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Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics Frequently Asked Questions

Select a topic below for information and solution we provide

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay will destroy the teeth of an infant or young child, especially the front teeth. It is an infection that will interfere with eating, speaking, appearance, and facial development.

Cause: Frequent and long-term exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugars such as milk, formula, and fruit juice. The pooling liquid around the infant's teeth feeds the dental plaque that produces acid that dissolves the calcium out of the teeth. During sleep, the flow of saliva has slowed down, so there is little flushing or neutralizing, which makes the problem worse.

Prevention: Never allow the child to fall asleep with a bottle containing a sweetened liquid.

After each feeding, wipe the child's teeth and gums with a damp washcloth or small soft toothbrush to remove plaque. If the child refuses to fall asleep without a bottle, simply fill it with water and nothing else. Start visits to the dentist between six and twelve months of age.

If you have any questions about Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, please call our office.

Traumatic Injury to the Teeth

Traumatic Injury may include teeth that are knocked out (avulsed), forced out of position (extruded), or broken (fractured).

Avulsed Tooth: Attempt to find the tooth. Rinse, but do not scrub the tooth. Let the victim carry it in their mouth, between the cheek and gum. (It can also be carried in milk.) Call your dentist for an emergency appointment. Chances of success with reimplantation are greater the sooner they are done, so hasten to the dentist.

Extruded Tooth: Try to gently reposition the tooth. See a dentist as soon as possible for splinting.

Fractured Tooth: For a minor fracture there is no urgency. A chipped tooth may need polishing or restoration. A moderate fracture with broken enamel or exposed dentin that is sensitive to the air can be treated at the patient's earliest convenience. A severe fracture with trauma that has exposed the pulp of the tooth requires prompt attention to control pain and infection. The tooth may be restorable if there is enough intact root to build on. It may have to be extracted. Call our office immediately for an emergency appointment.

Fearful of going to the Dentist

Problem: Patients too fearful to go to the dentist.
Solution: Dentistry has changed.

The American Dental Association studies indicate that about 50% of the population in the United States don't see a dentist on a regular basis. Fear is one of the most common reasons we hear for this lack of care. Patients often tell us of bad experiences going to the dentist as a child.

Many patients don't realized how much dentistry has changed. First of all, the anesthetics are much improved, they act quicker, last longer, and do a much better job of eliminating all feeling in the tooth. We use a topical anesthetic to numb the area before the shot, and with smaller and thinner needles, the shots are virtually painless.

Drill-less techniques work in many cases.

Dental techniques have also improved greatly. While it is still necessary to sometimes use the ``drill``, it is so much improved that the drilling time is greatly reduced.

Fear of pain in the dentist's care is out of date. We'll show you why!

Accidental Tooth Loss By Injury

Problem: Accidental Tooth Loss by Injury
Solutions: Knowing the Proper First Aid

If the tooth is loose, even extremely so, but is still attached in any way, leave it in place; do not remove it.
If it is out of its socket completely and unattached, but still in the victim’s mouth, it is best to have the person hold it there, if possible, until a dentist can attempt re-implantation.
If it is out of the mouth, do not let it dry out. Handle it as little as possible.
Do not attempt to disinfect the tooth, or scrub it, or remove any tissue attached to it.

If it is recovered from the ground or other soiled area, rinse it off in lukewarm water. Preserve it in milk until a dentist is available. If milk is not available, lukewarm water will suffice. not available, lukewarm water will suffice.
Time out of the socket is critical in the long-term success of re-implantation. After 30 minutes, the success potential begins to decline. However, re-implantation is still possible after several hours, so the attempt can still be made even if the tooth has been out for a long period.

Dental Decay ``Cavities``

Problem: Dental decay ``cavities``
Solution: Prevention through the use of sealants

Fluoride has been a great benefit to patients of all ages n helping prevent dental decay. Regular brushing and flossing lowers the chance of developing ``cavities.`` However, the most decay-prone areas of teeth are the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which require further preventive care.

To prevent decay, a plastic-like coating called a sealant should be painted on the chewing surfaces of all the back teeth. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce tooth decay by as much as 90% to 100%. The American Dental Association recommends sealants be placed as soon as the first adult back teeth come in at age 6 or 7. Sealants should continue to be used as each adult back tooth comes into the mouth. All back teeth that need to be sealed are present by age 13. Sealant application is simple, fast, and painless.

Please call our office with any questions you may have about the benefits using a sealant in preventing dental decay.

TMD

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is a misalignment within the intricate network of muscles, bones, and joints connecting the skull and lower jaw. When the jaw is awry, the joints and muscles tend to compensate by moving into a new position, and the jawbone grates on other bones and soft tissues. The pain can be extreme and debilitating.

Diagnosis can be difficult. TMD disorders may mimic the symptoms of other ailments-such as tumors, sinus infections and, on the surface, defy detection.

Dentists have been working with TMD therapies for some years now. Once we identify the problem and the cause, treatment is often straightforward. Among possible remedies are muscle relaxants, minor reshaping of teeth, or mouth splints. Physical therapy, even simple massage, has been effective in pain control. Surgery is rare.

The longer the diagnosis is postponed, the greater the joint and tissue damage - and the greater the pain.

Cracked, Worn, Broken, Discolored, Unsightly Silver-Mercury Fillings

Problem: Cracked, worn, broken, discolored, unsightly silver-mercury fillings
Solutions: Tooth-colored ``resin`` fillings

For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold and that was always too expensive for most folks. Now there is a new and economical way to restore teeth using tooth-colored resin fillings. The resin is made up of glass particles in a plastic matrix. The doctor bonds the putty-like material to the tooth with a high-intensity light. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed, the tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth. Resin restorations not only look better, but they are stronger and last longer than the old silver-amalgam fillings. Resin restorations can range from $150 to $350 per tooth.

Please call with any questions you may have about the benefits of resin restorations.

Decayed (Baby) erupting teeth (bottle caries)

Problem: Decayed (Baby) erupting teeth (bottle caries)
Solution: Educate parents on cause of bottle caries

Children who have erupted teeth or are past the age to be weaned are highly susceptible to rotted front teeth when being put to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice or other sugar-containing liquids. There is decreased salivary flow during sleep and clearance of the liquid from the teeth is slowed. The liquid pools around the upper front teeth and creates an excellent environment to promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Removing the bottle before the first tooth appears and wiping the child’s gums and teeth with a soft cloth before being put to bed can help prevent decay.

Signs and appearance of teeth displaying bottle caries:

Brown teeth with fragmented edges
Upper front teeth that break easily
At 18 months of age, parents should be encouraged to ask their dentist to examine their child and recommend home care.

Children's Braces and Dentistry

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