Tips for Toothaches

childrens emergency dentistThere are many reasons you or your child may be experiencing a toothache. A morsel of food may be caught between teeth (this is where daily flossing comes in very handy); gum irritation; a tooth may be impacted; dental decay may be present; or your child may be suffering from one or more teeth erupting. Very often there is an easy solution, but for more serious issues a visit with your children’s emergency dentist may be in order.

For erupting teeth, there are oral applications that can ease discomfort when placed on gum tissue where teeth are coming in. A medication free option is to freeze a teether designed for this problem … letting your child chew on this offers comfort.

You and your children should be flossing daily. This should remove food debris that may be caught. But more importantly this daily action also helps keep plaque from building. Teaching your child to floss is important, and letting them watch you floss teaches them how to floss as well as sets a great example.

Erupting teeth is something everyone experiences; but an impacted tooth often occurs when there is insufficient space for a tooth to come in. This is very common for wisdom teeth but can affect other teeth as well resulting in overcrowding and pushing teeth outward or inward. In either case, the occlusion is affected.

Dental decay is a primary cause for a toothache. There are a couple of tools your family dentist  can offer such as fluoride treatments to strengthen dental enamel; and for teeth that have not already experienced a cavity, there are dental sealants. Sealants are painted on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth providing a barrier where dental decay often starts.

Dental emergencies arising from a toothache can be traumatic for the patient and family members. This is why children should begin seeing their dentist around the age of twelve months. Not only is the child examined at this early appointment for assurance that all is proceeding normally with their oral health, but regular visits allow the child to become acclimated with the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. This makes needed visits less intimidating.

Emergencies can occur for many reasons, but to help limit visits with the children’s emergency dentist encourage daily brushing, flossing, and make sure your child sees their family dentist every six months.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

Beware of a Highly Acidic Diet

pediatric dentist Tarrant CountyMany parents are unaware that a highly acidic diet can have significant consequences for their child’s smile and that even some apparently healthy foods, such as some fruits and vegetables, can be harmful if consumed in excess.

Acid can erode the enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and making the teeth more susceptible to cavities. So, if your child makes a habit of snacking on citrus fruits, for example, it can create a situation that must be addressed by a pediatric dentist. Tomatoes (and tomato products) and some berries can have a similar effect.

You don’t necessarily need to completely restrict acidic foods –especially the nutritious ones like citrus fruits—from your child’s diet. A pediatric dentist can advise you on making sure that your child gets the right balance of nutritious acidic foods in a way that won’t harm their teeth. For example, the dentist may instruct you to pair acidic foods with water, which can readily clear the acid from the mouth.

Eating foods that are lower in acid, like cheese and eggs, at the same time as consuming acidic foods may also offer some level of protection, as can chewing sugar-free gum, which stimulates saliva production.

Good oral hygiene habits can also help to safeguard your child’s smile from the effects of an acidic diet. Your pediatric dentist should be able to give your child any necessary instruction or reinforcement in this area.

Some highly acidic foods and beverages have no nutritional value, however, and should be completely eliminated from your child’s diet. Sodas fall into this category. On the rare occasions when your child does drink soda, he or she should use a straw to minimize contact between the soda and the teeth. Sugary foods can also contribute to an acidic environment in the mouth, as bacteria feed on sugars and then create acidic substances as a byproduct of digestion.

A highly acidic diet can harm your child’s teeth. Check in with our dentist who specializes in treating children to learn more about what foods to limit and what foods to encourage in your child’s diet.

Contact us at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today!

IV Sedation: Your Most Common Questions Answered

IV Sedation kids dentistIt can be hard to access kid’s dental care if your child is particularly fearful about visiting the dentist. However, IV sedation at a kid’s dentist can help your child to overcome this obstacle. Before taking advantage of this service, parents may have a number of questions. Here are some of the most common concerns of parents consider IV sedation for their children.

How does IV sedation at a kid’s dentist work?

Pediatric anesthesiologists administer doses of anti-anxiety medications that are tailored to each child’s specific needs. In addition to helping fearful patients, IV sedation may also be appropriate for children who are in need of lengthy, complex interventions when it might be hard to sit still for extended periods of time. Children with a strong gag reflex may also benefit from IV sedation.

How will my child’s safety be maintained during the kid’s dentist IV sedation?

The pediatric anesthesiologists who oversee the IV sedation have expertise in working with children and monitoring their vital signs throughout the appointment. IV sedation also is safer than general anesthesia because the airway remains open throughout the procedure and does not need to be maintained artificially as it does with general anesthesia.

Will my child have any recollection of the procedure after the appointment?

One of the benefits of IV sedation is that children have no memory of the procedure after the sedative effects have worn off. This eliminates the possibility that a bad experience will feed into an existing dental fear.

My child has special needs. Can IV sedation be used for him?

Children with special needs may be even more fearful of getting kid’s dental care, especially if they have difficulty verbalizing their feelings. IV sedation can help to calm them for the appointment.

Could IV sedation help your child get the dental care necessary to maintain a healthy smile? Call our office and speak to one of our experienced staff members to learn more about this treatment option and discuss any more questions you may have about sedation.

Telltale Signs Your Child May Have Tooth Decay

kids dentist Fort WorthWhether you are looking at your child’s baby teeth or permanent teeth have begun to erupt, daily care coupled with twice yearly visits with your kid’s dentist are the best ways to ensure the oral health of your child.

Dental decay can impact the teeth of people of all ages … toddlers, children, teens, young adults, and senior citizens. Some of the symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Discomfort – A cavity occurs when the dental enamel has been breached. If your child is complaining about pain, there could be reasons other than decay. But if decay is present, there are no home remedies that will make it go away.
  • If your child has never been to the dentist, they may be very anxious. If you suspect they are going to be upset or fearful, it might be best to have someone who specializes in pediatric dentistry respond to their dental needs.
  • Sensitivity – If a zinging sensation occurs when exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or sour your child may have active decay. Pain or sensitivity might occur when biting down as well.
  • Halitosis – If you smell a sour odor or your child complains of a bad taste, the problem could indicate infection is present. An infected tooth accompanied by pain probably will require a root canal – depending on which tooth is involved, your kid’s dentist will make recommendations about the ideal route to take.
  • Tooth discoloration – If you notice one of your child’s teeth is darkened, the nerve of the tooth has probably been damaged. This could be due to trauma, or decay is also a possibility.

Prevention is always better than having to be reactive. Dental decay is preventable … some of the helpful ways include:

  • Dental sealants – Teeth not affected by decay can be treated by painting the sealant on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth. The sealant flows into naturally occurring pits in dental enamel sealing out bacteria that promotes decay.
  • Fluoride – Dental enamel is strengthened with this component already available in tooth paste, oral rinses, and in the water we drink. Fluoride treatments are also available by your child’s dentist.
  • Brushing and flossing – A daily oral regimen should include brushing at least twice every day and daily flossing to remove what was missed by brushing.
  • Dental visits – Cleaning and a dental exam should be completed every six months.

For more tips about your child’s dental health, contact our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today!

Dental Health for The New Year

childrens dentist Tarrant countyGreat dental health contributes to good overall health. If teeth and/or gums are plagued with decay or disease, the health of the body is going to suffer as well. The ways are evident … pain, inability to eat properly, and social issues like appearance or chronic bad breath. Many people commit to making healthy changes in the New Year. But waiting isn’t a great idea, and those changes are easy to make. For your child’s better oral health, you can start by scheduling an appointment with a children’s dentist.

If your child has reached the age of twelve months, you should be keeping their oral health in mind by taking them for their first dental check-up. At this appointment your child will receive an examination to either confirm their dental health is on the right track; or perhaps a problem or concern will be identified. Early diagnosis usually leads to a better result.

At this first appointment the caregivers are given a golden opportunity to ask questions about their child’s dental welfare. The advice given should start being followed right away including:

  • Teach your child about teeth brushing. Use an age appropriate tooth paste and soft bristle brush to keep your child’s teeth clean – brush twice each day.
  • Flossing should be done daily – teaching by example is often the easiest way so let your child watch how you care for your teeth.

You’ve followed through with this first dental appointment, so make sure your child’s oral health is a priority and keep those dental check-ups every six months. When your child experiences no dental health issues, it is easy to elongate time between appointments. However, taking chances with your child’s teeth can result in costly and time consuming treatment.

Now that you have made a plan with your children’s dentist, you can follow through on your own dental needs. Do you brush with a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice every day? Do you floss to remove what your tooth brush missed? And when was the last time you visited the dentist for a cleaning and dental exam?

Do not let a date on the calendar be your guide for maintaining your family’s dentition. Even though the start of a new year is motivation for making positive changes, the pursuit of great oral health should be ongoing every day of the year.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for your child!

Steps to Prevent Common Dental Emergencies

childrens emergency dentistWhile some dental emergencies are not preventable, there are proactive steps a family can take to minimize their risk for developing issues that require immediate attention. Our practice helps children develop a solid foundation of good oral health to help prevent common problems like tooth decay, weak teeth, and gum disease. In the event of an accident or painful toothache, our children’s emergency dentist provides prompt and gentle treatment. Following is some helpful information on preventing common dental emergencies.

Keep Regular Dental Appointments

Keeping regular dental appointments for your child is essential to monitoring the health of the entire oral cavity as well as catching potential concerns or problems as soon as possible. Having bi-annual cleanings and checkups gives our children’s emergency dentist a chance to see if teeth are healthy and strong. Many times, with physical examinations and diagnostics like X-rays, we can see if teeth are vulnerable to decay or injury long before they show visible signs of weakness. When teeth appear to be at risk for damage, there are preventive treatments available to help strengthen them.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to visiting our practice frequently, establishing an oral hygiene routine at home is another way to prevent the development of issues that can lead to dental disease and injury. Brushing and flossing teeth regularly keeps harmful substances from weakening the enamel structure of teeth along with controlling harmful oral bacteria that weaken the oral health system. Good oral hygiene is paramount to preventing the development of tooth decay, which when left untreated, can cause painful toothaches. Cavities, especially deep ones, require professional treatment like restorations and endodontic therapy.

Wear Protective Oral Appliances When Necessary

If your child plays contact sports like football and wrestling or participates in activities like skateboarding, wearing appropriate protective gear such as mouth guards and chinstraps can help prevent traumatic injuries to the teeth, gums, and face. For instance, wearing a mouthguard can prevent teeth from becoming chipped or knocked out during sports.

If you have a dental emergency or if it is time for a checkup, call our practice today!

Relax and Take the Edge Off with IV Sedation

IV Sedation kids dentistSometimes, children benefit from receiving sedation during oral health procedures to promote a relaxing and worry-free experience. When receiving invasive or complex treatment from our kids dentist, IV sedation can ease the minds of fearful patients and help our younger guests stay calm and still during procedures so that our team can work without obstruction. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive pediatric dentistry services that help establish a foundation of good oral health and increase oral function when necessary.

What is IV Sedation?

Administered intravenously, this form of sedation dentistry involves the administration of prescription medication to improve the effectiveness of treatment and keep patients comfortable during procedures. The type of sedation used during treatment is determined by our kids dentist. IV sedation is typically reserved for lengthy, invasive, or complex procedures.

What are procedures that might involve IV sedation?

Common procedures where IV sedation might be used are tooth extractions, extensive restorations, and oral surgeries.

Is intravenous sedation safe?

IV sedation is used in pediatric dentistry for a number of reasons. When this type of sedation is used, our team follows very strict FDA guidelines and procedural protocols to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality care in the safest environment possible. The effects of IV sedation are quite predictable and can be changed quite easily by adjusting the dose as necessary during treatment. This means that patients will only receive the amount of medicine needed to ensure comfort. During treatment, children’s vitals will be monitored with high-tech equipment and in the event of an emergency, our staff knows how to respond with advanced life support techniques.

Should I ask our dentist about sedation?

If you feel that your child might benefit from sedation dentistry, feel free to bring it up at your next appointment. Children who will be undergoing oral surgery or those with pronounced dental phobias or special needs may benefit from sedation.

Call our office at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to schedule an appointment or ask questions.

Negative Effects of Brushing Too Hard

pediatric teeth cleaning Fort WorthYou may think that you’re fostering good oral health habits by encouraging your child to brush twice a day, but did you realize that if your child is using improper technique, he or she may actually be doing more harm than good? For example, if your child is brushing too hard—which is fairly easy to do—he or she can actually damage the teeth and gums.

Excessive force with brushing can cause wear and tear on enamel, which may require additional treatment from your kid’s dentist. Furthermore, such brushing technique can also create inflammation in the gum tissue, and that can result in gum disease.

The hygienist may notice these signs of overzealous brushing during a pediatric teeth cleaning. For example, gum recession will be quite evident during a cleaning, as will any damage to the teeth.

If your child complains of sensitive teeth, you should bring this to the attention of a kid’s dentist, as this condition can also result from brushing too hard. This condition also can make your child resistant to having a pediatric teeth cleaning, so you may need to reinforce the importance of this routine oral health care.

Not only does learning good brushing technique during childhood benefit a child’s smile for a lifetime, but it also may prevent the premature loss of baby teeth. Teeth that are damaged due to overly strong brushing may be more susceptible to decay or breakage, which can cause them to be lost sooner than normal. That can lead to issues with the eruption and alignment of the permanent teeth.

It’s great if your child wants to take charge of brushing his or her teeth, but it’s important to use correct technique. Check in with your child and monitor teeth brushing to make sure that it’s not being done too vigorously. You can also ask one of our expert team members for a demonstration the next time you are in the office.

Contact our office today!

What are composite fillings?

pediatric dentist Tarrant CountyTooth decay is one of the most common childhood illnesses, so it’s important for parents to understand the restoration options that the pediatric dentist may recommend. Composite fillings are a popular method for repairing damage done by cavities.

These composite materials are tooth-colored and made up of a mixture of plastics and ceramics or glass. Composite fillings have a number of advantages over their amalgam (metal) counterparts, so the pediatric dentist may recommend this type of restoration in your child’s case.

Obviously, the most visible benefit of a composite filling is aesthetic. Composite fillings blend it with the natural shade of a patient’s tooth, while amalgam stands out and detracts from the patient’s smile. This is of particular concern for pediatric patients, as their restorations (ideally) will be in place for a number of years.

In addition to the appearance considerations, composite fillings have other benefits. The material actually can form a bond with the tooth and provide valuable support in an area weakened by decay. The pediatric dentist will not need to remove as much of your child’s healthy tooth material in order to make room for the filling.

Composite fillings are also not affected by temperature fluctuations to the degree that amalgam ones are. Those temperature changes can cause amalgam fillings to crack and fail, but that outcome is much less likely with composite restorations.

Additionally, the durability of composite fillings has improved drastically since these materials were first introduced. In many cases, they are even suitable for cavities on the large chewing surfaces of the rear molars. In some instances, however, amalgam fillings may be indicated. The dentist can advise you on what restoration material is preferred in your child’s case.

If your child has a cavity but you are reluctant to consider an amalgam filling, ask the dentist if composite materials might be a good fit in your child’s case. We encourage you to call our office to get any additional information you may need in order to make this treatment decision.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Toothache

childrens emergency dentistToothaches can affect people of any age – including children. In fact, many of our younger patients visit our children’s emergency dentist for toothaches. The most common causes of toothaches include the formation of dental caries (tooth decay), infected root canals, and tooth sensitivity. The causes of toothache can vary in their severity and the ways by which they are treated. If your child is experiencing severe tooth pain, we recommend calling our practice as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

Dental Caries

Cavities affect up to 99% of the population. This is because dental caries are technically an infectious disease. The oral bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay are transmitted orally – normally from parents to their babies. Tooth decay typically does not produce noticeable symptoms in its early stages, however, if left untreated, the cavity will progress by widening and deepening into the tooth. As decay progresses, it can cause toothaches because more tooth structure – especially sensitive tissue – is exposed to bacteria and oral debris.

Infected Root Canals

An injured tooth or one that has gone untreated can ultimately lead to an infection within the root canal. The root canal is a chamber-like area deep within the tooth that contains nerve endings and cellular material called dental pulp. A severely injured tooth or one that has deep decay can expose the root canal to infection-causing bacteria. Fortunately, a tooth with an infected root canal can be saved by performing endodontic therapy. Endodontics involves cleaning out the root canal and removing its infected contents through a same-day procedure. Sometimes the placement of a restoration is necessary after root canal therapy. After treatment, a patient can enjoy comfortable oral function and will no longer experience severe tooth pain.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a condition that can produce tooth pain, albeit for short and sporadic amounts of time. Sensitive teeth are caused by the dentin structure underneath teeth being exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages. Sensitivity to temperate foods and drinks can be related to recession of the gum line or thin/damaged tooth enamel.

Our children’s emergency dentist can provide prompt treatment and relief for toothaches as well as routine dental care such as checkups. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our caring team!