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Posts for tag: kids dentist

There’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping child. The peaceful look of contentment, the gentle breathing, a small smile as they enjoy a happy dream – it all seems perfect. Until you hear it. A loud grinding and gnashing noise that comes from their small mouth? What is that? And is it as bad as it sounds?
 

Bruxism- What Is It?
 

Bruxism is the medical term from grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. For children, it’s more common for these behaviors to be displayed during sleep, rather than while they are awake. Sleep Bruxism is actually considered a sleep-related movement disorder. The disorder is also called nocturnal bruxism, nocturnal tooth-grinding and nocturnal tooth-clenching.
 

While bruxism in children is fairly common, the exact cause of sleep bruxism is unknown. It has been linked to improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, stress, anxiety, a response to pain, such as an earache or teething and other medical conditions.
 

Because most children display these behaviors only when sleeping, it’s nearly impossible for them to know that they do it. You will need to observe your child while he or she sleeps. Symptoms that your child is suffering from sleep bruxism include:
 

  • Abnormal wear of the teeth
  • Sounds associated with bruxism (Think loud chomping and grinding noises in their mouth!)
  • Jaw muscle discomfort
  • Complaining of headaches
  • Tooth sensitivity
     

Impact of Bruxism on Child’s Health:
 

Most children will outgrow bruxism, and sometimes, it may go totally undetected. However, even if they don’t complain of jaw pain or other symptoms, bruxism can still have negative effects on your child’s teeth and general health. The grinding and gnashing can cause headaches and earaches. Over time, it can also wear down the tooth enamel, chip teeth and cause temperature sensitivity. Children that exhibit more severe bruxism may even have TMJ problems.
 

What Can You Do?
 

While there may not be a lot you can do to stop your child from clenching or grinding in their sleep, there are ways you can help lessen the frequency and intensity of incidences. If stress or anxiety is the cause of the bruxism, encourage your child to relax before bedtime with warm baths, soothing music, relaxing books and stories. Try to identify the areas causing stress and anxiety and help your child through it.
 

If you think your child is grinding his or her teeth, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist, who will examine the teeth for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear. They may spray air and water on the teeth to check for unusual sensitivity. In severe cases, your pediatric dentist may recommend a nighttime mouth guard for your child to wear while he or she sleeps. Since most children won’t be excited to keep this in their mouth, it’s not likely that your pediatric dentist would recommend this for very young children. For young children, relieving stress and anxiety, encouraging relaxation at bedtime and monitoring damage are the best options. Eliminating afternoon caffeine and turning electronics off two hours before bedtime may also help them sleep better.
 

If you are looking for a dental home for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to be your trusted partner in your child’s oral health. Call us today at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!

 

In a world where everything is getting, smaller, quicker and more efficient, it makes sense that pediatric
dentistry is following. Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is proud to offer laser dentistry in our office with our state-of-the-art WaterLase Laser.

While most of our procedures are still done the traditional way, laser dentistry can offer our patients an alternative treatment plan.

WaterLase dentistry uses laser energy and a gentle spray of water, allowing us to perform a wide range of dental procedures without the heat, vibration and pressure of a dental drill. For many procedures we are able to use less anesthetic, meaning less shots for your child. Using the WaterLase laser for dental procedures is usually, faster and more comfortable for the child, so we may be able to do more extensive treatments in less appointments. The laser can also be more precise, allowing us to save more healthy parts of the tooth and gums.

 

So, what do we use the WaterLase laser for and when is it an option?

 

The WaterLase laser at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry can be used for many treatments, ranging from cavities to periodontal disease. It can treat areas on the gums, as well as the teeth.

 

But, perhaps its most exciting and beneficial use for our clients, is for tongue and lip-tie treatment. The WaterLase laser offers us a quick and precise treatment option to help infants and young children who are suffering from negative impacts due to a tight frenulum causing tongue and/or lip-tie.

 

If your infant or young child is suffering from tongue and or lip-tie, their pediatrician may recommend a procedure called a frenectomy, in which the tight connective tissue that is causing the problems, is cut. A frenectomy done using our WaterLase Laser, uses cool water to make the incision, causing virtually no bleeding or pain, no risk of infection and almost instantaneous healing for infants. It’s also quicker, which is always a benefit with babies and young children.

 

If your child has tongue-tie, lip-tie or both, a frenectomy may be the correct treatment plan to enable them to nurse and/or eat better, thus allowing them to thrive and grow.  Give us a call today at 864-760-1440 so that we can schedule an appointment to discuss if our Waterlase laser is right for you. Let us ease the discomfort and help your child have 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!

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade are made for replenishing lost electrolytes, glucose and sodium after strenuous activity. They are refreshing, taste good and seem like a good choice for active, hot kids and adults, alike. These drinks are sold everywhere and consumed by the masses, many times, not even during athletic activity.

 

The problem is that these drinks were originally designed for carbohydrate replacement for athletes and for use in strenuous activity, which most people are not doing on a regular basis. In fact, these drinks are often consumed by people in a sedentary setting. They are loaded in sugar- lots of sugar. A 12 ounce serving can have 21 grams of sugar, and most people drink more than 12 ounces! Considering that the American Heart Association recommends that adult women get no more than 25grams of added sugar and adult men get no more than 36 grams, that’s almost a full days worth of the recommended amount of added sugar for women, and more than half the recommended amount for men, all in one serving of a sports drink! And we all know that most people will drink the full bottle, not just one serving.

 

Very few adults, much less kids, are participating in any activity that requires replenishing the body’s sodium and glucose. In most situations, water is the best choice. With no calories and no sugar, it allows the body to use exercise to burn energy, rather than replace a little bit of caloric loss with huge amounts of sugar and empty calories.

 

There are times when these sports drinks are appropriate, and possibly beneficial. A report from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that those engaging in less than 60-90 minutes of exercise are better off sticking to water. For those taking part in prolonged, vigorous physical activities for more than one hour, and especially in hot temperatures when electrolyte imbalance and dehydration are a concern, a sports drink may be better than water. (https://www.issuelab.org/resources/18583/18583)

 

The use of sports drinks, as well as other sugary energy drinks, when not engaged in strenuous activity, can have negative effects. Aside from the sugar contributing to tooth decay, the additional calories may also contribute to weight gain when the calories consumed in these high-sugar drinks are not being expended during the physical activity.

 

When in doubt, choose water. It’s better for your teeth and better for your body! Stick to drinking sports drinks only during strenuous, prolonged activity, and be aware of the total sugar in your diet.

 

 

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.

 

2) Distraction

 

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.