Start Your Child’s School Year Off Right with a Dental Checkup

pedatirc dentist Tarrant CountyDid you know that your child should be visiting our pediatric dentist for routine checkups and cleanings? Sometimes, people undervalue children’s need for regular access to oral healthcare because children will ultimately lose their baby teeth as adult teeth come in. Unfortunately, this common misconception can be problematic for your child’s wellbeing and oral health. Receiving regular oral healthcare services can drastically prevent your child’s risks for developing dental caries (tooth decay) and gum disease as well as increase the likelihood of detecting potential issues like malocclusions and developmental abnormalities. Summer is a great time to schedule checkups and cleanings with our pediatric dentist since we know that our patients’ lives are quite hectic during the school year.

Dental Checkups for Children

A dental checkup is actually quite thorough. It involves more than just evaluating the health of teeth and gums. During a checkup, our team will examine the health of the occlusion (the way that teeth line up and make contact) during oral function, the jawbones, and the arrival of adult teeth. When issues are detected early on, it often means that we can rectify the problem with conservative and minimally invasive treatment options. Sometimes, we can administer preventive treatments like dental sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay if we notice issues with tooth enamel (the outer surface of teeth that protects teeth from harmful bacteria).

Professional Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings are another aspect of keeping your child’s oral health a priority. A cleaning is not only important, it is a necessity for controlling harmful substances that accumulate along the roots of teeth and along the gum line. Even if your child practices proper oral hygiene at home, it is still vital to have regular dental cleanings because some substances (tartar) cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Dental cleanings are gentle and non-invasive. They are also a cost-effective way to keep the gums healthy.

For more information about our pediatric services, call our family-friendly practice at your earliest convenience.

Does my child really need dental checkups every six months?

Fort Worth pediatric dentistChildhood dental care is incredibly important. Not only are children very susceptible to dental caries (tooth decay), they also need routine checkups since their bodies are developing rapidly. Moreover, children will undergo tooth transition—the phase of development where baby teeth fall out and are slowly replaced by permanent adult teeth. Routine visits to a pediatric dentist can help your child establish good oral health, prevent disease, and correct potential issues as soon as possible.

What Parents Need to Know About Dental Checkups

Dental checkups, especially those for children, are very comprehensive. A checkup involves more than just evaluating the health of teeth and gums. While assessing the health of teeth and gums is incredibly important, there are a myriad of other potential issues and conditions a pediatric dentist will look for. During checkups, our team will evaluate the health of the occlusion (the way that the jaws and teeth line up), emerging adult teeth, and the density and size of jawbones.

A child’s checkup can reveal congenital issues and developmental issues as well as common conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. In almost all cases, early detection of disease and abnormalities yields conservative and cost-effective treatment.

Dental Cleanings Are Important, Too

In addition to scheduling bi-annual checkups with our pediatric dentist, a child should receive two cleanings a year. Professional cleanings are non-invasive. The purpose of a cleaning is to remove harmful substances like tartar, clean thoroughly between teeth and along the gums, and polish teeth. A cleaning is also a great time for your child to learn more about the importance of oral hygiene.

Call us today to reserve a checkup with our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry!

New City, New Dentist: What to Look for in a Dental Provider

pediatric dentist Fort WorthMoving to a new city can be both invigorating and stressful. While your future is full of possibilities, there is a seemingly endless list of to-dos. From finding a new place of worship to having all your mail forwarded to your new address, moving is certainly a massive undertaking. Finding a new dental provider should be on your list of moving to-dos. Whether you need a general dentist or a specialist such as a pediatric dentist or periodontist, the following tips should help you in your search for the dental practitioner that is right for your needs.  

Search Online

For many folks, one of the easiest ways to search for a new dentist is to do so online. Simply type your location or neighborhood and the type of provider you need into a search engine like Google. For example, your search might look this way: “pediatric dentist Dallas”. The first few pages of search engine results should give you a decent amount of listings to work with. At this point, you can visit websites for dental practices to learn more about its doctors, technology, and services. Dental websites can contain a wealth of helpful information along with downloadable patient forms to streamline your first visit.

Make a List of Potential Providers

After you have perused a list of dental providers in your area and browsed their websites, make a list of the practices that appeal to you the most. Try to keep your list short but long enough to leave you with options for making your first appointment since some practices might not have room for new patients.

Call Dental Practices

Once your list is made, call each practice. Ask any questions about services and treatments that you feel are necessary. At this point, it is important to check if the practice you are calling takes your dental insurance, if you have any.

After calling practices, you should be able to whittle your list down to one or two contenders. Remember, you can always switch providers after your first appointment if a practice doesn’t seem like the right fit.

Call us today to reserve an appointment at our practice!

Follow These 5 Tips for a Healthier Mouth

Fort Worth pediatric dentistYou and your entire family benefit from all the positive things you offer from the foods consumed to the daily essentials you provide. One of the things you or your children may take for granted involve something used every day … teeth. Taking your child to their pediatric dentist every six months starting at age one will help to ensure their teeth remain strong and healthy. Important factors that impact oral health include:

Professional care – Those dental checkups every six months are critical to remove plaque buildup. Plaque contributes to dental decay and gum disease so to help maintain your kid’s dental health, make sure they honor these appointments. In addition to having their teeth cleaned and examined for potential problems, there are preventative treatments available to contribute to better oral health such as topical fluoride applications and dental sealants.

Daily oral maintenance – Providing proper tools like a great toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste and rinse, and floss are only helpful when put to good use. Make sure to monitor your young children to make sure they are brushing at least twice every day. Teach them to floss by allowing them to watch you – example makes a wonderful teacher.

Diet – It is impossible to monitor what your children eat all day, but teach them the                       importance of a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks like nuts,  cheese, and yogurt, and nourishing, balanced meals will contribute to healthy teeth and gums. Limit soda and sugary snacks to special occasions; encourage your children to drink water.

Rest – A healthy mouth goes hand in hand with a healthy body so make sure you and your family are getting sufficient rest and exercise. A stressful lifestyle often will manifest itself in the form of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Children suffer from stress as well as adults so make sure you keep the lines of communication open to know if your child is dealing with problems that might lead to oral health issues.

Educate – Make sure everyone in your family knows the dangers of tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use. Teach by example. Let your children know that these things are a major cause of gum disease which can lead to tooth loss.

Permanent teeth must last a lifetime so do everything you can to nourish and protect them. Contact us at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry for more tips!

Why Oral Health Symptoms Shouldn’t Be Ignored

kids dentist Fort WorthIf your child complains of a toothache, there are several things that could be happening. A new tooth could be erupting or a baby tooth might be loose. These are very common occurrences, but there are other issues that could be affecting your child that might endanger their oral health. Your kid’s dentist should be seen every six months for cleaning and a dental exam, but in addition to those visits consult their dental provider for any problems that might occur.

Trauma to a tooth – If your child has experienced any kind of traumatic event affecting their mouth, there may be cause for concern. If a tooth’s nerve center is impacted, the tooth may or may not become discolored indicating a problem. Endodontic therapy may save a permanent tooth, so having your child examined by their dentist is essential.

Daily oral maintenance – Just as your child may neglect making their bed daily or keeping their room clean, they may need a daily nudge to make sure they are brushing and flossing every day. The caregiver needs to provide the correct tools, but if they are not being used every day, having a great toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste and rinses, and your child’s favorite floss are meaningless.

Daily oral maintenance is needed to keep plaque formation to a minimum … plaque buildup can result in dental decay and/or the onset of gum disease. Dental decay is more likely to occur in children as their teeth are not as strong at this age. Pediatric dentistry has many tools available to help in preventing tooth decay like topical fluoride applications and dental sealants that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.

If your child tells you their gums are bleeding, this may be cause for concern. Your child should be using a soft bristle toothbrush and taught that they do not need to use excessive pressure when brushing to get their teeth clean. Your child might benefit from an electronic toothbrush. In addition to their ability to clean teeth, a built-in timer is usually included to encourage your child to brush the recommended two minutes every time they brush. Unprovoked bleeding gums may be an indication of gum disease.

Your child’s permanent teeth must last a lifetime so be proactive in their care. Your child will be grateful you did.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our team!

Oral Piercings: The Hidden Health Risks

Fort Worth pediatric dentistOral piercings can be done to just about any softer oral tissue available … cheeks, lips, and the tongue are the most likeliest of places that many teens and young adults will choose in an effort to address their individuality or as a fashion statement. If you believe your child is considering pursuing an oral piercing, a visit with their pediatric dentist outlining all the risks of their action may persuade them to reconsider.

A piercing involves making a hole in the tissue, inserting a piece of jewelry, and holding it in place with a backing.

A great deal of research should be completed before entertaining piercing, so ask questions like: is your child old enough to make this decision; have all possible side effects been discussed; and has your kid’s dental history been reviewed to determine that they aren’t already suffering from gum disease or other dental malady that will be made worse with an oral piercing.

Hidden health risks to be considered include the potential for developing an infection at the site, uncontrolled bleeding, nerve damage, scarring, or even an allergic reaction. These are problems that can occur right away or within days of the procedure.

Of course, the individual conducting the piercing must be thoroughly vetted to be assured they are working in a sterile environment, are licensed, and have a good reputation for the services they perform.

Final considerations include: are you prepared for the extra saliva production that is likely to occur with your new jewelry? Over time the ongoing contact of jewelry can damage gum tissue and break down dental enamel leading to dental decay, chipped teeth, or even a broken tooth. All of these eventualities involve costly and time consuming dental treatment. You need to weigh the advantages with the potential consequences.

Of course it goes without saying that any body piercing must be kept clean in an effort to prevent infection; and if you must have it done make sure to follow all the instructions issued for the best possible outcome.

Many young adults will go forward with oral piercings without giving these things much thought; but depending on the age of the patient, parental consent may be needed so be sure to contact your dentist to educate yourself on all the hidden risks involved with oral piercings.

To get more information about maintaining oral health, contact our caring team today!

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

kids dentist Fort WorthFluoride is beneficial to the support of healthy teeth giving them strength and fortifying the protective enamel that covers teeth. Fluoride has been added to city water supplies since the 1950s. Fluoride is also available in many of the foods we eat. But how do you know if your child is receiving enough of this critical component? With untreated bottled water, and everyone on the run these days, it may be best to rely on regular visits with your kid’s dentist to make sure their teeth are protected.

Your child should have their first dental visit around six months following the eruption of their first baby teeth … or at about twelve months. Pediatric dentistry provides treatment from a dentist specifically trained to take care of your child. This first visit will include an exam to assure that your child’s dental health is progressing correctly.

This is also the perfect opportunity for the parent to learn how to care for their child’s teeth during their early years; the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy and how to support the permanent teeth that will need to last a lifetime.

Why is fluoride so important? It is a mineral that is found in foods and water; and like many other discoveries in medicine, research found that by boosting fluoride intake, the outer surface of teeth became more resistant to the acids that promote dental decay.

Toothpaste, mouthwash, and oral rinses are available today with fluoride. This topical application is applied daily as often as we brush and swish. But when your child is just starting out it is up to you to make sure their daily oral hygiene habits are performed correctly and with the right tools.

Your kid’s dentist might suggest holding off using your adult toothpaste on your child until you’re sure your little one has mastered the art of spitting. Until then, an age appropriate toothpaste is recommended.

As your child ages, pediatric dentistry has the tools available to apply a topical protective covering of fluoride to teeth during their six month visit. In addition to having plaque buildup removed from teeth and an exam performed, other decay prevention helps are available.

Dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth while fluoride (both topical and that taken internally) offer additional protection by strengthening dental enamel.

Contact our office at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!

My Child’s Filling Fell Out: What should I do?

childrens emergency dentistA filling is a wonderful restoration that can prevent the progression of a cavity. Tooth decay is a common health problem for children. In fact, cavities are considered an infectious disease. The bacteria responsible for dental caries are orally transmitted. Since cavities are widespread among children, fillings are a common treatment protocol for protecting teeth and preventing complications like infections associated with decay. If a filling falls out, however, it needs to be treated as soon as possible. We encourage you to call our practice to schedule an appointment with our children’s emergency dentist. The sooner you call, the sooner our team can make room for your child in our schedule for treatment. In most instances, a filling falling out is not a dire emergency but it should be treated quickly as the previously decayed (and weakened) structure of a tooth is exposed to oral bacteria and debris.

What to Do until Your Child’s Appointment

While you wait for your appointment, it is important to determine if your child is experiencing discomfort. Tooth pain sometimes accompanies a loose or dislodged filling because a sensitive, unprotected part of the tooth is exposed to temperate foods and drinks, bacteria, and other irritants. Moreover, decay could have formed near the filling and eventually underneath it. If your child is in pain, you can give them over-the-counter pain medication as directed. You can also apply temporary dental cement (available at most pharmacies) until you visit our practice to protect the tooth before treatment. Be sure that your child continues brushing and flossing. When brushing over the affected site, your child should be very gentle.

Responding to Dental Emergencies

The best thing you can do when it comes to responding to dental emergencies is keep our office’s contact information handy – especially if an accident strikes when you are not at home. We encourage all our patients to keep our business cards in their work desks and vehicles. You should also store our office number in your mobile phone. This way, you can reach us quickly if you have questions or require immediate treatment.

If you have questions or require treatment, call our office to reserve an appointment with our children’s emergency dentist today!

 

IV Sedation or Nitrous Oxide: Which is right for your child?

IV sedation kids dentistWhen it comes to ensuring patient comfort and positive experiences in the dental chair, sedation might be used by our kids dentist. IV sedation and nitrous oxide are two common methods for keeping children comfortable during pediatric dentistry treatments. Since many children are nervous and fidgety in clinical situations, sedation can also help our team work without interruptions so that treatment is not prolonged. Following is helpful information on how these types of sedation work so that you can make informed decisions on your child’s treatment.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is an incredibly mild form of sedation that also has analgesic properties. This gaseous sedative is administered through a nasal mask and its levels can be adjusted with the turn of a dial. The effects of nitrous oxide start to wear off as soon as the gas is no longer administered. Medical and dental professionals have used nitrous oxide for over 100 years and it is safe for use in pediatric dentistry. This form of sedation may be used to place fillings and crowns and when we perform root canal therapy. Sometimes, children with anxiety may benefit from nitrous oxide during routine cleanings and checkups.

IV Sedation

Administered by our kids dentist, IV sedation is a powerful yet safe method for producing an anxiety-free experience that is customized to the needs of a patient. In pediatric dentistry, IV sedation might be used for invasive and lengthy procedures as well as for children who have special needs. Sedating medication is provided through an intravenous line to produce a state of medical unconsciousness. This is useful for preventing children from developing negative associations with medical and dental treatment. It is also beneficial for promoting stillness so that our team can work without obstruction. Since medication is delivered through an IV, it can be quickly adjusted to produce its desired effects.

If you have questions about sedation in pediatric dentistry, call our office to speak with a member of our staff.

Brushing and Flossing Do More Than Just Clean Teeth

pediatric dentist Tarrant CountyTaking your child for their first dental visit with the pediatric dentist is encouraged at around the twelve month mark. Several baby teeth should have erupted at this stage. Your child receives an examination to assure their oral health is on track. This also provides the perfect opportunity for the caregiver to ask questions and receive the information needed to maintain excellent oral health as your child grows.

Brushing – As your child ages it is imperative that you instill and monitor this important daily habit. As a toddler you will need to assist your child as their coordination and attention to detail require your expertise. The correct tools (a soft bristle tooth brush) and age appropriate tooth paste (nothing with fluoride until your child has mastered spitting) are all you need. But bring your patience as your child might offer resistance as brushing twice every day (at a minimum) may feel redundant to them.

Flossing – There are many kinds of dental floss available. You can get flavored, plain, waxed, floss tape, floss picks … the selection is varied. Find the one that works best for your needs, and allow your child to watch you floss every day. Make it a game or contest to encourage their participation; the important thing is to groove flossing into a daily habit for you and your child.

Flossing is critical to healthy dentition. Food debris not reached by a tooth brush are removed, gum tissue is stimulated with gentle flossing around the gum lines, and plaque growth becomes minimized with daily flossing. Plaque is the leading cause of dental decay and/or gum disease.

Dental decay is often more prevalent in children as their teeth are still growing and lack the strength from minerals that are present in adults. This coupled with their diet may lead to decay forming. Your pediatric dentist can provide tools to help prevent cavities such as fluoride treatments to strengthen dental enamel; and sealants that can be applied to chewing surfaces to help protect them from decay formation.

Brushing and flossing are the tools for healthy dentition, and daily care helps to keep teeth looking their best; helps keep breath fresh; and coupled with regularly scheduled six month dental visits will help allow the patient to maintain excellent dental health for their lifetime.

Call our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry with any questions you have or to schedule an appointment for your child!