Questions About Children
Dental checkups should be fun, especially for kids! We welcome children at Reliance Dental and our team is great at making children’s dental appointments an experience your kiddos will enjoy. Most children’s checkups should begin between the ages of two and three. We’ll look for proper development of teeth and also provide preventive measures for little smiles, including hygiene, sealants, and fluoride treatments, all aimed and protecting your child from cavities.
CONCERNS WITH CHILDREN’S CAVITIES OR HABITS
Habits that Promote Cavities and Tooth Decay
- Drinking too much juice or any amount of soda or other sugar-sweetened drinks .
- Drinking milk or juice at bedtime or in the middle of the night.
- Continuous snacking throughout the day.
- Eating a lot of candy, especially gummy type candy, which can get in between teeth and can be hard to get out without flossing.
- Giving kids bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water or filtered tap water that still retains its fluoride.
And perhaps the worst habit that can promote cavities and tooth decay is not getting an early start at proper tooth brushing twice a day as soon as your child gets a tooth. In fact, you should likely start even earlier, wiping your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth or soft infant toothbrush and water each day even before she gets a tooth.
What if your child doesn’t like to brush?
Whether or not they like it, brushing their teeth every day is not something your kids should be able to get out of. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it more enjoyable so that they will want to brush on their own one day.
One technique that works for many kids is to allow them to brush their teeth on their own while you brush your own teeth. Give them positive reinforcement for brushing and then brush their teeth again to make sure they did a good job.
Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children ages 2 to 5 years; even less, a smear of toothpaste, for younger infants and toddlers.
Remember that your kids will likely need help brushing well until they are about 8 years old.
You can’t always avoid cavities, as some parents and kids do everything right and still have problems with tooth decay. Still, it can usually help if your child:
- Breastfeeds until they are at least 12 months old
- Gets fluoridated water once they are 6 months old.
- Gets their gums and then teeth cleaned /brushed at least twice a day, including before bedtime.
- Doesn’t drink anything once you have brushed their teeth around bedtime, which is especially important for older infants and toddlers. They shouldn’t have to eat in the middle of the night anyway.
- Eats a balanced diet (three regular meals and one or two healthy snacks) and doesn’t snack throughout the day.
- Chooses healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and yogurt, instead of things like dry cereal, chips and crackers, as some of these high-starch foods can promote the formation of cavities.
- Rinses their mouth with water or brushes their teeth after they eat sweets or drinks juice.
- Doesn’t share utensils, cups or toothbrushes with other family members, since that might help spread the bacteria that can cause cavities to your child’s mouth.
- Gets dental sealants to coat and protect the grooves on the surfaces of their molars when they come in at around age 6 years (first molars) and age 12 (second molars).
- Starts flossing once their teeth are in contact with each other.
- Chews gum with xylitol once they are old enough, so that chewing gum isn’t a choking hazard.
First Visit To The Dentist
“Tooth decay can start as soon as a tooth appears, so children should see a dentist shortly after their first tooth or before their first birthday.”
Seeing a pediatric dentist early can be especially helpful to educate you about proper tooth brushing, how to avoid unhealthy habits and to provide a “dental home” where you can go in case of dental trauma.
DIFFICULTY SPEAKING PROPERLY
Examine the possible causes of your speech disorder and understand, if you can, what causes yours. Work with a speech expert (Speech and Language Therapist/Pathologist) or medical professional if you need to.
- Look for possible physical causes:
- Cleft palate was a major cause of speech impediments until surgery became affordable for people afflicted with it.
- Malocclusion is when the teeth do not have the proper normal bite. Malocclusions are usually corrected through braces, although orthodontic surgery is necessary in some cases.
- Neurological disorders caused by accidents or brain and nerve tumors can cause a speech disorder called dysprosody.
- Look for possible learning disabilities:
- Dyslexia and mental retardation can prevent a person from learning how to speak properly.
- Children who suffer from learning disabilities often have speech impediments, although they can be overcome through speech therapy.
- Is it caused by an emotional problem?
- People who suffer from traumatic experiences often develop speech problems like stammering and stuttering. A death in the family, an accident, or a crime can often affect the ability of a person to speak clearly.
A normal tongue is not restricted by teeth and can move around freely, extending outwards between the upper and lower jaw. Infants swallow with their jaws parted and the tongue positioned between gum pads. This produces a vacuum for swallowing called the “infantile swallow.”
A frenectomy is the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues that causes a person to be tongue tied. There are three frenums that may require frenectomies: the upper lip, lower lip, and the tongue.
A soft tissue laser is used for the procedure so there is no incision, therefore less risk of infection. It is a short procedure with very little risk. Follow up exercises are mandatory so that the frenum does not grow back.
Infant frenectomies, or sometimes known as tongue tied, can be performed on newborns up till the age of 3 months. Because of their age, no anesthetic is given for this age group. We don’t want to introduce foreign substances into their body, and the amount of discomfort and time it takes to administer the local anesthetic would be longer and more uncomfortable than the procedure itself. After the age of 5 anesthetic may be used.
Two types of lip-ties can occur: Upper lip-ties and Lower lip-toes. An upper lip-tie occurs when a piece of skin under the upper lip is relatively thick or short and is tightly attached to the upper gum. Restricted movement of the upper lip occurs, preventing it from being able to freely pull up. This can make infant feeding difficult, as the baby will be incapable of forming a tight seal with the nipple. In adolescents and teenagers, an upper lip-tie may be linked to a gap between the front teeth, called a diastema; this is can be considered a cosmetic issue. Upper lip-ties are commonly linked to Tongue-ties.
A frenectomy is the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues that causes a person to be lip-tied. This applies to both Upper and Lower lip-ties. A soft tissue laser is used for the procedure so there is no incision, therefore less risk of infection. It is a short procedure with very little risk. Follow up exercises are mandatory so that the frenum does not grow back.
Infant frenectomies can be performed on newborns up till the age of 3 months. Because of their age, no anesthetic is given for this age group. This is to minimize the risk of introducing foreign substances into their body, and the amount of discomfort and time it takes to administer the local anesthetic would be longer and more uncomfortable than the procedure itself. After the age of 5 anesthetic may be used.