong and should be told what is going on so they can prepare themselves for it.

-Stay Positive – Most children’s dental fears arise from hearing their parents talk about their bad experiences of the dentist. Keep positive communication regarding dental care and dental treatment and visits with your children will go much smoother for all involved.

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS-Watch Your Words – Never use the words “shot” or “pain” words with children. Always use positive phrases to keep them happy. Negative words will transfer worry to the child.

-Communicate – Constant communication is needed to make this a great experience. If you encourage your child, and explain that they are going to have pictures taken of their teeth, their teeth polished and shined, etc. They will look forward to their appointment, and want to ask questions. A good dentist will also reinforce what you said and place your child at ease, answering questions, and explaining all that they do throughout the dental visit.

-Reward Good Behavior – Promise a reward for good behavior following dental treatment. Kids will associate the dentist with the prize and look past the actual visit toward what they may receive afterward, even if it is just a shiny, new toothbrush from the dentist. A second reward by you after the visit such as going to the park or a favorite place for lunch.

-Schedule Appointment Early In The Day – Arrange a dental visit as early as possible in the morning. This allows the visit to be done early in the day while the child is not tired and before the kids get wound up from the day. Kids deal with new things better when they are not exhausted.

Pediatric Dentistry Conclusion

Dental visits can be fun experiences. Most children who start young and problem free, can build a trust and confidence in themselves and their dentist. Children who learn good oral hygiene at a young age will thank their parents later in life when they experience less tooth related issues and stay healthier longer.

Dental Hygiene - The practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent oral disease, by regular brushing and flossing and visits to a dentist.

Halloween time is a fun time for the whole family…the weather begins to turn, leaving cooler weather for lots of quality family time. It also means its time to pick out Halloween costumes for the kids and family as well as looking forward to collecting bags full of candy from the neighbors and at school. In those bags of candy lies an unsuspecting hazard…Sugar! Sugar consumption without proper dental hygiene leads to tooth decay.

But this time does not have to be a time being scared of possible dental issues following Halloween. It can give parents and children alike a chance to learn new dental hygiene tricks to maintain their dental health throughout the year.

Dental Hygiene Tips

By following the dental hygiene tips below, parents can help prevent tooth decay for their trick or treaters while teaching them good dental hygiene habits:

1. Be Selective. Not all of the Halloween treats are scary. A good dental hygiene tip is to encourage kids to eat candy that melts fast and can be eaten quickly. Try to avoid gooey, sticky sweets (like caramels) that can linger on in the mouth and on the teeth. This will allow the bacteria in the mouth to produce more acid which will cause tooth decay. Remind kids after eating any sugary candy to brush their teeth or at the very least rinse their mouths out with water. This will lessen the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with the teeth. A really good idea might be to buy a new toothbrush that is Halloween related as a final “treat”.

2. Hide the excess candy. Do not just leave the Halloween candy around the house after the Halloween trick or treating is over. Store it in a secret place out of reach from kids and adults.

3. Avoid grazing. If you maintain dental hygiene tip #2 this should not be an issue. The idea is not to just keep picking at the candy throughout the day. This reduces the time the sugars are in the mouth decreasing chance of tooth decay. A better idea is to hold back candy and use it as an after meal treat. Then have your child immediately brush and rinse to neutralize the sugar and acid production. Another option, if you cannot brush or rinse is to give them a sugar free xylitol gum. The gum will help increase salivary flow which will also help to neutralize the acids in the mouth.

4. Eat a Healthy Meal first. Have children not fill up on snacks and Halloween candy but fill up on a healthy nutritious meal first. This will give them less temptation to overdo their candy consumption. This is a good dental hygiene tip for all year and not just Halloween time.

So there you have it, a few easy dental hygiene tricks to allow you and your family to fully enjoy the Halloween time. Candy is not necessarily the enemy, the enemy is not maintaining a diligent dental hygiene regimen. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

 

Tooth decay (also called dental cavities) is the destruction of tooth structure. It can affect both the enamel (outer layer) and the dentin layer (inner layer) of the tooth. Tooth decay is the most common cause of loss of teeth and it affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. Tooth decay is also the second most common disease in the U.S. (the common cold is first).  Luckily, cavities can be easily prevented.

It is normal for bacteria to be present in the mouth. Certain types of bacteria are able to attach to hard surfaces in the mouth like the enamel that cover the teeth. If these bacteria are not removed, they are able to multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. Proteins that are present in the saliva also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film (plaque) on the enamel.

These bacteria feed on sugars and starches from the food like chocolates, sticky sweets, ice cream, milk, cakes, and even fruits, vegetables and juices, producing acid as a byproduct. This acid then erodes the tooth enamel slowly dissolving the tooth. A cavity is formed causing a hole or break in the tooth structure. If not fixed at this stage, the tooth decay can progress further reaching the dentin where it can spread even quicker. The cavity can progress very quickly after entering the dentin. This can lead to a larger issue of a dental abscess if untreated.

Unfortunately for the patient, this process moves very slowly so there may not be any pain or tooth sensitivity until the cavity becomes quite big.

Preventing Tooth Decay

-Maintain a regimen of Dental Hygiene. This is a necessity to prevent tooth decay. A good dental hygiene program includes regular visits to dentist and hygienist, brushing after every meal (with a fluoride containing toothpaste), and flossing at least once a day. You should especially remember to brush before bed. Food can get stuck in between our teeth when we eat. If the food particles are not removed, it can lead to tooth decay. Flossing at least once a day is the best way to remove food from in between the teeth.

-Eat well balanced nutritious meal and limit snacking. Stay away from carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips. These can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards. Eating fruits and vegetables for snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks and foods will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

-Supplemental Fluoride. Fluoride can strengthen your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a daily fluoride rinse (ACT anticavity rinse is an example) as part of your dental hygiene. This will help in cavity prevention.

Fluoride Rinse - ACT

Prevent Tooth Decay – ACT Fluoride Rinse

regimen.

-Dental Sealants. These can prevent some tooth decay. Sealants are ultra thin coatings applied to the top (chewing) surfaces of the molars. This coating helps prevent the build up of plaque in the deep grooves on these molars. Sealants are generally applied on the children’s teeth soon after the molars erupt into the mouth. Adults can also benefit from the use of sealants if they have a high risk for decay or have deep grooves in the molars and premolars.

-Antiseptic Mouth Rinse. There are several antiseptic mouth rinses on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. These include Listerine or Crest Pro Health. Rinsing with either of these mouth rinses after brushing or eating can help in cavity prevention. They work by reducing the number of bacteria present in mouth as well as acting as a rinse to wash away plaque and film on teeth.

-Sugarless Gum. Chewing sugarless gum will help prevent tooth decay by stimulating salivary flow. In studies xylitol has shown to temporarily slow down the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay. There are several brands of xylitol gum including epic, wrigley’s, and trident.

To reduce tooth decay, eating less sugar, regular cleaning and flossing are all needed to keep the bacteria that causes tooth decay from getting out of control. Tooth decay is preventable and treatable in most stages. Diligent dental hygiene along with regular dental visits will keep you cavity free!

tooth decay prevention