For many people, especially young children, having a dental procedure done can cause a bit of anxiety. It makes sense. No one finds it extremely fun or comfortable to have someone else’s hands in their mouth, or hear the sound of a dental drill right by their ear. At Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, we try to alleviate as much fear and anxiety as possible by thoroughly explaining the procedure to both patient and parent. We know that a calm and friendly demeanor can go along way in gaining trust and we encourage the patient with positive engagement along the way.
For some patients, however, this may not be enough. And that’s okay. We understand! In the case of an anxious patient, or for longer procedures, it may be beneficial to offer our patients a mild sedative, or calming drug. Many times, this will be in the form of nitrous oxide.
What is nitrous oxide, and will it really make you laugh? Nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas.” It’s a very safe and mild sedative that your child’s dentist will give to your child while they are seated in the dental chair. It’s administered through a face mask which carries oxygen and medication to your child as they breathe. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose, rather than their mouth and the sedation will take place within a few minutes. Your child will remain awake and coherent throughout the entire procedure, but the nitrous oxide will help them remain calm and relaxed and probably give them a “happy” feeling. Once the procedure is complete, the gas will be turned off and your child will continue to breathe pure oxygen for several minutes to clear the out any remaining gas from their system.
Why use any sedation?
Sedation may be used to manage special needs or anxiety, especially when several procedures need to be completed at the same time, if the safety of the child is compromised due to them moving or struggling, or even when a child has a strong gag reflex. While the sedation medication will not control pain or discomfort, it will allow your child’s dentist to provide the anesthetic shots to numb the area, work safely and more quickly on your child and ease your child’s anxiety so that he or she has a better experience in the dental chair.
Use of sedation medication during pediatric dental visits can be a helpful tool that will allow your child to have a better experience at the dentist and help set them up for a better relationship with the dentist for life. By avoiding negative experiences and bad memories at the dentist, you are helping pave the road for better oral care for life. And that’s definitely Something to Smile About!
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call us today at 864-760-1440 to schedule an appointment for your child today!
As a parent, you have the power to give your child a beautiful smile! Toddlers and young children are not physically able to brush their teeth correctly. It’s important for parents to always help brush small children’s teeth, and to continue supervising and assisting with brushing until the age of seven to eight years old. Even once the child becomes older, it’s a good idea to check in on their brushing and flossing habits regularly!
Taking great care of your young child’s teeth is simple if you follow a few guidelines:
Consistency is Key. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, every single day. As soon as the teeth begin to touch, start flossing several times a week.
Use a child’s size toothbrush. A smaller toothbrush size ensures a better fit and more comfortable experience.
Use the right toothpaste. Toddlers and young children should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be able to spit the toothpaste out, not swallow it. Infants should use a fluoride-free toothpaste until they are two years-old, or capable of spitting the toothpaste out.
Brush effectively. Use small, circular brushes to sweep the food and bacteria off the teeth. When brushing the gumline, angle your brush at 45 degrees to get alone the gumline.
Brush your entire mouth. Brush each and every tooth, your gums, tongue and roof of mouth.
Aim for two-minutes, twice a day. It may seem like a long time, but it takes at least this long to brush every surface of every tooth.
Make it fun. Youtube is full of fun brushing songs, you can find brushing apps on your phone, or make up you own silly songs to keep it fun.
Model good oral hygiene! If your child sees that you value your smile and take great care of your teeth, he or she will learn to do the same.
Other ways to keep your child’s smile shining for life:
Limit juice, soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids that cause sugar to sit on the teeth.
Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods.
Avoid sticky, gummy and acidic candies and treats. Opt for chocolates that melt away quicker and don’t stick as long.
Floss regularly, at least several times a week. Daily is best!
Make your child wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports or any activity where a mouth injury could occur.
As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to be a go-to resource for your pediatric dental questions. If you are in Anderson county or surrounding areas and need a dental home for your child, give our office a call at 864-760-1440 and let us give you
X-rays are a highly beneficial tool in the world of dentistry. An x-ray can help to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease and infections that may not be visible on the surface of the tooth. X-rays help monitor growth and development and allow the pediatric dentist to see potential problems before the tooth erupts. They also help screen for bone loss or pathology that may not be visible or currently be symptomatic. Without an x-ray, many of these problems could go undiagnosed. By using an x-ray as a reference, your dentist will be better equipped to prepare tooth implants, dentures, braces, and other similar treatments.
However, like many things in life, there are drawbacks to dental x-rays, as well. Exposure to radiation can be harmful to humans, as it damages cells. Pediatric dentists and parents are, therefore, wise to know the truth about the radiation from x-rays and balance the benefits with any possible drawbacks.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry adheres to the ALARA principle. ALARA stands for "as low as reasonably achievable". This principle means that we strive to expose our patients to as little radiation as possible, using as few x-rays procedures as we can, while still providing the best patient care. We also follow th recommended practive guidelines to reduce exposure when performing x-rays. To do this, we use three basic protective measures in radiation safety: time, distance, and shielding. By usinf the following techniques, we are able to limit radiation exposure to our patients:
· Use of the fastest image receptor (the fastest film speed or digital speed)
· Reduction in the size of the x-ray beam to the size of the image receptor whenever possible
· Use of proper exposure and processing techniques
· Use of leaded aprons and, whenever possible, thyroid collars
While x-rays do expose individuals to radiation, it’s important to remember that we are all exposed to certain levels of radiation in our everyday life. Eating a banana, living in a brick home and even watching television expose you relatively small levels of radiation each day. As pediatric dentists, we weigh the benefits of treating dental issues with the potential harm. A routine exam, which includes 4 bitewings is about 0.005 mSv. This amount is less than one day of natural background radiation and about the same amount of radiation exposure one would receive from a short airplane flight of 1-2 hours. (www.xrayrisk.com/faq.php). Using digital X-Rays, as we do at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, significantly reduces this amount to be even less.
There are ways for parents and dentists to help minimize the need for x-rays. Request a visual exam be done prior to consenting to x-rays. If you have current x-rays from a previous dentist, make sure to transfer these to your current dentist to eliminate the need for repeat x-rays. While dental x-rays are considered extremely safe, and often essential, it’s important to understand the procedures and any potential exposure to radiation so that you can be sure that the benefits outweigh the inherent risks.
If you have questions or concerns, never hesitate to discuss the need for x-rays with your pediatric dentist so that you can best care for and protect your child’s dental and overall health.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to be your go-to resource for pediatric dental health. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, we welcome you to call our office today at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!
We’ve heard it for years. Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Most of us can get behind the whole “twice a day” because it makes sense. Brush your teeth in the morning to start your day and at night to wash everything away. But what about the “two minutes” part. It sounds easy enough, but have you ever actually brushed your teeth for two minutes? It can feel like eternity. Especially on those mornings when you are running late, the kids need breakfast, you can’t find matching shoes and someone spilt their cereal on the floor.
Admit it. We have all done it. We stick our toothbrush in our mouth, swipe a few times, rinse and call it done. And we won’t even talk about how quickly we brush our children’s teeth on those mornings. Besides, two minutes is just an arbitrary, made up amount of time, right? Does your dentist just say two minutes because it sounds good with twice a day? It turns out that there is actual evidence behind the recommendation. As you would guess, the longer you brush, the more effective you will be at cleaning the bacteria and plaque off your teeth.
In one study from The Journal of Dental Hygiene, it was reported that the average person brushes their teeth for about 45 seconds, less than half of the recommended amount of time. Does it make a difference? The answer is YES. The same study found that brushing for two minutes removed 26% more plaque than brushing for 45 seconds. That’s a lot of plaque, that if left on your teeth regularly, will eventually cause dental caries.
In 2012, the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, through a systematic review of 59 papers, found that people brushing for one minute removed, on average, 27% of plaque from their teeth. Those that brushed for two minutes, removed, on average, 41% of plaque from their teeth. Which sounds better to you?
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that bacteria don’t just live on your teeth. They also coat your entire mouth’s interior, including your tongue, cheeks and gums. By brushing longer, you have increased time to brush these areas of your mouth, as well.
How can you make it to the two-minute mark? Think of your mouth in terms of quadrants. Spend 30 seconds on each one: top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. If you really try to brush each tooth and gum area on both the outside and inside of the teeth, two minutes will fly by.
For children, use two-minute times, find a fun song to brush along with or even get a great brushing app on your phone. Most of all, model good brushing for them. If you child sees you taking great care of your teeth, it will be easier for him or her to want to do the same.
In addition to the length of time you spend brushing, how you brush also matters. Talk to your pediatric dentist to make sure that you and your child are using proper brushing techniques so that you can get the most out of those two minutes! If you are looking for a dental home for your child in the Upstate, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call our office today at 864-760-1440.
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