Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural and effective means of providing comfort and security for developing children.  Some children even suck their thumb or fingers in the womb.

We strongly support the approach of positive reinforcement and encouragement when addressing the habit.  Each child will be ready to quit sucking their thumb or finger(s) in their own time. Until then, remain positive!  Acknowledge and reward your child for their efforts along the way.

Here are few things to keep in mind when addressing thumb-sucking:

  • Thumb sucking is often a way of self-soothing or providing a sense of security.  Rather than focusing on the habit itself, attempt to address the source of anxiety, fear, or insecurity.
  • When comfort is provided from a parent, guardian, or caregiver, there will be less of a desire to search for comfort from the habit of sucking their thumb or finger(s).
  • Rewards and positive reinforcement are a very effective means of encouraging a patient to refrain from sucking their thumb.  Even verbal praise is a great place to start, building up to larger rewards as the patient refrains from sucking their thumb or finger(s) for longer periods of time.

Additional information can be found using the following resources:


Sealants

Sealants are a thin, filling-like material placed in the deepest pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth. These areas account for 80-90% of cavities in permanent back teeth, and 44% in baby teeth.  

Sealants “seal out” food and bacteria from getting into deep crevices of the back teeth.  By flowing into these areas, the sealant makes it much easier to clean with a toothbrush.  However, sealants alone can not prevent decay.  Thorough brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet combined with the application of sealants is the best defense against decay!

The AAPD reports that patients who had sealants placed showed a reduction of cavities of 86% after one year, 58% after four years, and 80-90% after ten years with proper follow-up care.

Our practice only use sealant materials that are BPA-Free.


Fluoride

Fluoride is a valuable tool, and one of our greatest resources in the dental practice to help prevent cavities.  Fluoride works on a molecular level to strengthen tooth enamel.  This creates stronger teeth which can sustain the impact of chewing and grinding, and the harsh environment in the mouth.  Decades of research and studies continue to support just how effective fluoride truly is, and its ability to prevent cavities by as much as 50-70%!  The AAPD suggest that fluoride is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride is also a great treatment option for patients who experience sensitivity!  

We use topical fluoride varnish in our office that is kid-approved!  The tooth-colored coating is quickly painted on their teeth.  Not only is it fast, it tastes great!  In most cases, kids can eat and drink right away.  The beneficial supplements contained within the fluoride treatment are released over time.  This assures the most effective delivery of the vital components to strengthen your child’s teeth.

For more information please visit the following sites:


X-ray/Radiation

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are a vital component of comprehensive treatment.  Without the use of x-rays the diagnosis of various conditions can and will be missed.

Dentists use x-rays to diagnose cavities before the are visible to the naked eye.  This means they are smaller, easier to treat, and will have the least impact on the overall oral health of your child.  But x-rays provide insight into the development of permanent teeth, evaluate the results of an injury, identify possible pathology, used in orthodontic treatment planning, and more.  

X-rays for children are recommended more frequently than with adults because children are growing at a rapid rate and their teeth are more susceptible to decay than permanent teeth.  The AAPD recommends that children with high-risk of caries have dental x-rays taken every six months, and less frequently for those patients that are at a lower risk for developing tooth decay.

With the advances in science and technology, we are able to produce dental images with the lowest dosage of radiation yet.  Our office proudly utilizes direct digital imaging.  We are able to view the image instantly, with the lowest amount of exposure.   As a pediatric office we are careful to minimize the amount of exposure to our patients.  We also take protection very seriously.  Each patient is protected with proper apron/bib for the dental radiograph they are receiving.

If your child has had xrays taken at a previous office, we kindly ask that you request your child’s records be sent to our office for evaluation.  

Additional Resources:


Trauma


Orthodontics


First Visit


Tooth Color

Tooth color is extremely subjective, and a broad range of shades are all very normal.  Baby teeth by design are very, very white.  Permanent teeth have a slightly more yellow appearance compared to baby teeth.  

As children start to lose their baby teeth and the permanent teeth begin to erupt, this color contrast can cause the permanent teeth to appear more yellow than they truly are.

While this color contrast is not ideal, it is not recommended to explore whitening options until all permanent teeth are fully erupted, and where applicable, orthodontic treatment has been completed.  You want to be sure that the entire tooth surface is as uniform as possible, and if a tooth is not fully erupted when bleach is applied there could be a distinct line of color change once the tooth has come in further.  Secondly, whiter teeth look straighter.  Whitening is a great way to complete orthodontic treatment, making their smile picture perfect.

In the meantime, whitening toothpastes (when age appropriate) are very effective at minimizing surface stains.  And nothing is better than proper hygiene.  A good home-care routine of brushing and flossing is the best defense against staining and yellow-looking teeth.

If you are interested in exploring whitening options, please feel free to ask our team at your next appointment.


Mouthguards


When should they lose their first tooth?


BPA, Gluten, etc