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MORE WAYS TO HELP KIDS AVOID TOOTH DECAY

After teaching your child how to brush and floss their teeth every day, it can seem like the fate of their smiles is in their own hands now. That’s partly true, but several parts of your child’s oral health care are still solely your responsibility as a parent. For example, they still rely on you to take them to their routine dental checkups and cleanings, to provide foods and beverages that are healthier for their teeth, and to guide them in keeping their smiles healthy by preventing things like tooth decay.

1.It all starts with good hygiene

Teaching your child the principles of good hygiene is the first step to helping them avoid tooth decay development. That’s because oral bacteria are the main cause of tooth decay, and they can accumulate on your child’s teeth consistently every day. The most important step to preventing decay is to control this buildup every day, which requires effectively brushing them twice a day and flossing at least once. Even after your child is old enough to do so on their own, you should monitor their hygiene routines by performing yours side by side.

2.Getting help from the dentist

In addition to daily hygiene at home, the next (but equally important) step is sticking to a regular schedule of preventive checkups and cleanings. Your child can only do so much to keep their teeth clean at home, and regular professional cleanings are essential to making sure plaque and tartar don’t remain for too long. We can also recommend more direct preventive measures to boost your child’s oral health and ability to prevent tooth decay, such as:

Fluoride treatments

Fluoride treatments can strengthen your child’s tooth enamel – the protect layer around their teeth – when it’s been weakened by excess oral bacteria. The fluoride can bond to the mineral strands that make up enamel, making it stronger and more resilient to prevent bacteria from infecting your child’s main tooth structure.

Dental sealants

While fluoride can strengthen your child’s tooth enamel, we can further protect your child’s teeth by recommending biocompatible dental sealants. These are made from a thin, clear acrylic that we can apply to your child’s teeth, and they create a barrier that stops oral bacteria and food particles from ever reaching the tooth enamel in that area.

PROTECT YOUR CHILD’S SMILE FROM TOOTH DECAY

The oral bacteria that cause tooth decay are ever-present, which makes protecting your child’s smile from it an everyday effort..

CAN NAIL BITING AFFECT YOUR CHILD’S SMILE?

Nail biting is a common behavior among kids and affects an estimated 50% of children between ages 10-18. Similar to thumb sucking, it’s often a way to self-soothe and manage feelings of anxiety. Unfortunately, it can also lead to oral health problems if it continues for too long.

The Consequences of Nail Biting

Children who chronically or aggressively bite their nails may develop any of the following problems:

  • Chips or fractures – Over time, nail biting can weaken the protective layer of enamel and make the teeth more prone to chips.
  • Gum problems – A child’s gum tissue is susceptible to cuts and lacerations.
  • Chipped or damaged dental work – Brackets and wires from braces or tooth-colored fillings on the front teeth may be damaged.

How Can a Pediatric Dentist Help With Nail Biting?

Just like any comforting or soothing habit, nail biting can be difficult to give up. Again, it’s helpful to start by talking to a pediatric dentist at your child’s next checkup. They may recommend any of the following strategies:

  • First and foremost, be patient and don’t shame or punish your child to “make them” stop nail biting. This is usually ineffective and can damage their self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Focus on positive reinforcement such as verbal praise when you see them resisting the urge to bite their nails.
  • Feelings of fear and anxiety often contribute to this habit. Giving your child extra comfort or seeking out therapy may address the root cause.
  • There are also some safe but bitter-tasting liquids from the store that make nail biting less appealing.

When it comes to keeping your child’s smile healthy, prevention is always preferable to treatment. If they can overcome nail biting, they’ll avoid many oral health problems altogether!

Teething And Its Symptoms

Teething in children – a joyful phase yet a hilarious period for the care takers.

When In Infants?

Teething starts from 6 to 8 months of age which starts with the lower jaw. The last set of molars appear around 2&1/2 – 3 years of age. Later by 6 years of age the children 1st permanent molar starts erupting. During all these period the children have few teething symptoms.

Why Symptoms Arise During Teething?

            An infant teething initiate by 6 months of age that’s the age where the child starts to diminish the immunity received from the mother through placenta. Since the infant starts establishing their own immune system during teething they are vulnerable to minor infections like

  1. Irritability
  2. Drooling
  3. Skin rashes , Coughing
  4. Low grade fever
  5. Binding and groaning
  6. Cheek rubbing and ear pulling
  7. Diarrhoea

Best Remedies For Teething

CUDDLING WITH YOUR CHILD :

Excessive time and care for your child at this point is important. Most of the child feels cranky and irritated. The love, care and affection keeps them emotionally better.

CHEWING:

During these period the infants would love to chew. Chewing counter-pressure the pain. Bumpy rubber teething rings, soft chewy toys works well in this. Recheck the toy has soft edges so that it doesn’t create any unnecessary trauma. 

COLD SUPPLEMENTS:

Cold intakes soothe the situation due to the inflammation in gum pads.

KEEPING THE SITE CLEAN:

Excessive drooling can cause rashes around the mouth, cheeks, chin and neck area. Try to keep the area clean by using wipes. Using a moisturizer or coconut oil to avoid carry over infections. 

REACH YOUR PEDIATRICIAN:

Many parents mimic teething symptoms with cold symptoms. When your child has continuous coughing, diarrhoea or associated fever reach your pediatrician and consume the prescribed medicines.

Baby teeth and caps/crowns?

Baby teeth and caps/crowns?

Let us see a list of FAQ’s that parents are concerned about when the dentist mentions “caps for baby teeth”

Q1: These are milk teeth. Are caps really required?

A: Even though baby teeth are there for a relatively shorter time, they are still around till your child turns 11-12yrs. Fillings alone may not be enough in certain cases. So yes, caps will be required.

Q2: What are these situations in which fillings alone may not be sufficient?

A: Here’s a ready list!

1. Generally teeth have multiple sides/surfaces. In cases where there are cavities on more than 1 surface, it may not be feasible to do fillings on each side. Caps will cover the entire tooth and all the surfaces and are therefore the better choice. No entry points for germs!

2. Following root canal treatment: Milk teeth in general are very brittle and prone to fracture and have to be capped!

3. Special cases: In certain situations, there may be mineral defeciencies in teeth. Rather than fillings( which may break away) caps are preferred.

Q3: What are the different options in crowns?

A: For children there are mainly 2 types of crowns: stainless steel and zirconia. Main difference between the two is zirconia is pearly white, tooth coloured and more esthetic.

For front teeth, there a different category of tooth coloured material is available.

Stainless steel vs. Zirconia crowns

Options for front teeth

Q4: By putting a cap on a milk tooth, am I delaying eruption of the permanent tooth?

A: Absolutely not! The cap will be in place till the tooth naturally falls off.

Q5: Any problems in biting?

A: Again, no! Maybe your child will take about a week to get used to the cap but its smooth sailing after that

Contact your nearest paediatric dentist in case of more queries.

Zirconia crowns

Zirconia crowns

Nowadays, more than the parents, the children themselves are concerned about their teeth and want tooth coloured fillings! In order to appease this growing demand for “aesthetic solutions”, zirconia crowns were introduced to replace the available stainless steel crowns which gave a “metallic” look and feel.

As compared to stainless steel, zirconia crowns are harder and can be used to cap the front as well as the back teeth.

These crowns are available in pre-designated sizes. So the dentist has to do minimal cutting of the tooth to remove the cavities, select the size of the crown and fix it! All in one appointment.

These caps will last till the baby tooth falls off to make way for the healthy permanent tooth.

Before and After

See your child smile widely again!

The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet

Wondering if this is about the latest action/thriller movie hitting the cinemas this weekend? No, it is not about a feared, underworld don either. It is about something less fearsome perhaps, silver diamine fluoride, fondly called the silver bullet.

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a colourless liquid, tried and tested by dental surgeons in Japan, since the past 40 years, to “arrest” cavities. It is also highly effective for the treatment of hypersensitivity.

The silver content helps in combating the bacteria responsible for deepening cavities. Together with fluoride from toothpastes, it converts “active” lesions (those that have a tendency to worsen) to “inactive” caries lesions (those that remain static for a long time). It is so much more effective than simple fluoride formulations! It is easy to apply too.

The only disadvantage, possibly, is that it causes staining of the cavity and turns it black due to the deposition of silver. However, a tooth-coloured filling material can be placed on top once the cavity is rendered inactive!

So, in which cases do we prescribe SDF?

  1. Very young children with lots of cavities, who cannot cooperate for treatments of long duration.
  2. Adults, to deal with sensitivity due to caries/ fractures/ tooth erosions
  3. Children, prior to placing a filling material so that unnecessary deep cutting of tooth is avoided.

For more details, visit your paediatric dentist today!

Laughing gas

Laughing gas

For a lot of people, especially young children, a visit to the dentist is a nothing less than a nightmare. This is where nitrous oxide comes into the picture. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it is more popularly known, is a sweet-smelling gas known to cause instant “happy feelings” in the person inhaling it. So much so, in the 1900s, private parties in London were incomplete without laughing gas “booths.”

Consequently, it found a use in clinical settings with doctors using nitrous oxide to calm patients prior to operative procedures under general anesthesia. It was found to be especially effective in children. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax without putting them to sleep. Since it is inhaled and exhaled through the nasal mask, it doesn’t cause toxicity, unlike any other route of medication like oral or intravenous, wherein the chances of overdose are greater.

Some points to note:

  1. Laughing gas can be used in very anxious children and adults to calm them down before the dental procedure.
  2. With laughing gas, treatment time is reduced and the dental surgeon can focus better on the tooth getting treated.
  3. Recovery is immediate, with zero side effects, and it is non-addictive.
  4. Since it is a mild sedative and numbing agent, the child won’t remember the discomfort of the procedure. In fact, it brings about a feeling of euphoria, making the children ask for the gas again at the next dental visit.

Help us give your child a better dental experience and ensure your child leaves the dental office with a smile!

Eating for a long time – Good or Bad?

Eating for a long time – Good or Bad?

Some children eat fast. Some children store the food like a fixed deposit in their mouth and chew slowly, for hours together! The mother gets exhausted trying to feed the child- so either the child is plopped in front of the TV or some cartoon is played on the mobile phone, just to encourage the child to eat!

We have all been through that. But is it good? Or rather, how harmful is this “food-pocketing” behavior, especially in kids? Here are some small daily care tips:

  1. Food should be eaten within 20 minutes. Kept longer, it significantly increases the risk of cavities, especially in the lower teeth.
  2. Ensure your child washes their mouth immediately after eating.
  3. Monitor the level of sugary/ sticky foods in a day. If your child has a sweet tooth, give it as a dessert at the end of a solid meal, like lunch, as a reward for eating fast!
  4. In between meal snacks should be avoided…these are the main culprits. Or rather, replace with fresh fruits/ nuts. They self -cleanse the tooth and avoid those sticky deposits

As we keep emphasizing, prevention is better than cure. So the first line of care for those pearly whites, starts at home!

Importance of an exclusive Paediatric dental practice

Importance of an exclusive Paediatric dental practice

Somebody once said:

….and I’m sure you all agree!

Similarly, in a health perspective, you cannot actually control the occurence of disease in a child. Children are exposed to different environments. Children fall sick. It’s a given thing.

But we can change the way they perceive doctors. Doctors are not all about sharp needles and nasty medicines..! It is important that children have a pleasant experience so that they may be influenced to have a positive attitude towards health, throughout their lives. That is how paediatricians evolved. That is also how, paediatric dental surgeons evolved.

  1. In dentistry, especially, the child has to be extra cooperative, as they have to sit on the chair and allow somebody to work inside their mouth. Prescribing pills or syrups is only secondary. Therefore, it is a MUST that the environment be child-friendly. Because, otherwise, one bad experience and the child is going to be traumatized for life about dental treatment!
  2. Children are very easily impressionable. They learn a lot by observing their peers. So, if some other child is going happily for his/her dental treatment, they also will be motivated to. This is the other advantage of an exclusive paediatric practice.
  3. A child’s mouth is significantly smaller than an adult’s mouth. Paediatric dental surgeons are trained specifically to work inside such restricted spaces..!
  4. Many oral diseases can be caught early or steps be taken to prevent it altogether. Therefore, just like how a paediatrician is needed for your child’s general health, it is imperative that parents develop a relationship with their nearest paediatric dental practice at the earliest, so that we may take care of your child’s oral health needs.

Children and Colours in the Paediatric Practice

Children and Colours in the Paediatric Practice

Have you noticed how all play schools, paediatric therapy centres, hospitals and clinics are brightly coloured?

As parents you must have also noticed your child being drawn to “happy” colours and lights. Basically, children love colour!

  1. Sight starts developing around the sixth month post birth and continues to develop till age 10. Bright colours are easy to distinguish and that is why babies are drawn to it.
  2. Research has shown that the colour of the environment affects the mood and consequently the behavior of the child. That is why primary colours like green, blue, yellow are preferred. The have a calming effect. This is true for adults also. Try changing to bright clothing if you are depressed or anxious about something!
  3. Children have a very wide imagination, especially at the ages of 5-7, when the brain is at maximum capacity. Also, they can be distracted easily by paintings and cartoons at this age. We make maximum use of this fact to manage the behavior of the child at the dental clinic

That is why, colours are so important in any paediatric practice. Gone are the days of the starched, boring white coat, which only instilled fear in the child! Printed or coloured aprons are preferred by paediatric surgeons as they “click” with children.

No paediatric dental practice has monotonous or muted colours. They are always bright and cheerful, just like how we want your child to feel after every appointment!