As summertime approaches, families are thinking of all the fun the season entails. Few give a second thought to dental health.
However, with the increase in temperature comes an increase in drinking sugary beverages, and that can be damaging to your child’s teeth. One study shows that there has been an increase in decay rates in children ages 2 to 5. Besides just drinking juices and soda, kids in this age range also eat more sugary snacking between meals during the summer (ice cream anyone?).
As parents, we’re used to dealing with all sorts of minor ailments: low grade fevers, runny noses, and minor scrapes. However, you may not have had experience on what to do when a child gets a toothache.
One of the many treatments we offer at Northwest Children’s Dentistry are in-office fluoride treatments. Many parents ask us about this common procedure.
In-office fluoride treatments have been shown to decrease tooth decay rates. For younger children, we prefer to use a topical fluoride varnish that is “painted” onto the teeth. The benefit for using a fluoride varnish is that children do not have to wait 30 minutes to eat or drink. We typically recommend in-office fluoride treatments twice per year for all ages. For those children with high risk for tooth decay, we recommend these treatments more often.
When we were growing up, there weren’t many pediatric dentists around. Chances are, you saw the same dentist as your mom or dad saw. You might be wondering, what makes a pediatric dentist so special?
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who completes an additional 2 or 3 years of training specific to the growth, development, and treatment of children. That means they know the ins-and-outs of young growing teeth, which can differ widely from an adult set of teeth. Armed with this knowledge, Dr. Marshall and Dr. Bunch of Northwest Children’s Dentistry specialize in oral care for all children from birth to 18 years of age, including special needs children. Our office is equipped to handle a variety of dental issues that will relate to your child.
Parents or guardians taking their children to the dentist for the first time have a lot of concerns. Usually they wonder what to expect and how they should behave.
Here at Northwest Children’s Dentistry, we try to make your first visit as comfortable as possible. Here’s what you can expect in our office:
Last week on Facebook, we asked our fans if they had any questions about kids and their teeth. One fan asked:
My child’s top front baby tooth fell out 3 months ago. Why is the permanent tooth taking so long to come in?
As your pediatric dentist in Tucson, we answer a lot of questions about children and tooth decay. Many parents ask us how common it is. The answer: more common than you might think. The National Institute of Health reports that 28% of children 2 to 5 years old and 51% of children 6 to 11 years old have tooth decay in primary teeth (also known as baby teeth). Primary teeth have less protective enamel than permanent teeth, so are more susceptible to decay. The National Institute of Health also reports that 10% of children 6 to 8 years old and 31% of children 9 to 11 years old have tooth decay in permanent teeth.
With those stats, parents might think tooth decay is just a part of growing up. However, it doesn’t have to be. Early prevention can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. Our office works hard to prevent tooth decay in both primary and permanent teeth so a child can focus on being a kid. Prevention is also more cost efficient on families in the long run.
Wondering what’s good and bad for your child’s teeth? Here are a few tips from us:
Keep consumption of juice and other sugary drinks to a minimum. It is especially important in warm climates, such as Tucson, to keep children hydrated. Try milk or water instead.
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Processed foods contain starches and simple sugars that are more likely to cause tooth decay.
Limit frequent snacking. Between-meal snacking, especially on foods that are sticky or contain fermentable carbohydrates, increase your child’s risk for tooth decay.
You may not realize it, but your toddler’s got a smile that needs flossing. You should begin flossing your child no later than when he/she has two teeth that are close enough together that a brush can’t reach between the teeth. Those trouble spots are more likely to form cavities if food gets stuck between them.
If you’ve got a kid, then you’ve got an athlete in the making. As your pediatric dentist in Tucson, we encourage your kids to stay fit by participating in sports. We also encourage that you protect your child’s or teen’s teeth by investing in a sport or mouth guard, especially for high contact sports.