Archive for the Teen 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..

 

 

Does Your Child Require Sedation Dentistry?

Many children, especially those who have had a traumatizing dental experience in the past, may have anxiety (fear) about visiting the dentist.  I specialize in helping anxious children feel more comfortable during dental treatment.  Sometimes I perform sedation treatment, which is a very successful treatment option for children who are nervous about dental procedures.

There are many factors which go into determining if a patient is a candidate for sedation.  Sedation may not be recommended for patients with heart or respiratory problems or other serious health conditions. Any time a patient  is sedated, they must be monitored carefully by a practitioner who is qualified and licensed to perform sedation, as I am.  We don’t rush into sedating patients and we never sedate a patient on their first or even second appointment.

We have a separate treatment planning appointment before the sedation appointment so that we may discuss the sedation process and treatment plan thoroughly with the parent.  It is always my goal to ensure that my patients and their parents are completely informed and agree with their proposed treatment plans.

Kids smile about dental appointments at my office!

Sedation dentistry is a very valuable treatment option for patients who have extreme dental anxiety.  Many patients who are referred to me for sedation don’t really require sedation-they simply require a dentist who is trained in treating anxious patients and making them feel at ease.  I assess each patient very carefully to determine what treatment approach will be in that patient’s best interests.  My team and I strive to make even very nervous children able to enjoy visiting their dentist!  Visit our website at http://www.haasdentalnh.com to learn more about the services we offer at Haas Dental Associates!

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe For My Child?

Unfortunately, many children experience fear and anxiety about their visits to the dentist. Many children who are not generally anxious about their routine dental cleanings, experience anxiety regarding dental procedures such as fillings or extractions. There is a safe solution to help put these young patients at ease and allow them to comfortably tolerate dental procedures. Nitrous Oxide/oxygen, also commonly known as “laughing gas”, or “happy air” is a very common, safe, sedative drug which is used for children and adults.

Nitrous Oxide is a gas which has no odor and is inhaled by the patient before a procedure is started and continually inhaled throughout the procedure. After a few minutes of inhaling the gas, the patient starts to experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. They may even feel a little tingling in their arms and legs (which is perfectly fine). Nitrous oxide/oxygen raises a patient’s pain threshold and the patient may feel time passes more quickly.

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is one of the safest sedatives used in dentistry. It is well tolerated, it can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Nitrous oxide can also be used in conjunction with other sedative drugs when necessary. Your child will be conscious, aware and able to communicate with us at all times. When treatment is completed, the nitrous oxide is discontinued and oxygen is given to the patient. There are no lingering effects with nitrous oxide.

Kids can smile about visiting the dentist!

In my office, we sit and have a treatment planning discussion with parents before we attempt any dental restorative treatment. Though nitrous oxide is safe, it may not be the best option for children who are too anxious and will require more sedation. I am able to assess what will work best for your child’s specific dental and emotional needs. Read more about sedation with nitrous oxide and conscious sedation treatment by visiting http://www.haasdentalnh.com/services/pediatric-dental-services. We have so many resources at our disposal to help your child have a pleasant dental experience that there is no need for them to fear dental procedures.

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.