Archive for the Infant Dentistry Category

Wondering If Fluoride Is Safe For Your Children?

We often hear parents saying they are worried about using fluoride in their children’s mouths. Some parents won’t allow their children to have fluoride treatments at the dentist. While as a parent you always have concerns about medications and procedures (as you should), there are many medications and treatments in which the benefits far outweigh the risks. This is true for fluoride. Given in the correct manner and amounts, fluoride has been proven to be very safe for a child’s oral health and can help to prevent tooth decay when used on a regular basis.

Fluoride contains fluorine, which is a natural element. It is a common ingredient in most toothpastes, mouth rinses and is added to many community water supplies. Research has proven that rates of dental decay have been reduced by over 50% in areas where water fluoridation is practiced. Fluoride prevents cavities by deterring the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and also helps to strengthen tooth surfaces that are weak and where decay may be beginning to occur. Fluoride also combats bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis in permanent teeth as they are developing. Fluorosis appears as white spots or streaks and in more serious cases can cause pitting and discoloration of the enamel. Should fluorosis cause an undesirable appearance, it can be addressed with various esthetic treatments. Products containing fluoride should be kept out of the reach of young children. Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed at night.

Toddlers and young children should be supervised by adults while they brush their teeth, to ensure that the amount of fluoride used is appropriate and safe. Children under the age of two should use just a small smear of fluoride toothpaste. Children aged 2-5 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and they should be taught to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallowing it.

Topical fluoride treatments provided in your dentist’s office are very safe and offer your child further cavity prevention. It may be painted onto the teeth as a varnish, or it may be a foam or gel in a tray which is applied to the teeth for a few minutes. An in-office fluoride treatment is a smart choice for children who have a history of cavities, wear braces, or who are known to have a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates. Fluoride has been used for many years and has been a very beneficial aid in helping to prevent tooth decay. Parents should feel comfortable with fluoride use, when used appropriately and as directed by your dental professional. If you have concerns or questions, your dentist is your best resource and is your trusted partner in helping ensure your child’s optimal oral health. If you have other questions regarding your child’s dental care, visit my website at Haas Dental Associates for more information..

 

 

Eliminate Fruit Juice From Your Child’s Diet

Many parents think that it is a healthy practice to give their children fruit juice. When fruit juice is labeled “all natural” or “organic”, it seems like a safe, health-conscious choice for their infants or young children. The truth is, even though fruit juice is natural, it is actually one of the worst things you can give your child. All fruit juices contain natural sugar, which can do just as much damage as added sugar. Fruit juices also contain acid, which can seriously erode the protective enamel on a child’s teeth. When children drink juice frequently, the sugars and acids find every nook, cranny and crevice in their teeth and cause decay.

boy drinking chocolate milk

Choose plain milk rather than chocolate

Drinks such as chocolate milk, carbonated sodas and sports drinks can be equally as dangerous to a young person’s teeth, and should be avoided. Children who are put to bed with bottles or sippy cups of juice or milk are at extreme risk for “bottle rot” (massive decay caused by bottle use at bedtime). Pre-teens and teenagers in high school or college who are in the habit of sipping on carbonated sodas while studying are also at high risk for tooth decay. When teeth are constantly bathed in sugar and acids, the natural saliva loses the battle of being able to wash away those sugars and acids, as it is supposed to do.

I feel that fruit juice is the biggest cause of decay in young children. It is something in which I strive to educate my patients’ parents, so that their children can have the healthiest teeth possible. It’s such an easy solution, but unfortunately it’s like a deep, dark secret to most parents.

So what are parents supposed to do? Be sure to provide your children with a balanced diet that does include fruits and vegetables. Brush and floss their teeth 2-3 times daily, start seeing a pediatric dentist 6 months after the first tooth erupts and every 6 months after that. As far as drinks are concerned, give your children lots of plain water, plain, unflavored milk, and try to avoid sending them to bed with bottles or cups of anything other than water. Preventing decay can be easy, once you know all the facts. Contact us to get all the facts: http://www.haasdentalnh.com/contact-haas-dental-associates.

Babies Should Really Be Visiting The Dentist

One of the things I hope to change during my career as a pediatric dentist, is to educate parents to bring their children to the dentist as infants, rather than waiting years to begin regular dental visits. Many dental offices tell parents that they don’t have to see a dentist until their child reaches age 3. First time parents haven’t been down this road yet, so they assume that is the best thing to do. Unfortunately, by age 3 or older, many years of habits like going to bed with bottles of milk, drinking fruit juice containing sugar, prolonged use of pacifiers and many other habits, have taken a toll on a very vulnerable new mouth. Too many children experience early childhood decay. It is sad to see a child who is 3,4,5 years of age or older, whose mouth is ravaged by decay, and now requires many restorative procedures in order to relieve their pain and return their mouth to a healthy state. This can be avoided by parents learning how to care for their child’s teeth-while they are still a baby! Visit our website at http://www.haasdentalnh.com/patient-resources/faq to learn about what sugar in even natural fruit juices can do to children’s teeth!

My office offers Infant Care Visits, for children under the age of two. We recommend visiting the dentist 6 months after the first baby tooth erupts. At our Infant Care visit, we educate new parents on the best practices to keep their baby’s mouth as healthy as possible. We discuss bottle feeding, pacifier use, diet, hygiene and many other topics that are important to young parents. I perform an examination on the infant to assess

Babies should see the dentist 6 months after getting their first tooth!

development and identify any problems that may be developing-so we can help Mom and Dad avoid dental issues in the future. We stress the importance of regular dental visits, and the fact that even though baby teeth are going to fall out eventually-they are going to be needed for many years. Baby teeth that have cavities that are left untreated lead to an unhappy child who is in pain and can’t concentrate on schoolwork and activities. Those baby teeth must be restored so they can be retained until adult teeth can replace them. An Infant Care visit is an invaluable tool for each and every new parent who wants their child to start on the road to a healthy mouth for a lifetime!

Call 603-434-1586 today to schedule your baby’s Infant Care appointment today!