Posts for tag: baby teeth
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!
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!
When our children are infants, their baby teeth are a BIG deal. We spend hours consoling them as they drool and gnaw on their hands during the teething process. We mark the date of their first tooth’s arrival in their baby books. We get just as excited as they do the first time they get to put their tooth under their pillow and eagerly await the tooth fairy.
So, why then, do many people feel like baby teeth aren’t as important as permanent teeth? The answer is right in that one word- permanent. Because we know that our “big” teeth are meant to last for life, we somehow get the idea that our children’s baby teeth, that we know they will lose at some point, must not be that important. After all, they get replaced, right?
Wrong! Baby teeth, despite their small stature and their shorter life span, serve many important roles in your child’s long-term oral health and development.
Promote good nutrition through proper chewing
Just as adult, or permanent, teeth do, the baby teeth serve the important role of biting, gnashing and chewing our food so that our bodies can readily digest the nutrients. Missing or painful baby teeth can make the child hesitant to eat certain foods which can cause them to lose out on much-needed nutrients.
Serve as space holders for the permanent teeth and provide a path for permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt
Baby teeth are essentially a road map for the permanent teeth to follow, and when removed prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, it can cause long-term problems, even changing the structure of the child’s jaw bone and face. The permanent teeth may come in improperly, or possibly not at all, and your child could require orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.
Build self-esteem by providing a beautiful smile
Children naturally love to smile and find joy in the world. Beautiful baby teeth help them to do so. Even a young child can begin to feel self-conscious of missing or decayed teeth.
Enable the child to pay attention and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain.
It’s simple. Healthy teeth don’t hurt. In fact, kids don’t even think about their teeth when they are healthy. However, decayed teeth can cause a lot of pain! This pain can prevent them from getting adequate sleep, interrupt their day, and be distractive, preventing your child from excelling at school.
So, while it’s tempting to skip brushing your young child’s teeth when life gets busy, remember these small teeth play a BIG role in your child’s oral health and development. And remember, the care and importance that you give to their baby teeth will influence how they take care of their teeth on their own.
Taking care of your young child’s teeth can be simple. Follow these rules and help your child’s smile shine bright.
1) Start brushing as soon as your child gets his or her first tooth. Brush twice a day, even if it’s just for a short amount of time.
2) Floss any teeth that touch.
3) Limit sugary drinks, even juice.
4) Don’t go to bed with any drinks other than water.
5) Model good oral health by taking care of your own teeth! Kids learn by watching their parents.
6) Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist within six months of the arrival of their first tooth, or by their one-year old birthday. Early prevention and monitoring, as well as education about good oral health, will help prevent problems.
As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to be your go-to resource for helping to educate parents and children alike, and giving all children the beautiful smiles that they deserve. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, give us a call at 864-760-1440, and let us give you Something to Smile About!
A pediatric dentist advising you to give your child dark chocolate instead of the ever-popular fish-shaped crackers? It sounds crazy, right? Well, this post is the "Eat this, not that" for your teeth. And I will explain why. Just keep reading.
More and more, we are seeing the connection between diet and nutrition and overall health. As one might guess, this applies to your oral health, too. In fact, simple changes in your child’s diet may be the answer to keeping cavities away.
Cavities are caused when cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth feeds off simple sugars and causes acid plaque. This plaque attacks the enamel of the tooth and causes it to soften and eventually creates holes, or cavities in the tooth.
So, we know that sugar sitting on your teeth is not a good thing. It would make sense to choose foods that we feel are low in sugar. And this does help. But, it turns out, there’s more to it. In fact, it’s not just the amount of sugar that matters when we are trying to avoid cavities. There are actually three factors that impact the way food affects your teeth:
2) Sugar concentration
Stickiness- Not all foods are created equal. Flour seems to be the culprit behind a food’s stickiness. Think about it this way, when you eat an apple or baby carrots, there’s no food clinging to your teeth. When you eat crackers or pretzels, you will have food debris sticking to your teeth. Any food or sugar remaining on the teeth becomes a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria.
Sugar concentration- It makes sense that food lower in sugars are better for your teeth (and your body). But, contrary to popular belief, the amount of sugar is not the full story. In fact, it appears that when it comes to dental caries (cavities), it is the sugar concentration more than the actual amount, that actually matters.
This concept is pretty mind-blowing and also pretty important to understand! Basically, when choosing between foods that have the same amount of simple sugars, you can make a better choice for your teeth by choosing the one that also contains fat- or more fat. Why? Dr. Roger Lucas, DDS, explains it well when he says, “When you take away fat, you are indirectly increasing the concentration of sugar.”
Why does the concentration matter? A 2014 in vitro study* that found that whole milk is not acidic enough to demineralize enamel, but skim milk can demineralize enamel. This study confirmed that it is the concentration of sugars in the foods we choose, more than the amount of sugar, that contributes to dental caries.
By taking the fat out of a food, you are raising the sugar concentration. Fat doesn’t cause cavities. Sugars and starches do. So, you want to pick the food that has the lower sugar concentration, not necessarily the lowest sugar content.
What’s an example of choosing a better snack option? Swap snacks like Goldfish crackers for dark chocolate (at least 70%). This sounds crazy, but when you look at the two snacks, you see that while they have similar sugar content, dark chocolate has a higher fat content, and thus a lower sugar concentration. It also sticks to the teeth less, offers antioxidants, and parents are far less likely to allow their child to walk around eating dark chocolate bars all day long, like we often do with crackers and other easily portable snacks.
Frequency- Each time you eat or drink, the teeth are attacked for about 20 minutes, until the saliva has time to neutralize the acids and wash the bacteria away. Limiting the times this happens throughout the day can decrease the damage done to the teeth. This is especially true when children are snacking on crackers, sticky fruit chews and other common snack foods constantly throughout the day.
Other great options are nuts, cheese, crunchy vegetables and fruits, meats and yogurt. While most fruits anad vegetables have virtually no fat content, they also don't stick to your child's teeth and can be easily washed awayw ith water after eating. Remember, it's a combination fo the stickiness, the sugar content and the frequency of eating that cause cavities.
The truth of it is, diet and nutrition should be your first line of defense for healthy teeth. Brushing, flossing and fluoride should be the second.
Your oral health is not something that has to be left to chance. Good nutrition and good oral healthcare, along with regular checkups with your pediatric dentist, can keep the cavities away! Come let Anderson Pediatric Dentistry give you and your child Something to Smile About!