Posts for tag: Pediatric Dentist
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!
What is pediatric dentistry and how is it different from general dentistry?
The short answer is that pediatric dentistry is a specialized practice of dentistry that is focused on meeting the needs of children, while also providing an educational resource for parents and caregivers. Often, pediatric dentists will also see patients with special needs. Pediatric dentists graduate from dental school and then go on to complete a 2-3 year residency program, where they learn advanced techniques for treating issues related to the dental development and oral health of children. During their residency, pediatric dentists receive additional training in behavior management, child development and child psychology, anesthesia, common oral trauma in children, sedation, orthodontics, oral medicine and infant oral health.
While all dentists are educated in oral health, pediatric dentists focus on ways to better serve children and their parents, as this is their specialty. At Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, our scheduling system allows for more time to console a nervous child and more time to explain procedures and educate parents and caregivers. Our kid-friendly dentists and staff are focused on children, trained and prepared for all types of behavior. In addition, our dental office caters to children and their comfort. By providing a bright and cheerful office and waiting room with kid-friendly activities, a pleasant environment and lots of compassion and smiles, our goal is more than great dentistry- it’s about providing a great experience and positive feelings about dental visits.
Pediatric dentistry aims to provide excellent dental care, both preventative and restorative, to children. The goal should always be to instill lifelong healthy dental habits that will carry our patients into adulthood and provide a beautiful, healthy smile for life.
We invite you to make Anderson Pediatric Dentistry your child’s dental home and look forward to giving both you and your child, Something to Smile About!
Summer is upon us. That means ice cream, popsicles and cold drinks. For some, even the thought of ice cream touching their teeth is enough to send them over the edge. That’s because they are experiencing the symptoms of sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth are usually a sign of an underlying dental issue, such as tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root.
Our teeth are protected by enamel, which forms a barrier and defense against hot, cold, sour and acidic foods. Under the gum line, the tooth root is protected by a thin layer called cementum. Under both the enamel and cementum is a layer called dentin. The dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains small hollow canals.
When the enamel or cementum of a tooth is worn down, the dentin loses its protective covering. The hollow canals in the dentin allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. The result can be hypersensitivity.
Enamel can become weaker with age, a diet high in sugar or acidity and a history of acid reflux disease. Receding gums, which are typically a side-effect of gum disease or gingivitis, can also expose dentin and lead to sensitivity.
Tooth hypersensitivity is almost always a sign of a broader dental health concern. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Sensitive teeth can be treated. Depending on what is causing your sensitivity, your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste
Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate, an ingredient that, according to the ADA, helps to "depolarize" nerve endings in the teeth.
- Fluoride gel
Applied in-office, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
May be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
- Root canal
If sensitivity is severe and persistent and does not respond to other treatment options, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
As with all dental issues, proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet are key. If your child is experiencing dental pain from sensitive teeth, or you have questions or concerns, we would love to help. Contact Anderson Pediatric Dentistry today at 864-760-1440.
Soda. Is it really that bad for your teeth?
The short answer is yes. Sugar in soda, combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which eats away at your teeth. And diet drinks aren’t necessarily better. They may not contain the sugar, but both regular and diet, or “Sugar-free” sodas contain their own acids which attack the teeth.
Erosion begins when the acids encounter the tooth’s enamel. This is your tooth’s protective covering. Think of it like an eggshell. Once it’s softened or eroded, there’s nothing left to protect the sensitive inside of the tooth, often leading to further damage of the next layer, the dentin, and cavities.
While drinking water is the best option, we aren’t saying that you can’t enjoy an occasional, refreshing soda. But, we are going to give you tips to help lessen the damage.
Don’t Sip All Day –
Each time you drink a sugary beverage, whether it’s soda, lemonade, fruit juice or sports drinks, the acids from the drink and those formed by the sugar and bacteria in your mouth will attack your teeth. With each sip, this attack will begin again and last for about 20 minutes. If you sip sugary drinks all day, your teeth are under constant attack. If you choose to drink a sugary drink, don’t sip it over a long period. Consume it all at once. This means that children should not be drinking sugary drinks, even fruit juice, from a sippy cup or bottle throughout the day.
Limit or Eliminate Sugary Drinks-
Water is your best option, and milk provides the calcium needed to actually strengthen your child’s teeth. While we would love to see all sugary drinks eliminated from your child’s daily diet, we realize that it may not happen immediately. If you can’t eliminate it, at least choose to limit sugary drinks to no more than one soda a day. Aside from empty calories that children don’t need, even one soda a day will do damage.
Use a Straw-
Drinking out of a straw will help to keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth.
Rinse Your Mouth With Water-
Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking soda will help to wash away any excess sugars and acids and stop them from continuing to attack your teeth.
Brush, but NOT Right Away-
While it may seem smart to brush your teeth right after drinking a soda, it can actually do more harm. The teeth that have just been attacked by the acid are vulnerable and the friction from a toothbrush can actually damage the enamel. Rinse with water after drinking a soda and then brush 30-60 minutes later.
Avoid Soft Drinks and Sugary Drinks at Bedtime-
Consuming a soda before bed will allow the sugar and acid to attack your teeth all night long!
Get Regular Dental Cleanings-
Regular check-ups and exams will help to identify and monitor any problems or damage before they worsen or become painful.
Again, water is always best. But, if you are drinking soda, there are some that are “better” than others, or at least, not as bad.
Check out the table below from the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website
Acid and Sugar in Soft Drinks
We hope this information will help you and your family to make informed decisions regarding your child’s diet and oral health. As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is always available to answer your questions and discuss your child’s individual needs. Call us to schedule your appointment today (864-760-1440) and let us give you and your child Something to Smile About!
Tips and Ideas to Stop Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking develops in young children as a coping mechanism. Like a pacifier, children often suck on their thumbs as a way to self-soothe. While this natural habit can be useful during infancy and in the early toddler years, if it goes on too long, it can cause serious problems in your child’s dental development.
If thumb sucking continues long enough, it can even cause social problems if other kids begin to make fun of the child, anxiety if the child hasn’t developed other ways to self-soothe, and even sickness - just imagine all the germs on your child’s hand being placed directly in their mouth! Yuck.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to help you and your child break the habit of thumb sucking. We hope the information and tips below are useful for you and your family.
Why did my child start sucking his/her thumb?
Children find their thumb in the early months of infancy as they explore their body and surroundings. Many babies will experiment with sucking on their fingers and thumbs. Some even prefer their thumb over a pacifier. Like a pacifier, the thumb provides something to suck on, which is how babies naturally self-soothe. Often this soothing habit is used during stressful times, when tired, or during periods of separation from parents or caregivers.
Should I give my baby a pacifier to prevent thumb sucking?
While we know that people have strong feelings about pacifiers and many breast-feeding mothers will need to wait to introduce the pacifier until their nursing routine and milk supply is secure, we do advocate a pacifier over a thumb. Pacifiers do not put as much pressure on the roof the other child’s mouth and will not push the teeth out as easily. But the main reason for choosing pacifier over thumb is that it tends to be an easier habit to break. A pacifier can be “lost” or removed from the child’s daily environment. A thumb will always be available and there to tempt the child.
What age does my child need to stop thumb sucking?
While earlier is better, we recommend all children stop sucking their thumbs by the age of three, as this is when their teeth are in and the damage to their growth can really start to occur. Some children are very aggressive suckers, bruising the roof of their mouth or blistering their thumbs. For these children, a plan to eliminate the habit needs to be put in place much earlier.
How can I prevent my child from starting to thumb suck?
While exploring their hands, fingers and thumbs will be a natural part of infant growth and development; there are ways to prevent them from ever becoming full-blown thumb suckers.
1) Provide the baby with lots of opportunities to suck:
Babies use sucking as a means of attachment and a way to self-soothe. If an alternative means is not provided, they will find something to suck on - like their own thumb. If nursing, you can allow for non-nutritive nursing when baby needs to be comforted, or provide alternative ways for the baby to suck, such as your (clean) finger, a pacifier or collapsed bottle nipple.
Keep your child’s thumbs busy or occupied. If you see your child’s hand heading towards his or her mouth, distract them with something that keeps their hands busy.
3) Talk to Your Child
If your child has reached the age where thumb sucking can harm their teeth (three years), than he/she is old enough to understand. Put your child in front of a mirror and explain how sucking on their thumb can harm their teeth, show pictures of the damage that thumb sucking can cause, and have your pediatric dentist also discuss the possible problems with your child. Sometimes hearing it from someone else will be more effective.
4) Always Be Positive
Do not berate your child for sucking his or her thumb, or resort to calling them a baby or other demeaning terms. Encourage your child and use positive reinforcement. Be sure to find opportunities to praise your child, such as when they handle a new or stressful situation without sucking their thumb.
5) Time Your Discussions and Offer Reminders
Do not allow thumb sucking to become a power struggle. You don’t want to create more stress for the child, which will make him/her want to soothe by thumb sucking even more. You also do not want it to hurt their self-esteem, cause shame or become a habit they try to do in secrecy. Speak to your child about it when he or she is calm and receptive to hearing what you have to say, not after an upsetting event.
6) Offer Physical Reminders
A tongue depressor taped over the thumb to act as a splint, a sock worn over the hand at night or even the bitter tasting liquid that can be painted on the thumb (popular brand name is Mavala), can all serve as physical reminders when the child tries to place thumb in his or her mouth. A thumb guard (T-guard is a popular brand) is also available online and is very effective if used appropriately. We recommend purchasing the thumb guard with the locking straps so the child cannot take the device off on their own.
7) Suggest a Competing Habit
For older children, encourage another activity that keeps their hand busy, such as fidget spinner or cube. If you have a nighttime thumb sucker, suggest the child sleep with his/her hand under the blanket or pillow. For younger children, offer a soothing blanket or animal for the child to pet or stroke to help soothe.
8) Provide a Prize
Whether you call it a bribe or a prize, they work. Offer your child some sort of prize to give him or her incentive to stop thumb sucking. Make it something to get excited about and remind them along the way.
9) Talk to Your Pediatric Dentist
If breaking the habit of thumb sucking seems impossible, we are always here to help. We can speak to your child and show them pictures and visuals. Sometimes, hearing it from their dentist seems a bit more serious to them. We can also discuss the option of using a thumb guard device if your child is having a hard time giving it up.
As always, Anderson pediatric Dentistry is always available to answer your questions and help your child achieve his/her best smile.