This month, our family will celebrate our youngest daughter turning two. It’s a bit ironic to celebrate a toddler turning two, as we all know that the terrible twos are anything but something to celebrate! But, along with the tantrums, defiance and unpredictability, two-year-olds also have some major milestones to look forward to. Getting their two-year-old molars is just one milestone that comes during this crazy year!
So, when will your child get his or her two-year-old molars? Do these teeth serve a purpose? And how can you care for your child during the teething and their new teeth once they arrive? Let’s find out!
The two-year-old molars are also referred to as second molars. They are the large, flat teeth at the very back of your child’s mouth. Their primary use is for grinding food. As your child grows and begins to eat more types of foods, these teeth are especially helpful for chewing and digestion.
Two-year molars usually arrive sometime between 23 and 33 months. Typically, the lower set will arrive fist, around 23 to 31 months, with the upper set following closely after around 25 to 33 months.
While I would love to tell you that they will arrive unnoticed, chances are, your child will experience some sort of teething symptoms, such as pain/ tenderness, irritability and crankiness. They may even have a low-grade fever. This is normal and to be expected, as these molars are large, and must force their way up through the gums, which is not always a pleasant experience.
Most two-year-olds are not able to identify the pain as “teething” and won’t be able to tell you what is wrong. You can help your child during this time by being aware of the symptoms and ready to help your child cope. Signs that your child is getting his or her second molars include:
- Increased chewing on toys, fingers or clothing
- Drooling more than normal
- Irritability and crankiness
- More nighttime fussiness, as they are less distracted and more focused on the pain
- Low grade rectal temperature
(Please note that teething will not cause a high fever. If your child experiences a high fever, you should seek medical attention, as this is not caused by teething.)
Just like when your child got his or her first tooth, there are ways to help alleviate the pain and fussiness. Once you recognize the symptoms of teething, help your child through a rough few days by using these simple soothers:
- Give the child a cold, wet wash cloth soaked in ice water
- Offer teething toys for chewing
- Distract your child with singing, coloring, building, dancing, etc.
- Administer children’s Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to help reduce discomfort for 1 or 2 days.
(pain that lasts longer than a couple of days needs to be evaluated by your pediatrician.)
- Apply moisturizers to the skin around the mouth to prevent dryness caused by drooling.
Remember, teething only lasts a few days and your child will be back to his or her happy, active self. Once those two-year-old molars are in, be sure to take care of them with daily care!
If you have questions about your child’s oral development or you are looking for a dentist for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love top be your dental home! Call our office at 864-760-1440 and let is give you Something to Smile About!
Did you know that what happens in your mouth effect other areas of our body and overall health? Its true. Your oral health and the condition of your teeth and gums can impact your entire health.
How is this possible? Great question. Just like studies are now proving that your gut bacteria affect your health, the mouth’s bacteria do too. Bacteria in your mouth? Oh, yeah- tons of them! Most of these bacteria are pretty harmless, as our body’s normal defenses, combined with good oral health care (daily brushing in flossing), keep them under control. However, if a person does not have good oral hygiene, the bacteria may be allowed to reach levels high enough to produce oral infections, tooth decay and gum disease.
How does tooth decay or gum disease impact your entire body? Studies suggest that oral bacteria, and the inflammation associated with periodontitis, might actually play a role in some diseases.
- Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart. It typically occurs with bacteria and other germs from another part of your body spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. You guessed it. Bacteria from your mouth can enter the bloodstream and go to your heart.
-Cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke are now believed to be linked to inflammation and infections that can be caused by oral bacteria.
-Poor oral health leading to periodontitis during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
The connection between oral health and your overall health goes both ways. Just as your oral health can cause problems for your overall health, health issues in your body can affect the health of your mouth.
Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, antidepressants and some inhalers, can reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is your body’s natural defense and method for washing away food and bacteria and neutralizing acids in the mouth, this can impact the amounts of bacteria in the mouth.
Other studies have found that some diseases that lower the body’s resistance to infection, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can make oral health problems more severe, too.
The human body is an amazing thing. But it’s important to remember that we have to take care of all of its parts- even the mouth. It’s not enough to diet, exercise and meditate. You have to brush and floss, too. Remember, your teeth are more than just a pretty smile. They aid in speech, development, eating and nutrition, face shape and appearance and so much more. You can hide a belly or other area you may not love, but you can’t hide your teeth!
This year, make a resolution to get in better oral health! Commit to brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Your teeth will thank you and so will your whole body.
If you need help getting your child’s mouth in shape this year, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to help. Call our office at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!
How can you avoid cavities? Of course, a low-sugar diet reduces the presence of bacteria-filled plaque, which can destroy tooth enamel. Daily flossing and brushing are critical, too, as is attending six-month check-ups at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry's Anderson, SC, office. For children, Anderson Pediatric's Dr. Nietzer and Dr. Monn also recommend sealants—easily applied tooth-colored coatings which protect deeply fissured molars. Learn more about sealants and how they can keep your child cavity-free!
What are sealants?
Sealants are ultra-thin coatings "painted" on children's back teeth to protect from decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) touts sealants as a safe and effective barrier against the corrosive acids secreted by oral bacteria.
Why are sealants applied to the back teeth? Well, it's because molars are not smooth and flat as the front teeth, making them harder to clean. This difficulty stems from how the surfaces are grooved, with some of the enamel variations being so tiny, you cannot see them.
Due to this, molars are highly prone to decay and benefit from the extra barrier sealants provide. In fact, the ADA states that sealants decrease tooth decay in young molars by about 80 percent.
What treatment is like at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry
First, a hygienist will clean your child's teeth. Next, the selected teeth are dried and prepped with a mild etching solution. Then, the sealant is applied; this material is liquid, and the dentist ensures that it penetrates the fine fissures and pits completely. Finally, with a special blue light, the sealant is "cured," or hardened.
The results are totally unnoticeable to the eye, however, the sealants go on to protect young teeth for years. Even adults with healthy molars may benefit from sealant applications!
Sealants are nothing new
They've been around for decades, but unfortunately, many families skip this important preventive dental service. This is a shame, for sealants, along with fluoride treatments, provide children with inexpensive and easy insurance against more expensive and complicated procedures such as fillings, or worse yet, extractions.
Find out more
At your child's next exam and cleaning appointment, ask Dr. Nietzer or Dr. Monn about sealants. We'll be happy to explain the process and its advantages. If it's time for a routine visit to Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, call us today for an appointment: (864) 760-1440.
Did you know that one in 12 Americans suffers from asthma? That number seems alarming and a little difficult to believe, but the prevalence of asthma is increasing every year. Ironically, asthma and childhood caries (cavities) are the two most prevalent childhood diseases.
Most people diagnosed with asthma will begin using an inhaler, either as a rescue option or preventative treatment, or both. If you or your child uses an inhaler, you may have heard suggestions that inhalers cause cavities or that children with asthma have more dental problems.
The truth is that asthma and inhalers will not cause cavities. However, the two are often linked because, they may make your child’s mouth more susceptible to conditions that allow cavity-causing bacteria to thrive. The good news is that these concerns can be easily managed and your child will not have to choose between a beautiful smile or breathing freely.
1) Dry Mouth
Typically, those suffering from respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies, suffer from restricted air flow, causing them to breathe through their mouth, rather than their nose. Mouth breathing has been linked with dry mouth and less saliva.
Saliva is key to washing away debris and fighting bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, it’s easier for plaque-causing bacteria to reproduce, increasing the chances of bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, some medications in the inhalers can also have a drying effect on your mouth.
2) Mouth Sores
Regular use of the inhaler can sometimes lead to sores or ulcers on the back roof of the child’s mouth if the medications irritate the skin.
What You Can Do:
A little vigilance will go a long way. Follow these easy steps below to ensure that your child’s treatments aren’t damaging their teeth.
1) Rinse and Brush.
After using the inhaler, be sure that your child rinses his or her mouth with water. Brushing is even better.
2) Water, water, water.
Keep your child hydrated with water throughout the day to counteract the effects of a dry mouth.
3) Talk to your dentist.
Make sure to tell your child’s dentist about his or her asthma, medications and concerns. Your pediatric dentist can recommend strategies for maintain your child’s oral health.
4) Treat allergies.
Asthma and allergies often come together. Constantly having a stuffy nose will cause a child to breathe through their mouth, too, causing dry mouth. Proper treatment of allergies can alleviate the need to breathe through their mouth as often, enabling the child’s saliva to help fight off plaque-causing bacteria.
Remember, asthma isn’t a prescription, or excuse, for cavities. With a few simple preventative measures, your child can maintain his or her oral health and ensure a beautiful smile for life. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, or you are looking for a dental home for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to give you Something to Smile About! Call our office today at 864-760-1440.
The old song says, “When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.” It turns out, there’s actually some truth in it. Your smile may not be able to make the entire world smile, but it definitely holds some power. The simple act of smiling can produce a variety of positive side effects.
Research has shown that smiling can elevate your mood and increase your general sense of well-being. Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides help send messages to your body about how you are feeling. Dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. And they are all released when you smile! The release of these feel-good neurotransmitters not only makes you feel good, but they help to relax your body and can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure. As if that’s not enough to make you want to smile, there’s more! These endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever and an anti-depressant and natural mood enhancer.
Still not convinced of the power of a smile? There’s more.
Did you know that a smile can make you look younger? Studies have found that people view smiling individuals as attractive, reliable and relaxed. Researchers at the Face Research Laboratory in Scotland found that both men and women are more attracted to images of people who made eye contact and smiled, than those who did not.
A smile can also make people react to and treat you differently. Research has shown that a smile truly is contagious. Your brain naturally wants to smile back at someone when they smile at you. How’s that for a powerful life tool. A nice smile can quickly diffuse a situation, encourage people to be more receptive to you and even make you look and feel better!
Don’t believe all the hype? Still skeptical? Try it for yourself and see what happens. Make the effort to smile today, and every day, and see if it can make you feel better! The worst that can happen is that you will appear happier and friendlier!
Want to learn more about your smile and the power it holds. Check out these great articles:
Don’t forget to take care of your teeth so that you and the world can see a more beautiful smile each day. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry welcomes you. Give us a call at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.